The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago

Local Business Center, Division of the Physical Sciences

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On-campus/Off-campus Expense Policy

On-Campus/Off-Campus Distinctions

On-campus and off-campus activities on sponsored federal awards are subject to different IDC rates (26% is the current off-campus rate). When both are involved for an award, an associate account is needed for the off-campus expenses because of the different IDC rates. This distinction, of course, has no effect on unrestricted accounts and non-federal awards are subject to the appropriate non-federal rate only.

On-campus and off-campus definitions can be found in the F&A and Fringe Benefits Rate Agreements. Award expenses are considered on-campus when the activities are performed at University owned/operated research locations and facilities and not simply in Hyde Park or Chicago. Off-campus expenses are incurred for activities that take place at research sites and facilities not owned or operated by the University or for which the University would normally need to pay rent to access. This excludes working from home or the home of a colleague.

Valid off-campus research sites should be identified in the project proposal, approved by the funding agency, and budgeted accordingly. Therefore it is very important for the PI to consider this during the proposal stage.

If the entire project will be conducted off-campus, then all expenses will be subject to the off-campus rate.

Salaries

Salaries can only be charged at the off-campus rate if the employee is off-campus for a complete pay period AND at least one month while conducting research. For example, a monthly employee a on research trip from July 2 - August 29 could not have any portion of his/her salary charged at the off-campus rate because the absence did not correspond to any one complete pay period. Bi-weekly employees would follow the bi-weekly pay schedule if they are off-campus for at least one month.

Travel

If the project entails an on-campus and off-campus location, the travel expenses should be handled as follows:

  • If travel expenses are incurred for travel between the University and the off-campus location, then such expenses should be assessed indirect costs at the off-campus rate
  • If travel expenses are incurred for travel between an off-campus location and another off-campus location, then such expenses should be assessed indirect costs at the off-campus rate of the location to which one is traveling
  • If travel expenses are incurred for travel between the University and a destination other than the off-campus location, then such expenses should be assessed indirect costs at the on-campus rate

Other Expenses

Supplies and other expenses incurred for the project at the off-campus site should be charged at the off-campus rate. For more, see the 1981 memo from William Hogan.

George Herbert Jones Laboratory

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