Guidelines for Start-Up Funds
Your start-up funds are to be used to support the development of your scholarly or creative work. All requests for research travel, equipment and supplies, expenses related to publication or exhibition (e.g., subventions, indexing costs, expenses related to exhibits, etc.), books, and other needs appropriate to the development of your research/scholarly/creative work will be paid for by your start-up funding for your first four years at Hamilton. This policy does not prohibit those faculty with startup funding from applying for, or receiving, external or internal grants to carry out their scholarly or creative work.
All expenditures must be approved by the DOF office (your representative Associate Dean of Faculty) prior to spending the money. This process ensures that the request is in line with College and DOF policies and that funds are available in your account to cover the expenditures. At the time of hire, you will submit a detailed start-up budget for your first four years at Hamilton approved by your ADOF. You may request that a start-up account be opened for you at any point after your employment takes effect, acknowledging that it may take a few days for the Business Office to set up the account. The DOF Director of Academic Finance and Resources, can help with information about account numbers and arranging for expensive purchases.
If you wish to purchase items not on that original budget or wish to change or reallocate funding from the initial budget, you must submit a request for approval to the Associate Dean of Faculty with a brief paragraph describing what is needed, why it is needed, and the cost. Once approved, you may proceed with the purchase.
The “Red Book” has detailed information on the guidelines for the use of professional travel and research support funds. Use of start-up funding falls under those guidelines, so please take the time to read them. If you have any questions, please contact your Associate Dean of Faculty.
All requests for travel support should be made to the appropriate Associate Dean using the online Travel Request form found on the DOF homepage. Travel arrangements may be made through our travel agency BTI and charged to the Dean of Faculty account or paid for by you and reimbursed with a receipt showing payment has been made. Within thirty days of the end of your trip you will need to attach your receipts to a Travel Expense Report and send it to Linda Michels (firstname.lastname@example.org) here in the DOF office. Hamilton’s tax-exempt number must be used for travel within New York State. We do not reimburse for sales tax on lodging in New York State (to avoid this sales tax, you should present this NYS sales tax exemption form when you check in).
Computers, printers, and iPads can be purchased only after submitting the Computer Purchase Approval form and after getting approval from both the DOF office and LITS. Computers purchased with college money, including the money in start-up funding, belong to the college and must be entered into the ITS database. Remember that we do not reimburse for New York State sales tax on purchases over $50; you can show the NYS sales tax exemption form when you buy the computer or (preferably) work through ITS to make the purchase.
For purchases of equipment or services from vendors who require purchase orders, you may need to submit a Purchase Requisition Form to the Director of Academic Finance and Resources (who will approve the purchase and forward the form to the Purchasing Department, in Auxiliary Services). When you receive the invoices from the vendors (including those who do not require purchase orders), forward them to Director of Academic Finance and Resources with an acknowledgement that the goods or services have been received.
Should you hire someone outside of Hamilton College to do some task for you (e.g., indexing, translating), we will need paperwork that verifies and outlines the agreement around the work, such as an email exchange describing what will be done by whom and for what cost. In addition, we will need a W-9 form, an Independent Contractor Questionnaire, and an invoice (with a date, address, amount, and a tax ID#) from the worker once the task is done. As the initiator of the transaction, you will also need to complete an Independent Contractor Checklist and attach it to the other paperwork before you submit it. (For vendors who have previously been paid by the college within the past two years, only the invoice is necessary; the other paperwork should already be on file.)
On-going or repeated small purchases (e.g., books, pipettes, etc.) may be requested from the Associate Dean once with the notation that these will be ongoing; once approval for on-going purchases is given, there is no need to make requests each time a purchase is made. Not too much detail is needed to request these items (e.g., something like: “I plan to spend $120 on books, $100 on glassware, etc.).” Once the request is approved, just attach the receipts to a check request form and send them to the Director of Academic Finance and Resources for reimbursement. If the items total less than $25, please save your receipts until you have at least $25 before requesting reimbursement.
Start-up funds may be used to pay for memberships in professional organizations if the membership reduces the cost of conference registration for a conference trip you plan to make (please indicate this on your travel request form for that conference) or provides some other benefit to your research (e.g., access to a journal not available at Hamilton)
Approval for exceptional requests such as complicated research trips (e.g., trips longer than the 7 days normally covered by per diem expenses, trips to countries where receipts are not a part of everyday life) or unusual purchases will need to be worked out in advance in discussion with the Assistant Dean for Academic Finance and Resources (in consultation with your Associate Dean). When in doubt, please ask!
High Performance Computing Resources
Hamilton provides access to high performance computing resources that are most often available only at a research university. HPC resources include supercomputers/computing clusters, high speed networking, specialized software and hardware, and technical support. Contact Steve Young, ITS Unix/HPC System Administrator, who can answer questions you might have about our HPC resources.