NIH Salary Cap Changes Effective January 6, 2019

On April 17, 2019, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published updated information regarding the Fiscal Year 2019 salary limitation under NOT-OD-19-099. With the passing of the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 (Public Law 115-245) on September 28, 2018, NIH received its FY2019 appropriation. Consistent with prior years, the terms and conditions of the 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 6, 2019, the salary limitation for Executive Level II is $192,300.


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: $192,300- FY2019 NIH Salary Cap 01/06/19-Forward.

As a reminder, please be sure to indicate in the budget justifications when personnel are over the salary cap.

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, 2019 (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

To update payroll funding either prospectively or retroactively, initiate a PeopleConnect ‘Funding Change’ request by attaching a faculty salary calculator (FSC) worksheet and submit to Human Resources, or submit the update via MPM. If the update is retroactive, HR will update the distributions prospectively and then make a request to the Payroll office to update the Distribution of Payroll Expense retroactively.

Please note that you cannot use the Uncapped-to-Capped Payroll Expense Transfer Uploader (U2C-PETU) to retroactively increase a capped pay rate that has already posted. This form can only be used when you are moving uncapped payroll onto a funding source that enforces a pay rate cap.

The new NIH salary cap will be available in MPM and on the FSC worksheet as: “$192,300- FY2019 NIH Salary Cap 01/06/19-Forward” after May 1.


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.