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Faculty Research Incentive Plan


Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions (CHSP) faculty are strongly encouraged to obtain external funding from research grants and contracts to support their salary and benefits. This incentive plan intends to encourage the acquisition of new funding and to increase current levels of externally supported research effort for each eligible faculty member.

This faculty incentive model defines savings as general operating funds, which are freed up by OU's 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 incentive policy applies only when covering research time. The faculty member must fulfill all expectations for annual performance goals for teaching, professional development, and service set and agreed upon by the faculty member and the faculty member’s department chair. The Research Incentive Plan is a three-year pilot program. At the end of the three years, the Program will be evaluated by the Deans Office. It is not a contract and is subject to change, with or without notice, at CHSP’s sole discretion. CHSP reserves the right to amend this procedure at any time, as necessary or appropriate. Teaching buyouts should be negotiated with directors to ensure there is coverage for the teaching time and that actual teaching release is required to complete the work.


  • Generally, CHSP Tenure 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., the 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

Incentive Plan Annual Process

  • The incentive payouts for each department 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 incentive calculation. 
  • After the determination of the incentive payout, the finance office will submit the list of proposed incentive payments to the Department Chair, ADRI, and Executive Dean’s Office for final approval.
  • After the annual approval process, incentive payments will be made.
  • Faculty who separate from OHIO prior to the payment of a faculty incentive will forfeit the payment.

Incentive Plan 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 faculty research incentive calculation. Payroll corrections made after May 15 of the fiscal year will not be included in the incentive calculation.
  • Eligible faculty (see eligibility requirements above) will receive an incentive 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's 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 an incentive.
    • This incentive 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 program.
    • Variable benefits (Worker Compensation and Medicare) will be backed off the faculty research incentive bonus so that the bonus and associated benefits in total will equal the 25% OU regular salary calculation.
    • Faculty Research Bonuses are eligible for retirement contributions.
    • This will be funded by general operating account(s). Grant accounts CANNOT be used to fund this incentive.
    • 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 for re-investment into research activities and to support instructional needs.
  • See Appendix A for calculation examples.

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 200.430.
  • Research incentive 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.
  • Incentive payments of this nature are for research productivity above and beyond IBS and are NOT additional responsibilities.
  • Research incentive plans should comply with applicable University policies.

Faculty Research Incentive Appendix A

Name OU Regular Salary Regular Salary + Benefits Charged to External Grant/Program (Savings) Amount Eligible for Faculty Research Incentive Program (50% Column B) Actual Faculty Research Incentive Bonus (Up to 25% OU Regular Salary) Faculty Research Incentive Bonus Benefits Cost Faculty Research Support Account
Faculty A 85,000 9,476 4,738 4,738 4,636 101 -
Faculty B 85,000 72,565 36,282 21,250 - 465 14,567
Faculty C 85,000 31,614 15,807 - - - 15,807
Faculty D 85,000 2,428 1,214 - - - -

Faculty A - Full bonus payment allowable per Column C.  25% of OU's regular salary greater than the amount eligible.

Faculty B - Full bonus payment allowable up to 25% of OU's regular salary.,  The remainder of the amount eligible in Column C is deposited to research support.

Faculty C- Bonus available, however, faculty member requested faculty research support instead of bonus.

Faculty D- Not eligible since the faculty member did not charge more than $5,000 of payroll and benefits to an external grant/program.


  1. Salary and benefits are to be reported through the OBI system.
  2. OU's regular salary and total salary + benefits in Columns A & B for example purposes only.
  3. Benefit costs for Workers' Compensation + Medicare will be assessed for bonus payments at the rate of 2.189%.