F&A or Indirect Costs

F&A Resources

Sample F&A distribution tables using the Allocation of Credit from AGrants (PDF)

Appalachian's Facilities and Administrative Cost Policy in the Policy Manual

About Facilities & Administrative Costs

F&A (Facilities & Administrative) costs are those costs incurred for common or joint objectives that cannot be specifically attributed to an individual project—as opposed to direct costs, which are costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project relatively easily and with a high degree of accuracy.

  • F&A costs are sometimes also referred to as "indirect costs," "overhead," or "administrative expenses."
  • F&A costs promote research and scholarly activity at the institution. Unless the sponsor restricts the rate, all budget proposals from Appalachian should include the current rate.
  • The F&A rate is established by negotiation with a cognizant federal agency. For Appalachian, it is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. See Appalachian's current Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (PDF). 


Appalachian's on-campus F&A rate: 38% MTDC** for projects with a start date on or after July 1, 2020.

Appalachian's off-campus F&A rate***: 20% MTDC for projects with a start date on or after July 1, 2020.

Please note: the agreement and rates shown are subject to change when a new Rate Agreement is negotiated. Always check here for the current rates.

**MTDC stands for "Modified Total Direct Costs." This means that F&A will be charged on all direct costs in your proposal budget except those items excluded by Appalachian's indirect cost rate agreement and the Office of Management and Budget Uniform Guidance (i.e., equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs of off-site facilities, participant support costs, student tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, as well as that portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000).

***The off-campus rate applies only to projects administered in facilities not owned by the University and to which rent is directly allocated to the project.

View a memo about the special F&A rate for University projects conducted in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (PDF).

Examples of Items Sponsors Expect to Be Covered by F&A

These items should therefore not be included in your proposal budget as direct costs:

  • Services of University accounting staff and research administrators
  • Cost of utilities for buildings housing research projects
  • General office supplies, office computers, postage, local telephone service, and communications infrastructure
  • Salaries of personnel engaged in providing departmental support activities (such as departmental administrative assistants)

Why Must I Include F&A?

  • F&A reimburses the University for the costs incurred to support research.
  • F&A policies must be applied fairly and equitably to all sponsored programs in order to comply with audit expectations.
  • Appalachian may refuse to accept a grant or contract if the full negotiated rate is not included.

In addition to infrastructure, F&A dollars support: