Procedure for Research Incentive Program

April 4, 2022

1. Purpose and Standard


This procedure establishes guidelines for the Research Incentive Program (the “Program”) and defines the conditions under which research incentive pay increments may be awarded to faculty at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (“WVSOM”).


WVSOM Institutional Policy PE-01: Employees, Section 7.2.3, allows for the use of incentive compensation, which is defined as one-time payments based on the achievement of previously defined, objective, quantifiable metrics over a defined period of time or incentive to motivate an employee to remain in the employee’s position until a certain date.


The purpose of the Program is to encourage active participation of faculty in competing for extramural support for research projects and to produce income revenue that can be used to support faculty salaries. The Program serves to reward faculty investigators who, in addition to generating income covering facilities and administrative (F&A) costs (also known as overhead or indirect costs), are successful in securing extramural funding for their research. This can be achieved, in part, by requesting, on all grant proposals, an allotment for salary consistent with the percentage of professional effort to be devoted to the project. This allows for the Program to provide pay incentives as set forth in this procedure to faculty for obtaining external research funding. Incentives are paid as a salary supplement.

2. Applicability


This procedure applies only to full-time (1.0 FTE) faculty serving as a principal investigator (PI) or coprincipal investigator (Co-PI) who have secured extramural funds while maintaining their other academic, scholarly and service responsibilities.


The Program is not a contract and is subject to change, with or without notice, at WVSOM’s sole discretion.


WVSOM reserves the right to amend this procedure at any time, as necessary or appropriate.

3. General Provisions


The decision to participate in the Program is voluntary and at the faculty member’s discretion.


If permitted by the grant and applicable law, faculty will receive up to 33% of the salary savings amount produced by effort charged to externally funded grants.


At least 10% of the faculty member’s WVSOM funded base salary must be charged to an eligible grant.


The actual annual incentive payment to a faculty member may not exceed 25% of their institutional base salary which includes all grants.


The percent incentive pay is based on actual salary unless salary exceeds the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) salary cap amount in force at the time, in which case the percent incentive pay is based on the NIH salary cap amount in force at the time.


The faculty portion of the incentive cannot exceed the amount generated and collected from the grant.


Faculty receiving an extramural grant as a PI or Co-PI after the effective date of this procedure in an amount of $25,000 or greater will receive a one-time payment of $3,000 for the first grant awarded as an employee of WVSOM.


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 faculty member must exhibit satisfactory performance in all assigned duties as determined by the faculty member’s department chair and associate dean, including good fiscal and administrative management of all intramural and extramural funds for which the faculty member is PI or Co-PI, and complete necessary reports in a timely manner.


The amount of the incentive payment and the process by which the incentive payment will be paid shall be established in writing prior to submission of the grant. The incentive pay agreement must be signed by the PI and the President or Vice President for Finance and Facilities or their designee. The incentive payment shall be reconciled to actual activity before a payment is issued.


Incentive payment(s) shall not modify the faculty member’s institutional base salary and shall not be paid from sponsored project funds. Only institutional funds made available through salary savings may be used for incentive compensation.


Availability of any payments under the Program is subject to the availability of state appropriations and to any applicable state or federal laws, regulations or policies.


Program incentives are not considered creditable compensation for retirement purposes, nor considered in calculation of institutional base salary, and are subject to all applicable federal, state, and local taxes and withholdings. Incentive compensation does not affect a faculty member’s eligibility for merit or other salary adjustments. This Program is not intended to replace annual performance-based merit increases.


If a faculty member retires, leaves, or separates from WVSOM, any remaining incentive compensation not paid out to the faculty member will not be paid and the funds will revert to WVSOM’s general operating budget. Similarly, if the investigator retires, leaves, or separates from WVSOM, any funds remaining in a designated, discretionary research expense account will revert to WVSOM’s general operating budget.


Faculty who take an approved leave of absence (e.g., extended leave in the form of catastrophic leave, unpaid or paid leave, medical leave, sick leave, or personal leave) will not receive incentive payments under this Program. Faculty wishing to take sabbatical leave while participating in the Program must submit the sabbatical plan for review prior to execution of the incentive pay agreement or any amendments thereto.


WVSOM reserves the right to suspend or terminate this Program or the participation of any faculty member at any time. No verbal commitment to participation or incentive pay under the Program is binding and only the final signatures of all required parties shall constitute a commitment under the Program.

4. Program Review


The Research Incentive Program is a three-year pilot program. At the end of the three years, the Program will be evaluated by the Assistant Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs and the Director of Finance to determine use, impact, and budget sustainability. A recommendation will be made to the Vice President for Finance and Facilities, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, and the Vice President for Administration and External Relations to sustain, revise, or dissolve the Program