Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs

Project budgets should included all costs associated with achieving the goals of the award. This includes both the direct costs - those  costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project and that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy (2 CFR, Part 200.413) - and indirect, or F&A costs - those costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project (2 CFR, Parts 200.56 and 200.414)

UTMB negotiates a Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Cost rate with the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Cost Allocation.  As part of the negotiation, distinct rates may be negotiated for the various activities sponsored by external sources, such as research and instruction.

The activities identified in our F&A rate agreement are Organized Research, Instruction, and Other Sponsored Activities. These functions are defined in the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR Part 200).   F&A costs are real costs incurred by UTMB in support of externally sponsored projects thus it is important that we recover these costs from all sponsors.

F&A rates are charged to Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC). Any variation from a sponsor’s published rate or UTMB’s negotiated rates must be approved by the Chief Research Officer.

Organized Research

Research and development activities, including research training, that are sponsored by federal and non-federal agencies



Teaching and training activities of an institution, whether they are offered for credits toward a degree or certificate or on a non-credit basis, and whether they are offered through regular academic departments or separate divisions, such as a summer school division or an extension division.


Other Sponsored Activities

Programs and projects funded by federal and non-federal agencies and involves the performance of work other than organized research or instruction.



All activities conducted at an off-campus location. To qualify as off-campus, the nature of the work and requirements of the award require that it be performed off-campus (convenience or telecommuting are not justification), or buildings and administrative work areas will be leased or purchased through  the sponsored project.



Exceptions Under F&A

UTMB honors published or statutory limits on F&A rates for both private and governmental sponsors, and you do not need a waiver request for those rates. We also acknowledge and accept these F&A rates without additional documentation.

These rates are applied to Total Direct Costs (TDC), not the typical MTDC.

Prime Sponsor


State of Texas (excluding federal flow-through)

15% (TDC)

Industry Clinical Trials  (excluding federal flow-through)

30% (TDC)

All other exceptions to standard F&A rate agreements requires the F&A Waiver Request be completed.

F&A Rates for Subawards

Subrecipients to UTMB should use the federally negotiated F&A rate in effect at their institutions. Should the subrecipient not have an approved cost rate agreement, and there is no sponsor-published policy in place, UTMB will accept the de minimis rate of 10%. The same is true for any federal entity for which there is no published policy or agreement.



F&A Reminders

  • Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) consist of all salaries and wages, fringe benefits, materials, supplies, services, travel and subcontracts up to the first $25,000 of each subgrant or subcontract, regardless of the period covered by the subgrant or subcontract.
  • MTDC excludes equipment costing more than $5,000, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, tuition remission, rental costs of off-site facilities, scholarships, and fellowships, as well as the portion of each subgrant and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
  • Some funding agencies allow F&A on all of these categories, without exclusions, which are considered Total Direct Costs (TDC).
  • Use the F&A Waiver request form to seek a reduction in the F&A included on your award. You will need to justify why an F&A rate lower than UTMB's established rate is necessary.