Foundation Rate Type

unsplash-logoMarvin Meyer

VUMC’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) recognizes that foundations who sponsor VUMC projects may not award budgets inclusive of our full indirect costs. In such situations we accept either the foundation’s published policy or, in the absence of published policy, a minimum of 15% indirects on total direct costs. Pursuant to this approach, Coeus has added a new indirect cost rate option that will charge TDC 15% by default for foundations. Of course, users can override this rate to match the foundation’s published policy if needed.

This might be a good time for a review:

Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC): VUMC and the federal government periodically negotiate indirect cost rates applicable to federally funded projects. Not all direct charges receive corresponding indirects. Equipment, patient care, and subcontract costs over $25,000 are excluded from MTDC. In Coeus, several indirect rate-types qualify as MTDC, including ‘Research,’ ‘Sponsored Training,’ and ‘Other Sponsored Activities.’ Coeus automatically excludes these costs for indirect calculations on any of these rate selections.

Total Direct Costs (TDC): Non-federal projects are not subject to VUMC’s rate agreement with the federal government; therefore, the exclusions for equipment, patient care, and subcontracts over $25k also do not apply. In these cases, VUMC is permitted to charge indirect costs on ALL budget items. In Coeus, several indirect rate-types qualify as TDC including ‘Industry Sponsored,’ ‘Service Grants & Contracts,’ and ‘TDC- Zero.’ Because the rate is applied to all line items, these rate-types should NOT be used for federal proposals, even if the rate is overridden to a different percentage. The selection of TDC can cause a Coeus budget to be out of compliance with our federally negotiated rate.

Under current conditions, users creating a foundation proposal budget do not have a clear choice when they are selecting a budget rate-type. Some choose ‘TDC- Zero’ and override the amount, while others attempt to select the type that fits their project activity, like research or training. The new foundation rate-type will facilitate more accurate reporting and hopefully provide greater clarity regarding which budget rate-type to use. As a rule of thumb, if the sponsor is a foundation – use the foundation rate-type and override if necessary!

If you have any questions or concerns about this change or how it might apply to your proposal, please contact your OSP Specialist or