Policy: Indirect Costs of Research and Consultancies
- Provision, maintenance and refurbishment of buildings and physical infrastructure;
- All externally funded Projects must be appropriately costed, including all Direct and Indirect costs.
- The Price charged to the funder must take into account the Direct and Indirect costs, as well as:
- any rules or guidelines about what costs the funder does or does not support (including limits or mandatory indirect costs)
- the access to unique research expertise, infrastructure or personnel
- the provision of intellectual property
- the risk to the University in conducting the project
- the strategic importance or potential of relationships with funders
- the strategic alignment of the project to the goals of the University
- the capacity of the University to make cash or in-kind contributions
- the nature of the project (e.g. infrastructure-based or people-based); and
- the price for which similar services may be available on the commercial market.
Indirect Costs Principles
- Persons carrying out projects to which this Policy applies, and the delegates that approve them, must seek to recover all Indirect Costs as determined by the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate Calculation.
- Delegates must only approve projects to which this policy applies when they are assured that appropriate Indirect Costs are recovered as determined by the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate Calculation.
- The Indirect Cost Recovery Rate must be calculated for all projects to which this policy applies.
- The Indirect Cost Recovery Rate, and distribution of funds under this policy, will be reviewed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), annually before 31 January.
- The Indirect Cost Recovery Rate is based on all Direct Costs attributed to the project excluding any in-kind personnel costs.
- The Indirect Cost Recovery Rate represents the minimum recovery rate. Seeking an amount greater than the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate is encouraged.
- For projects where the primary purpose is to provide stipends of scholarships for students the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate is 0%.
- For projects that are classified as Philanthropic research (see the Philanthropic income checklist) the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate is 0% (unless prescribed by the funder).
- For projects where the total Direct Costs of the project (excluding in-kind personnel costs) are less than $50,000 (GST exclusive) the minimum Indirect Cost Recovery Rate is 0%. Local Area policies may still apply.
- For Research Projects where the total Direct Costs of the project (excluding in-kind personnel costs) are equal to or greater than $50,000 (GST exclusive) the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate is based on the current approved indirect cost recovery rate calculation.
- The amount calculated by application of the appropriate Indirect Cost Recovery Rate must be fully recovered from the funder, unless:
- The respective delegations to approve any reduction of the charged indirect costs are exercised, as follows:
- the School Director has the right to reduce a portion of or all of the Indirect Costs ordinarily distributed to the School;
- the Dean has the right to reduce a portion of or all of the Indirect Costs ordinarily distributed to the College; and
- the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) has the right to reduce a portion of or all of the Indirect Costs ordinarily distributed to university central funds.
- The funder has an explicitly defined overhead policy that must be applied and which can be evidenced; or
- The amount of Indirect Costs recovered is reduced due to cross-subsidisation.
Distribution of funds recovered as Indirect Costs up to and including the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate
- Funds recovered as Indirect Costs up to and including the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate will be distributed by default as follows:
- 25% to University central funds
- 25% to the College
- 50% to the School
- Colleges and Schools may make arrangements to alter the distribution of funds going to them (total 75%), including distribution of funds directly to support Departments, Centres or research teams.
- Any funds distributed by arrangement to research teams are to be administered by the Chief Investigator and used to support research activities by agreement with team members.
Distribution of funds recovered as Indirect Costs over and above the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate
- Funds recovered as Indirect Costs over and above the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate will be retained by the School
- Schools are encouraged to enter into arrangements to use a fraction of these recovered funds to provide additional research support to the research teams.
Cross-subsidising Research Projects
- Research Projects may be cross-subsidised, reducing the amount of Indirect Costs to be recovered from the funder.
- The following persons may choose to cross-subsidise the Research Project to the stated maximum percentage of the Indirect Cost Recovery Rate:
- For the School, the Research School Director or equivalent, or a person with formally delegated financial responsibility for the School – 50%
- For the College, the Dean or a person with formally delegated financial responsibility for the College – 25%
- For the University, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) or their delegated officer – 25%
- For clarity, where an area has reduced the amount of indirect costs they would otherwise receive, the distribution percentages will be adjusted to reflect that reduction.
- In the interests of transparency, the University’s Indirect Costs of Research and Consultancies should be raised with potential funders early in discussions with them.
|Printable version (PDF)|
|Title||Indirect Costs of Research and Consultancies Policy|
|Purpose||This Policy describes the principles by which externally funded Research Projects, University Consultancies and Commercial Services are costed and priced.|
|Topic/ SubTopic||Research - Grants & Consultancies|
|Effective Date||3 May 2021|
|Next Review Date||3 May 2024|
|Responsible Officer:||Chief, Research and Innovation services|
|Contact Area||Research Services|
Australian National University Act 1991
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
Australian National University (ANU Foundation) Statute 2018
|Delegations||327, 328, 329, 330|
Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.