Course Buy-out

What is a Course Buy-out?

A Course Buyout is when grant funds “buy” a faculty member’s released time by paying for that portion of their salary so that the equivalent amount of effort can be spent working on the grant.

A “Buyout” situation applies when a faculty member is granted a course release in order to accommodate a faculty member’s work on an externally funded grant.  The corresponding percentage of the faculty’s appointment is directly charged (accounted for) to the grant account (budget) during the term of the buy-out.

UIS Course Buyout Request Form 2015 (pdf)

The UIS Course Buyout Request Form Template above, must be filled-out with all appropriate signatures when a portion of a faculty’s salary is being financed or subsidized through a grant.

NOTE: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) sets an annual salary cap. Effective January 1, 2015, total compensation for individuals receiving funds from NIH and institutional sources may not exceed $183,300. If a faculty member’s annualized base salary exceeds this amount, the lower amount must be used[1].

The National Science Foundation (NSF) require that salary requests in grant budgets be expressed as months. No more than 2 months’ salary may be requested for any senior personnel on one grant[2].

A faculty member may elect to “buy out” of teaching (often referred to as “course release”) to work on a sponsored project, at a rate equal to 15% of Institutional Base Salary (IBS)* for each course released. If a faculty member performs work on a sponsored project in addition to his or her normal duties at the college during the academic year, he or she may draw overage compensation.

*Institutional Base Salary (IBS): is the annual compensation the university pays for activities performed (including, as applicable, research, teaching, and clinical practice) as part of an employee’s university appointment(s), specifically, INCLUDING: Regular Salary, Endowed Chair or professorship stipends; and Paid Professional leave (pay for sabbatical, vacation, and sick leave- not including sick leave pay payouts when departing from the university); EXCLUDING: Administrative stipends; Summer salary for non-12-month appointees; Service in excess payments; Royalties paid by the university; Reimbursements; and Any compensation of external professional activities, such as consulting or compensated peer review activities. 


[1]Notice on Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts

[2]Proposal Preparation Instructions