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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Research Committee Policies

Tenured or Tenure-track Faculty and Academic Staff with Permanent Principal Investigator Status: Summer and Semester Salary for Full-Time Research

Research Committee salary support is an investment in University tenured or tenure-track faculty and permanent PI development and is available only for persons who will be UW–Madison staff members the semester following that support.

The Research Committee is pleased to be able to continue its policy of providing salary support for full-time research. The maximum support for which a faculty member/permanent PI may compete is the equivalent of either 1 semester or 2 summers during a 3-year period. The current competition covers the 2024 summer (July and August) and academic year 2024–2025. Therefore, to determine your maximum eligibility you must deduct any salary support you received from the committee during the period set forth below.

Summer Academic Year
2022 2022-2023
2023 2023–2024
2024 2024–2025

All salary support received from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE) Research Committee counts in calculating the maximum support for which one is eligible. For example, all salary funds received for cost-sharing on or supplementation of Federal grants or fellowship awards such as Guggenheim, Fulbright-Hayes and ACLS are counted in determining a person’s remaining eligibility.

If you anticipate needing supplementation for an outside research fellowship, you must apply for such a supplementary grant from the Research Committee through the Fall Competition which has a September 9, 2022, application deadline. Teaching Fulbrights and teaching improvement awards generally are not eligible for Research Committee support. However, those having a bona fide major research opportunity associated with a teaching function will be reviewed on an individual basis. Faculty planning on applying to NEH, Guggenheim or ACLS should contact their appropriate OVCRGE Associate Vice Chancellor before applying in the Fall Competition.

Staff Salaries

Please use titles and positions as defined in the UW–Madison Unclassified Title Guidelines available in departmental offices or the Office of Human Resources website.


The terms Research Assistant, Project Assistant and Academic Staff are defined as follows:

Research Assistant: a graduate student enrolled full-time and appointed to assist in carrying on research leading to an advanced degree. This appointment is usually half-time. An appointment as a research assistant is appropriate if the activity performed by the research assistant is primarily for the benefit of the individual’s course of study and research and directly applicable to the individual’s thesis or dissertation. The University withholds income tax for persons with this appointment. The Research Assistant stipend minimum for 2023-2024 is below.

Annual Academic
25% 33% 50% 25% 33% 50%
1 month $1,183 $1,578 $2,366 1 month $1,291 $1,721 $2,581
6 months $7,097 $9,463 $14,194 1 semester (4.5 months) $5,807 $7,743 $11,614
9 months $10,646 $14,194 $21,356 2 semesters (9 months) $11,614 $15,485 $23,227
12 months $14,194 $18,926 $28,388 11 months (9+2) $14,195 $18,926 $28,288

100% time Annual: $56,776 A
100% time Academic: $46,454 C

Project Assistant – designates a graduate student employed to assist with a research project or carry out other duties not required for a degree or related to her/his thesis. The University withholds income and social security tax for persons with this appointment. The Project Assistant stipend minimum for 2023-2024 is below. Hiring procedures are stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement between the state and the TAA.

Annual Academic
25% 33% 50% 25% 33% 50%
1 month $1,183 $1,578 $2,366 1 month $1,291 $1,721 $2,581
6 months $7,097 $9,463 $14,194 1 semester (4.5 months) $5,807 $7,743 $11,614
9 months $10,646 $14,194 $21,291 2 semesters (9 months) $11,614 $15,485 $23,227
12 months $14,194 $18,926 $28,388 11 months (9+2) $14,195 $18,926 $28,289

100% time Annual: $56,776 A
100 % time Academic: $46,454 C

NOTE:  The majority of awards provided by VCRGE do not allow for Teaching Assistant positions.

Academic Staff – designates professional employees with specialized training or experience which qualifies them to provide a service essential to the academic enterprise. Academic Staff who wish to engage in study or other activities not part of their work assignment should comply with the Maximum Levels of Appointments and Summer Session Appointments in Chapter 11 (specifically, 11.03, Employees Enrolled as UW–Madison Students) of the UW–Madison, Personnel Policies and Procedures Handbook.

A. Research and Project Assistants

The OVCRGE administers a significant amount of support for graduate students appointed as research or project assistants. The OVCRGE reserves such support for students making satisfactory progress on their degree programs. The Research Committee expects a student to have grades of B or better. Committee funds cannot be used to support a student on probation or whose record includes incompletes more than one semester old. In no case will the Research Committee provide funds to support a particular individual as a research or project assistant for more than three years.

UW–Madison policy permits graduate assistants to hold appointments up to 50% time. The Research Committee will award assistantships within reason up to 50% time dependent on circumstance and approval of the pertinent Associate Vice Chancellor. The Research committee will permit students to hold concurrent assistantship appointments, funded with other funds, but those combined are not to exceed the maximum level.

Credit Loads – All research assistants must carry a full-time graduate load (8 graduate-level credits of courses, seminars or research), with the following exceptions: A Ph.D. candidate who has achieved dissertator status (passed the preliminary examination and completed all major and minor requirements, and satisfied the Graduate School minimum credit requirement) may hold an assistantship if registered for 3 graduate-level credits that are directly related to their dissertation research. During summer session a research assistant must be registered for 2 credits. Those research assistants who have achieved dissertator status must continue to register for 3 dissertation credits. Campus summer employment rules apply for project assistants. All project assistants must be graduate students and registered for a minimum of 2 graduate-level credits (dissertators for 3 credits) during the academic year. Find additional information on the Graduate School Academic Policies and Procedures web page.

B. Postdoctoral Appointments

In cases where the researcher receives Research Committee funding for postdoctoral level appointments, the appropriate titles are Research Associate, Researcher, or Scientist. Research Committee funds are not appropriate for support of postdoctoral fellows.

C. Visiting Postdoctoral Appointments

Use Visiting Professor or Scientist titles when requesting funding to invite distinguished nationally recognized research personnel from outside the UW System for collaboration and scientific exchange. The appropriate title modifier (Assistant, Associate, etc.) should be established on an individual basis after review of the visitor’s vita. Use the Visiting Professor series for persons holding professorial rank at other academic institutions and the Visiting Scientist series for those who do not.

D. Research Specialists

These are non-student professional employees with specialized training and/or experience which qualifies them to provide a service essential to the research enterprise. A bachelor’s degree is required.

Fringe Benefit & Tuition Remission Multiplier Costs

The VCRGE Accounting Office will calculate the fringe benefit costs when the research account is established. You should list only the direct salary or stipend on your application. NOTE: All appointments cost the Committee additional dollars in fringe benefits and for graduate assistants there is a tuition remission cost. For example, the fringe benefit rates for 2022–2023 are:

Appointment Type Percent
Faculty and Academic Staff 36.6
Research Associate 22.0
Research Assistant and Project Assistant 21,7
University Staff (LTE) 10.0
Student Hourly 1.8
Tuition Remission/per semester on appointments one-third time and greater $6,000

When the Fringe and Tuition Remission amounts are budgeted, they should not be considered part of the overall available funds. They are only available on an award when the associated salary payment is made. If an award is re-budgeted from salary, the fringe and tuition remission amounts are not available for other expenditures associated with the project. For additional information, please visit the web page: Administration of Grants Provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE).

Student Hourly Help

Principal Investigators are encouraged to consider the College Work-Study (CWS) program under this category to supplement our resources. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid (608) 262-3801.

Supplies and Equipment

The possibility of providing for these needs from departmental or college funds as well as from outside grants should be investigated prior to making a request to the Research Committee. If you are requesting computer equipment as part of your Fall Research Competition application, you should contact the appropriate OVCRGE Associate Vice Chancellor for approval prior to submitting.  The Research Committee does not provide funds for non-research related expenditures such as office equipment and/or telephone line charges. Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) are also not allowable on VCRGE accounts.


Funds are available for research travel and for international and domestic meeting travel. The Committee encourages the use of the most cost-effective modes of transportation, including tours or charters when available. All travel expenses and documentation must comply with standard University Travel Regulations. Read travel additional guidelines for L&S.

Research Travel – Research travel grants are available where travel is a substantial and critical component of a research project. Other project travel, i.e., field expenses for yourself and/or staff, will be considered on an individual basis. Requests for Research Travel should be made by applying through the annual Fall Research Competition.

Meeting Travel – Requests for travel to domestic and international research meetings should be applied for by submitting a formal request to the OVCRGE accounting office via the Conference Travel Support Request form.  These requests must be made prior to taking the trip. For more information visit the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE) travel page.

Domestic Travel – Domestic meeting travel eligibility is for one meeting in the most current two-fiscal-year period and is restricted to meetings which can be documented to make a strong, positive contribution to your research program. The Research Committee will contribute up to $1,000 toward the cost of attending any domestic meeting. Domestic travel is defined as any of the 50 states, US Territories and Commonwealths, Canada or Mexico. This support may be used for registration, transportation, allowable lodging, and meal costs not provided by other sources of support. It is not the Committee’s intent to provide 100% of the expenses of all domestic meetings but rather to assist each faculty member by defraying in part the cost of attending such meetings. Travel expenses will be reimbursed via eReimbursement reports.

International Travel – International meeting travel eligibility is for one meeting in the most current three-fiscal-year period. Support of international travel is by no means automatic, but rather is restricted to major participation (ordinarily, invited presentations) in a major international meeting. Poster presentations do not qualify for support. International conferences should show participants from a variety of countries and not a predominance by one nationality.

In addition, the Committee will consider the impact on your research of VCRGE support for the trip. The Office of the VCRGE will provide up to $2,000 for such expenses as airfare and other travel costs allowable under state travel reimbursement rules. Applications for international meeting travel should include a copy of your invitation, length of presentation, and a copy of the program if available.

Other Services

The Committee will consider funding for other university services such as the Cartographic Laboratory, Physical Sciences Laboratory, Survey Research Center, etc. These should be justified on the form provided by the service center and entered under Supplies and Expenses and/or Equipment. Only those university services which have audited rates will be considered.

General Administrative Guidelines

  1. All funds awarded for any fiscal year begin on July 1st and terminate on June 30th with the exception of funding provided for salary support. The beginning and ending dates for salary funds will coincide with the payroll periods established for the fiscal year.
  2. To insure an orderly year-end closing, we request that all orders be received in your College/School Dean’s Office one week prior to the fiscal year cut-off dates determined by your College/School.
  3. Requisitions must be processed through your College/School Dean’s Office prior to the purchase of any item or service charged to OVCRGE awards.
  4. All staff positions, including assistants, awarded by the Research Committee will be payrolled through your College/School Dean’s Office. An appointment must be sent to your College/School prior to the time the appointee begins working. When hiring new academic staff, all federal Immigration and Naturalization Service and UW–Madison hiring and affirmative action procedures apply. Position clearance must be obtained from your College/School and the Academic Personnel Office prior to releasing a letter of offer and processing the IADS form.
  5. Where there is some justification for modifying the above policies and procedures, exceptions can be requested by email to Russell Schwalbe in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, 317 Bascom Hall.
  6. A condition of receiving research funding administered by the OVCRGE is the obligation to disclose and assign to WARF resulting patentable intellectual property.
  7. For additional guidelines, please visit the web page, Administration of Grants Provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE).