Simplification of the Vertebrate Animals Section of NIH Grant Applications and Contract Proposals

This Notice is to inform potential applicants and offerors that the requirements of the Vertebrate Animals Section (VAS) of grant applications, cooperative agreements and contract proposals has changed. The changes have been made to remove 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. Please find link to Announcement here.

Updated VAS Requirements
If live vertebrate animals are to be used, federal policy requires applicants to address the following criteria:

  • Description of Procedures. Provide a concise description of the proposed procedures to be used that involve vertebrate animals in the work outlined in the application or proposal. Identify the species, strains, ages, sex and total number of animals by species to be used in the proposed work. If dogs or cats are proposed, provide the source of the animals.
  • Justifications. Provide justification that the species are appropriate for the proposed research. Explain why the research goals cannot be accomplished using an alternative model (e.g., computational, human, invertebrate, in vitro).
  • Minimization of Pain and Distress. Describe the interventions including analgesia, anesthesia, sedation, palliative care and humane endpoints to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury.
  • Euthanasia. State whether the method of euthanasia is consistent with the recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. If not, describe the method and provide a scientific justification.

Anticipated Implementation
These requirements, as applicable, will take effect for all grant applications except Fellowship (F series) and Training (T series) grants for due dates on or after January 25, 2016, and will take effect for all applications for due dates on or after May 25, 2016. For contracts, see individual Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for details.

Summary of Changes
The VAS criteria are simplified by the following changes:

  • A description of veterinary care is no longer required.
  • Justification for the number of animals has been eliminated.
  • A description of the method of euthanasia is required only if the method is not consistent with AVMA guidelines.

Resources
See the Vertebrate Animals Section webpage for more information on the VAS requirements. Here you will find a checklist, detailed instructions, plus links to worksheets.

Text from NIH Notice: NOT-OD-16-006

NSF Revises Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

NSF has announced that a 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.  Significant changes include:

  • Enforcement of 5 p.m. submitter’s local time across all NSF funding opportunities;
  • Implementation of NSF’s Public Access Policy;
  • Submission of proposal certifications by the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) concurrently with proposal submission;
  • NSF’s implementation of the US Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences on Dual Use Research of Concern;
  • Provision of Collaborators and Other Affiliations information as a new single-copy document, instead of as part of the Biographical Sketch;
  • Submission of Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending Support separately for each senior personnel;
  • Electronic signature and submission of notifications and requests by the AOR only;
  • Revision of timeframe for submission of final project reports, project outcomes reports and financial closure of awards to 120 days after the award end date; and
  • Numerous clarifications throughout the document.
Given the number of important revisions, the community is strongly encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG.

A webinar to brief the community on the new PAPPG will be held on October 29th at 2 PM EST.  Registration is required at https://nsfevents.webex.com/nsfevents/onstage/g.php?d=747703895&t=a

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on January 25, 2016, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 15-1) continue to apply.  We will ensure that the current version of the PAPPG remains on the NSF website, with a notation to proposers that specifies when the new PAPPG (including a link to the new Guide) will become effective.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the Policy Office on x8243 or by e-mail to policy@nsf.gov.

Are you an NIH Applicant or Grant Administrator?

Upcoming Webinars for NIH Applicants and Grant Administrators:

What You Need to Know About NIH Application Submission and Review


Notice Number: NOT-OD-15-154

Key Dates
Release Date:   September 24, 2015

Related Announcements
None Issued by
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)

Purpose

The purpose of this Notice is to inform new NIH applicants, their mentors, and grant administrators at their institution about two upcoming webinars the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is hosting in November 2015.  These webinars are designed to give participants useful insights into our application submission and peer review processes.  CSR is the portal for NIH grant applications and their review for scientific and technical merit.

Each Webinar Will Have a Different Focus

Webinar Focus Date
University Research Administrators November 5, 2015
Research Project Grants (R01) November 6, 2015

All of the webinars will run from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST, including a 30 minute Q&A period.

Viewers Will See Presentations by Five CSR/NIH Experts

  • The Review of Your NIH Grant Application Begins Here
  • What You Need to Know about Application Receipt and Referral
  • How Your Application Is Reviewed
  • Key Things to Know About the NIH Grants Program
  • Jumpstart Your Career with CSR’s Early Career Reviewer Program (R01 webinar only)

How to Participate in the Webinar

  • Go to www.csr.nih.gov/webinar to register for the webinar you wish to join by Monday, October 29.  You will not need to download special software.  You will just need a reliable Internet connection and browser.
  • Submit questions for the Q&A session before or during the webinar by sending them to the moderator at AskExperts@csr.nih.gov.
  • Go to www.csr.nih.gov/webinar on the day/time your webinar is scheduled.  Click on the link that will be provided there to view it.

View Archived Webinars

  • View archived webinars and PowerPoint slides now: Our 2014 Meet the Experts in NIH Peer Review webinars for R01, R15, Small Business and Fellowship grants are available via our webinar webpage.
  • View our 2015 Webinars and PowerPoints about a month after broadcast: They will be posted on our webinar webpage.

If you have general questions about the NIH application and review processes at other times, please visit the Please direct all inquiries to:

Don Luckett
Center for Scientific Review
Telephone: 301-435-1111
Email: AskExperts@csr.nih.gov

Originally posted on NIH website 9/24/15 by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR)

SciENcv Updated to Support New NIH Biosketch Format

In November, NIH announced a new format for biographical sketches (biosketches); the new format is required for grant applications submitted for due dates after May 24, 2015 (see NOT-OD-15-032). SciENcv, a tool available through My NCBI for creating biosketches, has been updated to reflect the format changes and to help users convert their existing NIH biosketches from the old format to the new.

What Changed with the NIH Biosketch

Differences between the old and new NIH Biosketch formats include:

  1. Maximum length increased from 4 to 5 pages
  2. Rearranged data in the table at the top of the Biosketch
  3. Section A, Personal Statement can now include up to 4 supporting citations
  4. Section C is now called “Contribution to Science” and should be comprised of up to 5 brief descriptions of your most significant contributions to science, each with up to 4 supporting citations. In addition,  you may also provide a URL to a full list of your published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as My Bibliography. This section is the most notable difference in the new format.

More information can be found at the following link:

SciENcv Link

PHS Form Use Beyond Expiration Date

Have you ever noticed that potato rolls still taste fresh well after the date on the package? Well, perhaps we shouldn’t dwell on that thought. The point I actually want to make is that lots of things are still good after the date we stamp on them – even grant application forms. Some of you may have noticed our agency-specific (PHS) forms expired yesterday.

 

At least every three years, we are required to reassess our data collection needs, make any needed adjustments, and submit a data collection clearance request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). We are currently working through that process. Once we have OMB approval, we’ll issue notices in the NIH Guide for Grants & Contracts to tell you more about our pending changes and our implementation plans. In the meantime, continue to use the  current forms – despite the August 31, 2015 expiration date (NOT-OD-15-146). We’ll get fresh forms out to you as soon as we can (yes, “FORMS-D” is in our future). For now, the PHS forms are fresh enough.

 

Same Great Service, Slightly Different Name

The eRA Commons Help Desk has a new name – eRA Service Desk (NOT-OD-15-147).  The new name reflects the expansion of the team’s role to support additional eRA services like ASSIST.

The contact information, hours of operation, and friendly service remain the same. If you’d like to provide feedback on service you received, you can always email the support management team at usbmgmt@od.nih.gov. Of course, we want to hear when you are unhappy so we have an opportunity to make things right. We also love to hear the happy stuff – that stuff makes our day!

Browsing eRA Systems

Did you know that eRA recommends Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers for use with eRA systems like eRA Commons, Internet Assisted Review and ASSIST (see eRA browser policy)? Many other popular browsers work just fine, but those are the two browsers the eRA team uses to develop and test our systems. If you use a different browser and your screen doesn’t look quite right, try Internet Explorer or Firefox and see if the issue is browser related.

Also, be sure to upgrade your browser periodically. Internet Explorer version 6.0 users may run into issues following some maintenance over the weekend. Yes, there is already an Internet Explorer 11 and version 6 was released 14 years ago, but some of you (and you know who you are) don’t seem to believe in frequent updates.

Originally posted by Sheri Cummins, Communications & Outreach, NIH Office of Extramural Research

 

NIH PMID vs PMCID: What’s the Difference?

PubMed is an index of the biomedical literature. A PMID, also known as the PubMed reference number, is a number assigned by the NIH National Library of Medicine to papers indexed in PubMed. PubMed Central is an archive of full-text journal articles. The National Library of Medicine assigns a PMCID, also known as a PMC Identifier, to each full-text paper in PubMed Central.
To comply with the public access policy, anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to the NIH must include a PMCID when citing applicable papers that they author or that arise from their NIH-funded research. If it helps to remember, think of the C in PMCID to indicate compliance with the public access policy.

While all abstracts appearing in PubMed are assigned a PMID automatically, NIH awardees may need to take action to obtain a PMCID.  Please remember you need to ensure papers are compliant with the public access policy as soon as the paper is accepted for publication. Try this interactive wizard to determine if your paper falls under the policy, how to bring it into compliance, and how to report it to NIH. We urge you to develop your public access plan as you are writing your paper!

Looking for more information? Visit the public access policy website or contact the help desk at publicaccess@nih.gov.

Originally Posted on August 31, 2015 by NIH Staff

Original Link

More on the topic at NIH Website

NSF Announces Updates to FastLane

Dear Colleagues:On July, 24, 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will release updates to FastLane that may impact the way you work.

 

As part of NSF’s efforts to reduce the workload associated with manually compliance checking proposals, NSF continues to focus on implementing automated proposal compliance checks. The next series of automated proposal compliance checks will be released in FastLane on July 24 to ensure that proposals submitted in response to Program Solicitations comply with requirements outlined in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (Chapter II.C.2 of the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)).

The new set of automated compliance checks in FastLane will trigger warning messages if the following proposal sections do not exist for proposals submitted in response to a Program Solicitation for the applicable funding mechanism type (Conference, Equipment, Ideas Lab, Facility/Center, and Fellowship):

–          References Cited

–          Biographical Sketch(es)

–          Budget Justification: Primary Organization

–          Budget Justification: Sub recipient Organization

–          Current and Pending Support

–          Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources

For example, if a Conference proposal submitted in response to a Program Solicitation does not include the Current and Pending Support section (required for certain solicitations), FastLane will trigger a warning message directing the proposer to review the requirements specified in the solicitation.

Warning messages will not prevent a proposal from being submitted.  However, proposals that receive error messages will not be able to be submitted.

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 the new set, by clicking here. The list specifies which checks are run depending on type of submission (GPG, Program Description, Program Announcement, or Program Solicitation) and funding mechanism (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.

Additionally, 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 may be returned without review.

We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues. For system-related questions, contact the FastLane/Research.gov Help Desk at 703-292-HELP (x4357) or ithelpcentral@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

Thank you,

The FastLane Team at the National Science Foundation

 

Important Note on NIH Closeout Report Deadlines

Important Note on NIH Deadlines for Required Final Reports & Grants Closeout

When an NIH awardee’s grant project periods comes to an end, recipients must close out their grant by submitting a Final Federal Financial Report (FFR), Final Progress Report (FPR), and Final Invention Statement and Certification (FIS). The deadlines for these reports has recently changed to align with forthcoming standard award terms and conditions for participating Federal research agencies. All projects with a period of performance end date on or after October 1, 2014 must submit the final FFR, the FPR, and the FIS within 120 calendar days of the end of the period of performance. For any grants with a period of performance (project period) end date prior to October 1, 2014, the reporting deadline will be 90 days from the project period end date.

As announced in the NIH Guide, eRA systems are currently being updated to reflect these changes; we expect the “grants pending closeout” search by institution in Commons Quick Queries to reflect the new deadline by July 17, 2015.

http://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2015/06/30/important-note-on-deadlines-for-required-final-reports-grants-closeout/?utm_source=nexus&utm_medium=email&utm_content=nihupdate&utm_campaign=jun15

Do You Know You Have a New Option for Submitting R01, U01, and K applications?

As highlighted in an April Rock Talk blog post, NIH’s ASSIST submission system is now an option for submitting R01 applications, as well as most individual career development (K) award applications. In addition, applications to NIH’s U01 programs (Research Project Cooperative Agreements) recently joined the roster of programs supported in ASSIST.

When applying, a button to use ASSIST is linked from the required application instructions section of funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) if ASSIST is an option for that opportunity. We still give you the option to use downloadable forms or your institution’s system-to-system solution. So make sure to check in with your central grants office to find out what method they prefer to use.

Planning ahead? ASSIST will become an option for additional single project programs throughout 2015 so stay tuned!

See more at:   http://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2015/05/27/do-you-know-you-have-a-new-option-for-submitting-r01-u01-and-k-applications/

For more information contact the MBL Office of Sponsored Programs
 
 

NSF System Update

On April, 24, 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will release updates to FastLane that may impact the way you work. Proposals submitted in response to Program Solicitations in FastLane will undergo a series of automated proposal compliance validation checks to ensure they comply with requirements outlined in the PAPPG (Chapter II.C.2 of the Grants Proposal Guide (GPG)). These checks will automatically validate a proposal for compliance against proposal sections per type of funding mechanism. For example, an error message will appear if a project description or budget are not provided in proposals submitted in response to a Program Solicitation.

Checks will be triggered when proposers select the “Check Proposal,” “Forward to SPO,” or “Submit Proposal” functions. Depending on the rule being checked, a warning or error message will display when a proposal is found to be non-compliant. If an error message appears, the proposal cannot be submitted until it is compliant. To view a detailed list of all compliance checks see link below:

NSF Compliance Check Matrix

For additional information please contact the MBL Office of Sponsored Programs

NSF Uniform Guidance FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions on the National Science Foundation’s Implementation of 2 CFR § 200 (Uniform Guidance)

1. Which awards incorporate the new Uniform Guidance requirements?
The Uniform Guidance is effective for awards and funding increments on existing awards made on or after December 26, 2014. The Uniform Guidance will not be incorporated in the following circumstances:

  • If the award is a standard grant made prior to December 26, 2014; or
  • If the award is a continuing grant that has received all of its funding increments prior to December 26, 2014.

 
2. With the implementation of the new Uniform Guidance, how does an awardee know which terms and conditions apply an award?
For existing awards made prior to December 26, 2014, the terms and conditions referenced in the award notice will continue to apply.  If an existing award receives a funding increment on or after December 26, 2014, then the Grant General Conditions (GC-1) will be incorporated by reference into that funding amendment.

3. If an existing award receives a non-funding amendment (i.e., an amendment that does not provide any additional funding, such as a change of PI), is the amendment subject to the Grant General Conditions (GC-1) dated December 26, 2014?
No. The GC-1 is effective for new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing awards made on or after December 26, 2014. Non-funding amendments do not change the terms and conditions of the current award, except as noted in the administrative change.

4. If an existing award receives an amendment and the new GC-1 is incorporated, is it necessary to request a retroactive approval for items that normally require prior approvals?
Once an existing award receives a funding amendment that incorporates the GC-1, dated 12/26/14, preparation and submission of notifications and requests will follow the requirements specified in the new award conditions. Article 2 of the GC-1 outlines the two items that require approval from the National Science Foundation. (See also Award & Administration Guide, Exhibit II-1 for additional information.)

5. In regards to NSF’s recent change in the grant conditions that authorize grantees up to 120 days to submit final disbursement requests, will ACM$ allow for disbursement requests up to 120 days on awards not subject to the GC-1 dated, 12/26/15?
The 120 day standard will apply to all awards. The Award Cash Management System (ACM$) will not differentiate between awards and amendments made prior to December 26, 2014 and those made after December 26, 2014.  

6. It states in the Grant Proposal Guide: “No supporting documentation is required for proposed rates of 10% or less of modified total direct costs.” Is it therefore acceptable to allow less than 10% of modified total direct costs? If so, is 0% acceptable?
Submission of proposal budgets that reflect indirect cost rates below the de minimus 10% are not acceptable. NSF’s expectation with respect to indirect costs is made clear in NSF Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II.C.3.g(vi)(e):
“It is NSF’s expectation that, consistent with 2 CFR § 200.414, NSF awardees will use the domestic subrecipient’s applicable U.S. federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s). If no such rate exists, the NSF awardee may either negotiate a rate or use a de minimus indirect cost rate recovery of 10% of modified total direct costs.”

7. The University has, on occasion, experienced receipt of budgets from subcontractors who elect not to charge F&A at all. Is a 0% F&A rate acceptable in these cases?
Indirect cost rates of 0% are not acceptable as this would represent a form of voluntary committed cost sharing which is prohibited under NSF’s Cost Sharing Policy.

8. Listed as a “Significant Change to the Grant Proposal Guide to Implement the Uniform Guidance” is all travel must now be justified in Line E of the budget. How detailed must this request be to meet this requirement? For instance, if the name of a conference is available but not the exact date or location, is this sufficient?
The NSF Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II.C.2.g(iv) outlines what is required to justify travel costs: “Travel and its relation to the proposed activities must be specified, itemized and justified by destination and cost.” Therefore, proposers should provide as much information that is available to ensure that the travel is specified, itemized and justified. NSF realizes that all details may not be available at the time of proposal submission and, thus, proposers will be unable to provide such information.                                                                                           

9. When might temporary dependent care costs be allowable?
Temporary dependent care costs resulting from travel to conferences may be allowable when all of the conditions specified in 2 CFR § 200.474 have been met. Inclusion of such costs on a proposal budget may be appropriate only if all of the following conditions are met:

  • the costs have to be a direct result of the individual’s travel for the Federal award;
  • the costs have to be consistent with the non-Federal entity’s documented travel policy (so, if an institution does not allow such dependent care costs, then they would not be allowable on the NSF award); and
  • the costs have to be above the normal dependent care costs (for example, if someone currently pays for dependent care during the weekday working hours, then the grant would not pay for those costs while the person is traveling; if however there are additional costs while traveling – such as for attendance at evening meetings – which may require additional care and costs above and beyond what one would normally incur while they were at home, then those additional costs could be allowable on the award).
    NSF’s policy regarding travel support for dependents is covered in Chapter II.C.2.g(iv) of the Grant Proposal Guide: Travel support for dependents of key project personnel may be requested only when the travel is for a duration of six months or more either by inclusion in the approved budget or with the prior written approval of the cognizant NSF Grants Officer. Temporary dependent care costs above and beyond regular dependent care that directly result from travel to conferences are allowable costs provided that the conditions established in 2 CFR § 200.474 are met.

For additional information please contact the MBL Office of Sponsored Programs