What are the Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Cost Rate for Industry-Sponsored Projects?

The following indirect cost rates and guidelines are applicable to industry-sponsored projects.  Indirect cost rates and guidelines for projects sponsored by federal agencies or non-profit organization are located here.

For the most up-to-date F&A Rates, please see the UCSF Office of Sponsored Research F&A page.

On-Campus Projects

The following rates are effective as of 4/24/18 until amended.

  F&A Cost Rates for On-Campus



Industry Sponsored Research

59.5% MTDC

7/1/17 - 6/30/18 - 59.5% MTDC

7/1/18 - 6/30/19 - 60% MTDC

7/1/19 - 6/30/20 - 60.5% MTDC

7/1/20 - until amended - 61.5% MTDC


Industry Clinical Trials

33% Total Direct Cost

UCSF Coordinated Multi-Center Industry Clinical Trial

33% MTDC


Other Industry Sponsored Activity

35% MTDC

7/1/17 - 6/30/18 - 35% MTDC

7/1/18 - until amended - 37% MTDC


45% MTDC

7/1/17 – 6/30/18 - 45% MTDC

7/1/18 - until amended - 46% MTDC


Off-Campus Projects

The rate is 26% MTDC or Total Direct Cost as applicable.


Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Cost Basis

Total Direct Cost (TDC)

Expenditures which are specifically identifiable to a particular project and which can be charged directly to that contract or grant.  Examples of Direct Cost includes:

  • Salaries and benefits of personnel working on the project
  • Supplies and materials
  • Equipment
  • Travel
  • Subcontracts to outside entities, etc.
  •  Institutional fees, such as CHR/IRB review fees, pharmacy fees, and other recharges
  • Subject reimbursement payments in clinical trials
  • Rent for using off-campus buildings
  • Subject reimbursement payments in clinical trials
  • Facility fees for using clinical research space

Modified Total Direct Cost Base (MTDC)

MTDC is Total Direct Cost (TDC) less expenditures for:

Equipment cost

Purchase including shipping and sales tax of tangible, non-expendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $1,500 or more per unit until June 30, 2006 and $5,000 beginning July 1, 2006. This includes software costing $1,500 or more per copy license through June 30, 2006 and $5,000 thereafter (including the cost of sales tax, shipping, and any installation charges).

Fabrication of equipment as defined in the UC Office of the President Accounting Manual Chapter P-415-32, Section II.

Alterations and renovations

            Alterations and renovations to buildings.

Patient care

Costs of 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, those services which are billed through UCSF Medical Center).

Costs for such services should be based on a currently-effective DHHS-negotiated patient care rate agreement or equivalent.

Patient care does not include allowable items for consulting physician fees, personal expense reimbursement, such as patient travel, or any other direct payments to patients, including inpatients, outpatients, subjects, volunteers, and donors.

Patient care costs do not include services provided by commercial laboratories which must be budgeted in the "Other Expenses" category and assessed F&A costs.

For detailed guidance on treatment of services provided at the UCSF Medical Center or at SFGH, refer to http://www.research.ucsf.edu/cg/memo/cgPatRecharges.asp.

Tuition remission

Direct-costed expenses for tuition and fee remissions (including graduate student health insurance) for University students.

Off-campus rental costs

Off-campus rental of space and related maintenance costs (janitorial, utilities) but only if they are included in the rental agreement.

This category does not include other kinds of rental costs, such as for hotel rooms, equipment, or automobiles.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Financial aid paid directly to University students (scholarships, fellowships, stipends, dependency allowances).

This category does not include disbursement of salaries and wages.

Subawards in excess of $25,000

That portion over $25,000 of each subcontract with a third party, including (effective 7/1/2000) the UC/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.

The initial $25,000 of each subaward is included in the base.

When issuing multiple subcontracts to the same institution, exclude that portion over $25,000 of the combined amount of all of the subcontracts to that institution

Subcontracts to another UC Campus

            The total cost of any subcontract to another UC campus.

OMB Circular A-21 requires that indirect cost be allocated on the basis of modified total direct costs (MTDC).  For sponsored agreements using federally-negotiated rates, indirect costs are not assessed on direct expenditures identified as MTDC exclusions.  


How to Calculate F&A Cost Rates in Proposals 

Escalating Rates

If a budget proposal period covers two UC fiscal years (i.e. 10/1/05 - 9/30/06), a combination of the two rates should be used in proposals (i.e., 9 months @ 51.5% for on campus research and 3 months at 53.5%). Note that the UCSF fiscal year runs on a July 1 to June 30 basis. When expressing the use of multiple rates on either a budget page or on the NIH checklist page show both of the rates being used; do not show a composite rate.

Application of On-Campus and Off-Campus Rates

If a project is conducted partially on-campus and partially off-campus, either the on- or off-campus rate should be applied based upon where the majority of the work of the project is to be performed. Salary cost should be used as the term of measurement.

If all of the following conditions are met, simultaneous use of both an on-campus and off-campus rate for a project may be allowable for any given year:

  • the project is significant (total salaries, excluding fringe benefits, for the project exceed $250,000/year);
  • the on-campus and off-campus portions can be clearly identified by means of separate budgets; and
  • the direct costs associated with each portion of the project must total at least 25% of the direct costs of the annual budget.

When applying the above criteria all subcontract costs shall be excluded, and each year of the project requires separate analysis. Formal approval of the use of both an on- and off-campus rate for a competitive project is required from the Industry Contracts Divison, and such approval must be obtained before a proposal may be submitted to a sponsor.

Multi-Center Projects with Clinical Components

When determining the type of project and the appropriate F&A rate to be used for large multi-center proposals which include clinical components such as cooperative agreements, only the portion of the work performed at UCSF, minus all subcontracts, should be considered. It should then be determined if the project scope of work is primarily for performance of clinical trial activities (as defined below), or for research. This determination is made by comparing the total dollar amounts paid for salaries associated with clinical trial work to salaries associated with research and related coordination activities.

  • If the preponderance of salaries are for clinical trial related work, then the project should be categorized as a clinical trial and a clinical trial F&A rate applied.
  • If the preponderance of the salaries are for research and related coordination activities, then a research definition should be applied and the correct research F&A rate should be used.

Types of Projects

The following are definitions of the types of projects covered by this memo. The codes Research (R), Instruction (I), Academic Support (AS), or Public Service (PS) appearing below designate the financial system function associated with the DPA number that will be linked with the project fund number if an award is made.

Sponsored Research (R): The separately budgeted and accounted for research under a contract or grant made in support of investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories in the light of new facts, or the application of such new or revised theories. Includes basic, applied and developmental research.

Clinical Trials (R): An award given specifically for:

The controlled, clinical testing in human subjects of investigational new drugs, devices, treatments, or diagnostics, or comparisons of approved drugs, devices, treatments, or diagnostics, to assess their safety, efficacy, benefits, costs, adverse reactions, and/or outcomes. Such studies may be conducted under an industry-developed protocol or an investigator-developed protocol. 

Projects involving animal subjects should not be classified as clinical trials.

UCSF Coordinated Multi-Center Industry Clinical Trials (R): An award given specifically for:

The controlled, clinical testing in human subjects of investigational new drugs, devices, treatments, or diagnostics, or comparisons of approved drugs, devices, treatments, or diagnostics, to assess their safety, efficacy, benefits, costs, adverse reactions, and/or outcomes. Such studies may be conducted under an industry-developed protocol or an investigator-developed protocol that is to be conducted at more than one clinical site and for which UCSF is the coordinating clinical center for the study. UCSF may be one of the clinical sites for the study.

Projects involving animal subjects should not be classified as UCSF Coordinated Multi-Center Industry Clinical Trials.

Other Clinical Service (R): A one-time sale of a pre-developed clinical test or clinical evaluation service (such as radiograph review, MRI screening) by a UC faculty member and associated staff. If the test is modified, improved or developed in any manner in order to provide the service, then the agreement is classified as sponsored research.

Instruction (I): A contract or grant awarded to support costs of training University of California students, personnel, or prospective employees in research, or in the techniques or practices pertinent to the delivery of health services in the particular area of concern. Instruction awards include NIH career development awards (K awards) and similar kinds of awards from private sponsors, such as a private award to a faculty member, where the program announcement states that the grant is for faculty "career development", "scholarship", "training" or fellowship" purposes.

Fellowship (I): A stipend award made to support a registered UCSF postdoctoral scholar.  Fellowship Awards: F&A Policy and Definition of Grant vs. Fellowship.

Other Industry Sponsored Activity awards: An award for an activity other than research or instruction. These include:

  • Public Service (PS): A contract or grant award to educate, train, or disseminate information to a primarily non-UC, sponsor-designated group of recipients. Awards of this type are frequently from federal, state, municipal or county government agencies. Conference awards are included under this project type. Examples are training of city or county staff on new procedures for HIV prevention or a state funded poison control center.
  • Equipment (I): An award solely for the purpose of purchasing equipment items.
  • Other (Usually AS): This category covers awards which may not clearly fit within other categories (for example a travel grant). Program evaluation awards are also included in this category. A program evaluation award is defined as an award to evaluate a sponsor's program or a sponsor-designated program (for example, an award to evaluate a Medicare program). If an evaluation award includes actual performance of plans to improve, modify or develop a program which has been evaluated, and the majority of the work under an award is for these activities, the award should be classified under the appropriate activity category of Instruction, Research, or Public Service (i.e., whichever best reflects the actual performance).