Trans-NIH Mouse Initiative
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Changes in Costing Procedures for Animal Research Facilities

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of Health and Human Services management and budget staff-in consultation with the National Institutes of Health (NIH)--have taken a significant step toward equity in charging procedures for laboratory and animal based research. Heretofore the fees for animal services charged to federal grants and contracts were to consist of both direct costs and the allocable share of indirect costs (also know as Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs) of the service. The new policy recognizes that animal research has become more complex and animal facilities are, in reality, extensions of scientists' research space. The new methodology will allow a certain portion of the facility (physical plant) costs of animal research facilities to be included in the institution's F&A rates. To be included are the facility costs of procedure rooms, operating and recovery rooms, isolation rooms, quarantine rooms directly related to research protocols, as well as rooms that house animals involved in research that are not generally removed from the facility for conducting research.

Now that these policy changes have been put in place, the Committee on Revision of the NIH Cost Accounting and Rate Setting Manual for Animal Research Facilities will complete its work on revision of the Manual. This Committee, working under the auspices of the Comparative Medicine Program, National Center for Research Resources, NIH will incorporate guidance on implementation of the new methodology and other improved cost accounting procedures in the Manual. The revised Manual is expected to be released early in 2000. Its release will be announced on CompMed.

Charles McPherson
Chair, NIH Committee on Animal Cost Manual Revision