Research Incentive Program


The purpose of the Research Incentive Program is to recognize, reward, and encourage those Faculty who successfully compete for the award of research grants which contribute to the recognition of USF as a Research University. A portion of the salary savings from the grant is used for the incentive payment.


Eligibility is limited to full-time faculty receiving any portion of their salary from state appropriated education and general (E&G) funds at the time of the application. Applications for the Research Incentive Program will be accepted starting in October with a deadline of November 7th for fall payments and April 9th for spring awards.

Participation in the Research Incentive Program is voluntary and at the faculty member's discretion. The department chair cannot mandate participation.

The principal investigator(s) (PI)(s) must be willing to commit to a minimum of .20 FTE or more of their support, including benefits, from their grant funding.

For Academic Year 2003/2004, a minimum direct cost threshold of $50,000 per year in extramural peer-reviewed grant funding bearing indirect costs not less than 20% negotiated rate is necessary for consideration for eligibility to participate in the program.

The threshold may be cumulative adjusted pro rata for any period that the PI meets the program guidelines by combining grants (direct and indirect costs) that meet the definition for consideration. Co-PIs may be eligible for consideration provided that all other conditions are met, funds are available for salary support from the grant, and that the pro rata allocation to the funding total is met by weighting the role of the PI at not less than 50% and assignment of the balance of effort divided by the number of Co-PIs identified with direct assignment of effort to the grant(s). Co-PI allocation(s) cannot exceed 50% of the incentive payment award eligible to the PI and distributed programatically.

Amount of the Inventive and Funding the Principle Investigator

Provided that there are sufficient funds available by the FTE allocation and funds made available from salary savings, the incentive payments will be as follows:

$50,000 - $99,999 $2,500
$100,000 - $199,999 $5,000
$200,000 - $299,999 $10,000
$300,000 or greater $15,000

Total awards are calculated as the sum of direct and indirect costs related directly to the award. Grants bearing less than 20% indirect cost may not be combined with grants bearing fully allocated indirect costs for purposes of determining eligibility and level of award. The maximum incentive payment for the year will be $15,000. All awards will be prorated as the grant period compares to the current fiscal year. This also assumes that the required pay distribution has been accomplished for the entire award period.

Method of Payment

Awards will be allocated as lump-sum payments and subject to applicable taxes. Incentive payments are not eligible for retirement contributions. There may be retroactive adjustments if the award is not expended and there may be a period when an adjustment to expenditures would have to be made on the records of USF Health. Incentive payments will be paid within sixty days of application deadlines.

The incentive payment may continue during the duration of the grant renewal or extensions but terminates or is reduced on cessation of the grant or reduction of the award amounts to a lesser amount provided that the reduced grant award continues to meet the eligibility conditions defined in this policy. If a reduced continuation of grant award occurs which is less than the minimum, the research incentive accrual shall cease concomitant with the notice of award reduction. The college, USF Health, the Department of Sponsored Research, nor the investigator's department shall be responsible to underwrite any reduction of award in order to meet the threshold for eligibility. If a grant award is increased in amount, pro rata adjustments and recalculation of level of research incentive, if applicable, will be made to be effective with the next research incentive distribution.

The incentive payment will continue during the duration of the salary offset from the grant. If the investigator chooses to withdraw from participation, the incentive payment will terminate as of the date of cessation and the faculty member will return to the previous rate of State funded compensation in entirety. This would be an all or none phenomenon and would not be adjusted pro rata downward if there were to be a partial reduction of salary proposed.

The PI's salary attributed to grant funds must be used to provide release time in support of research and must be consistent with University and Federal policies for effort reporting. In order to approve a research incentive application, it is necessary that the College Business Office, or equivalent, perform the following validations:

  • Validation through pay distribution that the faculty member(s) is/are appointed to the stipulated grant
  • Receives an official copy of the notice of the award from the granting agency and carries out the following additional validations:
    • Validation of the indirect cost attribution
    • Validation of the start and end dates of the award
    • Validation of the award amount in direct costs


  1. Complete the Application Form, available from the College Dean's office.
  2. At the designated time, submit the completed Application Form and award notice to the College's designated individual. For the Morsani College of Medicine, it is the Acting Assistant Dean in the Business Affairs Office.
  3. Upon approval by the Dean or designee, a signed copy of the Application Form will be returned to the faculty member and the department chairperson.
  4. Applications are due in November for the fall payment in December and in April for the spring payment in May. The Colleges may set specific deadlines for the submission of new applications.
  5. Colleges follow the appropriate process to change pay distribution.

Deadline for the Application

See College Dean's office for dates.