SBIR Land Home Forums Institute & Agency Questions National Science Foundation (NSF) Reply To: National Science Foundation (NSF)


Hi Shoba! NSF states that “Indirect costs are those costs which are not readily identifiable with a particular cost objective (e.g., direct organizational activity or project), but nevertheless are necessary for the general operation of an organization. Examples of indirect costs include the salary and related expenses of individuals working in accounting, personnel, purchasing functions, rent, depreciation and utilities.” You may find this page helpful:

NSF has also published a list of unallowable costs as indirect costs in a Frequently Asked Questions page that can be viewed here:

The answer provided states that “Expenses unallowable as indirect costs include: (1) Independent Research and Development (IR&D); (2) patent and patent-related expenses; (3) sales and marketing expenses; (4) manufacturing and production expenses; (5) business development; (6) indirect salaries and wages in excess of 35% of total salaries and wages, less paid time off; (7) entertainment; (8) H1-B Visa Fees; (9) bad debts/fines/penalties; and (10) Federal taxes. In addition, while generally allowable under Federal awards, the Facilities Capital Cost of Money is unallowable under the SBIR/STTR program.”

Hope this helps!

  • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Nate@EGC.