Space Functional Use Definitions

Assigning functions or uses to space is one of the most critical parts of the Facilities and Administrative (F&A) or indirect cost proposal. The results of the space survey determine how most of the facility costs in the F&A or indirect cost proposal (depreciation, interest, and operations and maintenance expenses) will allocate to the University's direct functions such as instruction and organized research. Because space has a substantial impact upon the F&A rate, it is essential to code each room with the correct function(s) listed below. Definitions of key functions follow.

ORGANIZED RESEARCH (RSCH) includes all research and development activities of the University that are separately budgeted and accounted for on a specific project basis. Effort cost shared on an organized research project should also be considered organized research.  Organized research activities include:

1.    Research grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements sponsored by the Federal government and Non-Federal agencies and organizations (e.g. states, cities, foundations, corporations, etc.).

2.    Research projects funded with University funds, which are separately budgeted and accounted for on a specific project basis (e.g. Royalty Research Funds).

3.    Sponsored research training: The sponsored training of individuals in research techniques (commonly called research training).

4.    All federally sponsored clinical trials and early stage (phase 1 or 2) non-federally funded clinical trials.

5.    Research cost sharing: Cost sharing related to organized research projects that has been reported as cost sharing on effort reports.

Organized research projects are defined as projects that require a proposal or other application to obtain funding, have a defined scope of work associated with the project, anticipate a "deliverable" result, and require that periodic financial and progress reports be submitted to the sponsor.

For research labs coded with any percentage as Organized Research, documentation must identify the budget(s) (both sponsored and university funded) that paid the salaries or wages of the occupants of the lab for work done in that lab.  Also, whenever a research lab is coded as organized research, names of the occupants who worked on the project must also be attached to the room record in GeoSIMS.

DEPARTMENTAL RESEARCH (DR) includes research, development, and scholarly activities that are not separately budgeted and accounted for on a specific project basis. This also includes start-up and bridge funding for researchers in between research projects. Departmental research is funded from budgets that are not restricted to a specific project. DR also includes space used by visiting scientists not paid by the UW, volunteers, and unpaid faculty emeriti performing research in lab spaces. The DR code is to help identify labs and other research facilities used for activities that do not meet the definition of Organized Research.

INSTRUCTION (INST) includes non-sponsored teaching and training activities and sponsored non-research training activities research.

1.    Non-sponsored Teaching and Training: This term includes all non-sponsored teaching and training activities, whether they are offered for credits toward a degree or certificate or on a non-credit basis. Instructional activities include classroom teaching, preparing and typing of examinations and instructional materials, and grading examinations and assignments.

2.    Sponsored Non-Research Training: Sponsored training refers to specific instructional or training activities established by grant, contract, or cooperative agreement. [However, sponsored training of individuals in research techniques (commonly called research training) should be classified as organized research.]

OTHER SPONSORED ACTIVITIES (OSA) are programs and projects financed by Federal and non-Federal agencies and organizations that involve the performance of work other than instruction and organized research. Examples of OSA are health service projects, public service projects, late stage (phase 3 or 4) non-federal clinical trials, and public service conferences.

SOUTH LAKE UNION (SLU) includes all separately budgeted and accounted for research activities conducted at South Lake Union.

APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY (APL) includes all space used or occupied by the Applied Physics Laboratory.

NATIONAL PRIMATE CENTER (NPC) includes all space used or occupied by the National Primate Center.

RESEARCH VESSEL SUPPORT (VESL) includes activities and resources that support the operation of the University's research vessels, such as the R.V. Thompson.

OTHER INSTITUTIONAL ACTIVITIES (OIA) include all activities not covered by any of the other functional definitions described above.  This includes auxiliary enterprises, such as the operations of residence halls, dining halls, student unions, intercollegiate and intramural athletics, bookstores, faculty housing, student apartments, guest houses, theaters, public museums, community relations and development, and other similar auxiliary enterprises.  This also includes space used by faculty and staff paid directly by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

COST OR RECHARGE CENTER (CRC) includes activities that support formally established recharge centers and cost centers or other departmental revenue activities not otherwise considered Other Institutional Activities (OIA)i

PATIENT CARE (PC) includes those activities directly involved with the delivery of patient care (e.g., University Medical Center and clinics).  The space associated with residents in the School of Medicine should be coded as PC.

JOINT USE (JT) designates space used for multiple functions, the proportions of which cannot be determined with a high degree of accuracy.  Departmental offices, TA/RA offices, conference rooms, and other multipurpose rooms such as departmental copy rooms, lounges, kitchens, and departmental libraries are examples of space that should be designated as Joint Use. Joint Use space will automatically be assigned functions in the same proportions as departmental salaries and wages. For example, if 15% of a department´s salaries and wages are charged directly to organized research grants, then 15% of that department´s joint use space will be classified as organized research.

Unlike other functional use codes, the use of "Joint Use" is restricted by federal guidelines to either 100% or 0%.  Assigned space cannot be partially Joint Use.

VACANT (VAC) includes only the space that is vacant for the entire year. If space is only vacant for part of the fiscal year, assign functions according to how it was used when occupied.

Questions?  Please contact Management Accounting and Analysis at

© 2015 University of Washington     PRIVACYTERMS