Institutional Base Salary for Sponsored Programs Policy

Institutional Base Salary for Sponsored Programs Policy


Vice President for Finance and Administration


Director of Sponsored Programs


Research and Sponsored Programs



Effective Date:


Implementation History:

First draft 5/2023


Institutional Base Salary, federal, award, compensation, research, charges, sponsored program, budget

Background Information:

This policy was drafted to be in compliance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 2 CFR 220, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants Policy Statement, and other applicable federal statutes and regulations.


This policy defines Institutional Base Salary and its use in estimating, accumulating, and reporting salary charges to sponsored projects.


Academic Year Appointment: Nine or ten month faculty obligation.

Also Receives:  An approved annualized dollar amount (or portion thereof) that can be paid in addition to the base annual salary on a temporary basis, for additional duties beyond and in addition to, the ordinary and customary duties normally associated with their primary assignment. The limitations and procedures for Also Receives are explained in SUNY policy 8100.

Annual Salary: Amount determined by the university to compensate an individual for their professional obligation based on grade, title, and experience. Annual salary is based on a full-time equivalent and adjusted proportionately for part-time effort. For calendar year faculty, annual salary is the salary paid for the twelve month calendar year period.

Calendar Year Appointment: Twelve month obligation that can begin on any date.

College Year Appointment: Ten month obligation used by non-faculty professionals that can begin on any date.

Endowed Supplements: Supplemental salary paid to endowed chairs and included in the NYS payroll check.

Salary Cap: Limitation imposed by the federal government on the amount of salary that may be charged to federally funded grants or contracts.

Sponsor Limitation: Sponsor imposed limitation on the amount of salary that may be charged to sponsored program awards.

Temporary Salary Increases: An increase in the base salary for a limited period of time, associated with a temporary increase in assigned duties and responsibilities that are within the scope of duties normally associated with the position.


Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 2 CFR 220, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants Policy Statement, and other applicable federal statutes and regulations permit salary and wage charges to sponsored awards to the extent that:

  • Total employee compensation conforms to established and consistently applied policies of the institution and
  • Such charges are for work in direct performance of the sponsored award.

Failure to comply with federal requirements or Empire State University policies when proposing or charging salaries could result in expenditure disallowances, financial penalties, or damage to the university’s reputation.

Unless otherwise specified, the annual salary stated in the appointment or reappointment letter fully compensates the individual for all professional obligations required by their primary university appointment. Additional salary provided to Empire State University employees for work performed as part of a research project funded grant is calculated based on the Institutional Base Salary (IBS).

Institutional Base Salary is defined as the annual compensation paid for an individual's appointment, whether that individual's time is spent on research, instruction, administration, or other activities. It may include one or more of the following components: Annual Salary, including academic, calendar and college year appointments; Temporary Salary Increases; or Endowed Supplements.

IBS is paid at the direction and on behalf of Empire State University by the New York State (NYS) Comptroller or by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (RF).

IBS excludes any income that an individual earns outside of duties performed for the Institution of Higher Education (IHE). IBS also excludes any income that an individual is permitted to earn outside of duties performed as part of their primary appointment, including Also Receives, Extra Service, or grant funded projects other than those funded by the IHE.

IBS must be associated with and in proportion to the effort obligated by an individual’s appointment. An externally funded grant or contract administered by the RF may only be charged for the portion of IBS attributed to actual effort expended on that grant or contract. Unless there is prior approval by the Federal awarding agency, charges of a faculty member's salary to a federal award must not exceed the proportionate share of the IBS for the period during which the faculty member worked on the award.

IBS is set prospectively either for an indefinite period or for a specified term. IBS may not be increased or decreased based on availability of salary support from sponsored agreements or other revenue sources.

Calculation Details

Salary costs included in a sponsored project proposal or charged to a sponsored project are calculated by multiplying the IBS times the percent of effort expended on the particular sponsored project. In cases where the IBS exceeds the applicable federal salary cap or sponsor limitation, the salary cap or limit amount is used instead of the IBS to calculate salary costs. The amount of annual salary above the salary cap or limit may only be paid from non-sponsored sources. When preparing proposals for multiple years, future years’ IBS will be estimated based on salary increases in applicable collective bargaining agreements or the RF’s Salary Plan.

Charging a sponsored agreement for less than the committed effort is permitted, subject to the limitations in the RF’s Cost Sharing Policy.

Summer salary may be paid to an individual on an academic or college year appointment for their research obligations performed during the summer months. Summer salary is calculated based on the IBS of the preceding academic or college year and can only be charged to a sponsored project in proportion to the effort expended on the particular project during the summer months.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations


SUNY Policy 8100 Also Receives Compensation Procedures and Guidelines for Professional Staff

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices