Indirect Cost Recovery Distribution Policy & Special Policy


Facilities and administration (F&A) charges on sponsored projects are a reimbursement from the federal government to the campus for the cost of doing research.  Because colleges and units incur costs in supporting sponsored research, a portion of these charges is distributed back to them.  This document outlines the principles of distribution.

Standard Distribution

Effective 7/1/2014, the standard ICR distribution is as follows for most units:

  • 45% of indirect cost recoveries (ICR) related to facilities and administration (F&A) will be distributed to the college/department/principal investigator. The division of these funds within each college will be based on the college’s policy for distribution.
  • 75% of ICR earnings related to tuition remission will be distributed to the academic college of the student generating the remission. The division of these funds within each college will be based on the college’s policy for distribution.

For principal investigators whose appointment is in an academic college subject to the standard distribution above, ICR will be returned to their home college following the standard distribution above, regardless of where their grants are managed.

Special F&A Distribution Policy

The final report submitted by the 2012 Indirect Cost Recovery (F&A) Steering and Working Groups included a recommendation that special rules be developed for a number of units on campus. (View the 2012 ICR Allocation Policy Committee Final Report.)

Click the links below to view the current (FY22 – July 1, 2021) Special F&A (ICR) Distribution Policy and its previous versions.

What’s Changed – Effective FY22

The Special F&A Distribution Policy effective July 1, 2021 includes a uniform 45% earned ICR distribution to a campus-level IRU in cases where the PI is an IRU employee and not a faculty member with a home organization that is an academic unit. When the PI’s research program is fully housed in Beckman, a 14% distribution of ICR will flow to Beckman for single-discipline projects carried out in Beckman’s physical facilities, independent of the location of the award administration. Following the completion of a five-year review, ICR distribution may be requested for new campus-level institutes not currently receiving the 28% F&A flow for multi-disciplinary awards, which could comprise 14% for administrative services and 14% for physical facility support. An earned ICR distribution of 28% to a college-level IRU will flow to the college-level IRU for multi-disciplinary awards where co-PIs from outside the college hosting the college-level IRU.

What’s Changed – Effective FY20

The Special F&A Distribution Policy – Effective July 1, 2019 describes methods for the distribution of F&A, including both the overall policy and elements of the policy that apply to specific units. The title has been changed to “Special F&A Policy,” rather than “Special ICR Policy.”

Reference is made to the Office of Corporate Relations and the Research Park/EnterpriseWorks as part of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. The Office of Corporate Relations moved to the OVCRI effective July 1, 2016. The Research Park moved to the OVCRI July 1, 2019.

Reference is made to University System Offices – units that operate at the System, rather than the campus level.

Changes that were pending at the time the policy was originally developed have now taken place, and the policy has been brought up to date. For example, in the section Implementation Changes by IRU, instead of reading “The Provost and OVCRI will adjust the budget allocations,” it now reads “The Provost and OVCRI adjusted the budget allocations…”

The list of units with a special F&A Distribution Policy lists the Campus-level Institutes as a group. It also includes both the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the Urbana College of Medicine.

An introductory paragraph and Guiding Principles for F&A distribution for interdisciplinary grants to the campus-level institutes (IRUs) have been added. This is followed by implementation changes for each IRU.

The distribution for the Applied Research Institute describes an incentivized distribution.

The allocated permanent ICR budget and variable earnings for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research are explicitly discussed. Distribution of F&A to EnterpriseWorks, the Office of Corporate Relations, the Security Management Office, and the Carver Biotechnology Center is defined.

A table is provided that illustrates the F&A distribution to the campus-level institutes.

An appendix was added to provide guidance on the determination of whether a proposal is multidisciplinary in the context of a campus-wide interdisciplinary research institute.

Updated 10/6/2020