Categorization of Sponsored Projects

How to determine which F&A rate to apply

At GW, the majority of externally sponsored projects (i.e. grants, contracts, cooperative agreements) support Organized Research (OR) activities, but a smaller amount may be classified as Other Sponsored Activities (OSA). The categorization of the sponsored activity determines the appropriate facilities and administrative rate (F&A), or indirect cost rate, to be applied. Within each category, projects are further defined as on-campus or off-campus, based on the primary location of a majority of the project’s activities and GW personnel effort.

F&A rates applicable to each type of sponsored project are outlined in GW’s negotiated rate agreement, located on the Office of the Comptroller website.

A sponsored project is subject to a singular rate. Multiple or split rates (i.e., on-campus and off-campus) may not be applied to one project. If a project includes any Organized Research component then the project must use the Organized Research F&A rate.


I. Organized Research (OR)

Organized Research and related scholarship activities include the rigorous inquiry, experiment or investigation to increase the scholarly understanding of the involved discipline. These activities may be sponsored by federal and non-federal (i.e. private, foundation) organizations.

The following are examples of Organized Research (OR):

  • awards for faculty to support their research activities
  • externally sponsored Career Awards (i.e, NSF, NIH, DoD) that support a faculty’s research efforts
  • external funding to maintain facilities or equipment and/or fund the operation of a center or facility which will be used for research
  • external support for the writing of books, when the purpose of the writing is to publish research results
  • awards for the support of the research activities of GW students or postdoctoral scholars, e.g., research training grants

II. Other Sponsored Activities (OSA)

Other Sponsored Activities (OSA) are defined as projects funded by sponsors that involve the performance of work other than Organized Research. These activities may be sponsored by federal and non-federal (i.e. private, foundation) organizations.

The following are examples of Other Sponsored Activities (OSA):

  • Travel grants
  • Conferences, seminars, workshops, symposia
  • University public events
  • Projects that involve GW faculty, staff or students in community service activities (where the GW students do not receive academic credit for their involvement or participation)
  • Projects supporting library or museum collections, acquisitions, bibliographies or cataloging

III. Off-Campus

  • Activities performed in facilities not owned by GW and to which rent is directly allocated to the project.
  • More than 50% of the project activities and effort are performed off-campus.

In cases where activities are performed in facilities not owned by GW and space-related costs are not directly charged to the program, the determination of off-campus or on-campus will be based on project facts and circumstances presented within the proposal, consistent with the categorization of costs as submitted in the F&A rate proposal.