June 29, 2007

NIH Electronic Submission: Federal Holidays Now Excluded from Application Viewing Window

Effective immediately, the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have changed the electronic submission of grant applications process to exclude federal holidays from the two weekdays provided for applicants to review their assembled application in the eRA Commons (referred to as the “application viewing window”).

In the past, federal holidays were included in the two weekdays allowed for the application viewing window. Beginning with the July 4, 2007 holiday, federal holidays will be excluded from the two weekday application viewing window and all applications will be held for at least two full, non-holiday weekdays (Monday-Friday).

The ten federal holidays are: New Years Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

June 15, 2007

NIH Improving Electronic Application Validation Process

The National Institutes of Health has reviewed the errors and warnings applicants receive in the eRA Commons. As a result of that review and in response to feedback from people using the eRA Commons, NIH is taking steps to improve the process. NIH is making the following changes.
  • Clarify message text and application guide instructions for the most frequent error and warning messages.
  • Remove many warning messages (more than 50 percent of the R01 warnings received have been flagged for removal).
  • Increase system tolerance for minor inconsistencies in names provided in the application when compared to names included in the eRA Commons profile.
  • When possible, change “errors” to “warnings” to allow the submission to proceed.
  • Soften the tone of messages and reserve more explicit language or descriptions for cases where delays in application processing are most likely to occur.
  • Critically examine errors and warnings that are not required for review and could be addressed prior to award.
More information is available in the May issue of the NIH Extramural Nexus newsletter.

June 11, 2007

Defense Instrumentation Programs: DURIP Deadline is August 21; MURI LOIs Due August 6, MURI Proposals Due October 23

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Army Research Office, and Office of Naval Research are soliciting proposals for the fiscal year 2008 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP). The DURIP program is “designed to improve the capabilities of U.S. institutions of higher education … to conduct research and to educate scientists and engineers in areas important to national defense, by providing funds for the acquisition of research equipment.”

The program will provide approximately $40 million in FY 2008 to purchase research equipment that costs $50,000 or more. Individual awards will not exceed $1,000,000. In FY 2007, awards ranged from approximately $50,000 to $950,000, averaging $205,000; very few awards exceeded $500,000. Awards are typically one year in length.

The solicitation is available at http://www.afosr.af.mil/pdfs/afosr_baa_2007_9_2.pdf. The proposal deadline is August 21, 2007. Proposals may be submitted electronically through Grants.gov or in hard copy.

AFOSR, ARO, and ONR are also requesting proposals for the FY 2008 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program. The MURI program supports basic science and/or engineering research at U.S. institutions of higher education that is of critical importance to national defense. The program is focused on multidisciplinary research efforts that intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline to address issues of critical concern to the DoD. The FY 2008 MURI competition is for the 19 topics listed in the Broad Agency Announcement.

Total amount of funding for five years is estimated to be about $207 million. It is anticipated that the maximum award will be $1.5 million per year, with the actual amount contingent on availability of funds, the specific topic, and the scope of the proposed work.

The agency program announcements are posted at Grants.gov: ONR, AFOSR, and ARO. Applicants are encouraged to submit white papers (by email or in hard copy) by August 6, 2007, to minimize the labor and cost associated with the production of full proposals that are unlikely to be selected for funding. The deadline for full proposals deadline is October 23, 2007. Proposals may be submitted electronically through Grants.gov or in hard copy.