Policies of the Office of Grants and Research Administration

  1. Salary rate and raises, faculty - Funds requested in proposals for salary cannot exceed the individuals' established salary rates paid by the College, regardless of the source of funding. Salaries for years in which the exact salary rates are not known will be projected at rates determined by the Grants Office based on expected salary increases and past experience. Increases for out years may be above the established Grants Office rate under special circumstances, such as promotion. Salary charges to grants or contracts, including raises on multi-year proposals, must be at a rate no higher than that paid by the College. 
  2. Salary rate and raises, researchers - The initial salary rate and subsequent raises for employees without set salary rates, such as research faculty, will be set by the chair or dean of the affiliated department or school, in consultation with Personnel Services and in accordance with state guidelines.
  3. Faculty Release Time - Funds requested for faculty course release time should be included in the proposed budget based on a faculty member's academic year salary and the percentage of his/her time that will be devoted to the project. This percentage of time will be determined by the principal investigator (PI) in consultation with the chair or dean and then approved by the chair or dean. Full fringe benefits should also be included. The funds provided for the PI's salary and benefits may be used to hire replacement faculty and any remainder may be recovered by the department chair, dean, or Provost. Funds for course release may be requested at a lower rate than the faculty members' salaries and benefits with the approval of the chair, dean, or Provost. 
  4. External paid employment on grants or contracts - Faculty on nine-month contracts requesting additional salary from external sponsors during the academic year and twelve-month personnel requesting additional salary at any time must complete an external paid employment request form for approval. The external paid employment must not interfere with the obligations of the staff member to the College or create any financial conflicts of interest. (See the External Paid Employment Policy and Conflict of Interest Policy for more information.) Approval for an external paid employment must be sought in advance of the beginning date of the commitment. Final approval need not be obtained prior to the submission of a proposal; however, approval must be obtained before any salary payment can be made.
  5. Non-tenure-track faculty or faculty equivalent employees - Non-tenure-track faculty or faculty equivalent employees paid from a grant or contract will be paid by means of a salary authorization and not a contract with the College, unless special arrangements are made in the Provost's Office.
Fringe Benefits
  1. Fringe Benefit Rates - Fringe benefits should be included in proposal budgets as shown below at rates determined by the Grants Office in conjunction with the Office of Personnel Services, subject to federal and state laws and policies and other College policies (see the Budget Preparation Guide for detailed information regarding benefits and rates):
    • Faculty, summer salary - Social security only
    • Faculty, academic year – Full benefits (unless above and beyond regular duties and proposed as external paid employment in which case only social security benefits would be applicable.)
    • Students, summer salary - Social security only (unless enrolled in classes at least half-time in which case no benefits are applicable).
    • Students, academic year - No benefits.
    • Part-time personnel - Social security only.
    • Full-time non-tenure-track personnel, and postdoctoral researchers - Full benefits, except as noted in II.2. below.
  2. Annual and/or sick leave for grant-funded full-time employees - Annual or sick leave for grant-funded full-time employees will not accrue during the life of the grant; however, leave can be granted to employees at the discretion of the PI during the grant-funded employment period.
Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A), formerly known as "indirect costs" or "overhead"
  1. F&A Costs and Rate - The College is required by state law to include funds for F&A costs in all proposal budgets submitted to external funding sources at the rates negotiated with the federal government, unless the sponsor has an officially published policy that states F&A costs are not allowed or that they are permitted at a reduced rate, or if a waiver or partial waiver of these costs has been approved by the Provost or designee. The College's federally negotiated F&A rates in force at the time of proposal submission (or that would be in force at the time of award, if known) will be used to calculate the appropriate level of F&A costs to request in proposal budgets. After awards are made, the F&A costs will be charged to grants as stipulated in the approved budgets. 
  2. Waivers - F&A rates may be waived or reduced by the Provost or designee only in exceptional circumstances in accordance with state guidelines. The conditions for and duration of F&A waivers or partial waivers are determined by the Provost or designee. A waiver must be renegotiated with the Provost or designee after the duration of the previous waiver has expired. 
  3. Rate in multi-year proposals and awards - The F&A rates in force at the time of proposal submission (or that would be in force at the time of award, if known) will be used in proposal budgets throughout the requested project period, which is usually up to five years. When an award is made, the rate used at the beginning of a grant or contract will remain the same throughout the project period stated in the award. If a proposal that will compete for funding is submitted to continue the work (sometimes referred to as a "competitive renewal" or a "competing continuation"), the rate in force when the new application is submitted (or that would be in force at the time of award, if known) should be used in the proposed budget for the new project period.
  4. F&A cost recovery for multi-department proposal submission - When several departments prepare a joint proposal, prior to submission a determination should be made regarding what proportion of the project management each department will carry. Should an award be made, the department of the first PI must notify the Director of Grants Fiscal Administration indicating the allocation of F&A costs to be transferred to the applicable department(s). The Director of Grants Fiscal Administration will then execute the transfer of funds at the appropriate time, generally at the beginning of the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the direct costs were incurred.
  5. F&A costs on proposals not routed through the Grants Office prior to submission - When an award is obtained based on a proposal that was not appropriately routed through the Grants Office, the award may be subject to a levy of the full F&A costs that should have been budgeted in the proposal, if allowed by the sponsor. This will be determined by the Provost or designee.
  6. Use of F&A Recoveries - Most departments and schools have an account into which F&A recoveries are deposited. These funds must be used solely to support research-related needs. They may be used, for example, to cover cost overruns on sponsored projects, to support student research projects, to purchase equipment and supplies and to provide cost-sharing. Funds are allocated at a rate of seventeen-and-a-half percent (17.5%) on any F&A collected on accounts assigned to a particular department or school for the previous fiscal year. Allocations are usually made each July.
  1. Consulting agreements - Individual agreements made directly between W&M faculty and external sponsors for consulting services will not be administered by the Grants Office
  2. Overexpenditures - While the Grants Office provides management support, ultimately the fiscal responsibility for sponsored programs resides with the PIs and their departments or schools. Therefore, unresolved overexpenditures (meaning those not resolved within ninety days) on accounts administered by the Grants Office will, at the direction of the Provost, be recovered from the department or school of principal investigators
  3. Faculty affiliation of non-tenure-track investigators - For purposes of submitting a proposal, each principal investigator not currently employed with The College must be affiliated with the department or school most compatible with his/her research or educational project. The chair or school dean must approve the proposal before submission.
  4. Publication - Because an important part of the mission of The College is to disseminate knowledge, waiving publication rights is strongly discouraged. Should a faculty member desire to waive the right to publish, a decision to approve this waiver request will be made on a case-by-case basis by the project director and the Grants Office, in consultation with the Provost or designee and legal counsel, if necessary. They will consider: (1) the involvement of student researchers in which case waiving publication rights would restrict students ability to publish and therefore rights generally should not be waived, and (2) the possibility of suppressing only that information considered proprietary, which will be forwarded with a time limit for sponsor review, usually no more than 90 days.
  5. Disposition of college-owned grant-purchased (COGP) equipment - Unless policies of the sponsor dictate otherwise, COGP equipment will remain with the College. A faculty member leaving The College who has been employed by another institution may be allowed to move equipment to his new location when approved by the department chair and/or school dean. It is unlikely that equipment purchased for multi-user or multi-department use will be permitted to leave The College. Any COGP equipment relocated to a PI's home (e.g., computer equipment) should be cleared first by a memorandum to Property Records informing them of the relocation. These policies will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.
  6. Fixed-Price Pool Accounts - Fixed-Price Pool Accounts Policy (pdf)

These policies will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.

Approved by Provost Gillian T. Cell, August 22, 2001

(Fixed-Price Pool Accounts, revision, approved by P. Geoffrey Feiss, February, 2007)