University of Pittsburgh

Research Incentive Plan

(Effective 7/1/02)

  • This policy remains in effect through 6/30/10 for all faculty hired prior to 7/1/09.

    As a means of encouraging active participation in competing for extramural support for research projects, an incentive plan for full-time faculty in the School of Medicine has been adopted.  The plan provides for a salary supplement to those principal investigators who have been awarded a competitive research grant or contract from outside funding sources.  The guidelines are as follows:
  1. The plan is limited to full-time faculty with primary appointments in the School of Medicine.
  2. The award must designate the University of Pittsburgh as the awardee organization and must be assigned to one of the departments, or major institutes in the School of Medicine to be eligible.  With the exception of Program Project Grants (P01 or similar grants), awards processed through other schools of the University, or organizations affiliated with the University do not qualify.
  3. The investigator or investigators on a grant must match their percent of University salary on the grant with the percent effort on the grant to be eligible for the research incentive.
  4. The incentive will be determined by calculating an amount equal to 10% of the indirect cost recovery.  The principal investigator will be paid a salary supplement equivalent to 10% of the actual indirect cost recovery earned during the quarter on any and all research grants.  Payment will be made during the quarter following the quarter in which the actual indirect cost recovery was earned.  When there are co-investigators, the incentive supplement will be paid to each in accordance with an agreed upon proportion of the 10% amount.  In all cases, there will be signed agreements by the parties defining the distribution of the incentive payment.  The agreement must be approved by the respective department chair prior to the submission of the application.  If there are any unsettled disputes concerning the distribution, the department chair shall adjudicate the differences.  If disputes arise between departments, the Dean will adjudicate the differences.
  5. All research incentives will be paid through the faculty member's primary department.  Organizational units responsible for funding the research incentive will pay the incentive amount to the faculty member's primary department, including any fringe benefit amount.
  6. This incentive is limited to a $50,000 cap annually per investigator which includes all grants and/or contracts.
  7. Incentive plans for clinical department chairs will be individually negotiated, which may or may not include a research incentive.  If a research incentive is included, a cap will be specified, but will be no higher than $50,000.
  8. A principal investigator for a designated project of a program project grant (P01 or similar grants) will share in the incentive in an amount equivalent to 10% of the indirect cost recovery of the separately budgeted project.  If there is more than one principal investigator for a designated project, the share attributed to the project will be distributed according to an agreed upon proportion as described in item 4 above.
  9. While it is expected that all departments will participate in this incentive plan, a department may apply to opt out of this plan if the department finances are such that the department cannot afford to have this incentive plan.  A department cannot, however, have a different research incentive plan.  This plan is intended to be the standard research incentive plan for the school.  The approval of the Dean and the President of UPP is required for a department not to participate.
  10. In certain cases of departmental financial hardship, departments may request funding on a temporary basis to support the research incentive program.  The Dean will consider requests on a case by case basis.
  11. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Chair of the Department and the Dean of the School of Medicine.