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Indirect Costs

Purpose and Scope of Policy

Facilities and administrative (F&A), or indirect, costs are awarded to reimburse the University for expenses incurred in support of sponsored research and training activities. It is the University's policy to recover the full amount of indirect costs allowable by a granting agency, whether public or private.

The University periodically negotiates a federal F&A reimbursement rate with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The University of Richmond’s current F&A Cost Rate, applied to salaries, wages, and fringe benefits, is 53 percent on campus and 23 percent off campus, which is used if more than 50 percent of a project is performed off campus. Faculty who are preparing proposals should contact the Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations to verify this rate, which is subject to change.


Philanthropic gifts are exempt from this policy. Grants made by funding agencies, both public and private, with policies explicitly stating that they do not pay F&A costs will also be exempt from this policy.

Faculty seeking an exception to the University’s standard indirect cost recovery policy must receive approval from both the provost and the vice president for business and finance. During the proposal preparation process, faculty intending to seek an exception should alert the Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations, so that their request and justification may be routed accordingly.

Note: Private funding agencies may allow direct charges for F&A costs otherwise not allowed by federal agencies. In this case, faculty members are encouraged to include F&A under the direct cost section of the proposed budget.


  • Indirect or F&A costs: Costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and, therefore, cannot be readily and specifically identified with a particular sponsored project, instructional activity, or other institutional activity; synonymous with “overhead” costs. Utilities, physical space, and accounting services are examples of F&A costs.
  • Gift: Contribution from a private, non-governmental source, made without expectation of any product or service of a tangible or intangible nature in return.
  • Grant: External award supporting research, public service or scholarly activity at the University that has a defined scope of work and set of objectives which provide a basis for accountability and sponsor expectations.

See Related Policy: Research Incentive Accounts


If you have questions concerning this policy, or for guidance on preparing a grant budget, please contact the Office of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations at (804) 289-8444 or

Updated: November, 2016