The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago

Local Business Center, Division of the Physical Sciences

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Indirect Costs (IDC) and Other Rates

The University's indirect cost (a.k.a "overhead" or "facilities and administration") and fringe benefit rates are periodically negociated with the federal government through the Department of Health and Human Services. There is a separate rate structure for non-federal awards. The current rates can be viewed on URA's quick reference fact sheet and the actual federal agreement is viewable on the website for Sponsored Award Accounting. For more details about the rates, see the University's facilities & administrative, fringe benefits, & disclosure statements. The University's tuition support rates are set at the divisional level. The IDC rate is fixed for the term of the award and is typically not subject to change unless there is a continuation or renewal after the original term of the award has expired. Fringe benefit and tuition support rates will change from year to year and awards are charged accordingly.

Under some circumstances (not often) theses rates can be reduced or waived because awards and/or funding agencies may have certain restrictions on how funds can be applied in these areas. Such restrictions are more likely encountered with private foundations, corporations, and local government funding sources. If graduate student tuition support is not allowed for research assistants, then the student shoud be designated a Research Assistant Type A (as opposed to Type B which automatically generates a tuition support charge). The tuition support rate will not be altered.

The fringe benefits we apply to sponsored awards are classified as direct costs related only to the employees working on the award and not a part of the indirect cost pool. Consequently, our benefits charges are fully allowable on the vast majority of awards. If however there is rare situation where salaries are allowed, but not benefits of any kind, then it would trigger a cost sharing situation and the account setup will need to be coordinated with Sponsored Award Accounting to ensure that benefits charges are appropriately redirected to another account. The benefit rates will not be altered.

Some non-federal funding sources set a limit on the indirect costs that they are willing to support that is at variance with the University's standard rates. In this instance a request for variation of indirect cost rates must be completed during the proposal process to reduce or waive the IDC rate as needed. In the absence of any written policy from the sponsor regarding indirect/administrative costs, the University will budget for full indirect cost recovery based on our established rates.

George Herbert Jones Laboratory

PSD LBC Main Office

Jones Laboratory: 5747 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

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Eckhart Hall

PSD LBC Satellite Office

Eckhart Hall: 5734 S. University Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

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Gordon Center for Integrative Science

Chemistry Business Center

Gordon Center for Integrative Science: 929 E 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

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