Summer Additional Compensation Guidance

Q1. What is the period for Summer Additional Compensation?

A1. Appointments can processed during the period starting on the first Sunday immediately following graduation, and ending August 31 each year.  Three months during this period are available for sponsored research and two weeks are supported by the University for Faculty on 9-month appointments.

Q2. What is the recommended approach to funding summer research with federal or state grants and contracts?

A2.  If the beginning and ending dates of the grants and the budget permit it, fund up to 2.5 months of effort during the period in A1.  An additional 0.5 months may be paid from RTF funds , the Research Support Account (once it is established and funded) or other non-federal, non-state sources that permit such charges.  Also see A3(c) below

Q3. How much summer additional compensation may be paid from grants?

A3(a). If your summer effort funding source is federal, prime federal flow through, i.e., a subcontract, or Commonwealth of Massachusetts funding (grant or contract funded via an ISA or other funding mechanism for a sponsored project), up to 2.5 months, or 83.3% of the 3 month summer period unless the sponsor agency has more stringent restrictions such as NSF.

A3(b) If your summer effort funding does not include any  federal or Commonwealth of Massachusetts funding, you may fund your research up to 3 months or 33% as long as you do not take a vacation and can certify 100% effort on that project.

A3(c) If your first 2.5 months is covered by a federal, prime federal or Commonwealth of MA award, you may work on other non-federal or non-state funded projects for the remaining .5 month, or fund that .5 month with Research Trust Funds (RTF) or returned Academic Year (AY) salary recovery funding.  Again, this would result in a full 33% effort, leaving no time for vacation.  University work that cannot be charged to grants, such as proposal writing, curriculum development, committee work would only be allowed during the .5 month if you use unrestricted funding such as RTF or returned AY salary recovered funds.

Q4.  Can I spread the 2.5 months (83.3%) over the entire summer period or does it have to be 2.5 months 100% time?

A3.  Yes, it is recommended you spread the 83.3% over the entire summer period.   By doing so does not mean you must be here every day for 83.3% time, but rather spreads the percentage over the entire summer period which will allow you to meet your obligations and also build in some flexibility to the schedule. It is only in extraordinary circumstances that you should be committing 100% effort in any specifically stated time period.

Q5. Does the 3.5 month period in A1 mean that more add comp may be paid from grants?

A5. No, because the faculty member has an obligation of 9 full months to the University.  The purpose of starting the summer add comp period early is to provide some flexibility so that the faculty member can work on University duties that cannot be supported by grants, such as writing proposals, preparing course materials, grading papers, etc.  Here are some examples:

E1:  The faculty member works exclusively on grading and preparing course materials for the last two weeks of May  and therefore charges no salary to grants, then there is effectively no change to the summer add comp arrangement compared to previous years.  That is, a maximum of 2.5/9 = 27.78% academic year salary can be charged to grants during June 1 – August 31.

E2: The faculty member completes their course grades and other non-grant related activity by May 16 and works on sponsored research starting on May 16 for which salary is provided from Federal grants.  In this case, the faculty member must fulfill the two week obligation to the university at some other time in the summer, e.g., during the last two weeks in August.

Q6. Can’t I use the two weeks after graduation for vacation?

A6. Regardless of grant activity, two weeks during the period in A1 are part of the 9-month obligation to the University. If you only work and collect salary for 2.5 months of summer, then the unpaid period of the 3-month summer period can be used for 2 weeks vacation.  If you are paid for an additional 33% effort during the summer period, then there is no room left for vacation.  Just as in prior years, when the summer add comp period was 3 months, summer add comp of 33% meant that no vacation time was available.

Q7.  Is there a waiver process to the 2.5 months limitation?

A7.  Yes, there is a waiver process however, these will only be granted in very exceptional cases and the PI must certify a full three months of 100% summer effort, with no vacation or other University (non sponsored program) duties. Please see Summer Effort Waiver Procedures.


Q8.  What if I am already committed in my award to a full 3 months of effort?

A8. You are still limited to 2.5 months unless a waiver is requested and granted.  See Q7 for process.  The reduction of .5 months may not be significant depending on how the summer effort has been accumulated amongst your grants.  Significant changes in level of effort must be approved by the sponsoring agency.  Contact OPAM for more information on how to coordinate with your sponsor.