F&A Distribution Information
As determined by the Division of Finance and Administration, a portion of F&A revenue received is provided to the associated college(s) at the end of each fiscal year. The methods for determining the distribution of the revenue are as follows:
- Base distribution model: 25% of the revenue generated by index is provided to the college based on the associated department on the index.
- Phase 1 (Institute Affiliation) model: Same as above, but if the proposal indicates affiliation with an institute or use of its resources then an additional 25% of the revenue generated is provided to the associated institute(s).
- Phase 2 (Multi-College or unit): For use only when PI and one or more co-PIs are from different colleges or units. Unit here is defined as the academic college equivalent, such as WWAMI, divisions of the Provost’s or President’s office, etc. that do not role to an academic college. Tier 3 Research Institutes are also not considered a unit under this definition. This method specifies how the 25% college or unit revenue is split between the colleges/units and overrides any index-based splits. Institute affiliation (if any) revenue does not change.
Phase I of the F&A distribution updates went into effect July 1, 2022, and is focused on F&A distribution for proposals and projects affiliated with one or more ORED-administered Level 3 Research Institutes.
Dear U of I Principal Investigators,
I’m writing to you today to let you know of a change in F&A distribution for research that is affiliated with one or more of the ORED-administered Level 3 Research Institutes.
Effective July 1st, new awards that are affiliated with an institute will have F&A distributed 50% Central – 25% College(s) of PI(s) – 25% Institute. This compares with the “normal” F&A distribution or proposals that are not affiliated with an institute, which remains unchanged at 75% Central – 25% College(s) of PI(s). This new distribution has these major impacts:
- Colleges will receive the same F&A distribution whether a proposal is affiliated with an institute or not – this removes a prior concern with institute research reducing funding to colleges. All deans are supportive of PIs participating in institute research and affiliating proposals with institutes, where appropriate (criteria described below)
- All institutes have the same F&A distribution, resulting in greater simplicity
- The F&A distribution applies to all F&A received, regardless of source (industry, federal, etc)
- F&A supplied to the institutes will be used to support institute missions, including critical university research infrastructure, such as research computing.
Concurrently with this change, we are now requiring that all proposals that will use the personnel, facilities, or other resources of any institutes affiliate with the institutes involved. This affiliation will trigger the 50-25-25 F&A split, returning more F&A to the university research mission. The affiliation can be created in two ways upon VERAS submission:
- In VERAS Part 3, the proposal can be submitted with the institute as the submitting organization. This will place financial responsibility of administering the grant with the institute and is currently the mechanism for “submitting through an institute”. For PIs who currently affiliate with an institute through this mechanism, you will likely continue to do this and not see a change in your normal submission process.
- In VERAS “Other” Section, a new question will be added with check-boxes to indicate if the research will use any institute facilities, personnel, or resources. Checking this box will trigger the correct F&A split, but financial responsibility for administering the grant will not change (that is, it can remain with the College/Center/Department). For PIs who currently do not submit through institutes, but who use institute facilities or services, this is the mechanism you will use to create an institute affiliation and trigger the correct F&A distribution.
PIs should continue to have grants administered by their normal unit – PIs currently submitting through Institutes may continue and PIs currently submitting through colleges should continue to do that. To avoid overwhelming institute grant administrators, PIs should get approval of institute directors before naming an institute as the primary submitting organization in Part 3.
I encourage any PIs with questions about this, including whether they should affiliate with one or more institutes to first reach out to the institute director involved for a discussions. The institutes that this change covers includes*:
- Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies (IBEST) – Barrie Robison, Director
- Institute for Modeling Collaboration and Innovation (IMCI) – Holly Wichman, Director
- Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI) – Brian Small, Director
- Idaho Geological Survey (IGS) – Claudio Berti, Director
- Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) – John Russell, Associate Director
- Idaho Water Resources Research Institute (IWRRI) – Brad Ritts, Interim Director
*Note Institute for Health and the Human Ecosystem (IHHE) - Shirley Luckhart, Director, and Institute for Innovative Climate Solutions (ICS) - Tara Hudiburg, Director, have been added since this memo release
Some examples of the research resources related to the facilities above include: the Computational Resources Core, the Genomics Resources Core, the Modeling Core, the Northwest Knowledge Network, Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station, Moscow Aquatic Animal Research Facility.
I am also happy to answer questions and any of us would be delighted to join any faculty meeting to talk about institutes and potential collaborations. Additionally a few FAQs are appended below.
Thank you all for your great work in support of the university’s research enterprise and our efforts to better develop university research facilities. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.
- Brad Ritts
Phase 1 FAQs
Yes, multiple institutes can be selected in the “Other” section of the VERAS submission. When multiple institutes are selected, institute directors will agree on the F&A split between institutes.
The 25% “college” distribution is the same for PIs whether it is Institute-affiliated (50-25-25 split) or not (75-25 split). That is, the distribution to the PIs normal administrative unit is unchanged, whether a proposal is submitted in affiliation with an institute or not. For example, IGS employees, who are not appointed in colleges, continue to have the 25% “college” distribution made directly to their appointment unit, IGS. Similarly, a CAES proposal from an Idaho Falls Center PI typically will have the “college” distribution made to the Idaho Falls Center (50 Central – 25 IF Center – 25 CAES) In contrast, a Moscow-based PI affiliated with CAES will typically have the college distribution made to one of the academic colleges. Currently this “normal” distribution follows grant account location. Future changes in F&A distribution over the future fiscal years may change how this is tracked.
Institutional F&A distribution is only made to the college level. Onward distributions of F&A are controlled by colleges, centers, and institutes. These distributions vary across the colleges and are not controlled by central or ORED procedures. Consult your chair, dean, or institute director for how F&A distribution is handled in your unit.
Yes, your college will get the same F&A distribution, whether your grant is affiliated with an institute or not. Further, colleges should claim full “credit” in whatever way is necessary for the work of their faculty and all of the institutes will support each college in developing a full picture of contributions by its faculty. The institutes exist to provide facilities, services, and communities that enable greater success of college faculty.
No, this will impact awards beginning on 1 July, 2021.
Phase 2 of the F&A distribution updates, effective Oct. 28, 2022 and clarified in June 2023, is focused on proposals and projects affiliated with more than one college (or unit), referred to here as ‘multi-college projects.’
TO: Leadership, Faculty, Staff and Administrators
FROM: Christopher Nomura, Vice President for Research and Economic Development
DATE: June 14, 2023
SUBJECT: Clarification on F&A Distribution for Multi-college sponsored projects
Dear Leadership, Faculty, Staff and Administrators,
I would like to clarify the September 12, 2022, memo regarding multi-college sponsored project F&A distribution. Multi-college proposals due or submitted on or after July 1, 2023, will not split F&A based on index/fund setup and expenditures. Instead, multi-college proposals will distribute F&A as a percentage of the total proposed funding.
This allows for a clear and explicit F&A split in multi-college proposals and is what was agreed upon by college deans and VPRED Nomura in 2021 as part of broader interdisciplinary project F&A changes. The existing multi-college F&A distribution question in the VERAS proposal application form will be modified to address F&A revenue splits for interdisciplinary projects affiliated with more than one college or unit. Please see the updated FAQs below for more information.
In particular, please note the changes in effect when each PI has their own fund and index because this may affect how those are dealt with by your unit going forward.
If you have concerns or other feedback for ORED please contact Brad Ritts. If you have any questions about any of the FAQs please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phase 2 FAQs
The process was designed to simplify, automate where possible and communicate to stakeholders when PIs and co-PIs from different colleges/units have agreed upon a split of any F&A revenue generated by a sponsored project. Unit here is defined as the equivalent of a department that rolls up to a division outside of an academic college and is also not a Tier 3 research institute.
At the proposal stage the PIs determine the agreed-upon split and indicate the split in the proposal application form as “XX% college 1; XX% college 2, etc.” Splits must be in 10% increments.
The post award team will set up a Banner code for F&A distribution that reflects the approved split based on the proposal application detail. That code will be reflected on the Award Setup Detail report in Argos with a descriptive title.
For those projects needing a split that were submitted, but not awarded, prior to the question being available the split will need to be designated when the PI returns their routing memo (award notice). OSP will endeavor to include a question on the split in that memo as a reminder.
As expenses post to the account and generate revenue the Banner system calculates the F&A allocation based on the split for all indexes. This will mean that if you have multiple indexes, they will calculate using the same formula, no matter how much funding has been assigned. Example: PI 1 gets $50,000; PI 2 gets $50,000 as requested and budgeted for their separate indexes. If the agreed-upon split has been designated in Banner as 60/40, then the F&A revenue generated by either will be split 60/40. Use of separate indexes will not override or modify the F&A split agreed to in the proposal and coded into the accounting setup at the award stage.
No. It is important that any decisions about splits be made before the approvals process begins in order to not delay proposal submission. OSP will not arbitrate any disputes on the split and colleges/units are responsible for designing and implementing any internal approvals process prior to the signature process moving forward.
Yes. OSP has created an “Application Find Option” in VERAS under “Find a Proposal” called “F&A revenue split.” When this option is used, and any other filters added the search will only bring back proposals where the answer to the question of whether the funds are to be split is listed as “yes.” Results are limited to those departments or colleges associated with the person doing the search. Note also that this will only reflect the F&A revenue splits that were included in the proposal application — for those projects where the split is approved via the PI award notice, use the Argos report Award Setup Detail to see grant codes using the multi-college/unit F&A revenue split.
No. The split will stay the same throughout the life of the project, including for any supplemental or continuation funding. Any adjustments will be made between the colleges after F&A is distributed.
OSP has created an “Award Detail Report” that is sent out to the PI and grant administrators at setup and that can be run directly from Argos if needed. That report will include a descriptive title of the code being used for the split, such as 40% Ag, 60% Engr.