Guidance for Defining a "Year" in NSF Proposals

Page Updated: January 23, 2020


The January 2018 edition of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) requires proposing organizations to define and consistently apply the term "year" when requesting salary compensation for senior personnel. Specifically, the PAPPG states:

"As a general policy, NSF limits the salary compensation requested in the proposal budget for senior personnel to no more than two months of their regular salary in any one year. (See Exhibit II-7 for the definitions of Senior Personnel.) It is the organization's responsibility to define and consistently apply the term "year", and to specify this definition in the budget justification. This limit includes salary compensation received from all NSF-funded grants..."

UW-Madison Approach

Based on UW System Administrative Policy 165, and Policy 230, UW-Madison proposals to the NSF shall include the following statement(s) in the budget justification:

"UW-Madison has personnel who are on academic (9 month) and annual (12 month) appointments. For academic appointments, UW-Madison defines a year as the 9-month academic calendar plus up to 3 summer months. The salary calculation for summer months is based on the rate of pay in place in the month of May. For annual appointments, UW-Madison defines a year as a period that extends for twelve months, normally beginning on July 1."

If you have any questions regarding this guidance, please contact the RSP Proposal Services Team (