F&A (Indirect) Costs

The University requires full F&A cost recovery. For all categories of sponsor, the University should apply its negotiated F&A rate to all extramural awards for research, instruction and other sponsored activities. Citations in the Uniform Guidance support full F&A recovery on Federal support including flow through. The appropriate rate is applied to a Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) base as defined in §200.1  Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC). If a sponsor's published policy mandates a lower F&A rate, an exception to the University's policy on full cost recovery must be obtained.

F&A (Indirect) Cost Rates

Per Uniform Guidance, apply UCSF's negotiated F&A rate to all extramural awards, including Federal flow-through funding.

Federally-Negotiated Rates

  • Chart of F&A Rates (by project type)
  • Sister UC Campus F&A Rates
  • On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Guidance

F&A (Indirect) Cost Bases


Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC)

UCSF's Federally-Negotiated F&A rates are based on Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC). Per §200.1 Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC), the Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) base is the Total Direct Cost (TDC) less expenditures for: 

  1.  Equipment 
    • Tangible, non-expendable personal property (including shipping & sales tax) with a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit
    • Software costing $5,000 or more per copy license (including the cost of sales tax, shipping, and any installation charges)
  2. Alterations and Renovations
  3. Patient Care Costs
    • Hospitalization and other routine and ancillary services provided by a hospital or clinic to patients participating as research subjects 
    • Routine and ancillary services provided by academic departments or units and which are covered by the DHHS negotiated Patient Care Rate Agreement (generally, billed through UCSF Medical Center)
    • Patient care costs do not include services in non-clinical space provided by commercial laboratories which must be budgeted in the "Other Expenses" category and assessed F&A costs. Learn about Clinical Trial Budgeting and Coverage Analysis.
  4. Off-Campus Rent
    • Space
    • Related costs, such as janitorial and utilities IF they are included in the rental agreement
  5. Tuition and Fee Remission
  6. Scholarships and Fellowships
    • Financial aid paid directly to University students (stipends, scholarships and fellowships)
    • Does not include any disbursement of salaries and wages
  7. Portion over $25,000 of each Subcontract with a third party
    • Includes the DOE Laboratories (Lawrence Livermore, Lawrence Berkeley, and Los Alamos National Labs)
    • F&A costs are assessed on the first $25,000 during each competitive project period. If there are multiple subcontracts from the same institution on the same proposal/award, EACH subcontract should be assessed F&A on the first $25,000 during the competitive project period. Examples of occasions when UCSF may need to issue multiple subcontracts, under one prime award, to a single institution include Program Project/Center Grants (P series), Research Projet Cooperative Agreements (U01) or other programs that fund discrete projects, such as when the university administers pilot project funding. 
  8. Total Costs of Subcontracts to other UC Campuses
  9. Expenses for Participant Support Costs if award is subject to Uniform Guidance (add link to internal TBC page https://osr.ucsf.edu/content/uniform-guidance-federal-awards)
    • Expenses for Participant Support Costs (Account 57824), which are items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences or training projects
    • Does not include Research subject payments (Account 57823), also known as patient incentives and respondent fees, which are small payments made to individuals who are participating in a research project as a “human subject”
    • Does not apply to NIH Ruth Kirschstein NRSA programs and must have been included in NIH Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA). Note: application of this exclusion requires reference to REMS VSP Exception #130765 at Award Acceptance.

General Clinic Research Center (GCRC) MTDC

The GCRC MTDC base includes all exclusions listed in the MTDC base (1-9) plus salaries and fringe benefits for nurses, bionutritionists, ward clerks, and social workers supported as a direct cost to the grant.


Total Direct Cost (TDC)

The Total Direct Cost (TDC) base includes expenditures which are specifically identifiable to a particular project and which can be charged directly to that contract or grant.


Total Cost (TC)

The Total Cost (TC) base includes the total costs of contract or grant.