MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

For Payroll Coordinators: UROP Payroll Guidelines

This page details UROP guidelines to help you in your role as a departmental UROP Payroll Coordinator. Topics covered include:


Payroll Basics

Since UROP is an academic program, students must be approved in order to be activated as UROPs. The online UROP system provides you with access to approval and project related information in your DLC. We process proposals as quickly as possible, and encourage both students and staff to contact us if they are experiencing any delays.

Activation and Termination of UROP Appointments

UROP payroll is administered via the MIT Student Payroll System. All paid UROP students must be activated on payroll using the Hourly Student Appointment (HSA) application in SAPweb. Approved paid UROPS must be activated in the system at the beginning of their UROP employment.

UROP data is sent to the HSA application via a nightly feed from the UROP system, so you no longer have to re-enter approved payroll information or enter term start and end dates, when creating a new UROP appointment. The only fields that you may enter or edit for UROP appointments in the HSA application are:

Start and end dates are determined based on the term of UROP approval and this information automatically appears in SAP. You can only change start and end dates to begin later or end earlier than the given term dates. UROP appointments cannot begin prior to the start of the term or extend beyond the end date of the term for which the given UROP was approved.

Planned Hours per Week: Now that UROP students are appointed through SAP and audits are in place to monitor worked hours, it is more important than ever to record as close to the actual planned work hours per week as possible, especially for international students who are limited to work no more than 20 hours per week for all positions combined. If you have been entering 20 hours per week as a default for all students, please consider using the more typical 12 hours/week that most students actually work.

It is suggested that UROPs be put into a DLC (Department. Lab or Center) "UROP" Time group. If a UROP time group has not been set up in your DLC you may wish to contact your department's payroll administrator to set one up for use with all UROPs.

Also, ensuring that the "Position Title" is descriptive is most helpful in case the student has more than on UROP or student employment position on campus (e.g. UROP in Course 9, etc).

Refer to the online instructions on creating a UROP appointment for complete details on using the HSA application.

Minimum Wage

The minimum hourly amount a UROP student may be paid is $10.00, which is also the UROP direct funding hourly amount. UROP students paid from any source may not be paid less than $10.00 per hour.

Mixed Funding

Due to MIT policy based on regulations regarding overhead, you are not allowed to mix education funds (e.g. UROP funds) with sponsored research funds. If UROP has agreed to fund a student for a given term, a faculty member may not supplement this income with funds from his/her research account.

Approvals

The wage/materials and services amounts listed for approved UROPs are the maximum amounts that students can earn. When wages are charged against sponsored-research funds, indirect costs are also charged (e.g. standard MIT overhead). Please be sure to charge approved student wages and awarded materials and services funds to the account number indicated on their approved application.


International Students

International students are restricted in the number of hours that may be worked during any given week. During the fall and spring international students are limited to 20 hours per week and during IAP and the summer, 40 hours per week. Now that UROP students are appointed through SAP and audits monitor student worked hours, it is more important than ever to record as close to the actual planned work hours per week as possible, especially for international students who are limited to work no more than 20 hours per week for all positions combined.

Please consult the International Students Office (ISO) for questions related to paying international students.


Wellesley Students

Wellesley students are not eligible for direct support from UROP. However, supervisor funding is allowed if the faculty supervisor agrees. For Wellesley students, since they need to cross-register each term a hard-copy proposal and coversheet are required. Wellesley students should be directed to the Wellesley College Student Guidelines for complete information on applying for UROPs.

In addition, Wellesley students must cross-register for one unit of Wellesley Paid UROP (URW) credit in the faculty supervisor's academic department, using an MIT Cross-Registration Form. Students must have the Wellesley Cross-Registration form and the MIT Registration form on file with UROP before being approved.

Timesheets

To insure that students are submitting hours authorized by the faculty supervisor, it may help to have students fill out online timesheets, but then print them for their faculty or direct supervisor to approve and sign.

Only those individuals authorized by the DLC can sign/approve timesheets. Generally, UROP supervisors are expected to approve timesheets. Please note that departments, not UROP staff, are responsible for ensuring that worked hours on timesheets are approved by the appropriate UROP supervisor. All approval emails inform students about weekly timesheet submissions. Hours should be tracked to ensure that students do not go over their allotted stipends.

Students must be paid for all approved work hours, even if this includes "premium" overtime hours. However, if a student is directly funded by UROP (Direct Funding), please alert UROP staff should this occur.

Summer UROPs

Students participating in UROP will automatically be registered by the Registrar's Office for 1 unit of URN (UROP notation) non-degree credit. This aligns with how students doing UROPs for pay are handled during the fall and spring terms.

Paperwork for the UROP experience must be fully processed to facilitate the summer registration prior to issuing payments to UROPs. If a student is paid an hourly wage prior to registration (e.g. prior to the official start of the summer session), that student will be assessed social security taxes at 6.2%, and medicare taxes at 1.45%, and these charges cannot be removed retroactively. Students with an approved summer UROP project and not registered half time or more (12 credits or more) for additional courses in the summer will have FICA taxes withheld.

These taxes are assessed based on an individual's status at the time the paycheck is issued rather than when the hours are worked. Students with questions regarding these tax rates may contact HR/Payroll at payroll@mit.edu.

The following GL accounts should be used for summer UROPs: UROP off campus 400768 / UROP on campus 400770. The employee benefit rate will not be charged to these GLs, and tuition will not be assessed.

UROP Accounts

New UROP child accounts are issued to each DLC at the beginning of every academic year (generally in early September). All students funded directly by UROP during a given academic year and/or subsequent summer should be charged to this new account. Please contact UROP staff at x3-7306 or email urop@mit.edu if you have any questions about your department's UROP account.

IMPORTANT NOTE: UROP-funded student wages/materials and services changes must be charged to your account before the account end date, which is provided each year when we send you the new account number, in order to be eligible for UROP funding. Charges processed after the termination date of the account become the responsibility of your department.

UROP Account eDACCA Certification

Each quarter UROP payroll coordinators (or a specified departmental colleague) are responsible for certifying the quarterly eDACCA for their department's UROP account. UROP staff will send email reminders regarding the need to certify and will certify accounts by proxy and mail you a paper DACCA for certification, should any account remain uncertified on the stated certification deadline.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the eDACCA certification process or items that you see on your eDACCA, please contact UROP staff, ASAP.

Overtime

Materials and Services (M&S) Expenses

Occasionally, UROP will allot money to students for materials and services purchases. These purchases can be made a few ways:

Holiday Pay

Students are usually paid for July 4 and Labor Day, if they are working as full time UROPs (35+ hours/week) during the summer. They are not paid for other holidays because they occur during the semester when students work part-time. If a student normally works 35 hrs/wk, s/he must work at least 28 hours the week of the holiday and the full 35 hours the week before in order to be paid for the holiday. Similarly, full-time UROPs who are called away from campus for jury duty should be paid for their time according to MIT payroll guidelines.

Frequently Asked Payroll Questions

What G/L account should I use?

These are the only G/L accounts to be used to pay UROP students. The only other G/Ls used on UROP accounts are those pertaining to materials and services purchases, approved in advance by UROP staff.

Students participating in summer UROPs will automatically be registered by the Registrar's Office for 1 unit of URN (UROP notation) non-degree credit. This aligns with how students doing UROPs for pay are handled during the fall and spring terms.

Paperwork for the UROP experience must be fully processed to facilitate the summer registration prior to issuing payments to UROPs. If a student is paid an hourly wage prior to registration, that student will be assessed social security and medicare taxes at a combined rate of 7.65%, and these charges cannot be removed retroactively. These taxes are assessed based on an individual's status at the time the paycheck is issued rather than when the hours are worked.

The following GL accounts should be used for summer UROPs: UROP off campus 400768 / UROP on campus 400770. The employee benefit rate will not be charged to these GLs, and tuition will not be assessed for students registered for 1 unit of URN in the summer.

Can I pay a UROP student without an approval?

Since UROP is an academic program, students must be approved in order to be activated as UROPs. We process proposals as quickly as possible, and encourage both students and staff to contact us if they are experiencing any delays. Approved UROP data is sent to the HSA application in SAPweb via a nightly feed from the UROP system, so you can only create new UROP appointments for approved students. Refer to the online instructions on creating a UROP appointment for complete details on using the HSA application.

Is the student paid for sick time?

No, but you may find the student will work more hours in a subsequent week to make up lost time.

Why is UROP pay called a stipend even though it is paid hourly?

Technically speaking, UROP stipends are wages. However, UROP should not be regarded as a "job." Rather, it is an academic program where learning and working are intermingled. Therefore, an hour's pay may not literally equal an hour's work. Part of a UROP commitment may be entirely devoted to learning. We call UROP pay a stipend because we want to remind students and faculty that UROP is an academic commitment, which lasts the equivalent of a semester, not a task that is measured only in hours.

How is a student paid for weeks worked before the UROP is approved?

Students should not begin to UROP until their proposal has been approved. If students do begin their UROPs before approval, they may submit timesheets for the hours worked once their proposals are approved, provided that they were worked during the payroll range for the given term.

Does UROP apply to student financial aid package?

UROP pay applies toward projected yearly earnings, like pay from any position paid through student payroll and UROP wages should count toward student self-help levels. Nevertheless, students with any questions about financial aid must speak with their financial aid counselors in the Student Services Center (11-120), who can advise them on the specifics of their financial aid package. The SSC receives information about all on-campus earnings.

How long does it take for a student's paid UROP to be processed?

For faculty funded UROPs, it takes about 2-3 business days following receipt of a completed UROP application for UROP staff to approve applications. Funding decisions for those requesting UROP direct funding are generally released approximately 2-3 weeks following the direct funding deadline after all requests have been evaluated.

The approval process may take slightly longer if there are delays in faculty or departmental reviews and in cases where any required information is missing. Students will receive an email from the UROP staff if their application is incomplete (i.e. if feedback on previous UROP work is missing, a proposal lacks sufficient detail, required travel forms are missing, etc.).

Resources

For all UROP related questions, please feel free to contact UROP Staff at x3-7306 or urop@mit.edu. Or, contact one of the individuals listed below.

For questions regarding activation, terminations and student payroll policies, please contact the following offices:

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