NIH Salary Cap Changes Effective January 8, 2018

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has published updated information regarding the Fiscal Year 2018 salary limitation under NIH Notice NOT-OD-18-137. With the passing of the Omnibus Appropriation on March 23, 2018, NIH received its FY2018 appropriation. NIH continues to operate under the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018" (Public Law No: 115-141). The terms and conditions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act restrict the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. The Office of Personnel Management recently released new salary levels for the Executive Pay Scale. Effective January 7, 2018, the salary limitation for Executive Level II is $189,600.



The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) has begun to use the new salary cap on all new, renewal, supplement, or resubmission NIH proposals.  To do so, eProposal has been updated to include the new salary cap option: $189,600 - FY2018 NIH Salary Cap 01/08/2018-Forward

As a reminder, budget justifications should indicate when personnel are over the salary cap.  We anticipate that NIH's additional proposal guidance will mirror NIH Notice NOT-OD-16-045, and NIH will use information in existing submitted applications to make adjustments for the salary cap at the time of award.

Existing Awards


The new salary cap may be used for existing awards as described in the NIH Notices.  If the increased salary cap is adopted on existing awards, you will be allowed to rebudget funds to accommodate the new cap, however no additional funding will be provided by the sponsor.

Payroll Processing

Following our normal practice, UCSF will use an effective date of February 1, 2018 (the beginning of the first full calendar month after the effective date of the new cap) for payroll processing using the new salary cap.  The Payroll System and Magical PAF Machine (MPM) have been updated to support this change.

Adjusting Payroll

Where there is available funding and you wish to use the new cap on existing awards, retroactive payroll expense transfers using the Uncapped-to-Capped Payroll Expense Transfer Uploader form must be submitted to reflect the change in salary levels.  Use the Uncapped-to-Capped PETU to update the payroll distribution by transferring expense from the non-federal source to the NIH award beginning no earlier than February 1. 

To impact prospective payroll, update the payroll distribution by submitting an SRS ticket to Human Resources or by accessing MPM for faculty distribution changes by the April 11 processing deadline to avoid PETs for the month of April. The new NIH salary cap will be available in the MPM as "$189,600-FY2018 NIH Salary Cap 01/08/2018-Forward" after April 1. Remember, when increasing the salary cap, you will need to reduce or remove the differential Over-the-Cap (OTC) for the associated account.


For questions regarding application of the new salary cap to proposals, email [email protected]. For questions regarding application of the new salary cap to existing awards, contact the CGA Compliance Service Desk.