September 23, 2009

New Shorter NIH Application Forms Required for January Deadlines

The National Institutes of Health has announced that new, restructured versions of the paper PHS 398 and electronic SF 424 (R&R) application packages and instructions will be available by December 2009.

All new or resubmission applications targeting due dates on or after January 25, 2010 (for fiscal year 2011 funding) must use the new application forms and instructions, even if the initial submission followed the current application forms and instructions.

NIH will issue an NIH Guide Notice when the new forms and instructions are available. Applicants must return to the Funding Opportunity Announcement or reissued parent announcement to download the new forms and instructions.

Changes include significantly shorter page limits and restructured application packages. These changes will affect all competing applications submitted to NIH.

Key changes include:

Shortened Page Limits. The page limit for the new Research Strategy section will be 6 or 12 pages. One additional page will be allowed for Specific Aims.

Alignment of the Application with Peer Review Criteria:
  • Research Plan. Three sections of the current Research Plan (Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies/Progress Report, and Research Design and Methods) will be consolidated into a new single section within the Research Plan entitled Research Strategy. The new Research Strategy section will be sub-divided into three parts: Significance, Innovation, and Approach.

  • Resources. The Facilities and Other Resources section will be changed to require a description of how the scientific environment will contribute to the probability of success of the project, unique features of the environment, and for Early Stage Investigators, the institutional investment in the success of the investigator.

  • Biographical Sketch. A new Personal Statement will be incorporated as Part A, changing the parts formerly called A, B, and C to Parts B, C, and D. Applicants should limit the list of selected peer-reviewed publications to no more than 15.

For more information, see:

September 18, 2009

Guidance for Campus: Preparation for ARRA Reports

September 18, 2009
From: Lori Cripps, Director, Extramural Funds Accounting
To: Department Research Administrators
Subject: Preparation for ARRA Reports - due October 10, 2009

This message is for all department managers and administrators with awards funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

A critical component of ARRA requires awardees to submit quarterly reports for all awards received. Completed reports are due no later than 10 calendar days after each calendar quarter in which the recipient receives the award. Reports for the quarter ending September 30, 2009 must be submitted to the federal government by October 10.

Berkeley is working to develop a web-based portal to facilitate the compilation and submission of these quarterly reports. Most of the required information used to populate the portal will be pulled directly from existing campus systems -- COEUS and BAIRS. However, currently there are six data fields that will require input from the department. The six fields are: 1) award description; 2) quarterly activities; 3) project completion status; 4) number of jobs created and jobs retained; 5) description of the jobs created and retained; and 6) description of the product/service for vendor payments over $25K. Additional information and guidance on the specific requirements of these fields will be provided soon on the EFA website

The timeframe to submit this information will be very short, and we anticipate that the web portal will be available no sooner than October 1. To ease the reporting requirements, we recommend you begin gathering the required information now so that you will be able to respond quickly to the call for submission of information.

During the next few weeks we will be providing ARRA updates on the status of the portal project, as well as plans for training and roll-out of the reporting tool. Please subscribe to the ARRA listserve to be certain you receive all future ARRA communications. To subscribe, please go to

If you have any questions about ARRA reporting requirements, please contact me at, or (510) 642-1371.

NOTE: Departments will be responsible for reporting ARRA jobs created and jobs retained for sub-recipients receiving funding from ARRA awards made to UCB. The Sponsored Projects Office will be issuing guidance for departments on how to report this information shortly.