Summer Research Assignments (SRAs)
Summer Research Assignments provide faculty members with salary support while they concentrate on research and writing during the summer session. Terms of these awards vary by college.
Only tenure-track assistant professors are eligible for these awards. However, in some colleges, tenured faculty are also eligible to apply.
All Summer Research Assignment applications must be received and approved by the applicant's department chair and academic dean prior to submission to the Faculty Development Program. Your chair will review your application and, if he or she approves it, refer it to your academic dean for further review. Your academic dean will submit those applications he or she has approved to the Faculty Development Program.
Amount, Tenure, and Terms of the Award
Summer Research Assignments provide salary support in amounts determined by the applicant's college. SRAs are intended to provide teaching relief to allow the faculty member to focus on research. SRAs do not carry over into the following fiscal year (September 1 - August 31). There is no limit on the number of SRAs an Assistant Professor may have; although holding a previous SRA may reduce your chances of receiving additional ones.
One of the considerations in awarding a Summer Research Assignment is the benefit that will accrue to the university. The recipient is, therefore, expected to return to normal duties at The University of Texas at Austin for at least the academic year (September 1 through May 31) following the SRA. A recipient who elects to leave the university without returning for an academic year, whether because of resignation or retirement, is obligated to reimburse the university for funds (gross salary plus fringe benefits) expended in support of the SRA (see Handbook of Operating Procedures 2-2210 for The University of Texas at Austin). The University Payroll Office, in consultation with the System's General Counsel, has informed us that the recipient is considered to be an employee of UT Austin for the period of appointment to the Summer Research Assignment. As a consequence, the recipient's W-2 from the university will show his or her income and withholding tax for the period of the appointment. If the recipient elects not to return to the university he or she is considered to be in breach of his/her contract with the university with the result that the repayment is considered a "penalty payment." It is the recipient's responsibility to inform the IRS of his or her situation and to negotiate with them any adjustments in reported income and withholding.
If you hold an SRA and wish to be on approved academic leave the year following your SRA, but plan to return to your normal duties at the university the following academic year, then an exception to the return policy above may be requested. Such a request must be submitted in writing, must include a description of your plans and your reason for not returning the year following your SRA, and must be endorsed by your chair and dean. It should be submitted to Marvin L. Hackert, Director, Faculty Development Program, Office of Graduate Studies, Main Building 101, G0400. Requests are handled on a case-by-case basis and, if an exception is granted, it will be contingent upon your subsequent return to your normal duties at the university as outlined. If you fail to return, you will be expected to reimburse the university for the amount of the SRA, including any fringe benefits involved.
Method of Payment
Summer Research Assignments are salary awards paid on a monthly basis through the Payroll Office. Paychecks are issued on the first working day of the following month. For example, if you elect to have your award paid over June and July, your June paycheck will be issued on July 1 and your July paycheck will be issued on August 1. These awards are subject to all of the deductions that apply to teaching salary payments.
The application period for 2016 SRAs will be September 14, 2015 to October 14, 2015.
Contact the Program
Marvin Hackert, Director
Lisa Jaskolka, Coordinator
Faculty Development Program
The University of Texas at Austin
110 Inner Campus Drive Stop G0400
Austin, TX 78712-1710