Office of Sponsored Programs
October 01, 2013

An IPA is an employment agreement between the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and a Federal Agency, i.e., NASA, DOD, Navy, Air Force, etc. IPAs are usually for a period not to exceed two years. Some agreements maybe extended for an additional period not to exceed two years. IPA appointment may not exceed a total of four (4) consecutive years.

The individual must be a UAH employee for a period not less than Ninety (90) days prior to being placed on an IPA, unless other approved by the Vice President for Research. While in an IPA status, the UAH employee will be governed by all federal guidelines governing a federal employee.

The employing agency will be responsible for all security clearances and training of the IPA for the duration of his/her appointment, in accordance with the employing agency’s security policies and procedures. The employing agency will be responsible for all export control requirements while the individual is in an IPA status.


The legal authority for assignments under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act is 5 USC sections 3371 through 3375. The regulations can be found in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 5, chapter 334.

Each assignment should be made for purposes which the Federal agency head, or his or her designee, determines are of mutual concern and benefit to the Federal agency and to the non-Federal organization.

Each proposed assignment should be carefully examined to ensure that it is for sound public purposes and furthers the goals and objectives of the participating organizations. Assignments arranged to meet the personal interests of employees, to circumvent personnel ceilings, or to avoid unpleasant personnel decisions are contrary to the spirit and intent of the mobility assignment program.


Once OSP is notified by the appropriate college or center of a potential IPA, the Contract Administrator will prepare the proposal budget. If the individual is not a current UAH employee, the Contract Administrator will prepare two (2) proposal budgets as follows:

Non-UAH Employee:

A ninety (90) days proposal budget will be prepared in accordance with the individual’s offer letter. This proposal will include at a minimum the actual salary, fringe benefits calculated at the current rate, unless otherwise noted; and the on campus research Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost unless otherwise noted.

This cost will be proposed at 100% of effort over a twelve-month period at a minimum. If other cost, i.e., travel and operating expenses are allowed, these costs will be proposed with the applicable F&A cost applied.

IPA Budget:

  1. The IPA budget will be prepared as follows:
    1. For a period of two (2) Years.
    2. All IPAs (amendments and modifications) will be calculated as per the attached Sample IPA Budget.
    3. This amount will be divided by 2080 hours to calculate the hourly rate.
    4. The IPA account will be set up as follows:
    Account Codes Description
    6150 Prof-Non Faculty
    6500 Fringe Benefits (current rate)
    7910 F&A (10%)

    IPA salary is escalated in accordance with approved university escalation factor each applicable fiscal year. This escalation is not a cost of living increase but a projected merit increase as noted on the OSP Financial Data Sheet.

  2. The following statement will be added to all IPAs in the block 26: "The second year costs will be adjusted based on actual costs experienced during the first year. At the end of the IPA assignment, the agency will fund UAH for any unused leave earned during the assignment to the extent that this leave remains an obligation of UAH to the assignee." Billing Procedures: OSP will negotiate the invoicing terms. UAH’s preferred method of billing will be to invoice for actual expenses (cost reimbursable).
    1. Once the IPA terminates, C&G Accounting will submit an invoice to the funding agency for the balance of all unused leave which reflects a continuing obligation of UAH to the IPA assignee – regardless of FY in which leave was not used.
    2. C&G Accounting will bill IPAs in accordance with instructions noted in block 27 of the IPA document. C&G Accounting will also follow-up on unpaid invoices coordinating with OSP and the PI as necessary.

    Additional Related Information:

    Office of Personnel Management ( Intergovernmental Personnel Act

The Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for review of this policy every four (4) years; (or whenever circumstances require).

Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement (IPA) Policy