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Compensation FAQs

How should I budget for salaries on a proposal?

Salary compensation should be included in a grant proposal for any individual contributing time and effort to the project. The effort should be represented as a % of time, which will then be reflected as a % of salary (i.e. 10% of your time should = 10% of your salary). Any effort that is committed to the project but funds are not requested from the sponsor is a cost share item.

How should I determine if salary should be academic year vs. summer?

Salary should be charged during the time period that the effort is expended. If the effort is spent during the academic year, the salary should be charged during the academic year. If the effort is spent during the summer, the salary should be charged during the summer. If the effort is spent as a combination of academic year and summer, the salary in the grant should reflect that as well.

Is summer compensation available to everyone?

Summer compensation is only available to 9/12 faculty members. Extra compensation is not available from a grant for 12/12 faculty, or staff members. Grant funds may not be used to augment the total salary or salary rate during the normal term of appointment for any individual

Is there a limit to how much summer compensation I can get?

Summer compensation is limited to 3/12 of a faculty member’s base salary. Please note that certain organizations have their own rules and limits on compensation, which will supersede this rule. For example, the NSF limits the TOTAL salary compensation for ALL NSF grants to 2 months, regardless of when that effort is charged (i.e. summer vs. academic year). The NSF will allow you to request an exception to this rule, but it must be requested in the PROPOSAL phase of a grant.

Is there a limit to how much salary I can charge to a grant?

Each organization has its own rules and regulations governing limitations on salary charges about which you need to be aware. Some typical items that will create a potential red flag for a sponsor or an auditor is a faculty member with 100% effort, or fully committed for 3 months over the summer for a 9/12 employee. Fully committing your time and effort means you work on nothing but the research, and do not work on other activities such as administration or even grant writing of future proposals. Fully committing your summer time means you take no time off or vacation over the summer.

Can I include administrative or clerical salaries on my proposal?

Administrative and clerical support typically cannot be included in a grant proposal. These types of salaries are typically considered indirect costs and therefore are included in our IDC rate. Exceptions are allowed for large planning grants, which would require a large amount of administrative or clerical support, as long as these costs can easily be readily and specifically identified