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Return of Recovered Facilities and Administrative Costs

Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Cost Rates are negotiated with the US Department of Health and Human Services, RIT's cognizant agency. Rates specifically relate to RIT Central Administration Services and General Institutional costs such as heat, light, and power, support services, etc. Various sources of revenue, whether from recovery of F&A Costs on sponsored projects, tuition, gifts from donors, as well as other sources, are essential to maintain the fiscal viability of the University.

Approved Facilities and Administrative Cost Rates FY10 – FY13

The following on-campus facilities and administrative cost rates have been approved by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), RIT’s cognizant federal agency, to be in effect from 7/1/09-6/30/13.

Description

Rate

Organized Research

44.5%

Instruction

49.7%

Other Sponsored Activities

41.3%

*Other Sponsored Activity refers to programs and projects financed by Federal and non-Federal agencies and organizations which involve the performance of work other than instruction and organized research.  Examples of such programs and projects are health service projects, and community service programs.

The new rates will be in effect for awards that begin on or after the date approved by DHHS.  If the proposal was submitted with a previous F&A rate, during the negotiation period SRS will request that the sponsor adjust the budget to reflect the new rate.

For existing awards, the rate in effect at the time of the initial award will be charged to the grant/contract for the life of the award (Note: for this purpose, “Life” means each competitive segment of a project).  Rates for existing awards will change to the rate in effect at the beginning of the next competitive period.

In order for RIT to maximize its success with its research goals, F&A monies must be used in direct support of the RIT research enterprise.  Common uses of these monies include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Funding for teaching course offloads to perform research;
  • Funding for graduate student stipends, tuition waivers, travel, and other expenses incurred by graduate students while performing research;
  • Funding for post-doctoral researchers;
  • Salary enhancements when compliant with RIT, state and federal policies;
  • Travel to meet with program directors, present papers, give invited talks, etc.;
  • Research supply/equipment purchases;
  • Books, journals, papers and other similar expenses related to scholarship and research;
  • Faculty start-up packages for research programs;
  • Laboratory enhancements for research purposes; and
  • Technology and Administrative staff to support research activities.

Units that receive funding from F&A distributions may be asked to provide documentation and reports indicating how these monies are used.

Distribution Procedure

For F&A costs earned after  July 1, 2011, the Institute's procedure for distribution of recovered F&A costs is as follows:

  1. General Institute- 55% of recovered F&A costs will remain with the General Institute to support the operating budget. This amount is intended to cover a portion of the costs associated with several offices directly involved in the pre and post award administration of sponsored projects including the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), Sponsored Research Services, Sponsored Programs Accounting and the Intellectual Property Management Office, as well as other costs associated with human resource administration, accounting, payroll processing, compliance, database administration, etc. Annually, during the budget process, the Finance & Administration Division will establish a budget for recovery of F&A costs. While recovered F&A will be distributed to the Deans and PIs per the information in items # 3 and # 4 below, according to the timeline described in the section "Process for Distributing F&A Recovery" below, funds will not be returned to the OVPR until the annual budgeted F&A recovery amount has been met. 100% of the amount over and above the budgeted recovery amount will be returned to the OVPR.
  2. Office of VP of Research (OVPR) - 23% of F&A costs recovered will be returned to the OVPR who will use some of the funds to support projects funded under the Accelerating Research Funding Program. The awards will be made to support ongoing proposal writing, soft money gaps, lab support, lab equipment, and other research support activities. Programs and PIs may request funds from this pool annually. Funds will be allocated by OVPR based upon established need, priority of the request, and availability of funds (see section -"Process to Request Returned F&A Funds from OVPR" below).
  3. Deans - 8 % of F&A costs recovered on a faculty or staff members' (e.g., the PI) sponsored projects will be returned to the Dean. For projects involving PIs and co-PIs from multiple units, F&A returns will be distributed across participating units following a distribution agreed upon at the time the proposal was approved as indicated on the Proposal Routing Form (PRF).  These discretionary funds must be used in support of scholarship related activity (i.e., support seed grants for new faculty or new scholarship agendas for existing faculty).
  4. Departments - 4% of F&A costs recovered on a faculty or staff members’ (e.g., the PI) sponsored projects will be returned to the Department to grow research.   
  5. Principal Investigators (PIs) - 10% of the F&A costs recovered on the PIs' sponsored projects will be returned to the PI to be used in support of on-going scholarship/research initiatives.

If the distribution of recovered F&A costs approved on a PRF for the Deans, Departments and/or PIs changes during a project, the amended distribution should be agreed upon between the parties. A new PRF is not necessary, SPA will follow the original distribution and the parties can redistribute the funds amongst themselves after the annual distribution has occurred.

The term Department will refer to department, center or school in which the principal investigator(s) have a primary assignment or to the Intellectual Contributions Committee in the Saunders College of Business.

Exceptions to the above Procedure

  1. CIMS
    • Federal and State Awards - CIMS receives 67.5% of federal and state awards when the F&A rate assessed on the award is the maximum allowed by the sponsor (typically, the rate negotiated by RIT with DHHS). When CIMS' negotiates a lower rate (than the approved rate) with the sponsor, the return is reduced to 50%.
    • Private Awards - CIMS receives 100% of F&A assessed on private awards.
    • SPA staff are not required to process journal entries annually for CIMS' returns (or at the conclusion of the award). Entries are processed monthly via an automatic allocation and then reconciled by Controller's Office staff. This exception to the standard procedure ensures that CIMS has sufficient resources available to fund their annual operating expenses.
  2. NTID - The return of F&A for sponsored projects conducted in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf will remain at the previously agreed upon amounts. 50% of the remaining balance will remain with the General Institute; the balance will be returned to the OVPR. (F&A earned on sponsored projects funded by the Nippon Foundation is distributed in full to NTID for use in its operations.)
  3. Enterprise Centers/Laboratories -  In addition to the delivery of non-credit bearing educational services, a primary function of an enterprise center is to provide product testing, training, and/or short term problem solving for outside entities on a fee for service basis. Typically, there is no intellectual property associated with these activities Enterprise Centers are primarily self-supported and receive minimal (e.g. salary funding for the Director but no other operating budget support) to no budget allocation from the University for their operations. They are financially structured to operate based on yearly pre-determined revenue and expense targets set by the respective College Dean.

Current Enterprise Centers include:

College

Enterprise Center

College of Applied Science & Technology

CEMA

College of Engineering

CQAS

Golisano Institute of Sustainability

PAL

College of Imaging Arts & Sciences

IPI

College of Science

CBET

In recognition of the self-supporting financial structure for Enterprise Centers, recovered F&A costs will be distributed as follows: 1) 55% to General Institute and 2) 45% to the enterprise center, upon approval of the applicable Dean. (Note: the return of F&A for sponsored projects conducted in IPI will remain at the previously agreed upon amounts; 50% is returned to IPI and the balance of 50% remains with the General Institute.).  

Federal funding for enterprise activities must be managed in a separate account and not through the unit operating accounts.  In consideration of that requirement and not to discourage these activities with federal sponsors, F&A recovered from these projects will be returned 100% to the enterprise unit as though it was processed and managed in the general accounts for the enterprise center.

  1. F&A Return Designated Research Centers of Excellence – RIT has a collection of Research Centers of Excellence, many of which are funded by a combination of internal RIT funds and external sponsors.  The operating costs of these Designated Research Centers of Excellence are sufficiently high that they require additional funds to continue their operations and growth. Therefore these Centers/Labs may be considered Designated Research Centers/Laboratories for purposes of receiving additional F&A return if they meet the following criteria. 

A Designated Research Center of Excellence is normally a program with a well defined interdisciplinary research focus involving multiple externally-funded projects, with multiple PIs, and support and/or research staff, some of whom are entirely supported by soft money funding (i.e., salaries paid from externally funded grants & contracts) and laboratory equipment that requires ongoing support through technicians and/or service contracts. The minimum amount of annual expenditures recorded on externally-funded projects housed within the research center/lab, including capital, must average at least $.5M per year in total expenditures for a period of at least the past two consecutive years.

Application for Increased F&A Return Research Center of Excellence Designation

Requests for new Research Center of Excellence designations must be received by the Vice President for Research by July 31 of each year.  Decisions will be made during August.  A new applicant proposal must be approved by the Dean/Department Head/Center Director where the Center/Lab resides and then submitted to the Vice President for Research.   It must address each of the following points:

    • Need. Provide persuasive evidence that new activities or an increased magnitude of activity could not be undertaken in the absence of the proposed center; explain what the proposed Research Center/Laboratory could do that existing college center or informal faculty clusters cannot do.
    • Current Activities.  Describe interdisciplinary research collaborations already underway that provide a foundation on which to build the center’s activities.
    • Leadership. Identify a director (or co-directors) and a steering committee; provide documentation on the selection process and how decisions will be made regarding the distribution of recovered F&A funds amongst members.
    • Budget. It is expected that the Designated Research Center returned F&A funds will be used to support research activities.  These funds cannot be used to support additional compensation and tenured/tenure-track faculty summer salary.  Develop a provisional budget, taking into consideration the full array of programs and activities the center plans to undertake.  The budget might include the following:

1.      Workshops/Seminars

2.      Research Proposal Development

3.      Promotional materials

4.      Creation and maintenance of a website

5.      Support for Post-docs, students, and staffing.

6.      Continuity of personnel and operation costs

7.      Equipment, software purchases and maintenance costs

8.      Educational and outreach programming

9.      Travel

10.  Rental of space

    • Objectives. Short and longer-term objectives including but not limited to sustaining and growing lab activities.
    • Membership Support. Each member must have a letter from their respective Dean or his/her designee in support of their participation and membership in the Research Center of Excellence.  Note:  Faculty cannot designate more than one Research Center of Excellence per fiscal year as their primary Research Center of Excellence.  Faculty are encouraged to collaborate outside of their Center but will only receive Research Center of Excellence F&A distribution for those activities on projects in which they are the Principal Investigator and utilizing their Center resources.   The designation of a project as part of a Research Center of Excellence can be made on a per project basis at the time of submission.

Renewal of Existing F&A Return Designated Research Centers/Laboratories

  • Current Research Centers/Laboratories must provide to the Vice President for Research by August 31 an annual report on accomplishments.  The annual report must include:
  1. List of PI’s for the coming year
  2. A summary of progress toward the objectives cited in the prior year’s annual report.
  3. Updated short- and longer-term objectives
  4. Quantitative and Qualitative benchmarks (i.e. number of publications, collaborations both internal and external, outreach programs, and support to students, index of quality/impact and citations)
  • In addition, the following criteria must be met and described within the annual report:
      1. There are multiple (more than one) sponsored projects in the Research Center/Laboratory active at all times over a two year period.
      2. The research must include and provide financial support of students in pursuit of their academic degrees.
      3. The Research Center/Laboratory must provide knowledge and value to multiple academic programs associated with this research.
      4. The research must result in peer reviewed and public dissemination of the research results.
      5. There are ongoing costs associated with the operation of the Research Center/Laboratory including:
        1. two or more support or research staff  funded by soft money (e.g. research faculty, post docs, technicians, and admin support ) or;
        2. laboratory equipment that must be maintained or upgraded on a regular basis or;
        3. large volume of consumables necessary for continued operation of Center activity.

In recognition of the financial investment required to operate a F&A Return Designated Research Center/Laboratory, it will receive a minimum of 20% of additional recovered F&A costs.

 

Current (FY13) F&A Return Designated Research Centers/Laboratories include:

College/Center

FY13

Research Center/Laboratory

Principal Investigators (Director*)

GIS

NPRL

Paul Stiebitz*, 
David Forbes, Seth Hubbard, Brian Landi, Chris Collison

 

CIS

DIRS

Dave Messinger* 
Scott Brown, Mike Gartley, Aaron Gerace, Emmett Ientilucci, John Kerekes, Mike Richardson, Carl Salvaggio, John Schott, Anthony Vodacek, Jan Van Aardt, Robert Krzaczek, Robert Kremens, Don McKeown, Harvey Rhody

CIS

MVRL

Jeff Pelz*
Cecelia Ovesdotter Alm, Reynold Bailey, Joseph Baschnagel, Kirsten Condry, Jinwei Gu, Anne Haake, Andrew Herbert, Poorna Kushalnagar, Lindsay Schenkel, Pengcheng Shi

COS

CFD

Don Figer* 
Zoran Ninkov

COS

LAMA

Joel Kastner*
Stefi Baum, Roger Dube, Jacob Noel-Storr, Chris O’Dea, Michael Richmond, Andrew Robinson, Rachel Curran, Preeti Kharb, Rupal Mittal, Germano Sacco

COS

CCRG

Manuela Campanelli* 
Hans-Peter Bischof, Joshua Faber, Carlos Lousto, David Merritt, Hiroyuki Nakano, Scott Noble, Jason Nordhaus, Bruno Mundim, John Whelan, Yosef Zlochower

Note: The list of Research Centers/Laboratories will be updated each year after the OVPR has made designation decisions in August. The "Research Center/Laboratory" designation must be approved in advance by the OVPR.

If the distribution of recovered F&A costs for the Research Center/Laboratory changes at any point (faculty member joins or leaves) throughout the project from what was originally agreed upon; a new Proposal Review Form (PRF) containing the updated F&A distribution must be completed and circulated for signature to all impacted parties (i.e. principal investigators, department heads or center directors, deans).  The revised PRF is forwarded to SRS so F&A distribution records can be properly updated.  The new distribution will be applied to the recovery of F&A costs for the next fiscal year.

The Research Center/Laboratory designation is valid for one year; the fiscal year the application (or redesignation) is approved by OVPR.  Applicants designated as a Research Center/Laboratory in August will receive recovered F&A costs according to the process described in #4 above for all F&A earned from the current fiscal year.  If at the end of the fiscal year, the Research Center/Laboratory did not achieve the required $500K average expenditure level, the designation will continue for one more year on a provisional basis.  If after completion of the second year, the required average expenditure level is not reached, the designation will be removed.

  1. Other - Unless explicitly stated in items 1 - 4 above, all other exceptions (i.e., amounts that differ from the percentages stated in the distribution procedure above), will be approved by the OVPR and be made out of F&A recovery funds that have previously returned to OVPR.

Process for Distributing F&A Recovery

On an annual basis, Sponsored Programs Accounting (SPA) will return recovered F&A costs on multi-year awards per the distribution policy above. The annual distribution is based upon F&A recovered as of the end of the Institute's fiscal year and will occur prior to the August accounting close process. Deans, Departments, Research Centers, PIs and others will be notified of the amount of their F&A return.

Throughout the fiscal year, SPA will process a final F&A distribution within 90 to 120 days following the end date of the specific sponsored project for all remaining F&A costs recovered.

If you have questions about a specific F&A distribution, please contact SPA at 475-5428.  For all other questions or to obtain additional information about the Return of Recovered Facilities and Administrative Costs Procedures, please contact OVPR at 475-2055.

 

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