Managing Salaries in SPS - Guidance, FAQs, and Other Reference Materials

SAP salary and effort information feeds into SPS so that all relevant parties working on grant applications can access salaries for individuals participating in research. 

Resources for entering and managing salaries in SPS


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Utilize the charts below to access frequently asked questions. Questions are divided into three categories:

  • System: items related to entering information in SPS, specific field clarifications, etc.
  • Operational: Compliance, policy, best practices, recommendations, expectations
  • Situational: Special considerations for complex proposals, specific or unusual circumstances

If you still have questions after reviewing the FAQs, utilize the "Research Help" widget in myRESEARCHhome to connect with the appropriate preaward office. Additional questions will be added as they are received and resolved. 

Search tip: utilize the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+F" to search for a specific term in the FAQs.

System FAQs

Is salary approval required for key personnel only or for everyone listed on a proposal?Owning department approval is required for everyone with effort on a proposal.
How should TBD placeholders be entered for not yet identified personnel?Placeholder or “TBD” entries will require manual entry of the salary estimates.
What is ‘Anticipated Base Salary’?Field is populated with salary ranges per budget period and effort interval based on the inflator %. Anything outside of identified ranges is a deviation that will trigger a warning, and base salary will appear red to alert initiator, approvers and preaward office.
If salary cap no longer needs a separate row, how will it appear in the budget?
  • The salary and fringe amount over the cap will now be displayed in the new column, ‘Duke Obligated Sal/FB’ of the personnel budget row(s).
  • Salary cap will be automatically applied to all impacted staff members and budget periods once the information is completed in the proposal.
What is the inflator and what if I have something different than the default?
  • The system will automatically increase salaries by 3% in the out years.
  • The default percentage is 3, but can be manually changed based on need. Changes will impact the anticipated salary chart and information populated.
  • If changed, pre-award will be alerted that standard percentage was overridden.
Will confidential payroll follow the system approval process?No, confidential payroll must be handled outside of the system.


Operational FAQs

What should I do if I have a proposal in process?See the above section "Business process changes and requirements" for specific details related to implementation.
Why are the owning org units approving the SPS record twice now?
  • While the owning org will interact with he proposal twice, the first review is specifically to automate the salary request process. This review and approval replace the previous paper request of salary information that was sent to the SSPOC.
  • The salary approval is routed for the owning department to approve the percentage of effort and approving access to the salary information. Approval at this stage provides:
    • System approval to populate proposal salary amount
    • Opportunity to provide details on any expected deviations (promotions, reductions in salary, etc.)
    • Agreement of estimated % effort on the proposal
  • Approval during the proposal routing is not changing and should still include analysis of the final % effort on the proposal, salary $ amount and other factors previously reviewed.
How should we enter staff not requiring any salary support but will have effort on the project?Insert the appropriate effort amount, then override the salary dollar amount with $0.
How will the PAL know if the owning org has approved the salary amount and proposed effort in the proposal?"Not Yet Approved" in red in the budget notebook until owing org responds to the request.
How will the PAL know if SAP salary is updated if the salary has already been populated in the budget?
  • SPS will flag the budget with a warning - it will not automatically update the proposal, only flag it when you go in & view the budget.
  • The ‘Refresh SAP Info’ button will update the salary amounts to amounts current in SAP.
    • The "Update Calculated Amts" button IS REQ'D to update the other calculations in the fields.
How will I know if the owning org noted a deviation related to the salary request?If there was a deviation noted, an indicator will alert the PAL so adjustments can be made since the salary data imported would still reflect the information in SAP as of the current date.
Is there a way to follow up on pending salary requests sent via SPS?Yes, the system will list approvers that received the approval notification. Communicate with one, or more, of them for status updates or questions.


Situational FAQs

What action is needed if a department doesn't approve the effort percentage that is being proposed? 
  • The collaborating departments should work together to make the necessary proposal adjustments.
  • Involved stakeholders may include, PAL, GMs, PIs, SSPOC, etc.
What considerations should be discussed if there is a staff member moving from .5 FTE to 1 FTE?If going from part time to full time, iForm percentages will need to be monitored.
The PI said they want to spend 10% of their time on the proposal activities, how should I enter that in the proposal?GM should ask clarifying questions to determine if this is 10% of Duke time, or 10% of total professional time (including VA, etc.). If 10% of total professional time, additional calculations may be needed.
How should we handle the inflator for graduate students, since it does not align with inflators used for employees?Salary rows that do not follow the standard inflator can be managed manually.