Facilities and administrative costs distribution policy


The total cost of sponsored research and scholarly activities includes a combination of both direct costs and facilities and administrative (F&A) costs. Both types of expenditures are key to an institution’s ability to conduct cutting-edge research and scholarly endeavors. F&A costs include the construction and maintenance costs of laboratories, high-tech facilities, studios and performance space; energy and utility expenses; project-specific procurement and administrative support; and safety, security, and other regulatory mandated expenses. These costs are real and K-State’s research and scholarly pursuits would not be possible without them. Additional information about F&A may be found by reviewing the F&A Cost Policy Statement and by reviewing the Guide to Facilities and Administrative Cost brochure.

Historically, F&A receipts have been shared across the K-State academy using a distribution schema that was developed circa 1965 with ad hoc amendments over the years. This antiquated distribution schedule has remained unchecked and unreviewed throughout the years of exponential growth in K-State’s research and scholarly activities and the requisite support required to sustain this transformation.

In March 2021 the Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs Distribution Task Force, comprised of a subgroup of the Budget Model Review Panel, along with additional members from the university community, released their final report. The release of this report, which followed a campus-wide “F&A Cost Recovery Survey” conducted in 2020, was preceded by a series of presentations to the Faculty Senate and to each of the colleges in 2020-2021.

This policy statement formalizes the adoption of the first option suggested by the Task Force that will provide consistency, clarity, simplicity and equity to the F&A distribution process.


With the goal of facilitating consistency, clarity, simplicity, and equity, this policy applies to the distribution of F&A for all types of sponsored project activities for all Manhattan campus academic unit(s) generating an award. Existing campus-specific F&A/SRO arrangements will continue to apply for the Salina and Olathe campuses with periodic review.


Facilities & Administrative Costs (F&A) and Indirect Costs (IDC) are synonymous terms used to describe those costs incurred for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one cost objective, and not readily assignable to the cost objective specifically benefitted, without effort disproportionate to the results achieved. These are quantifiable expenses incurred by an entity as a part of the overall cost of performance of its activities, regardless of the funding source and include, by example, costs for construction and maintenance costs of laboratories, high-tech facilities, studios and performance space; energy and utility expenses; project specific procurement and administrative support; and safety, security, and other regulatory mandated expenses, as well as those unallowable project costs required, but not recoverable through direct charging, such as general office supplies, email, standard computing resources, telephone and fax line charges, and the like.

Sponsored Research Overhead (SRO) refers to the funds distributed by K-State that are accumulated or earned through the project sponsor’s reimbursement of K-State’s F&A or IDC project expenditures.

Policy Summary

Beginning July1, 2022, the distribution of SRO generated from Manhattan campus-based sponsored research and scholarly activity projects will be subject to the following distribution schedule:

SRO returned to central administration


SRO returned to the Academic Unit(s) generating the award 1,2


SRO returned to the OVPR


SRO returned to the Libraries


Total: 100% of realized SRO on a project

1Distribution to the college(s), department(s), and other administrative units of the pertinent investigators will follow the credit distribution entered in the Cayuse SP system for the project.

2The above distributions apply to Manhattan campus units only. Campus-specific SRO arrangements will continue to apply for Salina and Olathe and will be periodically reviewed.

Note that existing projects will have the new distributions applied as of July 1, 2022. Further, the new distributions will no longer assign all of the College share to the college of the lead PI. Distribution among participating colleges and units will follow the allocation of credit indicated in the Cayuse record.

This distribution policy applies to all sponsored project types, including Research, Instruction, Branch Station and Other Sponsored Activity.

Each college and administrative unit administering sponsored projects will be required to contact Sponsored Programs Accounting (SPA) to indicate how the SRO returned to their unit will be allocated amongst their respective subunits within 4-6 weeks of the release date of this policy statement.

Current distribution schedules in effect will expire June 30, 2022, with the exception of those in place for the Salina and Olathe campuses.


Questions regarding this new policy may be directed to research@k-state.edu and/or spaaccts@k-state.edu.