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Use of Seed Funds

RAE Seed Accounts

Each year, RAE returns a portion of F&A cost earnings directly to PIs (10%), the department (10%), and the colleges associated with the grant(s) (10%). Funds must be used for the support of research and research-related activities. This return generally occurs in September of each year and is based upon the F&A costs recovered from sponsors in the preceding fiscal year (July 1-June 30). Please keep in mind the following scenarios:

  • Acquiring research program support supplies, equipment, or services which are normally allowed under the university’s procurement policies.
  • Support of travel related to research, scholarship, or professional development of individual and/or any assistants or students.
  • Professional licenses, certifications or memberships.
  • Employment of research support personnel such as OPS staff or students, consultants, or other professionals with special skills to assist in advancing research programs.
  • Scholarship/tuition reimbursement for graduate research assistants.
  • Buy-out of an individual’s normally assigned activities to pursue an approved research project by charging salary and fringe related to appointment for the equivalent percentage of faculty contact hours during either a regular or summer appointment period (Refer to Use of SEED Accounts for Salary  (PDF) 2/4/91 Provost memo.)

Seed funds MAY NOT be used for the following:

  • Overload or extra-state compensation payments.
  • A salary supplement or increase over the individual's established university base rate. 
  • Costs associated with credit instruction or administrative support. 

For further reference, please check the Academic Affairs Faculty Handbook. 

Other Prohibited Expenditures

Any purchase or service on the Reference Guide for State Expenditures (PDF) for which expenditures are prohibited from state funds such as a) promotional gifts (i.e., T-shirts), b) personal compensation items, c) appliances, d) commemorative plaques or items such as e) flowers, f) greeting cards, g) decorative items, h) food, i) beverages, j) meals other than authorized travel, and k) entertainment or lobbying. See Procurement and Contracts' Expenditure Restrictions and Guidelines for further guidance.