Published: Dec. 7, 2015

As a general policy, NSF limits the salary compensation requested in the proposal budget for senior personnel to no more than two months of their regular salary in any one year. CU-Boulder considers our fiscal year as the one year period. This limit includes salary compensation received from all NSF-funded grants. If anticipated, any compensation in excess of the two months can be requested from NSF in the proposal with the required documentation and justification.  NSF also provides CU-Boulder rebudgeting authority to internally approve changes to personnel salary support, even if that results in support that exceeds two months.

If you want to propose and/or expense more than two months direct NSF salary support in any 12 month period, you should include the following applicable criteria to assist you in developing your justification, either at proposal or for a budget deviation after the award has been funded.

  • The additional salary support is necessary to fulfill the research objective of the project.
  • The project will be negatively impacted by not supporting additional PI paid effort.
  • How the costs are reasonable, directly benefit the project, and represent prudent use of the sponsor’s funds.
  • An explanation for other budgeted costs that will be reduced in order to compensate for the additional unbudgeted salary support.

OCG is currently developing a large number of procedural guidelines regarding cost principles, including a process for budget deviations expected to be in effect in early 2016.