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

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 project.  The corresponding percentage of the faculty’s appointment is directly charged (accounted for) to the grant account (budget) during the term of the buyout.

UIS Course Buyout Request Form 2021-2022 (pdf)

The UIS Course Buyout Request Form Template above must be filled out with all the required signatures when a portion of a faculty member’s salary is being financed or subsidized through grant funding. The form should be submitted to the Department Chair and the Dean of the respective college for approval.


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 1/8th of a nine-month Institutional Base Salary (IBS) plus benefits* for each course released.

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. 

NOTE: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) sets an annual salary cap to limit the Institutional Base Salary (IBS) used to calculate salary and fringe benefits costs for an NIH application budget. Effective January 3, 2021, the annual salary cap is $199,300. If a faculty member’s actual annualized base salary exceeds this amount, then the salary cap of $199,300 must be used as the annual base for salary and fringe benefit cost calculations in the application budget.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) require that salary requests in grant budgets be expressed as months. No more than 2 months’ of regular salary may be requested for any senior personnel in any one year. The limit of two months’ salary includes compensation received from all NSF-funded grants²


  1. What if my sponsored research extends to more than a single semester or I want to participate in a course buyout for multiple terms?

A. That is fine, we simply ask that a new form be completed for each term of buyout.

  1. When does the 1/9th rate apply for a summer course buyout?

A. The 1/9th rate only applies for a 12 month faculty member appointment.

  1. Can faculty still do an overload of coursework?

A. It is the responsibility of the Dean to decide if faculty can still apply for an overload of coursework. Our guidelines suggest that deans maintain balance and not overload faculty so that research can get done.

If your questions are not addressed on this page, please submit your question to ora@uis.edu

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

²Proposal Preparation Instructions