Guidance on Recovery of Ancillary Costs on Non-Federal Awards

This guidance provides information to the schools and centers to develop internal guidelines for allocating such ancillary costs to non-federal awards.

Published: April 29, 2019

Tufts University policy  Facilities and Administration (F&A) Costs on Sponsored Awards: Recovery & Distribution states:

If the sponsor or the funding announcement requires the use of the F&A rate that is less than the applicable Tufts rate, an effort should be made to recover the cost of the proposed activity via direct charging of all allocable ancillary costs of the project, to the extent permitted by the sponsor.

The following provides information to the schools and centers to develop internal guidelines for allocating such ancillary costs to non-federal awards. Schools/centers may choose not to direct-charge ancillary costs, select only some of ancillary costs for allocating to sponsored awards but not the others, and/or develop criteria and thresholds for implementation.

Ancillary costs recovered on sponsored awards are returned to the school/center where the sponsored award resides and are used at the school/center’s discretion. Tufts assesses F&A costs on total direct costs on non-federal awards (see here). All ancillary costs on non-federal awards are subject to F&A charges.


Each school/center that elects to allocate ancillary costs to non-federal sponsored awards must file with the OVPR their approach to ensure consistency before budgeting ancillary costs in the proposals. Those schools where charging of ancillary costs to sponsored awards is already in place must document with OVPR their approach within 90 days from the date of publication of these guidelines.

Active awards and pending proposals that do not have ancillary costs budgeted will be “grandfathered in” and no ancillary costs will be charged on those awards unless the Principal Investigator with the assistance of their Local Research Administrator concludes that the budget can support such changes and that the charges do not require sponsor approval. Ancillary costs should be budgeted on continuation years of existing active awards when possible, allowable, and applicable.

Ancillary Costs Available for Direct Charging

Cost Benefit to Award Account Code
Departmental/Research Admin. Support Research administration/program coordination 5004 or other relevant salary code, plus benefits
Office Supplies Items used in direct support of the project 54XX
Computers & Related Equip. Analyze and store data 5405 (capital) or 5425 (non-capital)
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Oversight for research involving human subjects 6303
IACUC/IBC/ISCC, IRLSC Oversight for research involving animals, biohazardous materials, chemical and radiation/laser safety 6306
Library E.g. academic journals 6302
Leases Leased space to conduct project 6053
Space Costs Tufts space to conduct project 6301
IT Support Desktop support 6304
Fund Management Central financial, and compliance support 6305

Processing of Ancillary Costs

Ancillary costs are tracked via child/scope accounts in RAS and PeopleSoft to ensure that these costs are easily identifiable for tracking, charging, reporting, and the appropriate treatment during the university F&A rate preparation. Ancillary child accounts must be created at the proposal stage.

Expenses for departmental staff, program/project manager or coordinator, and Local Research Administrator effort, as well as office supplies, computers and related equipment are posted to award accounts at the time they are incurred.

Lease charges are based on actual costs charged for space leased by Tufts University, prorated for the square feet used by the project. If the space is shared between the sponsored project and other activities, the charge must be prorated to reflect percent of use by the project. These charges are processed by the school/center where the award resides.

Space charges for space owned by Tufts University are based on the cost per square foot per year for the project location (Health Sciences or Medford campus) and the nature of sponsored activity (research or other). It must be prorated for the share of the use for the project taking into consideration all other uses of the space. To confirm square footage of Tufts space please contact the Executive Associate Dean or equivalent at your school/center.

Charges that are assigned to schools/centers via allocations (such as Library, the IRB, IACUC/IBC, Space Costs, IT Support, and Fund Management) are billed to the award quarterly or annually, as appropriate. If an award is terminated before the end of the budget year for which charges have already been posted, a prorated amount will be refunded to the award account before the closeout. To enable timely billing for these costs, cost transfers for costs posted via allocations must be submitted to Post-Award in the fiscal year when they were incurred.


  • Health Sciences IRB: $962 per protocol; $481 per protocol amendment
  • Social, Behavioral & Educational Research IRB: $389 per protocol; $195 per protocol amendment
  • IACUC/IBC: $800 per protocol; $400 per protocol amendment
  • Grant Congruency Fee: $800
  • Chemical Registration Fee: $400
  • Library: 2.6% of Total Direct Cost (TDC) for Health Sciences campus (Boston & Grafton), 2.77% of TDC for Medford campus
  • Tufts Space cost per square foot per year (assuming 100% use on the project, must be pro-rated as applicable). Research: $84.40 Health Sciences campus, $47.43 Medford campus. Other sponsored activity: $49.15 Health Sciences campus, $37.63 Medford campus.
  • IT Support: $5,130 per named FTE per award budget year. Must be prorated depending on effort on the project. Charges are not allowed for TBN positions that are not yet filled.
  • Fund Management: $1,305 per award per year. The charge for these costs can be pro-rated and split between the scope accounts.

Related Policy

Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs on Sponsored Awards: Recovery and Distribution