School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

SOEST Fiscal Services

Office of Research Services

To access the ORS website, visit

FAQ's and General Information

Fringe Benefits
Indirect Costs
Overload Rates
Graduate Student Rates
Start Up & Manage
Institutional Profile
Post Doc Stipend Recipient
ORS Grants and Contracts Specialist School Assignments
ORS Forms

Fringe Benefits

Q: What are the current fringe benefits rates being used?
A: For the current fringe benefits rates, please refer to the following link and select "Fringe Benefits":

Note: This represents the employer's share of the fringe benefits paid.
Actual rates may vary depending upon medical benefits being taken.
Last updated 03/02/2016

Q: Is it ok to use the actual rate instead of the ORS recommended rates for proposals?
A: Yes it is acceptable; however, many funding agencies require supporting documentation for how your rates were calculated when submitting proposals; thus, it is simpler to refer them to the composite rates.

Q: What fringe benefits rates should I use for cost sharing?
A: For cost sharing purposes, the fringe benefit rates are based on the rates provided by the State and the UH-negotiated rates. As a reminder, cost sharing entries should be recorded in a timely manner and should include the applicable fringe benefit rate applied.

For FY 2016, the State provided an updated interim fringe rate (effective February 19, 2016) and the final FY 2016 rates (effective March 18, 2016), as approved by US DHHS. To simplify the process of recording fringe benefits on cost sharing, the following rates may be applied based on the start date of the pay period or service date:
  • July 1, 2015 - 42%
  • January 1, 2016 - 41%
  • March 1, 2016 - 49%
For cost sharing purposes, you may use a lower fringe rate for the period if you choose not to apply the revised applicable fringe rate for the period. There is no change to the cost sharing fringe benefit rates for Graduate Assistants (11.5%), Casual Hire (2.3%) and Students (0.7%) for FY 2016

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Indirect Costs (Facilities and Administrative - F&A Rates)

Q: What are the current indirect cost rates?
A: For the current indirect cost rates, please refer to the following link and select "Indirect Costs":

Note: Base rates on activity (i.e. Research, Training, etc.), and whether the majority of activity will occur ON or OFF campus.

Q: If I am submitting a proposal through a State agency but the funds are originally from a Federal department, what rate should I use?
A: Unless otherwise stated in the Sponsor Specific Rates, you should use the Federally negotiated rates.

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For more information regarding myGrants, please contact the ORS Helpline:

ORS Helpline
Monday - Friday
7:00am - 5:00pm

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Overload Rates

A9.230: Maximum Additional Compensation (Overload) Rates for Board of Regents Personnel
--for general rules pertaining to Overloads

Please note that each funding agency may have their own rules on PI overloads (ex: NSF PPG). This information can be found in each funding agency's Call for Proposals.

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Graduate Student Rates

For the compensation schedule for graduate students, please visit the following link:

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In instances of an award pending final review and routing through the system, or some instances of delayed funding, you may request advance in funding or time from the Dean's Office and ORS. See Section A8.952 for more info:

You will need to fill out an A8.952 Attachment A (ORS Form 1 - Request for Advance Account Approval), which can be found by visiting the following link:

Please note that you are required to indicate an unrestricted account code at the bottom of the form to cover any and all charges that may be either disallowed, or in the event that your award is not accepted or approved. If no account is filled in, we will input your department's RTRF or Special account.

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Start Up & Manage

Q: What criteria must be met in order to establish an advance account?
A: The sponsor gives preliminary notification that an award is forthcoming, and the advance account is required to meet critical needs which cannot be delayed without impairing project deliverables.

Please refer to UH APM A8.952 for more information.
Attachment A - Request for Advance Fund Approval

Q: For Subaward purposes, what is the difference between a Subrecipient and a Vendor?
A: Please see below:


-Determines who is eligible to receive what financial assistance

-Has its performance measured against whether the objectives of the federal program are met

-Has responsibility for programmatic decision making

-Has responsibility for adherence to applicable federal program compliance responsibilities

-Uses the federal funds to carry out a program of the organization as compared to providing goods or services for a program of the pass-through entity


-Provides goods and services within normal business operations

-Provides similar goods and services to many different purchasers

-Operates in a competitive environment

-Provides goods and services that are ancillary to the operation of the federal program, and is not subject to compliance requirements of the federal program

Q: Can I charge transportation or telecom services to my Federally funded account?
A: No, UHM Telecom and UHM Transportation Services costs for services should not be budgeted for in proposals or paid from federally funded projects. Please visit the following links for more information:

For information regarding managing awards, please visit the following link:

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Institutional Profile

Q: What is UH's employer ID number?
A: UH Employer ID Number - #99-6000354 (For NSF do not include hyphen)

The employer ID number is a tax identification number assigned to all entities which employ people, pay pensions, or open business bank accounts. This number is usually required on Federal application cover pages or their Representation and Certification page.

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Post Doc Stipend Recipient

UH uses the term Post Doc Recipients for Stipend recipients who are normally post doc candidates who are being trained and are being awarded the stipend to offset their living expenses. In your proposal you should not be listing these under payroll as that would give the impression that UH is hiring these fellows (currently the only exception is with NSF proposals, who would like to see the stipend costs under personnel). In your budget justification you should also refrain from using the words "hiring," "employing," or "pay" or any similar forms of the words. Once again, UH is not hiring the Post Docs. All Post Doc expenses, including but not limited to, travel expenditures, purchase of supplies and equipment may be reimbursed, but may be reportable. As a non-employee, the Post Doc is responsible for paying for and obtaining their own fringe benefits such as medical, and is responsible for their own taxes, however, if you want to offset their costs, you can estimate how much it would cost them and include that as part of their stipend payment.

More information can be obtained through your FA.

Q: What is the minimum and maximum stipend amounts for post doc stipend recipients? for students?
A: Minimum stipend for SOEST Post-Doc/Trainees is $55,000/year. Maximum stipend for SOEST Post-Doc/Trainees is $60,000/year. Minimum stipend for students is $24,912/year (RA11, 50% FTE).
This level of support can be provided from all sources: Government, Personal, Grants, etc. These sources may be combined.

Q: I would like to offer a post doc fellow a stipend amount above the maximum, is this possible?
A: Yes it is possible; however, approval is required. Please see sample letter for an example. Please contact your FA should you need assistance.

Sample Letter for Stipend Approval

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ORS Grants and Contracts Specialist School Assignments

For a contact listing of ORS Personnel (effective 8/1/13), please following the link below:

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ORS Forms

For a quick list of commonly used ORS Forms, please follow the below link (select ORS forms from top menu):

For a complete listing of all ORS Forms, please visit the Forms section of the ORS website:

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