Start Up Funds Request Policy
To outline procedures for requesting, allocating, and expending funds that are available to provide start-up packages for new faculty and academic staff by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
Vice Provosts, Associate Vice Provosts, Deans, Research Directors, Department Chairs, and Academic Program Directors.
The University of Kansas recognizes that start-up packages are an important element in the successful recruiting of the highest quality of faculty and academic staff. Such new hires continue to build, develop and enhance academic and research programs that are important to the ongoing mission of the University. Since requests for start-up funds typically exceed the available resources, this policy outlines the procedures used to request, allocate, and expend available funds.
The decision to fund start-up requests will be based upon the review of a specific budget and justification received during the annual allocation process. Although requests are submitted well before actual candidates are identified, it should still be possible to make a reasonable estimate as to the projected cost at that time followed by a more detailed budget at the time of an offer. This will be a good faith effort among Deans, the Provost’s Office and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
Initiating Start-up Requests
Prior to the beginning of the academic year, the Provost or designate will notify the Deans, Vice Provosts, Associate Vice Provosts and Research Center Directors in writing either by letter or e-mail of the deadline for Schools, Centers or Units to supply the Provost Office with a faculty recruitment plan for the upcoming, academic year.
Recruitment plans must include:
- Title/Rank of the Position
- Area of Study/Emphasis
- FTE (If split-funded, the academic department where tenure would be applied must assume the responsibility for integrating and submitting the entire startup package. This does not imply that the academic unit will be assuming full responsibility for providing all the needed resources (see Joint Appointment Positions for additional information).
- A budget. This should specify supplies/services, personnel, equipment and remodeling (see Start-Up Funding).
As in the past, Deans will submit packages for all of their administrative units and will have discretion in moving funds between packages as required.
On occasion, a department may have an opportunity to make a strategic hire that was not originally anticipated at the time the recruitment plan was developed. For such hires, collaboration and coordination with the Provost Office is necessary and should include the appropriate Dean, Vice Provost, and/or Center Director.
Start-up packages may be comprised of several different funding sources available to a unit. Such funds could include endowment funds, state funds, salary release, indirect cost return, etc.
Start-up allocations made during the annual recruitment planning process are funded in part by the Provost Office and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. Departments/units will be required to fund the first $50K of the startup package. Only start-up expenses in excess of $50,000 per position will be considered for potential funding by the Provost Office/Office of Research. For split appointments this “deductible” will be applied only once for the entire package. If a single start-up package request should exceed $1M, such requests will be handled separately by the Office of the Provost, appropriate Dean, Vice Provost and/or Center.
As a result, all estimated start-up expenses must include the allocated commitment made by the designated unit as well as the amount requested from the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. All annual start-up requests must include an overall budget indicated on the Faculty Recruitment and Start-up Request Form and returned by the indicated deadline.
Joint Appointment Positions
Requests for start-up funds through the University allocation process should be made by the “lead” unit, the academic department where tenure would be applied. Discussion regarding the full start-up costs should take into account both sides of the position. It will be up to the discretion of the respective parties on how the initial $50,000 commitment is funded. If a split appointment involves a Research Center, the director will need to designate existing resources to meet the director's share of the $50,000 initial allocation. Appointments in Research Centers require Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research approval.
Any funds allocated by the Provost Office/Office of Research for split positions will be distributed proportionately according to the designate FTE split.
Uses for Start-up Funds
Effective immediately, all start-up funds (which includes previous allocations) may be used for equipment, space renovation, supplies, travel, laboratory services expenses and salary costs for research support staff including, but not limited to post doctoral researchers, research assistants, and graduate research assistants. These resources must be used for the direct support of research. These funds may not be used for moving expenses. A budget should be submitted for each position indicating how the funds will be distributed among the various categories.
Notification of Start-up Awards
The Office of the Provost/Office of Research will send notification regarding the outcome of all annual start-up requests no later than November 15 of each year. Notification letters will include the total amount awarded, how that amount will be funded (i.e., Provost Funds or Office of Research), and specific position titles when possible. If specific position(s) have not been identified within the start-up allocation letter, the Dean of the applicable unit will have authority to distribute start-up funds as necessary to strategically enhance recruitment efforts.
Length of Allocation Eligibility
Allocations made to the College, Schools or Research Centers must be distributed to the appropriate filled position within a two year period. If a position has not been filled within that time period, the status of unallocated funds for start-up will be reviewed by the respective Dean and reported to the Provost’s Office. At that time, if a Department/unit wishes to continue to search for a position it will need to provide an updated recruitment plan. In the event there are extraordinary circumstances in which moving unallocated funds would be detrimental to recruitment, the designated unit should submit a justification and include this request along with the applicable year’s recruitment plan.
Organizations which distribute allocations on an annual basis to new faculty hires, must track allocated but not disbursed funds closely to ensure that such funds are not reabsorbed centrally. All annual allocation distributions must be timed as appropriate to not put the employee at a disadvantage to spend such funds by the time period required
Length of Start-up Allocation Eligibility for a New Hire
Normally a new employee receiving a start-up package will have three years from the date of the initial award allocation in which to spend the funds. The respective Dean will have the responsibility for granting extension requests and reporting them to the Provost’s Office and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
Start-up Accounts and Employee Termination
Start-up funds are designated in part to assist a new faculty/academic staff member to build their research program at the University of Kansas. As a result, upon notice of an employee’s termination, funds designated for start-up expenses will no longer be expendable, unless specific approval has been granted by the appropriate funding authority (i.e., Provost Office, Associate Vice Provost for Research, Dean, or Chair.) Normally such funds will be returned to the central pool.
Start-up packages of $50,000 or less per position are not eligible for potential funding from the Office of the Provost/Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
Single start-up packages requests that exceed $1 million will be held separately by the Office of the Provost, appropriate Dean, Vice Provost, and/or Center.
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
University of Kansas
Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Boulevard, Room 250
Lawrence, KS 66045
07/11/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
12/11/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
06/18/2014: Updated title for Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research; selected 'Lawrence' for Campus field (required); minor reformatting.
04/02/2009: Reviewed for accuracy; no changes made.
11/01/2007: Approved by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.