Published on Rhodes College: Rhodes Handbook (

Externally Funded Grants and Contracts

Rhodes encourages faculty to seek out externally funded grants and contracts in support of research interests and in support of the academic program. The statement concerning Academic Freedom and Responsibility, in the "Statement of Policies and Procedures in Regard to Faculty" Section VI of the College Handbook, applies to all research undertaken with sponsorship from external sources.

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Consultative Services

Any formal arrangement for consulting work during the regular academic year must be submitted for review and approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs in advance of an agreement to provide the services. If this work requires use of College resources and equipment, appropriate reimbursements must be made by the faculty member. This reimbursement includes a charge for the use of the College computing system.

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Effort Reporting Policy

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Final Rule, 2 CFR 200, December 26, 2014 (“Uniform Guidance”), sets forth standards for obtaining consistency and uniformity in organizations expending Federal awards. The Federal government requires an effort report when an individual is compensated by, or has agreed to contribute time to, a federally-sponsored project. All faculty who serve as investigators on sponsored projects are personally responsible to certify the amount of effort that they and their employees spend on sponsored activities.

The purpose of this policy is to define effort reporting, as well as identify those individuals who must comply.


"Effort" is defined as the amount of time spent on a particular activity.  It includes the time spent working on a sponsored project in which salary is directly charged or contributed (cost-shared effort).  Individual effort is expressed as a percentage of the total amount of time spent on work-related activities—instruction, research (including externally-funded research), service, and administration—for which Rhodes College compensates an individual.

“Effort Reporting” is the mandated method of certifying to the granting agencies that the effort charged or cost-shared to each award has actually been completed.


In accordance with Uniform Guidance, Rhodes College requires effort reports for all faculty and staff who work on sponsored projects that are federally-funded, regardless of whether the effort is paid or unpaid. Rhodes uses after-the-fact certification. Faculty and staff submit time and effort reports annually in August to the Finance Office. Non-exempt employees who complete auditable timecards are not subject to effort reporting procedures. Effort reports must comply with Uniform Guidance Standards for Documentation of Personnel Expenses as follows:

  1. Charges to Federal awards for salaries and wages must be based on records that accurately reflect the work performed. These records must:
  • Be supported by a system of internal control which provides reasonable assurance that the charges are accurate, allowable, and properly allocated.
  • Be incorporated into the official records of the non-Federal entity.
  • Reasonably reflect the total activity for which the employee is compensated by the non-Federal entity
  • Comply with the established accounting policies and practices of the non-Federal entity.
  • Support the distribution of the employee's salary or wages among specific activities or cost objectives.

Note: budget estimates alone do not qualify as support for charges to Federal awards.

  1. Because practices vary as to the activity constituting a full workload, records may reflect categories of activities expressed as a percentage distribution of total activities.
  2. Salaries and wages of employees used in meeting cost sharing or matching requirements on Federal awards must be supported in the same manner as salaries and wages claimed for reimbursement from Federal awards.
  3. It is recognized that teaching, research, service, and administration are often inextricably intermingled in an academic setting. When recording salaries and wages charged to Federal awards, a precise assessment of factors that contribute to costs is therefore not always feasible, nor is it expected.


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Grant Approval Process

All grant applications initiated by or for the benefit of faculty must, prior to submission, be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs, and the Vice President for Development. Grant applications or proposals submitted for approval must be accompanied by an External Grant Approval Checklist Form. This form may be obtained from the “Grants” folder located in the Fac/Staff Public Information folder: This form will delineate the approval process for the grant initiator and a copy should accompany the grant at each step to expedite the review. Any grant requesting funds for purchase of computer equipment must be reviewed by the Director of Information Technology Services. 

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Grant Budgeting and Indirect Cost Recovery

Rhodes’s federally approved rate for indirect costs is 47% of all salaries and wages, including student wages. In drafting grant proposals, departments should budget 47% of salaries and wages, excluding benefits, for indirect costs. Grant proposals with salaries should also include a budget for fringe benefits at the approved rate of 28% for faculty/staff salaries and 8% for student wages.

1. Indirect Cost Policy for Grants not directly related to a specific faculty member’s research (College or Programmatic Grants)

It is the policy of Rhodes College to retain 100 percent of indirect costs to cover research-related overhead expenses incurred by the College

Indirect Cost Account: All of the indirect costs on each externally-funded grant will be deposited in a non-restricted account to be used for professional development by the Office of Academic Affairs. Some examples of how this account can be used would include: seed money for faculty conducting pilot research in anticipation of applying for external support; interim support to faculty and grants staff to cover travel costs associated with compliance workshops, or for matching or institutional cost-sharing obligations.

2. Indirect Cost Policy for Faculty Research Grants

In support of research activities, the College may allocate up to 50% of indirect cost recovery funds received from a successful grant application to the department of the principal investigator, subject to the approval of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Questions concerning budgeting or indirect cost recovery should be directed to the Finance Office.

The grant or contract must provide sufficient financial provisions to purchase the equipment, supplies, and research assistance necessary for the project. The annual budget of the Office of Academic Affairs may not be used to meet such expenses unless agreed to by the Office of Academic Affairs. Equipment and supplies purchased by funds in the grant or contract are considered property of the College. Subject to negotiation and approval the faculty member and the College may agree to the purchase and/or transfer of research-related equipment should the faculty member not continue at Rhodes.

Faculty members who wish to seek course releases during the academic year of a grant may request funding for no more than one course release per academic year that the grant support covers. Any exception to this limit must be approved by the Office of Academic Affairs before the grant application is submitted. The reimbursement rate for a course release is 10% of salary or $7,500, whichever is higher, plus fringe benefits.

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Grant Compensation

All compensation from grants, whether as a principal investigator at Rhodes or as a subgrantee with another institution, must be approved in advance by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Office of Academic Affairs will establish the level of compensation, release time for any participants (if any), and will have final approval over all research and staffing participation for all grants. The regular and scheduled academic needs of the College will be the primary consideration in determining a faculty member’s participation in a grant activity. During the summer months or while on sabbatical, monthly grant compensation in excess of 1/9 of the faculty member’s annual salary must be approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs. All College Human Resources policies and practices for compensation and fringe benefits will be followed. Compensation from grants, regardless of the funding source, will be issued on payroll checks. Federal Income Taxes and F.I.C.A. taxes will be withheld on all grant checks, as required by the Internal Revenue Service.

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Grant Reporting and Funds Management

Upon award of a grant or a contract, the management and investing of funds and disbursement of payments will be controlled by the Finance Office. It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to make sure that all progress reports, budget reports, fund requests, and budget reports are submitted on a timely basis as defined within the grant. Copies of each report submitted to the granting agency should be forwarded to the Comptroller in the Finance Office, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the Grants and Foundations Manager in Development. Annual reports accounting for the disbursement of funds will be reviewed by the Office of Academic Affairs.

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Grants Requiring College Matching Funds

All grant proposals that require College matching funds must have the approval of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs before submission to the granting agency or organization.

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Grants Requiring Matching Gifts

When a grant proposal requires matching gifts to be raised by the College, the initiator must send the final draft of the proposal along with a list of prospects for the matching funds to the Vice President for Development, the Vice President for Academic Affairs,and the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs for initial approval, and then to the President for final approval.

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Policy on Misconduct in Science

A Rhodes College faculty member in the course of pursuing research and scholarship supported by funds from beyond the college or in the process of seeking such funding may be the subject of allegations of misconduct. This alleged misconduct may either involve violation of generally accepted standards of conduct of scientific research or violation of specific policies of the granting agency.

In either case the allegations will be investigated by a panel consisting of the chairs of the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics/Computer Science, Physics, and Psychology. If one of the chairs has a close relationship to the work in question, that person will be expected to recuse himself or herself and the remaining members of the panel will select a faculty replacement from the affected department.

The panel will present its findings to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and will recommend appropriate courses of action. Options include one or more of the following:

  1. No further action;
  2. Administrative action to protect federal funds and to insure that the purposes of the federal financial support are being carried out;
  3. Appropriate disciplinary action toward the faculty member involved;
  4. Notification of the Office of Scientific Integrity of the NIH of any reasonable indication of possible criminal violation or of any circumstances that might affect current or future NIH funding of the subject.

All investigations, whether ending in a finding or wrongdoing or not, will be reported to the Office of Scientific Integrity. This report will thoroughly document the investigative process, the panel’s findings, and the actions taken. In every case these procedures will be carried out in such a way as to protect the reputation of those against whom allegations are brought which are found to be groundless, and of those who may in good faith bring allegations, regardless of their final disposition.

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Copies of all funded grant proposals must also be sent to the Director of Communications.

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Special Faculty Compensation

Requests for special salary payments such as grant payments, stipends through the Meeman Center, or any additional compensation over and above the faculty member’s budgeted salary must be approved by the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs. These payments will be processed in Workday and included in the next regularly scheduled and/or future paycheck(s).  

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Teaching Responsibilities and Research

During the regular academic year the primary responsibility of a faculty member is teaching and the professional development activities necessary to maintain a timely and informed knowledge of the teaching area. Any released time from teaching responsibilities necessary to pursue research must be agreed to in writing by the Vice President of Academic Affairs in advance of the submission of the grant or contract request. The faculty member, the chair of the department, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs will determine the amount of released time, the duration of the period of released time, and the implications for staffing in the department. A research grant or contract that runs concurrent with the regular academic year must include sufficient financial provisions to provide released time for the researcher. The standard course load for a teacher is five four-credit hour courses; the released time should be provided for by a pro-rata share of the researcher’s current salary plus the standard 34 percent for fringe benefits. These funds will be used to hire a replacement instructor for the duration of the grant or contract. The fringe benefit rate for student stipends is 8 percent. Research requiring the total time of a faculty member will necessitate a leave of absence without pay. This leave of absence must be requested at least six months in advance of the beginning of the research period. The College will hire a replacement instructor for the duration of the leave of absence.

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