Date Established: 2/27/2004
Date Last Updated: 12/11/2014
Sponsored Projects Services
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
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Graduate student salaries and tuition costs are allowable costs on sponsored projects and are often a required cost.
Graduate students may be employed as Research Project Assistants to perform necessary work on research projects. Compensation for Research Project Assistants must include salary and tuition remission.
Principal investigators (PI) who appoint a Research Project Assistant to their research projects must include a line item in the direct cost budget proposal for tuition remission based on the university five year projected tuition schedule. If a sponsor does not allow tuition, the proposal must include a commitment from the PI, department, or school/college to cover tuition costs.
Proposals and budgets for non-competing renewals that include salary costs for a Research Project Assistant must also include a budget for graduate tuition costs based on the current five year projected tuition schedule. When no-cost extensions are requested, the PI must consider the five year projected tuition schedule when planning to employ a Research Project Assistant during the extended period; both salary and tuition costs will be assessed to the project.
The requirement to include graduate student tuition costs for Research Project Assistants can be waived only with the approval of the cognizant dean and Vice President for Research and Economic Development (VPRED). A statement from the dean that tuition for the Research Project Assistant will be supported by college, school, or other institutional funds must accompany the proposal. When appropriate and in accordance with the terms of the sponsor, the tuition costs covered by other funding sources may be recorded as cost sharing on the research award.
Graduate students receiving tuition remission from a research project must have a bi-weekly (not hourly) appointment, be working on the project, have a Research Project Assistant (or equivalent) title, and meet the eligibility requirements listed in the Student Employment Policy, including but not limited to being enrolled for 9 credit hours or certified full time and performing work related to their area of study.
Research Project Assistants must perform work for a specific research award in order for their tuition remission to be charged to the award.
The projected tuition rates are in compliance with the State University of New York (SUNY) tuition policy. The five year projected tuition schedule will be revised annually by September 1.
The five year projected tuition schedule will be reviewed annually by the VPRED and approved by Academic Planning and Budget (APB).
Graduate student tuition payments will be prorated, based on the student’s appointment an charged to research awards for the actual cost of tuition based on a full semester or a pro-rated term. Budget revisions to the tuition category must be made in accordance with the Facilities and Administrative Cost Recovery and Distribution policy. Student fees are not included in the five year projected tuition schedule or the tuition remission process. Students may not be reimbursed directly for tuition charges; all tuition remission payments will be in the form of a credit to the student’s account.
According to federal regulations, tuition remission must be consistently provided in a like manner to students in return for similar activities conducted in non-sponsored as well as sponsored activities. A decanal unit may choose to implement a policy stating that all students may be reimbursed only the in-state tuition rate, or they may choose to cover the actual tuition costs. Departmental policies must be written and made available, treat all students consistently, and may not be less restrictive than this policy.
In accordance with the terms of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniformed Guidance, tuition remission and other forms of compensation paid as, or in lieu of, wages to students performing necessary work are allowable provided that:
This policy applies to research awards administered by the Research Foundation and University at Buffalo Foundation.
Principal Investigator (PI)
A University at Buffalo (UB) faculty or staff member who bears responsibility for the intellectual leadership of a project. The PI accepts overall responsibility for directing the research, financial oversight, and compliance with relevant university policies and sponsor terms and conditions.
Any externally funded research, training, evaluative testing, or public service project directed by UB faculty or staff as part of their university work that requires the university to perform a specified program or deliver a specified product.
For the purpose of this policy, the payment of part or all of the required tuition due for education rendered as compensation for graduate students employed as Research Project Assistants (or equivalent) and for performing work on research awards.
Updated to reflect that graduate student:
|June 2013||Full policy revision to reflect current requirements and processing practices.|