U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Joint Appointment MOU

Veterans Affairs Joint Appointment Memorandum of Understanding

In accordance with NIH policy, investigators with joint appointments at a VAMC (VA hospital) and an affiliated university must have a valid Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that specifies (at both the university and the VAMC) the following:

  • Title of the investigator's appointment
  • Distribution of compensation
  • Responsibilities of the proposed investigator
  • Percentage of effort available for research at each institution.

The MOU documents the effort between VA and University activities. The investigators' home unit is responsible for maintaining a copy of the current MOU. The MOU will be effective for one year and must be updated prior to the expiration date or if significant changes occur. If significant changes occur during the calendar year (i.e., changes in VA appointment terms or significant changes in research commitments), then a revised MOU should be prepared at that time. All MOUs should follow the university's records retention guidelines.

Maximum Appointments

Since the VA will not authorize overtime hours, the VA appointment is based on a 40-hour work week. For example, a 1/8th VA appointment is equivalent to a 5-hour VA work week. An IU 100% appointment is equivalent to a 40-hour IU work week. This provides a total dual appointment of 45 hours per week.

Table Showing Maximum Appointments
VA /8thsVA Hours+IU %IU Hours=Total Hours

Investigators with greater than a 5/8ths appointment working a total of more than 65 hours per week should consult ORA (iuprop@iu.edu) prior to executing the MOU.

NIH Proposal Submissions

All Indiana University investigators who also hold salaried VA appointments must complete a MOU prior to applying for NIH funding. A copy of the fully executed MOU should be uploaded as an internal attachment to the KC Proposal Development Document prior to proposal submission. A current, fully executed MOU is required to submit the proposal.

University investigators who hold VA salaried appointments should include a standard statement in the budget justification to disclose to NIH the basis for the effort percentage and salary request:

Dr. ___________is applying as part of a joint appointment specified by a formal Memorandum of Understanding between Indiana University and the Richard Roudebush VA Medical Center. As PHS policy is to treat a joint University/VA appointment as one full-time equivalent, it is certified there is no possibility of dual compensation for the same work, or of an actual or apparent conflict of interest regarding such work. Dr. ___________'s Memorandum of Understanding is available upon request.

View and download the Memorandum of Understanding

Instructions for Completing MOU

  1. Enter in the Name of the Investigator that has an appointment with Indiana University (IU) and the Veteran's Administration (VA).
  2. Enter the Title of the Investigator and department/division at IU.
  3. Enter the Title of the Investigator at the VA.
  4. Enter the start date of the MOU.
  5. Enter the Investigators current effort split at IU, including Teaching, Clinical, Administrator and all Research grants.
  6. Enter the Investigators current effort split at the VA in “Eighths" which is common terminology used for the VA. Each eighth represents a 5 hour interval. Eighths appointments should be shown as follows:
    • 1/8 = 5 hours
    • 2/8 = 10 hours
    • 3/8 = 15 hours
    • 4/8 = 20 hours
    • 5/8 = 25 hours
    • 6/8 = 30 hours
    • 7/8 = 35 hours
    • 8/8 = 40 hours
  7. Enter the Investigators current effort split at the VA in % Effort. The total appointment represents 100%. For example; If the investigator has a 3/8th clinical appointment and 3/8th research appointment, the total is a 6/8th appointment (100%). Of this, 50% represents the research component, and 50% is the clinical portion of the 100% appointment.
  8. Enter in the total Investigator appointment.
  9. Enter in the name of the Investigator.
  10. Enter preferred pronoun.
  11. Enter the name of the Investigator below their signature block.
  12. The MOU must be signed by the Investigator, Department Chair, and Dean (or delegate) of the School at IU and the Chief of Staff at the VA.