Carnegie Mellon University

Rates and Fees

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs are expenses incurred in support of the total research enterprise of the University. These include the real costs of facilities (buildings, equipment, plant operation and maintenance, and libraries) and administration that the University has to pay to conduct research. These costs are calculated using the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21 (OMB A-21) guidelines and allocated to each research award on a pro-rated basis. Similar costs are associated with the teaching enterprise of the University and these costs are absorbed into the tuition costs allocated to students.

F&A rates are negotiated with the Office of Naval Research on an annual basis. The CMU fiscal year runs from July 1st to June 30th.

In accordance with OMB A-21 Section G.7, the negotiated F&A rate in effect at the time of the initial award should be used throughout the life of the sponsored agreement. "Life" for this purpose means each competitive segment of a project. A competitive segment is a period of years approved by the funding agency at the time of the award.

All sponsored research budgets should include full recovery of F&A. If for any reason you are not proposing full F&A that a sponsor will pay, please refer to the F&A Waiver Guidelines.

Rates

Administrative Fee

Effective July 1, 2011, the Administrative Fee is assessed on gifts and non-federal sponsored awards regardless of the award purpose. The fee was assessed on any award where the current F&A rate allowed/approved by the sponsor is lower than the current administrative rate resulting in the minimum F&A equaling the current administrative fee rate. This includes sponsored grants and awards from the State.

The fee does not apply to other revenues that are already subject to appropriate overhead fees such as, auxiliary and research operating units; international programs; and undergraduate and graduate tuition paid directly (not through a sponsored project). The administrative fee will not be assessed on any federally funding sponsored projects, regardless of the F&A rate that is charged.

The fee has been phased in over the course of three years. The fee escalated each of the following fiscal years:

  • FY2013: 7.5%
  • FY2014: 9.6%
  • FY2015: 12.0%
  • FY2016: 12.0%
  • FY2017: 12.0%

The fee should clearly be stated in the proposals to the sponsors when applicable. If the sponsor is willing to support the administrative fee then the fee should be clearly described in the budget and budget justification. If a sponsor pays less than the administrative fee by policy (per guidelines provided or stated on the sponsor's website) for overhead recovery then the administrative fee should be stated/budgeted in the proposal. It should be noted in the proposal that respectful of the sponsor's policy, CMU will cost share the amount of the administrative fee.

If a department has reason to request an exception to the administrative fee, the exception request must be reviewed and approved by the Dean/Vice-president, Provost and Chief Financial Officer. TO request an exception to this fee, the exception form should be completed and routed by to the Provost's office for review and approval.