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Grants

NIFA Process for Establishment of Indirect Cost Rates

PRIOR to submission of application:

When NIFA is not the cognizant Federal agency.  The applicant should use the current negotiated indirect cost rate established by its cognizant Federal agency (the agency that provides the most funds).  If awarded, the applicant will be required to produce a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement from the cognizant agency in order to recover indirect costs. Applicants may request (i.e., budget) indirect costs using the lesser of: (a) the negotiated rate; or (b) the maximum statutory rate stated in the Request for Application, if any.  If unable to obtain a negotiated rate from its cognizant agency, the applicant is not permitted indirect cost reimbursement. Rather, the applicant may only be reimbursed for allowable direct costs. Violation of Cost Accounting Standards is not permitted when re-budgeting or charging costs to awards.

When NIFA is the cognizant Federal agency.  If the applicant does not have a negotiated rate, and NIFA is the cognizant agency, the applicant must calculate an indirect cost rate in order to request indirect costs. The applicant should calculate an indirect cost rate based on actual costs for the entire organization from the most recently completed accounting year. If no prior cost history exists, the applicant should use budgeted costs for the entire organization. NIFA has provided several sample indirect cost rate calculations (see below).  During the application process, the applicant is not required to complete the entire Indirect Cost Proposal (ICP) package. Rather, the applicant need only calculate an indirect cost rate to serve as a basis for requesting indirect costs. If awarded, the applicant will be required to submit a complete ICP package as identified below.

Nonprofit Organizations

 
Commercial, For-Profit Companies

Once completed, the applicant should identify the calculated percentage rate in the space allotted for item H of the budget sheet. The applicant should also identify the direct cost budget categories to which it applies the rate (i.e., the base) in the space allotted for item H of the budget sheet.  Applicants may request indirect costs using the lesser of: (a) the calculated rate; or (b) the maximum statutory rate stated in the Request for Application, if any. If selected for funding, NIFA will require the applicant to provide its indirect cost calculation (and a complete ICP package) to support requested indirect costs. The applicant should NOT submit its ICP package as part of its award application. However, during the application process, the applicant may submit general questions to IndirectCostInquiries@nifa.usda.gov.

Waived Indirect Costs.  An applicant may elect not to request recovery of indirect costs.  If so, the applicant should write “None Requested” in this space.

IF application is selected for award:

NIFA will request the grantee’s ICP package and begin the negotiation process in order to establish a negotiated indirect cost rate. The grantee should submit a complete ICP package to RecipientsICPs@nifa.usda.gov. Note that NIFA may issue the award, but withhold funds budgeted for indirect costs pending completion of the indirect cost rate negotiation process.  Upon completion of the negotiation process, NIFA will notify the grantee if a modification to the grant budget is necessary.