NSF 2 months rule for compensation
As a general policy, NSF limits compensation requested in the proposal budget for faculty to two months of their regular salary in any one year. This limit applies to salary compensation received from all NSF-funded grants.
PI’s and co-PIs may propose receipt of compensation from NSF for the effort committed to the project; such requests are expected to be consistent with NSF’s compensation limits as well as their departmental or unit requirements. As per NSF policy, when required by the nature of the project, a PI may propose effort that exceeds the two months cap. This level of effort must be fully justified in the budget narrative, and if awarded, will be explicitly noted in the Notice of Grant award.
When PIs or co-PIs choose not to receive compensation from NSF, there is an expectation of minimum effort commitment to the project at a level reasonable and appropriate for the activities to be pursued.