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Budget Procedures and Rates Information

Facilities and Administrative Cost Rate (IDC rate)

The University of Houston has negotiated a four-year, pre-determined indirect cost (IDC) rate plan with our cognizant federal agency, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The resulting rates are effective immediately and are retroactively applicable as of September 1, 2011. The off-campus rate will remain unchanged at 26%, but the on-campus rates will be adjusted according the following schedule:

  • FY2016 = 50.5%
  • FY2017 = 50.5%
  • FY2018 = 53%
  • FY2019 = 53%

For more, refer to the Division of Research memo on the rate change or view the rate agreement approved by Department of Health and Human Services and the UH Office of the General Counsel.

Uses of Returned Indirect Funds

Texas Constitution and Statutes, Education Code, Chapter 145.001 defines the use of IDC funds returned to departments and units:

“The funds shall be expended under guidelines approved by the institution's governing board for projects encouraging further research at the unit, agency, or department level at which the research was conducted, including: conducting early pre-grant feasibility studies; preparing competitive proposals for sponsored programs; providing carryover funding for research teams to provide continuity between externally funded projects; supporting new researchers pending external funding; engaging in research programs of critical interest to the general welfare of the citizens of this state; purchasing capital equipment directly related to expanding the research capability of the institution; and research or project administrative costs; and the funds remaining after the application of Subdivision shall be used by a general academic teaching institution or a medical or dental unit to support research as approved by a general academic teaching institution or a medical or dental unit.”

Fringe Benefit Rates

Proposals submitted by the University of Houston to an external sponsor should include an amount estimated to be the actual costs for fringe benefits, and recommended to be as follows:

  • Full-time employees, including 9-month faculty: 30 percent
  • Faculty summer months: 22 percent
  • Part-time employees (half time or less): 9 percent

The rate would be applied to all salaries included in a proposal budget for each person. Actual fringe benefits are charged to the sponsored project at the time the salary cost is incurred and are based on the salary, selected benefits package and other variables applicable to the individual employee. A Primary Investigator can use the Budget Tool - Fringe Benefits Calcuator (XLSX) to determine a more exact amount.

The fringe benefits identified in the UH F&A Rate Agreement (PDF) include FICA Life Insurance, Retirement Health Insurance, and Worker's Compensation Unemployment Insurance. The following description should be used in a proposal budget justification:

“Sponsored awards are responsible for the actual fringe benefit costs incurred by each employee working on the project. Fringe benefit costs have been estimated based on historical data. However, actual costs for fringe benefits are charged (billed) to the sponsored project at the time the cost is incurred, based on salary, selected benefits package and other variables applicable to the individual employee.”

Person-Months Conversion Calculator

Some proposals may require calculations of time and effort to be conducted on a project. To assist in determining this data, the Division of Research provides a person-months conversion calculator (XLS). Universal Currency Converter Determine currency rates from various world currency denominations through use of the Universal Currency Converter.