Indirect costs, also known as facilities and
administration costs, included in many USDA National Institute of Food and
Agriculture (NIFA) funded grants have previously been limited to at most
22%. The FY
2012 minibus appropriations bill provides language (see below) that allows
for up to 30% for indirect costs, at least for grants funded in FY 2012. Indirect cost rates for most research
institutions hover around 50%. This
change in policy at the USDA represents a major step towards rates honored at
other science funding agencies.
Text from the appropriations bill:
720. None of the funds in this Act shall be available to pay indirect costs
charged against any agricultural research, education, or extension grant awards
issued by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture that exceed 30 percent
of total Federal funds provided under each award: Provided, That
notwithstanding section 1462 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension,
and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3310), funds provided by this Act for
grants awarded competitively by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture
shall be available to pay full allowable indirect costs for each grant awarded
under section 9 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 638).
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