Procedure for reimbursing the CUNY colleges (tax levy fund) for payments made to Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) students

Purpose

To establish a procedure for reimbursing the CUNY colleges (tax levy fund) for payments made to Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) students.

Applicability

GRA students paid on CUNY’s tax levy fund.

Policy

CUNY (not the RF) is eligible to offer GRA student employees a FICA exemption.  For this reason, CUNY will pay GRA students from their tax levy funds and subsequently request reimbursement of these costs from an RF project.  The RF will reimburse the CUNY colleges for GRA costs (i.e. salaries and 2% fringes) incurred on their tax levy fund, to the extent allowed on the RF sponsored (or recovery) projects.  

Procedure

The process of reimbursing the CUNY colleges for GRA costs is as follows:

1. Collect GRA student data

CUNY colleges must send the RF a list of all GRA students appointed to their tax levy fund.  The GRA spreadsheet (see below) should be used for this purpose as it includes the following information:

  • Student/employee name
  • Student level (i.e. PhD, Masters, etc.)
  • Employment period
  • Total salary equivalent to the employment period
  • Total fringes (at 2%)
  • Total salary & fringes
  • RF project number
  • Project budget period
  • PI name

The GRA spreadsheet should be emailed to the RF at GRA@rfcuny.org – and the subject line of the email should be formatted as follows:  GRA Encum – ‘College Name’.

2. Encumber GRA salary and fringes on RF projects

RF will review the GRA spreadsheets and encumber funds on the respective projects; GRA salaries on object code 5703 and 2% fringes on object code 5952. 

3. Send encumbrance (Purchase Order) numbers to colleges

RF will insert the respective encumbrance (PO) numbers in the GRA spreadsheet and return the spreadsheet to the college’s Point of Contact (POC) from GRA@rfcuny.org

4. Collect GRA payment packages

The college may request reimbursement on a bi-weekly or monthly basis by submitting a payment package that includes the following:

  • A tax levy payroll report that identifies the GRA student/employee name, pay date, hours paid, total payment – as well as the RF project and encumbrance (PO) number
  • A GRA Reimbursement Request Form that’s signed by the college Grants Officer and Business Manager

All documents should be emailed to GRA@rfcuny.org – and the subject line of the email should be formatted as follows:  GRA Reimb – ‘College Name’. 

5. Process GRA reimbursement requests

Reimbursement requests will be processed upon receipt of all documents (i.e. complete payment package).  Entries will be recorded on the respective projects to reimburse the colleges and the related encumbrances would be adjusted accordingly. 

6. Transmit payments to colleges

Payment will be issued to the colleges within 5 business days of receiving the payment package.  All GRA cost reimbursements will be processed via ACH to the college’s tax levy bank account on file.  RF will notify the college’s POC (from GRA@rfcuny.org) when payment has been processed.   

Essential Forms

Graduate Research Assistant Forms

KEY CONTACTS

Angela Clarke
Grants & Contracts
212-417-8410

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