Salary Insurance Incentive Programs

Doherty Associate Research Scientist (DARS)

Upon appointment a Doherty Associate Research Scientist (DARS) receives the following form of salary insurance and incentive:

Up to 3 months guaranteed institutional salary support per fiscal year.

For each month of salary in excess of 9 months that is raised from overhead bearing contracts or grants by the Doherty Associate Research Scientist that reduces the salary support from the institution, the DARS receives the cash equivalent of 0.5 month salary deposited in an Observatory incentive account for his or her use in support of research. This account carries interest at the short-term bank rate and can be drawn on at any time by the individual including salary support.

In the event that an individual obtains less than 9 months salary support from overhead bearing contracts or grants or other sources, and provided that they can show that between current support and pending external support requests, the 9 months would be fully covered, their appointment will normally continue without salary for the period of the shortfall. For a shortfall period of one month no request for unpaid leave is required. For any shortfall period longer than one month a request for unpaid leave is required. University benefit payments for health, life insurance and long-term disability will be supported by the Observatory. Up to the mid-term review point a Doherty Associate Research Scientist may apply to receive salary support from future year allocations up to a total of nine months in any fiscal year. This request (which is intended mainly for financial planning) may be made upon appointment or within the first three years. After the mid-term review future year allocations can be requested. Performance considerations will be included in the decision whether to provide the allocation. Decision is made by the Director.

Doherty Research Scientist (DRS)

Upon appointment, a Doherty Research Scientist (DRS) receives the following form of salary insurance and incentive:

Up to 4.5 months guaranteed institutional salary support per fiscal year.

For each month in excess of 7.5 months, up to 9 months of salary that is raised from overhead bearing contracts or grants by the Doherty Research Scientist that reduces the salary support from the institution, the individual will receive the cash equivalent of 0.33 months salary deposited in an Observatory account for their use. For each month in excess of 9 months of salary raised by the Doherty Research Scientist from overhead bearing contracts or grants, the individual will receive the cash equivalent of 0.5 months salary deposited in an Observatory account for their use. This account carries interest at the short-term bank rate and can be drawn on at any time by the individual including salary support. Any cash accumulation obtained during tenure as DARS will be carried forward.

In the event that an individual obtains less than 7.5 months salary from contracts or grants or other sources, and provided the individual can demonstrate that between current support and pending external requests the remaining 7.5 months would be fully covered, their appointment will normally continue without salary for the period of the shortfall. University benefit payments for health, life insurance and long-term disability will be supported by the Observatory. For a shortfall period of one month no request for unpaid leave is required. For any shortfall period longer than one month a request to the Director for unpaid leave is required.

Doherty Senior Research Scientist (DSRS)

Upon appointment a Doherty Senior Research Scientist (DSRS) receives the following form of salary insurance and incentive:

Up to 4.5 months guaranteed institutional salary support per fiscal year.

For each month in excess of 7.5 months, up to 9 months of salary raised from overhead bearing contracts or grants that reduces the salary support from the institution, the Doherty Senior Research Scientist will receive the cash equivalent of 0.33 months salary deposited in an account in their name to be used in support of research. For each month in excess of 9 months of salary raised from overhead bearing contracts or grants, the Doherty Senior Research Scientist will receive the equivalent of 0.5 months salary deposited in an account in their name to be used in support of their research. This account carries interest at the short-term bank rate and can be drawn on at any time by the individual. Any cash accumulation obtained during tenure as Doherty Research Scientist will be carried forward.

In the event that an individual obtains less than 7.5 months salary from contracts or grants, and provided the individual can demonstrate that between current support and pending external support the remaining 7.5 months would be fully covered, their appointment will normally continue without salary for the period of the shortfall. All University benefit payments for health, life insurance and long-term disability will be supported by the Observatory. For a shortfall period of one month no request for unpaid leave is required. For any shortfall period longer than one month a request to the Director for unpaid leave is required.

Doherty Senior Scholar (DSS)

Upon appointment a Doherty Senior Scholar (DSS) receives the following form of salary insurance and incentive:

Up to 6 months guaranteed institutional salary support per year.

For each month of salary raised in excess of 6 months, up to 9 months from overhead bearing contracts or grants that reduces the salary support from the institution, the Doherty Senior Scholar will receive the cash equivalent of 0.33 months salary deposited in account in their name to be used by the individual in support of research. For each month in excess of 9 months of salary raised from overhead bearing contracts or grants, the Doherty Senior Scholar will receive the equivalent of 0.5 months salary deposited in account in their name to be used by the individual in support of their research. This account carries interest at the short-term bank rate and can be drawn on at any time by the individual in support of their research. Any cash accumulation obtained during tenure as Doherty Senior Research Scientist will be carried forward.

In the event that an individual obtains less than 6 months salary from contracts or grants, and provided they can demonstrate that between current support and pending external support the remaining six months would be fully covered, their appointment will normally continue without salary for the period of the shortfall. University benefit payments for life, health insurance and long-term disability will be supported by the Observatory. For any shortfall period longer than one month a request to the Director for unpaid leave is required.

Adjunct Professors

Special Conditions Appropriate to Adjunct Professors in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Those members of the research staff holding positions as Adjunct Assistant Professors, Adjunct Associate Professors or Adjunct full Professors in DEES will receive incremental compensation beyond whatever level of salary insurance they are otherwise entitled under the Doherty plan. For Doherty Associate Research Scientists the additional incremental support (on average) is projected at 3 months/year, for Doherty Research Scientists and Doherty Senior Research Scientists and for Doherty Senior Scholars the additional support (on average) is projected at 2 months/year. Of this additional support 1.5 months/year is provided by DEES/GSAS and is considered equivalent to external grant or contract support with regard to the incentive scheme in the salary insurance plan. The balance of the incremental salary is provided by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. For each adjunct an appropriate allocation of their Doherty salary insurance will be designated to bring the support service to the DEES/Lamont Adjunct Professor program to the 1.5 month/year level. This Adjunct Program presumes continued participation in DEES educational activities at a minimum level of one normal lecture course every two years, regular student advising, and departmental committee work in accord with the standards established for the DEES/Lamont Adjunct Professor program. The total incremental compensation paid in any one year will reflect whether or not it is a teaching year (as in the present system.) Base support (in non-teaching years) for adjuncts that are Doherty Associate Research Scientists is set at 2 months/year; for all other Lamont/DEES Adjuncts base support is set at 1 month/year. Additional compensation for teaching beyond the normal level will be considered on an individual basis and if approved would be shared between DEES and Lamont.

Adjunct appointments to other Columbia Departments can also have associated salary support treated as equivalent to grant or contract support with regard to the incentive scheme in the salary insurance plan.

Associate Research Scientist, Research Scientist & Senior Research Scientists

Lamont Research Scientists who do not hold Doherty titles or equivalent named positions are not provided support through the endowments of the Observatory. These scientists will normally be associated with project groups such as the IRI, Biosphere2 etc., where multi-year support is available from center-type awards. Their promotions and appointments will be largely conducted by the senior members of those units and may differ in criterion from those applying to the Doherty positions. An individual in a non-Doherty position can apply for transfer to an equivalent Doherty position. Hence, it is strongly recommended that procedures for promotion and appointments of non-Doherty scientists follow those of the Doherty scientists. The Promotions and Careers Sub-committee will assist in the design of the processes for searches and promotional considerations for these positions, and provide comment on their outcome to the Director, but not conduct the procedures or recommend the appointments and promotions.

Appointment to non-supported Doherty Positions

A scientist holding an approved and supported non-Doherty position can apply for the Doherty designation and receive the associated endowment support. To achieve the Doherty designation the scientist must pass the identical review processes described above for the Doherty position.
Scientists who have initially qualified for the Doherty position and choose to join and be supported by a project group can retain their Doherty title (non-supported) during their tenure on the project. Upon returning, this support will re-commence subject to the exact same review procedures as their Doherty peers.