Those categories that have clearly identified
cost elements, designated by type or function. These types
include personnel and non-personnel items.
and Administrative Costs (F&A):
or infrastructure categories that are apportioned a cost
factor based on federal guidelines for allowable costs
elements. Costs are typically expressed as a rate, based
on a pool of direct cost items, for example, Modified Total
Direct Costs (MTDC). The University of Pittsburgh Controller's
Office issues an annual statement confirming the negotiated
F&A costs schedule. Currently applicable rates are
detailed cost element reflecting a salary or wage basis
paid to each class of individual employed on a project.
All salaries for personnel are expressed as a percentage
of effort. Various sponsor guidelines may limit the percentage
effort charged to a sponsored program, place ceilings on
the maximum salary base used to calculate a fraction of
salary requested, or place other constraints on the types
of personnel supported under a particular program. Personnel
classifications include senior project individuals, technical
staff, administrative/clerical staff, and various types
of trainees (post-doctoral fellows, graduate students,
Federal funding agencies also limit the direct cost budgeting
of administrative or clerical staff charged to sponsored
accounts. Secretarial and administrative support are part
of the F&A costs. If you are now charging these items
as direct cost items to your ongoing research projects,
or if you are planning to include these costs in future
research applications (proposals), you must be sure that
they are project specific and can be tied back to the specific
project(s) and/or proposal(s). Charging these items as
direct costs when they are not project specific will result
in the University's non-compliance with OMB Circular a-21,
section J.F6(B) and with the cost accounting standards.
A budget narrative explaining individual budget elements
should accompany the budget schedules. For future year
projections, specific agencies prescribe that certain modest
inflation factors be used. Project leaders are cautioned
to consult with Office of Research staff or agency contacts
prior to using 'rule of thumb' inflation factors.
The lead person charged with responsibility
for technical project direction and oversight. May be assisted
by one or more Co-PIs and/or Co-Investigators.
Non-cash compensation provided to employees
pertaining to mandated or institutional provisions. Examples,
usually expressed as percentage of the wage or salary base,
reflect a composite rate that includes incremental factors
for social security, health insurance, liability insurance,
workman's compensation, and related factors. For FY 2004,
and beyond, rates are differentiated as follows:
Fringe Benefit Rates
Tuition and fees:
designers and budget planners must recognize the distinction
between students as trainees (their primary responsibility)
and as employees. As employees, individuals have specific
task responsibilities in addition to their studies. Tuition
must be correctly identified as Graduate Student Fringe
Benefits for each individual.
Typically, training programs involving students as trainees only pay 8% F&A
costs. Accordingly, for such training programs, you should budget actual
tuition costs and fees, at the appropriate rates.
as an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property,
having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition
cost of $5,000 or more per unit. Capital expenditures equal
to or exceeding $5,000 should be charged to the capital
subcode series 6100-6199. Equipment costing between $2,000
and $4,999.99 in sponsored budgets should be charged to
the applicable non-capital expense subcodes and draw overhead
based on the effective F&A rate.
costs: Defined as non-institutional employees
retained for a short duration of time for their expertise.
Typically, consultants are paid a per diem maximum, per
federal guidelines; otherwise, an appropriate fee for a
limited term of service commensurate with the market or
specialty. Extended-term consultancies may be subject to
institutional or sponsor restrictions, or force a change
of classification to employee status. See especially the
University of Pittsburgh Handbook for Faculty or Staff,
category of expendable material required as an essential
inventory item for the conduct of a particular project. May
include scientific or laboratory supplies, laboratory animals,
chemicals and other disposable items. General office supplies
are part of the F&A costs and should not be used anywhere
in the proposal, including the budget justification. You
must indicate that they are project specific.
Cost details are usually itemized on a per trip basis; include air
or ground transportation and per diem travel expenses. The destination,
purpose, and number of travelers for each trip should be identified.
Economy or lowest available fare class must be utilized. Per diem
and meal allowance rates follow federal guidelines for geographic
sites. Please refer to University of Pittsburgh Travel Policy 05-07-01
to the Office of Travel Management
The standard IRS mileage allowance for the business use of personal
automobiles and for updates of one-way mileage from Oakland to some
popular business destinations for University of Pittsburgh faculty
and staff, go to
Specific facilities costs required
to modify or update dedicated space for the planned project.
General construction costs are typically not supported.
by category or unit cost. Examples include publication
costs, page charges, computing charges, rental or lease
charges, equipment maintenance contracts, long-distance
phone charges, and modest fee-for-service contracts. General
telephone charges and postage, are part of the F&A
costs and should not be used anywhere in the proposal,
including the budget justification. You must indicate that
they are project specific.
Consortium or Contractual
A cost item that is the aggregate value
of project performance or service to be rendered by other
institutional partners. These aggregate charges must in
turn be supported by detailed cost breakouts for each collaborating
institution. This cost breakout should be accompanied by
the signed authorization for the collaborating institution(s),
and submitted to the Office of Research along with the
complete proposal transmittal materials. Subject to award
action, the University of Pittsburgh, as the prime awardee,
will issue a subcontract document to the collaborating
institution(s). Subcontract costs in excess of the first
$25,000 are not charged F&A costs. Assess F&A Costs
on the first $25,000 for each subcontract (this does not
mean for each year). Do not apply F&A Costs to any
portion of a subcontract with Carnegie Mellon University
Research collaborations with colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University continue
to be fostered and supported. To clarify the current grants administration
procedure with regard to such collaborations, staff and faculty should note
Faculty whose primary
employer is the University of Pittsburgh should continue
to submit proposals through the established sponsored
programs transmittal procedures, in cooperation with
the Office of Research.
Faculty whose primary
employer is Carnegie Mellon University should submit
their proposal as a subcomponent first through the CMU
sponsored research office.
the University of Pittsburgh and CMU shall incorporate
their respective institution's cost structures, including
appropriate direct costs and established federal Indirect
Cost Rates. However, as a reciprocal measure between
the two institutions, subcontracts are exempt from the
normally assessed indirect cost on the first $25,000
of each subcontract.
Commitments of real resources
(institutional funds, personnel, facilities or equipment)
involving such collaborations must be appropriately documented.
General statements concerning such commitments will be scrutinized
in the proposal review process.
Any question concerning these procedures should be referred to your constituency's
Grants and Contracts Officer.
Requirements for Subcontractors
A. NSF - Institutional
1. Cover Page or Letter of
Intent signed by Mr. DiPalma’s counter part at the subcontracting
2. Work Statement
3. Signed NSF Budget Pages
4. Only University of Pittsburgh employees can be listed on the NSF
B. NSF - Agency Requirements
1. Budget pages
must be submitted electronically with the proposal
C. NIH - Non Modular
1. Statement of
Intent to Enter into a Consortium Agreement or the
3. Budget Justification
4. Curriculum Vitae
6. Other Support
7. Scope of Work
8. Only University of Pittsburgh employees can be listed under personnel
on an NIH cover page
1. Letter of Intent
to Enter into a Consortium Agreement
2. Budget Justification
3. Year one detailed budget
4. Summary budget page
5. Checklist page
Be sure to include
an F&A Cost Calculation Page with the Checklist
Page. NIH wants the base, rate, amount and exclusions
for each year. (Never List tuition remission as an
exclusion. It should be listed as GSR Fringe Benefits).
Some federal programs require cost sharing,
i.e., some contribution, usually at a nominal rate, to
total project costs by the institution. In many circumstances,
cost sharing is merely desirable or requested by a program
officer, but not mandated under the terms of the particular
program. Cost sharing is a REAL cost. It should never be
included in a proposal unless required by a sponsor and
then, only to the percentage that is required by the sponsor.
Usually, cost sharing takes the form of contributed time
for project personnel, already paid by unit accounts. Project
directors are cautioned that mandatory cost sharing will
be audited, so that documentation must be as clear as for
the sponsor-portion of the budget. The ledger source to
be charged the "real dollar" matching funds must
be clearly identified.
For projects that do not recover the full F&A cost rate, the unrecovered
difference may be shown as part of the cost-sharing budget. The unrecovered
difference is calculated by comparing the difference between the full institutional
F&A cost rate charged to the project, and the limited dollar amount or
rate that the sponsor will pay.