Overview of Indirect Costs (IDC)
Indirect costs (also known as IDC, F&A costs, or overhead costs) are those costs associated with the conduct of sponsored projects that are incurred for common or joint objectives and therefore are not readily identifiable with a specific project.
These costs are legitimate costs incurred by the University in support of the performance of sponsored projects. Examples of costs normally considered to be F&A costs include, but are not limited to, administrative/clerical; facilities management and utilities; general-purpose equipment; office supplies; postage; memberships and dues; subscriptions/books/periodicals; and local telephone charges. Pitt’s IDC rates are negotiated through a formal process with the federal government and are computed on the basis of actual costs incurred.
The University has a federally negotiated rate agreement that outlines the approved IDC rate for use in sponsored research, instruction and training, and other sponsored activities. To view the current rate agreement, click here.
Indirect Costs (IDC) Waiver Requests
When developing a project budget, it is important to review the University’s approved federally negotiated rate agreement to determine the applicable rate for the type of research or sponsored project proposed. In some cases, the University may approve the use of a reduced IDC rate. Please also refer to the List of Foundation Indirect Policies before determining if an IDC waiver is necessary.
Before using a rate that is less than the University’s IDC rate and less than what the sponsor formally requires, institutional approval must be obtained. An IDC Waiver must be approved by the Dean of the school or University-level Center/Institute Director and may require additional approval from the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research (SVCR); see chart below.
The below chart outlines the required approvals needed for an IDC Waiver Request.
|Total Proposal Budget||Requires Approval by the Dean or University-level Center/Institute Director||Requires Approval by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research (SVCR)|
|$50,000 or less||Required||Not Required|
Proposals with a total budget of $50,000 or less, can be approved solely by the Dean of the school or University-level Center/Institute Director.
Proposals with a total budget of more than $50,000, require approval from both the Dean of the school or University-level Center/Institute Director and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research (SVCR). Requests that require SVCR approval will be coordinated by the Specialist assigned to review the proposal in the Office of Sponsored Programs.
IDC Waivers must be requested at the proposal stage by the department by completing an “IDC Waiver Request” in MyFunding. Requests will not be considered after the proposal has been submitted to the sponsor.
To get started, click the PERIS™ Login below:
Indirect Costs (IDC) Waiver Request Requirements
The below information will be required in MyFunding as part of the IDC Waiver Request:
- Budget (as an attachment or in the Budget of the MyFunding module)
- Scope of Work
- Deadline, if any
- IDC rate being requested vs. Pitt’s applicable negotiated rate
- Written approval by the Dean or University-level Center/Institute Director - Email attachment will be sufficient.
- Justification of the waiver
The justification must include the following information:
- Why the IDC waiver is being requested
- Why the University’s Federally negotiated IDC rate cannot be used for the project
- Why the IDC waiver should be approved
- Documentation from the sponsor, if any, regarding their allowable IDC rate
To access the Quick Guide on how to complete an IDC Waiver Request, please click here.
To view the IDC Waiver FAQs, please click here.