Service center rates


A service center is an organizational unit that provides goods or services to users within the University of Kansas academic and administrative community. A service center is an ongoing activity — not a one-time distribution. The service center's cost is determined on a rate basis. These rates cover salaries, benefits, supplies, equipment and more. 

Use the tabs below to learn whether your service center rate is sponsored or if you need to establish a fee-for-service rate. Learn how to establish a service center rate with the accordion menus below.  

These rates must be established to ensure costs break even or recover no more than the total cost of the goods or services. A service center can't make a profit. 

A woman shuffles through papers

A sponsored project is a transfer of funds by a third party to the university in which the KU Office of Research agrees to perform research. The following define a sponsored project:

  • Funded by government entities, non-profit organizations, other universities and sometimes industries. 
  • The work performed under a sponsored project agreement is usually a one-time long-term engagement (often 1-5 years).
  • Services as used as part of sponsored projects may include research, training, public service or outreach activities.
  • If the university is required to provide cost share, submit an expenditure report, adhere to spending restrictions or return unexpended funds.

Fee for service refers to a transaction involving the transfer of funds from a third party in exchange for services performed. The KU Office of Research develops a standard rate for its services and provides the services to a variety of customers with minimal customization. This work requires a contract. If a rate has already been established, use the fee for service agreement request form to apply for a fee for service contract. 

A sponsored project is a transfer of funds by a third party to the university in which the KU Office of Research agrees to perform research. The following define a sponsored project:

  • Funded by government entities, non-profit organizations, other universities and sometimes industries. 
  • The work performed under a sponsored project agreement is usually a one-time long-term engagement (often 1-5 years).
  • Services as used as part of sponsored projects may include research, training, public service or outreach activities.
  • If the university is required to provide cost share, submit an expenditure report, adhere to spending restrictions or return unexpended funds.

Fee for service refers to a transaction involving the transfer of funds from a third party in exchange for services performed. The KU Office of Research develops a standard rate for its services and provides the services to a variety of customers with minimal customization. This work requires a contract. If a rate has already been established, use the fee for service agreement request form to apply for a fee for service contract. 


How to establish a service rate

  • Calculate the costs to perform activity, including salaries, direct expenses, indirect expenses, asset purchases to be funded through service center and how those costs are applied to each activity. 
  • Calculate the estimated sales volume 

There are three rates: 

  • Internal, covers the cost 
  • External academic, includes internal + F&A
  • External market, usually three times the internal rate 

A cost center is a department or function that doesn't add profit, but it still does cost to operate. Three to four cost centers, fund 907, will be set up when establishing a service center rate: 

  • Internal cost center 
  • F&A cost center 
  • Excess revenue, used for external market sales
  • Equipment reserve, if applicable 
  • Allowability of costs 
  • The internal cost center must be revenue-expenses neutral. Any excess must be used to reduce future unit costs, and any deficit must be added to future unit costs 
  • Rates are reviewed every two years

If your service center does not have federal clients, you may need to use 967 funds. Establishing rates for non-federal clients can be less restrictive. Contact Michael Heaton for more information.