Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty with VA Appointments and Externally Funded Research

 

Appointment Issues

 

  1. Why isnít my VA Salary included in my Institutional Base Salary?
  2. Is there a university approved Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that I can use?
  3. Can I replace 8thís with grant funded salary when the number of 8thís Iím allocated is reduced mid-year?
  4. Can I decrease the amount of grant funded salary and change my level of effort in order to accept more 8thís than Iím currently allocated?

 

Proposal Issues

 

  1. When requesting salary on a University proposal, do I include my VA salary?
  2. Is there university approved language I can use in my budget justification, and on my Other Support page to explain what appears to be a drastic change in my IBS and in the amount of effort Iím devoting to my NIH funded projects?
  3. Should I include my VA-funded research in my Other Support pages?
  4. If I have a VA Career Development award or other VA-funded research, can I also hold an NIH award (of any kind?)
  5. When I submit new VA research funding applications, should I use my VA salary or my UMB IBS?

 

Effort Certification Issues

 

 

  1. When I do my University effort reports, do I have to report the effort I devote to my VA-funded research?

 

NIH Salary Cap Issues

 

  1. If I have a joint appointment with the VA, how do I determine if I am over the NIH Salary Cap?

 

K-Awards

 

  1. How do I commit effort to a K-Award?

 

8/8ths issues

 

  1. How are 8/8ths appointments handled?

 

 

 

Appointment Issues

 

  1. Why isnít my VA Salary included in my Institutional Base Salary?

 

The NIH sets guidelines for the determination of Institutional Base Salary in its Grants Policy Statement.Since VA salary (usually stated in 8ths) is paid through a separate federal paycheck, this compensation does not meet these guidelines.

 

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  1. Is there a university approved Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that I can use?

 

Faculty with VA appointments must complete and submit, on at least an annual basis, a VA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) documenting the VA effort commitment as well as the UMB and University Physicians, Inc. (Practice Plan) commitments.The School of Medicine has developed a standard format for these MOUs.This form is available by clicking on the following links in PDF format and Word format.For other questions about MOUs, please contact David Ingle at 6-2656.

 

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  1. Can I replace 8thís with grant funded salary when the number of 8thís Iím allocated is reduced mid-year?

 

VA 8ths can change at any time as necessary.When the number of 8thís you are allotted changes mid-year, this represents a corresponding change in your UMB appointment as well.When this happens, a new appointment letter with a revised Institutional Base Salary will be issued for you.Additionally, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be issued.This new Institutional Base Salary should be used for future proposals.

 

If we are anticipating this change in appointment will occur because additional funding is received, this needs to be clearly disclosed in the proposal for the additional funding and the anticipated Institutional Base Salary should be used to request salary support.

 

For current awards, your salary should be charged according to the percentage of University effort you are dedicating to each award multiplied by your new Institutional Base Salary.This percentage of University effort should be higher than what was committed in your proposals since the proposal was based on a larger total University effort.Your current sponsors should be notified of the effect the reduction of total University effort had on your effort commitment calculations

 

 

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  1. Can I decrease the amount of grant funded salary and change my level of effort in order to accept more 8thís than Iím currently allocated?

 

VA 8ths can change at any time as necessary.When the number of 8thís you are allotted changes mid-year, this represents a corresponding change in your UMB appointment as well.When this happens, a new appointment letter with a revised Institutional Base Salary will be issued for you.Additionally, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be issued.This new Institutional Base Salary should be used for future proposals.

 

For current awards, your salary should be charged according to the percentage of University effort you are dedicating to each award multiplied by your new Institutional Base Salary.This percentage of University effort should be higher than what was committed in your proposals since the proposal was based on a larger total University effort.Your current sponsors should be notified of the effect the reduction of total University effort had on your effort commitment calculations

 

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Proposal Issues

 

  1. When requesting salary on a University proposal, do I include my VA salary?

 

VA salary is excluded from the Universityís definition of Institutional Base Salary.The salary base used for proposals is your Institutional Base Salary.Therefore, the salary base used to request salary support should exclude the VA salary.

 

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  1. Is there university approved language I can use in my budget justification, and on my Other Support page to explain what appears to be a drastic change in my IBS and in the amount of effort Iím devoting to my NIH funded projects?

 

In preparing proposals, specifically budget justifications, School of Medicine faculty who hold VA appointments should include the applicable standard statement (below) to disclose to sponsors the basis for effort percentage estimates and salary requests.

 

For an individual with University, VA, and UPI appointments:

 

Dr. ___________ has an appointment with the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) and with the Veterans Administration (VA).This arrangement is defined in a formal UMB-VA Joint Appointment Memorandum of Understanding.The institutional base salary used in this application represents the combined salary from both UMB and University Physicians, Inc.It does not include salary from the VA appointment.The percentage of effort in this application represents UMB effort on the proposed project in relation to professional effort for the dual UMB and University Physicians, Inc. appointments.

 

For an individual with University and VA appointments:

 

Dr. ___________ has an appointment with the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) and with the Veterans Administration (VA).This arrangement is defined in a formal UMB-VA Joint Appointment Memorandum of Understanding.The institutional base salary used in this application represents only the salary from UMB.It does not include salary from the VA appointment.The percentage of effort in this application represents UMB effort on the proposed project in relation to professional effort for the UMB appointment.

 

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  1. Should I include my VA-funded research in my Other Support pages?

 

Sponsors that request Other Support pages are expecting to see all research listed, regardless of funding.Therefore, VA-funded research should be included.However, when you have both VA-funded research and research that is proposed through the University, you will need to disclose your percentage of effort (or person-months) on the Other Support Pages twice - once using total professional effort as the basis and once using University effort as the basis.The University effort basis should agree to the committed effort levels on the budget pages.

 

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  1. If I have a VA Career Development award or other VA-funded research, can I also hold an NIH award (of any kind?)

 

VA Career Development Award holders can not hold an NIH award.Holders of other VA R&D awards (Merit, Career Scientist, Center of Excellence, etc.) can hold NIH awards. Before submitting for a VA award you should contact the VA Research Service at 410-605-7130 (Mary Pope, Dr. Miriam Smyth, or Dr. David Johnson) for guidance.

 

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  1. When I submit new VA research funding applications, should I use my VA salary or my UMB IBS?

 

All questions regarding VA research funding applications should be directed to the VA Research Service at 410-605-7130 (Mary Pope, Dr. Miriam Smyth, or Dr. David Johnson).

 

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Effort Certification Issues

 

  1. When I do my University effort reports, do I have to report the effort I devote to my VA-funded research?

 

Since VA salary is not included in Institutional Base Salary, VA-funded research effort should not be certified on UMBís effort form.Additionally, clinical VA work should also not be included on UMBís effort form.

 

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NIH Salary Cap Issues

 

  1. If I have a joint appointment with the VA, how do I determine if I am over the NIH Salary Cap?

 

Individuals with joint VA and University appointments are geographic full time employees of the University.For purposes of determining whether an individual is over the NIH cap, the individualís University Institutional Base Salary should be compared against the current cap.An example of this calculation can be found at:http://www.cost.umaryland.edu/EffortHelp/NIHSalaryCap.pdf

 

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K-Awards

 

  1. How do I commit effort to a K-Award?

 

The effort commitment on K-Awards is generally stated as a percentage of ďtotal professional effortĒ.The NIH has developed a clarification of ďtotal professional effortĒ with regards to K-awards.This clarification can be found at:

http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-04-056.html

 

In summary as long as the recipient has a full-time UMB appointment and can dedicate the required percentage of University effort to the K-award activities, they meet the NIH requirements.In other words, VA research efforts cannot be used to meet the 75% effort commitment on the K-Award.

 

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8/8ths issues

 

  1. How are 8/8ths appointments handled?

 

8/8ths appointments are strongly discouraged.A separate guidance document has been developed to handle this very unique situation.It can be found at: http://www.cost.umaryland.edu/EffortHelp/va88ths.pdf

 

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