Research Overhead Distribution

As per UBC Office of Research Services Overhead Policy:

“Overhead costs, also called indirect costs, are the costs of research absorbed by the institution, such as building operating costs and library services. A portion of these costs are recovered from research grants and distributed to central administrative units and faculties. The purpose of the overheads return is to enhance the research efforts of the faculty, and the funds are to be used only for research related needs.”

Distribution Procedures:

  1. Out of the total overheads collected by the University, LFS will receive 75%. The Faculty will then return 50% of the Faculty portion back to the Principal Investigator (PI).
  2. The return of overheads will be processed annually and will be received in March. The annual overheads return will include the 4th Quarter’s overhead from last fiscal year and 1st – 3rd Quarter’s overhead from current fiscal year.

Example: John Smith’s overheads return for FY15/16 will consist of 4th Quarter’s overheads from FY14/15 (Jan – Mar 2015) and 1st – 3rd Quarter’s overheads from FY15/16 (Apr – Dec 2015).

  1. A minimum amount of $1,000 will apply to the return to each PI. If the annual overheads received by the Faculty for the PI is less than $1,000, no return is given.

Example: The Faculty received $800 of overhead for John Smith. Since it’s less
than the minimum amount of $1,000, so the $400 (50% of $800) will not
be returned to John Smith.

  1. If any of the PI’s research grants is in a deficit position, the overhead returned to PI will be applied initially against the research deficit. The remaining balance can be used for other research related expenditures.
  2. The overheads distribution will be done annually and no carry forward will be allowed.

The above guideline will take effect as of October 1, 2014 and research overheads will be calculated and distributed after that date.

* Overhead can be waived by the Dean if the total grant value is less than $5,000.

Additional Resources:

 For more information about UBC research overheads please check ORS website: