Law 1/2003, of 19 February, on Universities in Catalonia (Catalan Universities Act) and Order 405/2006, of 24 October, regulate and establish merit-based salary increases for teaching, research and administration of public service and contract teaching and research staff at public universities in Catalonia, within the constraints of available budgetary funding. These increases, or premiums, are an annual individual consolidated amount allotted by each university's board of trustees at the proposal of the respective governing board and are subject to a favourable evaluation by AQU Catalunya.
Merits in research are assessed by the Agency. Each university is informed of the positive assessments of its candidates in accordance with the established procedure, following which the governing body makes a proposal to the university's board of trustees for the allocation of corresponding salary increases.
Merits in research are evaluated according to six-year periods of research, one year being a complete calendar year (from January 1 to December 31, and annual fractions of eight months or more). In order to receive a salary increase, staff must be in full time employment. Applicants on a current part-time contract may apply for assessment for a research-based salary increase.
As of 2011, public service and contract teaching and research staff applying for the assessment of merits in research can also request assessment for premiums on research and technology transfer. Applicants must have been favourably assessed for at least one research premium prior to the current call in order to be eligible. Applicants interested in requesting assessment for premiums on research and technology transfer should specify this in the application form.
AQU Catalunya also evaluates the merits in research of teaching staff at private universities and the University of Extremadura.