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Fort Lewis College Official Seal

Policy identification number: SPON-003

File: Other Operational Policies / Sponsored Research & Federal Relations

Grants Incentive (Indirect Cost Distribution) 

Policy Summary

This policy outlines how Indirect Cost Recoveries (IDC) will be distributed and how those distributions can be used.

Policy Owner


Approval Date

November 14, 2018

Effective Date

November 14, 2018

Search Terms

grants incentive, indirect cost distribution, president, g

Scheduled for Review

Spring 2023

I. Policy Statement

A. All indirect Cost monies from grants, contracts, and agreements will be deposited into the College’s General Fund to help defray additional costs that accrue to the College due to the activities required by the grant or contract.

B. The indirect cost distribution schedule set forth below applies only to grants that are associated with an academic entity for research, curricular development, and programmatic needs.  For other programs that are not associated with an academic department and are institutional in nature (e.g. TRIO programs) all the indirect costs will remain in the general fund.

C. The College will provide funds to the appropriate academic schools and departments through a percentage distribution:

    • ·         25% School,
    • ·         12.5% Department
    • ·         12.5% Principal Investigator

D. Some examples of how this money may be utilized are for items such as travel, supplies, summer research stipends for students, and matching funds for grant proposals. These funds cannot be utilized for faculty or Principal Investigator salary or stipends.

E This policy will be reviewed annually for fiscal compatibility with the institution.

II. Reason for Policy 

To clarify how indirect cost recovery funds will be disbursed and to establish a grants incentive to encourage Fort Lewis College faculty and staff to engage in sponsored research activities.

III. Responsibilities 

For following the policy:  All Principal Investigators/ Project Directors, Budget Office, Office of Sponsored Research and Federal Relations

For enforcement of the policy: Office of Sponsored Research and Federal Relations, Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration, Deans, Provost & VP Academic Affairs

For oversight of the policy: President

For notification of policy: Policy Librarian

For procedures implementing the policy: Senior Accountant in the Controller’s Office, Director of Sponsored Research and Federal Relations, Associate VP for Finance and Administration

IV. Definitions 

Indirect Costs:  Also known as overhead, F & A, facilities and administration costs.  Indirect costs are a percentage of the total proposed direct costs of a grant budget or a percentage of salaries and benefits of a grant budget used to reimburse the institution for costs it incurs in running and housing the grant program.  Indirect costs are those not directly associated with the grant proposal, such as the cost of facilities and utilities (heat, electricity, office space), audit, legal, accounting, and other institutional costs that are needed to successfully conduct the grant program.  Indirect costs are incurred for common or joint objectives and cannot be easily and specifically identified with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any institutional activity.

Principal Investigator (PI): The primary individual responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract, or other Sponsored Project in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and institutional policy governing the conduct of sponsored research.  

V. Procedures

1.  Indirect cost disbursement will occur by September 30th for indirect costs received in the prior fiscal year.

2.  The Budget Office will send documentation to the Dean of each school detailing the amount and source of IDC returns by each department and faculty member.  The Dean’s office portion of the IDC distribution will be recorded in the Dean’s office contingency account.

3.  Budget Office will send documentation to the academic department detailing the amount and source of IDC recovery from each faculty member.  Faculty members will also receive documentation of the amount of IDC recovery received by their department for their project(s). IDC returns will be deposited into special organization codes for each academic department and principal investigator.

4.  IDC recovery does not need to be used in the next fiscal year and is rolled forward each year.

VI. Cross-Referenced Policies 

2 CFR 200, sponsor specific regulations,

12-1: Grant Application Process,

12-2: Sponsored Grants & Contracts Budgeting/Accounting/Reporting,

12-5: Cost Sharing Requirements (Cash or In-Kind Matching) for Sponsored Research Projects

VII. Consequences of Non-Compliance

Loss of IDC returns.

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