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Survey conducted by Irving Zucker, University of Nebraska Medical School
August 2005


The results from the survey are below in pdf format.


1. My institution is public  ____      private  ____

2. My faculty are on 9 month  ____   12 month  ____  appointments

3. Is there a plan at your institution to supplement institutional base salary from       grants/contracts?
            Yes  ____                        No  ____ 

4. If the answer to Question #3 is yes, check the most appropriate model.
     ____  A fixed amount of dollars is added to the instiutional base salary from
             grant/contract sources
    _____ A percent of the base salary is added from grant/contract sources that are freed-up.
    _____ The amount of supplementation is tiered to the amount of salary dollars that are
              freed-up from grant/contract sources.
    _____ The supplementation is merit based and set by the Chair 

5. If your plan relies on a percent of base salary, what is the minimum and maximum           percent?  _________ Minimum      _________ Maximum

 6.    If your plan is tiered to total salary income from grants, please describe the steps that tie increased grant income to salary supplementation.

 Please provide any comments that may be helpful in understanding your institutional salary supplementation plan.

Comments Received
       has been trying to get a salary supplementation plan approved for some time.  Right now it does not appear that we are going to be successful.  The results of your survey may be of value to us in this decision.

Grant funds are used to pay the salary for the 3 summer months. b.  Faculty have the option of supplementing their salary by up to 20% of the base salary.

Here is the relevant portion of our department’s faculty compensation plan: Incremental income will be negotiated with the department head on an annual basis and be non-recurring.  To receive a salary increment: A faculty member must show outstanding performance in at least two of the three department missions: teaching, research and service.  This will be determined based upon information provided at the annual merit review. There must be funds available from the faculty member’s grant(s) to pay their increment.  Salary increments can only be awarded from the start of a fiscal year and will be dependent upon performance during the previous fiscal year.  The total annual salary increment cannot exceed 25% of the faculty member’s base salary or 25% of the NIH salary cap, whichever is smaller.

The supplement amount is linked by a formula that includes: 1) % effort on grant (& fraction of freed state salary support), 2) annual direct cost (ADC) of grant, and 3) indirect cost rate (IDR) of grant (with fed rate yielding maximum supplement). A minimum of 20% effort and 20% IDR is required on an eligible grant.

a. Tenure track basic science faculty are eligible for the plan if they bring in at least 25% of base salary on extramural grants from sources that pay the federal indirect cost rate.  b. Faculty who raise 25% or more of their base salary receives salary supplements according to the following formulae: For the first 50% of base salary on grants, the salary supplement is 20% of the salary dollars paid from grants.  For example, if someone pays 25% of base salary on grants, (s)he receives a 5% (20% of 25%) salary supplement.  If someone pays 50% of base salary, (s)he receives a 10% supplement. For the next 25% of base salary paid from grants, the salary supplement is 60% of the increment above 50% base salary.  For example, if someone pays 75% of their base salary from grants, (s)he gets a supplement of 10% for the first 50% (see above) and 15% (60% x 25%) for the next 25%, for a total supplement of 25% of base salary. For the next 20% of base salary paid from grants (i.e., between 75% and 95% of base), the supplement is 75% of the increment above 75% of base.  So if someone raises 95% of their base salary on grants, (s)he gets a supplement of 10% of base for the first 50, 15% of base for the next 25, and 15% of base (75% x 20%) for the last 20 for a total supplement of 40%.    Tenure track faculty are not permitted to put over 95% of salary on grants.  This makes it possible to spend some time teaching and doing other non-research activities.

Most of the salary recovered is returned to the department for distribution at the chair’s discretion.  I have typically put 40% in the department ‘special’ account, 40% in the investigator’s ‘special’ account, and made 20% available as a salary supplement (or at the investigator’s discretion this too can be put into his/her ‘special’ account).  

To exceed 10%, multiple grants are required.

We had a plan at one time, but it is never used, so in essence, we have no plan.  

We do not have a supplemental plan but we do have a research incentive program.

The salary is set for the year.  If grants are awarded in which investigator is able to pay himself or herself with, the institution will award the investigator a bonus of up to 20%.  If the investigator funds 100% of their salary (including fringe) on grants contracts then they are eligible for a 20% salary bonus. The exact percentage of the bonus is determined by the Dean.   

I am not sure that I understand your questions.  Each faculty member is expected to bring in around 60% of their salary from grants.  The balance is paid by our university.  This is all effort based.

We have no plan in place but are working to come up with one.  We would be very interested in seeing the outcome of this survey and associated comments.

Our plan does not really fit neatly into any of your categories. Our goal is to make it so confusing that no one understands it! We have two salary components, X and Y such that: 1. Total salary (generally) = X + Y; 2. Y = about 10% X; 3. If grant effort is say 50% then the grant pays 50% of X and 100% of Y; 4. If people are recovering a large fraction of salary and contributing significantly to all of our missions then I allow them to increase the Y component by an amount that I decide is appropriate. I call this delta "YII" to keep track of it. They can assign this to their grant or take it from their "PI Account" which is funded through salary recovery and IDC returns; 5. I also supplement the salary of folks doing special things from the Dept. sources, like running the grad program, serving as associate chair.

About ½ of the faculty is on 9 month appointments, the other half on 12 month, but all recent hires have been 9 month. Faculty can pay themselves up to 3 months of summer salary from grants at the same monthly salary awarded from the institution. If they have more than this available a percentage of any “salary savings”, i.e. their salary paid from the grant and saved by the University, is returned to the PI to be used for research related expenses, but not for additional salary for the faculty member.

The faculty must reduce the base contribution by at least 10% (salary savings).

Part of the % PI effort on the grants is used to supplement base salary as indicated above. The minimum is 20% and when no grant funds are available, the dept. must supply this amount. Another part (adjustable) is used to free up base salary money to be used for department administration.

Our institution is in the process of formulating a plan.

9 months can supplement 33% from grants; 11 months can supplement 11%; faculty with primary appointment in medical school can supplement up to 80% (with permission from Dean of Medical School)

We also supplement salary for administrative activities related to programs.  This comes from grant dollars as well.

Our research faculty members are expected to submit grant applications to cover 90-95% of their salary.  Our average is about 70% of salary covered by the 30 tenured track faculty.  Faculty members receive no salary supplements.

All full-time faculty members are expected to derive at least 50% of their compensation from grants. Securing grant support does not directly affect salary, however.

Please note:  we have an incentive program, but it is illegal to supplement institutional salaries from grants.
It is school policy not to supplement salaries from grants.  Salaries are established without any consideration of grant income.

Our compensation levels (in addition to academic rank) are based on a formulation of “merit” that includes NIH grants and indirect recovery, teaching and service.

Only grants that include both faculty salaries (that relieve State dollars) and indirect costs are eligible to be used in the formula to generate research bonus limits.  Each PI receives, in a departmental account, ½ of his/her salary return for the fiscal year.  For each PI we calculate the Total Costs (DC + IC) of all eligible awards, pro-rated for our fiscal year, x 5%.  The maximum amount that may be used for bonuses is the lesser of the 5% of TC or the ½ salary return amount (since each P.I. funds the bonuses from their salary return).  PI’s may bonus themselves and/or their laboratory staff, or may elect to retain any or all of the salary return in the account to support research expenses.  The bonuses are one-time payments, distributed yearly based on the previous year’s productivity.  

Well, I have used one in most recent contracts for new hires, but we do not have anything as a uniform policy on an institutional basis.  There is discussion of one, but other institutions in our state system have “leveraged” their state faculty lines so badly (they have tenured salary commitments greater than they can cover with current “hard money” budget) that there is reluctance among administration here to consider our plan.   There’s a sense that it (a supplement plan) of some form has merit, and personally I have found it very useful in recruiting, but an awful lot of acceptance is tied to how well (or not) it is perceived to have worked elsewhere, and also how well (or not) clinical compensation plans that include supplements (usually already in place) have worked.    It is creating some real equity issues.  Some argue that getting grants by a basic scientist is just part of the job, and additional compensation shouldn’t be given simply for doing your job.  The problem is that patient care also is part of “the job” for a clinician, and they are eligible for additional supplement, based on their “earning capacity”… so we have a real double standard, and a serious morale issue that has the potential to be very divisive among our faculty.

The supplement is based on salary return dollars and on the indirect cost dollars generated by the grant.  For example an NIH grant generates a larger supplement than an AHA SDG.  But the Head also has wiggle room.  Some do not participate in this supplementation; others just give the amount generated from salary return dollars.  I try to give everything I can.  

Results of Salary Supplementation Survey

Results from the Salary Supplementation Survey conducted in August 2005