The LSRF award provides three (3) years of support to a named postdoctoral researcher at a non-profit university or research institution. The award is paid to the university or research institution where the researcher is carrying out their project and is solely for the benefit of the named researcher. It is not a gift or donation and should not be classified as such.
The total award amount effective August 2021 is $201,000 ($67,000/year). The awardee’s salary/stipend total is $171,000 ($57,000/year) and a research allowance of $30,000 ($10,000/year) is provided. The award is not activated until LSRF receives the signed Institutional Agreement from the institutional officer who will administer the award. The award activation date is August 1st. This is our only activation date.
The award is $67,000 per year, disbursed by bank transfer in twelve quarterly payments of $16,750 to the university or research institution that is host to the awardee beginning on the activation date of August 1st. Each quarterly payment breaks down into $14,250 salary and $2,500 research allowance. The award payments are made to the host institution (for further distribution to the awardee). The salary level for all three years of the award is $57,000. If necessary the salary may be supplemented by the University or mentor to meet the University’s stipend levels but LSRF must be an awardee’s main source of support, the awardee may not hold another postdoctoral award concurrent with the LSRF award and their salary may not be less than the LSRF stipend levels. To assist with salary supplementation an LSRF awardee may be listed on a mentor’s grant, but at no more than 5% effort.
SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING, EFFORT:
An awardee may apply for supplemental funding, such as a meeting travel award, without jeopardizing their LSRF award status. We expect an awardee to spend 95-100% effort on their supported project. This includes all activities that are part of a mentored postdoctoral experience including, but not limited to: participation in journal club, lab meeting, general lab chores, mentoring undergrad, graduate or summer students, organizing and participating in department conferences, reviewing manuscripts, lecturing or teaching. An awardee may receive additional compensation for lecturing, teaching or manuscript review without jeopardizing their LSRF award status.
EMPLOYMENT CATEGORY, VISA STATUS:
LSRF believes an individual providing benefit to a project under the direction of a principal investigator (mentor) should be paid as an employee. However, the host institution determines the awardee’s employment classification. The terms of the LSRF award do not prevent an awardee from being classified as an employee, nor does our award specify that the salary is “not for services rendered”. An awardee may have income and FICA tax deducted from their pay.
The awardee must remain in a mentored postdoctoral position for the duration of the award period. Classification titles as assigned by the host institution will vary, may change during the award period and do not affect the award status. Postdoctoral Researcher, Research Associate, Postdoctoral Associate, Research Scientist, Postdoctoral Scientist, etc. are all suitable.
The host institution will determine the type of visa required by the awardee for legal employment and ensure that the awardee remains in good standing.
IDC, HEALTH/FRINGE BENEFITS, MATERNITY/PATERNITY LEAVE:
This is a 0% IDC award.
It is expected that the host institution will cover the institution’s cost of the awardee’s health and/or fringe benefits.
LSRF defers to the host institution’s maternity/paternity leave policy and its implementation: amount of paid time off, how the paid time off is funded, how it’s recorded. We hope that each institution provides a minimum of 8 weeks paid leave for childbirth or adoption. LSRF award funds may be used to pay an awardee’s salary (full or partial) for up to ten weeks of leave. We will extend the end date of the award by the number of weeks of leave taken. This is not automatic, the awardee must request the extension. Typically this request is made within 6 months of the award end date, once an awardee has a better sense of whether the extension will be useful. Extension of the award period includes extension of the reporting deadlines.
If the host institution policy requires an LSRF awardee to be paid from non-LSRF funds during the leave period, we will note this as a brief leave of absence in our records. Funds not sent to the host institution during this period will be available to the awardee either as a paid extension of their award period or set aside in escrow.
If the host institution policy requires a postdoc to use accrued vacation time or leave without pay to remain on leave beyond the LSRF-paid maternity/paternity period, we will note this as a brief leave of absence in our records. The award period will be extended by the number of weeks of leave taken. This No Cost Extension (NCE) will not include additional funds beyond the original stated award amount. This extension period allows an awardee to wrap up their project and spend out any research allowance that may have accrued while on leave.
LSRF provides a $10,000/year research allowance for the awardee’s use exclusively. This mini-grant is to be used at the awardee’s discretion, no overhead (indirect costs) may be taken from this money by the host institution. It is understood that the awardee will follow host institution procedures regarding purchases of hazardous materials and institution policies regarding animal care and use or research involving human tissue.
Legitimate uses for this money include, but are not limited to: travel to the lab initially (even if that travel has already happened), travel to scientific meetings (including the LSRF annual meeting and visit to their sponsor), publication costs, standard lab supplies and consumables, core facility expenses and small equipment items including computers, laptops, tablets, printers, displays. All equipment purchased with these funds is considered the awardee’s property to take with them at the end of the award period. Research allowance funds may not be used for salary, nor is it meant to provide support for the mentor.
The awardee may use up to $3,000/year of their research allowance to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket healthcare and childcare expenses. This is optional, not required. Out of pocket healthcare costs comprise co-pays, prescriptions, the difference between an in-network or out-of-network procedure or healthcare provider or other healthcare fees not included in their chosen healthcare plan. Childcare expenses may include regular childcare costs, unexpected sitter or childcare late fees incurred if the researcher must stay later than expected in the lab, or childcare costs required to allow the awardee to attend a meeting or conference. Included is economy travel for an infant or toddler and childcare provider to accompany the awardee to a scientific meeting or conference.
An LSRF awardee may choose to have up to $5,000/year withheld by LSRF from their award payments, to be set aside in an escrow account at LSRF. The awardee must let LSRF and their institution financial office know by April 15th of each award year if they wish to have funds withheld and how much to set aside. LSRF will hold back the requested amount from the May payment. The awardee may choose a different amount to set aside each year and may choose to set aside funds in only one, two or all three years.
Escrow funds are held for up to five (5) years after the award period ends. Once a former awardee establishes an independent faculty position at a non-profit institution the funds are then transferred to the new institution as a gift in support of the former awardee’s research program. No further accounting is required once the escrow funds are transferred. An awardee who joins a for-profit entity forfeits their escrow.
PATENTS AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
The award may not be used to support research where a patent agreement exists with a commercial profit-making concern or other intellectual property agreement with a commercial, profit-making company. All patents resulting from the research carried out under this award revert to the university or institution that is host for the research. Standard MTA agreements necessary to obtain reagents for your research are exempt from these restrictions.
LSRF requires annual research reports from the awardee and annual financial reports from the sponsored programs or grants office.
Reports for years one and two are due August 15th. Final reports are due September 30th, after the end of the award period.
The fall award payment for year 2 or year 3 will not be released until both the financial and scientific reports are received each year. The reports may arrive separately.
Scientific reports will be one to five pages, figures optional, summarizing progress on the project over the past year and will be collected using google forms. Financial reports must be signed by an authorized official (typed name or electronic signature are both acceptable) and use the LSRF financial report template provided with this agreement.
Funds remaining at the end of each award year may be carried over from one year to the next without prior approval. Funds remaining at the end of the award period must be returned to LSRF within 30 days after receipt of the final financial report.
Scientific reports will be collected each year using GoogleForms, with an email sent to the awardee approximately three weeks before the due date. The email will contain the report form link and financial report spreadsheet template. The mentor and financial contact will be copied on this email.
Scientific report format. Years 1 and 2: One page minimum – five pages maximum. Images or figures are optional. A summary of the work on your project over the past award year, listing of publications resulting from the work (if any), listing of meetings attended and presentations of your work (local, regional, national or international), awards/honors received, a description of your project plans for the upcoming award year.
Final: One page minimum – six pages maximum. Images or figures are optional. A summary of the work on your project during the three-year award period, listing and pdfs of publications resulting from the work, listing of meetings attended and presentations of your work (local, regional, national or international), awards/honors received, a description of your future plans or direction of the project and a few sentences about how the LSRF funding impacted your project and/or overall career.
Financial reports are submitted using the LSRF-provided excel workbook file. It is one workbook with four separate worksheets to complete during the course of the award (Year One, Year Two, Year Three, Final). A typed ‘signature’ is acceptable and the entire workbook should be emailed each year to LSRF from the person completing the form, with the appropriate sheets completed. The workbook is formatted to automatically calculate within each sheet and to carry figures forward into the next year(s). The workbook may be sent in spreadsheet format or as a pdf. LSRF will acknowledge receipt of this report each year.
ADDITIONAL AWARD REQUIREMENTS
All publications, poster sessions, or other presentations authored during the award period must include an acknowledgment of the funding. Additional details will be provided in the award letter and agreement. The awardee also agrees to visit their sponsor at a place and time convenient to both of you for one day each year. It is understood that the sponsor will initiate this meeting.
All awardees are expected to attend the LSRF 2.5-day annual meeting in the spring each year and will be asked to present their research by way of a poster in years one and two and a short talk in year three. These meetings are attended by awardees and LSRF officers and staff. Sponsor representatives, LSRF board members and the LSRF peer review committee are also invited to attend. Meeting dates are provided several months in advance and additional details are provided when appropriate. Once the meeting dates are confirmed, we will require a 375-word meeting abstract from the awardee, and possibly a poster pdf from year one and two awardees, about a month in advance of the meeting.
LSRF must be notified immediately If an award is terminated prematurely for any reason. A final scientific report from the awardee will be due within two weeks of the termination date and a final financial report will be due within sixty days of the termination date. All unused funds must be returned to LSRF within 30 days of receipt of the final financial report.
LSRF allows an awardee to transfer their award to a new lab, institution and mentor during their award period. LSRF must be notified in advance of these changes. Remember that LSRF will not support a non-US citizen in a non-US laboratory.
To initiate an award transfer LSRF requires:
- proposed date for the transfer/beginning at the new institution
- name and contact information of the new mentor and name of the new institution
- name and contact information for a financial officer at the new institution
- new project title and abstract, if applicable.
- brief letter from the new mentor confirming acceptance of the researcher into their lab and assuring LSRF that the researcher will have access to all necessary space, equipment and resources to complete their project.
LSRF will generate a revised award letter and institutional agreement to the new host institution outlining the award amount available for transfer, proposed new start date and reporting requirements. Remember that LSRF will not support a non-US citizen in a non-US laboratory.
PLEASE NOTE – In the event of an award transfer LSRF will not forward additional funds to the current host institution beyond the amount due at the time of the award transfer. If the researcher has ‘overspent’ their research allowance that amount must be absorbed by the current host institution.