University of South Alabama Division of Academic Affairs

Faculty Grant Incentive Pilot Plan (FGIPP)

USA Faculty members employed in the Division of Academic Affairs may earn a supplement to their salary through the USA Faculty Grant Incentive Pilot Plan in accordance with the policy, eligibility criteria and other provisions as described herein. The Plan will be implemented on a pilot basis and will be reviewed two years following implementation to determine any adjustments that may be necessary. While the plan is directly linked to the University’s strategic goal in research, increased research funding will directly benefit all aspects of the University including teaching and service.


The FGIPP is intended to meet the following goals:

  1. To enhance the University’s research programs by increasing the level of extramural funding to the institution;
  2. To stimulate accomplishments in research, scholarship, instructional effectiveness, and service associated with increases in externally funded grant activity;
  3. To stimulate increased grant and contract submissions and awards by faculty members thereby enhancing the reputation of the University.
  4. To improve the institution= s ability to recruit and retain faculty members who are capable of competing successfully for externally funded grants and contracts.
  5. To stimulate the economic development of the community, state and region through the development of the research enterprise.


To qualify for a salary supplement, a faculty member must include part, or all, of his or her base salary and applicable fringe benefits in a grant or contract budget (base salary = 9 months salary except for those faculty specifically employed on 12-months contracts). This salary supplement is restricted to the redistribution of available unrestricted funds generated by a faculty member from current lapsed salary revenues that are derived from competitively funded extramural grants and contracts. Funds from gifts and Federal direct appropriations are not eligible. No other source of funds may be used to fund this incentive plan.

Once each fiscal year, the salary support for each faculty member holding grants will be evaluated to determine if such funds are available and all eligibility criteria have been fulfilled. The salary supplement will be paid in a one-time lump sum payment to eligible faculty once each year on the first working day of December for eligible salary that accrued in the previous fiscal year (October 1 through September 30).

The lapsed salary accumulated for that faculty member= s activity on the grant or contract for the preceding fiscal year will be distributed according to the following formula:

  1. Costs associated with the project such as equipment, supplies, cash match, and costs for any faculty unfunded non-administrative reassigned time based on a 12 credit full-time teaching load and any replacement costs, will be deducted from the total lapse salary recovery amount prior to calculation of an incentive salary distribution. Typically, the amount deducted for reassigned time costs will be equivalent to the salary paid to a Ph.D. level part-time faculty member to teach courses needed to replace the full-time faculty member, whose time has been reassigned to non-administrative duties. In some cases, replacement costs may exceed the normal rate paid to part-time instructors. In these cases, actual replacement costs will be deducted.
  2. The investigator may be eligible to receive up to 50% of the remaining funds in the lapsed salary pool (after deducting all replacement and other costs as described above). The remaining lapsed salary funds will be distributed to the college. A maximum of 30% of the annual base salary may be earned from the grant incentive plan.

Summary: Distribution of Lapsed Salary Funds

Total amount of lapsed salary minus (1) any cash match for the grant; (2) instructional replacement costs for the investigator’s(s’) reassigned time for the project and any unfunded non-administrative reassigned time based on a 12 credit full-time teaching load; and (3) any other direct costs associated with the project such as equipment, supplies, etc.

A maximum of 30% of the annual salary base may be earned from the grant incentive plan

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Completion of FGIP Form #1 and a memorandum requesting a salary supplement under the plan must be submitted as attachments to the "Transmittal Sheet for Proposals" during internal review of the application/proposal. Also, requests for payment must be documented on the "Request for Faculty Grant Incentive Payment" form and must be approved by the departmental chair, the college or division dean, and the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and must be accompanied by a current copy of the individual= s Federal Time and Effort Certification, if applicable.
  2. With the exception of those research track faculty as defined below in Number 3, all members of the full-time faculty in the Division of Academic Affairs are eligible to file a request to participate in the FGIPP if their base university salary and benefits are charged to a grant or contract, and if they are principal investigators or co-principal investigators on the project. Administrators may be eligible to participate only when they are the principal investigator. Support staff and research assistants are not eligible to participate in the Incentive Plan.
  3. Some faculty have research appointments with contracts that require that they receive external funding to pay a percentage of their base salary. Faculty in this situation must first recover that contracted portion of their base salary before being eligible for incentive pay. After repaying the university the amount or percentage specified, research faculty are entitled to receive incentive pay in accordance with the FGIPP. For example, consider a research faculty member who by contract must recover $20,000 of his/her base salary. If that faculty member recovers $50,000 of his/her base salary, the university gets the first $20,000. If there are no other deductions for cash match, etc., the incentive for the faculty member is $15,000, and the college gets $15,000. Consider the same situation but the faculty recovers only $30,000 of his/her base salary. The university gets the first $20,000 and the maximum incentive to the faculty member is $5,000. Those faculty who are appointed in a full-time research track and who are expected to generate 100% of their salary from grants are excluded from this incentive plan. Their salary cannot be supplemented by grant support.
  4. The salary support must be derived from competitively funded extramural grants or contracts. Funds from gifts and from direct federal appropriations will not apply.
  5. The grant must include F & A costs at the maximum rate allowed by the funding agency
  6. Faculty members may request to participate in the plan for all competitive grants or contracts that generate lapsed salary revenues, and to which applicable fringe benefits are charged, including research, service, and training grants and contracts. Investigators’ lapsed salary funded via direct appropriations from the U.S. Congress will be excluded from the Incentive Plan (FGIPP).
  7. Prior to the payment of any incentive, the departmental chair, dean and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs must certify that the faculty member has exhibited satisfactory performance in all assigned duties. Included are the responsibilities of providing good performance of teaching, service and administrative duties as assigned and good fiscal and administrative management of all extramural funds, completion of necessary reports in a timely and effective manner and the grant or contract account must be in good standing.
  8. The plan will not apply retroactively. Any salary charged to a grant or contract for work performed after the date the plan is implemented may be eligible for the plan. Salary charged to a grant or contract for work performed prior to the date the plan is implemented is not eligible for the plan.
  9. Full-time faculty, upon initial appointment to the University, will be eligible to participate in this plan in accordance with the terms of the FGIPP. However, in all cases, all eligibility criteria must be met and salary supplement can only be derived from funds accrued while employed at the University of South Alabama and payment of supplement is made only on funds accrued in the previous fiscal year.
  10. Faculty members who terminate employment at USA will be entitled to an incentive payment in accordance with all terms of the FGIPP accrued to the date of employment termination. However, such payment will not be made until at least 90 days following termination of employment and certification of satisfactory performance in all assigned duties, as defined in # 7 above, is provided. Faculty members who die or who transfer within the University into a position that would not entail securing extramural research funding would be entitled to an incentive payment accrued to the date of death or transfer.

Other Policy Provisions

  1. Salary supplements paid under authority of this plan constitute one-time-only income. Such payments will not affect the base salary of the participating faculty member. Base salary refers to the 9 month salary for all faculty members, except for those explicitly appointed to 12 month contracts, e.g. those in Health Sciences.
  2. Salary supplements paid under authority of this plan are subject to federal and state tax withholding and Alabama Retirement Systems contribution requirements.
  3. Any participating faculty member may elect to assign all, or a portion, of the incentive payment into an account to support professional development in lieu of a salary supplement. Such deposits into professional development accounts are not personal income, and therefore normally are not subject to tax withholding or required retirement system contributions. Unobligated balances in professional development accounts are subject to review by the college at the end of each fiscal year and subject to withdrawal if plans for their use are not approved annually by the respective department chair and dean.
  4. Faculty members participating in this plan, who currently receive unfunded reassigned time from teaching to research, should not expect further reductions in teaching load until all such reassignments are funded via grants or contracts.
  5. The grant incentive payment would be a supplement to the recipient’s regular annual compensation and is not payment for additional work. The grant incentive payment would not affect a recipient’s eligibility for merit or other salary increases.

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