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UAB/VA Joint Appointment Memorandum of Understanding (UAB/VA MOU)

Download the VA - MOU form here.

The UAB/VA Joint Memorandum of Understanding (UAB/VA MOU) must be completed in accordance with the instructions below, UAB's Effort Reporting Policy, and the applicable personnel (ACT) forms documenting the faculty member's affiliation with the VA.

In accordance with NIH policy, individuals who have joint UAB and Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) appointments are required to disclose the nature of their joint appointment when they are included as personnel on an application submitted by UAB to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This also applies to NIH Pass-Through grants (incoming subcontracts under another institution's prim NIH award). NIH will recognize and allow such a joint appointment only when a University and an affiliated VA hospital are the parties involved. The UAB/VA MOU documents the arrangement between UAB and the VA for a UAB faculty member who holds a joint appointment.

The grant application from UAB should only list the UAB institutional base salary and request the salary in proportion to the effort devoted to the project. By signing the MOU or submitting an application and the UAB Extramural Support Checklist, the UAB faculty member is certifying that:

  1. there is no possibility of dual compensation for the same work; and
  2. there is no actual or apparent conflict of interest; and
  3. the PI serves under a joint appointment between UAB and the VA.

A signed copy of the VA MOU (along with a copy of Other Support) must be submitted with the application to OSP for a new, competing, or resubmission grant application and with a progress report if there is a change in responsibilities from the original submission. The MOU, including Other Support, must be updated with:

  1. a Just-In-Time (JIT) submission,
  2. each significant change (i.e. change in the VA appointment or significant change of 25% or greater in research commitment) of the faculty member's responsibilities or effort, or
  3. at the very least annually if there was no significant change (one year since the last revision).

All faculty members listed on a proposal who have a joint UAB/VA appointment must:

  • disclose the joint appointment on the budget justification of the application, and
  • complete the UAB/VA MOU in accordance with the above paragraph.

Cost Sharing: Please note that any VA effort expended on a sponsored project at UAB must be approved by the VA and disclosed to the sponsor. Any such effort does not fulfill any mandatory cost sharing requirements even with sponsor approval. Any efforts should be referred to as effort expended on a VA appointment and must never be referred to as "cost sharing". It is not acceptable to cost share with other federal funds unless it is specifically authorized in the appropriation.

Instructions to Complete the UAB/VA MOU

  1. Name of the faculty member that has an appointment with UAB and the Veteran's Administration (VA) and is included as personnel on an application for a funded NIH project or a NIH Pass-Through grant.
  2. Date the MOU is prepared.
  3. VA Appointment: Determine the number of hours per week committed to fulfill the VA responsibilities and enter in the VA Appointment. The total VA effort is based on a 40 hour (8/8th) work week.
  4. VA appointment is represented as "Eighths" which is common terminology used for the VA. Each eighth represents a 5 hour interval. Eighths appointments should be shown as follows:
    • 1/8 = 5 hours
    • 2/8 = 10 hours
    • 3/8 = 15 hours
    • 4/8 = 20 hours
    • 5/8 = 25 hours
    • 6/8 = 30 hours
    • 7/8 = 35 hours
    • 8/8 = 40 hours
  5. Official VA title for the faculty member.
  6. Type of Service of the faculty member is providing at the VA. NOTE: The institutional VA effort and the VA appointment is auto-calculated.
  7. Ascertain the distribution of VA institutional hours per week for each area of responsibility (Clinical, Administration, Teaching, and Research). List the hours for each area of responsibility in the "Hours/Week" column. Thus, if an investigator is committed to 8 hours of clinical responsibility at the VA, put 8 in the "Hours/Week" column. For our example, we will also assume 25 hours of total Institutional VA Effort: 8 hours of clinical, 2 hours of administration, 5 hours teaching, and 10 hours research to comprise 25 hours of total Institutional VA Effort.
    VA MOU Instructions Image 1
  8. UAB Contact Person: Provide the contact information of the primary UAB contact for this MOU.
  9. University Appointment Type: List the number of months per year reflected in the University appointment. For a full time employee this should normally be 12 months / full time 1 FTE.
  10. If this is a VA MOU Amendment, then enter the OSP number that was previously assigned for the MOU.
  11. Faculty member's official UAB title.
  12. Enter the OSP number for the grant related to this MOU.
  13. Faculty member's UAB department. NOTE: Most clinical activities of UAB are performed and billed for under the aegis of the HSF, and therefore not part of UAB effort.
  14. Ascertain the distribution of UAB institutional commitment for each area of responsibility. This can be determined from the faculty member's commitment to Clinical (non-HSF), Other (includes Administration, Teaching, and department research responsibilities) and Sponsored Research. The Sponsored Research is a cumulative total of all sponsored activities. Listing a sponsor project identifier for each funding source is not required.
  15. Additional comments may be provided here. REMINDER: Clinical services that are billed by HSF and related effort should not be included on this form. For example, patient service provided as part of inpatient attending is billed via HSF. The teaching associated with attending is considered UAB effort.
    VA MOU Instructions Image 1

Instructions to route a VA/MOU for signature:

  1. Faculty member completes the VA/MOU, signs, and dates the form.
  2. The signed and completed form is routed to the UAB Department Chair for signature and date.
  3. The form is then routed to the Associate Chief of Staff (ACOS) for VA signature and date.
  4. The VA forwards the form, partially executed by the VA, to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for full execution.
  5. OSP will distribute the fully executed form to the PI and VA ACOS.

Instructions for Annual Update:

The faculty member will receive a notice sixty (60) days prior to the anniversary date of the last fully executed MOU as a reminder that the renewal of their annual certification is approaching.