We recommend that start-up funds be spent strategically. For example, before purchasing instrumentation, be sure to check across departments/campus for shared or core facilities. Check with vendors for available new lab discounts. Faculty are advised to consult with senior faculty on managing start-up funds.

Faculty must be cognizant of the time frame within which these funds must be spent.  Please refer to what is outlined in your offer letter.

Tracking Your Funds

Start-up funds are distributed in increments as requested by the faculty member when needed. Funds may come from various sources and at different time intervals. There is not a system that displays the total start up balance that remains for each faculty member. For example, if faculty look in the Faculty Financial Reporting (FFR) system, it will show their balance and carryover of the funds that they have requested from the previous fiscal year, but it does not show the full account from inception. If he/she has requested $200K and spent $150K of a $500K package, then the system is only going to show a balance of $50K during the current fiscal year. To get a full picture of funds spent, a faculty member would have to review FFR at the end of each fiscal year (June 30) and manually calculate expenditures and “deposits.”  Faculty, with assistance from department administrators, should track these expenses manually.

Typical Expenditures on Start-Up Funds
  • Equipment
  • Computers
  • Graduate research assistants
  • Technicians or postdocs
  • Lab supplies
  • Professional travel
  • Summer salary as allowed by the provisions in a faculty member’s offer letter
Examples of Expenses Typically NOT Allowed on Start-Up Funds
  • Parking
  • Food
  • Routine maintenance
  • Office furniture
  • Artwork

The lists above are NOT comprehensive. Exceptions may apply. For specific questions, please check with your Department Administrator.