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Facilities and Administrative (Indirect Cost) Recovery

Office of Grants & Contracts


Application of F&A Rates

It is the policy of this university to seek the appropriate, approved Facilities and Administrative Cost (F&A) recovery rate on all sponsored programs whether they are from private or public sources. Application of the standard F&A recovery rate can be waived in extenuating circumstances only (please refer to "Waiving of F&A" below).

All projects are subject to the University's Negotiated Rate Agreement unless there are instructions that specify differently. If you have instructions that specify the use of a rate other than the negotiated rate, please include those instructions when you route your proposal to Grants and Contracts.

Rates that are to be applied to a Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) base are calculated as follows: Subtract any costs that should be excluded from the Total Direct Cost amount to obtain the base figure. Then multiply the base figure by the appropriate F&A rate to obtain the F&A recovery. Add the F&A recovery amount to the Total Direct Cost amount to obtain the Total Costs for the project. Costs excluded from the calculation of F&A recovery:

If you have instructions that specify the use of a rate other than the negotiated rate, please include those instructions when you route your proposal to Grants and Contracts. Equipment is defined as tangible, non-expendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. 

Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO)

Arif Karim
DHHS, Director - Cost Allocation Services
90 7th Street
Suite 4-600
San Francisco, CA 94103-6705
Phone: (415) 437-7820
Fax: (415) 437-7823


On- Versus Off-Campus

The appropriate application of the on- and off-campus rates is determined by the location where a majority of the CU Denver work is to be conducted. If 50% or more of the CU Denver work is to take place at an on-campus facility, then the on-campus F&A rate should be used. If more than 50% of the CU Denver work is to be conducted at an off-campus facility, then the off-campus rate should be used.

Other Government and Non-Profit Sponsored Projects

If a government or non-profit sponsor has a published, consistently applied policy that establishes a specific F&A rate for the project(s), that rate will be honored by the University of Colorado Denver. Please include those instructions when you route your proposal to Grants and Contracts.

For non-profit, charitable associations, foundations and societies that do not have an established policy, the CU Denver project must initially be proposed at an F&A cost rate of no less than 10%.

Clinical Trials

Non-federal clinical trials are subject to a F&A rate of 28% of Total Direct Costs.

Waiving F&A Cost Recovery

The appropriate, approved facilities and administrative cost recovery rate will be sought on all sponsored programs whether they are from private or public sources. Sponsors are expected to pay full costs except where prohibited by approved legislative, regulatory, or programmatic restrictions. Examples of Federal programs with special rates are:

  • Conference and travel grants
  • Training grants
  • Career development awards
  • Clinical research center grants
  • Construction grants

If a government or non-profit sponsor has a published, consistently applied policy establishing a specific F&A cost rate for their project(s), that rate will be honored.

In the absence of a published policy, CU Denver's policies (F&A Grid​) take precedence. Applications proposing rates that are not consistent with CU Denver's policies must obtain the approval of the Facility and Administrative Cost Waiver Committee for the proposed rate prior to submitting the application to the sponsor.

The Waiver Process

When a deviation from the normal facilities and administrative cost rate is deemed desirable, the PI shall request approval using a Facilities and Administrative Cost Variance Request. The PI can download the Variance Req​uest from the OGC Website

Allow plenty of lead-time. The waiver process can take up to 4 weeks.​

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