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Charging and Distribution of Indirect Costs (Overhead) Policy

Indirect Costs that are recovered from external grants awarded to the college are intended to cover costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore cannot be readily identified with a specific project or activity of an organization. Typical examples of indirect cost type items are the costs of operating and maintaining facilities, local telephone service, office supplies, and accounting and legal services. It will be the policy of the college to apply the maximum allowed indirect costs to all grants and this amount should be included in all grant application budgets. Any exception to applying the full overhead rate will require the approval of the Dean of the College/or Relevant Vice President, the Director of Sponsored Programs and Research, the Chief Financial Officer and the Executive Vice President.

The college's current federally negotiated indirect cost rate is 49.5% MTDC.  Our current practice with the state of New Hampshire is to charge a rate of 10% as a courtesy to the state and in recognition of our role in the region. Many foundations also allow overhead costs to be added to grants, and the allowed rate for each specific foundation should be charged.

Distribution of Indirect (Overhead) Funds  

Beginning with the current fiscal year, the college will establish a policy to distribute a portion of indirect costs recovered from external grants to the Dean of the College or relevant Vice President, department, and Principal Investigator who were awarded the grants. In the past, all indirect costs went to the college's General Fund. With the new policy, indirect costs (overhead) will be distributed as follows:

  • Principal Investigator (PI) 25%
  • PI's home department or Center/Institute 15%
  • Dean of the College or relevant Vice President 20%
  • General Fund (15%)
  • Grants Office (25%)

If the award specifies that the project is affiliated with a center or institute, the departmental portion (15%) will be directed to the named center/institute, rather than the PI's home department. If faculty from more than one department are involved in the research project, the department of the lead PI will receive the funds.

Because overhead funds are awarded to the college, Saint Anselm College reserves the right to change this policy at any time or to make exceptions to it on an individual basis. Grants that are received as earmarks to the college or that involve dollar amounts in excess of $500,000 will be reviewed individually. The college also reserves the right to review and reallocate individual research accounts accumulated over time.

Guidelines for Implementation of the Policy

The restricted funds that go to the PIs, departments/centers/institutes, the Dean and Vice Presidents can be used for a variety of purposes necessary for carrying out all research and programmatic projects and to encourage and support sponsored research, including, but not limited to, seeding new projects, attending conferences, hiring research assistants, related travel, equipment, supplies and materials and the like. These funds are not to be used for faculty salaries. Where appropriate, PIs are encouraged to discuss with their department chairs how funds to the department and funds to the principal investigator (PI) might be pooled to enhance the overall research infrastructure necessary for the conduct of research or to partner with other organizations to conduct research. Overhead funds remaining in the account of a PI will be returned to the college's general fund if the PI is no longer employed with the college.

Most costs for grant-funded projects must be charged directly to the grant (as direct costs). Such costs include an appropriate percentage of the PI's annual and/or summer salary, course buyouts, consultants, undergraduate assistants, equipment needed for research, travel, subject payment fees, postage, photocopy charges, costs of lab analysis, materials that will be used solely for the conduct of a specific research project, etc. Please contact Bill Ploog, Director of Sponsored Programs and Research, at (603) 641-7174, wploog@anselm.edu  for assistance with proposals and awards.

Approved by the Saint Anselm College Faculty Senate and the Senior Leadership Team 3/10.