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

 

New! OSP Subaward Payment Authorization Form

Beginning May 1st, 2016 OSP will be attaching a Subaward Payment Authorization cover page to all subaward invoices.  This cover page will replace the manual “stamp” currently used to provide account information, Principal Investigator signature and OSP approval.  The purpose of the new invoice cover page is to provide a mechanism of internal controls required by the new Federal Uniform Guidance for tracking the appropriateness of charges to subaward cost centers.  Upon review of the invoice, Principal Investigators will complete the cover page to approve payment.  Subaward invoices will still be routed through Research Administrators for each center.  Additional questions, please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs x7446

What is NSF’s Public Access Policy?

NSF requires that either the version of record or the final accepted manuscript in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions (also known as “juried conference papers”) be deposited in a public access compliant repository designated by NSF; be available for download, reading and analysis free of charge no later than 12 months after initial publication; possess a minimum set of machine-readable metadata elements in a metadata record to be made available free of charge upon initial publication; be managed to ensure long-term preservation; and be reported in annual and final reports during the period of the award with a persistent identifier that provides links to the full text of the publication as well as other metadata elements. For more information, see section 3.1 of  “Today’s Data, Tomorrow’s Discoveries: Increasing Access to the Results of Research Funded by the National Science Foundation” at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15052/nsf15052.pdf.

For more information also see: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/public_access/

High Level Forms D Information Update from NIH

NIH Application Forms Update: FORMS-D
The NIH periodically updates grant application forms in order to remain current with the most recent form sets available through Grants.gov and approved by the Office of Management and Budget.
NIH and other agencies serviced by NIH’s electronic Research Administration (eRA) use the ‘Competition ID’ field of Grants.gov application packages for quick and easy identification of the forms being used for a particular Funding Opportunity Announcement or individual application package.

NIH will introduce application packages with a Competition ID of ‘FORMS-D’ for due dates on or after May 25, 2016.
Changes to PHS forms included in ‘FORMS-D’ application packages are as follows:

PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form
• New “Candidate Information and Goals for Career Development” attachment (combines “Candidate’s Background”, “Career Goals and Objectives”, and “Candidate’s Plan for Career Development/Training Activities during Award Period” attachments into a single attachment)
• New “Data Safety Monitoring Plan” attachment
• New “Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources” attachment
• Updated Citizenship selections
• Reorganization of attachments
• Field order and label changes
• Added/updated burden statement and form expiration date
• Updated form instructions
PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement
• New Vertebrate Animals section added. New questions:                                                                                                     Are animals euthanized? Yes/No                                                                                                                                                                                          If Yes, is method consistent with AVMA guidelines? Yes/No                                                                                                                                                                                          If No to AVMA guidelines, describe method/provide scientific justification
• Ability to add Program Income information for 10 budget periods (previously 5)
• Field order and label changes
• Added/updated burden statement and form expiration date
• Updated form instructions

PHS 398 Modular Budget
• Indirect (F&A) Costs section changed to dynamically add indirect costs rather than providing static fields for four entries
• Minor label changes
• Added/updated burden statement and form expiration date
• Updated form instructions

PHS 398 Research Plan
• New “Data Safety Monitoring Plan” attachment
• New “Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources” attachment
• Minor format and label changes
• Added/updated burden statement and form expiration date
• Updated form instructions

PHS 398 Research Training program Plan
• Removed “Background’ and “Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity” attachments (information previously included in these attachments moved to existing “Program Plan” attachment)
• New “Plan for the Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility” attachment
• New Data safety Monitoring Plan attachment
• Format and label changes including categorizing attachments into sections
• Added/updated burden statement and form expiration date
• Updated form instructions

PHS 398 Training Budget
• Minor label changes
• Added/updated burden statement and form expiration date
• Updated form instructions
PHS 398 Training Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form
• Streamlined instruction text
• Added/updated burden statement and form expiration date
• Updated form instructions
PHS Assignment Request Form
• New, optional form
• Used to provide structured information to NIH referral staff regarding: funding component assignment preference, study section preference, individuals who should not review your application due to conflicts, and scientific areas of expertise needed to review your application
• Complements existing “Cover Letter Attachment” on SF424 (R&R) form
• Added/updated burden statement and form expiration date
• Updated form instructions
PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form
• New “Applicant’s Background and Goals for Fellowship Training” attachment (Combines “Doctoral Dissertation and Other Research Experience”, “Goals for Training and Career”, and “Activities Planned Under Award” attachments into a single attachment)
• New “Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors, and Consultants” attachment
• New “Description of Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training” attachment
• New “Data Safety Monitoring Plan” attachment
• New “Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources” attachment
• New Vertebrate Animals questions added: New questions
Are animals euthanized? Yes/No
If Yes, is method consistent with AVMA guidelines? Yes/No
If No to AVMA guidelines, describe method/provide scientific justification
• Updated list of values for the “Field of Training for Current Proposal” field; changed from 4-digit codes to 3-digit codes
• Updated Citizenship selections
• Reorganization of attachments
• Format and label changes
• Added/updated burden statement and form expiration date
• Updated form instructions

PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report
• Combines Planned Enrollment Report and Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report forms into a single form
Questions used to identify type of report:
-Delayed onset study? Yes/No
-Enrollment Type? Planned/Cumulative (Actual)                                                                                                           -Using an Existing Dataset or Resource? Yes/No                                                                                                                 -Enrollment Location? Domestic/Foreign
-Clinical Trial? Yes/No                                                                                                                                           -NIH-Defined Phase II Clinical Trial? Yes/No
• Added/updated burden statement and form expiration date
• Updated form instructions

Notice on Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts

Notice on Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts

Notice Number: NOT-OD-16-045

Key Dates
Release Date: December 24, 2015

Related Announcements
NOT-OD-16-044

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

This Notice provides information regarding the salary limitation for NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards and extramural research and development contract awards (referred to here as grants). For FY 2016, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113), signed into law on December 18, 2015, restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. The Executive Level II salary is currently set at $183,300, increasing to $185,100 effective January 10, 2016.

Background

Every year beginning 1990, Congress has legislatively mandated a provision limiting the direct salary that an individual may receive under an NIH grant. For FY 2015, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2015 (Public Law 113-235), signed into law on December 16, 2014, restricted the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. The Executive Level II salary was $183,300. This information was published December 30, 2014 in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (NOT-OD-15-049).

For the purposes of the salary limitation, the terms “direct salary,” “salary,” and “institutional base salary” have the same meaning and are exclusive of fringe benefits and facilities and administrative (F&A) expenses, also referred to as indirect costs. An individual’s institutional base salary is the annual compensation that the applicant organization pays for an individual’s appointment, whether that individual’s time is spent on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities. Base salary excludes any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of the duties to the applicant organization.

NIH grant/contract awards for applications/proposals that request direct salaries of individuals in excess of the applicable RATE per year will be adjusted in accordance with the legislative salary limitation and will include a notification such as the following: None of the funds in this award shall be used to pay the salary of an individual at a rate in excess of the applicable salary cap. Please see the salary cap summary and the time frames associated with salary caps at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/salcap_summary.htm.

Implementation of salary limitation for NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards and extramural research and development contract awards:
No adjustments will be made to modular grant applications/awards or to previously established commitment levels for non-competing grant awards issued with FY 2016 funds.

NIH competing grant awards with categorical budgets reflecting salary levels at or above the new cap(s) that are issued on or after the January 10, 2016 effective date, will reflect adjustments to the current and all future years so that no funds are awarded or committed for salaries over the limitation.

For awards issued in those years that were restricted to Executive Level II (see Salary Cap Summary, FY 1990 – FY 2016), including competing awards already issued in FY2016, if adequate funds are available in active awards, and if the salary cap increase is consistent with the institutional base salary, grantees may rebudget to accommodate the current Executive Level II salary level and contractors may charge at the higher level. However, no additional funds will be provided to these grant awards and the total estimated cost of the contract will not be modified.

An individual’s base salary, per se, is NOT constrained by the legislative provision for a limitation of salary. The rate limitation simply limits the amount that may be awarded and charged to NIH grants and contracts. An institution may pay an individual’s salary amount in excess of the salary cap with non-federal funds.

The salary limitation does NOT apply to payments made to consultants under an NIH grant although, as with all costs, those payments must meet the test of reasonableness and be consistent with institutional policy.

The salary limitation provision DOES apply to subawards/subcontracts for substantive work under an NIH grant or contract.

Competing grant applications and contract proposals that include a categorical breakdown in the budget figures/business proposal should continue to reflect the actual institutional base salary of all individuals for whom reimbursement is requested. In lieu of actual base salary; however, applicants/offerors may elect to provide an explanation indicating that actual institutional base salary exceeds the current salary limitation. When this information is provided, NIH staff will make necessary adjustments to requested salaries prior to award.

Questions & Answers

1. Q: If a grant award (competing or non-competing) has already been issued in FY 2016, will an adjustment be made?
A: No adjustments will be made. However, rebudgeting is allowable.

2. Q: Can I rebudget grant funds or charge contracts issued in prior years (see Salary Cap Summary, FY 1990 – FY 2016) funds to allow for the 2016 salary cap increase?
A: Yes, provided funds are available and the increase is warranted. Prorated figures should be used for the applicable months, i.e., the $185,100 level is effective beginning January 10, 2016.

3. Q: If an application/proposal fails to provide needed salary information, will an adjustment be made based on the new rates?
A: No adjustment will be made if an application fails to provide adequate information regarding the individual’s actual salary level.

4. Q: Does the NIH appropriation language link the salary cap to a Federal Executive Level or to a dollar level?
A: The link is to the Federal Executive Level pay scale (i.e., Executive Level I for FYs 2001-2011, Executive Level II for FYs 2012-2016).

5. Q: As the cap is linked to Federal Executive Levels, can grantees/contractors with ongoing awards rebudget/charge up to the various salary caps, based on the fiscal year of the award and the time the salary expense is incurred?
A: Yes, salary may be charged in accordance with the FY cap(s), as long as the levels are consistent with the individual’s institutional base pay. Please refer to the salary cap summary with times frames for existing salary caps, at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/salcap_summary.htm.

6. Q: Will grantees be permitted to submit revised categorical budgets reflecting higher base salaries?
A: Not as a general rule. NIH policy for categorical budgets states that grantees should always reflect actual base salaries in the requested budgets or provide an explanation indicating that actual institutional base salary exceeds the current salary limitation. As a general rule, NIH will use the information available in the existing application and make adjustments for the salary cap based on information available at the time of award.

The following are examples of the adjustments that NIH will make when salaries exceed the current salary limitation:

Example 1. Individual with Full-Time Appointment (based on grant award/contract issued on or after January 10, 2016 with salary limitation of $185,100)

Individual’s institutional base salary for a FULL-TIME calendar year appointment $ 200,000
Research effort requested in application/proposal – 6 months (50%)
Direct Salary requested $  100,000
Fringe benefits requested (25% of salary) $   25,000
Subtotal $ 125,000
Applicant organization’s F&A (indirect) costs at a rate of 45% of subtotal $   56,250
Amount requested – salary plus fringe benefits plus associated F&A (indirect) costs $ 181,250
If a grant/contract is to be funded, the amount included for the above individual will be calculated as follows:
Direct salary – restricted to a RATE of $ 185,100
Divided by 12 months multiplied by 6 months (50%) $   92,550
Fringe benefits (25% of allowable salary) $   23,137
Subtotal $  115,687
Associated F&A (indirect) costs at 45% of subtotal $   52,059
Total amount to be awarded due to salary limitation $  167,746
Amount of reduction due to salary limitation
($181,250 requested minus $167,746 awarded) $ 13,504

Example 2. Individual with Half-Time Appointment (based on a grant award/contract issued on or after January 10, 2016 with salary limitation of $185,100)

Individual’s institutional base salary for a HALF-TIME calendar year appointment $  100,000
Research effort requested in application/proposal – 1.8 months (30% of 6 months)
Direct Salary requested $   30,000
Fringe benefits requested (25% of salary) $    7,500
Subtotal $   37,500
Applicant organization’s F&A (indirect) costs at a rate of 45% of subtotal $   16,875
Amount requested – salary plus fringe benefits  
plus associated F&A (indirect) costs $   54,375
If a grant/contract is to be funded, the amount included in the award for the above individual will be calculated as follows:
Direct salary – restricted to a RATE of $   92,550
Divided by 6 months multiplied by 1.8 months (30%) $   27,765
Fringe benefits (25% of allowable salary) $     6,941
Subtotal $   34,706
Associated F&A (indirect) cost at 45% of subtotal $   15,618
Total amount to be awarded due to salary limitation $   50,326
Amount of reduction due to salary limitation  
($54,375 requested minus $50,326 awarded) $    4,049

Example 3. Individual with a Nine-Month Appointment (based on a grant award/contract issued on or after January 10, 2016 with salary limitation of $185,100)

Individual’s institutional base salary for a nine-month calendar year appointment $   150,000
Research effort requested in application/proposal – 2.7 months (30% of 9 months)
Direct Salary requested $   45,000
Fringe benefits requested (25% of salary) $   11,250
Subtotal $   56,250
Applicant organization’s F&A (indirect) costs at a rate of 45% of subtotal $   25,313
Amount requested – salary plus fringe benefits  
Plus associated F&A (indirect) costs $   81,563
If a grant/contract is to be funded, the amount included in the award for the above individual will be calculated as follows:
Direct salary – restricted to a RATE of $  138,825
Divided by 9 months multiplied by 2.7months (30%) $   41,648
Fringe benefits (25% of allowable salary) $   10,412
Subtotal $   52,060
Associated F&A (indirect) cost at 45% of subtotal $   23,427
Total amount to be awarded due to salary limitation $   75,487
Amount of reduction due to salary limitation  
($81,563 requested minus $75,487 awarded) $   6,076

Inquiries

Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Telephone: 301-435-0949
Email: GrantsPolicy@od.nih.gov

NIH & AHRQ Announce Upcoming Changes to Policies, Instructions and Forms for 2016 Grant Applications

Purpose

This notice informs the biomedical and health services research communities of planned changes to policies, forms and instructions for grant applications submitted in 2016.

The planned changes focus on the following areas:

  • Rigor and transparency in research
  • Vertebrate animals
  • Inclusion reporting
  • Data safety monitoring
  • Research training
  • Appendices
  • Font requirements
  • Biosketch clarifications

Some of the new policies require additional data collection and updates to our application forms. We have received approval from the Office of Management and Budget to make the needed form updates and we expect to have system support and guidance for these updates in place by March 25, 2016 (NOT-OD-15-146).

In order to move forward with the subset of policies which must remain consistent for all research applications in a funding year, we will implement the policy and guidance changes in two phases.

  • Phase 1: Implements a subset of the policy changes using existing (FORMS-C) forms and updated instructions and will impact due dates on or after January 25, 2016.
  • Phase 2: Completes the implementation with the introduction of new (FORMS-D) forms and instructions and will impact due dates on or after May 25, 2016.

Implementation

Policy & Guidance Changes – Phase 1

Timing
Effective for applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2016

Application Forms
FORMS-C (current forms; already available)

Instructions
By November 25, 2015, we will update the general and small business (SBIR/STTR) application guides used with FORMS-C application forms. Instructions for individual fellowship applications will be incorporated into the general application guide and no longer maintained as a separate document. These application guides must be used for due dates on or after January 25, 2016, and before May 25, 2016.

Changes

Topic Change
Rigor and Transparency* We are changing application requirements and review language to enhance reproducibility of research findings through increased scientific rigor and transparency. These changes will take effect for most research grant applications (including small business and complex research grant applications), but will not impact institutional training and individual fellowship applications until Phase II.

Changes include:

  • Updates to application guide instructions for preparing your research strategy attachment
  • Use of a new “Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources” attachment (uploaded in Other Attachments section of R&R Other Project Information form)
  • Additional rigor and transparency questions reviewers will be asked to consider when reviewing applications

See NOT-OD-16-011 and NOT-OD-16-012.

Vertebrate Animals* We are removing redundancy with Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee review while meeting the requirements of the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Changes include:

  • Updated guidance on criteria to be addressed (description of procedures; justifications; minimization of pain and distress; and euthanasia)
  • A description of veterinary care is no longer required
  • Justification for the number of animals has been eliminated
  • A description and justification of the method of euthanasia is required only if the method is not consistent with AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals

See NOT-OD-16-006.

Note: This change does not apply to AHRQ applications.

Definition of Child* We are redefining the age of a child for the purposes of NIH’s inclusion policy to individuals under 18 years old instead of under 21 years old.

See NOT-OD-16-010.

Note: This change does not apply to AHRQ applications.

Research Training We are updating requirements and instructions for several attachments on the PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan form to reflect recent policy guidance and reduce applicant burden.

Changes include:

  • “Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity” – applicants will be asked to focus on recruitment
  • “Human Subjects” – applicants must describe how the institution will ensure that trainees only participate in exempt human subjects research or non-exempt human subjects research that has IRB approval; no longer necessary to provide a list of potential grants trainees may work on and associated IRB information
  • “Vertebrate Animals” – applicants must describe how the institution will ensure that trainees only participate in vertebrate animal research that has IACUC approval; no longer necessary to provide a list of potential grants trainees may work on and associated IACUC information
  • “Progress Report” – requirement to report on publications that arose from work conducted by the trainee while supported by the training grant will be moved to the Just-in-Time process

*Policy also applies to contracts. See individual contract Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for details.

Policy & Guidance Changes – Phase 2

Timing
Effective for applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2016

Application Forms
Our updated forms, identified by a Competition ID of “FORMS-D”, must be used for all applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2016.

All active Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) will be reissued or updated to include “FORMS-D” forms at least 60 days prior to the first due date on or after May 25, 2016.

We will reissue parent announcements, administrative supplements, research training, career development, individual fellowship and multi-project FOAs that include “Indiv Career Dev”, “Inst Career Dev” or “NRSA Training” component types.

We will add FORMS-D application packages to all other active research FOAs (i.e., update existing FOAs; no reissue).  FORMS-C application packages will be set to expire after the May 7, 2016 AIDS due date. During a short transition period, you will need to select the appropriate application package based on due date.

Instructions
By March 25, 2016, we will provide new application guides to be used with FORMS-D application forms for due dates on or after May 25, 2016.

Changes

Topic Change
Rigor and Transparency* We are extending Phase 1 changes to include institutional training and individual fellowship applications.

We are adding a new “Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources” attachment to the following forms in FORMS-D application packages:

  • PHS 398 Research Plan
  • PHS 398 Career Development Supplemental Form
  • PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form

New “Plan for the Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility” attachment will be added to the PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan form in FORMS-D application packages.

Vertebrate Animals* We are extending Phase 1 changes to include institutional training and individual fellowship applications.

See NOT-OD-16-006.

We are adding new questions regarding euthanasia to the following forms in FORMS-D application packages to replace the euthanasia criteria in the vertebrate animals section:

  • PHS 398 Research Plan
  • PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form

Note: These changes do not apply to AHRQ applications.

Inclusion Forms* We are adding an optional PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report form to FORMS-D application packages.

The new form, with additional study descriptors, will replace the optional Planned Enrollment Report and Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report forms found in FORMS-C application packages.

We will provide more details about these changes prior to release of the updated forms.

Data Safety Monitoring Plans We are adding a new “Data Safety Monitoring Plan” to the following forms in FORMS-D application packages:

  • PHS 398 Research Plan
  • PHS 398 Career Development Supplemental Form
  • PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form
  • PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan

This new attachment must be included with all applications involving clinical trials.

Although the requirement of a data and safety monitoring plan for clinical trials is not new, the use of a separate attachment to collect this information will emphasize its importance and facilitate systematic enforcement of its presence.

Research Training We are changing the research training data table format.

Changes include:

  • Reducing the number of tables from 12 to 8
  • Minimizing the reporting of individual-level information
  • Extending the tracking of trainee outcomes from 10 to 15 years

NIH’s xTRACT system to help applicants prepare the new tables will be available October 16, 2015.

See NOT-OD-16-007.

Appendix Policy We are reevaluating the current appendix policy. A notice describing specific appendix policy changes will be issued by spring 2016.
New PHS Assignment Request Form We are adding an optional PHS Assignment Request Form to FORMS-D application packages to provide a consistent way to collect application referral information, including:

  • Awarding component (NIH institute) assignment preference
  • Study Section preference
  • List of potential reviewers in conflict, and why
  • List of scientific expertise needed to review the application

See NOT-OD-16-008.

New Font Guidelines We are providing additional flexibility regarding the fonts allowed in PDF attachments included in grant applications.

Although we will continue to recommend specific fonts, we will also allow other fonts (both serif and non-serif) as long as they comply with specific type density and line spacing guidelines.

See NOT-OD-16-009.

Biosketch Clarifications We are clarifying biosketch instructions.

Clarifications include:

  • Indicating that a URL for a publication list is optional and, if provided, must be to a government website (.gov) like My Bibliography
  • Allowing publications (peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed) and research products to be cited in both the personal statement and the contributions to science sections
  • Explicitly stating that graphics, figures and tables are not allowed

* Policy also applies to contracts. See individual contract Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for details.

Resources:

 

Text from NIH Notice:  NOT-OD-16-004

 

NSF Revised PAPPG (*effective 1/25/16)

NSF revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 16-1) has been issued.

The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016.

 

Please read here Significant Changes to the 2016-1 PAPPG

 

Update: New Biographical Sketch Format Required for NIH Proposals submitted after May 25, 2015

The revised forms and instructions are now available on the SF 424 (R&R) Forms and Applications page and adjustments have been made to improve their usability.  Individual fellowships, R36 dissertation grants, and diversity supplements should use the Fellowship Application Biographical Sketch Format Page and related pre-doc and post-doc instructions and samples, while research grant applications, career development, training grant, and all other application types should use the general Biographical Sketch Format Page and instructions and sample.

“The new format extends the page limit for the biosketch from four to five pages, and allows researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science, along with the historical background that framed their research. Investigators can outline the central findings of prior work and the influence of those findings on the investigator’s field. Investigators involved in Team Science are provided the opportunity to describe their specific role(s) in the work. Each description can be accompanied by a listing of up to four relevant peer-reviewed publications or other non-publication research products, including audio or video products; patents; data and research materials; databases; educational aids or curricula; instruments or equipment; models; protocols; and software or netware that are relevant to the described contribution. In addition to the descriptions of specific contributions and documentation, researchers will be allowed to include a link to a full list of their published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as MyBibliography or SciENcv.”

– See more at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-032.html

For additional information please contact the MBL Office of Sponsored Programs

 

2015 NIH Salary Cap for PI’s

The NIH has announced that the salary cap for grant, cooperative agreement and contract awards remains tied to Federal Executive Level II.  Effective Jan 11, 2015, Executive Level II increased to $183,300, up from $181,500.

Investigators should begin using the 2015 cap immediately in preparing proposal budgets.  However, in keeping with the practice we have used in the past, we will not begin charging NIH funded projects the new cap rate until July 1, 2015.  The reason for this practice is to mitigate to some extent the impact on on-going awards where funds will have to be rebudgeted to cover the increased salary costs.

For additional information please contact the MBL Office of Sponsored Programs