UPDATE: New HHS Salary Cap Monitoring Process

UPDATE: An RA Seminar to go over the new HHS Salary Cap Monitoring Process has been scheduled for September 17, 2020 at 11AM. Please register via Research Academy to participate.


Since 1990, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has imposed limitations on direct salary for individuals under HHS-funded grants and cooperative agreements. This limitation restricts amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale (for FY20, the annual Executive Level II rate is $197,300).

To ensure compliance with Federal regulations, the Fiscal Oversight Team (FOT) plans to implement a new HHS Salary Cap monitoring process.

As part of this new process, FOT will identify investigators whose institutional base salary exceed the HHS salary cap and who have been receiving salary from HHS-funded projects.  Once identified, FOT will reach out to the post-award contacts of the affected PI and request that an HHS Salary Cap Compliance Report be submitted.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kind of report will I be expected to submit? If your PI is receiving compensation from an HHS-funded project and their institutional base salary exceed the salary cap, FOT will provide a blank report template with instructions on how to manage the request. Below is a screenshot of the planned report RAs will be expected to use:

For full-size view, click directly on the image.

2. How frequently will FOT be sending out this type of requests? FOT will conduct HHS salary cap monitoring three times per year, once for each term (Spring, Summer and Fall).

3. My PI only received compensation from an HHS-funded project in the amount of $25,000. Why am I being asked to complete the Salary Cap Compliance Report? RAs are advised that the HHS Salary Cap is not a restriction on the amount of salary an investigator can receive but a restriction on the rate at which HHS investigators can be compensated. Regardless of the amount of salary received, if the investigators institutional base salary exceeds the HHS salary cap, they need to comply with the Salary Cap Compliance Report.