Indirect Cost Policies Need Review, U.S. Study Finds

September 9, 2010

The federal government's policies for reimbursing research universities for the indirect costs of the studies they conduct are inconsistent and outdated, and a broad review is warranted, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report released Wednesday. The GAO report found great variation in how the Defense Department and other federal agencies that sponsor academic research set the rates at which they reimburse institutions, and says that the nearly 20-year-old cap on the amount that institutions can be reimbursed for the administration portion of their indirect costs limits reimbursements for many institutions.

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