Payroll Policies

PR03 Fellows and Scholars

Policy Status: 

Active

Policy Steward: 

Corporate Controller / Payroll

Contents:

PURPOSE:

To outline the University's policy on the payment of postdoctoral and graduate-level fellows and scholars.

NOTES:

Post-doctoral Scholars are appointed through the NAPP (which converts to GFSA) with a rank of Q10. Postdoctoral Fellows are appointed through the NAPP (which converts to GFSA) with a rank of P10 and paid on the payroll system. See Policy HR68 in the Human Resources section of GURU for additional information on Postdoctoral appointments.

Payments for student fellowships are made on the payroll system, even though no services are required. Predoctoral Fellows are appointed through the NAPP (which converts to GFSA) with a rank of P20. Predoctoral Trainees are appointed through the NAPP (which converts to GFSA) with a rank of P30. 

PAY PERIOD:

Each pay period consists of a calendar month.

PAY DATES:

All fellows and scholars are paid on the last day of each month. However, if the last day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, the pay amount will be available on the preceding work day. For predoctoral student appointments, the stipends will be paid in accordance with student registration and semester begin and end dates. Appointing units are responsible for verifying student registration in accordance with University and external agency requirements in the case of fellowships sponsored by outside organizations.

APPOINTMENTS:

An IBIS function "NAPP" (New Appointment) is completed for all fellows and scholars in accordance with the instructions contained in the List of IBIS Forms, Functions & Transactions. See Policy HR68 in the Human Resources policy section of GURU for additional information on postdoctoral appointments.

In all cases, an Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate (W-4)Employment Eligibility Verification (INS Form I-9), University Intellectual Property Agreements, and a Salary Deposit Request must be submitted before payments can be made.

RATES CHARGED TO FUNDING SOURCES:

Student fellowship appointments which provide tuition will be charged at the approved graduate assistant/fellowship tuition rate or the dissertation fee rate, as appropriate based on fellows’ registration status.

ALLOWABLE FUNDS TO SUPPORT FELLOWSHIP APPOINTMENTS:

General Funds may be used to fund tuition for fellowship appointments, as outlined below:

General Funds Grant-in Aid funds may be used as tuition support for Distinguished Graduate Fellowships. Approval outside the budget area is not required.

General Funds Grant-in-Aid funds may be used to support tuition for Fulbright Fellows at any stipend funding level if the unit has sufficient Grant-in-Aid available. Approval outside the budget area is not required.

General Funds Grant-in-Aid funds may be used to support tuition for endowed fellowships (approval outside the budget area is not required) if they are processed in IBIS and meet the minimum following guidelines:

  • The award is intended to provide a full support package of tuition, stipend, and a health insurance subsidy;
  • Stipend support from the endowment is at a level equal to or higher than a Grade 12, ½ time assistantship;
  • The unit has sufficient Grant-in-Aid available.

General Funds Grant-in-Aid funds may be used as tuition support for externally-awarded fellowships appointed through IBIS in accordance with the following minimum conditions:

  • The external fellowship is competitively awarded;
  • The stipend afforded in the outside award is at a level equal to or higher than a Grade 12, ½ time assistantship;
  • The award source is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee (see procedural guideline);
  • The unit has sufficient Grant-in-Aid available.

Other General Funds may not be used to fund fellowship tuition or stipends unless written exception is obtained from the Graduate School and the Corporate Controller.

INITIAL PAY PERIOD:

If the initial payment is missed for a fellow, a Special Request for Check (SRFC -using Obj Code 395) may be processed by the Financial Officer for the total amount of the missed payment.

HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS:

International Fellows (grade P20 and P30 appointments only) are required to have health insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents in the United States. For domestic Fellows, health insurance is optional. The University will pay a percentage of the annual premium for the Penn State Student Health Insurance Plan as part of the fellowship award. The remaining percentage will be automatically deducted from the student's fellowship stipend. The University will not supplement, nor will a payroll deduction be made, for insurance policies other than the Penn State Student Insurance Plan.

International Fellows who have adequate alternate medical coverage and who do not wish to be enrolled in the Penn State Student Health Insurance Plan must submit a waiver application. In order to be granted a waiver, alternate plans must meet certain standards as established by the University Student Insurance Committee. This Committee will approve or disapprove the waiver application.

International Fellows who do not apply for a waiver will be automatically enrolled in the Penn State Student Insurance Plan.

(Note: Applications for a waiver demonstrating adequate alternate insurance must be submitted on a yearly basis each fall.)

For fellows who are supported by external funding sources, the University subsidy will be charged to the budget that supports the fellowship and the remaining balance will be deducted from recipients' stipend checks, as is the case for graduate assistant appointments.  If a fellow is paid on more than one account the charge will be made to the one that pays the greater proportion, or if equal proportions, to the first account numerically sequenced.  The Payroll Office contacts departments to confirm the appropriate accounts to be charged so that units can make any necessary changes before JV are processed to make the actual charge.

If the external fellowship agreement allows for all (100%) of the premium to be paid from the external fund, Student Health Insurance (SHI) needs to be notified prior to the fellow's payroll deduction. Payroll deductions begin in September.  If funds are not available from the external award, departments will need to provide for the University subsidy from other external funds available to the department or from departmental general funds if this isn't possible.  The Payroll Office confirms the appropriate accounts to be charged so that units can make any necessary changes before the JV is processed to make the actual charge.

For further information about the student insurance program, contact the Student Health Insurance Office, 814-865-7467, or see "Graduate Assistant and Graduate Fellow Health Insurance Plan" on the University Health Services website.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Payroll Office.

Effective Date: March 25, 2014
Date Approved: March 21, 2014 
Date Published: March 25, 2014

Most recent changes:

  • March 25, 2014 - Major changes have been made throughout the entire policy which more clearly reflect current operations pertaining to the support and payment of fellows and scholars.

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • October 18, 2013 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
  • September 19, 2011 - Editorial changes made to the HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS section, updated to reflect current operations.
  • June 14, 2006 - Revision History added.
  • August 19, 2005 - Editorial changes to eliminate "General Forms Usage Guide" references and to correct links.
  • September 4, 1995 - Revisions to "Purpose," "Pay Date" sections. Added "Health Insurance Benefits" section.
  • April 15, 1994 - Revisions to the "Initial Pay Period" for situations where the initial payment is missed.
  • December 10, 1993 - "Notes" added (1) That since no services are required of a fellow, they are paid on the accounts payable system; (2) Scholars are appointed as a Fixed Term II and paid on the payroll system creation of "Initial Pay Period."
  • February 3, 1993 - IBIS terminology added. Revised "Rates charged to Funding Sources" section, to clarify that the use of general funds is not permitted unless a written exception is obtained from the Corporate Controller.
  • September 30, 1992 - Revised old terms to IBIS semantics, and added the comment "General Funds may not be used to fund fellows or scholars."
  • May 10, 1988 - Commonwealth Campus reference changed to "Locations other than University Park."
  • August 4, 1983 - Addition of "Rates to Charge Funding" section, specifying how tuition and related fees are charged for fellowships.
  • November 23, 1973 - Revisions to "Pay Dates" and Payroll Taxes" sections.