Carnegie Mellon University F&A Rate Agreement: Understanding the Basics

If you`re interested in working with Carnegie Mellon University, you may have heard of the F&A rate agreement. But what exactly is it, and what does it mean for your organization?

First, a bit of background: F&A (facilities and administrative) costs are expenditures that support the research enterprise but are not directly tied to a specific project. These include things like building maintenance, utilities, and administrative support.

When a university or research organization receives grant funding, they are often able to recoup a portion of these F&A costs by charging an F&A rate or indirect cost rate to the grant. Essentially, this means that a percentage of the grant money will be allocated towards covering these types of costs.

At Carnegie Mellon University, the F&A rate is negotiated with the federal government every few years. The current agreement covers the period from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020.

So, what does this mean for organizations looking to work with Carnegie Mellon? If you`re applying for a grant or contract with the university, you`ll need to understand the F&A rate and how it will impact your budget.

The current F&A rate at Carnegie Mellon is 55% of modified total direct costs. This means that if your project has a total budget of $100,000, and $70,000 of that is direct costs (such as salaries, supplies, and equipment), the F&A rate would apply to the remaining $30,000. In this case, the university would charge an additional $16,500 to cover F&A costs.

It`s worth noting that there are some exclusions and exceptions to the F&A rate. For example, certain types of equipment may be exempt from F&A charges, and different rates may apply to clinical trials or other special situations. It`s important to work closely with Carnegie Mellon`s grants and contracts office to ensure that your budget accurately reflects the F&A rate and any applicable exceptions.

In summary, the Carnegie Mellon F&A rate agreement is an important consideration for organizations looking to work with the university on research projects. By understanding the basics of how F&A costs are calculated and how the rate agreement works, you can better plan and budget for your project.