The salaries and wages of faculty and staff constitute appropriate direct costs in proportion to the time each expects to spend on a project. Grant funds may not be used to augment the total salary or rate of pay of UF faculty or staff; they are replacement funds, releasing a percent of time of the regular employee for work on the project. Salaries charged against grant funds must follow a scale that is consistent with the policy and regular practices of the University of Florida.
The Principal Investigator (PI) is required to commit some effort on all sponsored projects per UF’s policy. It is expected that the PI has a minimum commitment of effort (1-2%) to the project during each reporting period either charged as direct cost or cost shared. Note that this is not required to be communicated to the sponsor on the budget but will be required in UFIRST.
Among the various budget components, the salaries and wages category is one of the most crucial. Sponsors may want to know the title of each position, the name and employment level of the person filling the position, possibly even a job description if the position is to be advertised. The reviewers may also request the annualized base salary, and the level of effort to be spent on the project by each participant. Effort may be expressed either as a percentage of time or in terms of person calendar months (preferred) for salaried employees, and in terms of hours for OPS employees.
Congress has limits on the direct salary that an individual may receive under an NIH grant to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale.
The Executive Level II salary is currently $199,300 effective January 3, 2021.
Budgeting Administrative and Clerical Salaries as a Direct Cost
UG Sections 200.413, 200.430
The Uniform Guidance (UG) applicable to federal funding clearly states salaries of administrative and clerical staff should normally be treated as F&A (indirect costs) however, direct charging of administration and clerical costs may be appropriate to a federal award only if all of the following conditions are met:
Administrative or clerical services are integral❶ to a project or activity;
Individuals involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity;
Such costs are explicitly included in the budget or have the prior written approval of the Federal awarding sponsor; and
The costs are not also recovered as indirect costs.
❶UF considers integral to mean: (1) circumstances exist where administrative or clerical services being provided are necessary for the performance of the project or activity being supported by the federal award; AND (2) a minimum of 20% FTE is budgeted in the grant’s budget year.
Budgeting: If you believe your project meets all the conditions above, you must specifically budget for the effort and salary of the administrative or clerical position that will be devoted to the project and provide in the budget justification a narrative that explains how these administrative and clerical services are integral or necessary for the performance of the project or activity.
CAS Exemption Needed: If awarded, UF will require a CAS exemption form be completed, reviewed, and approved for administrative and clerical salaries to be direct charged to federally funded projects.