Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs are an unavoidable element of conducting research on behalf of federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Research institutions incur these expenses as a result of conducting research funded by the agency's grants.
Also known as "indirect costs," federal agencies provide payments to institutions above the directly attributable costs of a specific research project in order to offset a portion of the costs associated with the infrastructure necessary to do the research work. In other words, F&A reimbursements help support the infrastructure costs that institutions incur as a result of conducting research (e.g., precision climate control, lab construction and maintenance, lights, water, internet access, etc.) Because these expenses are inseparable from the research itself, a cut to F&A support from NIH and other agencies would effectively be a cut to research.
The following resources are intended to further understanding of the complex issue of Facilities and Administrative (F&A) reimbursements, including the potential effects of current policy proposals, for faculty members and others in the academic community.