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Grant Sponsored Research - UB

University of Baltimore

Replaces UB Policy on Faculty Participation in Sponsored Projects, 4/29/93
Approved by Deans’ Council, 10/6/97
Approved by Provost Council, 10/27/99

The University of Baltimore encourages faculty to engage in sponsored projects such as research, consulting, service, and training activities. Such activities enhance the reputation of the University and help fulfill the research, service, and scholarly aspects of its mission. The University uses a variety of policies and procedures to encourage faculty to pursue external funding. These include: overload compensation from sponsored research funds, release time, and buy out. The University's policies and incentives for faculty participation in sponsored projects must be balanced against its policies on professional commitment of faculty. For that reason, policies in the following section operate as guidelines rather than as an entitlement, and require that the appropriate dean approve the terms and conditions of a proposed sponsored project prior to submission of a proposal to an external agency.

Deans are responsible for monitoring the professional commitment of faculty to the university during the academic year to assure that instructional and service duties of faculty are not compromised as a result of participation in sponsored programs.


Base Pay refers to the 9.5-month academic year salary of faculty members.

Base Rate of Pay is a monthly rate of pay, and refers to the academic year salary divided by the number of months in the academic year. By contract, the academic year runs from approximately the third week in August to the second week in June, or 9.5 months. For example, Professor B, whose salary is $47,500 per academic year, has a base rate of pay equal to $5,000 per month ($47,500 per academic year divided by 9.5 months).

This rate of pay serves as the basis for computing overload compensation on federally funded grants (including federal pass through money from state sources) during the academic year, the monthly rate during summer months (2.5 months) when faculty are not on contract, and the overload compensation during the summer months. The base rate of pay covers only University-administered funds. It does not relate to outside employment earnings during the contract year, nor does it cover faculty earnings from sources outside the University during summer months.

Buyout refers to that portion of the faculty member's time that is paid for, thus "bought out" by funds from external sources administered by the University. Such "buyouts" apply only to sponsored projects. Buyouts include both salary and fringe benefits. Buyouts should not be confused with outside employment.

Market Rate refers to a rate of compensation that is usual and customary for the services supplied in a sponsored project, and which is allowed by the sponsor.

Overload Compensation Rate is a monthly rate of pay and refers to the maximum percentage of their base pay that faculty can earn from working on federally sponsored projects. For the University of Baltimore, the overload compensation rate is 20% of the base rate of pay. (1)

Overload Compensation refers to compensation faculty may receive from a sponsored project for work performed beyond the commitment outlined in their portfolio. Faculty may not work on sponsored projects on an overload basis more than 20% of their time per week, or the equivalent of one day per week. On federally sponsored projects, overload compensation is computed by multiplying the base rate of pay by the overload compensation rate. Such federally funded overload compensation may be earned throughout the calendar year. When it is derived from federal funding sources (including state pass through funds), it is always calculated at the faculty member's base rate of pay for the academic year. For example, Professor B, whose salary is $47,500 per academic year, has a base rate of pay equal to $5,000 per month ($47,500 per academic year divided by 9.5 months), receives a sponsored project which provides for funds for the faculty member. The professor may earn up to $1,000 per month ($5,000 x 20 %) in overload compensation during any month in which the sponsored project runs. Compensation on non-federally funded projects may be paid at market rates, but may not exceed the 20% limit on time during the academic year. Faculty are not restricted on overload earnings from non-federal sponsored projects during the summer months if they are on an academic year contract.

Portfolio refers to the amount of time faculty, with the approval of their dean, have committed to instruction, scholarship/creative works and service for a given academic year. (2)

Reimbursement Cost refers to the share of a faculty member's academic salary and benefits that is equivalent to the portion of time devoted to a sponsored project. For example, if a faculty member's academic year salary is $47,500, and that person spends 10% of his/her time on a sponsored project, the reimbursement cost is $4,750, plus fringes of $1116 (23.5%). For the purposes of this policy, one course for most faculty equals 10% of annual salary.

Release Time refers to a faculty member's release from a portion of the faculty member's portfolio (usually course work) for work on sponsored projects. Release time is usually reflected in the project budget as cost share from the University.

Replacement Cost refers to the amount the University has to expend to provide coverage of a faculty member's duties while that faculty member works on a sponsored project.

Sponsored Project refers to a project that is funded by external sources and is administered by the University. These projects include, but are not limited to, research, consulting, service and training. Sponsored projects can be funded by federal, state or private sources.

University Administered means that the University is responsible for management of the sponsored project. Some fellowships or short-term stipends may be paid directly to faculty, but most granting agencies, public or private, will only make awards to institutions like the University, with recognized not-for-profit status and audited financial procedures that assure sound fiscal management.

Faculty Employment on Sponsored Projects

Faculty may work on sponsored projects in three ways: a) on an unpaid basis through release time or as a matching contribution to a project, b) through buyout of course time, or c) through overload in addition to buyout or matching contribution.

Release Time

Within the context of a faculty member's portfolio, that person may, with the approval of the dean, be released from activities outlined in his/her portfolio to work on sponsored projects. Release time is usually reflected in the project budget as cost share from the University, and as a general rule, the University does not allow a faculty member to receive overload compensation on a sponsored project at the same time the institution contributes that faculty member's release time as part of the University's cost share on that project. Faculty should request release time well in advance to permit class rescheduling and the hiring or assignment of replacement instructors.


Within the context of their portfolio, faculty may, with the approval of the dean, buy out a portion of their time to work on a sponsored project. As a general rule, the University expects faculty to buy out their instructional time, including benefits at reimbursement cost; that is, the University expects the funding agency to pay the full cost of faculty time on a sponsored project. However, less than reimbursement cost may be approved when appropriate. In those cases, the University will apply the difference between reimbursement cost and the approved cost as part of its cost share.

The following procedures govern this incentive:

  1. When faculty propose to buy out their time, they must notify their dean far enough in advance so that ample time is allowed to find coverage for their duties.
  2. The salaries freed up through a buy out will remain with the respective school.
  3. As a general rule, the University will not allow overload compensation when it contributes a portion of a faculty member's time and salary as part of its cost share.

Gant funds used to buy out faculty workload will be retained by the school.

Overload Compensation from Sponsored Projects

The University of Baltimore permits overload compensation for work on sponsored projects. A faculty member's workload is defined in the faculty portfolio submitted to and accepted by the dean prior to the beginning of an academic year. Faculty, with the permission of the dean, may choose to work on sponsored projects on an overload compensation basis, i.e., in addition to their full workload without buying out any time from the University instruction, scholarship/creative works, and service assignments outlined in their portfolio. As a general rule, the University does not allow a faculty member to receive overload compensation on a sponsored project at the same time that the institution contributes that faculty member's release time to the project as part of the University's cost share.

The following procedures govern this incentive.

  1. The University allows faculty to receive overload compensation for work on sponsored projects for up to 20% of their time at either their base rate of pay or varying market rates on non-federal sponsored projects under the following conditions:
    1. Such payment is made during the period of the sponsored project.
    2. Faculty must have the approval of their dean at the time of the submission of a proposal that will include the amount of time to be spent on the sponsored project and other University resources committed to the project.
    3. Such activity is clearly separate from and in addition to routine or customary duties. A memorandum verifying the level of activity will be required for each semester of the sponsored project's duration, and will be co-signed by faculty members and their supervisors.
  2. Faculty receiving overload compensation at a rate higher than the base rate will be expected to buy out the equivalent of at least one course at the reimbursement rate for each semester they receive overload compensation.
  3. When an award is accepted by the University for a sponsored project involving overload compensation, a contract will be completed for the individual receiving these incentives, signed by his/her supervisor, and duly processed by the Office of Human Resources. Payments under these contracts will either be made on the adjunct pay schedule, four times a semester, or paid bi-weekly from time sheets. In all cases, final payment shall not be made until submission of the project's final report.

Summer Compensation for Faculty

Summer earnings of faculty are not restricted by the university unless they are derived from federal funds, or the faculty member is on an instructional contract with the university. Faculty supported either by federal funding sources or instructional contracts will be limited to earning 120% of base pay. For the purposes of workload calculation, a summer course at the university will be treated as a 30% time assignment.

Rates of compensation on projects extending across the academic year and the summer should be uniform unless the summer activities are distinctly different than those during the academic year.


  1. University policy has long allowed faculty to devote up to 20% of their time to external consulting related to their professional discipline. While sponsored projects should not be confused with outside employment, overload compensation on sponsored projects is consistent with University policy on outside employment.
  2. See the Policy on Faculty Responsibilities and the Policy on Professional Commitment of Faculty.