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Limitation on Salary

Under NIH Grants and Contracts

For the past 23 years, there has been a legislatively imposed cap on salaries paid under NIH funded grants, cooperative agreements and contracts. Between 2001 and 2011, the cap was linked to Executive Level I of the Federal Pay Scale, but the 2012 NIH budget imposed a lower cap ($179,700), set at Executive Level II for all awards issued on or after 12/23/2011. There was no increase in the Level II rate of pay in the intervening years until January 12, 2014, when it was raised by 1 percent to $181,500. The FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill which now funds the NIH retains this cap.

Individual salaries charged against any grants issued by NIH and its sister agencies (the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or AHRQ, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA) must observe the cap or caps in effect in the fiscal year during which the funds were awarded. Note in addition, that since FY 2012, the cap also applies to other extramural funding programs housed within the US Department of Health and Human Services, including those operated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The following summarizes the time frames associated with these various salary caps:

 Notice NumberTime FrameSalary Cap
FY 2014 Awards (Executive Level II) NOT-OD-14-043 1/1/2014 - TBD $181,500
FY 2012 - 2014 Awards
(Executive Level II)
NOT-OD-12-035 12/23/11 - 12/31/13

$179,700

FY 2012 Awards
(Executive Level I)
NOT-OD-12-035 10/1/11 - 12/22/11              

$199,700

FY 2010 Awards (Executive Level I)

NOT-OD-10-041

1/1/10 - 12/31/10

$199,700

FY 2009 Awards (Executive Level I)

NOT-OD-09-037

1/1/09 - 12/31/09

$196,700

FY 2008 Awards (Executive Level I)

NOT-OD-08-035

1/1/08 - 12/31/08

$191,300

FY 2007 Awards (Executive Level I)

NOT-OD-07-051

1/1/07 - 12/31/07

$186,600

   

10/1/06 - 12/31/06

$183,500

FY 2006 Awards (Executive Level I)

NOT-OD-06-031

1/1/06 - 12/31/06

$183,500

   

10/1/05 - 12/31/05

$180,100

FY 2005 Awards (Executive Level I)

NOT-OD-05-024

1/1/05 - 12/31/05

$180,100

   

10/1/04 - 12/31/04

$175,700

FY 2004 Awards (Executive Level I)

NOT-OD-04-025

1/1/04 - 3/3/04

$174,500 used for calculation from 1/1/04 - 3/2/04; $175,700 approved 3/3/2004

   

10/1/03 - 12/31/03

$171,900

FY 2003 Awards (Executive Level I)

NOT-OD-03-034

1/1/03 - 12/31/03

$171,900

   

10/1/02 - 12/31/02

$166,700

FY 2002 Awards (Executive Level I)

NOT-OD-02-030

1/1/02 - 12/31/02

$166,700

   

10/1/01 - 12/31/01

$161,200

FY 2001 Awards (Executive Level I)

NOT-OD-01-013

1/1/02 - 12/31/02

$166,700

   

1/1/01 - 12/31/01

$161,200

   

10/1/00 - 12/31/00

$157,000

For competing applications submitted as modular grants (not exceeding $250,000 per year in direct costs) and non competing continuations, internal budgets should NOT reflect salaries beyond the current salary cap. For all other competing applications, actual base salaries should be used in preparing budget estimates, and NIH will adjust amounts to reflect the cap in effect at the time of award.

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