3.12 Mines Research Incentive Program

The Mines Research Incentive Program (MRIP) is an incentive program to compensate faculty for engaging in extensive research activities while continuing to maintain their standard responsibilities in teaching and service. MRIP is intended to enable the hiring, rewarding and retaining of top researchers; incentivize excellence in research and scholarly productivity; and enhance the overall Mines research portfolio. MRIP incentivizes research-active faculty by allowing those that meet the eligibility requirements to use external funding sources to increase their total compensation up to 30%.


To apply and to be eligible for consideration for the MRIP, faculty must meet the following criteria:

  1. Full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty, as defined in the Faculty Handbook, and full-time Professors of Practice supported entirely on the General Fund during the academic year.
  2. Faculty must be in good standing according to the following criteria:
    1. Have annual evaluations of "meets expectations" of higher in the overall performance category in their last three review cycles (not required for new hires bringing in sufficient funding to participate in this program).

    2. Fulfill university teaching expectations (considering both student credit hours and courses taught), as approved by the Department Head and portfolio Dean.

    3. Fulfill all research support responsibilities and staffing, including but not limited to funding current and incoming graduate students (stipend, tuition, fees and benefits), postdoctoral positions, and staff research positions within research groups. Financial resources may not be diverted by these commitments to fund MRIP participation.

    4. Fulfill all Mines service activities commensurate with rank.

    5. Have all research programs in good standing (i.e. no outstanding deliverables, no projects in unauthorized deficit, etc.).

    6. Comply with all Mines Policies as published on the Mines Policy Library website.

  3. Faculty must have a three-year annual average of research expenditures from external sources that is greater than $450,000, and have a record of using those funds to fully fund the salary and tuition for the equivalent of four or more graduate students per year (this can be satisfied by fully funding four students or by partially funding multiple students, provided that the cumulative salary and tuition support for all students funded is equivalent to the amounts required to fully support four students). Newly hired faculty transferring a research program to Mines must document their satisfaction of this requirement through data at their previous organization.
  4. Faculty must document that they have maximized, or fully supported, their Summer and Winter Salary for the past three years. Academic Faculty are eligible to earn up to 75 days of additional compensation for research, teaching or administrative work performed over the summer and winter breaks. This salary can be provided from internal and external funding sources. Summer and Winter Salary must fully cover the number of available days as determined by the Academic Affairs Procedural Manual.  

Those NOT eligible to participate in the MRIP include: faculty on a Leave of Absence, paid or unpaid, during the applicable program period (September 1 – August 31). Faculty on approved Sabbatical Leave may still be considered if they will perform research as part of their approved Sabbatical Leave plan. 

Program Requirements

Program Period

Eligible faculty will submit an MRIP application annually, in accordance with Mines Research Incentive Program Process and Procedures. An approved MRIP compensation adjustment will be effective for the upcoming program period, defined as the twelve-month period corresponding with the Academic Year plus the following summer that starts September 1 and ends August 31.

Retroactive participation, and backdated or untimely applications will not be permitted. Renewals are not automatic. Continuing participating in MRIP requires the timely submission and approval of an annual MRIP application.

Funding Requirements

Funding for the MRIP program must be generated by the faculty member and is subject to the following requirements:

  • Must be external research funding with no exception. This includes externally-sponsored research, funded research, specific joint appointments or research specific gifts. These funds are designated in the financial system as funds that start with 4xxxxx or 6xxxxx. Internal funds, such as the General Fund, research and professional development funds, Mines cash-funded cost share, or other external funding such as auxiliary, technical services and continuing education program revenue are not eligible MRIP funding sources. In no circumstance can General Funds be substituted for external funding.
  • Funding obligations must, without exception, be sufficient to cover the MRIP salary component for the entire program period and be received by Mines at the time of the MRIP application submission. Funding received after application submission will be considered in the subsequent program period.  The MRIP salary component is the approved annual salary adjustment provided under the MRIP, capped at 30% of Academic Year salary.
  • Funding sources must not include any cost restrictions that would prohibit the implementation of the MRIP. For example, funding sources that impose salary or benefit caps that equate to institutional cost share are not eligible MRIP funding sources. All salary charges to research programs must still be compliant with Mines’ Allowable Cost Policy.

MRIP Salary Component Calculation

The MRIP salary component will be determined using the following considerations:

  • The maximum MRIP salary component for tenured and tenure-track faculty and Professors of Practice is 30% of their Academic Year salary, the nine-month base salary that is identified in a faculty member’s contract and corresponds to a normal academic faculty work load, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.
  • The MRIP salary component will be constrained and determined by the available funds that meet the funding requirements. If eligible funding can only support a lower percentage than the maximum allowable amount outlined above, the available funding amount will govern the final MRIP calculation.
  • The following chart should be used as guidance for determining the MRIP Salary Component:
Annual Expenditures * Students Supported # Anticipated MRIP Salary Component ##
$750k+ ≥ 6 21 - 30%
$600 - 750k ≥ 5 11 - 20%
$450 - 600k ≥ 4 0 - 10%

Average over past 3 years


MS and PhD students


Maximum MRIP Salary Component for Department Heads: 20% of Academic Year Salary.

Other Considerations

The following are other considerations that relate to the MRIP:

  • To accommodate MRIP, faculty are permitted to budget academic year days into externally-funded research proposals.
  • Faculty members’ total compensation will be charged to identified funding sources with the appropriate fringe benefit charges. Total compensation consists of a faculty member’s Academic Year salary, Summer and Winter salary and the MRIP salary component, and is considered compensation under the Mines Defined-Contribution Plan (MDCP) and PERA Defined Benefit Plan (PERA), and for tax purposes.
  • External consulting and other externally compensated activities will continue to be permitted in accordance with Mines’ policies. MRIP participants should anticipate greater scrutiny with regard to consulting approval requests given that there will be less time available for consulting due to the commitment they are making to external funding sources.
  • Any adjustments to Academic Year salary due to annual performance reviews or the promotion review process are independent and not influenced by the MRIP.


The academic faculty member is responsible for generating the MRIP eligible funds, submitting an MRIP application, and maintaining their eligibility status for the program period. MRIP faculty members are also required to provide any additional information needed to evaluate their application or report on the program at large.

The Department Head and Dean are responsible for reviewing the MRIP application and making a recommendation to the Provost for approval. The Department Head and Dean are also responsible for monitoring approved MRIP applications.

The Provost is responsible for reviewing recommended applications and providing institutional approval.

The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for reporting faculty participation in the MRIP to the President and Mines’ Executive Team annually.


Compliance with the requirements of this program will be monitored by applicable Department Heads and Deans. In instances of non-compliance, a faculty member’s participation in the MRIP will be terminated.

Last Revision: 

October 5, 2022