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Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A)


F&A costs are UW expenses that cannot be specifically identified with a particular project or activity. Also known as "indirect costs" or "overhead," these costs are for buildings, utilities, services of administrative offices such as Purchasing, Accounting, Payroll, and Personnel Offices, and other expenses necessary for operations of the institution.

Information about F&A cost rates and their application is provided in GIM 13.

Factors to consider when selecting the correct F&A rate:

Proposals to outside sponsors must request full reimbursement of F&A costs. There are few exceptions to using the UW federally negotiated F&A rates. These exceptions are documented in GIM 13 Special Cases section:

  • Affiliated organizations
  • Nonprofit Sponsor's published limitations
  • Industry Sponsored Clinical Trials
  • Research Affiliate Programs (RAPS)
  • Single project with total cost < $5,000
  • Transfer from another institution with a lower F&A rate
  • Approved F&A Waiver

F&A Waiver

In limited situations, with advance approval, the Assistant Vice Provost for Research may allow the use of a lower rate when neither a federally negotiated rate, nor one of the exceptions listed in GIM 13 is applicable.

An application by the Principal Investigator (with concurrence of their Chair and Dean) for an F&A waiver must be made in the form required by the Office of Sponsored Programs and included with the sponsored project proposal materials.


  • The University may charge an F&A rate that is higher than the applicable federal rate for a sponsored program funded by a for-profit entity
  • The University does not waive F&A for for-profit entities.

F&A Waiver Form