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The College of Natural Sciences receives from the University 25% of all indirect costs (IDC) generated from the research grants that were awarded to CNS PIs in the previous calendar year. The University retains the other 75%.

Each September, the College returns a portion of its share back to the departments, centers, and ORUs that generated the IDC. IDC generated by a particular faculty member goes back to their home department, unless there is a preexisting agreement to direct their IDC to a center/institute/ORU - in that case, the IDC goes to that center/institute/ORU, not to the home department of the PI.

On average, we return to the departments and units 50% of the 25% that CNS receives (i.e., 12.5% of the total IDC received by the University). 

This IDC that the departments and units receive can be used to offset overhead expenses associated with the sponsored research conducted in academic departments and organized research units. The following are examples of valid uses of returned IDC by a department or unit:

  • Matching funds commitments for grants and sponsored projects 
  • Laboratory renovations (e.g., modifications needed for new instruments)
  • Support for common or shared administrative structures in the units
  • Support of broad-use core facilities and shared instrumentation
  • Research administration staff support
  • Seed money for new research projects and bridge funding
  • Other appropriate items related to the administration of research
  • Graduate student recruitment efforts
  • Graduate student stipend support
  • Support supplements to cover tuition and benefits for graduate students on external fellowships

Please note that CNS policy does not allow indirect costs to be returned to individual PIs or faculty for their own use.

The College's portion of IDC is used to support the research enterprise at the college-wide level, including:

  • Support and operation of CNS core facilities
  • Providing matching funds/institutional support for major grants submitted by CNS PIs (learn how to request matching funds here)
  • Laboratory renovations
  • CNS Catalyst Grants
  • CNS Research & Facilities office operations and administration (staff salaries)