Indirect Cost Allocation Policy

Office of the Provost
Vice Provost for Research
March, 2019

Indirect Costs

Research activities that are funded by awards from external sponsors usually include an Indirect Cost, or IDC, component.  The IDC is typically a percentage of the direct costs allowable under the award, which varies by sponsor and, for federal awards, by location of the research activities.

IDC Allocation

IDC revenues accrue to the university as direct award expenditures are incurred, and are shared between the Provost’s Office and the relevant School, Department, and Principal Investigator(s).  The allocation is as follows:

Principal Investigator(s): 10%
Department: 10%
School: 5%
Provost: 75%

For grants administered through approved Research Institutes, Centers, and Initiatives (RICIs), a special IDC allocation policy applies.

For grants to PIs in Schools that do not have Departments, 15% of the IDC accrues to the School.

For grants with multiple PIs, the PI share of the IDC is either allocated in full to the primary PI, or shared amongst the PIs in accordance with a written agreement signed by the PIs and their Department Chairs, and approved by the Vice Provost for Research.

For grants with multiple PIs in different departments and/or schools, or for grants to a PI with a joint appointment, the department and school credits are allocated to the academic unit housing the grant account, unless a request for a different allocation signed by the PI(s) and all relevant chairs is approved by the Vice Provost for Research.


PIs, Departments, and Schools have dedicated IDC accounts to which accrued IDC revenues are credited.  Other funds, for example from gifts, internal grants, and donations, are deposited into different accounts.

The Office of Research Services establishes a Revenue Allocation Profile (RAP) in GMS as each new award is set up, through which the PI, Departmental, and School IDC accounts are automatically credited as award expenses are incurred.  Note that over the course of the grant cycle, credited IDC revenues might not match those in the original budget if actual expenditures differ from budgeted direct costs.  Similarly, corrections to grant expenditures, such as reallocation of direct charges, will carry with them accordingly changes to IDC account balances.

Guidelines on Allowability of Expenses Charged to the Indirect Cost Account:

Please see the policy on the Use of Research Funds.