Last month, NIH announced publication of the revised NIH Grants Policy Statement, applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2017. As seen in Summary of Significant Changes to the NIH GPS for October 2017 Version, most of the changes implement policy provisions that we’ve covered in depth in previous articles.
A very significant change NIAID is highlighting—because our grant portfolio has a substantial foreign contribution when compared to other NIH institutes—is how facilities and administrative costs (also known as F&A costs or indirect costs) are now calculated for grants to foreign organizations and domestic grants with foreign components.
NIH and its institutes will fund F&A costs for grants to foreign organizations and foreign or international consortium participants of domestic grants at a fixed rate of 8 percent of modified total direct costs, exclusive of tuition and related fees, direct expenditures for equipment, and subawards in excess of $25,000.
In the past, foreign awardee and foreign subawardee F&A costs were provided at a rate of 8 percent of modified direct costs, less only equipment. Therefore, based on the cost categories of individual budgets, this change could reduce the amount of F&A costs a foreign awardee or foreign subawardee receives when compared to very similar budgets in previous years.