NSF: Research.gov Proposal Preparation Site Preview Now Available and Research.gov Proposal Preparation and Submission Site Initial Release Will Be on April 30, 2018

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is pleased to announce that beginning on April 30, 2018, proposers will be able to prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in Research.gov.  The initial release of this new Research.gov capability will run in parallel with existing FastLane proposal preparation and submission capabilities, so proposers can choose to prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in Research.gov or in FastLane starting on April 30, 2018.

Research.gov Proposal Preparation Site Preview

The other exciting news to share is that starting today, NSF is previewing the new Research.gov proposal preparation functionality to the research community to collect preliminary feedback and to provide the community an opportunity to acclimate to the new technology.  The preview can be accessed by selecting the “Prepare & Submit Proposals” tab on the top navigation bar after signing in to Research.gov and then choosing “Prepare Proposal.”  This preview will continue until 8:00PM EDT on April 27, 2018, and will allow any research community user with a FastLane or Research.gov account to sample the following proposal preparation features prior to the initial release on April 30, 2018:

·       Initiate full, research non-collaborative proposals (other proposal types are planned for future releases);

·       Add Principal Investigators (PIs), Co-PIs, Senior Personnel, and Other Authorized Users;

·       Upload required proposal documents;

·       Create budgets;

·       Check compliance; and

·       Enable Sponsored Project Officer (SPO)/Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) access for review.

 Please be aware of the following important items as you test the new functionality during the preview period:

  • All test data entered on the Research.gov proposal preparation site from February 26, 2018, until the preview concludes at 8:00PM EDT on April 27, 2018, will be deleted at the end of the preview period.
  • NSF will not be able to recover any proposal test data entered during the preview period and deleted by NSF after the preview period concludes.
  • Information entered on the Research.gov proposal preparation site during the preview period will not be submitted to NSF.
  • Test data can be entered on the Research.gov proposal preparation site but actual proposals cannot be submitted to NSF via Research.gov during the preview period.
  • Additional information will be available on a Research.gov “About Proposal Preparation & Submission Site” page accessible on the Research.gov homepage.

 Feedback on the New Research.gov Proposal Preparation and Submission Site

 Your feedback on the new Research.gov proposal preparation functionality during the preview period (February 26, 2018 through April 27, 2018) and on the full Research.gov proposal preparation and submission functionality after the initial release on April 30, 2018, is vital to NSF.  The survey link will soon be available on the Research.gov “About Proposal Preparation & Submission Site” page.  Feedback from the community and NSF staff will be used to implement enhancements and expand functionality incrementally, with the goal of eventually transitioning all proposal preparation and submission functionality from FastLane to Research.gov.

 NSF’s goals for the new Research.gov proposal preparation and submission functionality are to:

  • Modernize the applications supporting the proposal submission and merit review processes and improve the user experience via the development of a new application;
  • Reduce the administrative burden to the research community and NSF staff associated with preparation, submission, and management of proposals;
  • Increase efficiencies in proposal preparation, submission, and management;
  • Improve data quality and capture proposal content in a way that supports data analytics; and
  • Improve availability, security, and flexibility of proposal preparation and submission IT systems.

NSF invites you to keep these goals in mind as you prepare and submit your feedback on the new functionality, so that they may improve the new Research.gov interface and develop additional available features.

For IT 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.

Original post by NSF 2/26/18

Having Challenges Tracking Down Students and Postdocs at the Time of the RPPR? Here is a Tip to Make It Easier

Establishing a process where you have students and postdocs establish an eRA Commons account at the time they start working on an NIH grant award can save you a lot of time and energy trying to track down people who may no longer be at your institution at the time of your Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) submission. You may even want to have them create an ORCID ID as well! (In case you missed it, read the November 2017 Open Mike blog post to learn more about eRA Commons and ORCID integration.)

Original post by NIH Staff 1/30/18

PAPPG (NSF 18-1) Policy Changes and Proposal Compliance Checking Updates Coming to FastLane and Research.gov on January 29

Effective January 29, 2018, NSF will implement changes in FastLane and Research.gov to support the following policy updates in the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 18-1) and to run updated Budget Justification page limit automated compliance checks in FastLane:

Standard Collaborators and Other Affiliations Template Implementation:

  • The revised PAPPG (NSF 18-1) incorporates the standard Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) template that has been in pilot phase in FastLane since April 2017.
  • FastLane system instructions will be updated in accordance with the new policy.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the COA template are available at https://nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/coa.jsp.

Budget Justification Page Limitation Increase:

  • The Budget Justification page limitation will increase from three pages to five pages.
  • To align with the new policy, FastLane will run an automated compliance check for the Budget Justification page limitation across several proposal types and will generate an error or warning when the submission validation compliance check is not met.
  • Compliance checks are run during “Check Proposal,” “Forward to SPO,” and “Submit Proposal.” The complete list of FastLane automated compliance checks effective January 29, 2018, is available at https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/autocheck/compliancechecks_jan18.pdf.

New “Substitute Negotiator” Associated Document for Change of Principal Investigator (PI) Requests:

  • A new “Substitute Negotiator” Associated Document will be available in FastLane’s Notifications and Requests module when a “Change of PI” request is made (e.g., to be utilized in cases where a former employee or Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) is being reappointed as a PI or Co-PI to an award they were previously involved with).

New “Other Request” Type:

  • A new “Other Request” type will be added to Research.gov’s Notifications and Requests module. This request will be reviewed and approved by the NSF Program Officer.

New Award Abstract Text:

  • In connection with NSF’s transparency and accountability efforts for award abstracts, the Foundation will add the following final paragraph to all award abstracts for awards with start dates of March 1 or later: “This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.”

Note about Proposal File Updates (PFU):

The automated compliance checks also apply when a PFU is performed on a proposal. The compliance checks will be run on all sections of the proposal, regardless of which section was updated during the PFU. Proposers should be aware that if a proposal was previously submitted successfully, a PFU performed on the proposal will be prevented from submission if the proposal does not comply with the compliance checks in effect at the time.

NSF encourages you to share this information with your colleagues. To learn about all the changes to the PAPPG (NSF 18-1), be sure to view the latest webinar.

For IT 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.

 original post by NSF 1.23.18

 

NIH Grants.gov Downloadable Forms Submission Option Retiring Dec. 31st, 2017

On December 31, 2017 Grants.gov will no longer allow grant applicants to download an entire application form package as a single PDF for offline data entry and later submission. If you were involved in a grant application submitted using downloadable forms in 2017, NIH is providing a final reminder to switch to one of the following submission options for 2018 submissions:

1.     NIH’s ASSIST (learn more)

2.     Institutional system-to-system solution (if your institution has one)

3.     Grants.gov Workspace (learn more)

NIIH’s  submission options page can help you compare features and considerations for each option.  Please consult with MBL’s Office of Sponsored Programs to determine option is the best fit for you and your center.

 If there is no business reason to choose one option over another, give NIH’s ASSIST a try. It’s a user-friendly, online solution optimized for NIH applications.

 Although Grants.gov will stop presenting their legacy downloadable forms package as an option at the end of this year, Grants.gov and NIH systems will continue to process previously downloaded application packages through March 2018.  If you plan to submit a downloaded application package after December 31, 2017, you might want to consider downloading an extra copy of the forms package for the opportunity before Dec 31 just in case you run into a technical difficulty with the original.

NIH Enforcement of Closeout Policies

NIH Notice Number: NOT-OD-18-107 Key Dates
Release Date: November 30, 2017

Related Announcements
NOT-OD-17-085
NOT-OD-17-022
NOT-OD-15-136
NOT-OD-15-135
NOT-OD-15-111
NOT-OD-14-084
Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

The purpose of this Notice is to alert the NIH extramural community that NIH is strengthening enforcement of longstanding closeout requirements, outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 8.6, Closeout. NIH has consistently reminded recipients of their responsibility to submit timely, accurate final grant expenditure reports, and has communicated the critical need for recipients to reconcile cash transaction reports submitted to the HHS Payment Management System (PMS) with expenditure reports submitted to NIH.  In order to fulfill agency requirements under the Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act and HHS grants policy, NIH will no longer delay the closeout of awards unless the recipient submits a prior approval request to the IC providing an acceptable written justification..  Without prior approval from the awarding IC, NIH will initiate unilateral closeout for all awards that fail to meet closeout requirements within 120 days as required by the NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIH GPS) Section 8.6. See below for details.

Background

Recipient Responsibilities

The requirement for timely closeout is generally a recipient responsibility. However, NIH may initiate unilateral closeout if a recipient does not provide timely, accurate closeout reports or does not respond timely to NIH requests to reconcile discrepancies in grant records.

NIH recipients must submit a Final Federal Financial Report (FFR), Final Research Performance Progress Report (F-RPPR), and Final Invention Statement and Certification (FIS) within 120 calendar days of the end of the period of performance (project period), as required in section 8.6 of the NIH GPS. The reports become overdue the day after the 120 calendar day period ends. Cash transaction data continues to be submitted directly to and processed by PMS. It is the recipient’s responsibility to reconcile reports submitted to PMS and to the NIH awarding Institute or Center.

NIH Actions

NIH is committed to addressing and reducing grant closeout delays and to enhance compliance with HHS regulations and policies, and the GONE Act.  Therefore, NIH will strictly enforce its closeout policies. When recipients fail to submit timely reports, NIH will initiate unilateral closeout. It is important to note that for financial closeout, if a recipient fails to submit a final expenditure FFR, HHS policy directs NIH to close the grant using the last accepted Federal Cash Transaction Report’s cash drawdown amount. This could be considered a debt or result in disallowed costs.  In addition, failure to correct recurring reporting problems may cause NIH to take one or more actions that may include, but are not limited to, corrective actions, withholding of further awards, suspension or termination.

Please direct all inquiries to: Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
Office of Extramural Research
Telephone: 301-435-0949
GrantsPolicy@od.nih.gov

Revised Version Issued: NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG; NSF 18-1); effective 1/29/2018 with Overview Webinar Offered

NSF has issued a revised version of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures (PAPPG) Guide which takes effect January 29, 2018.

The PAPPG details NSF’s proposal preparation and submission guidelines, and provides guidance on managing and monitoring the award and administration of grants and cooperative agreements made by the Foundation.

NSF will offer a Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Update Webinar for the research community on Friday, December 8th, 2017 from 2 – 3:15pm EST. will be offered which will provide an overview of significant changes and clarifications to the PAPPG.  There is no cost to participate. To register yourself, and/or others for this webinar, please select the register button below.

Register

To download a copy see below for available formats:

Available Formats: HTML | PDF
Document Type: Program Announcements & Information
Document Number: nsf18001

 

NIH Grants Policy Statement

NIH issues a revised Grants Policy Statement each fall. The latest version, issued in October, introduces no new policies. Rather, it incorporates updates made throughout the year. This revision applies to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2017.

Changes in NIH policy made throughout the year are issued as policy notices in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts. We aggregate these notices on our Notices of Changes to Grants Policy web page for your convenience. Remember that applicants and grantees are responsible for tracking policy changes as they happen.

You can track publication of policy notices in a number of ways:

  1. Sign up to receive the weekly Table of Contents for the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts via email or RSS feed.
  2. Get immediate updates on new funding opportunities and notices by following @NIHFunding on Twitter.
  3.  Or set and save a query to receive just the policy notices by email as they are issued (you can cancel any time):
    • Go to the NIH Guide for Contracts
    • Deselect  funding opportunities
    • Select “NIH” under organization
    • Add today’s date for release date
    • Select “save this search” under the top current search box
    • Provide your email

Original post on November 8, 2017 by NIH Staff

NSF Announces the Switch to No-Deadline for DEB Core Programs

From NSF, Division of Environmental Biology (DEB);

As per the newly issued Dear Colleague Letter, the core programs in the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) are discontinuing the use of the preliminary proposal mechanism.  We are enacting a “no-deadline”, full proposal mechanism for proposals submitted to the core programs, including the DEB LTREB program. There will be no call for preliminary proposals in January 2018. Instead, new solicitations describing funding opportunities will be released in 2018, for awards starting in fiscal year 2019.

Why did DEB make the decision to switch to a “no-deadline” model and what does that mean for submitting proposals?

After a three year pilot of the preliminary proposal system, DEB contracted an outside agency, Abt, to conduct an evaluation of the pilot program. You can read about the results of that report, and get a link to the full report on a previous blog post here.  In sum, the assessment found the switch to preliminary proposals produced mixed results.

With respect to the external scientific community, the preliminary proposal system achieved our objective of reducing demands on the reviewers, PIs, and institutions. Yet, the system also produced a frustrated PI community who found the “one date deadline” model too restrictive.

DEB staff largely viewed the preliminary proposal system positively, yet noted significant drawbacks. On the positive side, the system was efficient at filtering out proposals at the preliminary proposal stage, thus improving the quality of full proposals. It also simplified program budget management as all of the full proposals were funded at the same time of year.  However, it exacerbated workload in the winter and spring, making those very stressful times of the year. Concerns were also expressed about the fact that preliminary proposals were not subject to (ad hoc) review, and further, that interdisciplinary preliminary proposals could not be co-reviewed across programs. This latter issue was a decisive factor for BIO senior managers. They felt that the preliminary proposal system worked against efforts to encourage more integrative and interdisciplinary research; i.e., proposals that crossed BIO divisions and spanned levels of biological organization.

DEB will release new solicitations, in spring/summer 2018, with guidelines for submitting full proposals at any time of the year, to any of the DEB core programs. The first awards from those proposals would be made in FY 2019 (FY19 begins on October 1, 2018). These upcoming solicitations will also announce and provide guidelines for writing proposals related to the BIO initiative: Understanding the Rules of Life with the goal of promoting research that crosses BIO divisional, disciplinary boundaries (i.e. DBI, EF, IOS, and MCB).

What are the additional benefits of the no-deadline model to the investigator?

If you’ve been hindered in the past by ill-timed teaching loads, health or personal issues, field work, or other career commitments, consider the burden lifted. You now have the power to determine when and how your project ideas are written and submitted. Investigators can write and submit proposals during times of the year best suited to their schedules. By removing the annual deadline, you and your collaborators have more time and flexibility to coordinate on proposals. The no-deadline model also makes space for planning your submission around major life events.

What’s next?

For the next 6 months, we will be completing review of the full proposals already received in response to the CAREER and August 2nd core program submission deadlines, and making award recommendations.  We then anticipate finalizing our new solicitations and planning for how to handle a review process designed around no-deadline submissions.  We hope investigators will take the extra time to carefully craft proposals and submit them only when they are ready. From our side, we anticipate creating more integrative and dynamic panels that better accommodate the interdisciplinary science we see bubbling up in all of our core programs. But truly, there’s a great deal we can’t predict; we’re taking a risk in moving back to full proposals. Managing funding programs when you don’t know how many or when proposals will be submitted, is a bit scary. We are willing to take this risk in the hopes that this new model will result in better proposals and more integrative science while at the same time providing greater flexibility to the community.

NSF encourages you to check out the FAQ sheet around the new announcement, subscribe to the blog, sign up for email alerts at nsf.gov, and stay tuned for more details to follow.

eRA Enhancement: Ability for Agency to Request Additional Materials for Interim RPPR via Commons Coming September 20, 2017

A new capability will be added to eRA Commons during a software release on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. There is no anticipated downtime during this release.

Awarding agencies will be able to request additional materials for an Interim RPPR from the principal investigator (PI) and signing official (SO) via eRA Commons. In turn, the SO will be able to submit the additional materials via eRA Commons, in a process that is similar to the Final Progress Report Additional Materials (FRAM) process.

The SO and PI will receive an email request from the program official at the awarding agency. They will also see the Interim Progress Report Addition Materials (IRAM) link requesting the information on the Status Results screen, in the Available Actions column.

As with the RPPR, a PD/PI (or Contact PI, in the case of multiple PIs) can enter the IRAM. However, only the SO can submit an IRAM to the agency.

For detailed information and screenshots, please see the Latest News section in the eRA Commons online help, following the release.

NIH: FORMS-E Application Packages for All Applications on or After January 25, 2018

Effective for all NIH receipt dates on or after January 25, 2018 applicants must use FORMS-E application packages – see NOT-OD-17-062 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-17-062.html).  This change will apply to ALL NIH funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) and ALL NIH application types (new, resubmission, renewal, revision).  Applications submitted using the wrong forms will automatically be withdrawn by the NIH Center for Scientific Review Division of Receipt and Referral and will not be reviewed.  Application guides for FORMS-E application packages will be posted on the How to Apply ? Application Guide page (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/how-to-apply-application-guide.html) no later than October 25, 2017.