Assignments may be made to or from Federal agencies and the following:
state and local governments; private and public colleges and universities;
Indian Tribal governments; federally funded research and development
centers; and qualified non-profit organizations involved in public
management. Assignments must be with the consent of the employee
and for work of mutual benefit to the organizations involved.
assignments are funded through grants to the institution as reimbursement
for salary and benefits. It is NSF's policy to request at least
15% cost sharing of salary and benefits from the institution for
incoming IPA assignments.
Indirect and administrative costs cannot be reimbursed by NSF. Policy
information on the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Program
is contained in NSF's
Personnel Manual, PER Chapter II-600 and on the Office
of Personnel Management's website.
IPA assignees are usually detailed to the Foundation. Assignees
remain on the home institution's payroll in an active pay status
while assigned to NSF. Salary and benefits continue to be administered
by the home institution. IPA assignees are not Federal employees,
but are subject to provisions of law governing the ethics and conduct
of Federal employees.
Length of Appointment
Initial assignments may be made for up to two years and may be
intermittent, part-time or full time. Assignments may be extended
at the request of NSF for up to three years. An extension to four
years requires approval of NSF's Deputy Director. By law, an IPA
assignment may not be extended beyond four years.
Return to Home Institution
It is NSF's expectation that IPA assignees will not be employed
by NSF in any capacity for at least one year upon completion of
their IPA assignment.
IPA assignee salary is usually annualized to twelve months. Pay
is supplemented when the salary at the home institution is below
the minimum of the NSF position. When an annualized academic salary
exceeds the NSF salary for the assigned position, the full academic
salary may be preserved and salary for the summer months will be
calculated based on the Federal rate of pay of the assigned position.
The agreement allows for supplements when there is an increase in
salary and/or benefit rates at the home institution. NSF's contribution
to salary increases may not exceed the annual Federal pay increase,
NSF may provide compensation for lost consulting income. Payments,
which are administered by NSF, are based on an average of the consulting
income during the last two years (supported by tax records), up
to a maximum of $10,000 per year. No consulting may be conducted
if payment is received for any lost consulting activities. This
income is paid directly to the assignee and will be reported on
an IRS Form 1099, "Miscellaneous Income," at the end of each year.
Any decision to continue consulting activities while at NSF MUST
be discussed with an Ethics Counselor in the NSF's Office of the
An IPA assignee may be entitled to receive a per diem allowance
or a round-trip movement of household goods. The annual per diem
rate is established and paid by NSF based on Federal Travel Regulations.
The maximum period for receiving per diem is two years. Requests
for per diem may be made in a lump sum or incrementally, and tax
implications should be considered in deciding the timing of these
payments. These payments are reported to the IRS on form 1099 if
the aggregate amount paid is $600.00 or more in a calendar year.
An IPA assignee may be entitled to receive a round-trip
movement of household goods in lieu of a per diem allowance.
If the basic salary calculation is below the minimum rate of pay
for the Federal position, the salary is raised to the minimum Federal
rate of pay for that position. This income is paid directly to the
assignee by NSF and will be reported on an IRS Form 1099, "Miscellaneous
Income," at the end of each year.
Because IPA assignees are not Federal employees, annual and sick
leave is not accrued at NSF. Applicable leave provisions of the
home institution will be followed while on detail to NSF, however
requests to use leave must be approved by the NSF supervisor. The
home institution is responsible for leave administration. Summer
and other extended vacation periods are work periods at NSF.
The IRS has ruled that appointments away from the IPA's permanent
home for more than one year are considered to be indefinite and
living expenses are no longer deductible. NSF recommends that tax
implications be discussed with a CPA or other tax advisor. For information
on travel expenses, see Tax Treatment
of Travel Expenses Incurred by NSF Rotators.
Independent Research/Development (IR/D) Program
Research/Development (IR/D) Program permits individuals serving
in the IPA Program, with approved IR/D plans, to maintain their
involvement with their professional research.