Other Policies and Procedures
Related Policies, Procedures, Forms, Guidelines & Other Resources
Rice Purchasing and Payment Manual (PDF).In assuming the stewardship of federal funds for sponsored programs, Rice has adopted certain cost guidelines and regulations that apply not only to federal awards but also establish the principles for overall university costs. These principles include consistent treatment of like expenditures as direct or indirect costs, and require that procedures be in place to ensure compliance. Further information is contained in Section 11 of the Manual.
Rice University’ Disclosure Statement (DS-2) articulates what cost-types are typically charged to sponsored agreements and what cost-types are included in Rice University’s rates ( F&A rates, fringe benefit rates, etc.).
Federal-wide Research Terms and Conditions. Uniform Guidance states when prior approval is required for specific cost categories. Some agencies have waived this requirement. Please refer to federal-wide research terms and conditions for guidance on specific agency waivers of these prior approval requirements.
Direct Cost Application to Federal awards. Identification with the Federal award, rather than the nature of the goods and services involved, is the determining factor in distinguishing direct from indirect (F&A) costs of Federal awards (2 CFR 200.413(b)). Typical costs charged directly to a Federal award are the compensation of employees who work on that award, their related fringe benefit costs, and the costs of materials and other items of expense incurred for the Federal award. If directly related to a specific award, certain costs that otherwise would be treated as indirect (F&A) costs may also include extraordinary utility consumption, the cost of materials supplied from stock, or services rendered by service centers, or other institutional service operations.
Non-Federal subcontractor indirect (F&A) costs. Any non-Federal entity that has never received a negotiated indirect cost rate, except for those non-Federal entities described in the Uniform Guidance Appendix VII to Part 200—States and Local Government and Indian Tribe Indirect Cost Proposals, paragraph D.1.b, may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC), or negotiate with Rice University directly for a different rate (2 CFR 200.414(f)).
Examples of acceptable direct charging practices:
- A technician performs duties which benefit two projects equally. The technician’s salary is charged equally to each project during the period the work was performed.
- Reagents are needed to process samples for two different projects. Project A has four (4) times as many samples to be processed as Project B. Eighty percent (80%) of the cost of the reagents is charged to Project A and twenty percent (20%) of the cost is charged to Project B.
- Project A and Project B are closely related. Two substrates are needed for each project in approximately equal amounts and the cost of the substrates are approximately equal. One substrate is charged to Project A and one substrate to Project B.
Examples of unacceptable direct charging practices:
- Purchasing items only to spend out remaining funds
- Rotating charges among projects without establishing that the rotation schedule accurately reflects the relative benefit to each project during the specified period of time.
- Charging an expense exclusively to an award when the expense has supported more than one award.
- Assigning charges to a project on the basis of the remaining balance to resolve funding problems.
- Charging the budgeted amount in contrast to charging an amount based upon actual benefit or use.
- Assigning charges to an award before the cost is incurred.
- Assigning charges that are part of the normal administrative support for awards (e.g. proposal preparation, accounting, payroll, routine preparation of purchase orders and vouchers).
- Applying a "departmental tax" to projects for clerical, secretarial, and administrative costs.
- Charging costs incurred for multiple projects or functions to several sponsored projects when benefit of the cost to each sponsored project cannot be determined with relative ease and certainty.