Update Your Browser!

Update Your Web Browser by Nov. 30 to Continue Using eRA Commons, ASSIST, IAR & iEdison

eRA is strengthening the security of its modules on November 30 by moving to the ‘https only’ secure connection for websites, as mandated for all federal agencies. With the implementation of this security protocol, older internet browsers may not work, and you may need to update your browser to access any eRA module, including eRA Commons, ASSIST, IAR and iEdison.

An October 26 eRA email bulletin lists the web browsers and versions that will continue to work after the security upgrade. While these versions will continue to work past November 30, for an optimal experience when using eRA modules, we encourage you to use the browsers and software versions listed in the eRA browser compatibility statement. (Note that eRA uses Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer to develop and test its modules for browser compatibility.)

Originally posted on October 31, 2016 by

Effort Reporting Changes

Effort Reporting Changes

Effective July 1, 2016, and in accordance with federal regulations pertaining to effort certification on federal awards (Uniform Guidance Subpart E §200.430), MBL effort reporting procedures have changed. Sponsored project personnel are no longer required to certify effort on a monthly basis. The new biannual payroll verification process will require that Principal Investigators certify effort for all project personnel every six months. Please note that the process for PI-review of project expenditures and correcting project salary cost allocations (and any applicable cost corrections) will continue on a monthly basis in consult with the appropriate Research Administrator.

Principal investigators will have 30 days to complete the first iteration of the biannual payroll verification in January, 2017 for the 6-month time period beginning July 1 through December 31, 2016. Detailed procedures for this new process will be announced shortly and will be available on the OSP website.

Important! NSF Updates in Fastlane

On September 26, 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will release updates to FastLane that may impact the way you work.

As part of NSF’s efforts to modernize proposal submission and increase competitive fairness in the proposal process, NSF continues to focus on implementing automated proposal compliance checks in FastLane.

Effective September 26, 2016, FastLane will now check to ensure that the combined text of the Project Summary text boxes (or uploaded PDF if the Project Summary contains special characters) does not exceed one page prior to submission, rather than the current check of 4,600 characters. See the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter II.C.2b for further information.

The compliance checks will trigger an error message in the following circumstances:

o   Project Summary text exceeds the one-page limit;

o   Project Summary text is entered and the user also uploads a “Project Summary with Special Characters” supplementary document.

Note About Proposal File Update (PFU):

Proposers should be aware that if a proposal was received by NSF prior to September 26, 2016, containing a Project Summary that complies with the previous 4,600-character limit but exceeds the one-page limit, a PFU addressing any section of the proposal will result in the proposal not being accepted if it does not comply with these compliance checks. The checks will be run on all sections of the proposal, regardless of which section was updated during the PFU.

 Note About Grants.gov:

Proposers should also be aware that Grants.gov will allow a proposal to be submitted, even if it does not comply with these proposal preparation requirements. Should NSF receive a proposal via Grants.gov that is not compliant, it will be returned without review.

You are encouraged to share this information with your colleagues.  For system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or Rgov@nsf.gov.  Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

Notice of Change in Animal Welfare Assurance Numbering System

Please note the updated MBL Animal Welfare Assurance No. (aka IACUC) is listed on the MBL Grant Information Sheet (v8.31.16)

For more information please see the NIH policy below regarding this update.

NIH Notice Number: NOT-OD-16-125

Key Dates
Release Date:  August 2, 2016

Related Announcements
None

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

This Notice informs Public Health Service (PHS) awardee institutions that the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) has implemented a new Animal Welfare Assurance (Assurance) numbering system.

Background

OLAW oversees PHS-funded animal activities by the authority of the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 and the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Policy). The Policy requires that “No activity involving animals may be conducted or supported by the PHS until the institution conducting the activity has provided a written Assurance acceptable to the PHS, setting forth compliance with the Policy.” Assurance agreements are approved by OLAW and assigned a unique identification number which is used by institutions in applications and proposals for research activities involving the use of vertebrate animals.

Implementation

Effective July 25, 2016, OLAW implemented a new Animal Welfare Assurance database that utilizes a new numbering format (D00-00000). However, the old numbers (A000-01) will be retained for the life of the Assurance. Institutions with an Assurance will receive a new number and may use either the new or old Assurance number in communications with NIH. For convenience, OLAW will reference both new and old Assurance numbers in Assurance-related correspondence. Institutions will be able to view the new Assurance number on the OLAW website list of Assured institutions (Domestic | Foreign) and in any Assurance-related correspondence from OLAW. Institutions seeking a new Animal Welfare Assurance will be provided an Assurance number in the new format only.

original post from Notices of NIH Policy Changes https://grants.nih.gov/policy/notices.htm

 

NSF’s Strategic Plan Suggestions

Every four years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) updates its Strategic Plan.  As they prepare to do this in the 2017-2018 timeframe, they invite feedback on the Vision, Core Values, Strategic Goals and Strategic Objectives in NSF’s current Strategic Plan.  They encourage you to take a look at either this summary of the current Strategic Plan:
http://www.nsf.gov/news/strategicplan/nsfstrategicplan20142018flyer.pdf,
or the complete plan, which may be found here:
http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14043/nsf14043.pdf

You can post your comments here:https://www.nsf.gov/od/oia/strategicplan/feedback.jsp

Please note that comments received are not anonymous and may become part of a public record.

NSF Update: Automated Compliance Checks now effective August 1, 2016

Please note that this implementation was rescheduled due to a power outage which caused all servers to shut down. The new automated proposal submission compliance checks will be available on August 1.

On August 1, 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will release updates to FastLane that may impact the way you work.

NSF continues to focus on the automated compliance checks of proposals in order to decrease the burden on both the research community and NSF staff.  Effective August 1, 2016, all proposals will be subject to a new series of automated compliance validation checks to ensure proposals comply with requirements outlined in Chapter II.C.2. of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

The new set of automated compliance checks will trigger error messages for each of the following rules:

o   Biographical Sketch(es) and Current and Pending Support files are required  for each Senior Personnel associated with a proposal; and

o   Biographical Sketch(es) can only be uploaded as a file, must not exceed two pages and can no longer be entered as text.

Note About Proposal File Update (PFU): Proposers should be aware should that if a proposal was received prior to August 1 and contained only one Biographical Sketch and/or Current & Pending Support file (rather than individual files for each senior personnel), a PFU addressing any section of the proposal will result in the proposal not being accepted if it does not comply with these new compliance checks.  The checks will be run on all sections of the proposal regardless of which section was updated during the PFU.

Note About Grants.gov:

Proposers should also be aware that Grants.gov will allow a proposal to be submitted, even if it does not comply with these proposal preparation requirements. Should NSF receive a proposal from Grants.gov that is not compliant, it will be returned without review.

Please note that the new set of compliance checks are in addition to the compliance checks that currently exist in FastLane. You can view a complete list of FastLane auto-compliance checks, including these checks, by clicking here . The list specifies which checks are run depending on funding opportunity type (GPG, Program Description, Program Announcement, or Program Solicitation) and type of proposal (Research, RAPID, EAGER, Ideas Lab, Conference, Equipment, International Travel, Facility/Center, or Fellowship). It also specifies whether the check triggers a “warning” or error” message for non-compliant proposals.

We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues. For system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or Rgov@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

Important Information Regarding Automated Compliance Checking at NSF

On July 25, 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will perform additional automated compliance checks on proposals submitted through FastLane.  These automated compliance checks will not be conducted on proposals submitted to NSF via Grants.gov.  Proposers submitting through Grants.gov should be aware that Grants.gov will allow a proposal to be submitted, even if it does not comply with these proposal preparation requirements.  Should NSF receive a proposal from Grants.gov that is not compliant, it will be returned without review.

Please note that the new set of compliance checks are in addition to the compliance checks that currently exist in FastLane.  You can also choose to view a complete list of FastLane auto-compliance checks, including these checks, by clicking here . The list specifies which checks are run depending on funding opportunity type (GPG, Program Description, Program Announcement, or Program Solicitation) and type of proposal (Research, RAPID, EAGER, Ideas Lab, Conference, Equipment, International Travel, Facility/Center, or Fellowship).  It also specifies whether the check triggers a “warning” or “error” message for non-compliant proposals.

You are encouraged to share this information with your colleagues. For system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or Rgov@nsf.gov.  Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

If you would like to stay up-to-date on upcoming events or future enhancements to Research.gov and/or FastLane, subscribe to the new System Updates NSF listserv.  To subscribe, simply email:  system_updates-subscribe-request@listserv.nsf.gov and you will be automatically enrolled.

NSF: Revision of the Grant General Conditions (GC-1) Effective July 1, 2016

Effective July 1, 2016, grants made to organizations subject to 2 CFR § 200, which includes grants made to for-profit organizations (other than Small Business Innovation Research grantees) and State and local governments, will incorporate by reference the Grant General Conditions (GC-1) dated 7/1/16. The GC-1 will serve as the applicable terms and conditions for the grantee organizations outlined above, until such time as revised Research Terms and Conditions become effective. The GC-1 will not be applied to NSF cooperative agreements or to NSF fellowship awards made to individuals.
Unless otherwise noted in a specific article, the Grant General Conditions apply to all new NSF grants and funding amendments to existing NSF grants awarded on or after July 1, 2016.  For more information click here

For a copy of the GC-1 click here

 

What Criteria Will Be Used to Assess How I Address Scientific Rigor In My NIH Application?

The guidance reviewers use to assess rigor and transparency is available on the NIH website: Reviewer Guidance on Rigor and Transparency. In addition to reviewing the applicant resources and the NIH application guide, we encourage applicants to familiarize themselves with the peer review criteria that will be used for their application.

Original post by NIH Staff dated 5/31/16

New Podcast on Writing the Vertebrate Animal Section in Your NIH Application

Icon for the NIH All About Grants Podcast

Proposing the use of animal models in your application? All About Grants has a new podcast episode on writing the vertebrate animal section in your grant or contract research proposal. Join Dr. Patricia Brown, director of the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare for a discussion of why this application section is required, what reviewers look for, and more.  Check out “Writing Your Vertebrate Animal Section” (mp3) (transcript) and other episodes on NIH’s All About Grants page or via our podcast RSS feed.


Original post on 4/30/16 by