- What is a Research Rate and why has UM been using it?
- Why is this change necessary?
- In the past, I have been an active user of the Research Rate. Does this mean I am going to take a pay cut?
- How did you come up with this solution?
- When does this new FRIP model become effective?
- Does this affect Academic Year teaching buyouts?
- Does this change affect me if I don’t have a Research Rate (RR) salary?
- Does this affect summer salary?
- I currently receive external funding only from NSF, which “as a general policy” limits salary compensation to no more than two months of salary per year. Now that there’s no research rate, is it possible for me to budget for more than 2-months (either in additional summer days or for an academic year FRIP) in my NSF grant?
- When would I receive my FRIP payment?
- Does this cost the University or State anything?
- Is FRIP considered extra compensation per University or federal definitions?
- Who is responsible for ensuring that I receive the FRIP incentive?
- What are the limits on the amount of FRIP per year?
For over 20 years, the University of Montana has successfully transitioned to include a globally-recognized research and creative scholarship profile that complements excellent mentoring and teaching of undergraduate and graduate students. As with many other public universities experiencing flat or declining state support, the recruitment and retention of high-quality, research-active faculty at UM required a system to facilitate the generation of additional, externally funded salary compensation for research and creative scholarship (RCS) activities. To address this challenge, UM has been operating with a “dual base” approach which allowed faculty to be paid “Research Rate” (RR) salaries closer to market value than the base funded academic year “Institutional Base Salary” (IBS).
A recent federal audit, referring to new federal Uniform Guidance documents, declared that university faculty across the U.S. must have only one Institutional Base Salary (IBS). Because UM has been using a “dual base” system (with “Research Rate” salaries charged to grants being closer to market value and higher than academic year IBS salary), we must abandon the research rate and use only the IBS. Nevertheless, we want to do everything possible to minimize or eliminate any negative effects of this change on research-active faculty at UM who bring in grants that power so much of the UM mission. So we have come up with FRIP as a means to replace the Research Rate model, to the benefit of faculty.
No. In fact, in many cases, faculty may be able to slightly increase their annual income (compared to the RR model) when utilizing FRIP.
We looked into how other universities solved this challenge. The “FRIP-type” model has been successfully implemented at multiple research universities (at least eight regionally and nationwide, both larger and smaller than UM). We distilled the best elements of those and tailored it to UM. We then put it through road tests with lots of actual UM faculty data, and tweaked it some more to improve its performance.
FRIP is already successfully implemented. The old dual base model has been discontinued for salaries based on NSF grants, and will end for all externally funded salaries as of September 1, 2020.
No. FRIP occurs within the research portion of your academic year workload. It is separate from your teaching and from teaching buy-outs.
Yes, it could affect you in a good way if you choose to participate. Under the previous dual base model with a Research Rate, a person had to go through the laborious data collection and negotiation required to establish a RR, and then re-do the process every five years. Participation in FRIP is voluntary and any faculty member is eligible to receive the incentive per the guidelines.
Only in that now your summer salary will be at your Institutional Base Rate.
I currently receive external funding only from NSF, which “as a general policy” limits salary compensation to no more than two months of salary per year. Now that there’s no research rate, is it possible for me to budget for more than 2 months (either in additional summer days or for an academic year FRIP) in my NSF grant?
The following language regarding Senior Personnel Salaries & Wages Policy from the NSF 2019 PAPPG is relevant:
Additionally, here is a Youtube with Jean Feldman, Head of the NSF Policy Office, discussing senior personnel effort above the 2-month rule.
As a lump sum payment near the end of the fiscal year.
No. FRIP is paid via State funds that have been replaced by external dollars.
No. FRIP payments are a financial incentive, not "extra compensation." Per UM Policy 803 Extra Compensation for Faculty and Contract Professionals, "the purpose of extra compensation is to compensate individuals for work that is usually short term, unpredictable, and is in excess of normal duties." Similarly, FRIP incentives are not extra compensation as defined by federal guidelines.
As always, researchers are responsible for all aspects of their participation in sponsored programs. Work with your departmental research administrator (or college business officer) as appropriate. They can utilize the Personnel Activity Report (PAR) or Banner/UMDW reports to monitor and reconcile your FRIP-eligible salary.
The AY percentage requested from external sponsor(s) for a given year should not exceed the RCS workload assignment, and should not exceed 25% of IBS without permission of the Provost.