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The University administers Research Service Centers (RSC/Core Facilities) according to Federal costing standards, as well as State and University policies. RSCs recover operating costs by applying a break-even costing concept to develop rates charged to RSC customers. Break-even costing is intended to result in zero loss over the long term as any excess deficits are eliminated by adjusting future rates. Federal regulations allow for increases in rates to align with increases in actual costs incurred by RSCs.

Anticipating and Budgeting for Rate Increases

Across the University, RSCs are widely utilized by sponsored programs. Due to increasing RSC costs and rates, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) recommends anticipating increases in the costs of services provided by RSCs and the impact of those increased costs on sponsored program budgets. RSC expenses charged to sponsored programs are calculated based on the RSC’s approved rate structure, not on amounts awarded for individual grants, contracts, or awards.

For many RSCs across campus, increasing costs for both salary and non-salary expenses have necessitated or will likely necessitate increased rates. As RSCs review their rates during this time, increased costs of operations may require RSCs to adjust rates to avoid sustaining significant deficits.

Rate Review Resources for RSCs

Rates are reviewed by OSP and adjusted a minimum of every two years. An RSC can work with OSP to review and adjust rates more frequently in order to account for changing costs, usage, and other factors that may impact the RSC’s ability to operate at break-even. For more information see OSP Operating Standard 900.1.

For questions about RSCs and rate reviews, please contact either or For other broad questions, contact

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