Skip to content

Procedure Library

Sponsored Projects

Apply a Salary Cap


Ensure that mandated salary limitations be adhered to in sponsored projects.


Investigators and administrators preparing proposal budgets or managing personnel on sponsored projects. A Salary Cap is defined as a maximum annual rate of UofU salary for full-time effort that can be charged to an award. In particular, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) agencies are subject to limitations set by the federal government.


  1. Identify University personnel who will be paid from the sponsored project and confirm the institutional base salary (IBS) or annualized based amount (ABA) for each with assigned payroll representative.
  2. Review the funding source regulations and policies to determine whether the sponsor has set a salary cap. If you need assistance with this determination, please contact OSP.
  3. Compare the IBS/ABA with the salary cap. If the IBS/ABA exceeds the salary cap:
    1. Calculate the salary that will be charged to the sponsored project by multiplying the salary cap amount by the effort the person will commit to the project.

    2. To determine the balance that will not be charged to the project, multiply the IBS/ABA by the effort the person will commit to the project, and subtract the amount that is being charged to the project. This department will need to track the balance and use the cost share line if salary exceeds the cap.
      1. The department will need to provide Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) with a backup chartfield to cover any overages.
    3. For Cayuse Budgets: In the Cayuse Base Salary field, put either the salary cap or the actual salary. 
      1. if you put the salary cap amount as the base, Cayuse will do the calculations for you correctly.
      2. If you put the actual base salary, you need to manually calcuate the Requested Salary amount at the cap rate and override the Cayuse calculates.

Examples below are from the Jan 2023 Notice  #NOT-OD-23-056:

salary cap example 1

example 2

example 3

Related Policies and Procedures

Be notified of page updates

Procedure Library Feedback

Do you have comments or suggestions for this procedure?

Last Updated: 1/16/23