Recovery of Fringe Benefits and Indirect Costs in Grants Policy

Recovery of Fringe Benefits and Indirect Costs in Grants Policy


Office of Sponsored Programs


Director, Office of Sponsored Programs


Research and Sponsored Programs



Effective Date:


Implementation History:



Fringe benefits recovery, indirect costs recovery, grants.

Background Information:

Fringe benefits are paid to everyone employed by Empire State University regardless of whether they are paid by New York State or by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York. These benefits include health insurance, pension contributions, and life insurance. The fringe benefit rate is negotiated annually.

Indirect costs are those costs which cannot be easily charged to a project as direct costs. They include utilities, technology infrastructure and maintenance, and grants administrative costs. Also included for federal grants is the administrative charge to the Research Foundation. These costs may also be called overhead or facilities and administrative costs (F&A).


This policy ensures that all university grant applicants request in their proposal budgets the full amount of fringe benefits and indirect costs allowable by a grant sponsor.


See Background Information



Every grant proposal must include full recovery of fringe benefits and indirect (overhead or Facilities and Administration) costs. Exceptions to this policy will be rare and will occur under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the sponsor has a published statement that they do not fund fringe benefits or indirect costs; or
  2. Where the exception has been approved by both the Office of Sponsored Programs and a representative of the Office of Administration. Such exceptions may be for elimination of recovery or for use of a lower rate.

Any requests for an exception to this policy should come from the Project Director and must include documentation supporting the request.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations


Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

When a request for reduction or elimination of either the fringe benefits or indirect costs are desired for reasons other than what is allowed under this policy, the project director/principal investigator must submit the a written request to the Office of Sponsored Programs. This request must include the rationale for the reduction or elimination. The request will be forwarded to the Vice President of Administration for approval.