The House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee recently held a hearing to discuss the role of facilities and administrative (F&A) reimbursements in supporting research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
President Donald Trump’s proposed FY18 budget suggested placing a 10 percent cap on all F&A cost reimbursements for NIH grants. Trump’s initial proposal was met with a mixed response as academic researchers and higher education associations, including NACUBO, argued that F&A reimbursements are vitally important to the life-saving research being conducted at colleges and universities across the country.
Labor-HHS Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) has expressed similar support for maintaining the existing NIH F&A reimbursement calculations and both the House and the Senate included protections for F&A reimbursements in draft appropriations bills.
Some members of Congress remain critical of F&A reimbursements. At the hearing, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) said “universities love NIH grants because they come with large indirect costs associated with them, [and] allow them to build big buildings.” Cole, however, continued to offer support for F&A reimbursements, stating that “proposed F&A rate cut[s] would drastically reduce the amount and quality of research conducted in the U.S.”
As this debate continues throughout the FY18 budget development process, NACUBO will continue to advocate for the importance of F&A reimbursements to college and university research efforts. Additional F&A resources are available on the NACUBO website.