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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 10 - Research
Publication Date: April 17, 2012
Policy Reviewed Date: November 18, 2021
Policy Owner: VP for Research

10.06 Institutional Base Salary on Sponsored Programs


The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is committed to ensuring compliance with federal and The University of Texas System (UT System) policies, regulations and guidelines regarding payroll charges, as prescribed in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions (relocated to 2 CFR Part 220) and UT System Policy 163, Guidance on Effort Reporting and Certification Policies. The cornerstone of such compliance is the proper management and certification of the Effort proposed and expended by all employees working on all Sponsored Programs as is further explained in the UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) policy 10.05, Managing and Certifying Effort on Sponsored Programs.  

This policy fulfills another requirement for ensuring proper payroll charges to Sponsored Programs. It establishes the definition of Institutional Base Salary (IBS) and the requirements for using IBS in properly calculating budgets for Sponsored Program proposal submissions, in assigning a proper value to Cost Shared Effort, and in properly charging salaries to extramurally funded Sponsored Programs.


The cost of salary or wages charged to a grant, contract, or other Sponsored Program agreement must be based on an Individual’s IBS. Whether requesting salary support directly from a Sponsored Program or providing Committed Effort on a Sponsored Program in the form of Cost Shared Effort, the cost attributed to the Committed Effort must be based on an Individual’s IBS as outlined in this policy. This policy is fundamental to UTSA’s compliance with the requirements of OMB Circular A-21, Section J.10a which states in part:

“Compensation for personal services covers all amounts paid currently or accrued by the institution for services of employees rendered during the period of performance under sponsored agreements…. These costs are allowable to the extent that the total compensation to individual employees conforms to the established policies of the institution, consistently applied….”

Financial penalties, expenditure disallowances, and harm to UTSA’s reputation could result from the failure to accurately propose, charge, and/or document the salaries of Individuals who work on Sponsored Programs.

This policy provides the criteria and requirements that must be met regarding IBS on Sponsored Programs.


This policy applies to all employees at UTSA that commit Effort or, in limited circumstances, time to a Sponsored Program.  



UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents' Rules & Regulations

  1. UT System policy 163, Guidance on Effort Reporting and Certification Policies
  2. UTSA HOP policy 10.05, Managing and Certifying Effort on Sponsored Programs
  3. UTSA HOP policy 10.07, Cost Sharing on Sponsored Programs
  4. UTSA HOP policy 10.08, Cost Transfers on Sponsored Programs

Other Policies & Standards

  1. OMB Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions (relocated to 2 CFR Part 220)


If you have any questions about HOP policy 10.06, Institutional Base Salary on Sponsored Programs, please contact the following office:

Office of Sponsored Project Administration (OSPA)

OSPA Research Service Centers (RSCs)


Award: Depending on its context, either: (a) the terms and conditions associated with a Sponsor’s decision to select a UTSA Sponsored Program proposal or application for funding, or (b) the Notice of Award or other documentation reflecting such a decision by the Sponsor.

Committed Effort or Effort Commitment: The amount of Effort identified in a Sponsored Program Award agreement or in a Sponsored Program proposal that is submitted and accepted by the Sponsor for funding regardless of whether or not salary support is requested in support of that Effort. (For a more detailed definition of Committed Effort and more information relating to Effort, see UTSA HOP policy 10.05, Managing and Certifying Effort on Sponsored Programs.) 

Cost Shared Effort or Contributed Effort: The percent of Committed Effort that (1) is contributed by an Individual to a Sponsored Program and (2) is to be paid and cost shared by the university or a third-party. It represents Effort committed to the Sponsored Program with university or third-party resources. (For a more detailed definition of Cost Shared Effort and more information relating generally to Cost Sharing, see UTSA HOP policy 10.07, Cost Sharing on Sponsored Programs.) 

Designated Responsible Party for Effort Reporting Compliance (DRP): The Designated Responsible Party is the vice president for research (VPR). The DRP is responsible for overall management of (1) UTSA’s Effort reporting compliance program and (2) the risks of non-compliance with such program.

Effort: The amount of time spent on any activity for which an Individual is compensated by UTSA. Effort is expressed as a percentage of the Individual’s Total Institutional Activities, which Total Institutional Activities typically include work on Sponsored Programs, teaching and instruction, service, or other duties for UTSA.

Individual: An Individual is any UTSA employee who has Committed Effort (whether paid by the Sponsor or Cost Shared) on a Sponsored Program. Where appropriate in this policy, the following subcategories will be utilized:

  1. A Primary Individual has some responsibility for the overall conduct and management of the research or activity as described in the proposal/application or as identified in the Notice of Award of a Sponsored Program. A Primary Individual is typically identified in the Sponsored Program Award as the principal investigator, project director, co-investigator, or co-project director and typically, but not always, carries an academic (i.e., faculty) appointment.
    1. The PI/PD: In the Effort-Related Policies, when a duty or responsibility falls squarely on only one Primary Individual, that individual may be referred to as The PI/PD (Principal Investigator or Project Director).
  2. A Collaborating Individual is an employee with an academic appointment who expends Committed Effort on a Sponsored Program but does not serve as a Primary Individual on such Sponsored Program.
  3. A Supporting Individual is an employee other than a Primary Individual who does not have a faculty appointment and has expended Committed Effort on a Sponsored Program.

Institutional Base Salary (IBS): The total guaranteed* annual compensation an Individual receives from UTSA, whether the Individual’s time is spent on research, teaching, public service, or other continuous university responsibility.

Sponsors:  Entities, including government, industry, private entities or UTSA, that provide Awards to fund Sponsored Programs at UTSA.

Sponsored Programs: Activities conducted in research, instruction, training, or public service as a result of a formal written agreement (such as a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement), which agreement is typically obtained as a result of a formal application and approval process. These activities can be funded either externally by government, industry, or private sponsors; or, internally by UTSA. Sponsored Programs are separately budgeted and accounted for, meaning there is a defined scope of work, a budget that identifies the costs to be incurred in the performance of the work, and the accumulation of costs actually incurred in support of the project. Sponsored Programs usually involve a specific commitment of time for each Individual involved in achieving the aims of the project. Sponsored Programs may be thought of as transactions in which there are specified statements of work with a related, reciprocal transfer of something of value.

Total Institutional Activities: All activities for which an Individual is compensated by UTSA as a result of their employment, including but not limited to,  serving on UTSA committees, teaching, performing duties associated with UTSA committee-work or teaching, public service, continuous university duties, and research (which may or may not be pursuant to a Sponsored Program).

*The Effort-Related Policies are not intended to and will not in any way change the employment relationship between UTSA and any of its employees. Therefore, no language in this policy can support or serve as the basis of any employment-related claim of any UTSA employee.


  1. Chairs, Deans, and/or Provost or the Supervisor of a non-academic program and/or the Vice President responsible for such non-academic program
    1. Establishes and maintains official, written, auditable records of the Total Institutional Activities for each Individual who is faculty or staff;
    2. Ensures that the information reflected in such records is consistent with information found in the payroll system for each such Individual;
    3. Keeps the records relating to Total Institutional Activities for each Individual and the corresponding payroll system information updated; and
    4. Retains the records relating to Total Institutional Activities for audit purposes.
  2. The PI/PD
    1. Ensures that all requests for salary support in Sponsored Programs proposals are approved by the Individual’s Supervisor.
  3. Office of Sponsored Project Administration (OSPA) Research Service Center (RSC)
    1. Reviews and approves proposals (including budgets) requesting funding from external Sponsors; and 
    2. Reviews and approves proposals to ensure that the IBS is used in calculating Effort for Individuals.
    3. Reviews and monitors IBS charges to awarded grants, contracts and other Sponsored Program agreements.


  1. Determining an Individual's Institutional Base Salary
    1. An  Individual’s IBS includes the regular salary paid by UTSA to that Individual to perform his/her Total Institutional Activities.    
    2. An Individual's IBS must exclude the following:  
      1. fringe benefit payments (as these are separately charged);
      2. reimbursed expenses;
      3. supplemental compensation paid by UTSA; and
      4. income earned outside of duties to UTSA.
    3. An Individual with a nine-month appointment must annualize his/her salary to twelve (12) months when establishing the IBS.
      1. The following formula is used for annualizing salary for the calculation of IBS:

        Salary for 9-month Appointment     X      12

    4. An Individual’s IBS may not be increased as a result of reimbursing UTSA salary funds with Sponsored Program funds.

  2. Properly Using an Individual's Institutional Base Salary
    Unless Sponsor’s policies otherwise limit salary charges, the appropriate amount of money to be submitted as an Individual’s salary charges in the budget proposal for such Sponsored Program or to be itemized as Cost Shared Effort in such proposal is calculated as follows:








Editorial Amendment: December 12, 2013