Indirect Cost Return
Responsible Administrative Unit:

Research & Technology Transfer

Policy Contact

Director of _Research Development

Issued: 10/14/2015

Revised: 10/14/2015

This policy uses the term “IDC”, or indirect cost, to refer to “F&A Cost”, or the facilities and
administration costs that are negotiated by our cognizant agency, Office of Naval Research (ONR).
The IDC portion of the research budget is the means to recover the indirect costs that are incurred by
the university in order to operate the research mission; research administration (accounting,
management, etc.), research facilities, and other infrastructure and operational costs. In 2014 the
ONR IDC rate increased from 51.49% to 59.66%. Mines cannot charge the full rate on federal
projects and, therefore, we must use the government cap which increased from 45% to 50%. By
Colorado Law we must charge industry the full rate, 59.66%.
In order to encourage growth in the research enterprise, Mines returns the Department
Administration (DA), Equipment Depreciation and other portions of IDC (referred to as ICR) for
research projects that collect the full IDC rate (fed or industry rate) in effect at the time the proposal
was submitted. The IDC Return Policy is formulated to provide consistency in the percentage
distribution of the IDC to the operating units. In 2014, as a percentage of total IDC, the DA portion
of the IDC was decreased by ONR from 21.09% to 14.61%, and the Equipment Depreciation was
increased from 2.58% to 5.53%.
The ICR on all fully over-headed projects is distributed as follows (using the FY 15 IDC
• For non-center projects: 14.61% of IDC on government projects/16.45% on non-government
projects will be split (50%/50%) between the Principal Investigators and Department Head
• To qualified ICR Center projects: (please see the Center Policy for information on how to quality
as an ICR Center): 14.61% of IDC on government projects/16.45% on non-government projects
will be returned to the Center Director to be distributed according to Center policies
• For awards after FY13: 4% of IDC will be returned to the College Dean for research support and
• For awards after FY13: 5.53% of IDC for government projects/4.64% of IDC for non-
government will be returned to the VPRTT for major research instrumentation
• For all awards: 4% of IDC will be returned to the VPRTT for development of major new
institutional research initiatives
The ICR percentages above for Center/Department and Equipment Depreciation return will change
when a new ONR analysis is done.
The ICR that is distributed to a Center Director or Department Head cannot be transferred to a
faculty member’s Professional Development account.