Faculty Compensation on NSF Awards
The January 2010 revisions to the National Science Foundations’ (NSFi) Awardi and Administrative Guide provided some clarification to the agency’s policies concerning allowable compensation for “Senior Project Personnel.
Previously the NSF policy stated that compensation for senior project personnel was limited to 2 summer months salary. The salary was to be paid during the summer based on direct effort expended towards the project.
While the 2 month salary limit still applies, the revised policy provides several key clarifications:
- The 2/9th rule (2 month summer salary) is not applicable to “Research Faculty” (i.e., the research scientists and similar individuals that normally are supported by sponsored funding). While Senior Project Personnel as a general policy are charged to projects using the two-month metric, research faculty salaries may exceed the two-month metric and may be charged over the entire calendar or academic year.
- For faculty where the 2 month rule does apply it may be proposed for the summer and/or the academic year. It is no longer limited to just summer months.
- Compensation to senior project personnel in excess of two months must be disclosed in the proposal budget, justified in the budget justification, and must be specifically approved by NSF in the award notice. This also indicates that any post-award rebudgeting that would increase the compensation for senior project personnel above the 2 month limit requires NSF prior approval.
- The 2 month salary limit applies to the institution’s fiscal year, (July 1 through June 30th). In addition the revised policy emphasizes that the limitation applies to “salary compensation received from all NSF-funded grants”.
Reference NSF Award and Administration Guide, http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf10_1/aag_index.jsp?org=NSF