Payment of Officers of Research for Teaching

Stephen Rittenberg, Vice Provost
August 24, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

We are currently conducting a review of our policies and procedures for the payment of officers of research for teaching in the context of the government’s grants management rules. The government has just issued revised regulations that will take effect in December 2014, but we are waiting for additional implementation and clarification by the funding agencies and will not be able to complete the policy review until the fall of 2014 at the earliest.

In the interim, full-time officers of research may teach this fall, but you may not promise them compensation beyond their base salaries for doing so until we have completed our review. Please note that this interim policy does not apply to postdoctoral officers of research, who will be subject to a separate policy review and handled on a case-by-case basis in the interim.

If you do ask full-time officers of research to teach, their instructional salaries, which may not be paid from a government grant or contract, should be included on a separate, part-time instructional appointment. The time they spend on their teaching should be reflected on their effort certification cards as “non-sponsored time.” In addition, you should put them on a partial exemption from research duties (PLA EXR) on their research appointment at a salary that reflects the percentage of effort they will devote to research. In the event that you would like an officer of research to teach on an on-going basis, you should treat the compensation as a permanent increase to the individual’s base salary.

Following current practice, a department wanting an officer of research to teach will need to obtain approval from the researcher’s home department, the office of the appropriate dean/executive vice president, and the Provost’s Office (for Morningside appointments) or the Office of Faculty Affairs (for CUMC appointments) before a commitment for teaching is made. (See attached form).

Where the officer of research is a key person on a sponsored project, and is reducing his or her effort on the project by 25% or more, prior approval must also be obtained from the funding agency through Sponsored Projects Administration.

Finally, any individual funded through an externally funded training program, e.g., an NIH training grant, must obtain prior approval from SPA before accepting a teaching assignment.

If you have questions about the government’s grants management rules, you should contact Carl Sparano in the Controller’s Office (212-854-1049), your SPA project officer, or Naomi Schrag, Associate Vice President for Research Compliance (212-854-8123). Pearl Spiro, Associate Provost for Academic Appointments (212-854-3813), can help you with any questions you may have about completing your research officers’ personnel forms on the Morningside campus. Dr. Anne Taylor, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs at CUMC (212-305-4993), can provide similar assistance for CUMC appointments.

I will appreciate your distributing my e-mail to the departments and educational programs that report to you to help them in making decisions about instructional assignments for the fall.