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Sharing of F&A Costs


Effective: February 1, 2019

Owner: Office of Sponsored Programs

Latest Revision:

Scope | Definitions | Procedure Steps


University leadership is encouraging the submission of collaborative proposals that include personnel from multiple schools and other academic units as part of its overall objective to grow the research enterprise. With the exception of an agreement between the Schools of Medicine and Engineering and Applied Sciences, there are no standardized methodologies for the sharing of F&A among multiple academic units. Such standardization is needed to ensure each unit’s project costs are recovered in sponsored activities and to help ensure that key decisions about F&A are made prior to proposal submission.


Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator, Project Director.

The Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director (hereafter “PI/Co-PI/PD”) role is defined as the individual(s) judged by the applicant organization to have the appropriate level of authority and responsibility to direct the project or program supported by the sponsored award. Typically, replacement of these individuals requires approval from the sponsor. These roles are always considered Senior/Key Personnel.


The Co-Investigator role is defined as individual(s) with a significant, essential role in the scientific conduct of a research project. This could include the oversight of personnel, resources and budget. This role typically is considered Senior/Key Personnel.

Senior/Key Personnel.

Senior/key personnel are defined as individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive measurable way.


Sharing Among Principal Investigators/Project Directors

Prior to proposal submission, individual budgets will be developed internally for each project component led by a PI/Co-PI/PD. Individual budgets will also be developed for Co-Investigators meeting the criteria below. Those individual budgets should be uploaded in Other Documents in the electronic Proposal Routing Form (ePRF). All persons designated as PI/Co-PI/PD must be designated as Key Personnel and approve the proposal in Research UVA. Approval means the programmatic and budgetary elements of the proposal have been reviewed by the individual and are acceptable.

If budget adjustments are required by the sponsor prior to award, those adjustments shall be discussed among all PIs/Co-PIs/PDs for appropriate allocation of costs. All PIs/Co-PIs/PDs must document their written approval.

Subject to the written approval of the PIs/Co-PIs/PDs, if the final awarded budget includes an across-the-board reduction of 10% or less, this reduction will be applied proportionately to all individual budgets. If the reduction is greater than 10%, the PIs/Co-PIs/PDs will reach documented agreement on how to reduce the budget.

At the time of award, sub-Projects will be established under the Award account for each PI/Co-PI/PD. F&A will accrue to the sub-Projects in accordance with the direct costs allocated to each. For each sub-Project OSP must receive a budget. Each sub-Project Owning Org will be assigned based on the affiliation of the sub-Project PI/Co-PI/PD.

For situations involving faculty with joint appointments, OSP will collaborate with leadership in the applicable units to ensure equitable distribution of F&A.

Sharing with Co-Investigators

Sub-Projects will be established consistent with this procedure for Co-Investigators when the following criteria are met:

  • Co-Investigator leads a substantial portion of the project, such as a specific aim, and
  • Co-Investigator effort is at least 5% per budget period, and
  • Co-Investigator-assigned portion of the budget is at least $10,000 (direct costs, excluding cost share)

Dispute Resolution

Disputes arising under this procedure that cannot be resolved by faculty and their administrators will be resolved through discussions with the applicable unit senior associate deans for research (or equivalent) and the Vice President for Research (or designee).

Exceptions to this Procedure

Exceptions to this Procedure must be approved by the Office of the Vice President for Research.