June 25, 1999

Program created to reward success in attracting grants

Program created to reward success in attracting grants

In an effort to retain and recruit excellent faculty, VUMC officials have announced a Research Reward Plan that will offer discretionary funds to researchers and their departments based on their success in getting extramural support for their salaries and research.

"It's important that faculty who spend their time on research should be rewarded," said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs, who appointed the committee to devise such a plan.

Dr. Daryl K. Granner, Joe C. Davis professor of Biomedical Science, and Dr. Raymond N. DuBois Jr., professor of Medicine, co-chaired the committee. Their report, modified by input from the executive faculty and the office of Financial Management, was recently finalized.

"This grows out of the Academic Strategic Plan," Granner said. "When we asked the faculty what they thought would improve morale and the general research environment, they said what they wanted most was some recognition of their success in receiving grants."

All faculty of the School of Medicine and School of Nursing will be eligible for the Research Reward Plan, whether they are on the tenure track or non-tenure track. Faculty who have greater than 50 percent of their research salary or $50,000 in indirect cost recovery will meet the threshold for payouts in a given year.

The text detailing the rationale and implementation criteria of the plan will be provided electronically to all faculty before June 28, said Lee Limbird, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs for Research.

"If we want to maintain our current position, we must devise a method for providing a reward for the outstanding productivity of our faculty and for their home departments," Limbird said. "The intention is to reward productive effort and to encourage the faculty to successfully compete for additional research funding that has benefit for the school, the individual scientist, and their research program.

"For many, this discretionary money will provide resources for travel of trainees to meetings, for pilot studies, or to cost share on trainee salaries to provide funding parity among lab colleagues, regardless of the extramural origin of their research salaries," Limbird added.

"It is the cushion that could make the difference. But mostly, we want our faculty, so many of whom are already operating at greater than 100 percent, to know we say, 'Thank you.'"