University of Kentucky College of Medicine Research Award Policy

Revised Feb. 24, 2023

The College of Medicine research award process is administered and funded by the Dean’s office and departments to reward and incentivize extramurally sponsored research activity in all Departments and Centers.


  1. All full-time faculty on regular, special, and clinical title who are active on the last day of the incentive period (June 30).  If an award recipient was an active employee on June 30, but separates from the University prior to the award payout date (Aug. 31), that employee will receive the award if it has been deemed by their Chair/Director that they left the University in good standing having met the terms of all separation terms (lab cleanup, etc.).
  2. Awards will incorporate all extramural research funds from which salary support was garnered for research effort.
  3. Eligibility is based on faculty with salary charged to research functional area extramural funds that, in aggregate, are above a threshold of 30 percent. Grants/contracts related to instruction and clinical care are excluded. The 30% threshold will be based on the funds contributed to the non‐cost shared component of salary. Eligibility will be determined by the College of Medicine Office of Research.


  1. $4 Million has been allocated for the research award. This amount will be divided among those eligible to receive an award based upon the amount of non-cost shared salary above the 30% threshold, calculated on a monthly basis. The final award payout percentage will be determined based upon the calculated total in relation to the $4 million pool. It is estimated that the payout will be approximately 50% of salary recovery above the 30% threshold. The award will not exceed 50% of salary recovery.  The maximum award is $50,000.
  2. The department will fund 25% of the award for recipients who are non-wRVU-generating, PhD, regular or special title series.  The College of Medicine will fund the remaining 75%.
  3. The award level is contingent on the financial status of the College, and University policies and approvals.

Determination of Award Amount

  1. Calculation will be based on the amount salary recovery divided by the SAP True Annual Salary (total salary including stipends) excluding cost share (such as salary over the NIH cap).
  2. The 30% non‐cost shared salary threshold will be determined per month, with the award amount being determined only in the months in which non‐cost shared salary was above the threshold.
  3. Selected extramural non-research funding mechanisms may be included, such as K awards. Faculty who participated in the award application may be included. Faculty who were recipients of an award for which they were not involved in the application are excluded. Eligibility will be determined by the College of Medicine Office of Research.
  4. VA research salary support can be considered. For this salary support mechanism to be considered in the award, the faculty member must have completed an MOU that clearly defines the research effort and salary contribution from the VA, and have completed an appropriate salary adjustment.  VA salary will be counted as extramural funding with 1/12th of the annual VA salary being applied to each month’s funding.

Award Allocation

To be eligible for award payout, the calculated award must be at least $1,000 for the individual faculty member.  In addition, the faculty member must still be employed at the University on the last day of the award period (June 30)

Eligible awards will be distributed via one of the following methods, at the discretion of the faculty member:

  1. Payroll:  For award amounts received as a payout to the individual, fringe benefits will be deducted from the award amount. Retirement contributions are not calculated on awards.  Award will be paid on the August payroll following the close of the fiscal year in which the award was earned.
  2. Research Support:  Award funds may be retained for use by the faculty member to support his/her research activities.  The use of the funds is strictly limited to only those expenses which support, directly or indirectly, the faculty member’s research activity.  Unexpended funds retained for research expense support will carry forward each year until expended. In the event that the award recipient separates from the College of Medicine, any funds remaining in the account at that time will be returned to the Dean’s Office account.  
  3. Split allocation:  Award funds may be split between the two eligible options listed above.    The amount of the split is determined by the faculty member. Any portion sent to payroll will still subject to the fringe adjustment outlined in item 1.
  4. Once a faculty has selected the award distribution methodology (payout or research support) – no changes to the allocation method selected can be requested.

Basis for Possible Adjustment of Awards

  1. An annual performance evaluation with poor performance concerns.
  2. Over expenditure of grants.
  3. Bridge funding at either the department or college level.
  4. Sabbatical.
  5. Determination of research or other misconduct
  6. Determination of non-compliance or inappropriate use of funds
This policy is subject to annual review and renewal.