The 9-over-9 compensation program was launched in 2009 to allow for faculty salaries in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies to be charged to research grants and contracts in a manner that more closely reflects actual sponsored research activities and faculty obligations. The program is intended to support nine-month faculty engaging in productive non-sponsored University activity during the summer by providing a source of University funding for that activity outside of the academic year.
Beginning July 1, 2009, the University will permit the charging of salary to sponsored projects during the academic year, coincident with when the effort is devoted to the project. Because teaching, advising, mentoring, and departmental and University service are assumed to account for about half of a faculty member’s effort during the academic year, the maximum amount of academic year salary and effort normally chargeable to grants and contracts will be 4.5 months.
When a portion of academic year salary and fringe benefits is charged to sponsored projects, the University will place an amount equal to that portion in a special research account for use by the faculty member. Funds in the research account may be used (a) to provide for up to three months of summer salary, (b) as bridge funding, (c) to support new initiatives, or (d) for research-related expenses not normally allowable as direct costs on sponsored projects (consistent with University policies). In keeping with current policy, no more than 2.5 months of summer salary support may be charged to sponsored projects, but an additional one-half month of summer support may be added to this amount if charged to the special research account.
This program will assure that participating faculty members’ total University salary will not be affected by whether they conduct research during the summer or the academic year. The program also will provide participating faculty with a source of direct University compensation in return for engaging in University activities other than sponsored research during the summer months.
FAS and F&ES ladder faculty members with nine-month appointments are eligible for this program. Faculty members who wish to participate must distribute at least one month of salary from sponsored projects into the academic year, consistent with the terms of the sponsored project. They must obtain approval of the department chair and the cognizant provost for their salary allocation plan in each year prior to instituting the plan. The plan must begin on July 1 and end on June 30 and will be implemented by the department administrator.
Prior to July 1, 2009, nine-month academic year salaries typically were paid out over twelve months. In order to achieve a clearer correspondence of salaries paid and effort devoted to projects over the year, faculty members participating in the 9-over-9 program have their academic year salaries paid over the nine months of the academic year and forgo the twelve-month alternative. Summer salary earned by them is paid over the summer months.
Under no circumstances will the University permit faculty to “buy out” teaching, advising, or administrative obligations. Approval of a proposed salary allocation plan by the chair and provost will not be granted without the faculty member’s assurance that all academic and administrative commitments will be met during the academic year.
Faculty wishing to participate in this program should request salary from external sponsors and make effort commitments that reflect when during the year the work on the award will be performed.
Generally, PIs can thus use any combination of compensation from sponsored projects to cover academic year and summer salaries, consistent with effort, so long as not more than a total of three months of summer salary are charged to the special research account and sponsored projects (subject to the 2.5 month limitation of summer support from sponsored projects), and academic year salary charged to sponsored projects does not exceed 4.5 months. All effort commitments (including any cost-sharing of effort) made to sponsors must continue to be met during the budget periods for which the commitment is made. Faculty accepting three summer months of compensation, no matter the sources (including the special research account), are expected to be working on scholarly and other University activities for the full summer.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) generally limits a PI’s salary requests to two ninths of academic year salary on any one grant proposal, and it also limits payments to two ninths of academic year salary from all NSF grants. In the past, the two ninths have been understood by faculty as payment for work carried out during the summer period. Updated NSF policy, effective January 2009, permits salary to be paid anytime during the academic year or the summer, so long as the payment level is commensurate with effort on the project(s). The Yale 9-over-9 program is consistent with NSF policy.