Determination of F&A Rate

At GW, most 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 type of sponsored activity determines the appropriate facilities and administrative (F&A) rate, 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 the majority of the project’s activities and GW personnel effort.

F&A rates applicable to each type of sponsored project are outlined in rate agreements located on the Office of the University Controller website.

Each GW sponsored project is subject to a single F&A rate. Multiple or split F&A rates (e.g., on-campus and off-campus) may not be applied to one sponsored project. If the sponsored 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, experimentation or investigation to increase the scholarly understanding of the involved discipline(s). These activities may be sponsored by federal or non-federal organizations (e.g., private, foundation, corporate).

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 member’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 or non-federal organizations (e.g., private, foundation, and corporate).

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

The Off-Campus rate applies when the majority of project activities and GW personnel effort are performed off-campus (i.e., at facilities not owned by GW and to which rent is directly allocated to the project(s)).

If there is a question whether the off-campus or on-campus rate is appropriate, a decision will be made based on project facts and circumstances presented within the proposal, consistent with the university’s F&A rate agreement.

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