Research Enhancement Incentive Awards

Background Information

The Research Enhancement Incentive Award (REIA) program provides intramural awards to recognize the research achievements of principal investigators (PIs). The awards are intended to help defray the costs associated with research and provide incentives for faculty to expand their sponsored research programs. All PIs in Academic Affairs are eligible to receive REIA awards.

The amount of REIA provided to PIs and academic units is determined annually through a formula based on the next expenditures incurred by faculty as well as consultation between the Vice Provost for Research and Deans. The REIA program is funded by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR). 

Transfer of REIA Funding

After considering expenditures in the preceding fiscal year, the Director of Research Finance transfers REIA funds to academic units, with appropriate notification of funding amounts for individual PIs. For those PIs who have left the University, the investigator's share of the REIA is allocated to the department or dean, as appropriate. REIA funds are deposited in departmental R-fund centers. In this way, unspent REIA funds may carry over from year to year. REIA funds are often saved, especially by PIs and departments, to accumulate sufficient funds for larger expenditures. The PIs work in conjunction with their chairs in using their allocations. 

REIA Supplement for Graduate Research Assistants

OVPR will supplement the REIA award to principal investigators by an amount equal to the F&A associated with the salary and fringe benefit costs of a graduate research assistant (GRA) on awards with the full negotiated F&A rate. Only principal investigators whose primary appointment is in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the Elliott School of International Affairs, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Business, the School of Nursing, or the College of Professional Studies are eligible for these supplements.

The process to obtain the supplement is as follows: At the end of the fiscal year, the OVPR finance director will run an EAS Cost Analysis Report (GM-121) to determine GRA compensation expenses, including salary and fringe, charged to sponsored projects during that fiscal year. The report will indicate the total GRA salary expense charged to each sponsored project and the indirect cost recovery rate for that project, as well as the principal investigator’s name and department.

The OVPR finance director will calculate the amount of indirect costs (IDC) charged on GRA compensation expenses for each sponsored project that recovered full F&A. The OVPR finance director will then prepare and submit journal entries in EAS to transfer an equivalent amount to each PI’s departmental account.

Use of REIA Funds

Principal Investigators and department chairs may expend REIA funds to enhance research capabilities.  There are no specific restrictions on the use of REIA funds, except that PIs may not use the funds to increase their base salary or pay themselves a bonus.

The following points should be kept in mind in deciding how to use REIA funds:

  • Goods and services procured with REIA funds should be used to promote research and must not be intended for personal use unrelated to work.
  • Expenditures of REIA funds (including reimbursements) must be consistent with University procurement policies and procedures and, when required, done through the University’s Procurement Department, including purchases of computer equipment and mobile devices.
  • REIA funds are institutional funds, not personal funds.
  • Any equipment, furniture or other goods purchased with REIA funds are the property of the University.