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UAW Sponsored Research Funding Gaps

In December 2022, the University of California completed agreements on contracts with Academic Researchers, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Graduate Student Researchers. These agreements have several salary and benefit provisions that impact externally-funded research.

For new proposals, the new salary and benefit amounts should be included in the budget. Salary amounts to budget can be found here.

An FAQ with more information on the impacts of the agreements on sponsored research can be found here.

For existing contracts and grants, the anticipated total impact is estimated to be approximately between $15 and $20 million (total impact for currently funded awards through the contract agreement period). Increases for individual appointments at each step begin in April, 2023 with annual increases in October for each of the subsequent years of the agreements (five years for Academic Researchers and Postdoctoral Scholars and three years for Graduate Research Scientists). Annual increases vary from 3.5% to 18% with cumulative increases up to 52% depending on the appointment and experience level.

Our campus is committed to collaborative solutions to cover these salary differentials with as little impact on research as possible. We anticipate that local solutions through reallocation of the budget and use of discretionary funds of the PI, Chair, and/or Dean will be sufficient to cover the majority of the new funding required for grant-funded personnel. 

This fund has been established for instances in which School-level solutions are not sufficient. Approximately $10 million from the Chancellor and Academic Vice Chancellors will be available. The fund was established to specifically cover salary differentials required by the union agreements. If other costs are requested, VCs will consider those on a case-by-case basis.

Strategies to identify resources to cover differential costs and the process to apply for resource assistance are described below.

Covering Salary Differentials on Active Grants

The following steps outline the order in which resources should be used to cover differential salaries (salary/benefit differential between what was approved on the budget and the agreements):

    1. Reallocate funds on contracts and grants as allowable. The primary strategy for covering salary differentials will be to absorb them into the existing budgets.
    2. Use discretionary funds available to the project PI. If the budget is not sufficient or has restrictions on salaries, discretionary funds of the PI should be examined.
  • If costs cannot be covered through resources of the PI, the PI should discuss the needs with their Department/Division Chair, and then their Dean. If additional funds are needed, the PI, with approval from the Dean, may apply for the Grant Relief Fund. The process to apply for these funds is below. 

Grant Relief Fund Overview

The Grant Relief Fund is established to mitigate the impact of the union agreement on active contracts and grants for the period of the agreements over which the grant is active, and in instances when resources of the PI, Chair, and Dean are insufficient. As stated above, the goal of this fund is to cover funding gaps once all other sources of contract and grant funds and discretionary funds have already been used. Principle Investigators who have exhausted all strategies for covering these costs may apply for funds, with their Dean’s approval.

Any PI is eligible to apply (regardless of rank or track). Priority will be given to applications that have a strong rationale for additional assistance, and with the goal of avoiding any reductions in the scope of work.

Grant Relief Fund Applications

Applications for VC-level assistance should be submitted after other funding sources have been exhausted. Information on how to apply will be able in early March

 The application will require that you provide information on the differential funding required for each grant, as well as the funding secured to cover the differential. PIs should work with their Fund Managers to identify for each grant:

  • originally budgeted compensation for Academic Researchers, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Graduate Student Researchers;
  • compensation required as a result of the UAW agreements. When calculating these amounts, use the tables available at to identify the new salary for each budgeted FTE, and be sure to add composite benefit rates available here in order to identify the complete differential;
  • Amount of the differential covered by various (non-VC) sources, including:
    • reallocation of budget within the grant
    • PI discretionary funds
    • Departmental funds
    • School funds.
  • Rationale: Provide a rationale for the supplemental funding request, describing efforts to reallocate funds within the budget and efforts to use available discretionary funding.