POLICY: Funded Research Incentive Policy
ORIGINAL DATE: July 1, 1999
REVISED: May 4, 2016
STATEMENT: This policy outlines the procedures for providing financial incentives (“Indirect Cost Rebates”) to Main Campus and Qatar campus principal investigators (“PI”) based on the indirect costs generated each month on externally funded sponsored awards processed through the Office of Research Services. This policy applies solely to cost reimbursable, fixed price, and sponsored subawards issued to Georgetown.
RESPONSIBILITY: The Office of Research Services (ORS) is responsible for choosing a Revenue Allocation Profile (RAP) at the time that new awards are set up in the University’s financial system, Georgetown Management System (GMS).
In the former PeopleSoft system, the Indirect Cost Rebate was deposited into a GD account. In the GMS environment, GD accounts are assigned relevant worktags to the particular cost center identified by the department, (Purpose) PP1003, (Fund)1702, (Program) PG001287, and then the assignee worktag of the PI.
GMS is preprogrammed with a RAP for each Department, School, and eligible PI. The RAP differs based on whether the indirect cost rate is being charged at the full on-campus indirect cost rate or a lesser rate. Each eligible PI, Department, and School has a specific set of worktags to which the Indirect Cost Rebate is credited. These accounts are intended solely for these funds that are derived from the indirect cost. No other funds may be deposited into the accounts. Gifts, internal grants, donations or other transfers must be allocated to a different account.
As expenses are incurred on the grant account, the associated Indirect Cost Rebate account is credited. The amount of the Indirect Cost Rebate that is transferred to the relevant PI, Department, or School account is based on the indirect costs actually charged to the grant account during a particular month. Please note that the indirect amount in the proposal budget does not always equal the amount transferred because actual costs sometimes differ from the proposal budget. Credits to the PI, Department, and School accounts will be made only when there is direct and indirect activity on the grant accounts. In addition, corrections (reversals) to grant accounts will result in a reduction of funds on the PI, Department, and School account.
For grants with multiple PIs (or coPIs) where there is a written agreement detailing the percentages to be shared, the funds will be shared as stated in the agreement. All PIs and Chairs must sign off on this agreement and submit it to the Vice Provost for Research. When a PI holds a joint appointment, the department credit and the school credit will be deposited in the academic unit housing the grant account, unless a request for a different allocation signed by the PI and all relevant chairs is approved by the Vice Provost for Research.
PIs are encouraged to alert the Office of Research Services when they receive a joint appointment or if a grant has multiple PIs and the rebate will be split between units or PIs.
If a PI terminates from the University, the remaining balance on his/her Indirect Cost Rebate account reverts to the Department unless there is a written agreement detailing an alternate procedure or an alternative PI takes responsibility for a project that will be continued.
Awards with Indirect (regardless of Indirect rate)
10% Principal Investigator
5% School (Dean’s Office)
For example, if a faculty member receives a $300,000 National Science Foundation where $193,000 is direct cost and $107,000 is indirect cost, the faculty member (and department) would each receive $10,700 in their rebate account.
For information on the indirect cost rates in effect on a particular date, please see https://sites.google.com/a/georgetown.edu/sponsored-accounting/federal-rate-agreements
GUIDELINES ON ALLOWABILITY OF EXPENSES CHARGED TO THE INDIRECT COST REBATE ACCOUNT:
The Rebate funds shall be used for research related expenses that are not generally permitted as direct costs on U.S. Government grants.
Examples of allowable research expenses are:
• administrative and clerical salaries (when not allowable on the federal award);
• alteration/renovation of research space or facilities;
• costs of preparing proposals;
• publication fees (e.g., open access fees)
general purpose equipment such as computers, fax machines, and cell phones (when not allowable on the federal award);
• international fees; banking fees (international research fees)
• local telephone;
• office supplies;
• seed projects for future proposals;
• research/lab meetings
• student travel to conferences;
• faculty travel related to future research projects.
Examples of unallowable expenses are:
• faculty salary;
• faculty travel for current funded research
• student support that involves work directly related to the award
When basic support services are not covered by the Department’s budget, the Department’s Rebate funds should be used to provide basic support for the sponsored research that generated those funds. For example, if the department has insufficient staff, funds may be used for part-time administrative and clerical assistance to manage grant budgets and other grant related technical paperwork. If funds are not needed immediately, Departments should consider maintaining a small reserve. Once such basic support needs are met, the funds may be used to seed new research efforts or provide bridge funding for existing efforts. Small amounts may be used to cover journal publication fees (e.g., open access fees). Priority should be given to research projects that are likely to generate external support. The Departmental and School funds should be used as short-term (i.e., one year) of support for promising projects based on faculty productivity and/or recent proposal submissions with the expectation that the faculty member is applying for external support.
Here are some examples of unallowable costs from Indirect Rebates:
• Sporting event purchases for faculty or students
• Student field trips unrelated to sponsored research
• Personal/Departmental invitation subscription service (e.g., Evite) expenses
• Faculty and staff party expenses
• Textbooks, including e-books, purchases for students
• Meal and lodging expenses unrelated to student travel conference attendance
• Meal and lodging expenses unrelated to faculty travel for future research projects
• Food, refreshment, and catering expenses for school or dept. open house events and retreats
• Guest speaker fees and entertainment (travel, meals)
• Personal gift expenses (e.g., student award gift)
• Office equipment expenses unrelated to alteration/renovation of research/lab space (i.e. Ergoform standing desks)