Topic: Sponsored Programs and Human Resources

Topic: Sponsored Programs and Human Resources

Preamble: Budgetary changes on a sponsored program may need sponsor approval.  Contact OSPRI for assistance.

Planning and Pre-Hiring
    • Budgeting for your proposed position will depend on the title of the position, the type of position, and the scope of work you have in mind. Given you’ve likely detailed this in your budget justification anyway, you can take that draft from your proposal and turn them into “job duty bullet points” along with the qualifications you’d require, then send that over to HR who can help you estimate the salary range. To do this, you can send your sample job description to HRHelp@UCCS.EDU and create a “ticket” for their review. Most jobs will be considered a “university staff” position and likely they will fall under some type of research service professional. See for examples of types of job classifications.
    • Congratulations! Yes, all you need to do is contact Sponsored Projects Accounting (Melinda Hamilton, Jessi Komrofske or Lin Kaplan) to ask for a temporary SpeedType to include in the posting that will be part of the “request to fill form” that you’ll complete and route for approvals. Although you cannot officially hire until the official Sponsored Programs’ ST is established, you can start the hiring process with a temporary ST. In your job posting, include information that the position is “contingent on funding.”
    • Typically yes. To do this, you must also include graduate student salary in your budget as a monthly rate (which is necessary to document that the student is working on the project). You can figure out the cost of in-state or out-of-state tuition based on the number of credit hours you would like to fund. To estimate the monthly salary, ask your department administrator for the typical rate in your unit. You can also contact OSPRI to discuss your specific situation.
    • No. A person’s percent effort cannot exceed 100%. However, job duties can be adjusted, or a portion of their salary can be paid by the sponsor, if allowed, and that “savings” is then returned to the unit. The unit could decide to set up a professional development fund for the staff member, use it to hire a student worker, or other arrangements.
    • Typically not, though some sponsors (e.g., the NIH) do allow for some academic year funding that can be used to pay a portion of the normal salary. In this case, there are two options 1) the resulting “salary savings” from the university funded salary may be returned to the unit to decide how to use the funding or 2) the faculty can apply for the “Faculty Research Incentive Program” to receive a portion of the salary savings in the form of a bonus. 
    • Yes, faculty may receive up to 3/9ths of their Academic Year salary in total which includes salary from Sponsored Programs as well as any other UCCS sources (such as teaching) for work performed during the summer. Some funders have different rules as to how much summer support they will provide
    • Though you are likely working on your project during the academic year as part of your normal research workload (for most faculty research is 40% of their workload), if you requested salary for the summer then you want to be sure you are working on the project in the summer. Effort reporting requires that when you are paid for the project, you are working on the project. See our percent effort FAQ for more information.

Hiring Process
    • Start with your budget justification and the information you provided in your proposal to outline the scope of work, job title, qualifications, and other important aspects. It helps to get examples from others on campus who hold similar jobs or to examine our own CU Careers website. It helps to look over for examples of types of job classifications. Once you have a good draft outlined, contact the Talent Acquisition team in HR for their advice and input.
    • The minimum and preferred qualifications are key to setting your salary range. Think about exactly what you need and why you need it. Do you need a college degree in a certain area, or can you be flexible? How does work experience factor in? You should put forward what you think is best and aligns with the duties and responsibilities. The HR Talent Acquisition team can help you fine tune and consider options.
    • No, the search process and all related steps e.g., background checks, reference checks, employment verification must be completed prior to the start date.
    • Yes. However, when at all possible, it is better for the PI to serve only as the hiring authority and not be on the actual search committee. This way, the hiring committee can put forward finalists they think are best suited without perceived influence by the PI. 
    • Though not required, HR highly recommends that a diversity champion be included in the process when at all possible.  You can get a list of diversity champions from HR and select a person who can bring important insight into the search. You can decide if that diversity champion is a voting member or not.
    • HR requests 5 reference contacts, with a minimum of 3 responses required.
    • No, temporary positions must be 6 months or less in duration and the new Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act only requires posting for positions longer than 6 months in duration.
    • No.  As of October 2023 sponsored project funded position openings will not be reviewed by the position review committee (PRC).  However, Sponsored Projects Accounting will now be on the Adobe Sign routing on the request to fill (RTF).  This workflow adjustment will decrease the overall hiring timeline duration.
    • Please discuss options relating to downgrading the position or modifying qualifications with the HR Talent Acquisition team.  The position may be downgraded to meet budget availability, or you will need to secure additional funds. If the position cannot be downgraded, then you may need to rebudget your sponsored program and/or decrease FTE. Budgetary changes on a sponsored program may need sponsor approval.  Contact OSPRI for assistance.
    • Federal and State Equal Pay Act legislation require salary parity between individuals in similarly situated positions, regardless of source of funding.  The appropriate salary is derived from a review of the selected candidate’s direct experience, related educational level, salary market considerations and internal equity analysis for the specific job classification.  HR works with the hiring managers in reviewing this information.
    • New employees gain access to some systems on their first day.  Others require specific access requests and training.  Departments who have needs for early access can reach out to HR for information regarding a Person of Interest (POI) account.
    • No.  This requirement is set by the specific funding agency. OSPRI can help you determine any such requirements.
    • Yes, this should be included in the Request to Fill (RTF) and can be indicated in the job posting. For help with specific wording, contact the Talent Acquisition Team in HR.
    • This depends on the requirements of the sponsored program. You can reach out to OSPRI who can help you determine the specific requirements.
    • Sometimes. The answer depends on the position, associated FTE of the person you hired, and other circumstances. The answer is determined on a case-by-case basis in conversation with the Department, College, and HR in consultation with OSPRI to ensure compliance with funding requirements.

Current Employees
    • There are a couple of ways that salary is “saved”. 1) Salary that is “saved” because it is paid by the sponsored program and not by the university is typically returned to the parent unit (e.g., College) or the primary unit (e.g., department). Depending on the circumstances, Suzanne Scott in the Budget Office can consult with you and the Dean or supervisor to explore options. 2)  salary that is “saved” in your budget because, for example, it took a while to hire someone or you hired someone at a lower salary, can often be re-budgeted to support your project goals with sponsor approval. OSPRI can help you explore options with the sponsor.
    • In the past, furlough eligibility has included positions regardless of funding source.
    • No. All employees are treated consistently, regardless of funding source.
    • No matter the source of funding, if an employee is typically eligible for benefits, then they will receive benefits from your sponsored program. Factors such as amount of FTE and type of position factor into this. To ask about a specific employee you have hired, you can contact HR Help in HR for more information. Contact Employee Services for additional questions about eligibility.
    • Reporting requirements are the same for all non-student employees, regardless of source of funding.  For those who do qualify for sick leave and vacation leave, it is important that they mark leave time in the UCCS MyLeave. This information is processed and saved in the MyLeave system.
    • Student employees funded by your sponsored program typically log their hours differently. provides details and resources to help with student employees.
    • Yes, source of funding is not a factor in these policies/practices. Be sure your employee marks the leave in their UCCS My Portal.
    • All employees should do their annual conflict of interest disclosure. If—and when—a real or perceived conflict arises, then the next step is to complete a COI management plan. Everyone must do this, no matter how they are paid.   Conflict of Interest guidelines are available on the Ethics and Compliance website as well as the names of the HR contacts for Conflict of Interest if you have additional questions or what assistance in drafting up a management plan.

Current Employees - Continued
    • Yes, Annual review process is the same regardless of the position’s source of funding. There is no separate annual evaluation process for employees funded on sponsored programs. If you need help locating the right annual review paperwork or understanding the timelines, you can reach out to HR for information at
    • The amount for a salary increase depends on what the CU System approves for all our employees. When merit raises are available, you can reach out to the Budget Office to determine the raise for your employee. Of note, even if you did not budget for an increase, you may still be required to provide one.
    • A budgeted salary increase is no guarantee that a salary increase will occur. All salary increases (regardless of funding source) have to comply with campus policies and procedures. The annual salary increase program has generally been a merit-based program, unless stated otherwise, and the annual salary increase is based on the performance evaluation regardless of source of funding.
    • Beginning January 1, 2024, if the employee is in a non-temporary university staff or twelve-month faculty position, they have the availability to use Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) plan.  Otherwise, the individual can use accumulated sick and vacation time.  These leave options are available to ALL eligible employees, no matter how they are funded.  Cindy Rhoads, HR Leave Administrator, can provide more detail on your specific case.  Also, some external sponsors will allow you to request a supplement or an extension in cases of extended leave.  Please reach out to OSPRI to explore these award actions with your sponsoring agency.
    • Yes, the employee can.  Even though they did not earn that leave while working on the sponsored program, they are entitled to use their accumulated leave regardless of the current funding source.  Per the Health and Human Services (HHS) Rate Agreement, housed on the UCCS Controller's website, section II:  Special Remarks, Treatment of Paid Absences, "Vacation, holiday, sick leave pay and other paid absences are included in salaries and wages and are claimed on grants, contracts and other agreements as part of the normal cost for salaries and wages.  Separate claims are not made for the cost of these paid absences."  In practice, the treatment of paid absences should be consistent across all funding sources.

    • Details on the separation process is available on the HR website at Typically, the employee’s access to systems and labs will end on the last day of their employment. It is a good idea to send a help ticket to OIT and HR to map out the specific separation plan and what systems the employee had access to.
    • No, vacation payouts are paid out of a pool regardless of the funding source of the employee’s salary. Contact Sponsored Projects Accounting with additional questions.
    • These are handled on a case-by-case basis in coordination with HR. Submit a Cherwell ticket through with details about the situation specifically.

    • The search process often takes longer than expected, so plan accordingly! The request to fill (RTF) paperwork is the first step, which can take a week or two, depending on the uniqueness of the hire.  Note, as of Fall 2023 sponsored project funded position vacancies do not need to be reviewed by the position review committee (PRC).  As soon as the RTF is approved, it is a good idea to get the search committee together as soon as possible to deliver the “charge meeting” to the committee and receive important instructions from HR. Once the team has met, the job will be posted to CU Careers, typically within a few days. The typical posting time is between two weeks and a month, but is up to the search committee. The time for candidate pool review, interviews, letter of offer and then acceptance can take another month, depending on the timeline set by the review committee.
    • Yes, federal regulations mandate completion of the I-9 process in-person. This may be completed at UCCS or at a participating partner university.
    • HR advises that all search committee members complete the Skillsoft Search Committee Inclusive Recruiting Practices and Implicit Bias training for search committees available via the HR website.
    • Any HR Talent Acquisition team member as outlined on the HR website.