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Research at Boston College

Institutional Base Salary Policy

office of the vice provost for research


The purpose of this policy is to establish the definition of Institutional Base Salary (IBS) as to meet the requirements for sponsored programs’ proposal submission, and to meet the requirements of Federal government regulations:  OMB’s Uniform Guidance, section 200.430 (h)(2) as it relates to effort.


This policy is applicable to all sponsored awards and must be followed by schools, departments, centers, institutes, and personnel of Boston College involved with sponsored awards.

Effective Date

The effective date of this policy is June 1, 2018


Institutional Base Salary (IBS) is the annual compensation paid by the University for an employee’s appointment whether that individual’s time is spent on research, teaching, administration, or other activities.


Institutional Base Salary Policy Details

IBS includes regular salary and compensation related to a second assignment (e.g., Appointment as dean, chair, and/or center director) if the second assignment is one year or longer in duration. IBS is based on the full work load for which the individual is compensated by the University regardless of the source of funding or the number of hours expended. The IBS does not include bonuses, one-time payments or incentive pay.  Also excluded from the IBS is salary paid directly by another organization.


IBS does not include:


  • Bonuses, honoraria, and incentive compensation;

  • Summer supplemental pay for faculty with 9-months appointments;

  • Supplemental pay that may be issued for temporarily (not longer than one year) performing duties that fall outside of duties and responsibilities associated with the current appointment;

  • Fringe benefit payments;

  • Reimbursed expenses;

  • Any income that an individual earns outside of duties performed for Boston College (e.g. consulting).


Note:  Institutional Base Salary:

  • May not be increased as a result of replacing University salary funds with sponsor projects funds;

  • Is established by the University in an appointment letter, or other similar documentation, regardless of the source of funds;

  • Includes regular salary, as well as any second assignment (e.g., Appointment as dean, chair, and/or center director)


Institutional Base Salary on a Sponsored Projects’ Proposal

Institutional Base Salary must be used as the base salary on all sponsored programs’ proposals unless there is a statutory limit on compensation, such as the NIH salary cap.

When requesting salary support from a sponsor or providing effort on a sponsored project in the form of mandatory or voluntary committed cost sharing, the anticipated effort calculated in the form of person months or percent of effort must be based on the individual’s IBS.  The portion of effort multiplied by the IBS will determine the appropriate dollars to request from the sponsor, or approved by the University if in the form of cost sharing.  

Some sponsors may have a salary rate cap.  Depending on the type of proposal submission the salary rate cap may or may not apply when preparing the proposal, but the salary rate cap will apply once an award is made.  



If you have any questions about this policy, or need additional information, please contact the Office for Sponsored Programs main number at 617-552-3344 or directly contact your area’s OSP Liaison (OSP Staff).