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Faculty members receiving grants or fellowships that require a substantial portion of an academic semester or year should read and review CSSH’s Course Buy-Out and Top-Up Policies below.

Course Buy Out Policy:

Externally Funded Research in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities:

The College of Social Science and Humanities provides a wide array of support to faculty and graduate students who are seeking external support for their research. The following summarizes the course buy out policy developed by the Office of the Dean. All of these initiatives will be reviewed annually and may be altered to improve their effectiveness.

The Course Buy Out policy encourages faculty to buy out of one or two courses and discourages buying out of all teaching responsibilities. We believe that, in most cases, faculty should be teaching at some point during each academic year. Toward that end, the College’s course buy out policy for research active faculty with a four-course load is:

First Course Buy Out                 10% of annual base salary*

Second Course Buy Out             15% of annual base salary*

Third Course Buy Out                25% of annual base salary*

Fourth Course Buy Out              30% of annual base salary*

*All these amounts must include fringe benefits

For Faculty with a reduced teaching load (e.g., course release for service) the buy out will begin with the faculty’s current course load. For example, if a faculty member has one course release for service (or other reasons), s/he would buy out his/her first course at 15% and second course at 25%.

Course Buy Outs are intended to support faculty research. All course buy outs must be paid for from external funds provided by research grants or externally funded fellowships. Faculty members may not buy out of courses with personal funds.

All faculty requests for course buy outs must be approved in advance by the Department Chair and the Office of the Dean.

Faculty members who receive multi-year career grants that provide for multiple course buy outs (2 or more per year) will return to the College a proportion of their annual salary that is equivalent to the level of commitment on the career grants. For example, if a faculty member receives a career grant that covers 75% of his/her annual salary, then s/he will return 75% of his/her annual salary to the College for each year of the career grant.

Top-Up Policy:

CSSH to Support External Fellowships (aka “Top-Up Policy”)

The Office of the Dean at the College of Social Sciences and Humanities provides generous financial support to faculty who obtain awards from external sources by means of “top-ups” that make up the difference between the full-time salary and the amount provided by the award. The objective of the policy is to provide an incentive for faculty to apply for prestigious fellowships, which allow them to dedicate themselves full-time to research for an extended period of time (usually one academic year).

In order to receive a top-up, faculty must inform at the time of application:

Once the Office of the Dean is notified and after consultation with the Department Chair, the Associate Dean of Research will write a memorandum specifying the College’s obligations to the applicant and to the department if the fellowship is awarded.

If these conditions are met, the Office of the Dean will provide a salary supplement for an external fellowship with the following limitations and provisos:

  1. The College will provide supplemental salary funding only up to the total value of the fellowship award. Thus, in order to maintain a full salary, the amount of the fellowship must equal at least one-half of the recipient’s salary for the period of leave being requested (normally one academic year; use prorated salary for shorter periods). For example, if a faculty member’s salary is $100,000, a fellowship award of $50,000 or higher is eligible for Top-Up to full salary and benefits.
  2. Given the prestige of the following nine fellowships, the College will Top-Up to full salary and benefits (even in cases the award amount is less than one-half of the faculty’s salary):

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Visiting Scholar

American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Fellowship

American Council of Learned Societies Individual Fellowships

Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Guggenheim Fellowship

National Endowment for Humanities

National Humanities Center

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Wenner-Gren Foundation: Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

  1. Faculty should not generally expect to receive supplementary salary support for a fellowship more than once every three years. A faculty member’s absence more often than one year in three would limit his/her ability to contribute to the University’s teaching mission, to interact with colleagues, and to assist with the service obligations of the faculty to the University. In other words, if a yearlong fellowship is taken, the faculty must return for two full years before the faculty can be eligible to accept another fellowship funded leave.
  2. Faculty who are paid directly by fellowship agency do not receive the University’s contributions to retirement savings for the portion of the salary covered by the award. Faculty will receive University contributions to retirement savings on their full salary if the fellowship is run through NU-Research Enterprises and University payroll.

*Important: The CSSH Intent to Submit form for the Office of the Dean’s Office must be submitted even if the agency accepts applications directly from the applicant. If a faculty member receives a fellowship award without first completing the CSSH Intent to Submit Form, the College will be under no obligation to support the award in any way. Given the competitive nature of fellowship awards, even unsuccessful applications will be looked upon favorably by Units and the Office of the Dean and is considered part of faculty’s scholarly production.

Grant Budget Preparation 2020-2021 Rate Sheet:

Faculty Fringe Rate:             26%

Student Fringe Rate:           7.65%

Indirect Rate:                        57%

RA Graduate Doctoral Student: $11,500/semester*

RA Graduate Doctoral Student (ABD): $11,750/semester*

RA Post-Doctoral Student: minimum of $50,000/year

*Doctoral Students should be supported in either half (0.5) or full SGA

Student hourly rates

Undergraduate: $16/hr

Master: $19/hr

PhD Student: $25/hr

Course Buy Out Policy

First Course Buy Out                       10% of annual base salary*

Second Course Buy Out                   15% of annual base salary*

Third Course Buy Out                      25% of annual base salary*

Fourth Course Buy Out                    30% of annual base salary*

*All these amounts must include fringe benefits

For Principal Investigators with salary offsets, a maximum of 95% may be charged to a research grant since 5% is required for administrative tasks as a faculty member as per Faculty Handbook.