Policy on Multiple Credit Sharing
Purpose | Credit for Sponsored Projects | Multiple Credit System
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Sponsored Projects Credits Policy
The University of Texas at El Paso
Office of Research and Sponsored Projects


The University routinely produces internal and external reports on sponsored projects in the form of annual expenditures, proposals, new awards and others. Historically, all reporting is based on the PI’s home department or the business unit managing the project. In order to extend appropriate credits, the following issues are introduced in this policy:

(a) Assigning sponsored project credits that allow investigators in a multi-investigator grant (and their respective academic units) to receive credit in proportion to their efforts;
(b) Sharing credits for sponsored projects between academic and research centers; and
(c) Accounting for sponsored projects activities based on academic contributions of faculty members and their participation in research centers.


Credit for sponsored projects is assigned to academic units, non-academic units, research centers, and/or shared with research centers. The assignment of the credit is directly linked to the investigators responsible for the award/proposal activities. First, the amount of the award, proposal, or yearly expenditure is allocated among the investigators on multiple investigator projects. Second, the amount allocated to each investigator is assigned to the academic unit(s) of the investigator’s academic appointments.

Allocation among investigators
Credit for multiple investigators in sponsored projects is allocated among the principal investigator (PI) and co-principal investigators (Co-PI) based on their relative contributions to the project as specified by the researchers. A team of investigators should specify the relative contributions of each investigator at the time the proposal is submitted or when the award is received. If no relative contribution is specified, then a default allocation is calculated by dividing 90% of the credit equally among all investigators, including the PI, and then crediting the remaining 10% to the PI. For example, the credit allocation for a project with two investigators will be 55% to the PI and 45% to the Co-PI; for three investigators, the distribution will be 40-30-30 %.

Allocation to academic units
The amount allocated to each investigator on a sponsored project is assigned to the academic unit where the investigator’s academic appointment resides. If an investigator is appointed at more than one unit, then the total is allocated proportionately according to the percentages of the appointments. If an investigator has a courtesy appointment (Adjunct or Research Faculty) at an academic unit but no other academic appointment, then that academic unit receives all of the investigator credit for the project. If the investigator has no academic appointments (e.g.: research center staff), then the expenditures are not assigned to any academic unit, but are included as "research centers/units" category.

Credit to research centers/units
Investigators may assign their projects to a research center. Assignment of a project to a research center is the responsibility of the principal investigators. When a project is assigned to a research center/unit, that unit will receive credit for the project on awards, proposals and expenditure tables. The assigned research center/unit usually also serves as the administrative unit that managed the project. Each project must have an academic unit, which is generally the Investigator(s) home department/college. Center assignments are elected on the proposal transmittal form in the “Submitted Through” option.


University Research Centers have the important function of promoting collaborative efforts between researchers from different academic disciplines. When credit is given only to an academic unit OR to a research center, a potential disincentive to participate in such efforts is presented in addition to creating competition between the centers and the academic units.

This policy outlines a multiple credit system for sharing credit between academic units and research centers for promoting collaborations. If the academic unit AND the research center receive credit, then the academic units and the research centers will benefit from their joint efforts. This policy, however, requires dual accounting systems, one for academic sponsored project activities and the other one for research centers.

In the multiple credit system, proposal, award, and expenditure amounts for each project are credited to both academic units and research centers. For example, if $1000 was spent on a project, then the appropriate academic unit(s) will receive $1000 credit for the research, as will the research center. Therefore, the totals for academic and research units will be equal.

(1) Allocation among investigators. Academic credit for multiple investigator projects is allocated among the principal investigator (PI) and co-principal investigators based on their relative contributions to the project, as specified by the investigators on the transmittal form. In order to receive a credit, the investigator’s name must be among the project’s list of Co-PIs. This allocation may be based on any criteria the investigators deem appropriate. If no allocation is specified by the investigators, then a default allocation is made so that the PI gets 10% more than each of the co-principal investigators (i.e., 90% of the credit is divided equally among all investigators, including the PI, and the remaining 10% is added to the PI’s share). For example, suppose $1000 was spent on a project with two investigators, Smith and Jones, who chose to share the credit equally. Smith and Jones would each receive $500 credit.

(2) Allocation of investigators share based on ACADEMIC appointments. Each investigator’s share of a project is assigned to academic units according to the investigator’s academic appointment(s).
  • If the investigator had more than one academic appointment, then the total is allocated proportionately. For example, if Joe Smith has a 50-50% split appointment between Psychology and Health Promotion Departments, then both departments split the credit.
  • If an investigator has an academic appointment and an appointment with a research center/unit, the credit is allocated 100% to the academic unit, provided that the investigator’s budgeted effort in the academic unit is greater than 25%.

This policy has been modeled after similar policies from the University of Kansas.

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