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Freedom of Information Act Office

IC Directors' Meeting Highlights

November 9, 2006

To: IC Directors
From: Director, Executive Secretariat
Subject: IC Directors' Meeting Highlights — October 5, 2006

Discussion Items

I. Indirect Costs

Dr. Norka Ruiz Bravo and Mr. Joe Ellis led a presentation and discussion of indirect costs (IDC), primarily focused on IDC affecting colleges and universities (as relates to OMB Circular A-21). While many items in IDC are capped or con trolled, facilities costs remain relatively unrestricted. A recent survey commissioned by National Science Foundation indicated that research facilities expansion at colleges and universities is occurring with an increase in the amount of research space, investment in new research space, and new construction.

To see how these trends have and will impact NIH, on-campus IDC rates were reviewed for the Top 50 Institutions from 2000-2008, using FY2004 ranking. Based on this data the following was observed:

  • The trend appears to indicate higher IDC rates in FY 07 and 08.
  • The number of institutions with higher rates appears to be growing when compared to institutions with lower or the same rates.
  • The percentage of institutions with increased rates is higher.

If this trend holds, it is anticipated that IDC will represent a greater share of total costs to these institutions over time, potentially affecting direct costs received by NIH researchers and their personnel. This and the current budget climate could erode NIH's ability to invest in the direct costs of research, with budget reductions and rising costs translating into loss of scientists from the US intellectual pool.

Action: A small working group (including OER and budget experts) will assemble to develop some options which address issues associated with increasing IDC and NIH budget in FY 07 and for the longer term. They will report to the Steering Committee in early November.

II. Continuing Resolution

Andy Baldus reported that the current CR will run through November 17th. A discussion ensued regarding the President’s budget and implications for competing and non-competing RPGs. This issue will need to be addressed in the future once the budget is proposed.

Penny Wung Burgoon, Ph.D.
cc: OD Senior Staff

This page last reviewed on June 6, 2011

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