News and Upcoming Events
Nov. 20 workshop: Finding Funding
Room 141, Cartwright Hall
Looking for funding for your research? The next Research 101 workshop will focus on identifying federal, state and private funding resources, how to use COS Pivot efficiently to identify relevant funding announcements and how to work with Research and Sponsored Programs to identify potential funding agencies. This workshop is appropriate for anyone looking for or helping to facilitate researchers who are looking for funding. To register, contact Sheila Pratt, email@example.com, 330-672-0701.
Why are we so picky about charges to grants?
Using a recently published federal audit report as a case study, Sponsored Programs and Grants Accounting will lead a discussion on best practices for managing charges to grants. The report is available here: http://www.nsf.gov/oig/reports/14-1-006_UIUC.pdf
We’ll address university policies and procedures that affect some of these issues and talk about how auditors conduct their reviews. While this case study looks at a National Science Foundation audit, the topics apply to management of awards in general.
The goal is to provide some context for why we scrutinize situations and ask so many questions, as well as how PIs, departments and colleges play an important role in keeping grants compliant.
This session will be offered on October 28, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in room 200, White Hall.
Registration is not necessary but if you plan to attend, please reply to Beverly Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org so we have a general head count.
If you are interested but cannot attend this session, let us know that as well. We can look at scheduling an additional session later.
Introduction to proposal writing
An introductory proposal writing workshop for faculty and staff will be held on Friday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m. to noon in Room 141, Cartwright Hall. The workshop will focus on federal proposal submission, most specifically to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) and will include information on:
Services provided by the Office of Sponsored Programs
Locating funding opportunities
General tips for proposal writing
Review of university policies and procedures
Brief Introduction to Coeus, Kent State's research and compliance, grant acquisition and management system (created by MIT)
Brief introduction to guidelines of the NSF, NIH and the U.S. Department of Education.
Register for a workshop at 330-672-2070 or by email to email@example.com. Please note that space is limited.
U.S. Department of Energy update
Effective October 1, 2014, research proposals submitted to the Dept. of Energy Office of Science will require a Data Management Plan. The plan should describer whether and how the digital research data generated by the funded research will be shared and preserved. DOE has also created the Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science (PAGES), which is a web-based portal providing free public access to accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts or published journal articles.
New federal grant regulations to take effect
In late 2013 the federal government published a new document in the Federal Register- “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,” which will take effect in late 2014. This new guidance consolidates and revises several existing sets of regulations (circulars) into one document which governs administrative, audit, and cost-related rules for grants.
The new guidance is the single most significant change in research regulations in several years. The next step in this process is that by early summer federal grant-making agencies are required to provide their implementation plans for the new guidance. The Sponsored Programs and Controller’s offices will work together to review the document and agency plans, and will inform the University community of significant changes that will affect administration of new and existing awards.
The final guidance is located in Title 2 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Chapter I, and Chapter II, Parts 200, 215, 220, 225, and 230. Information on the changes is available here.
For more information contact Lori Burchard at 27946 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Science Foundation Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) has changed the unsolicited proposal submission window for all 17 programs to once single submission window. The New submission window is October 1 through November 5, by 5 p.m. local time. The window dates to not apply to proposals submitted in response to specific Foundation-wide solicitations, such as Faculty Early Career Development or Major Research Instrumentation programs.
Revision /resubmission of NSF proposals
The National Science Foundation accepts resubmission of proposals that have previously undergone review and not been funded. Declined proposals may be resubmitted, but only after undergoing substantial revision. A resubmitted proposal that has not clearly taken into account the major comments or concerns resulting from the prior NSF review may be returned without review. These revised proposals are treated by the Foundation as new, subject to the standard review procedures.
A new version of the National Science Foundation Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 14-1) has been issued. The PAPPG is comprised of documents relating to the Foundation's proposal and award process. This new version of the PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 24, 2014. Significant changes include:
· Addition to the certification regarding Conflict of Interest regarding the appropriate disclosure process;
· Reiteration that indirect costs are not allowed on participant support costs;
· Small-scale pilot of a new environmental impacts process with a few programs, prior to NSF-wide implementation;
· Updated process for program income reporting; and
· Numerous clarifications throughout the document.
A by-chapter summary of the changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide to assist with identifying the changes.
NEW PHS 398 application forms
An updated SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide and instructions for NIH and Other PHS Agencies is available and must be used for all applications intended for proposals with due dates on or after September 25, 2013. These instructions incorporate numerous clarifications, updates, and policy announcement that have been released since June 2009. Some changes of note include the following areas:
- Changes in Supplemental Grant Application Instructions
- Notice of Proprietary Information
- Updates to Biographical Sketch
- Research Plans which include Human Embryonic Stem Cells
- Letters of Support
The notice regarding the changes can be found at:
The new forms can be found at:
National Science Foundation and letters of support
The NSF does not accept letters of support with proposals unless required by specific program solicitations. When requested, letters of support must be unique to the specific proposal submitted and cannot be altered without the author's explicit prior approval. When not requested, including letters of support may cause a proposal to be returned without review.
Letters of collaboration should be included to describe and document substantial collaboration with individuals not included in the budget or as required in program solicitations. These letters of collaboration should NOT include personal endorsements or recommendation of the investigator or any language which would indicate support of the project. The letters should strictly document the nature of the collaboration such as intellectual contributions to the project; permission to access a site, an instrument, or facility; offer of samples and materials for research; logistical support to the research and education program; and mentoring of U.S. students at a foreign site. The project description should document the nature and need for all collaborations. Description of the resources available at the collaborating institution should be included in the Facilities section of the proposal rather than included in the letter.
Depending on the program to which a proposal is being submitted, letters of collaboration which include endorsement language may cause proposals to be returned without review. Other program officers may remove the letters from the proposal prior to review. Our recommendation is to request your letters from your collaborators well in advance of your submission date so that any required changes can be included at the time of submission.
The National Science Foundation Career-Life Balance (CLB) Supplemental Funding Opportunities in support of Postdoctoral Investigators funded by NSF awards provides additional personnel (i.e. research technicians or equivalent) to sustain research while the postdoctoral research is on family leave. These requests may include funding for up to 3 months of salary support for a maximum of $12,000 in salary plus associated fringe benefits and indirect costs.
Special instructions for use by Principal Investigators and Sponsored Programs Office can be found at:
If you currently have an NSF award which includes funding for a postdoctoral employee who is or will be on family leave, and you are interested in submitting supplemental funding request, please contact Becky Hayes at email@example.com.
Coeus was updated on April 4. Approvers should not experience any major changes in the electronic approval process. However, the update does include some new features that may be of special interest to Approvers and Investigators:
Yes/No questions reduced
The number of Yes/No Questions (YNQs) required for each proposal are significantly reduced, as many questions relevant only to federal forms are moving to a new questionnaire while more general questions and those previously identified as important to approvers remain in the YNQ section.
New Smart Grants.gov questionnaire only for S2S submissions to federal sponsors
Questions previously covered in YNQs for the purpose of completing federal forms in system-to-system (S2S) processing have moved to a new questionnaire that will only be required when a proposal is being submitted S2S. Your contact in Sponsored Programs will let you know when this questionnaire requires completion.
New electronic certification process for all Involved Kent State personnel on a proposal
The new proposal Certification process looks and acts a bit differently but the questions themselves remain unchanged. Kent State proposal persons will be prompted to Certify the proposal via email or they can enter the proposal and select a link from either the Proposal Summary or Investigator/Key Person screens.
Each individual will be able to complete only his/her own certification within the system. If a situation arises when a person is unable to access the system, Sponsored Programs will be able to work with the individual in order to access an alternative process offline.
Key persons required to complete certification prior to routing
With this change, Key Persons will now need to complete Certification (which covers Conflict of Interest questions) before the proposal record can be routed for internal approval. This new process will allow us to eliminate paper Conflict of Interest forms at the proposal stage as all Kent State personnel, including Key Persons, will have the ability to complete these questions electronically.
Other Coeus updates
In addition to providing general enhancements and fixes, these updates will help us restore Grants.gov System-to-System functionality with updated formats for smoother processing of many federal submissions.
Investigators may also notice a section in Coeus Lite labeled My Awards. If you have awards active in the last few years, some data may be available here but please be aware that not all award information will be up to date as our office continues to work on getting this information in the system.
NIH transitioned to updated electronic application forms packages. These packages, identified with a Competition ID of FORMS-C, are required for all applications with due dates on or after January 25, 2014 with the following exceptions:
- Small Business programs (SBIR/STTR) applicants will transition to FORMS-C packages later in 2014, when we can combine these form changes with anticipated form changes relating to the Small Business Authorization Act.
Details of the form changes are documented at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/FORMS-C_Changes.pdf.
Full details can be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-13-075.html
PHS financial conflict-of-interest policy
The Public Health Service (PHS) has implemented new regulations governing Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) policy for PHS funded research (from such agencies as NIH, CDC, HRSA, AHRQ, SAMHSA, Medicare). As a result, Kent State University will be implementing revised Conflict of Interest Policy and procedures incorporating changes for all PHS-funded investigators and investigators funded by other agencies that have adopted the PHS FCOI policy (such as the American Heart Association). This includes PHS funded subawards. Some of the changes in the regulation include additional reporting requirements and the addition of a training requirement.
The revised policy and procedures are required to be in place by August 24, 2012. The policy applies to all individuals who are involved in the design, conduct or reporting of research (including graduate students and post docs as appropriate).
As updates are available and required training modules are created, announcements will be disseminated through research listservs and the Sponsored Programs news page.
NIH Just-in-Time (JIT) requests
Many federal agencies request additional information after a proposal has been submitted, during the review process. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) makes this request through the Just-in-Time (JIT) process. These requests commonly include:
· Other Support documentation
· Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval
· Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval
· Human subject training requirement certification
· Budget revisions and justification
· Subrecipient documentation listed above
JIT requests are not a notice of grant award, but simply a request for additional information for a proposal under consideration. These JIT requests are being sent by the NIH to the principal investigators. If you receive a JIT request, please forward it to the Sponsored Programs Administrator with whom you worked when submitting your proposal or to me. We will work with you in submitting your required documents. All documentation must be approved and forwarded to the sponsor by the Sponsored Programs Office in order to meet the NIH requirements.
NEW – A thesaurus-based search tool for NIH-funded projects
LikeThis is a new search tool which aids investigators in finding other research projects with similar goals and objectives as their own. This can be done by entering specific scientific terms or by accessing their own application or grant and clicking on the new LikeThis link available through eRA Commons. Investigators will be provided a list of similar funded projects and/or publications as well as a list of scientific terms and their corresponding weights within the publications.
Here are some helpful resources to help you navigate LikeThis
User Guide <http://era.nih.gov/files/LikeThis_user_guide.pdf>
The dangers in delay - Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
As the electronic submission process has improved, so have the potential dangers when submitting an application near the deadline.
One of the most fundamental steps you can take to ensure consideration of your application is to make certain we receive it successfully. This means applying well before the due date. Now we know we preach this often, but it is as true now as ever before.
As people become more confident in the ability of eRA to process applications quickly, we see an increasing backlog of "last minute" applications on submission due dates. For a recent December due date, more than 1,000 applications were submitted in the final hour. Here is the rub. This rush of submissions can create a potential back-log in processing; checking for errors can take up to 4 hours. Remember that a submission must be error free before it can be sent on for review.
What does this mean for you? Take this possible scenario…
- The application is due at 5 p.m.
- You submit at 4 p.m. on the due date.
- Processing takes an hour and 45 minutes.
- Two errors were identified.
You are now 45 minutes past the submission deadline with no chance to correct the errors that were identified. Not good. NIH's late policy will not allow for the consideration of this application. Had you submitted in the morning of the due date, or even the day or two before, you would have had plenty of time to correct the errors and submit a error-free application.
Please, we want your applications. Submit early.