Director of Research

Emeritus: Procedure and Guidelines for Outside Work

General Information

The Institution's Appointment and Promotions Handbook (Blue Book) states that members of the Scientific Staff and Senior Technical Staff are eligible for Emeritus appointments upon retirement. An Emeritus appointment continues the individual's association with the Institution's community of scholars, but implies no other commitment. The Institution has determined that some facilities support should be provided for Scientist and Oceanographer Emeriti and for Emeritus Research Scholars who wish to continue doing research at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. This allows retired scientists and technical staff to continue using WHOI facilities and providing "mentoring" of younger scientists, engineers and technicians, and sharing their scientific and technical knowledge.

An Emeritus who is affiliated with an organization other than WHOI and receives a salary from that organization do not precisely fit the "norm." This situation raises issues of conflict of interest and fairness in distribution of overhead costs.

Facilities and Space Charges

If an Emeritus is being paid by another organization, his/her work is for the benefit of that organization. The use of WHOI facilities cannot be covered by the WHOI overhead pool. The other organization must provide funds to WHOI to cover the use of any facilities.

  1. The Controller's office will determine the Facilities Charges (Hourly Space Charge) = Total hours worked in each room * Facilities charges for the space that will be used by each Emeritus that is affiliated with other organizations. (see Facilities Charges).
  2. Actual Facilities Charges for the space used by the Emeritus will be determined by the actual hours of salary support provided each month to the Emeritus by the other organization. The Emeritus must provide their Department Administrator and Department Chair with written documentation specifying the amount of time that is being supported by the other organization. The Department Administrator notifies the Controller‘s office.
  3. The invoice from the other organization for payment of costs incurred on a WHOI subcontract should indicate the time supported by the other organization. If there is no subcontract, another document that specifies the time supported will have to be generated and submitted monthly.
  4. WHOI will submit an invoice to the other organization for the facilities costs on a monthly basis.
  5. If there is a subcontract from WHOI to the other organization for support of the Emeritus, the Facilities Charges will be included in that subcontract.
  6. If the salary support for the Emeritus is being funded directly by the funding agency to the other organization, the proposal to the funding agency should include a line item for "Charges for the use of WHOI Facilities." 

Submitting Proposals

An Emeritus may receive support from Department Administrative Professionals in the preparation of proposals, subcontracts, publications, etc. when they provide specific funding in a grant, contract or subcontract to cover that support.

WHOI will not submit proposals to external funding agencies for another organization, even if the PI is an Emeritus Research Scholar, Scientist Emeritus or Oceanographer Emeritus.

WHOI will submit subcontract proposals for support of WHOI personnel (including Emeriti) and facilities to the other organization for inclusion in the other organization’s proposal to external funding agencies.

Grants and Contracts at WHOI at the Time of Retirement

When a scientist or senior technical staff leaves WHOI to associate with another institution or organization, s/he generally transfers the existing grants and contracts to the new place of employment. The same process can and should be followed when a scientist or senior technical staff retires or affiliates with another organization to receive pay.

  1. Several months prior to retirement, the PI should make arrangements with the external funding agency to transfer all grants and contracts to the new organization. These transactions are not difficult, but are time consuming, and should be done prior to retirement to insure that there is no break in funding for the support personnel.
  2. WHOI will provide the Facilities Rate (see above) to the new organization for inclusion in their revised budget to the funding agency.
  3. If the PI wishes to continue support for WHOI personnel, WHOI will submit a subcontract proposal to that organization with a work statement and budget for that support. 
When other WHOI Co-PIs are on existing grants and contracts method above is preferred, but it may be more reasonable to leave the grant or contract at WHOI and request permission to write a subcontract to the new organization. The subcontract should provide only the funds that will be used by the Emeritus for salary support and the facilities charges. This subcontract should be done prior to the retirement date to insure timely agency approval and transfer of funds to the new organization.

Personnel who have been Financially Supported by the PI prior to Retirement

Whenever a Principal Investigator leaves WHOI or retires, employees, students, or postdocs who have worked on the PI´s grants and contracts will inevitably face the situation of no longer having salary support. As their supervisor/advisor, the PI is responsible for an orderly transition for these individuals. Issues relating to students and Postdocs must be discussed in advance with the department´s Education Coordinator and the Education Office. Depending on the specific circumstances of the PI´s future activities several possibilities may exist for the affected employees:

  1. The PI may have sufficient funds that will remain at WHOI to provide some funds for the support personnel and will continue in the future to provide the necessary funds through subcontracts from the new organization.
  2. Working with the affected support personnel and the Department Administrator, the PI will assist them in identifying other PIs who will provide their support and supervision.
  3. The PI, working with the Department Administrator and Human Resources, will give the support personnel notice of the date of termination of funding/employment so that the proper notice and separation actions can take place in an orderly fashion. 
The PI must take this responsibility seriously and make it a priority. The PI´s support personnel must have as much advance information as possible about what will happen and when. The PI must make their department office and HR fully aware of his/her plans regarding separation and what arrangements can be made for the support personnel. The department and HR can help the affected personnel search for new support at WHOI or employment elsewhere. It is a stressful time for anyone who is facing a loss of support; providing support staff as much information as early as possible is essential.

Questions regarding these guidelines should be addressed to the office of the Director of Research.

Last updated: November 12, 2014