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Research Catalyst Program (Pilot)

I. Overview

Ohio University College of Arts & Sciences faculty are strongly encouraged to obtain external funding from research grants and contracts to support their salary and benefits. The intention of this research catalyst program (RCP) is to encourage the acquisition of new funding, and to increase current levels of externally supported research effort for each eligible faculty member.

This RCP defines savings as general operating funds, which are freed up by OHIO regular salary and benefit dollars being included on a grant(s) and/or contract(s). A one-time payment of partial savings will be calculated annually to encourage and reward high levels of productivity and to retain productive faculty members. The RCP is not intended for faculty to abandon existing duties or decline new responsibilities which might be expected of them.

Timeline: January 2023 – Announcement; FY24, FY25 pilot in effect with yearly RCP payments dispersed May 15.

II. Eligibility

  • Generally, Arts & Sciences Tenured or Tenure Track faculty.
  • Other eligibility requirements:
    • Timely submission of grant progress and final reports
    • Maintains assigned departmental workload
    • Up to date compliance training (e.g., conduct of research, human subjects training, etc.)
    • No significant findings of noncompliance or violations of federal or institutional research-related policies and procedures
    • Maintains active status as an Ohio University employee at the time the bonus is issued. Bonuses are estimated to be paid on the second semi-monthly pay date in June.

III. Research Catalyst Program Annual Process

  • The RCP payouts will be calculated at the end of each academic year. Payroll corrections made after May 15 of the fiscal year will not be included in the RCP calculation.
  • After determination of the RCP payout, the A&S CFAO working will submit the list of proposed RCP payments to the Department Chairs for review and Dean’s Office for final approval.
  • After the annual approval process, RCP payments will be made.
  • Faculty who separate from OHIO prior to the payment of a RCP will forfeit the payment.

IV. Research Catalyst Program Methodology

  • Each year, the calculation will be entirely based on that fiscal year’s activity alone, without regard to calculations from prior years. A forecast snapshot of the entire fiscal year will be taken on May 15 for the RCP calculation. Payroll corrections made after May 15 of the fiscal year will not be included in the RCP calculation.
  • Eligible faculty (see eligibility requirements above) will receive a RCP payment if they support equal to or greater than $5K of their OU regular salary and associated benefits on external research and programmatic grants.
    • Base Salary Definition: The rate paid by the hour, week, month, or year to an individual for the job performed. This is listed under the payroll element “OU Regular Salary.”
  • Base Salary Exceptions: Bonuses, services, summer salary, shift differentials, overtime, incentives and any other pay element other than OU regular salary will not be included. Additionally, salary and benefits covered by OHF, match and salary cap accounts, state subsidies, endowments and other programs identified by the college will not be included. Salary and benefits paid on an account covered by a Departmental Guarantee Memo (DGM) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • 50% of the savings will be returned to the faculty member as research catalyst.
    • This research catalyst can be used as either a bonus to the faculty member (not to exceed 25% of their OU regular salary) and/or funding to support their research programs.
    • Variable benefits (Retirement, Worker Compensation, and Medicare) will be backed off the RCP bonus so that the bonus and associated benefits in total will equal the 25% OU regular salary calculation.
    • RCP bonuses are not eligible for retirement contributions
  • This will be funded by general operating account(s). Grant accounts CANNOT be used to fund this RCP.
    • If a faculty member separates from the institution, any residual funding in their research support account will revert to the college.
  • The remaining 50% of savings will be returned to the college.

V. Compliance with Government Regulations

  • In accordance with government regulations and University policy, under no circumstances may external salary support be obtained from any grant in excess of the actual amount of faculty effort devoted to that grant. All compensation charged to grants will comply with Uniform Guidance 430.
  • RCP payments based on productivity are not considered Institutional Base Salary (IBS) and should not be directly charged to sponsored projects either as a supplemental payment or as a component of IBS.
  • RCP payments of this nature are for research productivity above and beyond IBS and are NOT additional responsibilities.
  • Research catalyst programs should comply with applicable University policies.