Research, Grants and Contracts Human Resources

Research, Grants and Contracts Human Resources is committed to supporting SUNY Oneonta and The Research Foundation for SUNY's research missions by providing exceptional, efficient, accurate and timely services and resources to our customers. We promote practices that encourage:

  • Constructive employee relations in a diverse work environment;
  • A working environment that encourages open, honest dialogue between employees and their managers;
  • Equal employment opportunity and affirmative action;
  • Ethical, consistent, accountable and legal management practices.

The Research, Grants and Contracts Human Resources Department is entrusted with the overall responsibility for the employee services of all Research Foundation employees on the SUNY Oneonta Campus, including:

  • recruitment, selection, classification, and compensation;
  • payroll;
  • new employee orientation and benefits;
  • time, attendance and leave accruals;
  • employee relations, training, and workplace complaints;
  • performance management; and
  • immigration and visa services

The Research Foundation is an employer separate and distinct from SUNY and the State of New York, thereby offering separate and distinct compensation and benefits. Please contact Michaela Bargher with any questions at 607-436-2294 or at

So what do we do here in Research, Grants and Contracts Human Resources:

The role of the Office of Research, Grants and Contracts Human Resources is to support research missions of SUNY Oneonta by providing quality customer services and support. Working closely with project directors and research administrators, the staff is committed to delivering programs and services to support prospective, current, and retired employees.

The Research Foundation is an employer separate and distinct from SUNY and the State of New York, thereby offering separate and distinct compensation and benefits. Please contact the office at 607-436-2294 with any questions pertaining to Research Foundation policies and procedures.

If You Want to Hire Someone. What is the next step?

If you want to hire a new employee please familiarize yourself with Search Procedures fill out a Request to Recruit and Hire as well as a Recruiting Plan and/or Waiver of Search Form. The forms should be forwarded to Michaela Bargher, 26 Bacon Hall. If you have any questions, please call 607-436-2294.

A fellowship is a nonwage payment in support of the recipient's academic study or fellow-initiated research and in recognition of the recipient's promise as a research or teaching scholar. Fellowship awards administered by the Research Foundation on behalf of SUNY are for scholarly study or research by faculty members, postdoctoral scholars, and undergraduate and graduate students at a SUNY campus or at other locations in conjunction with SUNY academic programs.

An individual receiving a fellowship has no expectation of service but may have research obligations related to an academic endeavor. There are no fringe benefits assessed on a fellowship.

Most employees are now using E-Time Reporting. Here is the link to Self Service to sign in. If you have any problems, please contact Michaela Bargher at 607-436-2294.

Direct Deposit Form - we encourage direct deposit otherwise all checks will be mailed to address of record. Beginning January 2017, checks will not be available for pick up in our office.

For those doing paper timesheets please see information below:

Things to remember when submitting time sheets for Research, Grants and Contracts:

  • Timesheets should be signed by both employee and supervisor
  • Send hourly time sheets to Lara Woods, 25 Bacon Hall
  • Non-exempt employees - Signed time sheets should be submitted by the Wednesday following the end of the pay period. Hourly pay time sheets submitted after 2 p.m. on that Wednesday will not be paid until the following pay period.
  • Late time and/or accrual sheets may prompt a phone call as a first reminder, a written notification to the supervisor as a second reminder, and a communication from the Operations Manager as a third reminder.
  • All supervisors should designate an alternate signatory to sign time/accrual sheets in their absence.

IRS regulations require that payroll and consultant payments for work be paid directly to the person performing the work. Therefore, they are not reimbursable expenses.


Hourly Timesheet Form

Biweekly Timesheet Form

Procedure to engage an independent contractor

These steps should be taken at the time of negotiation and prior to any commitment to a Contractor:

  1. Review whether payment as Independent Contractor is the appropriate mechanism or whether person should be hired as an employee (see Definitions and Classification sections below). Contact Research, Grants and Contracts for guidance.
  2. Submit the following forms and information to Research, Grants and Contracts Office:

The Principal Investigator (party engaging contractor):

  1. Independent Contractor Services Form , accompanied by:
    • a detailed description of services to be provided
    • statement detailing the selection process employed to choose the most qualified consultant
    • a justification for reasonableness of price
  2. A statement of work or list of deliverables
  3. Worksheet “Classifying Workers as Independent Contractors or Employees??”

The Independent Contractor must supply us with:

  1. W-9 form
  2. Contractor’s Vita and confirmation of Liability Insurance
  3. If Contractor is also a SUNY or other NYS agency employee, the Contractor must complete the SUNY Addendum Form

Research, Grants and Contracts will:

  1. Send a purchase order and a Working Relationship letter to contractor to confirm acceptance of engagement, working relationship and citizenship
  2. Prepare a formal contract for an engagement of $10,000 or more

If the Contractor is a foreign citizen:

  • A W-8BEN form will be required in place of the W-9
  • A W<-7 form is required if contractor does not have a U.S. Taxpayer Identification number
  • A copy of Visa is required


Independent Contractor: An individual who, under agreement, performs a service and who is subject to the controls of the other only in regard to the result achieved.

The contractor:

  • Is not controlled in regards to the manner or means by which their services are performed.
  • Services provided are typically task oriented, specific in nature, short in duration, or sought based on expertise.

Compensation is usually according to an agreed upon amount or rate, for a given task.

Employee: Generally speaking, an employee is subject to the control of the employer as to what work must be done and how the work must be done. It is not necessary that the employer actually direct or control the manner in which the services are performed; it is enough that the employer has the right to do so. Services performed are in the course of the general business of the employer, typically performed on-site for a long or indefinite period of time. Compensation is usually made on a time or piece-work basis.


Efforts should be taken to properly classify when reviewing application budgets, when hiring an employee, or when engaging an independent contractor. In general, an independent contractor performs work subject to the control and direction of the hiring organization only as to the RESULT of the work, and not as to the MEANS of performance.

Classifying a worker as an independent contractor rather than as an employee may appear to result in financial savings and less paperwork. However, if the employee is misclassified as an independent contractor, these perceived advantages are offset by the potential penalties that could be assessed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or New York State Department of Labor, by potential Workers' Compensation or unemployment claims, and by liability or malpractice suits.

The RF is legally obligated to properly classify workers even if a sponsor provides funds for independent contractors in an award.

The worksheet Classifying Workers as Independent Contractors or Employees was developed from IRS guidance Twenty Factors of the "Common Law Test" to assist in the classification process. If there are more than one or two “Yes” answers to these questions, the individual to be engaged most likely would be classified an employee.

Approval for Engagement of Services

Requests for approval for Independent Contractors must be made prior to engaging the service of any individual. The process employed in identifying the selected contractor should be documented, so requests submitted should contain a description of such process as well as a justification of reasonable price to be paid.

  • For compensation of services over $10,000, the Research, Grants and Contracts Office will work with you to write a Scope of Work, which will be incorporated into a formal contract agreement. Two to three weeks are generally required to establish and obtain a fully executed contract, so requests for contractor services of $10,000 or more should be submitted at least 15 business days prior to the date that the services are needed.
  • For compensation of services over $20,000, three quotes should be obtained. In some instances, a single (sole) source procurement may be justified, despite the fact that competition exists, because of limiting circumstances, e.g., experience or service of the contractor. Determination of qualification as a sole source cannot be made until documentation is submitted and reviewed by Research, Grants and Contracts. A formal contract with a detailed Scope of Work will be completed

In all cases, engagement of the contractor is not authorized until all required approvals from Research, Grants and Contracts offices are obtained.

SUNY and other NYS employees are permitted to be compensated as an independent contractor ONLY if ALL of the following criteria are met:

  1. The proposed contractor or lecturer is not a member of the Project Director’s own department.
  2. The work to be performed will be in addition to the employee’s normal obligation.
  3. Approval by the employee’s Department Chair and Dean, or Vice President is also required.

A SUNY employee must fill out and submit a SUNY Addendum Form and obtain the supervisor’s signature to indicate that these services will not interfere with their current State responsibilities.

Research Foundation employees are not eligible to perform services as an independent contractor. Work performed outside the normal obligation may qualify as extra service.

Payment for Services

In accordance with applicable federal regulations, payment for services should not be made until service has been completed. Upon completion of services, an invoice should be submitted by the Contractor.

Requests to reimburse contractors for related expenses, not accounted for in the established fee or rate, should be made in accordance with associated RF policies and procedures.

Requests to reimburse contractors for related travel expenses, not accounted for in the established fee or rate, shall be named in advance in the contract or Independent Contractor Services Form, and require receipts and the appropriate Research Foundation requisition or travel form. Travel reimbursement payment without receipts is allowable if previously agreed upon, but is included in the consultant payment as taxable income.

When using per diem allowances, rates from the U.S. General Services Administration must be used for meals and lodging.

Current IRS rates must be used for mileage. Current mileage rates are 56 cents per mile.


Independent Contractor Services Form

Classifying Workers as Independent Contractors or Employees

Form W-9- Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification

Twenty Factors of the "Common Law Test"

Effort Reporting

Explanation of Effort Reporting

Income Funds Reimbursable (IFR)

IFR Cost Share Change Form


Employee self service - Visit the RF Employee Center website to find information about Self Service, Benefits, Taxes and Training.

Employee Benefits Handbook

Your RF Benefits Website (clicking here will take you to the Research Foundation website)

Human Resources

Employee Assignment Form
Employee Change Form
Direct Deposit Form
Independent Contractor/Consultant Request Form
Request for W-9

Tax Forms

Tax withholding can be changed in Employee Self Service


The Research Foundation for The State University of New York (RF) is the largest comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country. Click on the logo below to learn more.

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