Revision: Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements

Notice Number: NOT-OD-17-087

Key Dates
Release Date: July 3, 2017

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


This revised Notice replaces NOT-OD-17-049 and clarifies that this is the final guidance for FY2017 by removing the term interim from the title of the guidance.

Since 1990, Congress has legislatively mandated a limitation on direct salary for individuals under NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards (referred to here as a grant). The mandate appears in the annual appropriation act that provides authority for NIH to incur obligations for a given Fiscal Year (FY). At this time NIH has not received a FY 2017 appropriation, and is operating under a Continuing Resolution "the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017" (Public Law 114-254) that applies the terms and conditions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. The Executive Level II salary was previously set at $185,100, and increased to $187,000 effective January 8, 2017.

For awards issued in those years that were restricted to Executive Level II (see Salary Cap Summary, FY 1990 FY 2016), including competing awards already issued in FY2017, if adequate funds are available in active awards, and if the salary cap increase is consistent with the institutional base salary, grantees may rebudget to accommodate the current Executive Level II salary level. However, no additional funds will be provided to these grant awards.

NIH also recently published the annual Notice, NOT-OD-17-075, of legislative mandates to provide information on any statutory provisions that limit the use of NIH grant funds in FY 2017.

For a historical record of the salary cap, including effective dates see:


Questions about specific awards may be directed to the Grants Management Specialist identified on the Notice of Award.