The University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research and Sponsored Programs
June 21, 2022
Steve Ackerman, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and Todd Shechter, Chief Technology Officer
Pilot Program - Reduced F&A Charges for Cloud Computing Expenses on Research Grants
Researchers at UW–Madison use cloud computing for many different applications in schools and colleges across campus. Cloud computing may offer better environments for certain purposes, for instance, HIPAA-involved work, research involving restricted data, or collaborative work between multiple institutions or organizations.
UW–Madison maintains contracts with the following cloud service vendors: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure (Azure), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). To encourage the use of such services when appropriate, the university is conducting a pilot program to provide a partial waiver of the F&A rate on cloud computing costs through these vendors on sponsored programs.
The pilot will begin on July 1, 2022, last for two years, and will include:
- Reducing the 55.5% F&A rate on cloud computing costs to 26%; in effect, waiving the “facilities” portion and charging the “administrative” portion, which is the equivalent of the off-campus rate.
- Applying the waiver to new proposals and awards as of July 1. This may include new increments of funding received on or after July 1.
- Careful tracking of cloud computing expenses, requiring all usage to go through UW-operated accounts.
- Researchers and administrators must request a UW–Madison Cloud Account through the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) to receive the reduced F&A rate. If costs are not associated with a UW–Madison Cloud Account through DoIT, i.e., paid for with a purchasing card, those costs will be charged full F&A, not the reduced rate.
- RSP will set up a separate project with a 26% F&A rate for cloud computing expenses through these vendors. Expenses must be charged to the designated account.
- Providing quarterly reports of cloud usage to the VCRGE and VCFA, which will include calculated lost F&A.
At the end of the two-year pilot, data will be reviewed, and a determination will be made as to how to proceed going forward.
More information about the pilot is available at:
Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, and College/School Research Administrators