Office of Cost Studies

Office of Cost Studies

The Office of Cost Studies is dedicated to providing analytical, cost accounting, and effort reporting expertise to the management of Northwestern University’s research enterprise and to the fulfillment of broader operational objectives. We establish and oversee conformance with University policy, procedure, and practice in matters relating to cost accounting and effort reporting for sponsored programs.

Specific areas in which we serve as a primary institutional resource include:

  • The University’s Facilities & Administrative (F&A) rate
  • 2 CFR Part 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (“Uniform Guidance”), including a) allowability of costs on sponsored programs, b) distinctions between direct and indirect costs of sponsored programs, and c) Cost Accounting Standards and the University’s Disclosure Statement (DS-2)
  • Effort Reporting management and compliance
  • Recharge/Service centers, particularly the rate setting and approval process
  • The functional classification of accounts and space (F&A function codes and Space Information Management System (SIMS) activity codes, respectively)
  • Ad hoc analysis and reporting on sponsored program data, including direct and indirect expenditures, salary & effort, space, and relationships between them
  • Surveys related to costing from various agencies (i.e. NSF, NIH, etc.)

Cost Studies is a unit within the Office of Financial Operations and Treasurer.


Jennifer Mitchell, Associate Executive Director for Research Financial Operations, Office of Financial Operations, Phone 847-467-2473, Fax 847-467-4777