Last April, Kim Goodwin-Slater and I published a new VSE policy on indirect distribution (attached).  The policy became effective July 1 with a phased implementation.  Questions have come up on how to handle distribution of indirect when faculty from more than one unit are involved.  This email provides clarifying information.

1.  As a reminder, the new policy begins with the assumption that when only VSE faculty are involved in a sponsored research award, then VSE receives approximately 35% of total recovered indirect.  Those funds are distributed between the  involved faculty, departments, centers, and the dean. Faculty and centers which are very successful and generate larger amounts of recovered indirect receive an extra distribution at the end of the fiscal year to reward their strong performance. The formula for the extra amount distributed is stated in the policy.

2.  When more than one unit is involved in an award, the total recovered indirect to ALL the units combined doesn’t change. It is still approximately 35%.  The faculty involved in the award decide at proposal time how much of that 35% indirect is given to each unit.  Once that split is determined at the unit level, the individual unit policies then apply to distribute indirect funds to faculty, departments, centers, and the dean’s office. Those distribution policies differ from unit to unit.

3.  As an example, suppose a proposal involves three faculty from VSE and CEHD.  The PI is from VSE, two Co-PIs are from CEHD, and the research effort will be managed by a VSE research center. Suppose the three faculty agree that VSE will get 1/2 of the 35% indirect and CEHD will get the other half.  VSE’s 17.5% share would be distributed as follows:

1.  The VSE center would get 4%.

2.  The PI’s department would get 3%.

3.  The PI would get 4%.

4.  The VSE Dean would get 6.5%

How CEHD splits up the funds among its faculty, departments, centers, and dean would be decided by CEHD policy.  At the end of the fiscal year, the VSE PI and the VSE center would get additional funds if their total indirect for the year reached the higher thresholds called out in the VSE policy.

Please let Kim or me know if you have any questions.

Dr. Art Pyster
Associate Dean for Research and Professor
Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University

Director for Strategic Integration
Fellow and Founders Award Recipient
International Council on Systems Engineering