Research and Sponsored Projects Manual (RSP)

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Effective: 3/1/1983

Revised: 7/1/2018

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RSP 502–01: Personnel Employed on Sponsored Projects

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To outline the requirements and responsibilities of principal investigators (PIs) for personnel employed on sponsored projects

To assure that project personnel are proposed and employed in accordance with ASU human resources policies, which are in accordance with federal, state, and sponsor employment guidelines and compensation regulations

To establish compensation guidelines for university employees to be paid from a sponsored project account, including intra-institution of higher education (IHE) consulting pay and nonexempt overtime pay

To outline the types of appointments and hiring procedures for employees assigned to a sponsored project

To establish the appointment criteria for personnel assigned to sponsored projects to fulfill the external obligation for those funds

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Office of the Provost of the University
Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration (ORSPA)
Financial Aid and Scholarship Services
Office of Human Resources

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The principal investigator is responsible for staffing sponsored projects from proposal/budget preparation to recruitment, hiring, supervision, and termination of employee activity on the project. All actions will be coordinated with the unit that hosts the project (center or department) which is responsible for compliance with the university’s human resources policies and procedures, and must meet the university’s equal opportunity/affirmative action guidelines, and applicable other federal and state mandated requirements.

Salary rates for personnel employed on sponsored projects must be consistent with sponsor guidelines as well as the rates paid from other university-administered funds for similar positions. Personnel appointed to sponsored projects receive the same benefits as similar positions within the university.

Sponsor regulations generally prohibit payment of intra-IHE consulting pay for full-time employees. Provision for intra-IHE consulting pay must be requested in the proposal, explicitly authorized in the sponsor’s award document, or approved by the ORSPA representative.

Consistent with federal authoritative requirements (see RSP 101, “General Research Policy”), only compensation for personal services directly related to the sponsored project can be charged to that project. Some examples of allowable activities are performing project research, progress report generation, research related conferences, and research meetings.

Personnel are employed on sponsored project accounts contingent upon the availability of funds. Appointments do not guarantee future employment with the institution nor are they intended to prescribe a long-term employer-employee relationship. All personnel hired specifically to work on sponsored projects must be notified at the time of hire that their services will be terminated at the completion of the award or in the event of cancellation of the award. The principal investigator and hiring unit are responsible for all appointment related notifications.

An individual’s appointment may not exceed the performance period of the sponsored project award on which they are working. Their appointment may be extended if the sponsored project award is subsequently extended or if their compensation for personal services is allocated to alternate funding sources.

Summer Salary

Salaries charged to sponsored projects during the summer months must coincide with the period during which the personal services of employees were rendered on the project.

The maximum allowable pay rate during summer months should not exceed 1 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) total for all appointments. The summer compensation rate for each appointment should be in proportion to the personal services rendered for each appointment.

Limitations on Salary

If a sponsoring agency has a limit on compensation for personal services that is more restrictive than institutional policy, that sponsoring agency’s guidance takes precedence.

For more information on how RSP policies are implemented during each phase of a project, see the ORSPA website.

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For authoritative references, see RSP 101, “General Research Policy.”

For general information, see the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures ManualACD 505-01, “Initial Appointment and Offer Letter”

For information about the ASU personnel policy related to hiring, see:

  1. the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures ManualACD 510-04, “Intra-Institution of Higher Education (IHE) Consulting”


  2. the Staff Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual, employment policies and procedures in the 200 section, “Employment.”

For information about affirmative action guidelines, see the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures ManualACD 401, “Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.”

For more information on equal opportunities, accesses, and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, see the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures ManualACD 405, “Individuals with Disabilities.”

For information on types of appointments and hiring, see the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures Manual:

  1. ACD 505-02, “Faculty Membership, Appointment Categories, Ranks, and Titles”
  2. ACD 505-03, “Academic Professional Status, Ranks, Titles, and Appointment Categories”


  3. ACD 505-04, “Transfer, Joint, and Affiliated Faculty and Academic Professional Appointments.”

For information about hiring students, see the pertinent policies in the Student Services Manual:

  1. SSM 304, “Student Employment—General Policies”
  2. SSM 305, “Student Employment—Compensation and Benefits”


  3. SSM 306, “Student Employment—Federal Work-Study Program.”

For further information on supplemental pay, see:

  1. the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures ManualACD 510-01, “Notification of Consulting or Other Outside Business Activities or Arrangements for Faculty and Academic Professionals”


  2. the Staff Personnel Policies and Procedures ManualSPP 404-02, “Supplemental Pay.”

For details and procedures on overtime, see the Staff Personnel Policies and Procedures ManualSPP 404-04, “Overtime—General Policy.”

For information on termination of employees, see the Staff Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual:

  1. SPP 1007, “Processing Terminations of Employment”


  2. SPP 1011, “Involuntary Termination.”

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