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New research incentive plan supports IU Bloomington faculty

The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President of Indiana University Bloomington has announced a new IUB Research Incentive Plan that aligns with the IUB 2030 strategic plan. The goals are to provide incentives for faculty to apply for external funding and fellowships, use direct and indirect costs to increase research productivity, and increase consistency in incentives and guidelines across schools and departments. The plan goes into effect July 1 and will be evaluated annually.

“The IUB Research Incentive Plan will further Indiana University’s position as an innovation leader,” IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Rahul Shrivastav said. “This program was borne out of our dedication to faculty and students, providing a multitude of resources and financial support as they pursue solutions to today’s problems through transformational research and creativity.”

The plan was created after conducting a survey of universities in the Big Ten and gathering input and feedback to inform an iterative process over the course of the academic year from deans, assistant deans, center directors and faculty.

“Our goal with this plan is to augment resources and support to help our world-class faculty achieve their scientific and creative goals, while affording them the flexibility to deploy those resources where they are needed most,” said Brea Perry, associate vice president and vice provost for research at IU Bloomington. “It was important to me that the Research Incentive Plan be developed thoughtfully and in collaboration with faculty researchers and campus leadership, and the end result is better for it. This set of programs will benefit faculty and graduate students across disciplines on the Bloomington campus.”

The plan targets four areas: Indirect Cost Recovery Sharing, Salary Savings Award, Incentive for Extramurally Funded Graduate Research Assistantships and a Prestigious Award Leave program.

Indirect Cost Recovery Sharing

The Indirect Cost Recovery Sharing incentive is designed to be highly flexible. Funds distributed to principal investigators of the grants or contracts may be applied to any activity, personnel or equipment used in the planning or execution of research or creative activity by faculty or staff, subject to the financial policies of the university.

The incentive may be used for principal investigator compensation, including summer salary and course buy-outs or extensions for approved, qualifying sabbatical leave up to a full year, with permission of deans and department chairs. Time associated with the salary coverage must be used in the planning, execution or dissemination of research or creative activity.

Indirect Cost Recovery funds may also be used for compensation of research personnel, including students, staff or faculty collaborators; to purchase research equipment and improve facilities; to cover travel expenses; and for proposal development or post-award support.

Salary Savings Award

The Salary Savings Award program recognizes the success of individual faculty in contributing to the university’s research and creative excellence by competitively obtaining extramural funding and applying unsponsored research effort to sponsored projects. The program provides awards associated with salary coverage on externally funded grants and contracts.

The award amount will be calculated as a percentage of the research effort salary converted from general operating funds to extramural awards. The percentage is dependent on standard course load to preserve equity across disciplines, departments and schools.

Full-time faculty will be able to take the award amount as a contribution to their research account, or they may apply to take the award as supplemental salary. The maximum award per faculty member is $50,000 per year.

Incentive for Extramurally Funded Graduate Research Assistantships

This facet of the plan aims to increase research opportunities for graduate students. Faculty who cover full tuition, stipend and benefits for a graduate research assistant using external grants will receive a contribution of $5,000 per year in their research account. Faculty may receive an unlimited number of incentives for each qualifying assistantship.

Prestigious Award Leave

The Prestigious Award Leave program is meant to incentivize applications for prestigious fellowships and remove the financial sacrifice for faculty whose fellowships or other awards provide less than their regular academic salaries. The program funds the difference between the full salary and the total income from fellowship funds, including salary, stipend and/or per diem available to them during the proposed leave.

The incentives are available to tenured and tenure-eligible IU Bloomington faculty, research scientists, research center directors, medical sciences faculty and librarians who receive prestigious, nationally competitive fellowships or research-related leave awards.

The program will apply automatically to fellowships from Groups 1 through 3 as listed below and on a case-by-case basis for others.

  • Group 1: Guggenheim and Carnegie Fellowships.
  • Group 2: Fulbright Research, MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and residential fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Palo Alto), the National Humanities Center (Research Triangle), the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) or the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard University).
  • Group 3: American Council of Learned Societies, Ford Foundation, Humboldt, Jefferson Science, Mellon, Rockefeller, Manfred Eigen at Max Planck, Rome Prize, Russell Sage, Sloan or Spencer Foundation fellowships.
  • Group 4: All other prestigious fellowship awards.

In addition, faculty will receive $15,000 for fellowships earned in Group 1, $7,500 for Group 2 and $2,500 for Group 3.

Additional details on the plan will be communicated with IUB faculty in the coming days.