University of Washington

Customizing F&A Rates and Base Types

Summary: 

In this lesson, you'll learn how to customize F&A rates and base types.

Before You Begin

For you to get the most out of this lesson, there are some key terms that you need to understand before getting started:

F&A Rate Overhead costs that the University changes for hosting a project. F&A is also sometimes referred to as Indirect Costs.
Base Type Specific project costs that are subject to F&A.

Three most frequently used base types are:

Direct Total Costs (DTC) With a DTC base, the F&A Rate is applied to the total of all costs except - (10) Capital Projects.
Modified Direct Total Costs (MDTC) With an MDTC base, the F&A Rate is applied to the total costs of all object codes except (06) Equipment, (08) Student Aid, (10) Capital Projects, and a few of the (03) Other Contractual Services.
Salary & Wages (S&W) With the S&W base, the F&A rate is applied to only one object code: (01) Salary and Wages. This base doesn’t include retirement or benefit costs.

Most budget preparers add F&A information when they are setting up a budget in "Step 3: Funding Details". You can also add F&A data after completing setup by using the F&A tab on the worksheet.

To Create a Custom Rate or Base Type While Setting up the Budget

1.    Click the Get Rate button.

2.    Click the Change the F&A Rate or Base Type link.

F&A Rate or Base Type

To Create a Custom Rate or Base Type After Setting up the Budget

1.  Click the F&A tab on the worksheet.

F&A tab

2.    Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Show F&A object codes link.

The check marks tell you that the object code are required for the base.

If you click one of the Arrow   Open sub Item button buttons, SAGE displays the list of sub-object codes. If the object code is checked, all of the sub-object codes are selected and none of them can be removed from the budget - these are all subject to the F&A Rate.

sub items disables

In contrast, if you select the Modified Direct Total Costs (MDTC) base, SAGE shows you that three of the object codes (06) Equipment, (08) Student Aid, and (10) Capital Costs and a few of the (03) Other Contractual Services will not be subject to the F&A Rate.

To See How F&A Costs are Calculated

Here’s a sample budget with a Modified Direct Total Cost (MDTC) base.

The details about the project are as follows:

  • A one year project
  • Located off campus
  • Two faculty members
  • One microscope
  • Outpatient hospital costs
  • Research supplies.

The costs for the project are as follows:

Salaries $82,601.88
Supplies $875.00
Equipment $10,000
Retirement & Benefits $31,636.51
Total Direct Costs $125,113.40

The total for all the direct costs is $125,113.40. To calculate the MDTC base, the costs for equipment and hospital costs ($10,000) would not be included in the base amount; The base amount would be $115,113.40.

Since the project is located off campus, the F&A rate is 26% of $115,113.40 which equals $29,929.48. The total of the direct costs and the F&A costs, brings the total project costs to $155,042.88.

Total Direct Costs $125,113.40
Amount Subject to F&A $115,113.40
F&A Costs $29,929.48
Total Project Cost $155,042.88

In contrast, if the project is located on campus, the F&A rate increases to 56% with a total project cost of $189,576.90.

Total Direct Costs $125,113.40
Amount Subject to F&A $115,113.40
F&A Costs $64,463.50
Total Project Cost $189,576.90

For specific information on F&A rates and base types for each location and funding mechanism, see Attachment A of the Grants Information Memorandum 13 (GIM 13).

To Create a Custom Base

There will be times when you want to select a more limited set of object and sub-object codes for your own custom base. A custom base must be specified in the sponsor instructions.

In these cases, follow these steps:

  1. Click the F&A tab in the worksheet view.

    F&A tab

  2. Click the Change the F&A Rate or Base Type link

    \Change Rate link

  3. Click the drop down arrow and select Custom

  4. Scroll down to the Object Codes Included in F&A Base.

    custom object code list

    All of the object codes can be added to the custom base.

  5. Click Open Sub-Item Open sub Item button icon  to see that all of the sub object items can be added to the custom base.

    custom sub object code list

    In this example, only the salaries for full- and part time permanent instruction & research faculty costs are subject to the F&A rate.

    Custom sub object items

    To Delete a Custom Rate and Base Type

    • Click the Delete custom rates & base and recalculate standard rates & base link.

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