UNH Research Faculty Policy Guide

Employment and Benefits Policies Guidance for UNH Research Faculty

  • The Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research (OSVPR) compiled this guide  which describes policies, procedures, and practices impacting UNH Research Faculty.
  • These policies, procedures, and practices do not pertain to faculty in the UNH collective bargaining unit.
  • The OSVPR collaborates with the Research Faculty Council, the Provost’s Office, and the Office of Human Resources in order to be responsive to Research Faculty needs, and works to update policies, procedures, and practices as appropriate. 

As questions arise, Research Faculty should contact their unit’s chief financial officer (Business Service Center director). 
See: https://www.unh.edu/vpfa/business-service-centers for a list of BSC directors.

UNH Research Faculty Policy Guide

Knowledge Base

Contact Information

As questions arise, Research Faculty should contact their unit’s chief financial officer (Business Service Center [BSC] director).     List of BSC directors

For more information and resources, visit the Research Faculty Council webpage.

See:  Office of the Provost Faculty Appointments: http://www.unh.edu/provost/faculty-appointments

Research faculty may fulfill some teaching and/or service responsibilities. However, research is to remain the principal duty of the faculty member. Research faculty may serve as advisors of graduate student research and may serve on undergraduate and graduate thesis committees.

Research faculty appointed at 75% or above are eligible for benefits in keeping with established Board of Trustee policy. In the event a research faculty member’s salary support drops below 75%, the research faculty member will retain an operating title equivalent to their former appointment as a benefits eligible faculty member and will retain the ability to apply for grants within the college with the approval of dean.

Research faculty are eligible for service in the Faculty Senate. Research faculty are not eligible for sabbatical leave or tenure. Voting rights of research faculty within a department or program are determined by the appropriate by-laws and policies. Research faculty otherwise have ordinary faculty privileges (library, parking, etc.).

Within the limits of available space and priorities, the colleges will strive to allocate appropriate office and/or research support space to research faculty members. 

See: USNH Policy, Section C.8. https://www.usnh.edu/policy/unh/v-personnel-policies/c-employment#unhvc8 and http://www.unh.edu/provost/faculty-appointments

Definitions

“Department Chair” includes Program/Center Director
“Dean” includes EOS Director
“Department Committee” includes Program/Center Committee if relevant
“College” includes EOS and Graduate School
“College Committee” includes EOS Committee

"Research Faculty" are those who undertake research/scholarship and service, and have research as their principal assignment. Research faculty are typically supported by a variety of mechanisms (internal and external sources); however, the majority of salary support is derived from grant and contract funds. Appointments are made at three faculty levels: research assistant professor, research associate professor, research professor. 

Appointment Procedure

Affirmative Action policies are followed in appointing research faculty. Unless the person to be appointed is either a prominent scientist who is named in an external grant or contract or is already an employee of the University, advertising and competitive selection is required.

Research Faculty appointments may be full-time or part-time in a department/center/institute/school. Appointment requires a recommendation from the faculty and chair in that department/unit in accordance with appropriate by-laws and the concurrence of the appropriate dean(s). Appointment requires approval by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

When recommending an appointment, recommendations by the appropriate college dean(s) should be forwarded to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Research assistant professor initial appointments are made for 1 year. Initial appointments for research associate and research professors are made for 1-3 years. Appointments are renewable for 1-3 years for research assistant professors and may be renewed up to 5 years for research associate professors and research professors. Renewal and continuation of appointment is contingent upon funding and/or the research needs, direction and priorities of the college; this shall be articulated in the initial appointment letter and any subsequent renewals.

Criteria

The three ranks of research assistant professor, research associate professor, and research professor parallel their tenure-track counterparts. However, research and service represent the expectations of the candidate.

A research assistant professor shall have completed terminal degree appropriate to his/her field and shall have demonstrated success in carrying out their own externally funded research, be capable of advising graduate students, show clear evidence of his/her ability to conceive and perform independent research and to obtain external funding from his/her research, and may provide some service to the university and profession.

A research associate professor shall have completed terminal degree, had several years of successful research experience, demonstrating a trajectory toward a national reputation, and have shown clear evidence of his/her ability to conceive and perform independent research and to obtain external funding for his/her research, supported and advised graduate students, and may provide some service to the university and profession.

A research professor shall have a background of successful externally funded research, marked by the perspective of maturity and demonstrating a trajectory toward a national/international reputation in the field. The candidate will have supported and advised graduate students to completion of their degree, and provide some service to the university and profession.

Visiting Research Faculty

Visiting research faculty are individuals who hold regular faculty appointments at other institutions and who contribute to the University’s educational or research activities on either a full-time or part-time basis. Appointments are for specific periods of time. Initial appointments are for a maximum of one year and are renewable, not to exceed three years. Visiting research faculty are not eligible for tenure, sabbatical leaves, or election to the faculty seats in the Faculty Senate and generally do not have any role in the department/center/school/institute/college governance. 

(Non tenure-track renewable appointments) 

See: Office of the Provost Hiring Procedures & Forms http://www.unh.edu/provost/hiring-procedures-forms

  • Chair requests verbal approval from Dean.
  • Dean will direct hiring department chair to consult with the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer (VP&CDO) before beginning the hiring process within the college or school to draft and confer on the position description and to present a preliminary department Recruitment and Hiring Plan of Action for the identified position.
  • Search Chair and Committee will confer with the Director of Affirmative Action and Equity (DAAE) to discuss affirmative action goals and compliance with laws and policies governing the hiring process.

Faculty hiring information is obtained from the Academic Affairs web site - Faculty Resources: Hiring Procedures: http://www.unh.edu/provost/hiring-procedures-forms.

  • Chair forwards Request to Advertise form to Dean for written approval.
  • Dean forwards written approval to Human Resources.
    • For Research Faculty, approvals by the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Provost are necessary.
  • All paid employment advertising for UNH is placed by Human Resources. A copy of any posting composed for direct mailing to other institutions or intended for submission to any free Internet sites must be provided to Human Resources for the advertising file. Faculty advertisements must include title, duties, minimum qualifications, application deadline or initial review dates, and the Affirmative Action statement.
  • Affirmative Action and Equity Office will provide an Employment Data Form (EDF) to the search chair. The search chair must insure the EDF is sent to all applicants unless the USNH on-line process is used.
  • When finalists are identified, search chair will forward to the Dean the completed Faculty Selection Form Part I (Search) to include (1) the list of finalists and their demographic information, with a brief rationale as to why each was chosen; (2) a list of all applicants with rationale for not advancing them in the search process, paying particular attention to women and minorities; and (3) resumés of all finalists, women and minorities.
  • The Dean will sign the Faculty Selection Form Part I (Search) and forward it, with the resumés of finalists, women, and minorities, to the DAAE. The DAAE will review the selected finalists and contact the search chair with approval to proceed with final airport and/or campus interviews. INTERVIEWS CANNOT BE CONDUCTED WITHOUT APPROVAL OF THE DAEE.
  • Interviews are conducted.
  • Hiring department makes recommendation to Dean regarding appointment.
  • Dean makes offer to finalist contingent upon satisfactory background check.
  • When offer is accepted, W-4 and I-9 forms must be completed by the faculty member.
  • After offer is accepted, Search Chair sends completed and signed Faculty Selection Form, Part II (Decision) to the Dean for signature. The Dean will forward the signed form to the DAAE who will sign the Faculty Selection Form and forward it to Human Resources.
  • A copy of the offer letter signed by the hiring official and the selected candidate and the completed W-4 and I-9 forms are forwarded to the BSC for processing.

See: Office of the Provost Faculty Appointments http://www.unh.edu/provost/faculty-appointments.

Annual written reviews are prepared by the department chairperson or center director (as identified in the appointment letter), who also makes the initial recommendation for any salary adjustment consistent with salary increase guidelines for employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

  • For non-tenure track faculty, a joint faculty appointment is one in which a faculty member’s appointment is shared between a home unit and another unit (department, program, center, or institute). Some faculty members may be granted academic rank in more than one unit through a joint faculty appointment. The faculty rank must be the same for both units. Joint faculty appointments are based upon the academic needs of the faculty member, departments, schools/colleges, institutes, centers, and programs.
  • When a non-tenured faculty member has a joint appointment, the secondary unit shall provide the home unit with an annual assessment of performance. Based on this information and its own assessment, the home unit will complete the annual assessment of performance and make a recommendation to the dean/director about whether or not to continue the appointment.

See: Promotion and Tenure Procedures & Documents http://www.unh.edu/provost/promotion-and-tenure-procedures-documents

Provost’s Office document, Procedures for Promotion for Research Faculty
Provost’s Office document, Procedures and Criteria for Promotion and/or Tenure Guidelines for Deans, Department Chairs, and Members of School/College Promotions

Promotion recommendations for Research Faculty follow University Promotion and Tenure policy except that evaluation of the candidate is limited to accomplishments in research and scholarly activity.  See: USNH Policy, Section C.8.4.3 https://www.usnh.edu/policy/unh/v-personnel-policies/c-employment#unhvc8

Definitions

“Department Chair” includes Program/Center Director
“Dean” includes EOS Director
“Department Committee” includes Program/Center Committee if relevant
“College” includes EOS
“College Committee” includes EOS Committee.

Research faculty have opportunities for promotion from research assistant professor to research associate professor and from research associate professor to research professor. All colleges, departments, and programs that include research faculty must have promotion policies, including criteria and standards to be used for the review process. It is the responsibility of each candidate for promotion to assemble and submit dossier material for promotion consideration. Research faculty are not required to seek promotion. If a research faculty member is not promoted, the existing academic title will remain in place.

A promotion is an affirmative action by the University with respect to an individual faculty member. A promotion recommendation by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is based on a written presentation of the individual case accompanied by written opinions on the case by appropriate faculty committees, the Department Chair, the College Dean, the Dean of the Graduate School (when appropriate), and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Promotion materials are maintained in respective Deans' offices in compliance with the Policy Regarding Retention of Promotion and Tenure files. The evaluative portions of each case are kept confidential. Candidates, in the presence of the department chair or dean, may have access to the non-evaluative promotion materials. In order to encourage participation and to assure candor, evaluations related to the promotion process are considered confidential and are not, therefore, available to the candidate. Further, with respect to letters of evaluation and other personal evaluations of a candidate, each evaluation must be accompanied by a statement indicating whether an evaluation was invited or not invited, and if invited, what process was used to determine from whom an evaluation was requested, in what manner an evaluation was requested, and other facts pertinent to the invitations. Once during the promotion process, the candidate may request a summary of the confidential materials which will be prepared by a member of the faculty, other than the candidate, selected by the following procedure:

The candidate will propose a list of at least three members of the college research or tenured faculty and the Dean will choose one of them. This summary must include the names of individuals whose evaluations are in the file. The dean or their designee will review and approve the summary of confidential materials before it is transmitted to the candidate, to ensure that it does not connect any ideas or quotes from summary statements to any particular individual. Candidates (and only candidates) shall be entitled to submit a rebuttal within one week of receiving the summary statement of confidential material. If a rebuttal is submitted, the summary upon which it is based becomes a part of the promotion file. If the candidate does not submit a rebuttal, the summary does not become a part of the promotion file. Finally, any material in the file which the candidate can demonstrate to the University to be inaccurate or untrue shall be immediately removed.

Promotion to research associate professor or to research professor will follow the usual college promotion processes through the level of the dean. The final promotion decision will be made by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in consideration of the materials provided by the faculty member, the recommendation of the department committee, chair, college committee, graduate dean if relevant, and the dean, as well as any other relevant information, experiences, etc.

For research faculty promotion cases, the department and college promotion committees must include at least one research faculty of equal or higher rank than that sought by the candidate, with voting privileges for research faculty cases only. The research faculty committee member(s) will be selected according to the appropriate department/program and college policies and procedures. Efforts shall be made to include committee member(s) with a relevant disciplinary background to that of the candidate. If the department/program has no other research faculty of equal or higher rank than that sought, one will be selected by the Dean from a related department or unit.

No member of the promotion committee may have a relationship with the candidate that might constitute a real or perceived conflict of interest in objectively and fairly evaluating the candidate for promotion. In such cases, an appropriate alternate committee member shall be selected by the dean.

Dossier for Promotion

A candidate for promotion to any research faculty rank shall prepare a curriculum vitae, a statement and dossier on research activities, service, and/or scholarship as appropriate.
The statement and dossier will focus on each of the above-listed areas as applicable to the candidate’s written appointment letter, workload assignments, and expectations.
The candidate may provide an integrated statement of all applicable areas or provide a separate description of each area. The Department Promotion Committee will seek and secure additional input, including objective evaluative letters from relevant faculty and/or staff colleagues.

The dossier should include:

• Productivity in Research and Original Creative Work

Role of faculty member in grants, publications, and presentations

• Sustainability of Research and Original Creative Work

Evidence of the ability to obtain external funding, conduct and publish results over time

• Recognition of Research and Original Creative Work

Honors and awards, visiting professorships, fellowships, etc.

• Documentation of seeking external contract and grant funding

• Publications

• Supplemental data on research of scholarship activities such as

Journal ranking

Number of times a publication has been cited in other publications.

• Materials reflecting the candidate’s substantial personal work in developing, implementing, leading, and/or supporting programs

• Outside presentations, publications and professional activities, both invited and volunteered

• Outside recognition and reviews for one's publications and/or presentations

• Copies of exemplary publications, lectures, reports

• Training and Education of Students (if applicable and desired)

Serving as thesis or dissertation committee chair, primary advisor

Service on thesis and dissertation committees of other students

Financially supporting and mentoring students on research projects

Advisor for undergraduate research

Courses taught, student evaluations

• Summary of Service Activities

Service to UNH and the scientific community

What, duration, any evidence of quality of service, etc.

Courses taught, student evaluations

• Any other information that is relevant to the candidate’s assigned responsibilities

• Evaluation letters from relevant faculty members having knowledge of the candidate’s performance

• Evaluation letters from individuals or organizations that have been assisted or served by the faculty member

Evidence of the quality of mentoring of and support for student research

Promotion Timeline

• The research faculty will notify the chair and dean in writing that s/he is initiating the promotion review process by April 1st of the academic year prior to the review process.

• The research faculty will submit the promotion dossier to the chair for transmittal to the promotion committee by the first week of the semester of the academic year in which he/she wishes to be considered for promotion.

• The department promotion committee will be appointed by the chair no later than October 1 of the academic year in which the Research Faculty member wishes to be considered.

• The chair transmits the recommendations of the department promotion committee, as well as the chair’s independent evaluation to the dean by December 2nd of the academic year in which the Research Faculty member wishes to be considered. The chair also informs the research faculty member of these recommendations in writing, including a numerical record of the vote of the department promotion committee.

• The dean transmits the recommendations of the college promotion committee and the dean’s (and, in cases of members of the graduate faculty, the graduate dean) independent recommendation(s) to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs by February 3rd of the academic year in which the research faculty member wishes to be considered. The dean also informs the research faculty member in writing of the recommendations of the college committee, graduate dean if relevant, and the dean, including a concise summary of the primary reasons for the recommendations. It shall include a numerical record of the vote of the college promotion committee.

• Any salary increase associated with a promotion will become effective at the beginning of the appointment period.

Any research faculty has the right to file a grievance in accordance with the University Grievance Policy1 if he/she is not promoted and can demonstrate clearly that the processes were not properly followed or that the department’s and/or college's approved promotion policies were applied in an arbitrary or capricious manner.

  • Starting Salary Level: UNH practice is for the hiring supervisor/chair/director, in consultation with the relevant dean and/or center/institute director, to determine the starting salary rate of the incoming research faculty member commensurate with other faculty in the same classification, discipline, and years of service.
  • Continuing Increases: Salary increases for Research Faculty are based on Trustee Wage and Salary Guidelines. 
    See: https://www.usnh.edu/policy/unh/v-personnel-policies/f-compensation
Eligibility

Research Faculty are eligible for benefits in keeping with established Board of Trustees policy.
See: USNH Policy, Section C.8 http://www.usnh.edu/policy/unh/v-personnel-policies/c-employment#unhvc8

Research Faculty receive the same benefits as other employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements.
See: Human Resources Benefits website
https://www.unh.edu/hr/benefits
See: HR Learning Series: Topics for Research Faculty and PostDocs http://www.unh.edu/hr/topics-research-fac_post-docs

Departing employees should be aware that their last day of benefits coverage (including health insurance) is their last day of active service.
See: USNH Policy, Section A.6 http://www.usnh.edu/policy/usy/v-personnel-policies/employee-benefits#usyva6

For Academic Year Research Faculty who leave UNH after the end of the spring semester, the last day of benefits coverage is the last day of the spring semester. If the faculty member continues to provide service to the university (e.g., teaching a course, supervising a dissertation, performing externally sponsored research), the faculty member may petition for continuation of medical benefits through his/her chair/dean/director to the Provost’s Office, requesting an exception to policy that would allow extension of health coverage.

Annual/Vacation/Personal Leave for Academic Year Research Faculty

(Research Faculty with fiscal year appointments, see section below)

See: USNH Policy, Section A.4.11 http://www.usnh.edu/policy/usy/v-personnel-policies/employee-benefits#usyva411 and https://www.unh.edu/hr/leave-of-absence

  • Vacations and holidays for research faculty members with academic year appointments are determined by the academic year calendar. 
  • Academic Year Research Faculty do not accrue annual/vacation/personal leave. 
Sick Leave for Academic Year Research Faculty

(Research Faculty with fiscal year appointments, see section below)

See USNH Policy, Section A.4.12 http://www.usnh.edu/policy/usy/v-personnel-policies/employee-benefits#usyva412

  • Academic Year Research Faculty are eligible for sick leave.  
    • Academic Year Research Faculty do not record sick time accumulation and usage.
Medical Leave for Research Faculty for Purposes of Family Care

See: USNH Policy, Section A.4.12.2.2 http://www.usnh.edu/policy/usy/v-personnel-policies/employee-benefits#usyva412

Research Faculty are eligible for sick leave to care for immediate family, half or full days up to ten (10) days duration per fiscal year, as well as extended bereavement leave (that requiring more than 5 days). 

Interim Disability Leave for Research Faculty

See: https://www.unh.edu/hr/voluntary-benefits

  • Research Faculty are eligible for interim disability benefits. In situations where medical documentation concerning a faculty member's inability to work indicates that the duration of an illness/injury will cause an absence from work of six months or more, interim disability provides the continuation of the individual's salary and benefits up to a total of six months absence from work inclusive of sick leave.
  • During the period of sick leave/interim disability, the faculty member will be placed on Family Medical Leave as outlined in https://www.unh.edu/hr/leave-of-absence.
  • Should a faculty member's disability create an inability to perform the essential functions of the position, appropriate action shall be considered, i.e., application for long-term disability (See: http://www.usnh.edu/policy/usy/v-personnel-policies/employee-benefits#usyva8) or an accommodation as outlined in USNH Policy, Section C.4.5 http://www.usnh.edu/policy/usy/v-personnel-policies/c-employment#usyvc45.
  • Continuation of Benefits: Faculty members' benefits shall continue during the period of interim disability, with the exception of vacation/personal leave time and sick leave accrual (if applicable) and personal use of the tuition waiver.
  • Procedures: Sick leave is used until exhausted, after which the USNH Interim Disability policy applies. The employee’s salary and benefits may continue up to a total of six months absence from work inclusive of sick leave.
    • For a grant-funded faculty member, the percentage of salary being charged to sponsored projects when the interim disability begins, and after sick leave is exhausted, is charged to a USNH interim disability fringe benefits pool.
Maternity Leave for Research Faculty

See USNH Policy on Pregnancy-related Interim Disability, A.4.12.6 http://www.usnh.edu/policy/usy/v-personnel-policies/employee-benefits#usyva412

  •  
  • When medical documentation indicates that an employee is unable to perform her duties and responsibilities because of medical conditions related to pregnancy and/or childbirth, the woman who plans to return to work may use accrued sick leave/interim disability leave/Family Medical Leave, and her position will be held for her return.
  • The period of leave is determined on a case-by-case basis based on medical documentation. Such leaves usually extend for the period from childbirth through six weeks post partum. As with all leaves for interim disability, the period of leave shall first include the use of accumulated sick leave.
  • When the woman's medical condition no longer requires absence from work, she is expected to return to work. However, the Family Medical Leave Act provides the option of up to a total of 12 weeks of leave from her position for childbirth and child rearing purposes. Continuance of salary under FMLA is contingent on use of her accrued vacation/personal leave time for the purpose of child rearing.
  • Return to Work: Medical documentation supporting the faculty member's ability to perform the essential functions of the job is required prior to her return to work.
Parental Leave for Research Faculty 

See: https://www.unh.edu/hr/leave-of-absence and USNH Policy, Section A.4.12.2.2 http://www.usnh.edu/policy/usy/v-personnel-policies/employee-benefits#usyva412

Research Faculty with at least one year of benefits-eligible service may use up to a maximum of 10 days of accrued sick leave per fiscal year (pro-rated for percent time faculty) for family leave. This leave may be used for medical appointments, illness, or medical needs of an immediate family member; prenatal or postnatal care; or for purposes of caring for a new baby or adoptive/foster child after placement.

The following forms used to apply for leave are found at https://www.unh.edu/hr/forms:

  • Request for Leave of Absence
  • Form A - Employee Health Certification
Professional Development Leave for Research Faculty

See: USNH Policy, Section E.4.5 http://www.usnh.edu/policy/usy/v-personnel-policies/e-professional-development-and-training#usyve45

While not eligible for sabbatical, Research Faculty are eligible for leave for professional improvement that will result in specific benefit to the institution and/or the University System. 

  •  
  • Such leaves shall be available as a matter of privilege rather than right and shall be granted to an eligible faculty member only in those cases where the criteria set forth below are met.
  • Leave Conditions – General

Recipients of paid leaves for professional improvements are permitted to receive income for professional activities without prejudice to their receipt of income from the University System, provided the activity is approved by the appropriate dean or supervisor. In no case may the faculty member undertake full-time paid employment while on leave for professional improvement. Upon return from leave the faculty member is expected to submit a report summarizing the professional activities of his/her leave. The individual's campus may require that he/she return to service for a specific period after a professional development leave or else reimburse the institution the full amount of salary and benefits paid during the leave.

  • Leave Approval

All paid leaves for members of the faculty require approval of a specific proposal for professional improvement that outlines the benefits expected for both the individual and University System. Applications for leave are submitted to the university president through the appropriate administrative officer who should be given reasonable notice of the date the leave is to begin. Each application is judged upon its individual merits and availability of funding. The chief executive officer or his/her designee must approve all paid leaves.

  • In practical terms, it is very likely that salary support for a research faculty member during a professional development leave will depend upon identification of internal funding by the responsible unit(s). Unless there are contrary instructions in the sponsored project program solicitation or award document, charges to a grant for services rendered to the project by an individual during the leave may be allowable.
Annual/Vacation/Personal Leave for Fiscal Year Research Faculty

(Research Faculty with academic year appointments, see section above)

All members of the fiscal year research faculty (12 months) who are employed in a status position of at least 75% time are eligible for vacation/personal time (pro-rated, based on percent time). Fiscal Year Research Faculty will follow PAT guidelines for accrual, use, and tracking of annual leave.
 

  •  
  • Vacation/personal time is earned from the first day of employment and may be used after it is earned (pro-rated based on percent time of appointment). 
  • Fiscal Year Research Faculty hired prior to July 1, 2011 accrue two (2) days of vacation/personal time per month. These employees must use a minimum of 12 days of annual leave per year (pro-rated for percent time positions).
  • For employees hired 7/1/11 or after, the annual/vacation/personal leave accrual rate will be one and a half (1.5) days per month for the first five years of status employment and two (2) days per month thereafter. The minimum usage requirement for these employees is 9 days of vacation/personal leave per year.
  • For all, the maximum carry-forward accumulation of annual leave from one month to the next is 45 days but the days accumulated over 30 days will have no cash value at termination of employment; the maximum number of vacation/personal days for payout at termination is 30 days. This pay-out at termination is charged to the USNH fringe benefits pool.
  • For Fiscal Year Research Faculty, accrued vacation time must be used prior to the end of the fiscal year appointment.
  • Vacation/personal leave accumulation and use is tracked using the Exempt Leave Record found at https://www.unh.edu/hr/forms.
  • Fiscal Year Research Faculty may use 5 working days of leave for bereavement due to the death of an immediate family member, and 1 day bereavement leave due to the death of other relatives (See: http://www.usnh.edu/policy/usy/v-personnel-policies/employee-benefits#usyva413).
  • Salary paid to Fiscal Year Research Faculty for annual/vacation/personal days used is charged to the grants or other accounts paying the individual’s salary at the time the leave day is used (Space Science Center employs different methodology). The cost of salary for these vacation days is not a component of the federal fringe rate that is charged to grants.
Sick Leave for Fiscal Year Research Faculty

(Faculty with academic year appointments, see section above)

Fiscal Year Research Faculty (12 months) will follow PAT guidelines for accrual, use, and tracking of sick leave. Sick leave is pro-rated based on percent time.

  • Fiscal Year Research Faculty accumulate sick leave at the rate of 1.25 days each month based on a full-time appointment (pro-rated for flex year or percent time appointments).
  • The maximum accumulation of sick leave is 130 (working) days and has no cash value at termination. 
  • Sick leave accumulation and use is tracked using the Exempt Leave Record found at https://www.unh.edu/hr/forms.

Research Faculty are sometimes subject to unexpected changes in grant funding due to factors beyond their control and occasionally need time to secure new funding without loss of their employment. The three options described below have been developed to meet this challenge of fluctuating funding.

For more information, please contact the Senior Vice Provost for Research.

(1) Bridge Support for UNH Research Faculty

(Modeled after policy at University of Michigan:  http://www.research.umich.edu/bridging-support-research-faculty)

UNH manages a central bridge support program for research faculty. The overall purpose of this program is to provide short-term salary and fringe support for research faculty members who experience unexpected and substantial loss in sponsored research funding due to factors beyond their control. This program requires matching funds from the research faculty member’s home unit. Additionally, research faculty may apply for bridge funding only once during a five year period of time. 

Eligibility and Duration of Bridge Funding

Bridge support may be available to those in the rank Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, or Full Research Professor. The duration of support is determined by the research faculty rank and years of service as a research faculty member. Part-time research faculty are eligible for bridge support based on their reduced effort (averaged over the previous 5 years) if they have met the years of service requirement.

Table 1. Funding eligibility for assistant, associate and full research professors based on their years of service.

 

 

Research Faculty Rank

Years of Service*

Funding Eligibility (including match)           

(Max. Salary & Benefits over 5 yr period)**

Assistant

Less than 3 years of service

Not eligible

 

3 to 6 years of service

UP TO 3 months of salary & benefits

 

6+ years of service

UP TO 6 months of salary & benefits

Associate

Less than 3 years of service

Not eligible

 

3 to 6 years of service

UP TO 6 months of salary & benefits

 

6+ years of service

UP TO 9 months of salary & benefits

Full

Less than 3 years of service

Not eligible

 

3+ years of service

UP TO 9 months of salary & benefits

 *Years of Service refers to years as a Research Faculty member
**5 year periods cannot be "banked"

Match Requirement

The bridge support program requires a minimum of a dollar-for-dollar match from the Research Faculty member’s home unit. This program does not cover severance pay or terminal leaves for research faculty whose appointments at the University are ending. Each unit that appoints research faculty is responsible for developing, administering, and funding its portion of the bridge support program for its research faculty.

Ineligible Faculty
  • Faculty without benefits are not eligible for bridge funding.
  • Research faculty who will not continue employment at the University as funds are not intended to cover severance pay or terminal leaves.
Evaluation Criteria

Criteria used in the evaluation of bridge support requests include:

  • the quality and significance of the researcher's work as reflected by the researcher's past history in obtaining external support for his/her research;
  • the researcher's potential and plan for obtaining such support in the future;
  • evidence that the applicant has a grant application(s) pending a funding decision in the near future (1-6 months) by an external agency;
  • evidence that the researcher's work is in keeping with unit and institutional priorities; and
  • a statement by the applicant's home unit regarding the applicant's continued employment.
Instructions for Applying for Bridge Support

(Refer to the Application Instructions for Bridge Support at the end of this section for details)

Purpose
This funding provides temporary salary and fringe benefit support for research faculty who experience a temporary gap in sponsored funding due to factors beyond their control. UNH complements and supplements – but does not replace – funding for this purpose that is provided by the schools, colleges, institutes, and centers of the University. Funds will be awarded at the discretion of the Senior Vice Provost for Research, within available funds.
A key element in the awarding of funds will be a commitment for matching funds from the home unit of the research faculty member. Therefore applications for bridge support should
be developed in close collaboration with the home unit. Bridge support provided by UNH
covers only 9 months of salary and fringe benefits of the research faculty member, and only after all other funds (grants, PI account, etc.) have been expended.

Budget
(A Budget Template is provided in the Application Instructions for Bridge Support provided at the end of this section.)

Submit a budget for the total salary/fringe benefits covering the lost sponsored funding for the requested bridge period. The budget should include any remaining grant(s), PI account, or other funds that will be used for support during the bridge period. A minimum commitment of a dollar-for-dollar match from the Research Faculty member's home unit must be included as part of the request for bridge support. This cost sharing is to be included on the budget breakdown, indicating whether confirmed or pending, before submitting the application. Note: The appointing unit is required to continue to provide the 5% of non-sponsored effort during the bridging period and this support is not counted as part of the dollar-for-dollar match from the appointing unit.

Deadline
At least 120 days prior to the day when the research faculty requires bridge support.

Notification of funding decisions is typically made within 2 weeks of the application deadline. Applicants can facilitate expeditious review by providing complete information and all required signatures.

(2) Partial Leave

A partial leave allows employees to apply for a leave of absence at any FTE for a maximum of one year.

If the FTE is 50% or greater, health benefits continue at the same employee cost share as when working 75% FTE or greater. Regardless of FTE, the retirement benefit, life insurance and long term disability insurance are all based on the partial leave salary.

(3) Full Leave

In addition to partial leave, employees have the option to take a full unpaid leave of absence.

For the first 120 days of unpaid leave, health benefits continue at the same employee cost share as when working 75% FTE or greater. After 120 days the employee must pay the full premium cost to continue health benefits.

Leave Limits: The maximum duration of a leave is one year and at the end of the leave there is a twenty-four month wait before one can apply for another leave.

Leave Exceptions: If the faculty member wishes to apply for an exception to the one year maximum of a full or partial leave, or the twenty-four month wait before one can apply for another leave, they must submit a written request with rationale which requires approval of the Chair, Dean or Unit leader, and Provost Office.

 
 
UNH RESEARCH FACULTY
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR BRIDGE SUPPORT

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Purpose: Bridge support is intended for research faculty members who have made a substantial contribution to the University of New Hampshire and are experiencing an unexpected and substantial temporary gap in extramural funding.

The application for bridge support from a research faculty member should include:

1. Date, Full name, research faculty rank, and home unit (i.e., Department/Center and College/School/Institute), 9 month (AY) or 12 month (FY) appointment.

2. Research faculty are only eligible for salary support up to a maximum of 9 months (see Table 1 for details). Please provide a salary plan (i.e., budget) for 9 months (starting from date that bridge support start date) listing other expected lines of support (e.g., grants [list each individually], PI account dollars, teaching, home unit 5%, etc.) and brief justification, but do NOT include bridge support funds you are requesting. Be sure to include non grant-funded fringe rate to calculate the amount of Bridge Support you are requesting.

A budget template is provided below.

3. Amount of Bridge Support requested (salary plus fringe) with a breakdown of funds that will be provided by the research faculty member’s home unit and funds that are requested from the Senior Vice Provost for Research. This can be equal to or less than the amount in the “shortfall” line in the budget template, depending on the amount of time you plan to pay yourself (maximum of 100% and minimum of 75% for 9 months).

4. List of ALL proposals submitted in past 3 years; identify each as funded, declined, or pending.

5. List of planned proposal submissions over the next year. Please include working title, program name, and the associated funding agency for each proposal.

6. Letter of support from the Research Faculty member’s home unit (Department or Center). Letter should include a description of the contributions of the research faculty member to the home unit and the level of funding committed from the home unit. The letter should be signed by the Chair/Director of the home unit AND by the College Dean or Institute/School Director.

7. The completed application should be sent to the Senior Vice Provost for Research at least 120 days prior to the day when the Research Faculty requires bridge support.

Budget Template

Research Faculty - 9 month Salary Plan

Start date:

 

 

 

Source of Funds

Salary Amount ($)

Fringe Amount ($)

Total ($)     

Grant 1

 

 

 

Grant 2

 

 

 

Teaching

 

 

 

PI Account*

 

 

 

Home unit 5%

 

 

 

   etc.

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

 

ANNUAL SALARY

 

 

 

SHORTFALL*

 

 

 

*Use non grant-funded fringe rate