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Policy on Self-Supporting Research Professional Positions

The purpose of this policy is to establish general guidelines for the creation and funding of self-supporting research professional (SSRP) positions that will augment the research program of existing department/schools and colleges and, where applicable, other administrative units. For policies pertaining to research professor, research associate professor, and research assistant professor, see the policy on Academic Rank and Promotion in Rank in the Faculty Handbook.

Operating Guidelines

The following operating guidelines have been developed to encourage the establishment of SSRPs.

           The overall responsibility for the establishment and monitoring of the SSRPs rests with the college dean or directors, in case of non-academic units. It is anticipated that the requesting department/school chair or director will prepare a written document for the dean's approval that addresses the following:

  1. Name, academic credentials, and research interests of the proposed researcher.

  2. Statement of how the proposed researcher's interests augment the academic/research mission of the department/school and college or administrative unit in question.

  3. List of current and anticipated funding of the proposed researcher. The department/school chair or director must also make a written assessment of the proposed SSRP's prospects to continue as an ongoing and self-supporting unit. The department/school chair or director also needs to address how non-funded periods will be managed.

  4. List of space requirements and start-up costs including a plan to finance same. Any special revenue sharing arrangements also need to be documented.

  5. Type of researcher appointment. SSRPs can be established at the Old Dominion University Research Foundation. In such cases, the researcher will be a professional employee of the Research Foundation. If appropriate, the researcher may also have an adjunct faculty appointment at Old Dominion University; however, any such faculty appointment would need to be approved separately by the college dean and the provost. An alternative approach is to employ the researcher through Old Dominion University. However, this would necessitate the researcher receiving a contract and academic rank per the policy on Academic Rank and Promotion in Rank. Under this option, the department/school or college or administrative unit becomes obligated to insure funding of the position for the contract period.

Once the SSRP is approved by the dean or director, the entire request is reviewed by the vice president for research. For SSRPs to be employed by Old Dominion University Research Foundation, the vice president for research makes the determination on whether to establish the SSRP position. For SSRPs to be employed by Old Dominion University, the vice president for research forwards a recommendation on the establishment of the SSRP position to the vice president in question for approval. In these cases, the decision of the vice president is final.

Funding Guidelines and SSRP Indirect Cost Allocation

The sources of funding for SSRPs are research grants and contracts and the indirect costs earned on these agreements. IDC distribution for SSRPs will follow the prescribed formulas for IDC distribution taking into consideration whether the SSRP holds an appointment in an academic department, which follows one formula, or a research center, which follows a different formula.

 -Approved by the president
September 21, 1997
Revised July 30, 2003
Revised January 8, 2013


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