VAMC, VA hospital

17.3 VA-University Affiliations

Investigators with joint appointments at a VAMC (VA hospital) and an affiliated university must have a valid MOU that specifies (at both the university and the VAMC) the title of the investigator's appointment, distribution of compensation, the responsibilities of the proposed investigator, and the percentage of effort available for research at each institution. The MOU must be signed by the appropriate officials of the recipient and the VAMC, and must be updated with each significant change of the investigator's responsibilities or distribution of effort and, without a significant change, not less than annually. The joint VA/university appointment of the investigator constitutes 100 percent of their total professional responsibilities. However, NIH will recognize such a joint appointment only when a university and an affiliated VA hospital are the parties involved.

A grant application from a university may request the university's share of an investigator's salary in proportion to the effort devoted to the research project. The institutional base salary The annual compensation paid by an organization for an employee's appointment, whether that individual's time is spent on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities. Base salary excludes any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of duties for the applicant/recipient organization. Base salary may not be increased as a result of replacing organizational salary funds with NIH grant funds. (See Cost Considerations-Allowability of Costs/Activities-Selected Items of Cost-Salaries and Wages). as contained in the individual's university appointment determines the base for computing that request.

The signature of the AOR of the submitting university on an application to NIH that includes such an arrangement certifies that

  • the individual whose salary is included in the application serves under a joint appointment documented in a formal MOU between the university and the VA, and
  • there is no possibility of dual compensation for the same work or of an actual or apparent conflict of interest.

Under the above-described arrangement, there is no involvement of a VA-affiliated non-profit research corporation, which is eligible to apply for and receive NIH grants in its own right as a non-profit organization. The limitations on the payment of Federal salaries apply (see Allowable and Unallowable Costs in this chapter).