Tuition on Research Grants

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I. Background

This policy will require that tuition be charged to external grants, under certain conditions as outlined herein. Its intent is to provide additional funds that may be used to enhance graduate education and research. Specifically, the policy aims to increase graduate enrollment by increasing the number of supported graduate students in the departments and the university in general, including summer support, and to enhance graduate research opportunities. The impact of such a program could ultimately lead to increased graduate enrollments, increases in the number of degrees conferred, and a reduction in time-to-degree. It will also lead to an increase in total research support, capturing lost potential revenue from tuition payments that many granting agencies now cover.

II. Guidelines on Applicability

  1. This policy will apply to any research proposal submitted to an external funding agency that meets the following criteria:
    1. The agency pays institutional full indirect (F&A) costs.
    2. The agency does not exclude support for graduate student tuition.
    3. The proposal is one that requests more than $50,000 per year in total direct costs.
    4. The proposal is submitted to the granting agency on or after August 16, 2012.
  2. This policy does not apply to Federal training grants; training grants will continue to be budgeted according to agency guidelines and tuition monies will not be dispersed according to this policy. For all other grants, including private funding agencies, that agency's guidelines will be followed; if tuition is allowed and full indirect costs are paid, then tuition will be apportioned according to these guidelines.
  3. Tuition will be exempt from indirect (F&A) costs to the agency.

III. Procedures for Charging Tuition and Apportioning Funds

  1. At the time a proposal to an external funding agency is prepared, an estimated tuition charge must be added for each GA supported by the grant.
    1. For a GA position, the appropriate anticipated tuition charge (i.e. in-state or out-of-state) should be equivalent to that charged for 9 credit hrs. each for the fall and spring semesters, and equivalent to 3 credit hrs. for the summer semester.
    2. For assignments of shorter duration than an entire semester, the tuition charged will be prorated according to the duration of the contract.
    3. The current tuition rate will be posted on the OSPA and Financial Aid websites.
  2. Once a grant is awarded and tuition is charged to the agency, the tuition amount will be transferred to the Income Fund. Equivalent funds will then be allocated to the PIs, departments, and the Graduate School according to the following distribution:
    1. The PI will receive 25% of the tuition monies to be used to enhance his/her research program. Funds will be held in a departmental account for this purpose. Funds may be used to support graduate student research including stipends, travel, materials and supplies, and other research-related expenses. In the case of Co-PIs, the division of monies will be agreed upon by the PIs and Co-PIs at the time of proposal submission, with the expectation that the funds be allocated according to relative contributions to the overall research project.
    2. The home department of the PI (and co-PIs as appropriate) will receive 50% to enhance their graduate programs. In the case of collaborative proposals, the division of funds between departments will be agreed upon by the PIs, Co-PIs, and Chairs at the time of proposal submission. These funds are to be used primarily to increase the number of supported students in a program (including those on summer support). Some funds may be used to help offset student fees, support student travel to meetings, support for consumables and analyses for graduate students, and similar graduate research related needs. Decisions on how to use these funds should be made following consultation with the faculty.
    3. The remaining 25% of the tuition is to be used by the Graduate School to expand the number of graduate fellowships it allocates annually. These fellowships will be open to students from all disciplines and they will be distributed on a competitive basis according to Graduate School guidelines. Such guidelines will be established by the Graduate School, with input by OSPA and the Graduate Council.