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Guidance for Budgeting Postdocs on Proposals to External Sponsors

Due to the changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act regulation, we wanted to provide guidance regarding budgeting postdocs who are currently below the $47,476 salary rate since most of the proposals submitted at this time would not be funded until after December 1, 2016. This guidance is for budget development purposes only and does not provide any indication of how the FLSA regulation may be implemented at UT Knoxville since those details are still being discussed.

At this time, we recommend for any individuals in a postdoc position who are currently paid under the FLSA salary threshold of $47,476  to budget the base salary for these individuals at $47,476 and use a 51% rate for their fringe benefit calculation. This guidance should also be used for any postdoc positions where the individual has not been identified on the proposal budget.

If you have any questions regarding this proposal budget guidance, please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs at 974-3466.

NIH Salary Cap Effective Jan. 10

NIH announced the new salary cap level of $185,100 which became effective on January 10, 2016.  The salary cap applies to NIH grants and cooperative agreements.  Please refer to Notice Number: NOT-OD-16-059 for more information.

To stay up-to-date on NIH issues, events, and funding opportunities, subscribe to the UT NIH Research Community by contacting Jennifer Webster ( You can also find a list of NIH resources on the Office of Research and Engagement website at

Mercer to Join Office of Research and Engagement

Jean Mercer will join the Office of Research and Engagement as assistant vice chancellor for research and director of the Office of Sponsored Programs on January 4, 2016.

Jean MercerMercer has extensive experience in research administration in higher education, most recently serving as the director of grant services in the Office of Research Administration at Indiana University. While there, she supervised and reviewed the processing of all grant and contract applications to external agencies and the receipt of awards and contracts from these organizations, instructed and advised faculty and staff on proposal preparation, and supervised a staff of thirty. Mercer also helped implement a new grant administration software.

“We are so delighted to have Jean join the ORE team,” said Taylor Eighmy, vice chancellor for research and engagement. “She brings a depth and breadth of leadership experience to ORE. She led a very large sponsored programs office at a very large, complex research university. Her acumen and collaborative approach will be apparent on day one.”
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