Summer Salary / Salary Cap

Guidelines for Charging Faculty Summer Salary to Sponsored Research and other Sponsored Projects

The following guidelines are provided for faculty who, in addition to their nine‐month academic year base salary, choose to devote effort and receive compensation during the summer months on sponsored research or other sponsored projects:

A. "Summer Salary" is compensation to faculty for effort performed beyond their period of 9-month appointment. The basis for calculation of an individual faculty member's summer salary that can be charged to a sponsored project is the regular compensation received during the period of appointment. As an example, for faculty on a 9-month (academic year) appointment, each month of summer compensation will be limited to and calculated at the rate of 1/9th of the salary for the academic year preceding the summer effort.

The summer effort reporting period should only include effort provided during the summer effort reporting period from June 1st thru August 31st.

B. All effort devoted and corresponding salary charged to any sponsored project(s) must be in compliance with sponsor and Institutional policies. A faculty member with any academic, administrative, or other non-sponsored responsibilities during the summer, should not normally contribute more than 95% of their effort to sponsored projects.

C. Charges to sponsored projects for summer sponsored research activities must be consistent with the level of effort devoted to each sponsored project during the period and with the funding provided. This effort must be subsequently certified on the faculty member’s Effort Report which includes faculty summer salary charges on sponsored projects.

D. It is understood that, as part of their normal work, faculty may participate in “other academic, administrative or research activities” (OARA) during the summer. These activities include but are not limited to: advising students (outside the scope of the sponsored project charged), unsponsored research, administrative committees, preparing new or renewal proposals, teaching, curriculum development, peer reviews, refereeing and/or writing other scholarly publications. Effort associated with OARA during summer months may not be charged to any sponsored project.

E. To ensure compliance in not charging OARA effort to sponsored projects, effective May 16, 2015, faculty who choose to devote effort and receive compensation during the three summer months will not normally be allowed to charge more than 95% in any one month to a federal award (or a combination of federal awards). Colleges and Departments may be more restrictive.

F. National Science Foundation (NSF) as a general policy limits salary for senior personnel to no more than 2/9 months of their regular salary per year. This two-month limitation applies to both academic year salary and summer salary paid in a fiscal year. NSF projects include awards received directly from NSF, as well as those received as NSF flow-through sub-awards.

If anticipated at the time the proposal is submitted, compensation for such personnel in excess of two months must be disclosed in the proposal budget, justified in the budget justification, and must be specifically approved by NSF in the award notice budget.

However, under normal re-budgeting authority, UNT can internally approve an increase in senior personnel person months that exceeds the two-month salary policy, as long as that change does not change the objectives or scope of the project.

G. National Institutes of Health (NIH) salary is subject to a variable annual cap. The Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024, Act, 20 (Public Law 118-22), signed into law, restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. The Office of Personnel Management has recently released new salary levels for the Executive Pay Scale. Effective January 1, 2024, the salary limitation for Executive Level II is $221,900.

Awards made during different Federal fiscal years were subject to different salary rate caps. For awards issued January 1, 2024 and beyond (Executive Level II) the NIH salary cap limit is 221,0 for a 12-month period ($166,425 for a nine-month appointment or $18,491.67 per monthly pay period). For salaries above this limit, effort on NIH projects must be supplemented by non-sponsored funds in order to receive the entire salary rate amount. Please contact OGCA for calculation assistance. Also, for your convenience, please find below the link for the Salary Cap Calculator.

Salary Cap Calculator for Determining Salary Distribution

For awards issued in those years that were restricted to Executive Level II (see Salary Cap Summary, FY 1990 – FY 2024) Salary Cap Summary (FY 1990 - Present), including competing awards already issued in FY 2024, if adequate funds are available in active awards, and if the salary cap increase is consistent with the institutional base salary, grantees may rebudget to accommodate the current Executive Level II salary level. However, no additional funds will be provided to these grant awards.

The salary cap limitation applies to all NIH funded projects including awards received directly from NIH, as well as those received as NIH flow-through subawards.

Below is the URL for the FY 24 NIH guidance for the salary limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements. Please contact your post award administrator should you need further information.

Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements FY 2024

H. Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) salary may be subject to an annual cap of $200,000 for FY 24 awards for a 12-month period ($150,000 for a nine-month appointment or $16,666.66 per monthly pay period). If the award is subject to the salary cap limitation and the salaries are above this limit, CPRIT effort must be supplemented by non-sponsored funds. Please contact OGCA for calculation assistance.

The salary cap limitation applies to most CPRIT awards*, whether funded directly by CPRIT or received as CPRIT flow-through subawards.

* While most CPRIT awards and subawards are subject to the salary cap, some CPRIT projects are exempt from this limitation and will allow higher salary amounts. Refer to the specific award terms and conditions to determine if the salary limit is applicable.

Faculty should consult the terms and conditions of their awards prior to committing summer month effort as sponsors may have restrictions on summer salary. Any questions regarding sponsor terms or conditions should be addressed by the OGCA.

Reference: Code of Federal Regulations, 2 CFR 200.430

Executive Approver: Dr. Narendra Dahotre, Vice President for Research and Innovation

Guideline Owner: Office of Grants and Contracts Administration (OGCA)

Effective Date: 10.1.14

Revised Date: 03.15.24

Questions: Please contact GCA at 940‐565‐3940


The information on summer salary can be found in the file below:

Summer Salary