Research and Professional Development Accounts

Research and Professional Development

New faculty are awarded Research and Professional Development Accounts as a part of their start-up package. These may be used to support research and teaching expenses and other university business purposes. Additional research funding may be awarded annually to continuing faculty members in consultation with the department chairpersons.

R&PD accounts may not be used to supplement any faculty member’s salary, either through a course reduction, summer salary, or any other means. A list of allowable expenses may be found in the University Faculty Handbook.

Each spring the dean, divisional Associate Dean, and the department chair meet as part of the annual faculty evaluation process. During this meeting, department chairs present individual faculty member needs. Department chairs should solicit information from their faculty regarding research funding needs as part of their annual reports. The dean, in consultation with the department chair, allocates amounts for additional funding to faculty accounts. In making this determination, information such as existing balances, previous expenditures, upcoming needs, scholarship, and overall teaching and research productivity may all be considered.

By mid-June, allocations to faculty accounts are transferred to individual faculty accounts for use during the upcoming fiscal year.

Recognizing the imperfection of forecasting needs, the Dean’s Office will accept requests for additional transfers to faculty accounts from department chairs at other times of the year. When making such a request, department chairs should consider the existing account balance, previous expenditures, upcoming needs, and scholarship. These requests should be directed to the divisional Associate Dean.

The department chair serves as the gatekeeper and key decision-maker in the process. All research funding requests originate and flow through the department chair. The department chair makes the request for individual faculty travel resources. The dean or divisional Associate Dean makes the final determination of funding, in consultation with the department chair, taking into consideration the totality of the request.

The accounts are restricted accounts. This means that remaining balances roll forward and do not disappear. This permits faculty to spend the funds from these accounts responsibly over a period of time as the funds are needed. It is possible to overspend an account: accounts do not automatically deny expenditures when the balance is depleted. If an account is overdrawn, the faculty member is obligated to pay the University the overdrawn funds. The College will not contribute additional funds to an overdrawn account. Continuing faculty must bring the balance back up to zero before they are eligible for additional funding. The College will not add to the account to bring the balance to zero. If a faculty member leaves the University with a debit in his or her account, the University will request payment of the debit and hold the faculty member legally responsible for the amount that is owed. If a faculty member leaves the University with a credit in their account, the amount will be returned to the College unless the faculty member retires. In the case of retirement, the account remains with the faculty member as long as he or she is alive or until the funds are exhausted. Funds are not transferable to family members.

It is important to note that requests for reimbursement of expenses must be made within 60 days of the incurred expense. Reimbursements made after 60 days are taxable and will be included in the faculty member’s W-2.

As noted in the Faculty Handbook, all property purchased with these funds belongs to the University. Should a faculty member separate from the University, such property must remain at Notre Dame. This includes, but is not limited to, laptops, special software, personal printer, etc. A department chairperson cannot grant permission to a departing faculty member to retain University property. In this unusual circumstance, the department chairperson should confer with the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs for approval. The Office of the Controller must be notified so that the asset may be removed from inventory and the fair market value of the asset must be determined for tax reporting purposes. The departing faculty member will need to be informed that this is a taxable event (fair market value of the asset will be included in his/her W-2).

Unless the Dean approves other written arrangements, departing faculty members with R&PD account balances will be limited to $3,000 in applicable expenditures until his or her effective separation date. This policy does not apply to faculty becoming emeriti who are covered under a separate emeriti policy and procedure.

Faculty members are responsible for these accounts. This requires faculty to keep track of the spending from the account. This is possible through InsideND. The accounts are located under Administrative Tools and then GLEz.

Contact the Senior Director of Finance and Administration or the Staff Accountant in the Dean's office with any questions concerning these accounts.