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Remote Research Supplements for Exempt Employees on Sponsored Research Projects

ORGA Information & Procedures

College of Charleston Academic Affairs Faculty and Administration Manual


Remote Research Supplements for Exempt Employees  on Sponsored Research Projects

 0.0 CONTENTS

1.0 Background

2.0 Purpose

3.0 Definitions

4.0 Applicability

5.0 Remote Research Supplement Plan

6.0 Other Considerations

7.0 Examples  

1.0     BACKGROUND

          Federal regulations (OMB Circular A-21, Section J8d[1] and [2]) generally prohibit additional compensation of faculty members from sponsored projects above base pay during the academic year and generally prohibit faculty members from receiving compensation in excess of their normal rate of pay during summer months.  However, A-21 does recognize that supplemental compensation for "incidental work," defined as that in excess of normal for the individual, is allowable if such compensation conforms to established and consistently employed policies of the institution.  Some universities have implemented supplemental compensation programs for remote research duty, and some federal funding agencies have approved such supplemental compensation on research grants.             The South Carolina Office of Human Resources dual employment regulations state that "an employee who performs services during other than normally scheduled hours of work for his employing agency may be paid additional compensation, if such services constitute independent, additional job duties from those of the employee's primary duties within the agency" except while the employee is in a leave with pay status.  The President of the College, or his designee, may approve such supplemental compensation when "extraordinary circumstances exist based on the agency's business needs" and provided that the total dual compensation, regardless of source of funds, is within established limits (maximum of 30% of annualized salary during the fiscal year).

          Section 19-706.04(C)(5) states that summer employment of faculty is not considered dual employment.  Subsection (b) limits total compensation for summer teaching to 40% of the employee's annualized salary.  However, subsection (b) further states that "the rate of pay should be comparable to the preceding academic year.  Since the regulations are silent about compensation for sponsored program activity during the summer months, it is assumed that the same limitations also apply to those activities.  Rate of pay is the limiting factor for summer compensation for sponsored program activities for College of Charleston faculty.  Although the state regulations do not specifically discuss dual employment during the summer months, the College interprets the intent of the regulations to allow additional compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 per week providing the earnings do not exceed the difference between (1) 40% of annualized salary and (2) the maximum amount that can be earned during regular work hours (40 hours per week) at the regular rate of pay.

          The College of Charleston recognizes that there are occasions when faculty and research staff working on externally funded projects must collect data or conduct experiments at remote locations, often under less than ideal living conditions.  The College also recognizes that, because of difficulty and expense of getting to these sites and the limited amount of time available there to complete project tasks, these faculty and research staff often work significantly longer hours per day and/or per week than normal.  The College views this type of remote research activity as an extraordinary circumstance that, with the approval of the sponsoring agency, warrants supplemental compensation as allowable under A-21 and state regulations and by the sponsoring agency.

  2.0     PURPOSE

          The purpose of this policy is to set forth the particular circumstances in which faculty and research staff may receive additional compensation for assignment to remote research duty and to establish the compensation plan to be applied in such circumstances.  

3.0     DEFINITIONS

3.1     Sponsored Research               Sponsored research is a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge that is funded in part or in full by an agency or organization external to the College.  Sponsors include federal agencies, state agencies, foundations, other non-profit organizations, for-profit corporations, and, in rare instances, individuals.   3.2     Remote Research Duty

           Remote research duty is defined as the assignment for two or more continuous days at a remote site for the purpose of conducting sponsored research that can only be accomplished in that setting.  Remote sites are isolated from population centers and services, are not easily accessible, require significant expedition planning and provisioning, and/or, because of the difficulty and expense of getting to the site and the limited amount of time available there, require the researcher work significantly longer hours per day and/or per week than normal.  Examples of remote sites include, but are not limited to, archeological dig sites where the researcher must reside on-site in temporary quarters, a research vessel at sea, and a remote facility such as a research station in Antarctica or the International Space Station.    

 3.3     Exempt Employee

          The Fair Labor Standards Act defines an exempt employee as a person employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional position.  Roster faculty, visiting faculty, full-time adjunct faculty, unclassified research associates, other unclassified employees, and salaried classified employees are exempt employees.        

3.4     Dual Employment Within an Agency

          The State of South Carolina defines dual employment as employment of a full-time equivalent (FTE) employee in a temporary, part-time capacity by the same or another state agency.  Dual employment within an agency occurs when the employee performs services during other than normally scheduled hours of work for his employing agency if such services constitute independent, additional job duties from those of his/her primary duties within the agency.     

3.5     Additional Compensation

          Additional compensation is remuneration for dual employment.  It is allowable for dual employment within an agency only if the employee is not in a leave with pay status when the services are rendered.  Leave with pay status includes paid holidays, annual leave, and compensatory time and, for faculty, Fall, Spring, and semester break days.      

3.5     Remote Research Supplement 

          A remote research supplement is additional compensation for dual employment of an exempt employee within an agency for remote research duty assignment on a sponsored research project.       

 4.0     APPLICABILITY

4.1     Requests for remote research supplements must be clearly identified in the original proposal budget and justified in the budget narrative or the proposal text.  (Requests are subject to chair, dean, and ORGA approval through the normal proposal routing and review process.)  Requests must be approved and funded by the sponsor in the original award.  Requests for remote research supplements may not be made to the sponsor or honored by the College after the grant has been awarded.  Therefore, principal investigators must carefully consider the need for such supplements during the proposal preparation stage. 

 4.2     No remote research supplement will be provided for travel days to and from the remote research site.      

4.3     No remote research supplement will be paid for extra hours worked in excess of eight on any given normal work day or on any day in which the employee is in paid leave status.  No remote research supplement will be paid for extra hours worked in excess of sixteen hours on weekend days or any other 24-hour period.  

 4.4     In assigning personnel on remote research duty, the principal investigator shall ensure that all personnel are assigned an uninterrupted sleep period of eight hours every twenty-four hours.  Also, an uninterrupted meal period of not less than one-half hour must be allowed for each of three meals per twenty-four hour period.  

 5.0     REMOTE RESEARCH SUPPLEMENT PLAN 

5.1     Eligible employees may receive remote research supplements at their normal hourly rate of pay for all allowable extra hours worked.  A faculty member's hourly rate of pay is calculated by dividing his/her nine-month base pay by 1,560 (the number of compensated work hours in the academic year).  A twelve-month employee's hourly rate of pay is calculated by dividing his/her annual salary by 2,080 (the number of compensated work hours in the calendar year.)

5.2     Per state regulations, supplemental compensation for remote research duty for these individuals is subject to the following limits:

5.2.1     Academic personnel (those employed on an academic contract for less than twelve months per year) may not earn more than 30% of their annualized base pay (which translates to a maximum of 624 additional hours), regardless of source of funds, in additional compensation during the fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).  Remote research supplements are included in this 30% maximum.

5.2.2     Academic personnel may not earn more than 40% of their annualized base pay, regardless of source of funds, during the summer months.  Remote research premiums are included in this 40% maximum.  (Note:  The number of additional hours for which additional compensation may be paid during summer months is dependent on the employee's base employment period.)

5.2.3     Twelve-month unclassified and classified exempt employees may not earn more than 30% of their annual salary in additional compensation (which translates to 624 hours of additional work), regardless of source of funds, during the fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).  Remote research supplements are included in this 30% maximum.  

5.3     Payment of remote research supplements will be administered as separate payroll transactions through the Office of Human Resources via a Request for Additional Pay (RAP) and will be paid only upon completion of the remote duty and documentation of actual hours worked.

  6.0     OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

          The Principal Investigator may on occasion propose that personnel who are not covered by this policy participate in remote research duties.  All non-exempt classified (hourly), part-time, and student employees (including graduate and undergraduate research assistants) are subject to the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which require compensation for overtime hours in excess of 40 hours per week at a time-and-a-half rate, either monetarily or with compensatory time.  Therefore, the Principal Investigator must anticipate overtime wages during proposal preparation and ensure budgeting of sufficient funds to meet this requirement.   

7.0 EXAMPLES

7.1     Faculty Academic Year Example

Faculty member's 9-month base pay = $50,000 Annualized salary = $66,667 ($50,000 ÷ 39 weeks  x  52 weeks) Maximum allowable additional compensation = $20,000 ($66,667 x 30%) Hourly rate =  $32.05 ($50,000 ÷ (39 weeks x 40 hours/week)) Maximum hours eligible for additional compensation during academic year = 624 ($20,000 ÷ $32.05)

7.2     Faculty Summer Example

Faculty member's 9-month base pay = $50,000 Annualized salary = $66,667 ($50,000 ÷ 39 weeks x 52 weeks) Maximum allowable summer compensation = $26,667 ($66,667 x 40%) Maximum earnings for regular work hours = $16,666 ($32.05 x 13 weeks x 40 hrs/wk) Difference allowable as additional compensation = $10,001   Hourly rate = $32.05 ($50,000 ÷ (39 weeks x 40 hours/week)) Maximum hours eligible for additional compensation = 312 ($10,001 ÷ $32.05)

 7.3     Calendar Year Example

Employee's annual salary = $50,000 Maximum allowable additional compensation = $15,000 ($50,000 x 30%) Hourly rate = $24.04 ($50,000 ÷ (52 weeks x 40 hours/week)) Maximum hours eligible for additional compensation = 624 ($15,000 ÷ $24.04)


Sponsor: Office of Research & Grants Administration 12-13-2002

Review: Office of Human Resources      12-13-2002

Review: Academic Affairs and Academic Deans          01-22-2003

Review: Faculty R&D Committee             02-20-2003

Review: State Office of Human Resources        03-03-2003

Administrative Update:  Office of Research & Grants Administration   03-04-2003

Approval: President 03-07-2003