FAS Research Administration Services

Facilities and Administrative Rates

(= Overhead Rates or Indirect Cost Rates)

Federal F&A Rates

Once every four or five years, the FAS participates with several other Harvard schools (all the schools with sponsored research, except the Medical School and the School of Public Health, which negotiate separately) in a negotiation with the Department of Health and Human Services to determine the F&A (or overhead or indirect cost) rates to use for the next four- or five-year period for most awards from federal funding agencies.  The money recovered from funding agencies through application of the F&A rate to the direct costs of research is used to help pay for the indirect costs of research, those costs that cannot be ascribed to individual projects with a high degree of accuracy.

Past, current, and future F&A rates for the three Harvard rate areas, as well as the official rate agreements with the federal government, are available on the Office for Sponsored Programs website.

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Non-federal F&A rates

Most awards from non-federal sponsors use F&A rates that are set by the individual sponsors. Many of these rates, especially those from foundations, are lower than the negotiated federal F&A rates. The University has adopted a separate set of guidelines for negotiating and establishing F&A rates on non-federal awards, in Statement of Harvard University Principles for the Application of Indirect Costs to Non-federal Sponsored Awards. F&A Cost Rates from non-federal sponsors can be found on the Office for Sponsored Programs website.

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Harvard dollar breakdown FY10

Click here for a chart that breaks out the direct and indirect components of an FY10 Harvard Dollar in Sponsored Expenditures.


More information

Questions about F&A rates in the FAS may be directed to Pat Fitzgerald, pwf@fas.harvard.edu, 5-4083. There is also an "Executive Summary on Indirect Costs" that provides additional detail on the theory and practice of indirect cost recovery in the FAS.


[Last modified: 01/14/13]

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