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F&A Recovery Distribution - New Process Guidelines as of October 1, 2010

last updated 09/30/10

(Below is an important communication from Jay Walsh sent to all faculty regarding new guidelines for F&A Cost Recovery Distribution effective October 1, 2010)

Attachment links:


Dear Colleagues,
This email and the attachments outline a new process for distribution of F&A revenue (which stands for facilities & administration, but is also known as indirect costs or overhead).

A committee comprised of faculty and staff reviewed and provided recommendations to up-date the F&A Cost Recovery Distribution policy and practice. The goal was an equitable distribution of F&A revenue received by the university and a process for distribution that was of minimal effort.

Please find attached the new process guidelines for the F&A Cost Recovery Distribution process, a communications document in the form of an FAQ to address questions you might have, and the newly designed OSR-1 form containing an appendix concerning F&A.

As background, F&A is recovered from sponsored projects and distributed to units across the University according to a set formula. While the distribution for a project involving a single investigator or investigators from a single department is straightforward, we would like to ease the distribution for projects involving investigators from more than one unit (e.g., from two schools).

Based on the committee's recommendations as well as input from deans' offices, the attached new process guidelines were developed to standardize and bring transparency to the process for distributing F&A revenue. Specifically, the new process guidelines were created to facilitate:

- the decision-making process for attributing F&A recovery across units, and
- the efficient utilization of the financial systems (NU Financials/InfoEd) based on a coherent set of guidelines.

The guidelines aim to enable schools and the Office for Research to attribute F&A revenue appropriately and efficiently by unit (school, department, center).

Best regards,

Jay Walsh


Northwestern University

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