The biggest news is in an update on some of the changes coming in the soon-to-be-released consolidated policy document, the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide. Effective with implementation of the new Guide, NSF will be allowing only four fonts in NSF proposals: Arial, Helvetica, Palatino, and Georgia.
March 15, 2007
The announcement was published on January 25 in the NIH Guide at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-07-043.html. Updates on the status of the transition to electronic submission are posted on the NIH eRA Electronic Submission of Grant Applications web site at http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/index.htm.
Therefore, NIH and AHRQ are changing the deadlines for AIDS and AIDS-related applications. Effective May 7, 2007 the due dates for AIDS applications are May 7, September 7, and January 7.
NIH announced this change in the February 23 NIH Guide at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-07-053.html.
Notice of Legislative Mandates in Effect for FY 2007
This notice provides information on the statutory provisions that limit the use of funds on NIH grant, cooperative agreement, and contract awards for FY 2007. Joint Resolution (P.L. 110- 005) provides funding for the remainder of FY 2007 It also continues the bill language from FY 2006 under the same terms and conditions as were provided in the FY 2006 Appropriations Act (P.L. 109-149).
Implementation of NIH Fiscal Policy for Non-Competing Grant Awards - FY 2007
To implement the FY 2007 fiscal guidance, non-competing research awards will be awarded at 97.1% of the FY 2007 committed level. Future year commitments also will be adjusted accordingly. Institutes and centers will maintain the flexibility to supplement such non-competing awards on a case by-case basis. However, such supplements will not be considered as part of the base for future budgetary adjustments. Non-competing awards previously issued in FY 2007 at reduced levels will be revised to restore funds to the level indicated above.
Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts
The provision in the NIH appropriations that restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level I of the Federal Executive Pay scale continues through FY 2007 The Executive Level I annual salary rate was $183,500 for the period January 1 through December 31, 2006. Effective January 1, 2007, the Executive Level I salary level increased to $186,600.
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipend and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2007
The stipend levels for FY 2007 Kirschstein-NRSA awards for undergraduate, predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and fellows remain the same as in FY 2006. The notice provides summaries of the stipend levels and of training-related expenses and institutional allowances or predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and fellows.
The NIH site reviews focus specifically on compliance with the Financial Conflict of Interest regulation pertaining to NIH grants. NIH developed the observation document for use by the grantee community as a resource for evaluating implementation of the regulation. The document contains a discussion of compliance issues and suggestions for implementation.
The new regulation is "intended to increase the quality and transparency of agency guidance practices and the significant guidance documents produced through them."
OMB currently reviews rulemaking but not guidance documents. The new regulation will require agencies to make their policies and practices for issuing guidance documents similar to and more consistent with rulemaking practices. Agencies will be required to be highly transparent with respect to guidance documents. All guidance documents for an agency will have to be listed on a common web page and have a mechanism for public feedback.
Deans are delegated the decision whether to make the FSEP program available to faculty in their school or college. Deans are also responsible for determining specific program and process guidelines, including whether any portion of the salary release should be retained by the college or department. In those colleges that opt to make the program available, a further decision to participate should be made on a department-by-department basis by each chair. Faculty wishing to participate must obtain approval from both the department chair and dean and are responsible for initiating and renewing FSEP requests.
The campus memo from Jan de Vries, Vice Provost - Academic Affairs and Faculty Welfare, is available at https://mossberg.berkeley.edu/CALmessages/display_message.asp?d=2/23/2007&s=105. Additional tools and administrative details to assist in planning implementation of the pilot are available at the Academic Personnel Office web site: http://apo.chance.berkeley.edu/FSEPguidelines.html.
Effective immediately, principal investigators are responsible for ensuring that specific requirements are met for any controlled substances used in the course of their research. More information is available in the campus announcement: https://mossberg.berkeley.edu/CALmessages/display_message.asp?d=2/23/2007&s=101.
The policy states that before beginning research using human stem cells or deriving human stem cell lines, Berkeley investigators must have their research protocol approved by the newly formed campus Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (SCRO).
The announcement to campus is available at https://mossberg.berkeley.edu/CALmessages/display_message.asp?d=2/15/2007&s=100. The policy is published at http://research.chance.berkeley.edu/page.cfm?id=203 or http://campuspol.chance.berkeley.edu/policies/stemcells.pdf.
Reporting directly to Assistant Vice Chancellor Marcia Smith, the RAC Business Manager will be responsible for management of all business functions in RAC including managerial leadership, support staff supervision, budgeting, planning, personnel administration, planning and management of outreach events, and financial and accounting administration.
The job is posted at http://jobs.berkeley.edu/, Job # 006004.
The following meetings will be on May 8 and June 12. Upcoming agendas and meeting schedules for the RAC Forum are available at http://rac.berkeley.edu/racforum.html. Notices will also be sent out by email. To be added to the mailing list, please contact Shelley Sprandel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 2-8122.
State of California law requires disclosure of financial interest in the sponsor of a research project; the donor of a research gift; and, under certain circumstances, the provider of materials under a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) when that sponsor, donor, or provider is a non-governmental source. For research projects, the Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators (Form 700-U) should accompany the proposal and Proposal Review Form to the Sponsored Projects Office or to the Industry Alliances Office. For MTAs, the Form 700-U should accompany the Material Transfer Agreement Review Form to the Industry Alliances Office.
The total federal R&D investment for FY 2007 is a record $139.9 billion, and increase of $4.6 billion. The increase primarily goes to development programs in the Defense Department for weapons systems and to NASA for new human spacecraft.
The appropriations contain increases for three physical sciences agencies as part of the American Competitiveness Initiative: the National Science Foundation, the Energy Department Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the Commerce Department. Also, the National Institutes of Health receives an inflationary increase instead of flat funding.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science Budget and Policy Program provides analysis of research and development (R&D) in the fiscal year 2007 budget at http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/fy07.htm.
President Proposes FY 2008 Budget
The President's proposed budget for FY 2008 was released February 5 (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy08/browse.html). The proposed budget includes increases for the three physical sciences agencies in the American Competitiveness Initiative, increases for weapons development and human spacecraft development, and decreased funding for the remaining federal R&D portfolio, including NIH.
To track the progress of the FY 2008 budget, resources include the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program (http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/), the American Association of Universities (http://www.aau.edu/budget/budapp.cfm), and the federal Office of Management and Budget (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/).