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Financial Rates

Rates commonly found on sponsored research activities:

  • Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Rates
  • Employee Benefit Rates
  • Graduate Research Assistant Tuition Subsidy Rates
  • Other Reimbursement Rates

Where relevant, copies of specific rate agreements are provided.

Facilities and Administrative Rates

The Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate has been established for projects with agencies of the Federal government or private entities.

Idaho State University has negotiated a new Idaho State University Facilities and Administrative rate 2017_2021 with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – DHHS.

Please contact us at (208) 282-2592 for questions with developing budgets using the new rates.

For your convenience, the new rates are listed below.

For the period 7/1/2017 through 6/30/2021

On Campus Rates:

  • Research: 42% of Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC)
  • Instruction: 39.5% of MTDC
  • Other Sponsored Activities: 33.5% of MTDC

Off Campus Rates:

  • Research: 26% of MTDC
  • Instruction: 26% of MTDC
  • Other Sponsored Activities: 26% of MTDC

Please refer to the actual rate agreement for specific information and definitions.

Projects with agencies of the STATE of Idaho:

  • 20% of total direct costs

Projects with Idaho municipal, county, health districts, and other public non-profit agencies:

  • 20% of total direct costs

Any deviation from these standard rates must be approved through the Office of Sponsored Programs.  The Principal Investigator must provide a written statement from any agency that limits indirect costs.

What is the distinction between direct and F&A costs?

Circular A-21 states that, “direct costs are those costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project… relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy.” By contrast, “F&A costs are those that are incurred for common or joint objectives, and therefore cannot be identified readily and specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity.” 

F&A costs are those involving resources used mutually by different individuals and groups, making it difficult to assess precisely which users should pay what share. Direct costs are easily assigned to a specific research project and paid by its direct grant funding.

In some cases it is easy to make this distinction. For example, if an investigator has to buy a chemical for a specific experiment, then that clearly is a direct cost to the grant. On the other hand, an investigator’s use of electrical power, water and other utilities, or the services of the purchasing and accounting offices, are not normally charged directly because it is not practical to account for them separately. Installing individual meters to monitor usage levels of electricity, and carrying out the associated accounting and billing functions, would probably cost as much as the electricity itself.

Attributing an appropriate F&A cost amount for the use of research space for grant-related activities can be even more difficult. If, as is typical, a building houses dozens of investigators who are involved individually and collectively in teaching, research, public service and other functions, determining the building costs that should be attributed to a particular faculty member’s research projects is not practical. For example, each faculty member may have several grants, which may use common space differentially. Although one could imagine a means of attributing a cost for the repair of a section of the roof (which may last 20 to 30 years) to a specific grant, it has generally been agreed that using a more macroscopic and statistically averaged method is much more sensible and cost effective. The basis for distributing space related costs is an annual space study.

How important is F&A cost reimbursement to the University?

F&A cost reimbursement is the primary source of infrastructure support for the ISU’s extensive graduate education and research programs. The F&A cost reimbursements pay for a wide range of support services and administrative activities. They make it possible for the institution to operate a first-rate library system for research and scholarship; they allow us to service, maintain and renew our research facilities. Without the F&A cost reimbursements, our research and graduate teaching enterprise would be only a shadow of its present size and quality.

Employee Benefit Rates

Employee Benefit Rates, also known as Fringe Benefit rates, are employee associated costs and are applied to all University personnel salaries and wages. They are direct charges which cover such items as Social Security, worker’s compensation, unemployment payments, retirement programs, and health insurance.

The ISU fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. These rates change and are updated on an annual basis so be sure to check with the Office for Research for updates.

Full-Time Employees: 21% of salaries and wages PLUS Health Insurance

Health insurance is required when an individual works 50% time or more on all combined ISU projects.

For a full explanation and guidance on including health insurance in your budget please contact the Division of Sponsored Programs & Support.

FY 2020-2021— $11,650 per year

These rates apply to all Full-Time salaries and wages (at least 50% effort).

When building your budgets, please increase by 10% for subsequent years to account for inflation.

Part-Time Employees: 8.9% of salaries and wages.

These rates apply to all part-time employees and students, including GA, GRA’s, and TA’s (work less than 50% of time on all combined ISU projects).

Student Tuition and Fees & Graduate Research Assistant Tuition Subsidy and Compensation Rates

The ISU Fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. These rates change and are updated on an annual basis so be sure to check with the Division for Sponsored Programs Support for updates.

Graduate Research Assistants – GRAs, TAs, and RAs

All grant funded GRAs, TAs, RAs, and GAs must be given tuition and are given an automatic out-of-state waiver.

When building your budget, increase the subsidy by 5% for each subsequent year to account for inflation.

You cannot fund a partial student research assistant with a grant.

Tuition & fees


Travel Reimbursement

Grant funded travel must comply with university regulations. For more information, please see ISU Travel