CBAS Guidance on Inclusion of Centers as Recovered F&A Recipients

Rationale for Inclusion of Centers as Recovered F&A Recipients
MTSU receives recovered Facilities and Administration (F&A) funds, also called indirects, from externally funded grants.  These funds are distributed to a number of university entities (e.g., General Fund, ORSP, College, Center, Department, and PI).  Each of these entities utilizes these funds to provide support for research infrastructure and grant administration which is why they receive F&A distributions.  Many of these entities automatically receive F&A distributions because of their role in supporting all university research (General Fund, Faculty Research, and ORSP) or because the grant-receiving PI is housed within an entity (College and Department) that supports research development and implementation.  Some researchers also have affiliation with one or more Centers on campus.  Whether to include university Centers as recipients of F&A distributions is not always clear.  This document is meant to provide guidance to PIs within CBAS on when and how to include a Center as a recipient of F&A distributions.

Tables specifying how recovered F&A funds are distributed in different ways depending on center involvement are shown below.

                         CENTER-INVOLVED DISTRIBUTION
Entity Distribution                  Entity Distribution
General Fund 10%   General Fund 10%
Faculty Research 20%   Faculty Research 15%
ORSP 40%   ORSP 30%
College 10%   College 10%
Department 10%   Center 15%
PI 10%   Department 10%
      PI 10%


Criteria for Inclusion of Centers as Recovered F&A Recipients
Centers within CBAS provide support to PIs in various forms that can include but are not limited to: supplemental research funding, research infrastructure, instrumentation, undergraduate or graduate student researchers, workload release, proposal development assistance, grants administration, or execution of grant objectives.  The PI for a grant proposal is responsible for deciding whether the involvement of a Center merits F&A distribution to that Center. In the event that multiple centers are involved in supporting a grant proposal and/or award, the PI is responsible for deciding the further division of the center distribution (15% of F&A) between those Centers (see TABLE 1 for a list of CBAS Centers).  Below are recommended criteria for PI’s to consider when determining whether a Center’s involvement merits a distribution of recovered F&A funds. Note that only one of these criteria needs be met to merit Center involvement in a grant proposal.

  1. The PI is a member of the center, as evidenced by formal center membership, receiving release time funded by the center, receiving tangible research support from the center, or mentoring graduate students within a program associated center (e., CDS, MOBI, or MSE).
  2. A Co-PI is a member of the center and has committed significant effort to the project as determined by the PI.
  3. The Center tangibly and meaningfully assisted in the development, drafting, and editing of a grant proposal. Without the assistance of the center, the PI could not have completed the same proposal within the same timeframe or at all.
  4. The Center has committed to assisting the PI in the post-award execution of the grant through, for example, administrative work, assisting in personnel hiring, assisting in experimental design, or assisting with data collection or analysis. The Center may or may not be receiving Direct Funds from the grant proposal as well.

Implementation of Inclusion of Centers as Recovered F&A Recipients
Recovered F&A distributions for funded grants are finalized and officially designated within the Cayuse Award Form (CAF). However, the inclusion of appropriate distribution entities is entered by the PI when completing the ORSP Proposal Request Form through Cayuse. 

Within this form in Cayuse, under the “Proposal Form” tab on the “Budget” page is a section titled “F&A Distributions”.  Within this section, the PI should indicate any and all Departments, Colleges, and Centers that should receive an indirect distribution in the event that the grant proposal is funded. See below for detailed instructions on how to do this.

For proposals that do not involve multiple PIs, indicate a 100% distribution to the PI and list the PI’s name, Department, and College.
Cayuse guidance on entering indirect information.

For proposals involving a Center, add the appropriate Center in the Dept/Center box along with the Department.
Cayuse guidance on entering indirect information.

If multiple Centers are affiliated with the proposal, list all Centers and provide the desired Center indirect distribution in the box provided.
Cayuse guidance on entering indirect information.

For multi-PI proposals, click the “Add Co-PI” box and add information (Department, College, Centers) for the Co-PI. Adjust the “% to be distributed” to reflect the amount of effort each PI is contributing to the project.
Cayuse guidance on entering indirect information.


Below is a list of Cayuse designations for Centers within CBAS.

Cayuse Designation
Computational and Data Science Ph.D.
PhD Computational Science
MIMIC Research
Molecular Biosciences Ph.D.
PhD Molecular Biosciences
Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D.
PhD Mathematics Science Education
Tennessee Stem Education Center
Tennessee Stem Education Center
Women in STEM Center
Women in STEM Center
Center for Environmental Education
Center for Environmental Education


Any PI with questions about whether to include a Center as the recipient of an F&A distribution, how to best divide a distribution across multiple Centers, or how to accurately complete the Pre-Proposal Form should consult with the CBAS Associate Dean for Research and/or directors of involved Centers.