northwestern university research CCM | IACUC | INVO | IRB | OECC | ORC | ORD | ORI | ORIS | ORPAF | ORS | OSR | SIS

Use of On-Campus vs. Off-Campus Facilities & Administrative Rate

last updated 10/07/11

Download Word version of this document

September 27, 2011 DHHS F&A Rate Agreement: "OFF-CAMPUS DEFINITION: For all activities performed in facilities not owned by the institution and to which rent is directly allocated to the project(s), the off-campus rate will apply. Actual costs will be apportioned between on-campus and off-campus components. Each portion will bear the appropriate rate."

Implementation

Definitions

  • "On-campus":

A sponsored project designation indicating the general location(s) of the activity that will occur in conducting the project. On-campus locations include space in buildings owned by the University and, in many instances, space in buildings leased by some entity of the University. Further criteria for designating leased space as on-campus are provided below.

The on-campus designation indicates that any reimbursement of facilities-related costs will occur indirectly, through the application of a F&A rate that includes those costs, rather than through a direct space charge. For most federal sponsors, the "on-campus" negotiated F&A rate applies to projects designated as on-campus. For many non-federal sponsors, the published non-federal on-campus F&A rate applies. Certain types of awards and/or sponsors stipulate specific F&A rates, typically lower than the otherwise applicable on-campus rate. In these cases, the on-campus designation is still appropriate but has no relation to the applicable F&A rate. For purposes of the F&A rate proposal, all direct expenditures on projects designated as on-campus are included in the same base.

  • "Off-campus"

A sponsored project designation indicating the general location(s) of the activity that will occur in conducting the project. Off-campus locations include space that the University does not own AND one of the following additional criteria: a) the space is remote from either the Evanston or Chicago campus, OR b) no University entity bears a lease cost for occupying the space. Factors indicating that a space is remote include significant physical distance from either campus, and use of separate (non-University) services such as mail, telephone, network and other support services.

The off-campus designation indicates that any reimbursement of facilities-related costs will occur directly, through a direct space charge, rather than indirectly through the application of a F&A rate that includes those costs. For most federal sponsors, the "off-campus" negotiated F&A rate (26% MTDC, representing only Administrative costs) applies to projects designated as off-campus. For many non-federal sponsors, the published non-federal off-campus F&A rate applies. Certain types of awards and/or sponsors stipulate specific F&A rates. In these cases, the off-campus designation is still appropriate but has no relation to the applicable F&A rate. For purposes of the F&A rate proposal, all direct expenditures on projects designated as off-campus are included in the same base.

  • "Leased space" = space in a building that the University does not own, but which the University occupies and for which a lease cost is borne. That lease cost may be borne by a central, school, or departmental CUFS account. When leased space is used to conduct a sponsored project, that project may be designated as either "on-campus" or "off-campus", based on defined parameters. The existence of a lease does not, in and of itself, indicate off-campus designation.

Leased space = on-campus when that space is contiguous or nearly contiguous to either the Evanston or Chicago campus. Factors indicating that a leased space is contiguous include physical proximity to either the Evanston or Chicago campus, and use of University-provided support services such as mail, telephone, and network services.

Leased space = off-campus when that space is remote from either the Evanston or Chicago campus. Factors indicating that a leased space is remote include significant physical distance from either campus, and use of separate (non-University) services such as mail, telephone, network and other support services. When a leased space is considered off-campus, a direct rent cost should be included in the proposal budgets and charged to benefiting sponsored projects.

When to Use the On-Campus Rate

  • The on-campus rate applies to projects performed in space that the University owns, including but not limited to the 1801 Maple building.
  • The on-campus rate applies to projects performed in leased space that is contiguous or nearly contiguous to either the Evanston or Chicago campus.
  • Rent (recurring; i.e., not one-time or short-term facility rental) may not be charged to projects applying the on-campus rate.

When to Use the Off-Campus Rate

  • The off-campus rate applies to projects performed in leased space that is remote from either the Evanston or Chicago campus. A direct rent cost should be included in the proposal budgets and charged to benefiting sponsored projects.
  • The off-campus rate applies to projects performed in space that the University does not own and for which the University does not bear a lease cost from any University account (sponsored or non-sponsored, central or school/department fund source), whether that space is contiguous to or remote from the Evanston or Chicago campus. In these cases, a rental cost should not be direct charged to the project as there is no real cost to any University entity.

Determining Whether a Project should be Apportioned between the On- and Off-Campus Components

In select cases, the nature of the project entails activity in multiple locations. When those locations represent both on- and off-campus space (according to the criteria established above), and the proportion of off-campus activity reaches the threshold outlined below, then the project will be apportioned into the on- and off-campus components. Two sponsored project accounts will be established: one for the expenses associated with the on-campus activity and one for the expenses associated with the off-campus activity. The establishment of separate accounts will facilitate the assessment of the appropriate F&A rates. Costs should be charged to the respective accounts in accordance with the proposed and awarded project budget.

A project will be apportioned between its on- and off-campus components when it can be demonstrated that at least 25% of the total direct costs of the project relate to activity that will occur in space that meets the off-campus criteria. For purposes of measuring against this threshold, salary, wage and the associated fringe expense are considered off-campus when the project personnel are conducting the actual work in off-campus space. Non-labor expenses are considered off-campus when the goods/services are received and used in off-campus space. Subcontractor and consultant expenses are excluded from consideration; in all cases, subcontractor and consultant expenses are considered on-campus.

Travel expenses should be considered as follows:

  • Travel expense incurred for travel between the University and the off-campus space is considered off-campus.
  • Travel expense incurred for travel between the off-campus space and another off-campus location is considered off-campus.
  • Travel expense incurred for travel between the University and a destination other than the off-campus space is considered on-campus.

Northwestern University

Research Home  |  Research Administrative Offices  |  research@northwestern.edu

Office for Research - 633 Clark Street, Evanston, IL 60208-1108

The Office for Research promotes, facilitates and enhances research at Northwestern University.

© 2007-2014 Northwestern University

Northwestern Home | World Wide Web Disclaimer | University Policy Statements