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Federal spending for scientific research at U.S. academic institutions equals approximately $15 billion each year. According to the analysis in this report, about three-quarters of this amount supports the direct costs of conducting research. The other one-quarter covers facilities and administrative (F&A) costs. The authors estimate that universities pay between $0.7 and $1.5 billion in F&A costs that would otherwise be eligible for federal reimbursement. This report provides up-to-date quantitative and qualitative data on F&A costs to inform that policy debate.

The research described in this report was conducted for the Office of Science and Technology Policy and performed under the auspices of RAND’s Science and Technology unit.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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