NIH Matchmaker, a tool for finding similar NIH projects

Matchmaker is a new extension of the NIH RePORTER website system that makes it easy to find similar projects already funded by the NIH. Matchmaker takes user-submitted scientific text, and analyzes it for relevant terms and concepts and compare those terms and concepts to other funded research projects from the NIH. Matchmaker then returns up to 100 similar projects, including a graphical overview highlighting the study sections that reviewed similar projects, the NIH institutes and centers that funded the projects, and the activity codes of those similar projects.


More information about Matchmaker and NIH RePORTER page can be found at http://projectreporter.nih.gov.

Receiving NIH Funding? Don’t Forget Your Responsibilities in Reporting Progress and Financials

If you are a recipient of NIH funding, then you are required to report on scientific progress and financial expenditures. Submitting timely, accurate, and complete reports are an essential part of the stewardship of federally-supported research, and maintaining the public’s trust in science.

NIH recently reminded all of their recipients of their reporting responsibilities in an NIH Guide notice published June 5. The Guide notice summarizes the required information, and due dates, for Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) and Financial Expenditure –Federal Financial Reports (FFRs).

They encourage you to share this information with your colleagues at your research organization. Failure to submit complete and accurate reports doesn’t just affect one individual – it can affect future funding to the entire organization, and can result in a delay of continued support. Read more in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-17-074.

Funding Friday: Federal Grants for High-Tech Research and Development

Over 225 federal grants have been posted to Grants.gov over the last two weeks.

Here are a few awards promoting the development of new technologies for science, health and security from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DOD).

Funding Friday icon

1. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health – Development of a Device to Objectively Measure Pain

The purpose of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award is to develop a technology/device that objectively indicates the presence and level of pain.

Read more of this post

How to Add Outside Users to a Workspace on Grants.gov

Applicant teams sometimes bring on outside contributors and consultants to assist with their federal grant application. Until recently, these outside users needed to create a Grants.gov account for every applicant organization they assist – meaning that some users had to juggle dozens of separate accounts.

However, in June, Grants.gov eliminated this burden. Now, a single user account can be associated with workspaces across multiple organizations.

Watch this video to learn more about the arrival of this much-requested feature:

If you are a Workspace Owner, E-Business Point of Contact or an AOR (Authorized Organization Representative) with MPIN access, it’s actually very easy to add external participants to a workspace:

  • Go to the Participants tab and click on the Add By Username button.
  • In the pop-up window, type the external applicant’s username and click Search.
  • The window will expand to include the name, email address and form access level of the user to be added to the workspace. If you want to adjust the form access level, do so now.
  • Then click Save. The new user will now be listed alongside the other participants in the workspace.

Originally posted on Grants.gov on July 5, 2017

How Do I Download, Complete & Upload a Workspace Form?

The Grants.gov Support Center helps you resolve problems and complete your federal grant applications before the deadline. One of the most common questions the Support Center gets is how to use Workspace forms.

Below are general steps to answer that question. “General” because the steps below depend on whether you are filling out a webform or a PDF version of the form—you get to choose. Since this is the most common Workspace-related question to the Support Center, we know many of you have no problem creating a workspace since the forms are only accessible through that.

Filling Out a Webform

  • Access the Forms tab of a workspace
  • Click the Webforms link under the Actions column
  • Enter the required data in the webform
  • Save your progress & check for errors to see how you are doing

Those are the 4 main steps to filling out a webform in a workspace. For more detailed instructions, please read this help article or watch this video that both explain how to fill out webforms.

Downloading, Completing & Uploading a PDF Workspace Form

The steps for filling out a PDF form from workspace is more complicated, so we recommend you try out the webform version before trying the PDF (but it’s up to you to choose which, unless a webform version is not yet available).

  • Access the Forms tab of a workspace
  • Make sure you and all of your fellow workspace participants have a compatible version of Adobe PDF software
  • Click the Download link in the Actions column and lock the form to work on it exclusively
  • Open the form using only a compatible version of Adobe Reader/Acrobat
  • Enter the required data in the PDF form
  • Save the PDF using only the buttons within the form; do not use the Adobe Save feature as this can introduce errors into the form
  • Access the Forms tab of a workspace again
  • Click the Upload button and locate the saved PDF form

Those are the 8 main steps to downloading, completing & uploading a PDF form in a workspace, but there are other important details you need to know when using the PDF version of the form. Read the Managing Forms help article in the online user guide, which features specific help articles about downloading, locking, completing, and uploading PDF forms.

Comment on this postOriginal post Grants.gov 6/26/17

NSF.gov, FastLane, and Research.gov Unavailable from Friday, June 30 at 8:00 PM EDT until Tuesday, July 4 at 6:00 PM EDT

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is moving its Data Center IT servers to the Foundation’s new headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, from June 30 at 8:00 PM EDT through July 4 at 6:00 PM EDT, to prepare for NSF staff relocation in August 2017. This move has been scheduled around a holiday weekend to minimize the systems downtime and reduce the impact on the research community and NSF staff.

Please be advised that the NSF website, FastLane, and Research.gov will be unavailable from Friday, June 30 at 8:00 PM EDT until Tuesday, July 4 at 6:00 PM EDT. During this outage period, there will be no access to these websites, proposals cannot be submitted in FastLane, and project reports and cash requests cannot be submitted in Research.gov. However, previously saved information and uploaded documents in FastLane and Research.gov, including in-process proposals and reports, will be accessible after the Data Center move.

You are encouraged to share this information with your colleagues. For IT system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or rgov@nsf.gov. Any policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov. For additional information about NSF’s relocation, please see https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/issuances/in139.jsp.

 

eRA Enhancements: Prior Approval to Include Carryover Option

The ability to electronically submit a carryover request to NIH will be available through the Prior Approval module in eRA Commons after a release scheduled on Thursday, June 8, 2017 after 5 p.m. Carryover allows leftover, unobligated grantee funds to be carried over from one budget year to another, and may require permission be obtained from the awarding IC.

The Prior Approval module currently supports the electronic submission of the following requests:

  • Withdrawal of an application
  • $500K or more in direct costs
  • Change of PD/PI
  • No Cost Extension requiring Prior Approval

It is important to note that these features are optional and currently apply only to NIH awards. You can learn more about these electronic submission options by reviewing the tutorials found at: https://era.nih.gov/era_training/era_videos.cfm#eracommons.

Features

 · Carryover Request

Only a Signing Official (SO) will be able to initiate the carryover request.

When is a grant eligible for a carryover request?

  • The grant does not have expanded authority.
  • The Project period has not ended or a no-cost extension (NCE) request has been submitted by the institution requesting additional time.
  • The grant is not in closeout.
  • The grant has not been closed.

What information will an SO need to provide for a carryover request?

The carryover request form requires:

  • Amount of funds to be carried over
  • Explanation of unobligated balance
  • Detailed Budget
  • Scientific Justification

The high level steps In Prior Approval are as follows:

  • A list of eligible grants will be displayed.
  • The SO will pick a grant and initiate the request
  • If there is an overdue Federal Financial Report for that grant, the system will issue a warning. The SO can choose to ignore the warning and continue. However, the FFR will have to be submitted before the carryover can be approved by the funding agency.

Note: If the SO wants to initiate a no cost extension request in tandem with the carryover request (and it is within 90 days of the project period end date), a button will allow the SO to do that without searching for the grant again.

Any clarifications and back and forth between the SO and the program official will occur outside of the system.

Please note that the subsequent review and approval process remains the same.

Following the release, please look for details and screenshots in the eRA Commons Online Help.

The video tutorial for the Prior Approval Carryover Request can be found at:

https://era.nih.gov/era_training/era_videos.cfm#carryover

NSF Pilots New Collaborators and Affiliations Template

The National Science Foundation (NSF) initiated a new pilot requiring the use of a spreadsheet template for identifying Collaborators and Other Affiliations information for Principal Investigators (PIs), co-PIs, and other senior project personnel identified on proposals that went into effect April 24, 2017.  Please be advised that the new Collaborators and Other Affiliations pilot will only be for FastLane proposal submissions. Grants.gov proposal submissions will continue to follow the instructions in NSF Grants.gov Application Guide Chapter VI.2.4.

The NSF Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 17-1) requires PIs, co-PIs, and other senior project personnel identified on NSF proposals to individually upload Collaborators and Other Affiliations information as a Single Copy Document (see PAPPG Chapter II.C.1.e).

NSF will use this information during the merit review process to help manage reviewer selection. To expedite identification of potential reviewers, having a standard, searchable format for this information is essential. The new pilot will standardize Collaborators and Other Affiliations information across the Foundation and will ensure that the information is submitted in a searchable format. Results from the pilot will be assessed and will determine how to proceed with this section of the proposal in the future.

Effective April 24, 2017 NSF will require the submission of a spreadsheet template to identify collaborators and other affiliations. Please note that the spreadsheet template:

  • Has been developed to be fillable. However, the content and format requirements must not be altered by submitters.
  • Must be saved in .xlsx or .xls formats and directly uploaded into FastLane as a Collaborators and Other Affiliations Single Copy Document.
  • Will be converted by FastLane from an .xlsx or .xls file to a PDF file.
  • Has been tested in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and LibreOffice.
  • Will enable preservation of searchable text that otherwise would be lost. Must be uploaded in .xlsx or .xls formats only. Uploading a Collaborators and Other Affiliations Single Copy Document in any other format may delay the timely processing and review of your proposal.
  • Will be directly linked in FastLane. The template and associated instructions may also be accessed directly at: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/coa.jsp.

In addition to the merit review process benefits, the Collaborators and Other Affiliations template will reduce administrative burden and improve efficiencies by providing submitters with a compliant and reusable format to maintain this information for use in subsequent proposal submissions to NSF.

For system-related questions, please contact FastLane User Support at 1-800-673-6188 or fastlane@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

OMB Extends Uniform Guidance Procurement Rules

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued an addendum to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) on May 17, 2017. The amendment allows non-federal entities an additional year to implement the Uniform Guidance requirements related to procurement. These procurement standards were previously on a delayed implementation timeframe, and this extension allows an additional year. Therefore, the new standards will apply starting with fiscal years beginning on or after Dec. 26, 2017.

 

 

NIH Fiscal Operations and Interim Salary Cap Guidance

NIH continues to operate under a continuing resolution, meaning that they will issue non-competing research grant awards at a level below that indicated on the most recent Notice of Award (generally up to 90% of the previously committed level), as they have in past years. See the March 17 Guide notice for details.
They have also issued interim guidance on salary limits for NIH grants and cooperative agreements. The direct salary limitation follows Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale, which was previously set at $185,100, and increased to $187,000 effective January 8, 2017. This means that for awards issued in previous years that were restricted to Executive Level II, including competing awards already issued in fiscal year 2017, grantees may rebudget to accommodate the current Executive Level II salary level as long as:

  1. adequate funds are available in active awards; and
  2. the salary cap increase is consistent with the institutional base salary.

However, no additional funds will be provided to these grant awards.

Note that they provide the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral stipend levels and tuition/fees for FY 2017 in NOT-OD-17-003. Until further notice, the NRSA undergraduate and predoctoral stipends and tuition/fees will remain at the levels announced in NOT-OD-16-062.

Once the Department of Health and Human Services Appropriation for FY 2017 is enacted, additional guidance will be published in the NIH Guide.

Original post by on March 30, 2017