Budget Questions

On a new application, can a PI or other project personnel commit to a level of effort that exceeds their current appointment at OHSU? If so, what institutional base salary should we show for them on the budget?

With their department chair's approval, signified by an email or signed memo to the designated RGC Grants and Contracts Administrator (GCA), project personnel, including PIs, may commit effort at a level that exceeds their current OHSU FTE level. The institutional base salary should be indicated as the full-time equivalent of their current partial-appointment salary. For example: An investigator holds a .05 FTE appointment at OHSU, for which he receives a salary of $5,000. He wants to commit 25% effort to a grant on which he will be the Principal Investigator. His full-time equivalent rate of pay would be $100,000/year. With his chair's approval and full disclosure in the budget and budget justification, he can indicate his institutional base salary as $100,000, show his proposed effort on the project as 25%, and request a salary of $25,000. Full disclosure is provided with an asterisk next to the institutional base salary number on the budget, linked to an explanatory note in the budget justification. To use this example, the note might read as follows: " Dr. Smith will commit 25% effort to this project. Note that Dr. Smith currently holds a 5% appointment at OHSU, which will be increased to 25% if this application is awarded. The indicated institutional base salary is quoted at the full-time equivalent rate." On modular budgets a note in the budget justification will suffice. Again using this example, this might read: "Dr. Smith will commit 25% effort to this project. Note that Dr. Smith currently holds a 5% appointment at OHSU, which will be increased to 25% if this application is awarded."

May I use actual fringe rates rather than the posted OPE rates for staff with different salary levels?

Actual OPE rates should be used for all personnel when available. If actual OPE rates are not available, please refer to the OPE Rate Chart for the current rates. To be determined personnel should use the published rates that correspond to annual salary requested. Fringe benefits should not be requested for Graduate Research Assistants.  If actual OPE is less than the OPE rate chart, the actual OPE should be used.  

Do I add fringe benefits to my Research Assistant's salary?

Graduate Research Assistants receive stipends that are not paid through payroll. No fringe should be requested. This does not include student health insurance, however.

Under what circumstances can I budget greater than a 3% increase in salaries? what approvals are necessary in that situation?

The NIH and most other federal agencies no longer allow cost of living increases for personnel or any other costs. Cost of living/inflationary increases should only be requested when permitted by the sponsor. However, merit increases and promotions typically are allowed and should be included in the budget if a pay increase is expected. Pay increases will require an explanatory email from the department fiscal authority. Major increases may require written confirmation from the department chair. Any expected pay increases should be addressed in the application's Budget Justification. A pay increase should never be based on the condition of a project being awarded.

What if I know that we are going to give someone a promotion when this grant is funded?

Follow the instructions for level of increase as stated above.

What if I named someone in a grant application that is not a current OHSU employee, but we want to hire that person if funded--what salary should I use?

If an offer has been made, use the salary quoted in the offer and send a copy to RGC. If not, use the salary low to mid-range for a comparable position at OHSU.

Is it okay if I don't budget any money for my mentor's efforts on my grant? If I don't, should I still show his or her percent effort and list him or her as Key?

In general, mentors should be listed as Other Significant Contributors with no effort committed unless the specific application has overriding requirements. You should review the sponsor's guidance to determine what is required.

My consultant (off-campus) wants to donate his or her time to my grant. How do I show this on the application form and what "permission" is needed for this?

If a consultant is donating his or her time, then they should state this information in a letter of support to be included with the application. The level of effort they are contributing should be shown in budget justification.

What do I do if my off-campus consultant is using another university's lab resources to assist in my grant?

If resources from another university are committed, that university needs to have co-signed the letter your off-campus consultant writes describing the services and resources to be used.

What is the definition of patient care costs?

These are the costs of routine and ancillary services provided by hospitals to individuals participating in research programs. If you believe your program includes patient care costs, please contact your GCA to discuss. Patient care costs are relatively rare, but are an essential part of some programs. Quantifying these costs, (i.e. identifying the correct rates) usually requires RGC assistance, so a discussion with your GCA should take place as early as possible in your grant development process.

Is effort tracked by OHSU for all personnel or just Key Personnel?

Effort is tracked for all OHSU individuals paid on federal projects regardless of their role on the grant. This is done through the Effort Certification Statement that is certified on a semi-annual basis. Whenever effort is part of a commitment made to the sponsor without salary support requested, it is considered cost sharing. If the project has mandatory cost sharing an OGA cost sharing account needs to be setup by SPA to track the expenses. Voluntary cost sharing does not require an OGA cost sharing account and can be tracked by the department in a separate account. In either case, a cost-sharing agreement form should be completed, signed and sent to RGC in the InfoEd proposal.