Employee vs. Independent Contractor

Determine whether the personnel in your grant should be "Employees" or "Contractors/Consultants." Drake's Department of Human Resources can help make that determination.

See Drake's Policy for Employees vs. Independent Contractors and Independent Contractor Checklist.

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Independent Contractor/Consultant

Independent contractors should be bonded and insured. Payments should be made to the consultant within a month of providing services.

See Drake's Policy for Independent Contractors and Consultants

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Grant-funded employees are treated the same as other Drake employees. The PI must contact Human Resources regarding the process for new hires and Grants Accounting regarding available budget dollars before making any commitments for hiring. Grant-funded employees will be subject to the same pay scale as other Drake employees in similar positions. Human Resources will help in determining the appropriate pay scale based on the job description and requirements.

Drake employees being paid through grants will receive the same rate of pay as they receive for similar duties at Drake University. When exempt Drake employees receive summer or additional pay, an appointment letter must be drafted by the Dean's Office and routed through Sponsored Programs Administration. This must be done before the work is initiated.

For non-exempt Drake employees paid hourly, a time card must be completed and submitted to payroll weekly as the work is done.

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Salary Rates for Faculty

SPA offers the following guidance for faculty who, in addition to their 9/10 month academic year base salary, choose to devote effort and receive compensation from sponsored projects during the summer months of June, July and August.

Charges for work performed by faculty on sponsored agreements during the summer months will be determined for each faculty member at a rate not in excess of the 9/10 month academic year base salary divided by the period to which the base salary applies. For example, a 9/10 month faculty member making $54,000 a year could earn an additional $18,000 during the summer months on grants.

Please note the following restrictions:

All effort devoted and corresponding salary charged to a sponsored project(s) must be in compliance with sponsor and Institute policies.

Committed effort on a sponsored project should be devoted exclusively to the activity supported by that sponsored project. Salary charges must align on a monthly basis to the effort provided to the sponsored project.

Time committed to other activities performed during the summer months, e.g., any general administrative or academic activities or writing new proposals may not be charged to a sponsored project.

OMB Circular guidelines state (A-21 J.10.d.1): "Salary rates for academic year. Charges for work performed on sponsored agreements by faculty members during the academic year will be based on the individual faculty member's regular compensation for the continuous period which, under the policy of the institution concerned, constitutes the basis of his salary. Charges for work performed on sponsored agreements during all or any portion of such period are allowable at the base salary rate. In no event will charges to sponsored agreements, irrespective of the basis of computation, exceed the proportionate share of the base salary for that period. This principle applies to all members of the faculty at an institution."

A-21 further states: "Since intra university consulting is assumed to be undertaken as a university obligation requiring no compensation in addition to full-time base salary, the principle also applies to faculty members who function as consultants or otherwise contribute to a sponsored agreement conducted by another faculty member of the same institution."

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Staff and faculty who receive grants and wish to employ students to work with them should contact Human Resources. Before students begin working, they are required to complete specific forms (I-9, W4s, and direct deposit). Additionally, a position control number for the grant-specific job and an hourly wage (based on the grant) will be assigned by Human Resources.

Students record their time worked online, using a timesheet through blueView. In rare instances, some student work hours are recorded on a paper timecard. Questions pertaining to the method of recording the time should be directed to Human Resources.

Regardless of the method of recording time, students should record their time as they work. Timesheets are to be submitted by the 2nd business day of the following month, at noon, for processing. Timesheets then need to be approved by the PI, or a proxy, within a timely manner. Time cards must use the student's Banner ID number. Also, each timesheet must include the rate of pay and the grant fund code. Timesheets should also be signed by the student employee and the PI, and turned into payroll before 9:00 a.m. on the second working day of the following month.

Students are paid on the 12th of each month, with payment directly deposited into a checking or savings account. If, for any reason, students need to change their direct deposit account information, an updated form is required.

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Employee Benefits

Grant employees have the same benefits as other Drake employees (see Benefits).

Drake negotiates staff benefit rates with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for use on all grants (see Quick Info).

These rates are applied to all non-student salaries, for both full-and part-time employees. The negotiated rates are charged to all externally funded grants on a monthly basis. If staff benefits are an allowable cost to the funding agency, but no benefits are budgeted, the salary budget will be reduced to allow for charging the grant for benefits at the negotiated rates. If a private foundation will not pay for staff benefits, the costs will be charged to the grant and funded by the Drake match account (with preapproval of the Provost and Vice President of Business & Finance).

Benefits are not charged on student wages paid by a grant during the academic year. However, students employed during the summer are not classified as full-time students and, therefore, FICA will be charged on student summer wages paid by a grant.

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Sponsored Programs
Administration (SPA)

324 Old Main
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Fax: 515-271-4067
Contact us