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Division of Research - Wayne State University

Salary Guidelines on Sponsored Projects

Guidance for Compensating Employees Paid on Sponsored Projects During COVID-19 Pandemic:

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Wayne State University transitioned to remote work for all employees whose job functions enable them to do so, beginning on March 16, 2020.  Employees in positions with job functions which do not lend themselves to a remote work arrangement will continue to be paid, regardless of funding source, through June 16, 2020*.

If specifically prohibited by a particular funding agency, expenditures will need to be moved to discretionary funds.  Employees who are available to work but do not have assigned work they can perform, should code their time as excused absence with pay.

* The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) administrative relief, which allows for charges for idle work, is currently in effect through June 16th.  Unless the emergency relief is extended by OMB, compensation for those unable to work due to COVID-19 only extends to June 16th. Upon expiration of the OMB administrative relief, personnel will need to be moved to a non-sponsored funding source.

Guidance from select federal agencies is included below. Guidance for other federal agencies may be found on the SPA website.

Guidance from National Institutes of Health on salary charges:

NIH understands that many researchers may be unable to work as a result of or related to the effects of COVID-19. If a recipient organization’s policy allows for the charging of salaries and benefits during periods when no work is performed due to the effect of COVID-19, regardless of the funding source, including Federal and non-Federal, then such charges to NIH grant awards will be allowable.

Note: The funding IC will need to be notified if idle time will be charged to an award. NIH will request documentation to confirm the requirements of the institutional policy, and the effects of COVID-19 on the grant.

Guidance from NSF on salary charges:

Recipients are authorized to continue to charge salaries, stipends, and benefits to currently active NSF awards consistent with the recipients’ policy of paying salaries (under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances) from all funding sources, Federal and non-Federal.

Guidance from Department of Defense on salary charges:

Salaries of idled staff may be charged to grants.

Charges must be consistent with institutional policy under unexpected or extraordinary circumstances from all funding sources, federal and non-federal.

Questions should be sent to Gail Ryan, associate vice president, Sponsored Program Administration at