Faculty Salary & Effort

School of Medicine Policy Concerning the Portion of Faculty Salary to be Funded from Sponsored Projects

Stanford University policy (Research Policy Handbook 3.1) requires sponsored project proposals to include a commitment of effort on the part of the PI for the proposed period. Please note, this policy does not extend to internal awards or training grants; see FAQs below. Effort commitment should be commensurate with the PI’s effort required to perform the scope of work.

Faculty research activities in the School of Medicine are funded through various sources that include grants and contracts, gifts, endowments, clinical trials, patient care, and operating budget allocation from the School. To ensure faculty in the role of PI/MPI, Co-PI, Co-Investigator or any other investigator recover the associated salary and benefits for effort commitments on sponsored research, the SoM implemented the following policy regarding faculty salaries charged to sponsored projects. 

Policy Statement

The following details the School of Medicine's policy regarding the charging of faculty salaries to sponsored projects:
  1. Faculty are expected to develop salary support from sponsored research in an amount reflective of the total amount of time allocated to sponsored research activities. 

  2. School of Medicine Faculty who derive their full salary support from the Department of Veteran's Affairs are exempt from this policy. However, if Stanford pays any portion of the faculty salary, the policy applies to the Stanford portion. 

  3.  On studies (clinical research/clinical trials) where faculty effort is included in the per patient costs, the faculty effort and salary will be reflected in the internal working budget based on anticipated patient enrollment.  The total effort over the performance period is based on number of patients recruited.  As a result, it is allowable for the total effort over the performance period to be less than 1%. 

  4. If the amount of a grant or contract award differs significantly from the proposal, either the faculty salary support and percentage of time to be spent on the project or other expenses must be adjusted accordingly. Prior approval from the sponsor may be required.

Exceptions to Policy
Waiver exceptions to these policies will be considered for the following circumstances:

  1. The sponsor does not provide salary support for the effort committed.  The waiver can be provided to allow the department/division to cost-share the associated salary and benefits. 
  2. The effort commitment to the sponsor is less than 1% (minimal effort). This effort may be directly charged to the project or a request to cost-share the associated salary and benefits may be included. Note: waiver exceptions are not required for clinical trials based on the policy.
  3. The effort in the role of PI is as mentor to a postdoc or research associate who is responsible for the scope of work (student augmentation). 

Process for Requesting a Waiver

Any required Effort Waiver must be obtained before the sponsored project proposal can be submitted.

  1. Your RPM or CT RPM will identify when an Effort Waiver is required.  The RPM will draft the waiver request based on the categories of exceptions to the Faculty Salary & Effort Policy provided above.
  2. The investigator associated with the waiver will be required to provide justification on how their situation meets the criteria for exception.
  3. The RPM or CT RPM will then submit the waiver request to the RMG Executive Director for final review and approval.


Frequently Asked Questions