Original post: University of Minnesota, Kevin Coss, April 28, 2017.
Indirect research costs do more than keep the lights on in labs. These necessary parts of federally funded research projects help maintain high-tech equipment, provide data storage, support administrative staff, and even cover the disposal of hazardous waste.
As noted in a New York Times article, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price recently called into question the value of funding indirect costs on grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health, the world’s largest public funder of biomedical research. Price said paring back such funding could bring significant financial savings to the federal government next year.
Federal grants’ support of indirect research costs, often called “F&A” (facilities and administrative), plays an important role in helping universities recover a portion of the administrative and infrastructure expenses that come along with research across all academic fields. F&A helps make research spaces safe, keeps lab equipment running properly, and ensures projects comply with laws and regulations. Read more here.