Faculty Research Incentive Program

This document was updated March 15, 2024 . 

I. Background and Purpose

The Faculty Research Incentive Program (FRIP) serves to reward investigators who - in addition to covering facilities and administrative (F&A) costs incurred by Geisel in support of sponsored research efforts - obtain significant additional extramural support for F&A recovery. This program will allow faculty members to supplement their income and/or set aside additional discretionary funds in a Faculty Research Incentive Account (FRIA), to support their research programs.

The FRIP aims to:

  1. To provide a consistent, proactive method for rewarding faculty members who succeed in developing robust research programs.
  2. Increase retention of faculty who develop successful research programs.
  3. Increase overall recovery of Geisel’s facilities and administration (F&A) costs.
  4. Incentivize net new growth in Geisel’s sponsored portfolio.

II. Eligibility

To participate in the Faculty Research Incentive Program (FRIP), faculty members must be employees of Dartmouth College, with research programs based at the Geisel School of Medicine, where associated sponsored expenses and revenues are recorded in Dartmouth College's (Geisel) general ledger.

To be eligible for FRIP, faculty must have, in the prior fiscal year generated actual F&A recovery attributable to them as PI, Multi-PI or Project PI on a multicomponent award.  Faculty whose actual F&A recovery meets or exceeds the average per-investigator F&A costs are eligible for FRIP.  Faculty whose F&A recovery falls below this threshold may be eligible for partial FRIP (see section V).

III. Qualifying Awards

The criteria for awards qualifying for consideration under these guidelines are:

  1. Award must be to Dartmouth College and be either a new award or a competing renewal.
  2. Award must be received by Dartmouth's Office of Sponsored Projects with a start date between the start and end date of the fiscal year used for the basis of calculating FRIP (7/1-6/30).
  3. The direct cost and associated F&A recovery associated with the award or with a component of a multi-project award must accrue to Geisel School of Medicine.
  4. Total (average annual) F&A recovery that will accrue to Geisel School of Medicine must be greater than $130K for each award, or for multi-project awards, for the sum of the components accruing to Geisel.

IV. Qualifying Awards involving Multiple-PI’s or Center/Program Project Grants

F&A recovery for multi-PI or multi-component awards will be allocated for each component that returns F&A to Geisel, as long as the average annual total F&A recovery to Geisel from the sum of components for that award meets the $130K threshold.

  1. Multi-PI awards[1]: unless otherwise agreed to and documented by the participating faculty members and their respective chairperson(s) (section C, below), the FRIP-eligible F&A associated with each eligible multi-PI will be allocated in equal shares among eligible multi-PIs, provided that each multi-PI meets the eligibility criteria set forth in Section II, above. In the event a multi-PI does not meet the eligibility criteria, the FRIP-Eligible F&A will be allocated equally across the multi-PI’s, but the FRIP incentive will only be provided (based on allocable F&A’s) to those multi-PI’s who are otherwise eligible to participate.
  2. Multi-component Awards: unless otherwise agreed to and documented by the participating faculty members and their respective chairperson(s) (section C, below), the FRIP-eligible F&A associated with each qualifying component[2] will be allocated in equal shares among between the component leader(s) (e.g., project leader, core director), and the overall PI (s) who are eligible faculty members and qualified to receive FRIP. An example of the default distribution for a multi-project award involving qualified, FRIP-eligible Geisel faculty members A, B, C, E, and F is shown in the attached table at the end of this document (Table 1).
    To the extent that the overall PI(s) or component PI(s) are not eligible per Section II, above, the F&A will be allocated per the equal shares model, or per agreed upon alternative distribution formula (section C, below) to all PI’s, but with the incentive provided (based on allocable F&A’s) to those PI’s who are otherwise eligible to participate.
  3. Alternative distribution formulae: investigators may, at the time of grant submission, agree in advance to a different distribution formula of FRIP-eligible F&A, with the concurrence of all eligible participants and their respective department chairs. Such agreement must be forwarded, cc to all participants and chairs, to the Geisel Dean’s office by the grant submission deadline.

V. FRIP Incentive

FRIP incentives will be calculated and distributed after the close of each fiscal year.
The incentive will be calculated based on:

  1. FRIP-eligible F&A, which shall be the awarded F&A recovery to Geisel based on qualifying awards (see Sections III and IV, above) received during that fiscal year (basis year), reduced by the amount of any Geisel institutional support committed in support of that award (including cost share, waived F&A recovery, or additional internal funding). For multi-component awards, Geisel institutional support will be subtracted from each component in proportion to its share of total Geisel F&A received for that award.
  2. Actual F&A recovery attributable to each eligible PI during the prior fiscal year, and compared in relation to the average per-investigator F&A costs for that same year (currently estimated at $185,000, based on actual costs for FY20). For the calculation of actual F&A during the prior fiscal year, multi-PI and multi-component award F&A will be allocated as described in section IV.

Faculty who have generated F&A recovery greater than or equal to the average F&A cost in the fiscal year prior to the basis year (i.e., FY20, for FRIP incentives based on FY21 awards) will receive 100% of the FRIP incentive. Example scenarios are provided below (calculation #1 and #2).

For faculty who have recovered less than the average F&A cost in the prior fiscal year, the calculated FRIP incentive amount will be reduced by the difference between the average F&A cost and the actual F&A recovered. This provision provides for a partial incentive. An example of this calculation is provided below (#3).

Faculty who meet the eligibility criteria and receive qualifying awards with sufficient annual F&A recovery as defined above will receive a one-time incentive of up to 20% of the average annual F&A recovery of the eligible award(s), with a maximum incentive of $50,000 per year. Of this, up to $25,000 may be taken as compensation, which will be issued as a special payment that is not eligible for defined contribution matching funds or the 7% special benefit. The balance of the calculated FRIP incentive will be transferred to the faculty member's reserve account (FRIA). Faculty may receive FRIP incentives for each fiscal year in which they meet the eligibility criteria and receive (new) qualifying awards (specifically III.2), that provide sufficient annual F&A recovery.

VI. Offsets and Exceptions

Calculated FRIP incentive amounts will either offset (e.g. – serve to reduce) or be offset by any other institutionally supported incentive funds received by the faculty member, including:

  1. Bonuses provided as part of a retention plan or based on meeting specific performance metrics.
  2. Funds provided as part of a retention plan to support the faculty member's research program.
  3. Endowment distributions made available to the faculty member in support of their research program.

To the extent possible, faculty subject to offset will be given the opportunity to choose whether to reduce the amount of their FRIP incentive, or other institutionally supported funds made available to them.

At the discretion of the Dean, the prior year F&A recovery requirement may be reduced or waived to recognize an extraordinary increase in a faculty member’s awards. Similarly, if a faculty member garners multiple new awards during a single year which bring in full F&A recovery and which, when combined exceed the $130,000 F&A recovery threshold, the Dean, in their sole discretion, may grant an exception to aggregate the new awards such that the faculty member is deemed to have met the criteria in Section III (4), above.

VII. Policy Administration

This policy has been drafted in consultation with the Deans Advisory Board and the Faculty Council. It is our intention to revisit this policy document with these groups at the conclusion of the second year (from the Effective Date) to ensure that the incentives and intent remain aligned. Minor administrative of clarifying edits may be enacted by the Dean at any time. Questions about this policy or its administration may be directed to the Dean’s Office.


[1]Where discrete budgets are necessary for the management of a multi-PI award, separate Oracle Grants Accounting (OGA) projects should be created on receipt of the award with discrete direct and F&A cost budgets.  

[2]To facilitate attribution for multi-component awards, separate Oracle Grants Accounting (OGA) projects should be created on receipt of the award and should reference the overall PI, project leader, core director etc. as Project PI, as appropriate based on the locus of the activity.