Salary Cap

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) have historically restricted the amount of direct salary an individual may charge an NIH, SAMHSA, or AHRQ grant or contract. Other sponsors may also implement a limitation on salaries on their awards.

DHHS Salary Cap Threshold Changes: (Effective 1/1/2024 EL II Annual Cap is $221,900) [NOT-OD-24-057]

For example, on January 1, 2024, the Executive Level II (EL II) DHHS salary cap changed to $221,900 annually, an increase of $9,800 from the previous cap of $212,100.  This change permits departments to charge more of an individual’s salary to grants thereby reducing the amount of salary cap cost sharing required.  Departments may also elect not to increase the salary charges to grants especially when there are insufficient funds remaining in the grant budget to cover the additional charges.  Note, sponsors will not provide additional funding to cover the increase in the salary cap threshold for existing awards. 

Example - A department elects to charge more for a faculty member with an institutional base salary (IBS) of $250,000 per year and working 10% on a grant.  They can increase the direct charge to the grant by $200 (per year) thereby reducing the salary cap cost sharing by $200 ($2,000 x 10%).  


Sponsor - Federal 

Cap Applied 

National Institutes of Health 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Administration for Children and Families 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Administration for Community Living 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Agency for Health Care Research and Quality 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Center for Disease Control 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Health Resources and Services Administration 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Food and Drug Administration 

DHHS Salary Cap 



Sponsor - Non-Federal 

Cap Applied 

Anesthesia Safety Foundation 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Michael J. Fox Foundation 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Edward P. Evans Foundation 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation 

DHHS Salary Cap 

Multiple Sclerosis Society 


Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute 


Susan G. Komen Foundation 



*Review your notice of award and applicable terms and conditions to determine if your sponsor(s) impose a salary cap 

The salary cap restriction limits the amount that will be awarded and can be charged to grants and contracts issued by sponsors that apply either the DHHS salary cap or a salary cap unique to their organization. It is important to note that the salary cap serves as the base for determining the amount of salary faculty (and any other UW employee) may be paid from awards issued by these agencies. 

  • The amount of the faculty member's institutional base salary (IBS) requested to be awarded (and ultimately charged) is determined based on the percentage of effort to be devoted to the grant multiplied by the salary cap (not the IBS). 

For grant proposal budgets, the full uncapped IBS should be included in the "Institutional Base Salary" section of the proposal. The sponsor will adjust the awarded amount to the cap in effect at the time of the award.

Cost Share Addendum 

Salary cap is not considered to be Cost Share as the salary over the cap is an unallowable expense on the Award. Do not include over-the-cap coverage on the Cost Share Addendum. 


  • Salary Cap Calculator - for use when an individual receives an ADS, ENS, or Clinical Pay in addition to REG pay.

    Note: For individuals that only receive REG pay, a calculator is not required. Workday will automatically calculate the salary cap based based on the entered payroll allocation.

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