Direct Cost Categories

Direct vs. Indirect Costs

Direct vs. Indirect Costs  

Direct Costs

Direct costs are defined as those costs that can be "Identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, instruction, other sponsored activity, or other institutional activities" (OMB Circular A-21.D.1)

Examples include salaries, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, services, consulting fees, expendable materials and supplies, publication fees, communication costs, participant support costs, subawards, and tuition.

Indirect Costs

(AKA institutional costs, overhead costs, facilities and administration costs)

Indirect costs are defined as "general institutional costs (OMB Circular A-21.F.1) incurred for common and joint objectives – i.e.   O & M, depreciation, capital improvements, general admin, sponsored programs admin, department administration, and library"

Indirect costs are not easily identified to a specific project or activity. They are calculated in a budget as a percentage of direct costs.

Click a title below for more information....


Equipment Acquisition


Equipment Fabrication

Materials and Supplies

Salary and Benefits

Services and Consultants


Tuition and Other Direct Costs