The MSU Incentive Program for Researchers (IPR) is designed to enhance sponsored research and scholarly activities by encouraging faculty to secure externally-funded research, scholarship and sponsored program projects so they can participate in IPR. All tenured and tenure-track faculty members, except those currently on University Sponsored Research Appointments (USRAs), are eligible to participate provided they meet the requirements of the program. The program applies to federal, state, foundation, and private/industry funded research projects, but excludes testing services agreements and gift funds

The IPR Program rewards faculty by allowing them to supplement their regular Institutional Base Salary (IBS) by charging salary to their grants/projects during the academic year and then receiving the freed-up salary as supplemental pay. Participating faculty who meet the requirements of the program will receive the recovered salary in monthly payments. Faculty can receive no more than 25% of their IBS in supplemental pay (the total of IPR and additional compensation), regardless of the amount charged to their grants/projects.   IBS is the sum of the 9-month AY or 12-month FY appointment (including all raises throughout the year).

To make the funds available for monthly distribution, an Electronic Personnel Action Form (EPAF) Labor distribution change needs to be submitted to charge salary (and associated benefits) from the instructional index to the grant/contract proportionate to the amount of time the faculty member invests on the project. In turn, the institutional index used to pay the faculty member’s institutional  salary will then be freed up and used to distribute the supplemental pay. The net change to the Index paying the faculty member’s salary will be zero.

A form entitled “Intent to Participate in the Incentive Program for Researchers (IPR)” has been created. The form collects information to ensure the faculty member is eligible to participate and to facilitate the processing of the EPAF to charge the salary to the grants/projects throughout the year. The following narrative explains what is needed in each section of the form.

The “Intent to Participate” form must be initiated and submitted by the 20th of the month it is to be effective. Retroactive requests cannot be processed.

FORM INSTRUCTIONS  Pg 1 - Participation:

Name: Faculty member’s name.

Department: Faculty member’s home department. This will also be where the form is returned to have the EPAF processed.

MSU ID: Include the faculty member’s full MSU (GID - XXXXXXXX) since the form will be routed securely through DocuSign.

Institutional Base Salary (IBS): IBS is the annual compensation paid by the University for a faculty member’s AY appointment, whether that individual’s time is spent on research, instruction, service or administration.  The total IBS is the sum of the 9-month AY or 12month FY appointment (including all raises throughout the AY).

In order to participate: The items listed in this section are intended to provide a brief summary of the requirements to participate in the program so a faculty member can determine up front whether or not s/he is eligible for the program.

  • If more salary is charged to the grant/project than the % effort assigned to research, the cost associated with the approved replacement for that release must first be deducted. The remaining (net) salary will be used to calculate the payment.
  • Additional compensation from all funding sources (i.e., salary earned above the IBS processed via the Additional Compensation Request Form) must first be considered.
  • The maximum salary supplement (IPR and any other additional compensation from all funding sources) cannot exceed 25% of the faculty member’s annual Institutional Base Salary (IBS).

To Be Completed by the Department Head: The items listed in this section are intended to confirm two points:

  • The rating of the most recent annual review.
  • A teaching replacement is not required – or – the cost of the teaching replacement is recorded and deducted before calculating the incentive payment(s).

Note: If the second box is marked indicated that the % of research expended will exceed the % of research effort assignment and a teaching replacement is needed, the total cost of the teaching replacement will be divided equally over the semester pay periods.

Faculty workload breakdown for the upcoming fiscal year: The first obligation on recovered salary is payment of any costs incurred to provide services a faculty member will not be providing because of the responsibilities to the grant/contract research/scholarly activities.  Only after these obligations have been fully and completely accounted for will the recovered salary be available to fund an incentive payment.  In order to determine if teaching replacement is necessary, the faculty member’s workload is needed.  If s/he charges more salary to the grant/project than the percentage assigned to research, s/he will need to first cover the cost of a replacement for that release.  The remaining salary will be used to calculate the IPR payment.  For the purposes of this incentive program, a buyout of teaching will not normally be needed unless the faculty member has exceeded his/her research percentage assignment.

Reminders: As indicated on the form, to qualify for IPR and receive monthly payments, the following criteria need to be met: Time & Effort Reports completed; Technical Reports submitted (if due); and an annual review of at least “meets expectation” received.

Signatures on the form denote the following:

  • Faculty Member: The information on the form is accurate and the faculty member has read the IPR policy.
  • Department Head: Concurrence with the indicated workload breakdown and approval to participate in the program.
  • Dean/AES/ES Signature: Acknowledge participation in the program.
  • Provost Signature: Acknowledge participation in the program.
  • OSP Signature: Confirmation of eligibility to participate in the program by the department’s Fiscal Manager.

DocSign Routing Queue:  This section contains the proper signing order and designated signer information for central offices.

FORM INSTRUCTIONS  Pg 2 – Financial Information:

example of the Financial Information portion of the IPR Intent to Participate Form

Charge the following salary to my grant fund(s): This box captures the total salary, by pay period, which is to be charged to the grant/award(s).  The Pay Period number correlates to the month that the payment is made, covering the hours of the previous month (e.g., Pay 8 is paid in August 2020 covering the work performed in July 2020).  The total dollar amount charged to the grant/award(s) is listed in the first box. The corresponding index and % of the total participation amount is then indicated, per month.

Indexes for IPR Payout (should total 100%): This box captures the salary savings generated in the institutional index due to salary being charged to the grants (via the Labor Distribution Change EPAF). These amounts will be the same as the participation amounts UNLESS teaching replacement costs are needed. The Index(es) listed indicate where the faculty member’s regular institutional salary is paid. Note:  This section will be modified to list the month (ex: July) followed by the pay period by date (8/11) so it is clear when PI’s work and when they will receive their IPR payment.

Final Checks:

  • The fully executed form will be returned to the originating department so that an EPAF Labor distribution change can be completed to match the total grant salary per month. Account code 61123P should be used for all IPR grant related salary.  The amount remaining on the instructional index should continue to post to account code 61123.  A third tab entitled EPAF Labor Distribution has been included in the worksheet to help with these calculations
  • Monthly IPR payments (indicated in the Indexes for IPR Payout (should total 100%)) box will be entered by HR and with post monthly in the indicated index and the 61132R account code.