Charging Effort

Is it appropriate to charge 100 percent of my salary to sponsored projects?

It is generally not permitted for faculty members to allocate to sponsored projects 100 percent, or virtually 100 percent, of their total university effort. (See below for certain exceptions.) Please note especially that proposal writing is not allowable effort on current sponsored projects. Some effort should be allocated (paid by the school, institute or department) for proposal writing, service and miscellaneous work.

In exceptional cases in which a faculty member in fact is dedicated solely to sponsored projects — with no teaching, administrative or other university duties or activities, and no proposal writing — the case must be reviewed and approved by the
Office of Financial Analysis before 100 percent effort may be allocated to sponsored projects.

If a faculty member is engaged in any other university activities besides research, a corresponding portion of his or her salary must be charged to a non-sponsored university account. In most cases a 100 percent allocation is inappropriate.

Can I charge vacation or sick leave to a sponsored project?

All employees are subject to university and sponsor leave policies. Faculty on academic year contracts do not accrue vacation, so they cannot take vacation while being paid from sponsored projects. Faculty on fiscal-year contracts are eligible for vacation and may charge vacation time to sponsored projects providing all university activities are charged equitably. For example, a faculty member paid 10 percent on a grant over the fiscal year could charge 10 percent of his or her vacation time to that grant. Sick leave for faculty follows the same principle, again subject to sponsor policies.

Staff employees should only charge vacation and sick leave to a sponsored project if they accrued it while working on that sponsored project. For example, if a staff employee earning one vacation and one sick day per month worked on a project for two months, that individual could take the days earned in the first month during the second month. It is recommended that staff and faculty use the leave accrued on the project while the project is still active. In the event that an employee terminates and the project he or she accrued leave on is no longer active, any unused leave must be charged to a university account.

Extended leaves may not be charged to sponsored projects. In certain cases, extended leave may require sponsor approval. Above all, any vacation or sick leave charges to sponsored projects must be done consistently with how vacation and leaves are charged to unrestricted accounts, and the treatment must be fair and equitable.

My activities include intra-university (or interdepartmental) consulting. How does this affect my pay and effort?

Consulting between schools is part of your normal university duties and, as such, is included in your institutional base salary. This type of activity is not considered an overload activity and cannot result in overload payments.

I have received a no-cost extension to complete my research. How does this affect my pay and effort?

In this situation, any original effort commitments remain in effect, so committed effort must be performed. However, as the project is winding down, effort may be reduced. A large reduction of effort, usually more than 25 percent from effort committed, requires prior approval from most sponsors.