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The Seed Grant provides $50,000 in salary for each of the years of the grant. Seed grant recipients may supplement their salaries from other sources within the guidelines below. Anyone receiving a Seed Grant from the PSVF, even if they raise other funds, will be asked to follow the salary and benefits guidelines absent special circumstances. Salaries/benefits in excess of the guidelines below, absent special circumstances, may result in non-renewal of the grant. The figures below are guidelines and will be adjusted if the Seed Grant recipient has special circumstances, such as dependents to support or unusual health care costs. High cost of living in a particular jurisdiction will not be considered extraordinary need for salary purposes but may be reflected in overhead for (e.g., office rent). Any Seed Grant recipient proposing to depart from the guidelines, will need to submit a proposed budget to the Advisory Committee with appropriate discussion of the special circumstances meriting a higher salary, by emailing it to Catherine Pattanayak at cpattanayak@law.harvard.edu. All budgets should be itemized and should include a 7.65% withholding for FICA taxes (6.2% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare) per dollar of W-2 salary compensation.

Years Out of Law School/Undergraduate Education Salary Guideline
0-2 years out of law school/4-5 years out of undergraduate education $50,000
3-4 years out of law school/6-7 years out of undergraduate education $60,000
5-7 years out of law school/8-9 years out of undergraduate education $65,000
Overall cap $75,000

Seed Grant budgets may also include benefits such as health care costs and some tax withholding. It is standard for entrepreneurs to add 15% to all salaries to account for benefits. While this is the advised amount, additional benefits allocations will be approved if the need for these can be demonstrated.

Supplementing Seed Grant funding from other sources

Because we hope to promote long-term sustainability, the PSVF encourages Seed Grant applicants to apply for every source of funding available to them to increase their budget for the short and long term. However, the salary guidelines above were designed to encourage recipients to use the majority of extra funds received for organization preservation and growth.

The Fund reserves the right to reconsider each funding award at the end of its first year. As part of this review process, the Fund requires that each awardee submit a budget that compares actual spending over the first year and newly-stated second year funding against the two-year budget provided as part of the original grant application. The Fund reserves the right, in the event of any material deviations from the amount originally budgeted (e.g., additional funds received, allocation of those additional funds to salary vs. overhead, etc.), to re-evaluate its funding decisions at the end of the first year and heading into the second year.