Faculty Research and Innovation Accounts (“FRIA”)

Policy: Faculty Research and Innovation Accounts (“FRIA”)
Original Effective Date: January 2014
Revision Date: June 2015

Policy Statement:
The creation and dissemination of new knowledge through basic, translational and clinical research is a core mission of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth (Geisel).

To fulfill this mission Geisel provides faculty with facilities for the conduct of research and partial salary support (e.g., subvention). Notwithstanding Geisel’s commitment to support its faculty, it is expected that each faculty member will acquire financial support from extramural sources to build and maintain his or her research program. Under the conditions stipulated in this policy, Geisel permits the contribution of funds to Faculty Research and Innovation Accounts (FRIAs) that have been purposely designed to:

  1. Encourage faculty to obtain extramural support for their activities (research and teaching);
  2. Promote the development of innovative research, pedagogical, and other academic programs; and
  3. Provide a level of financial security and flexibility for the academic activities of the individual
    faculty member.

This policy document is intended to provide clarity in terms of how FRIA accounts may be funded (e.g. what funds form the basis for FRIA savings), and subsequently, how FRIA funds may be used at Geisel. The Dean of the School of Medicine may revise, suspend or otherwise amend the provisions of this document in accordance with Geisel’s evolving needs, and in consultation with the Dean’s Academic Board and the Faculty Council.

1.   Eligibility

Faculty members who receive salary support from Geisel Central through budgeted subvention are eligible to accrue funds in a FRIA. In certain cases, an otherwise eligible faculty member may have his/her eligibility suspended. Specifically, any faculty member who is currently over-drafted on his/her current grant award, or who is receiving bridge support (either from Geisel Central or a department/center), shall be deemed temporarily ineligible to accrue FRIA savings during periods of overdraft or bridging support.

2.   Mechanism

FRIAs are created using an internal accounting mechanism through which eligible Geisel faculty may allocate a portion of their unused, budgeted subvention (salary and fringe, only) support funds for later use.

The amount of unused (compensation-related) subvention support funds will be determined annually by the Finance Office at Geisel, in arrears, based on the difference between the budgeted amount of subvention support for a faculty member’s compensation and the actual amount of subvention drawn for the fiscal year.

The calculation of funds to be distributed will be based on the faculty member’s salary at the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1 annually). The calculation will not be adjusted to reflect subsequent changes in compensation during the fiscal year. The actual percentage of salary allocated to other sources will be reconciled at the end of the fiscal year. Accrual calculations will not be made on a month-to-month basis, except as noted below.

3.   Eligible Sources of Funding Support

Excess compensation-related subvention support funds are generated when faculty obtain support from certain external funding sources so that they draw less subvention support than was initially budgeted to cover their salary and fringe benefits cost. Eligible external funding sources include:

  1. Externally funded grant awards with full Facilities and Administration (F&A) cost recovery and other external grant awards that comply with Geisel’s policy for F&A cost recovery at the time of submission[1]
  2. Restricted, current-use gift funds from donors external to the School.
  3. Teaching or other activities funded by other Dartmouth schools.
  4. Other funds derived from extramural sources of support which are intended to cover the faculty member’s salary. Sources of faculty salary support that are directly or indirectly funded from Geisel central funds, including faculty startup funds, central funding for programs or new initiatives, or budgeted allocations to support departmental activities are not eligible for FRIA savings.

4.   Noted Exceptions

An exception to the full year calculation will be made for Assistant Professors during the first three years of their appointment. During this period, assistant professors will be permitted to accrue funds to a FRIA on a partial year basis, starting at the point in which the actual percent of external support for their compensation, calculated on a monthly basis, exceeds the amount budgeted in subvention. An exception allowing internal Geisel funding support to be used to establish FRIA balances may be considered in certain situations. Specifically, the department Chair or Center Director may petition the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs for consideration for FRIA savings when he/she understands a particular faculty member’s efforts in service of the School to otherwise exceed expectations for their subvened activities at Geisel, including certain teaching activities, committee work, leadership of Geisel initiatives, or other service work. The stated exception for certain internally funded teaching activities is expected to apply primarily to faculty who receive only nominal subvention support from Geisel and for whom such teaching may provide the sole vehicle for funding of FRIA accounts.

In the same manner, the department Chair (or Center Director) may petition the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs to limit faculty members’ contributions for FRIA funding in cases where their institutional activities fail to meet expectations associated with subvention. In either case, the Chair (or Center Director) shall be responsible for submitting a request for consideration that enumerates the magnitude of the faculty member’s specific service/contributions to Geisel during the fiscal period. This request would quantify the amount the Chair (or Center Director) believes exceeds/fails to meet the norm for subvened faculty at Geisel. The Senior Associate Dean shall review these requests with the Chair (or Center Director), and make a recommendation to the Dean of the Geisel School of Medicine regarding potential FRIA contributions.

5.   Fractional Distribution

At the end of each fiscal year, the Finance Office at Geisel shall transfer the calculated amount of eligible excess (compensation-related) subvention support funds to FRIA accounts, as follows:

  • 75% to the PI’s personal FRIA (reserve) account
  • 25% to the appropriate Department/Center account

6.   Use of FRIA Funds

As described in the Policy Statement, individual FRIA discretionary accounts are specifically intended to promote the development of innovative research, pedagogical and other academic programs, and to provide a level of financial security and flexibility for the faculty member’s activities at Geisel.

Accordingly, faculty members may use their FRIA funds to provide financial support for the exploration of new projects and initiatives, to cover unfunded activities related to the development and promotion of their academic program(s) at Geisel, and to provide interim support in the event of a temporary loss or reduction in extramural support. In all cases, the faculty member’s intended use of FRIA funds must have a legitimate business purpose related to the research, education and/or clinical missions of the School/College.

Where questions might arise around the use of FRIA discretionary funding, it is expected that the faculty member shall consult with the Office of Finance at Geisel regarding the proposed use in advance of using FRIA funds. A failure to consult with the Office of Finance in advance of expending FRIA funds for activities that are not related to legitimate business purposes of the School/College may result in the faculty member being personally responsible for such expenditures.



[1]  Salary support from grants that were submitted prior to the effective date of Geisel’s new policy on F&A cost recoveries shall be deemed eligible for FRIA savings.