Nepotism in Research Policy

A. Personnel appointments on a research grant and/or any other externally funded account established specifically to support research activities are restricted to persons who are not members of the immediate family of the Project Director or account manager. Family member here refers to father, mother, spouse, sibling, child, or other individual resident within the same household. Exceptions are limited to:

  1. appointments specified by name in proposals submitted to, reviewed, and approved by an external funding agency, or
  2. appointments approved by a standing review procedure described in B and C below.

B. When a Project Director or the account manager believes the appointment of a family member not covered by A.1 above is defensible, a case may be made for approval to make the appointment.

The Project Director or account manager shall submit the following to the appropriate chairperson, director, and/or dean for review and either approval or disapproval:

  1. a vita of the proposed appointee,
  2. a statement that includes the job requirements and a justification for the appointment as demonstrated by the candidate's experience and/or training, and
  3. a summary of the specific steps taken to publicize the availability of the position; the names of interested and qualified candidates who were considered and the basis for their rejection (see University Guidelines for Affirmative Action).

The chairperson, director, or dean shall indicate approval or disapproval of the request and forward it to the Vice President for Research for final consideration. The Vice President, following appropriate review and consultation at the University level, will issue a final determination on the request.

C. If approved, the salary for the appointment shall be set in the following manner:

  1. if the appointee has been designated by name in the proposal, the salary paid may not exceed the total annual value of the salary as specified in the original proposal (or in a subsequently revised budget). Requests for exceptions must have prior written approval of the sponsor.
  2. in other cases the Vice President for Research may ask the Classification Committee of the University to review the proposed salary to ensure that it represents compensation that is comparable to that of other University appointees performing similar work.

D. The Project Director or account manager should not serve as direct supervisor of a family member. An alternate reporting structure should be established to handle verification of time and effort, evaluations, re-appointments, promotions, and/or salary adjustments.