Understanding Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Rates and Base Codes

Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs are the costs that are incurred by a grantee for common or joint objectives that cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or program. These costs are also known as “indirect costs” or “overhead.” At UCSF, the Costing & Cost Recovery Policy & Analysis unit of Budget and Resource Management develops the F&A proposal and negotiates F&A rates with our assigned federal agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The University requires full F&A cost recovery. For all categories of sponsor, the University applies 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. If a sponsor’s published policy mandates a lower F&A rate, an indirect cost exception (waiver) must be obtained.

In proposals and approved budgets, the total project cost is the sum of total direct costs and total F&A (indirect) costs. Total F&A costs are calculated by applying the negotiated F&A rate to the appropriate base.

Sister UC Campus F&A Rates and Federal Awards

For Federal awards, the total (direct and F&A) cost of subawards to other UC campuses is always exempt from F&A costs at UCSF. Application of F&A rates vary per policy on non-Federal awards.

Each UC campus negotiates its own F&A rates with DHHS. When UC campuses collaborate on sponsored projects, each campus applies its own negotiated F&A rate to its Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) based, and includes the F&A costs in the budget and invoices submitted to the lead campus. The lead campus excludes the collaborating campus’ total costs from its MTDC calculation.

UCSF F&A Base Codes

The type of direct cost basis used in a specific award F&A calculation is identified during award setup using a Base Code. UCSF has established this list in order to calculate the appropriate award specific F&A rate.

F&A Base Code Description

A

Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC)
Base Code A calculates F&A on all direct expenditures excluding the following items: equipment, alterations and renovations, patient care charges, tuition and fee remission, space rental costs, scholarships and fellowships (stipends), the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000, and the total cost of any subaward to another UC campus. This base code should also be used for all grants or contracts with a 0% F&A rate.

C

Total Direct Cost (TDC)
Base Code C calculates F&A on ALL direct expenditures.

D

Salaries & Benefits Only
Base Code D calculates F&A on salaries and benefits expenditures ONLY. All other expenditure categories are excluded.

E

Salaries Only
Base Code E calculates F&A on salaries ONLY. All other expenditure categories (including benefits) are excluded.

F

TDC excluding tuition & fees
Base Code F calculates F&A on all direct expenditures excluding tuition and fees.

I

TDC excluding subaward
Base Code I calculates/charges F&A on all expenditures excluding subawards.
All subaward expenditures are exempt from F&A under this base code.

J

TDC excluding equipment
Base Code J calculates/charges F&A on all expenditures excluding Equipment.
All equipment expenditures are exempt from F&A under this base code.

K

TDC excluding equipment and subawards
Base Code K calculates/charges F&A on all expenditures excluding Equipment and Subawards. All equipment and subaward expenditures are exempt from F&A under this base code.

M

Industry Clinical Trials (Award Only)
Base Code M calculates F&A only on industry clinical trial revenue received, NOT expenditures. For industry clinical trial proposals, Departments should use the current clinical trial rate with Base Code “C”. CGA will change the code (and applicable rate) to base code M when awarded.

N

Institutional NRSA FY2006 Forward
Base Code N calculates F&A on all direct expenditures excluding the following items: tuition and related fees, equipment, and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000 (Note: space rental and patient care are NOT excluded from F&A). This base is effective 11-01-2006 in response to NIH announcement regarding NRSA awards made federal FY2006 and later:
https://grants2.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-06-093.html

P

CIRM Proposals/Awards
Base Code P is dedicated for use with California Institute of Regenerative Medicine proposals and awards where the F&A base includes direct expenditures and facilities excluding the following items: equipment, tuition and fee remission, the amount of subawards in excess of $25,000, and the total cost of any subaward to another UC campus.  CIRM escalation rates

Y

Total Costs (TC)
Base Code Y should be chosen when F&A is allowed on the total cost of a project (both direct and F&A). Base Code Y calculates F&A using TDC (same as Base Code C); then CGA will make manual adjustments at end of the award to assess additional overhead.

Z

Other Non-conforming Base
Base Code Z should be chosen ONLY when no other base code applies. Departments should NEVER use this base code if any of the above codes match the sponsor’s criteria for applying F&A. Base Code Z calculates F&A using MTDC (same as base code A). CGA will make manual adjustments to correct the F&A.

UCSF F&A Matrix

The F&A Matrix can be used to determine which Account codes are charged F&A for each Base Code.

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