UMBC reserves the right to negotiate an increased return of the indirect funds to a Center or Institute that demonstrates the capacity to attract significant external resources to campus and that provides benefit to the university’s research and teaching mission, but which does not have access to support for the basic administrative infrastructure. Such indirect funds may be used for the following kinds of operation: telephone, copying, furnishings, office supplies, grants management, secretarial support, administration, space, and the like. The array of funding sources available for a given Center and Institute is customarily specialized and has unique mandates and requirements. This policy is targeted for those Centers and Institutes whose funding sources prohibit support for basic administrative operations and provide these through indirect recoveries at the full-negotiated rate. These are primarily self-support units that receive little direct support from UMBC.
Centers and Institutes housed within academic departments are generally not eligible for an increased return on their indirect funds, as they receive support (in principle) from the host department through state funds and indirect return to the academic department. Nevertheless, in a unique situation where a departmental Center or Institute has grown so large or has demonstrated its potential to outstrip departmental support, some indirect rate return subsidy may be considered. Finally, an increased return on indirect funds to a Center or Institute is a last resort option when establishing a new Center or Institute and only comes about when few other resources are available to expeditiously develop or expand a priority research, service, or creative field or area. Once it is firmly established that essential support is unavailable to develop the area, further discussion is needed by the UMBC administration to determine if the area of cultivation is a major academic priority of the institution holding sufficient promise of significant scholarly/research accomplishments, service to society, creative achievement, and other benefits to the academy to merit diverting indirect funds to the proposed activity and away from some other campus need.
Administrative Guidelines approved by Provost and Deans, July 2002.