The following sections provide a brief overview of the process and rules for hiring both students and non-student employees. Please contact your Grants Manager or the KSU Human Resources office for additional information and assistance.
Salaries and Wages
Salaries and wages are allowable as a direct cost to the extent that they are reasonable and conform to established University salary and wage policy.
General Policy – All personnel involved in a sponsored project effort, whether faculty, professional staff, clerical staff, or students (research assistants), must be paid in accordance with University and state guidelines. Budgeted amounts contained in a proposal do not in any way supersede University policies. The salary and wage categories and job or position classifications on sponsored projects must be congruent with those established for other employees of the University. Salary rates and increments are, therefore, subject to the regulations applied to all other University employees of the same classification. Exceptions may result in audit disallowances.
Summer and Maymester Payroll – Summer and Maymester pay is subject to requirements different from those during the remainder of the academic year.
- The project director is responsible for ensuring his/her department chair submits to Academic Affairs the faculty names, amounts, and grant account for those that are budgeted to be paid Maymester and Summer payroll from externally funded grants and contracts.
- Maymester payroll is charged to the current fiscal year (ending June 30). Maymester payroll is paid for work completed during the month of May, not June.
- If work is done during the summer months (June and July), faculty should be paid through summer payroll, which posts in the next fiscal year (which begins July 1). Thus, the grant end date should carry into the next fiscal year in order to support the processing of summer payroll through the award.
- In addition, a Time and Effort report is required as backup documentation for any Maymester or summer payroll charged to federal sponsored awards.
- For specific Kennesaw State University submission deadlines for faculty payroll, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs. For KSU Maymester or summer payroll check dates, please contact the Office of Payroll Services.
Personnel paid from a sponsored program account receive the same leave benefits as personnel paid from other University funds. Staff and fiscal year appointees are encouraged to utilize accrued vacation before the program’s termination date. If the contract or grant does not have sufficient funds to pay the accrued vacation, it is the responsibility of the employing department to provide the necessary funding. The project director must ensure that these employees accurately report their vacation time prior to the project’s expiration.
A training stipend is an allowance granted to an individual to assist with his or her living expenses during a period of training (e.g., while attending a workshop or conference). Training stipends are not considered compensation for the services expected of an employee. Payment to KSU faculty or staff for work on a grant or contract is paid as salary, not as a stipend.
Time-limited appointments are created through a grant or other sponsored program for the period of the grant/program only where the funding is contingent upon external funds.
Reduction in Force Policy
The Board of Regent Reduction in Force (RIF) Policy applies to the following contingencies:
- Grant expiration, budget reduction, and/or funding changes; i.e. grant funding is scheduled to expire and will no longer be available to support the salaries for the position
- Programmatic changes that result in the elimination of or decrease in services; i.e. enrollment in a program is low and can no longer support the salaries for the positions servicing the program
- Reorganization that results in a shifting of responsibilities or elimination of certain tasks altogether;
- Business process changes that redistribute work so that a position is no longer required; and
- Other organizational changes that might prompt an adjustment to staffing needs.
Note that the RIF Policy specifically prohibits its use to address employee performance issues.
The hiring manager is responsible for notifying the KSU Human Resources office at least 90 days before funding for a position is scheduled to end. This timeline applies even when there is the potential for the funding to be extended. If funding is continued, the Reduction in Force Policy process can be halted.
The KSU Human Resources office will assist the hiring manager in following the guidelines of the RIF policy, including appropriate notification to the employee in writing. Adhering to this policy limits the amount of liability the University could face during the separation process.
Charging Administrative and Clerical Salaries and Staff Benefits as Direct Costs
Salaries and fringe benefits of administrative and clerical staff may be charged as direct costs if a project requires the services of administrative and clerical staff beyond the normal level provided by departmental administrators paid from a department account.
The total cost of these services may be budgeted, charged, and reported as a direct cost to a sponsored project when all of the following conditions apply:
- The specific type and nature of the services are not provided by the departmental
The services are required by the project’s scope.
- The cost can be accurately identified to the project.
- The approved project budget narrative clearly describes the need for the service.
For example, charging administrative and clerical salaries and fringe benefits as
a direct charge to a sponsored project may be permissible for projects requiring:
- Extensive data accumulation, statistical analysis and entry, database management, surveying, tabulation, cataloging, or literature review.
- The preparation and production of manuals and large reports or books. (This does not include routine progress and technical reports.)
- Extensive travel and meeting arrangements for a large number of participants, such as conferences and seminars.
- The management of a project at locations geographically inaccessible to normal departmental administrative services, such as research field-sites remote from campus.
- Special research security services at a level not normally provided by campus security.
- Large, complex programs (such as general clinical research centers, primate centers, environmental research centers, engineering research centers, and other federally sponsored projects) that entail assembling and managing teams of investigators from a number of institutions or units. National Institutes of Health R01 Grants do not qualify as complex programs.
These examples are not an exhaustive list, nor do they imply that direct charging of administrative or clerical salaries would always be appropriate for the situations illustrated in the examples. Furthermore, separate projects cannot be grouped together to meet any of the criteria listed above. The project director must support and justify in the proposal all direct costs to be charged to a sponsored award and are, therefore, strongly advised to discuss such costs with the Office of Research staff.
- The specific type and nature of the services are not provided by the departmental administration account.
If a grant supports release time, the project director is responsible for notifying their Department Head to schedule the release time in accordance with the approved grant budget. The project director should give the appropriate PeopleSoft Payroll Combo Code (found on the Grant Overview Sheet) to his/her Department Head along with the amount to be charged during the semester.
The following rules govern course releases and reassignments:
- The project director(s) is responsible for notifying their Department Head to schedule release time during Fall or Spring Semester. The cost of the reassignment is charged to the appropriate grant or contract during the semester in which the course release is taken.
- The Business Manager(s) is responsible for working with the appropriate person(s) within their college and the Academic Fiscal Affairs Officer in Academic Affairs to process any budget amendments to redirect the funds for the college.
- A Time-and-Effort Report will be required as backup documentation for any course releases and/or redirects charged to federally sponsored awards.
Summer Semester is handled differently than Fall and Spring. The project director(s) should let their Department Head know that they are to be paid from a grant during Summer Semester. This planning usually occurs early during Spring Semester. It is the project director's responsibility to verify that anyone who is to be paid from his/her grant during the Summer Semester is on the Summer Payroll List. Questions about summer pay should be directed to Department Heads or Academic Affairs Fiscal Affairs Officer.
Time and Effort Reporting
Kennesaw State University uses an after-the-fact system of documenting time and effort charged to federal grants and contracts. The University’s payroll distribution system meets the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) standards. OMB, 2CFR, Part 200.430, paragraph (i) states that charges to federal awards for salaries and wages must be based on records that accurately reflect the work performed.
Grant Accounting prepares and distributes effort certification reports via email to the PI for salaries and wages charged to federally sponsored grants and contracts either as a direct charge or as a cost shared commitment. These reports are based on payroll records. KSU distributes effort reports per semester.
The recipient of an effort report should certify his/her own effort report unless the employee is no longer available to certify. In this event, the Principal Investigator, or person with direct knowledge of the employee’s workload, must certify the report. Grant Accounting accepts original signatures returned via campus mail and scanned reports via email.
For questions regarding time and effort reporting, please contact Grant Accounting at firstname.lastname@example.org.