Subject: [DDDHLIST] Start-up Procedures July 15,2008
From: "Bowers, Rachel"
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 14:07:32 -0400




TO:                 Deans and Department Heads


FROM:           Brad Fenwick

                        Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement


Gregory Reed

                        Associate Vice Chancellor for Research


DATE:            07/15/08


SUBJECT:     Start-Up Fund Request Procedure



Start-up funds are often a critical element in the successful recruitment and launch of a faculty member’s academic career.  All tenured and tenure-track faculty, regardless of discipline, are eligible to receive start-up funding support.  To facilitate this process in a timely fashion the following suggestions and procedures are being implemented. 


When negotiating with candidates for faculty positions, department heads should request a plan for the use of the start-up funds being requested by the candidate.  The department head must then assess whether the funds being requested and the plan for use of those funds are reasonable and appropriate for the position being filled.  A request for start-up funding support after a candidate has accepted a position is not appropriate.  


If summer salary is deemed appropriate, the amount should not exceed half of the total start up budget.  Exceptions will require special justification for review and approval.  The start-up fund package should not include moving costs or equipment for locations not owned and operated by UT-Knoxville and should not be included as part of the start-up package because they are to be funded from other sources.  The department head is encouraged to confer with the dean, or associate dean, who will confer with the Office of Research to put together the total start-up package that seems appropriate. 


The Office of Research will match on a dollar for dollar basis any combination of department and/or college funds in the start-up package.  This does not include supplemental funding provided from other sources such as institutes or centers.  Start-up packages can be requested for up to three years and should be fully expended by the end of the approved time period (request forms are posted on the Office of Research website).  Carryover past the end of the approved number of years may be approved on an exception basis through the Office of Research.

Once the new faculty member arrives on campus, she or he, the department head, and mentor, if a mentor has been appointed, should discuss in some detail the projected expenditure of start-up funds for the first year.  Based on these discussions, the new faculty member must confirm with the Office of Research normally by October 15 a first-year line-item budget for the funds allocated for that year.


A start-up account will be opened for that faculty member and all committed funds from the department, the college, the chancellor’s office and other sources for that year will be allocated to the account and the new faculty member will expend funds from this account according to the budget she or he submitted.  It is sometimes desirable that start-up expenditures be made prior to the arrival of the new faculty member, or before start-up accounts are funded.  In such cases, charges against departmental accounts should be made and when start-up accounts are established and funded, charges can be transferred to the start-up account and posted under the appropriate category, assuming funds have been budgeted in that category to cover these expenditures.  As a preferred alternative, startup accounts can be established and opened before the new faculty member arrives which is less error prone, eliminates the need to do cost transfers, and allows them to begin making purchases in a more timely fashion.


Reasonable revisions in the budget can be made during the year with the approval of the department head, the dean, and the vice chancellor for research or their designees.  Revisions in the budget may be necessitated by the need to reallocate funds among budget line-item categories, or by the need to redistribute the total start-up commitment over the years for which the commitment was made.


Department heads and/or department business officers and the faculty member should manage the start-up accounts carefully to assure that there are no cost overruns and that funds are being expended in a judicious manner.  Carryover of start-up funds will not be automatic.  As with other accounts, return of carryover from start-up accounts must be approved.


Personnel in the Office of Research are available to assist in preparing budgets using budget forms on the Office of Research website.  Please remember that if a new faculty member is using start-up to cover personnel costs, benefits and maintenance fees, tuition waivers, etc., the funds must be budgeted.


If you have questions about this procedure, please do not hesitate to contact Greg Reed directly.