First Brown Bag Lunch: Grantsmanship Tips from Washington, D.C.
The first in a series of brown bag lunches will be held at noon on April 24 in Room 141, Cartwright Hall, to provide details of a recent trip to Washington, D.C. by Research and Sponsored Programs staff to meet with federal funding agencies and promote research at Kent State.
Agency leaders raised key issues for faculty researchers to consider:
- It is very important for researchers to contact and establish a relationship with program officers early in the process.
- Early investigators should consider submitting smaller R01 proposals instead of smaller mechanisms such as R03s and R21s.
- Smaller grant mechanisms such as R03s and R21s are not intended to support pilot data acquisition but should be smaller-scale studies that result in deliverables.
- Different institutes were more encouraging of certain grant mechanisms (such as AREA R15 grants).
Learn more at the brown bag lunch. RSVP to Doug Delahanty Ph.D.
Coeus will be unavailable this Friday, April 4 as we apply updates to the system. We expect the system to be down most of the day so please work with your contact in Sponsored Programs to be certain pending proposals are on track.
After updates are applied, approvers should not experience any major changes in the electronic approval process. However, the update does include some new features that may be of special interest to Approvers and Investigators:
Yes/No Questions Reduced
The number of Yes/No Questions (YNQs) required for each proposal will be significantly reduced, as many questions relevant only to federal forms are moving to a new questionnaire while more general questions and those previously identified as important to approvers remain in the YNQ section.
New Smart Grants.gov Questionnaire only for S2S submissions to Federal Sponsors
Questions previously covered in YNQs for the purpose of completing federal forms in system-to-system (S2S) processing will move to a new questionnaire that will only be required when a proposal is being submitted S2S. Your contact in Sponsored Programs will let you know when this questionnaire requires completion.
New Electronic Certification Process for All Involved Kent State Personnel on a Proposal
The new proposal Certification process will look and act a bit differently but the questions themselves remain unchanged. Kent State proposal persons will be prompted to Certify the proposal via email or they can enter the proposal and select a link from either the Proposal Summary or Investigator/Key Person screens.
Each individual will be able to complete only his/her own certification within the system. If a situation arises when a person is unable to access the system, Sponsored Programs will be able to work with the individual in order to access an alternative process offline.
Key Persons Required to Complete Certification Prior to Routing
With this change, Key Persons will now need to complete Certification (which covers Conflict of Interest questions) before the proposal record can be routed for internal approval. This new process will allow us to eliminate paper Conflict of Interest forms at the proposal stage as all Kent State personnel, including Key Persons, will have the ability to complete these questions electronically.
Other Coeus Updates
In addition to providing general enhancements and fixes, these updates will help us restore Grants.gov System-to-System functionality with updated formats for smoother processing of many federal submissions.
Investigators may also notice a section in Coeus Lite labeled My Awards. If you have awards active in the last few years, some data may be available here but please be aware that not all award information will be up to date as our office continues to work on getting this information in the system.
Sponsor News & Limited Submission Funding Opportunities
Revision /Resubmission of NSF proposals
The National Science Foundation accepts resubmission of proposals that have previously undergone review and not been funded. Declined proposals may be resubmitted, but only after undergoing substantial revision. A resubmitted proposal that has not clearly taken into account the major comments or concerns resulting from the prior NSF review may be returned without review. These revised proposals are treated by the Foundation as new, subject to the standard review procedures.
A new version of the National Science Foundation Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 14-1) has been issued. The PAPPG is comprised of documents relating to the Foundation's proposal and award process. This new version of the PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 24, 2014. Significant changes include:
· Addition to the certification regarding Conflict of Interest regarding the appropriate disclosure process;
· Reiteration that indirect costs are not allowed on participant support costs;
· Small-scale pilot of a new environmental impacts process with a few programs, prior to NSF-wide implementation;
· Updated process for program income reporting; and
· Numerous clarifications throughout the document.
A by-chapter summary of the changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide to assist with identifying the changes.
NEW PHS 398 Application Forms
An updated SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide and instructions for NIH and Other PHS Agencies is available and must be used for all applications intended for proposals with due dates on or after September 25, 2013. These instructions incorporate numerous clarifications, updates, and policy announcement that have been released since June 2009. Some changes of note include the following areas:
- Changes in Supplemental Grant Application Instructions
- Notice of Proprietary Information
- Updates to Biographical Sketch
- Research Plans which include Human Embryonic Stem Cells
- Letters of Support
The notice regarding the changes can be found at:
The new forms can be found at:
CHANGE COMING TO HOW YOU CAN START A PROPOSAL IN FASTLANE
Currently, NSF's Fastlane allows PIs to start a proposal by copying from a previously submitted proposal or by using a previously created template.
Starting August, applicants will be able to copy only those proposals submitted under the current version of NSF's Grant Proposal Guide. In addition, you will no longer be able to create and save templates in Fastlane.
However, the process for creating new proposals in Fastlane remains unchanged.
National Science Foundation and letters of support
The NSF does not accept letters of support with proposals unless required by specific program solicitations. When requested, letters of support must be unique to the specific proposal submitted and cannot be altered without the author's explicit prior approval. When not requested, including letters of support may cause a proposal to be returned without review.
Letters of collaboration should be included to describe and document substantial collaboration with individuals not included in the budget or as required in program solicitations. These letters of collaboration should NOT include personal endorsements or recommendation of the investigator or any language which would indicate support of the project. The letters should strictly document the nature of the collaboration such as intellectual contributions to the project; permission to access a site, an instrument, or facility; offer of samples and materials for research; logistical support to the research and education program; and mentoring of U.S. students at a foreign site. The project description should document the nature and need for all collaborations. Description of the resources available at the collaborating institution should be included in the Facilities section of the proposal rather than included in the letter.
Depending on the program to which a proposal is being submitted, letters of collaboration which include endorsement language may cause proposals to be returned without review. Other program officers may remove the letters from the proposal prior to review. Our recommendation is to request your letters from your collaborators well in advance of your submission date so that any required changes can be included at the time of submission.
The National Science Foundation Career-Life Balance (CLB) Supplemental Funding Opportunities in support of Postdoctoral Investigators funded by NSF awards provides additional personnel (i.e. research technicians or equivalent) to sustain research while the postdoctoral research is on family leave. These requests may include funding for up to 3 months of salary support for a maximum of $12,000 in salary plus associated fringe benefits and indirect costs.
Special instructions for use by Principal Investigators and Sponsored Programs Office can be found at:
If you currently have an NSF award which includes funding for a postdoctoral employee who is or will be on family leave, and you are interested in submitting supplemental funding request, please contact Becky Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NIH will be transitioning to updated electronic application forms packages. These packages, identified with a Competition ID of FORMS-C, will be required for all applications with due dates on or after September 25, 2013 with the following exceptions:
- Individual Research Career Development Award Programs (Ks), Institutional Training and Career Development Programs (Ts and Ds) and Individual National Research Service Awards (Fs) applicants will be required to use FORMS-C packages for due dates on or after January 25, 2014.
- Small Business programs (SBIR/STTR) applicants will transition to FORMS-C packages later in 2014, when we can combine these form changes with anticipated form changes relating to the Small Business Authorization Act.
Details of the form changes are documented at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/FORMS-C_Changes.pdf.
Full details can be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-13-075.html
The U.S. State Department has released their newest Open Competition for International Visitor Leadership Program Assistance Award. This program seeks to increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and foreign publics through carefully designed professional programs. IVLP projects support U.S. foreign policy objectives. Participants are current or potential foreign leaders in government, politics, media, education, science, non-government organizations (NGOs), the arts, and other key fields. They are selected by officers of U.S. embassies overseas and are approved by the DOS staff in Washington, D.C. Each project will focus on a substantive theme. Some typical IVLP projects themes are: (1) agriculture; (2) counterterrorism; (3) democracy and human rights (4) economic and business development; (5) education; (6) environmental issues; (7) freedom of information; (8) international crime; (9) media; (10) rule of law; (11) science and technology; (12) tolerance and diversity; (13) U.S. foreign policy, and (14) U.S. government and political system, and (15) Women's Issues. Under the International Visitor Leadership Program, DOS permits institutions to submit a maximum of one proposal. Proposals are due June 7, 2013.
The program announcement can be found at:
Due to these limitations, Sponsored Programs is requiring submission of letters of interest by May 13, 2013. If you intend to submit, please forward your letter of interest, to include a brief description of your project, to Becky Hayes at email@example.com . Your letter of interest should be no more than 3 pages. If Sponsored Programs receives more than one letter of interest, an internal review will follow.
The National Institute of Health Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM (P01) – PAR-12-151 encourages applications that propose to conduct research that is of high-priority to NCCAM that requiressynergistic collaboration between outstanding scientists, and the synthesis of multiple research approaches by multi-disciplinary research teams. The CERC mechanism is designed to support research in which the funding of three or four synergistic, highly meritorious projects as a group offers significant scientific advantages over support of the same projects as individual research grants. Each CERC must consist, throughout the duration of the award, of three or four research projects, focused on basic, mechanistic, and/or translational research questions relevant to the research priorities described in the current NCCAM Strategic Plan. Under Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM, NIH permits institutions to submit only one application. Proposals are due September 25, 2013.
The website for a full set of guidelines is:
Due to these limitations, Sponsored Programs is requiring submission of letters of interest by July 12, 2013. If you intend to submit, please forward your letter of interest, to include a brief description of your project, to Becky Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org . Your letter of interest should be no more than 3 pages. If Sponsored Programs receives more than one letter of interest, an internal review will follow.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have released information concerning the potential impact of the FY 2013 Sequestration on awards within each agency and the planned operation in the event of Sequestration. The agencies are currently operating under a Continuing Resolution that will expire on March 27, 2013. Revisions to these notices may be necessary.
Under the Sequestration, the FY 2013 appropriations of the National Science Foundation will be reduced by 5 percent. The NSF intends to protect commitments to NSF's core mission and maintain existing awards; protect the NSF workforce; and protect STEM human capital development programs. With these principles in mind, the major impact of sequestration will be seen in reductions to the number of new research grants and cooperative agreements awarded in FY 2013. NSF anticipates reducing the number of awards by approximately 1,000.
In an effort to minimize disruption of scientific research, FY 2013 NSF continuing grants and annual increments for cooperative agreement are expected to be provided funds as scheduled. Overall funding constraints may require reductions to certain major investments that will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
While under the Continuing Resolution, the National Institutes of Health are currently funding non-competing continuation awards at a level below that indicated on the most recent Notice of Award (generally up to 90% of the previously committed level). Funding may be reduced further by the sequestration. In addition, NIH expects to make fewer competing awards. NIH Institutes and Centers will announce respective approaches to meeting the new budget levels.
Upcoming Changes to the Financial Conflict of Interest Policy
The Public Health Service (PHS) has implemented new regulations governing Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) policy for PHS funded research (from such agencies as NIH, CDC, HRSA, AHRQ, SAMHSA, Medicare). As a result, Kent State University will be implementing revised Conflict of Interest Policy and procedures incorporating changes for all PHS-funded investigators and investigators funded by other agencies that have adopted the PHS FCOI policy (such as the American Heart Association). This includes PHS funded subawards. Some of the changes in the regulation include additional reporting requirements and the addition of a training requirement.
The revised policy and procedures are required to be in place by August 24, 2012. The policy applies to all individuals who are involved in the design, conduct or reporting of research (including graduate students and post docs as appropriate).
As updates are available and required training modules are created, announcements will be disseminated through research listservs and the Sponsored Programs news page.
NIH Just-in-Time (JIT) Requests
Many federal agencies request additional information after a proposal has been submitted, during the review process. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) makes this request through the Just-in-Time (JIT) process. These requests commonly include:
· Other Support documentation
· Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval
· Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval
· Human subject training requirement certification
· Budget revisions and justification
· Subrecipient documentation listed above
JIT requests are not a notice of grant award, but simply a request for additional information for a proposal under consideration. These JIT requests are being sent by the NIH to the principal investigators. If you receive a JIT request, please forward it to the Sponsored Programs Administrator with whom you worked when submitting your proposal or to me. We will work with you in submitting your required documents. All documentation must be approved and forwarded to the sponsor by the Sponsored Programs Office in order to meet the NIH requirements.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Assistant Director, Sponsored Programs
USDA Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program
USDA Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS) supports research and extension projects that have robust collaborations to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields that are relevant to USDA priorities identified by the Secretary: (i) Promotion of a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for all Americans and for people around the world; (ii) Sustainable agricultural policies that foster economic viability for small and mid-sized farms and rural businesses, protect natural resources, and promote value-added agriculture; (iii) national leadership in climate change mitigation and adaptation; (iv) Building a modern workplace with a modern workforce; and (v) Support for 21st century rural communities. See: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/fo/womenandminoritiesinsciencetechnologyengineeringandmathematics.cfm
NEW – A Thesaurus-Based Search Tool for NIH funded projects
LikeThis is a new search tool which aids investigators in finding other research projects with similar goals and objectives as their own. This can be done by entering specific scientific terms or by accessing their own application or grant and clicking on the new LikeThis link available through eRA Commons. Investigators will be provided a list of similar funded projects and/or publications as well as a list of scientific terms and their corresponding weights within the publications.
Here are some helpful resources to help you navigate LikeThis
User Guide <http://era.nih.gov/files/LikeThis_user_guide.pdf>
The Dangers in Delay-Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
As the electronic submission process has improved, so have the potential dangers when submitting an application near the deadline.
One of the most fundamental steps you can take to ensure consideration of your application is to make certain we receive it successfully. This means applying well before the due date. Now we know we preach this often, but it is as true now as ever before.
As people become more confident in the ability of eRA to process applications quickly, we see an increasing backlog of "last minute" applications on submission due dates. For a recent December due date, more than 1,000 applications were submitted in the final hour. Here is the rub. This rush of submissions can create a potential back-log in processing; checking for errors can take up to 4 hours. Remember that a submission must be error free before it can be sent on for review.
What does this mean for you? Take this possible scenario…
- The application is due at 5 p.m.
- You submit at 4 p.m. on the due date.
- Processing takes an hour and 45 minutes.
- Two errors were identified.
You are now 45 minutes past the submission deadline with no chance to correct the errors that were identified. Not good. NIH's late policy will not allow for the consideration of this application. Had you submitted in the morning of the due date, or even the day or two before, you would have had plenty of time to correct the errors and submit a error-free application.
Please, we want your applications. Submit early.
National Science Foundation Announcement
The purpose of this memorandum is to inform you of recent developments in the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). There was a recent change in policy that NSF has decided to reconsider. In particular, the policy concerns what can be expected of Fellows during the three years they receive NSF funding (on tenure). NSF has decided to reinstate the previous policy with respect to this issue while further study is conducted to inform this and other GRFP policies. The policy that will be in effect during the 2011-2012 Fellowship Year is an updated version of the one described in the 2009 Guide (NSF 09-62), which is as follows:
Each Fellow is expected to devote full time to advanced scientific study or work during tenure. However, because it is generally accepted that teaching or similar activity constitutes a valuable part of the education and training of many graduate students, a Fellow may undertake a reasonable amount of such activities, without NSF approval. It is expected that furtherance of the Fellow's educational objectives and the gain of substantive teaching or other experience, not service to the institution as such, will govern these activities. Compensation for such activities is permitted based on the affiliated institution's policies and the general employment policies outlined in this document.
You can refer to the 2011 Guide (NSF 11-031) at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf11031 for further information about teaching, research, and other work activities during tenure years.
We apologize for confusion these changes may have caused, but look forward to working with you to ensure the GRFP is as effective as possible in helping to ensure the vitality of the U. S. scientific and engineering workforce.
The Graduate Research Fellowship Program Office
Division of Graduate Education
Directorate for Education & Human Resources
National Science Foundation
FastLane will begin automated compliance checking for the data management plan starting January 15th and proposals (including unsolicited proposals) that do not comply with the requirement will be prevented from submission.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the new PAPP Guide, and visit the Policy Office website (http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/) for additional information. We have developed an entire suite of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on topics such as general proposal preparation and award administration, Project Outcomes Reports, Responsible Conduct of Research, Data Management Plans and Cost Sharing. The Policy Office updates these FAQs as new questions are raised, to keep the community aware of emerging issues, so please visit our site often to access the latest information on NSF policies and procedures.
If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the Policy Office on (703) 292-8243 or by e-mail to email@example.com.
NSF Data Management Plan Requirements
Proposals submitted or due on or after January 18, 2011, must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled "Data Management Plan". This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. See Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.j for full policy implementation.
More information can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp.