Summer Salaries FAQ

What is summer salary?

Summer salary is defined as any compensation paid during the summer service period to an RIT faculty member in excess of his or her academic year salary. The summer service period is defined to be the period outside the base salary period of the academic year appointment.

How is summer salary calculated?

Federal regulations stipulate that summer salary supported by sponsored programs must be "computed and paid at a percent effort rate not in excess of the faculty member's official annual base salary divided by the number of months in the period for which that base salary is paid." Therefore, the summer salary for fulltime 9.5 month faculty members working in the summer cannot be more than 26.3 percent of the annual base salary of the previous academic year for the 2.5 month summer period.

If I receive summer salary, can I still take a vacation?

The payment of summer salary obligates the faculty member to provide the proposed percentage of effort work on the sponsored program for the full period for which compensation is paid. For example, a faculty member who requests summer salary for 100% effort on sponsored program activities for all 2.5 months of the summer must forego vacation entirely during the 2.5 month summer period.

What happens if I am working on more than one sponsored program in the summer?

A faculty member may work on more than one sponsored program and receive summer salary from each one, provided that the total amount received does not push the faculty member's total summer compensation over the 26.3 percent limit set by the federal regulations. In addition, the faculty member must include in the cumulative total of effort any other university responsibilities performed during the summer.

Is it true that some agencies place caps on summer salary?

Yes. Certain agencies place caps on summer salary that can be paid to faculty members working on sponsored programs. For example, the National Science Foundation (NSF) limits salary compensation for senior project personnel to no more than two months of regular salary in any one year, including salary compensation received from all NSF-funded grants. RIT defines the one year period as the academic year beginning with the Fall quarter and ending with the Summer quarter. When a faculty member expends 100% summer effort on an NSF-funded award(s) only, and if he/she has not charged any effort to NSF awards and/or corresponding cost shares during the 2011-12 academic year, the maximum amount of summer salary he/she is eligible to receive is limited to 21.05% of his/her 9.5 month salary for the 2011-12 academic year. Additional information about NSF salary policy is available on the Controller site.