B. Compensation

(1)   Academic Salary

Faculty salaries reflect compensation for a nine-month period during the academic year. For the convenience of the faculty and so that health coverage and other benefits extend throughout the academic year (July 1 through June 30), salaries are paid in twelve equal installments issued on the last working day of each month. The first six installments, paid from July through December, are compensation for the fall term. The second six installments, paid from January through June, are compensation for the spring term.

Resignations or retirements are ordinarily effective either June 30 or December 31. Compensation concludes with the appointment.

(2)   Supplemental Compensation (formerly “Summer Salary”)

Faculty may earn supplemental compensation through Harvard (formerly known as summer salary) beyond their nine-month academic-year salary if they have the funding sources to do so. Supplemental salary includes compensation for effort expended on federal and non-federal research grants as well as Dean’s ninths. Supplemental compensation paid through Harvard from these sources may not exceed the equivalent of three-ninths of academic-year salary in any fiscal-year period (July 1-June 30). Faculty work with the administrator in their home department to submit a single request for supplemental salary (up to the maximum three-ninths) before the start of each fiscal year, by the deadline specified on the FAS Office of Finance website (https://finance.fas.harvard.edu/). Additional requests may only be made beyond the deadline if a new grant that provides supplemental salary is subsequently awarded.

Payments will be spread over the fiscal year for each award, consistent with the limits adopted by sponsors. While the number of months of supplemental salary, once declared, is fixed for the fiscal year, faculty will be able to request changes during the year to the allocation of payments to grants with help from department administrators. If supplemental salary payments are approved during the year (e.g., due to a new award), the payments will be spread evenly across the remaining months of the fiscal year.

Principal Investigators (PIs) are reminded of the expectation of federal sponsors (as reinforced by regulations of the Office of Management and Budget) that during any month in which any portion of the PI’s salary is charged to one or more grants, the PI’s effort in that month should benefit the project(s) funded by the grant(s) proportionally. Effort on sponsored projects will be certified annually.

Policies governing the payment of supplemental salary can be found at: https://research.fas.harvard.edu/policies/fas-supplemental-salary-payment-policy.

(3)   Use of Research Funds

Faculty Research Funds, which include faculty start-up funds and the Edgerley Family Dean of the FAS’s annual allocation, are provided by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to pay for expenses incurred in support of faculty research and scholarly activities for work performed while at the FAS. (Please note that these guidelines do not address expenses related to sponsored research as specified by the University and federal guidelines.) Faculty support funds are not considered personal compensation and cannot be used to supplement a faculty member’s academic-year salary to cover personal expenses. For more information, please see https://finance.fas.harvard.edu/files/fas_finance/files/faculty_start-up_funds_updated.pdf.

(4)   Administrative Supplements

 Administrative supplements are compensation received for official appointments such as chair of a department, center director, dean, etc. Unlike supplemental compensation, administrative supplements are not counted towards the equivalent of twelve ninths of academic-year salary, as administrative supplements are compensation for another appointment.

(5)   Extra Compensation

Extra compensation paid by Harvard is a broad term that refers to any payment received by salaried employees for services performed or as an honorarium in addition to their normal job function(s) and salary.

The Corporation (the governing board also known as the President and Fellows of Harvard College) has affirmed the responsibility of individual faculty, research, or teaching appointees to structure involvement in activities outside of their normal job function to avoid compromising the performance of their primary duties to the University.

In general, approval of extra compensation from University sources is based on the following two principles:

a. The activities being compensated must not interfere with the employee’s primary responsibility to the institution.
b. The compensated activity must clearly fall outside of the normal job requirements and must not be used as a regular supplement to an individual’s salary. Repeated requests for extra compensation for the same activity indicate that it would be appropriate to revise the individual’s job description and salary to include responsibility and compensation for that activity.

(6)   Compensation Related to Non-Harvard Activities

Faculty members may occasionally be offered the opportunity to earn compensation for work performed outside of their Harvard appointments. Policies governing conflicts of commitment and conflicts of interest are detailed in the following references (see also faculty research policies at https://research.fas.harvard.edu/policies/faculty-research): 

All faculty members are expected to familiarize themselves with these policies and to conduct their research and teaching accordingly. All appointments outside of Harvard must be brought in advance to the attention of the Office for Faculty Affairs, which will work with the faculty member, relevant Dean(s), and other appropriate FAS offices to resolve the matter in accordance with FAS policies. 

In general, as noted in the University Statement on Outside Activities of Holders of Academic Appointments (available at https://provost.harvard.edu/statement-outside-activities-holders-academic-appointments):

[T]he University and its members have long recognized that persons holding academic appointments at Harvard should conduct outside professional pursuits in ways that respect their responsibilities to their home institution. Along with status as a full-time Harvard academic appointee comes the expectation that one’s primary professional duties are to Harvard and that outside professional activities will not conflict with obligations to one’s students, to colleagues, and to the University as a whole…. anyone holding a full-time academic appointment at Harvard should not, without permission of the Corporation upon recommendation of the appropriate Dean, engage in teaching, research, or salaried consulting at any other educational institution during the academic year.

It may be possible, on a limited basis, for faculty members with full-time appointments to accept compensation for outside activities. The University Statement on Outside Activities of Holders of Academic Appointments states the following:

In undertaking consulting and related outside professional activities, faculty members and other academic appointees should take care to observe the limits on the amount of time properly devoted to such activities and to avoid situations in which the activities may create a conflict with their responsibilities as an officer of the University. Academic appointees should not engage in paid consulting at or for another educational institution or educational organization without prior approval from their Dean and the Corporation.

Annual Faculty Activity Reports (a description of the faculty member’s research, teaching and advising, and service during that year) are submitted to the Dean and used as part of the salary-setting process. In addition to reporting in the annual Faculty Activity Report, and in accordance with the FAS/SEAS Policy on Financial Conflicts of Interest Disclosures (available at https://research.fas.harvard.edu/policies/financial-conflicts-interest-disclosures), the following individuals must submit an annual disclosure of their and their immediate family members’ financial interests and outside activities in the preceding twelve months in any related outside entity, using the online Outside Activities and Interests Reporting (OAIR) application (https://oair.harvard.edu). (Please note that some financial interests may be excluded from disclosure.)[1],[2]

  • All holders of a ladder faculty appointment primarily in the FAS/SEAS (i.e., assistant professors, associate professors, tenured professors)
  • Senior non-ladder faculty (i.e., professors of the practice, professors in residence, senior lecturers, senior preceptors) in the FAS/SEAS whose FTE in the appointment at the time of disclosure is greater than or equal to 50 percent
  • Non-ladder faculty (i.e., Benjamin Peirce Fellows, Briggs-Copeland Lecturers, associate senior lecturers, lecturers, preceptors, College Fellows) in the FAS/SEAS whose FTE in the appointment at the time of disclosure is greater than or equal to 50 percent[3]
  • Any Investigator[4] applying for or receiving funding from the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) (including the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), from sponsors adopting the PHS regulations,[5]or from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Such individuals must disclose all outside academic appointments, professional affiliations (including all foreign professional affiliations), and professional activities as part of their annual disclosure certification in OAIR and are required to update their certification as changes to their activities and affiliations occur. This includes consulting relationships, visiting appointments, and honorary appointments.

There is a policy that is generally known in the FAS/SEAS as the “20 percent rule,” which states that no more than 20 percent of one’s total professional effort may be directed to professional activities outside Harvard.[6] This rule is intended to govern effort, not specific levels of compensation, and applies to the period in which a faculty member is receiving salary from the FAS/SEAS—for nine months of the academic year and then for any months in which supplemental salary is paid. If a faculty member is not receiving any supplemental salary and only receives a nine-month academic year salary, the 20 percent rule does not apply for the three months of the year for which the faculty member is effectively unpaid. This remains the case even when the nine-month base salary is paid over a twelve-month period.

  • In interpreting this rule, faculty members should be mindful of the ultimate manifestation of any non-Harvard activities undertaken. Even if the work initially falls within the 20 percent rule or occurs during unpaid months, there may exist the possibility that a conflict of interest or a conflict of commitment may eventually arise. Faculty members are strongly encouraged to consult with the Office for Faculty Affairs in advance of any such situations developing.

[1] As noted in the FAS/SEAS Policy on Financial Conflicts of Interest Disclosures, some examples of activities and interests that may be excluded from disclosure include:  1) “Seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by a U.S. federal, state, or local government agency, or by a U.S.-based institution of higher education (as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a)) or, affiliated research institute or medical center”; 2) “Income from service on an advisory committee or review panel for a U.S. federal, state, or local government agency, or by an institution of higher education or affiliated research institute or medical center”; 3) "Reimbursed travel or travel costs paid ... by a U.S. federal, state, or local government agency, or by a US-based institution of higher education or affiliated research institute or medical center"; and 4) “Income from investment vehicles, such as mutual funds and retirement accounts, as long as the Disclosing Member does not directly control the investment decisions made in these vehicles.” Any foreign professional affiliations must be included in the disclosure.

[2] The statements in this paragraph, the bullet points below, and the associated footnotes are based on the Policy updated on April 28, 2014. For additional updates, please see the Policy, available at https://research.fas.harvard.edu/policies/financial-conflicts-interest-disclosures, or contact Lauren Ferrell (research@fas.harvard.edu), the FAS/SEAS Designated Institutional Official for Conflicts of Interest, in FAS Research Administration Services.

[3] When the FTE in the FAS/SEAS appointment is less than 50 percent for senior non-ladder or non-ladder faculty, the individual is exempt from required disclosure. If the individual’s FTE in the FAS/SEAS appointment becomes greater than or equal to 50 percent, the faculty member should submit his/her/their financial disclosure.

[4] As stated in the FAS/SEAS Policy on Financial Conflicts of Interest Disclosures:‘Investigator’ for purposes of compliance with the conflict of interest regulations of the Public Health Service is broader than the class of faculty and holders of teaching appointments under this policy. For PHS purposes, ‘investigator’ is ‘the Project Director/Principal Investigator and any other person, regardless of title or position, who is responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of research funded by the PHS, or proposed for such funding, including persons who are subgrantees, contractors, collaborators, or consultants.’ Therefore, in order to comply with PHS regulations, it may be necessary, in specific cases, for Senior Research Scientists, Research Scientists, post-doctoral candidates, fellows and even graduate students, to complete internal disclosures under this policy. See 42 C.F.R.50.602 (definition of ‘investigator’).”

[5] As stated in the FAS/SEAS Policy on Financial Conflicts of Interest Disclosures: “Sponsors adopting the PHS regulations include the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the Alliance for Lupus Research.”

[6] The 20 percent rule applies not only to faculty members, but to all academic appointees.