FY2024 Under-recovery Changes: Key Information for Administrators

Updated November 9th, 2023 with link to information session summary.

As detailed in a recent letter, starting in fiscal year 2024, the Institute is committing increased central resources to support the under-recovery of facilities and administrative (F&A) costs on research grants each year. Going forward, these funds will be allocated to the DLCIs to allow most under-recovery decisions to be made at the DLCI level. 

To support procedural changes in the requesting and approving of funds, and the accounting of under-recovery on sponsored research, a new app is in development within the Research@MIT suite. The app will have a phased roll-out over the next few months, starting with an under-recovery request form available in fall 2023.

Information sessions were held to support administrators in navigating the transition to this new approach and managing under-recovery funds in the interim. Summary information, a session recording, and slides are now available.

Key Information for Administrators

Central Funding

  • Starting this fiscal year, the Institute is providing increased central funding for sponsored research under-recovery that will be “budgeted out,” in consultation with deans and VPR, to DLCIs administering research with under-recovery. The overall increased central funding will be recurring to better support multi-year under-recovery commitments.
  • At the present time, only under-recovery related to sponsored research is included in this pilot. Under-recovery for gifts and non-research sponsored activities will use the existing process in your DLCI.
  • The implementation team is planning regular assessments with key stakeholders and periodic reviews of under-recovery request data, to continue to refine this approach.

Under-recovery cost objects

  • The funding will be budgeted to existing under-recovery cost objects and, in some instances, new under-recovery cost objects created to support the new system in each school and the college. Under-recovery cost objects will also be assigned the under-recovery administrative flag "UR." 
  • The funding will be budgeted annually to under-recovery cost objects.

Existing commitments

  • Current under-recovery commitments for existing awards and pending proposals will roll into the new system. These expenses can be funded by the new DLCI under-recovery allocations or other DLCI resources.

Process Change

Fall 2023: Manual requests

In the early stage of this process change, under-recovery requests should be submitted and tracked manually. Funding decisions will follow the new process.

Coming soon: New functionality within Research@MIT

An app within the Research@MIT suite is in development to provide an easier workflow for requesting, reviewing, and approving under-recovery funding. Faculty will have a convenient portal for requesting under-recovery funds, while DLCI leaders will have an administrative dashboard to inform decisions. Features will be rolled out incrementally with a targeted completion date in spring 2024.

  • Late fall 2023: A request form will become available for a pilot group of PIs and research administrators to request under-recovery funds from DLCI heads.
  • Features in development: Full under-recovery request review and approval process, connections between the app and Kuali Coeus (KC), and a dashboard that summarizes proposal and budget information at both the DLCI and school/college level.

The project team is working with an expanded team of department administrators to test its functionality and ensure it is integrated appropriately into existing research systems.

Approval of funding requests

  • Most under-recovery requests will be reviewed and approved locally. DLCIs can use a combination of their central allocation and their own resources to fund under-recovery.
  • If a request is unusually large, or otherwise not allowed under the established criteria, the request can be escalated to the dean or VPR for review.

Reviewing proposals and managing an under-recovery budget

  • Every year, an allocation of central funds will be available to DLCIs that administer under-recovery. Projected allocations and commitments will enable DLCI heads to make funding decisions on specific PI under-recovery requests.
  • DLCI financial staff should track requests and decisions manually until the full app is rolled out in spring 2024. In the interim, DLCIs may use their own mechanism or the suggested under-recovery interim form to track under-recovery decisions.

Accounting for under-recovery

  • The new administrative process to account for under-recovery takes effect immediately.
  • Administrators will no longer clear under-recovery expenses in their under-recovery cost object to the funding source cost object through Journal Vouchers (JVs) every month, and should not attempt to clear under-recovery cost objects moving forward.
    • All posted under-recovery expenses from active sponsored research WBS with under-recovery will remain in DLCI under-recovery cost objects, which will now have a budget to cover posted under-recovery expenses. 
    • VPR will be reviewing and reversing all under-recovery expense-clearing JVs processed in FY2024. If administrators notice a JV that has not been cleared, reach out to Lynn Hinds (lhinds@mit.edu).
  • Budgets in under-recovery cost objects can be accrued for actual under-recovery expenses that occurred in the existing year that should have been posted in the fiscal year but did not because of late changes. Unexpended balances from the central allocations in under-recovery cost objects cannot be carried forward into future fiscal years.

We view this as an experiment and look forward to hearing your feedback as we implement these changes over the next few months. With any questions about requesting, managing, or accounting for under-recovery of F&A, or any suggestions regarding the development of the new app, please contact ra-help@mit.edu.