Salary and Wages


Project Personnel

When providing information about project personnel, follow the sponsor's guidelines and University policies.

List all UCI project personnel in this category whether or not they will receive salary. Salary and wage costs associated with non-UCI personnel must be treated either as consultant costs or as a subcontract. Project personnel usually includes faculty, technicians, post-docs, graduate students and other personnel who are essential to perform the project.

Fees for professional services that will be recharged through UCIMC should be included in the other direct cost category as patient care.

Calculating Salaries

Calculate all project personnel costs using actual salaries. If the individual who will fill a position is not known, calculate the salary by using the mid-point salary from the appropriate UCI salary scale. 
Never express personnel costs or effort in terms of hours, except for student, casual and per diem employees who are paid by the hour.

Calculating Merit Increases and Range Adjustments

Project anticipated merit increases and range adjustments as appropriate for each position in each budget period. There is a six- to nine-month delay between proposal submission and award, so remember to calculate personnel costs using current actual salaries plus any merit or cost of living increases anticipated between proposal submission and the proposed start date.

Summer Salaries for Nine-Month Appointees

List summer salary for nine-month appointees separately using one-ninth or two-ninths of the base salary to calculate the amount requested. The University and some sponsors restrict summer salary compensation to no more than two months. A third month of summer salary may require Dean or sponsor approval.

Cost Sharing Personnel Costs

When proposing to cost share personnel costs, do so by listing the percent of effort to be funded by the sponsor as a single budget line item and the level of effort to be cost shared by the University as a different line item. For example, if a principal investigator will devote 30% effort to a project, but is requesting funding for only 10% effort, the first line item should disclose 10% effort and the amount of salary requested for that effort, the second line item should disclose 20% effort but not request any salary. The budget justification must state that the principal investigator will donate 20% effort to the project and must disclose the dollar value of the personnel services to be cost shared by the University.

Please note the University does not cost share on projects proposed to, or funded by, for-profit sponsors.

Salary Rate Cap

If an individual's salary rate exceeds a salary rate cap imposed by sponsor policy (e.g., NIH salary rate cap), list the institutional base salary (negotiated salary) in the budget and calculate the budget using that salary unless the sponsor’s funding opportunity announcement or proposal preparation policies require a different treatment.  In the case of NIH, when an award is made they will make an adjustment so that any salaries exceeding the rate cap are awarded at the rate cap.  Please note that this differential expense is an unallowable cost and is not eligible for cost sharing.

Employee Salary Range Projections

The table below shows projected salary increases and should be used in calculating all contract and grant proposal budgets. For faculty, other academic employees and staff employees in a step-based pay plan, budget for range adjustments first, then add merit increases where applicable. For staff employees in merit-based pay plans, budget an average increase with no separate calculations for cost-of-living and merit increases.

Range adjustment 2%
Merit increase (normally every 2-3 years) 5% if applicable
Other Academic
Range adjustment 2.0%
Merit increase (normally every 2-3 years) 5% if applicable
Staff on Step-Based Pay Plans
Range Adjustment 2.0%
Merit increase 5% if applicable
Staff on Merit-Based Pay Plans
Pool Increase 3.5%

Note that the "Academic" category has been split into "Faculty" and "Other Academic" categories in accordance academic salary scales.

"Other Academic" titles include professional researchers, research assistants, post graduate researchers, physical education instructors, acting instructors, lecturers other than those with security of employment, visiting professors, visiting astronomers, librarians, specialists, and those with "recalled" in their titles.

Special Consideration: Clinical Trials

Pharmaceutical sponsor budget forms usually itemize the costs of each element, procedure or service required by the study protocol and which requires the University to calculate the full cost for each item. When doing so, make sure to include all personnel costs as appropriate. For example, if the principal investigator will conduct all initial screenings, the cost should include the PIs salary, benefits and any other costs associated with that activity.

When preparing a standard budget for a clinical trial, only list UCI project personnel in this category. For the purpose of clinical trials, project personnel may include those individuals in administrative positions who are essential to the performance of the project.

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