December 21, 2010

NIH Launches Feedback NIH, Requests Comments on Proposed New Institute and Center

The National Institutes of Health has launched a new web site, Feedback NIH, that will provide the most up-to-date information on various planning and development issues that arise at NIH and provide a place for NIH to receive input and insights from individuals across NIH, the biomedical research community, and the public.

NIH is currently seeking comments and questions on two initiatives:

December 20, 2010

Reminder: Changes for NSF Proposals Submitted or Due On or After January 18

The new National Science Foundation Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 11-1) goes into effect for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 18, 2011. The significant changes to the PAPPG include 1) a requirement that all proposals submitted to NSF contain an up to two-page Data Management Plan as a Supplementary Document and 2) implementation of the National Science Board’s recommendations regarding cost sharing. A complete list of significant changes accompanies the PAPPG.

Please note that because January 15 is a Saturday, and Monday, January 17 is a Federal holiday, per Grant Proposal Guide Chapter I.F, the due dates are extended to the following business day. Therefore, proposals submitted in response to funding opportunities whose deadline dates fall after close of business on January 14, will be due January 18, and will be subject to the requirements set forth in NSF 11-1. This includes the requirement to submit a Data Management Plan as a supplementary document.

FastLane will begin automated compliance checking for the data management plan starting January 15, 2011, 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 NSF Policy Office web site for additional information. NSF has developed a 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 the NSF site often to access the latest information on NSF policies and procedures.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the NSF Policy Office on (703) 292-8243 or by e-mail to, or your SPO research administrator.

Data Management Plan Resource:
California Digital Library Data Management Guidelines
CDL press release: Online data management planning tool tames data and meets researchers’ funding requirements

October 7, 2010 Research Advocate article: NSF Revises Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Effective January 18

December 01, 2010

Reminder: Elimination of the NIH Two-Day Error-Correction Window

The National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will eliminate the error-correction window for grant applications with due dates on or after January 25, 2011.

The Vice Chancellor for Research issued a campus memo reminding the campus of this change through CALmessages on November 29, 2010. The text of the memo is included below.
From: Graham Fleming, Vice Chancellor for Research
Subject: Reminder: Elimination of the NIH two-day “error correction window”

After January 25, 2011, National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will eliminate the current two-day “error correction window” from the application submission process.

The error correction window was instituted by these agencies as a temporary measure to facilitate the transition from paper to electronic applications. Now that it will be rescinded, PIs are encouraged to carefully review all proposal forms and attachments before submitting a final copy of a proposal to SPO. Even minor errors such as having a title that exceeds the maximum number of characters and typos such as adding an extra space between a first and last name can cause error messages to be generated by

SPO realizes that PIs only have a limited time to work on a proposal and proposals sometimes must be submitted “late” in accordance with the VCR’s late proposal policy. This alert is to make the campus community mindful of the fact that when the error correction window disappears and SPO receives an error message from after the proposal deadline, there will be no way for SPO to correct this error and resubmit the proposal.

This is particularly important prior to standard NIH submission dates when there is heavy traffic on At such times it often can take more than 24 hours to receive feedback from that a proposal must be corrected. So even a proposal submitted by SPO a day before the agency due date may receive an error message from after the agency deadline has passed.

SPO therefore reminds PIs submitting proposals to NIH, AHRQ and NIOSH after January 25, 2011 to transmit proposals to SPO five working days before the application due date in accordance with the VCRO's existing policy. PIs that receive VCRO approval to submit “late proposals” are cautioned that proposals received less than five working days before the agency deadline may not be submitted in time to make corrections in time for resubmission through

If you have any questions, please contact Pamela Miller at 642-2925.


Graham Fleming
Vice Chancellor for Research

August 20, 2010 Research Advocate article: NIH, AHRQ, and NIOSH to Eliminate Error-Correction Window for Applications

November 09, 2010

RAC Offices to Close During the Annual Campus Winter Break

The Office for Animal Care and Use, the Conflict of Interest Committee Office, the Office for the Protection of Human Subjects, the Sponsored Projects Office, and the Research Administration and Compliance Office will be closed during the campus energy curtailment beginning Thursday, December 23, 2010 until Monday, January 3, 2011. Offices will reopen on Monday, January 3, 2011.

SPO Proposal Submission

SPO will process proposals due in December 2010 and January 2011 according to the VCR’s five-day proposal submission policy with the following exceptions:
  • For proposals with deadlines that fall between December 23 and January 2, the due date to SPO will be no later than Wednesday, December 15, 2010.
  • For proposals due January 3-6, 2011, the due date to SPO will be no later than noon on Monday, December 20, 2010.
  • SPO will not accept proposals after noon on Monday, December 20, 2010.
Principal Investigators also are encouraged to inform their SPO Research Analyst if they will be submitting a proposal with a due date just prior to, during, or just after the curtailment period. This will give SPO and the PI an opportunity to discuss the best way to handle the proposal to make sure it is submitted in a timely manner.

COI Disclosure Submission

In order to be on the agenda for any meeting, complete disclosure packets must be received no later than 10 working days prior to the date of the meeting.
  • The deadline for submission for the December 16, 2010 meeting is December 2, 2010.
  • The deadline for submission for the January 20, 2011 meeting is January 5, 2011.
ACUC Protocol Submission

Please note that all protocols and protocol revisions must be submitted via email to by 5 pm on the deadline date. If you wish to make changes to an approved protocol, you must first contact the Office for Animal Care and Use (OACU) to obtain a copy of the current approved version of your protocol. Failure to do so may result in your protocol being returned to you.
  • The deadline for protocol submission for the January 26, 2011 meeting is Monday, November 22, 2010.
  • The deadline for protocol submission for the February 23, 2011 meeting is January 3, 2011. No exceptions to this deadline will be granted as ACUC staff must process all protocols for the February meeting by end of business on January 4, 2011.
CPHS Protocol Submission

Important: if your study is “greater than minimal risk” needing full board review and the approval will expire before January 21, 2011, you must submit your renewal application in time for review at a December 2010 CPHS meeting.
  • The deadline for protocol submission for the December 3, 2010 CPHS-I meeting is Monday, November 8, 2010.
  • The deadline for protocol submission for the December 17, 2010 CPHS-II meeting is Monday, November 15, 2010.
  • There is no CPHS-I meeting in January 2011.
  • The deadline for protocol submission for the January 21, 2011 CPHS-II meeting is Monday, December 13, 2010. (Please note this is an earlier deadline than usual.)
  • The deadline for protocol submission for the February 4, 2011 CPHS-I meeting is Wednesday, December 22, 2010. (Please note this is an earlier deadline than usual.)
  • No deliveries will be accepted after noon on December 22, 2010; any documents left in the drop box over the break will not be retrieved and logged until January 3, 2011.

October 15, 2010

NIH Grants Policy Statement Revised, Effective October 1

The National Institutes of Health published a revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS, rev. 10/1/2010), applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2010. NIH provides a chapter-by-chapter summary of significant changes (Microsoft Word).

This revision supersedes, in its entirety, the NIH Grants Policy Statement (12/03) as a standard term and condition of award. However, the December 2003 NIHGPS continues to be the standard term and condition for all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods that began between December 1, 2003 and September 30, 2010.

October 13, 2010

Regulatory Investigation Results in Good News for UC Berkeley

In August 2006, the Vice Chancellor for Research received a letter from the Office for Protection of Human Subjects (OHRP), the federal oversight agency for human subjects research. OHRP had been sent a whistle-blower complaint about UCB, and what ensued was over a year and a half of extensive investigation, including questions and responses by OPHS on behalf of CPHS, UCB, and our researchers. We satisfactorily addressed their concerns and that phase of the investigation was wrapped up by May 2008, but OHRP promised us a site visit would follow. Subsequently, in June 2010, OHRP did conduct an on-site visit of UCB’s human subjects research program. OHRP officials reviewed exempt and non-exempt protocols, recent amendments, two years worth of meeting minutes, CPHS Policies and Procedures, and the CPHS web site. In addition, they met with OPHS staff, the CPHS Chairs and members, NIH-funded investigators, and senior administrators.

In their post-visit letter of July 15, 2010, OHRP noted in their letter to Graham Fleming, Vice Chancellor for Research and our Institutional Official:
During the OHRP site visit, the IRB chairs, members, and administrative staff displayed an enthusiastic and sincere concern for the protection of human subjects. In addition, we noted that investigators demonstrated a culture of respect for the IRB process. Moreover, as we indicated during the exit interview with you and others, we have observed that over the last few years there have been significant improvements in the UCB human subjects protection program…. We applaud UCB for these improvements.
Then, on October 12, 2010, we were officially notified that OHRP had made no regulatory findings or determinations as a result of their visit and that we had addressed their remaining concerns. This letter stated, “As a result, our evaluation of the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) human subject protection program has been completed. We appreciate your institution’s continued commitment to the protection of human research subjects.”

OPHS staff would like to say a big thank-you to all UCB investigators and especially to the CPHS Chairs, Professor Jane Mauldon and Professor Bill Jagust, as well as their respective committees, for working with us to improve UCB’s human subject protection program. We also wish to acknowledge the support we’ve received from Vice Chancellor for Research Graham Fleming (and Beth Burnside before him) for the resources necessary to truly make this an outstanding program reflective of Berkeley’s premier status!

Rebecca D. Armstrong, DVM, PhD
Director, Research Subject Protection

October 07, 2010

NSF Revises Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Effective January 18

The National Science Foundation has published a revised version of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPP), NSF 11-1, effective for proposals submitted on or after January 18, 2011. Changes include revisions to the cost sharing section to implement National Science Board recommendations regarding cost sharing (voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited), and a revision to the Cover Sheet to make it consistent with the requirements of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act.

NSF provides a summary of significant changes at the beginning of each of the two sections of the PAPP, the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award and Administration Guide.

September 17, 2010

EPA STAR Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study: SPO Review of Applications Not Required

The Environmental Protection Agency Fall 2011 EPA Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowships For Graduate Environmental Study program supports masters and doctoral candidates in environmental studies. Submission deadlines for the Fall 2011 competition are as follows:

Solicitation Closing Date: November 5, 2010
Solicitation Closing Time: 4:00 PM Eastern Time (ET) to receive paper applications.
11:59:59 PM Eastern Time (ET) for electronic submission through
11:59:59 PM Eastern Time (ET) for e-mail submission of All Letters of Recommendation.

This year EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship applications do not have to be reviewed by SPO prior to submission. However, student applicants are required to follow the following procedures when submitting their proposal.

Special Instructions

The student applicant may submit either a paper application to EPA, or an electronic application via, but not both in response to this program announcement. Follow the application instructions provided in the program announcement for either the paper or electronic submission process.

Make sure to note the modifications to the instructions for filling out the Standard Form 424 and the EPA Key Contacts Form.

For this application, it is appropriate to enter the name of the student as the “applicant.” Do not enter the name of an institution. For questions about the “Authorized Representative” provide information about the student applicant not UC Berkeley. For “Administrative Contact” enter the name of the student’s advisor or, if not available, leave this field blank.

Student applicants do not need to submit their application to SPO for review prior to submission. However, should an award be granted, the student applicant should bring all of the EPA award information to SPO for processing. At this time SPO will require that the student provide a completed Proposal Review Form (PRF) and a copy of the proposal submitted. Failure to provide this information to SPO will prevent the student from receiving tuition and fee payments from the STAR Fellowship.


The student also is responsible for providing SPO with any future notices of additional EPA funding related to the STAR Fellowship. Failure to provide these award notices to SPO will delay the student’s ability to use EPA funds for tuition and fee payments.

September 10, 2010

GAO Issues Report “University Research: Policies for the Reimbursement of Indirect Costs Need to be Updated”

In 2007, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to examine issues related to rates used to reimburse higher education institutions for indirect costs on federally funded research awards.

GAO issued the resulting report and recommendations,“University Research: Policies for the Reimbursement of Indirect Costs Need to be Updated,” on September 8.

A summary of recommendations from pages 38-39 of the full report is excerpted below:

Recommendations for Executive Action:

To address different processes for negotiating rates by the two cognizant rate-setting agencies for higher education institutions, we recommend that the Director of OMB:
  • Identify methods to ensure that the rate-setting process is applied consistently at all schools, regardless of which agency has rate cognizance. This would include identifying ways to ensure that differences in cognizant rate-setting agencies’ approaches, goals, policies, and practices do not lead to unintended differences in schools’ rate reductions for indirect costs.
To ensure that indirect cost reimbursement practices are consistent with the current state of indirect research costs at schools providing federal basic research, we recommend that the Director of OMB:
  • Clarify the roles and responsibilities of federal agencies (including DOD, HHS, and OMB) in accepting applications and reevaluating the eligibility of schools to receive the utility cost adjustment.
  • Reexamine and determine whether reimbursing administrative costs at a maximum rate of 26 percent achieves the appropriate level of cost control and achieves the government’s objective that the federal government bears its fair share of total costs.
To improve DOD’s ability to oversee reimbursement of allowable indirect costs to schools, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics:
  • Establish a process for administrative grants/contracting officers to verify at grant closeout whether a school has requested reimbursement at the accurate indirect cost rate and dollar amount, which includes calculating whether the dollar amount reflects the appropriate application of rates for that award.
  • Assess the current level of audit coverage for monitoring DOD indirect cost reimbursement for schools and determine what level is sufficient and whether to expand use of closeout audits and other audits to oversee compliance.
  • Develop a policy for oversight of indirect costs that includes the use of alternative oversight information (1) for those schools not individually audited under the single audit, and (2) for those schools where the audit coverage of research and development awards is not sufficient for oversight of indirect costs.

August 30, 2010

FY 2010 Sponsored Projects Annual Report Available

The Sponsored Projects Office Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2010, is now available on the SPO web site. The report provides information on campus proposals and awards during the past fiscal year; in fiscal year 2010, the Berkeley campus received $743.6 million in contract and grant awards.

August 20, 2010

NIH, AHRQ, and NIOSH to Eliminate Error-Correction Window for Applications

The National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will eliminate the error-correction window for grant applications with due dates on or after January 25, 2011.

The announcement, NOT-OD-10-123, published in the NIH Guide on August 16, states that “eliminating the error correction window will ensure consistent and fair deadlines for all applicants and better align these agencies’ application submission processes with the submission processes of other federal agencies.” The error-correction window was implemented in December 2005 as a temporary measure to facilitate the transition from paper to electronic application submission.

Beginning on January 25, 2011, all applications submitted after 5:00 p.m. local time of the applicant organization on the due date will be subject to the NIH late policy and may not be accepted for review. In addition, any post-submission application materials will be subject to the policy published July 23 in NOT-OD-10-115.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now accepting grant proposals for Round 6 of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage innovative and unconventional global health solutions. Anyone can apply - from any experience level, from any discipline, and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies.

Proposals will be accepted by the Foundation via an online portal until November 2, 2010. The Sponsored Projects Office reminds those interested in applying for this opportunity that proposals must be reviewed and approved by SPO prior to submission. Proposals should be submitted to SPO with a signed Proposal Review Form (PRF) at least five working days before the agency deadline.

July 30, 2010

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Agreements

The Sponsored Projects Office has notified UC Berkeley Principal Investigators (PIs) with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) agreements that contract terms, especially terms dealing with the period of performance, are being strictly enforced by LLNL.

PIs are cautioned not to perform any work without a fully executed agreement between LLNL and the University and not to conduct project activities outside the performance period without the express written authorization of the LLNL contracting office. PIs that choose to perform work at the request of LLNL scientific personnel without the concurrence of the LLNL contracting office do so at their own risk.

July 27, 2010

Federal Register 2.0 Beta Site Launched

The Federal Register is the official daily publication of federal notices, rules and regulations, requests for comment, and presidential documents.

The Office of the Federal Register and the U.S. Government Printing Office are jointly developing an unofficial prototype of an XML-based edition of the Federal Register on a new site, The new site provides a more easy-to-read format for Federal Register documents and has web tools and user aids designed to help people find material relevant to their interests.

The beta site was launched on July 26, 2010 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Federal Register Act. Comments and suggestions from the public are welcome.

NIH Progress Reports/Continuation Applications

Berkeley Principal Investigators (PIs) with National Institutes of Health awards subject to the Streamlined Non-Competing Award Process (SNAP) are required to submit their progress reports/continuation applications to NIH using the Electronic Streamlined Noncompeting Award Procedure or “eSNAP.” In the past, PIs were required to route their eSNAP reports through SPO for review and submission.

As of August 1, 2010 PIs should submit eSNAP reports directly to NIH without prior review by SPO. This change in procedure is in response to a recommendation generated by the Dean’s Streamlining Initiative. PIs who will be preparing an eSNAP report and individuals who will be assisting them with editing the eSNAP report or the PI’s e-Commons profile need to be registered in the NIH e-Commons.

Guidance on how to register can be found on the SPO web site at

Additional guidance and helpful hints on the submission of eSNAPs including initiating and managing an eSNAP, editing business information, and uploading science also is provided. PIs are strongly encouraged to read this information before preparing and submitting an eSNAP. SPO will begin the process of delegating submission authority to PIs on July 30, 2010. NIH will generate an automatic message to alert each PI when the delegation has been completed.

PIs who do not receive such a notice by August 6, 2010 should contact Jim Fong for assistance at or 643-2734.

June 28, 2010

National Academies Launches Study of Research Universities

The National Academies has created an ad hoc committee to conduct a study and issue a report with findings and recommendations on the question: “What are the top ten actions that Congress, the federal government, state governments, research universities, and others could take to assure the ability of the American research university to maintain the excellence in research and doctoral education needed to help the United States compete, prosper, and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment, and security in the global community of the 21st century?”

The Consensus Report is scheduled to be released in approximately May 2011. The 21-member committee includes UC Berkeley faculty member Laura D’Andrea Tyson.

June 01, 2010

NIH Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes to Financial Conflict of Interest Regulations

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the May 21 Federal Register requesting public comment on the proposed changes to the Public Health Service (PHS) regulations on the Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which PHS Funding is Sought and Responsible Prospective Contractors. The National Institutes of Health is accepting comments on behalf of the PHS; comments must be received by July 20, 2010.

NIH Director Francis Collins stated in a May 20 press briefing that this “will be a substantial change in the way in which NIH seeks to oversee potential financial conflicts of interest.”

Briefly, the proposed rules would change the threshold for a “significant financial interest” to $5,000 from the current $10,000, and would require institutions to determine if a conflict of interest is significant, report to the NIH or other PHS agency details on how conflicts of interest are being managed, and publish information concerning identified financial conflicts of interests on publicly accessible web sites. See the 26-page Federal Register Notice and other resources for complete information.

July 21 Update

The Department of Health and Human Services has extended the comment period for 30 days to August 19, 2010, to clarify certain elements of the proposed rule for which HHS is seeking additional comment.

New NIH Policy on Post-Submission Application Materials

The National Institutes of Health is changing agency policy to only allow grant application materials to be accepted after submission of the application but before the initial peer review if they result from unforeseen administrative issues. The change will be effective for applications submitted for the September 25, 2010 receipt date and thereafter.

The May 21 NIH Guide Notice includes lists of acceptable post-submission materials under the new policy, unacceptable post-submission materials, exceptions, and page limits for post-submission materials.

Exceptions include:
  • Applications submitted in response to Requests for Applications that have only one due date.
  • Applications for training grants. NIH posted additional guidance for training grant applications in a June 11 NIH Guide Notice.
  • Certain NIH Funding Opportunity Announcements may allow certain other types of post-submission materials to facilitate the goals of the program.

June 11, 2010: Enhancing Peer Review Advance Notice: New NIH Policy on Post-Submission Application Materials (NOT-OD-10-091)
July 23, 2010: Enhancing Peer Review: New NIH Policy on Post-Submission Application Materials (NOT-OD-10-115)

May 13, 2010

NSF to Require Data Sharing Plan in Proposals

In October 2010, the National Science Foundation is planning to require that “all proposals include a data management plan in the form of a two-page supplementary document.” NSF announced this change at the May 5 National Science Board meeting.

The new requirement will change existing NSF policy that “requires grantees to share their data within a reasonable length of time, so long as the cost is modest.”

NSF states that the data management plans will be subject to peer review, and that NSF directorates and divisions will have flexibility to tailor implementation as appropriate.

NSF will inform the research community of the specifics of the anticipated changes and NSF’s expectations for the data management plans before October.

May 10, 2010

Berkeley Establishes New Fund Advance Process

The Sponsored Projects Office has developed a new process of establishing a Fund Advance at Berkeley. Under a Fund Advance a pending project’s costs can be charged to a fund number that will become the permanent fund number for the project when the official award is received, and cost transfers will not be necessary.

Go to to access the form and directions. The new process (effective immediately) will allow Fund Advances for pending awards to go forward under any one of the following three conditions:
  • Type A. The request is for a federal award in which 90 calendar day pre-award costs are allowable. The PI must provide SPO with documentation (from an appropriate sponsor representative) of (a) the sponsor’s intent to fund the project, (b) the project start date, and (c) the anticipated funding level. Under this option the pre-award period is limited to up to 90 calendar days.

  • Type B. The PI or Department/Unit is able to provide an unrestricted fund (i.e., 19900 or non-restricted gift fund) and appropriate chart string to clear any deficit that might result if the award is not issued at the end of the Fund Advance period. The PI and the authorized financial administrator of the fund/chart string must sign the Fund Advance form certifying this commitment. Under this option, the pre-award period will be limited to up to 180 calendar days.

  • Type C. The Chair/Director/Dean of the PI’s Unit is willing to sign the form certifying that if the award is not issued by the end of the Fund Advance period the deficit will be cleared in accordance with the procedures specified in the Campus Policy on Deficit Resolution under “Consequences of Not Resolving the Deficit.” Under this option, the pre-award period will be limited to up to 180 calendar days.
PIs should note that a Fund Advance always poses some risk to the University. For this reason, Fund Advances will not be processed for pending awards in which:
  • The effective start date of the project is tied to the date of final signature on the award agreement. In such cases spending cannot begin until the award or contract is fully executed.

  • The University informed the sponsor at the time of proposal submission that the University reserves the right to negotiate the terms and conditions of any award that might result.

  • There is reason to believe that award terms and conditions will conflict with University policy and a protracted negotiation period is likely.

  • Research compliance issues related to human subjects, animal care and use, stem cells, and/or financial conflict of interest have not yet been approved/managed.

  • The award is for a UCOP-funded project.
If you have any questions about the new form or process please contact your SPO Research Analyst.

Conflict of Interest Web Site Redesign

The Conflict of Interest Committee web site has been revised to use the UC Berkeley campus templates. This redesign fits with the previously updated Research Administration and Compliance and Human Subjects Protection sites.

The new left menu provides improved site navigation. The site also includes a search tool that includes search results from the COI web site and other sites within RAC, and a site map.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the revised site.

March 1, 2010 Research Advocate article: RAC Web Site Redesign
January 14, 2010 Research Advocate article: CPHS/OPHS Launch Redesigned Web Site

May 03, 2010

Proposals Should Not Include New Data Network Recharge

All UC Berkeley proposals should not include the Data Network Recharge until further notice.

$12 Million Available in New Federal “i6 Challenge” to Bring Innovative Ideas to Market

Entrepreneurs, investors, universities, and nonprofit organizations are inviteded to participate in the “i6 Challenge,” a new $12 million innovation competition administered by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

EDA will award up to $1 million to each of six teams with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in their regions. Applicants must demonstrate a matching share of at least $500,000 from non-federal sources. NIH and NSF will award a total of up to $6 million in supplemental funding to their SBIR grantees that are associated or partnered with the winning teams.

The deadline for applications is July 15, 2010.

EDA will hold an online information session at 5:00 p.m. PDT on May 17, 2010. More details on the session will be posted at the i6 Challenge web site.

April 16, 2010

NSF FastLane Proposals: Hard Copies no Longer Needed for Review by SPO

As of May 1, 2010, the Sponsored Projects Office will begin reviewing National Science Foundation proposals online via the FastLane system. PIs will no longer need to provide SPO with an additional hard copy of their proposal. This policy will apply to all new proposals and requests for supplements submitted through the FastLane system. It will not apply to any other type of NSF submission, and it will not apply to or any other type of electronic submission at this time.


1. Complete the NSF proposal in the FastLane system.
2. Allow Sponsored Research Office (SRO) access to “view, edit and submit” the completed proposal. (If the proposal is in draft form, the PI may choose to allow SPO to “view and edit” only. However, the PI must give SPO access to the “submit” function by the date and time specified by SPO.)
3. After allowing SRO access, submit an email message with the temporary NSF proposal number in the subject line to The following should be attached as one linked PDF document:
a. Completed and signed Proposal Review Form (PRF)
b. Letters of support from any named consultants and/or collaborators (not already included in proposal)
c. Completed and signed federal conflict of interest disclosure forms*
d. Any other required documents as needed, e.g., letters confirming cost sharing commitments, sub-recipient commitment forms, etc.
*For SBIR and STTR proposals only, signed 700-U forms must still be submitted to SPO in hard copy form per State requirements.


After allowing SRO access to the proposal on FastLane, submit the required information listed above via in a timely manner.

Remember Steps 1-3 must be completed five working days before the submission deadline for the proposal to be considered “on time.”

The proposal will not be logged in or considered received by SPO until Steps 1-3 have been completed as specified:
  • Email messages that fail to include the NSF temporary proposal number in the subject line will not be accepted by SPO.
  • Attachments that do not include a completed and signed PRF and all required attachments will not be accepted by SPO.
Late proposals must follow the VCRO’s procedures for late proposal exceptions.

Keeping Current with NIH: April News Highlights

The April 16 NIH Guide includes the following two notices.

Policy Reminder Concerning Appendix Materials for All NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Grant Applications

The implementation of shorter page limits, limited number of publications in the biographical sketch, and the restructured research plan as part of the NIH Enhancing Peer Review initiative are cause for reminding applicants of NIH policy regarding materials that are acceptable in a grant application appendix. The current SF424 R&R Application Guides (General, SBIR/STTR and Individual Fellowship) and the PHS 398 Grant Application instructions contain policy requirements that either implement or supersede NOT-OD-07-018 (New Limits on Appendix Materials for All NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Grant Applications Beginning with Receipt Dates On or After January 3, 2007). Please refer to the Appendix section of each application instructions for current policy. (more...)

Enhancing Peer Review: Clarification of Resubmission Policy and Determination of New Application Status

This notice clarifies the existing resubmission policy as announced in NOT-OD-09-016 and NOT-OD-09-003, which collectively stated that applications submitted for due dates before January 25, 2009 are allowed two resubmissions (A1 and A2), and applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2009 are allowed only one resubmission (A1). The resubmission policy applies to all types of applications, every activity code, and applications submitted in response to Program Announcements (PA, PAR, PAS) or Requests for Applications (RFA). (more...)

The April 2 NIH Guide includes the two notices below.

Enhancing Peer Review: Updated Processes for the Review of all Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship Applications

1. In order to provide the best scientific expertise for review, all fellowship applications, including diversity F31 applications , will be assigned to fellowship review meetings based on the scientific content of the application. Within these fellowship review meetings, applications will be clustered for the review by activity code in the case of F30, F32, and F33 applications, and by diversity and other F31 applications.

2. The process of “streamlining” Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) individual F32 postdoctoral fellowship applications for review (NOT-OD-07-085) is now being extended to all NRSA fellowship applications including F30, F31, and F33. (more...)

NIH Will Require the Electronic Submission of Appointment Forms and Termination Notices via xTrain for Research Training, Fellowship, Education, and Career Awards Beginning January 2011

Beginning January 1, 2011, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will require the use of the xTrain Commons module to electronically prepare and submit the PHS 2271 Statement of Appointment form and PHS 416-7 Termination Notice for the following institutional research training, fellowship*, education, and career development awards:
  • Kirschstein-NRSA undergraduate institutional training grants (T34 – appointment forms only)
  • Kirschstein-NRSA predoctoral and postdoctoral institutional training grants (T32, T35, T90, TL1, and TU2)
  • Kirschstein-NRSA fellowships (F30, F31, F32, and F33 – termination notices only)*
  • National Library of Medicine institutional training grants (T15)
  • Research education awards (R25, R90)
  • Institutional career development awards (K12, KL2, KM1)

March 12, 2010

NIH, AHRQ, and CDC Propose to Eliminate Grant Application Error-Correction Window

The National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a notice in the March 12, 2010 Federal Register: Request for Comments on Proposed NIH, AHRQ and CDC Process Change for Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

NIH, AHRQ, and CDC are seeking comments from the public on the impact of eliminating the correction window from the electronic grant application submission process on applicant organizations and the timing of such a change.

More details are available in the Federal Register request for comments. Comments must be received by April 19, 2010, and may be submitted on a web form or by email to

March 18, 2010 update: NIH Guide Notice Request for Comments on Proposed NIH, AHRQ and CDC Process Change for Electronic Submission of Grant Applications Management Seeking Input on “Next Generation” of

The Program Management Office (PMO) is developing a draft business case for the “next generation” of The PMO plans to have the draft ready for Grants Policy Board/Grants Executive Board review by early April.

In a post on the Blog, the PMO is “reaching out to all stakeholders (e.g., the grantor agencies, grantee organizations, OMB and others), in addition to sources such as user comments on this blog, to gather recommendations on requirements and priorities.”

See the Blog post for more information.

March 10, 2010

ACUC Transition to Berkeley eProtocol

The ACUC is transitioning from an email-based protocol process to a web-based system called Berkeley eProtocol that is accessible via CalNet authentication. During this transition, “No Change” annual renewals may still be made using the email process but all New and de novo protocols must be submitted via eProtocol. Submission of revisions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please see the ACUC eProtocol page.

March 05, 2010

Statement of Economic Interests (700-U) Form Revised

The State of California has issued a revised 700-U Statement of Economic Interest for Principal Investigators for immediate use. The revised form, dated 2009/2010, is available on the Conflict of Interest Committee web site and is the only version that will now be accepted. If you have any questions please contact Jyl Baldwin (, 2-8117).

While few substantive changes have been made to the form itself, the instructions, particularly with respect to the definition of “reporting period” for items 3.C and 3.F have been revised.

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.

March 04, 2010

NSF Seeks Public Input on Open Government Initiative

The National Science Foundation is developing an Open Government Plan that will serve as the roadmap for the agency’s plans to improve transparency, better integrate public participation and collaboration into the NSF core mission, and become more innovative and efficient.

NSF is inviting the public to share ideas and suggestions “on how to increase transparency, collaboration, participation, and innovation in its everyday business” using a new OpenNSF web site. NSF will be accepting ideas until March 19, 2010.

OpenNSF allows participants to:
  • Share - Contribute an idea for others to comment on (requires account log-in)
  • Discuss - Read ideas and comments (no log-in required) or comment on existing ideas (requires log-in)
  • Vote - Agree or disagree with an idea, moving it “up” or “down” and increasing or decreasing its popularity (requires log-in)

March 01, 2010

RAC Web Site Redesign

The Research Administration and Compliance Office web site has been updated using the UC Berkeley campus templates.

The new left menu provides improved site navigation. Another new feature is a search tool that includes search results from the RAC web site, Research Advocate, and other sites of offices within RAC such as the Sponsored Projects Office.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the revised site.

January 14, 2010 Research Advocate article: CPHS/OPHS Launch Redesigned Web Site

February 25, 2010

RAC Offices Closed March 22-26 During the Campus Spring Curtailment

The Animal Care and Use Committee Office, the Conflict of Interest Committee Office, the Office for the Protection of Human Subjects, the Sponsored Projects Office, and the Research Administration and Compliance Office will be closed during the campus curtailment beginning Monday, March 22, 2010 through Friday, March 26, 2010. Offices will reopen on Monday, March 29, 2010.

SPO Proposal Submission
  • All proposals with deadlines occurring during the period of March 22 to March 30 must be submitted to SPO by Monday, March 15, 2010.
  • Proposals that are due immediately after the curtailment period (March 31 through April 2) must be submitted to SPO by Wednesday, March 17, 2010.
CPHS Protocol Submission
  • Outcomes of the CPHS-2 meeting held on March 19, 2010 will be sent as soon as possible after the furlough week.
  • The deadline for the April 16, 2010 CPHS-2 meeting has been moved to Friday, March 19, 2010 at noon.

February 01, 2010

R&D in the 2011 Federal Budget

The federal Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President has issued a press release and the following fact sheets on the research and development (R&D) components of the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2011 Budget:
  • R&D Summary - Investing in the Building Blocks of American Innovation
  • Doubling - Doubling Funding for Key Science Agencies
  • Biomedical - Healthier Lives for All Americans Through Discovery
  • STEM - Preparing Our Children for the Future
  • Climate - A New Era for Research on Climate and Global Change
  • Technology - Technology Investments to Spur Economic Growth
  • Ed Tech - A New Foundation for 21st Century Learning
  • NPOESS - Restructuring the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System
  • NASA - A Bold New Approach for Space Exploration and Discovery

Other Federal Budget Resources

The American Association for the Advancement of Science R&D Budget and Policy Program provides comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of R&D funding in the federal budget, beginning with the President’s proposed budget and as Congress works on appropriations. The AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program recently posted a FY 2011 Agency Budget Briefing Schedule and in January added to a collection of presentation slides: Introduction to the U.S. Federal Budget and Projections for Research Funding in the U.S. Federal Budget.

The Association of American Universities prepares an overview of the Administration’s proposed budget when it is released in early February and follows the progress of the congressional budget resolution and the appropriations bills throughout the year.

January 14, 2010

CPHS/OPHS Launch Redesigned Web Site

The Committee for Protection of Human Subjects and Office for the Protection of Human Subjects have a new and improved web site. The site was redesigned using the UC Berkeley campus templates.

The new left menu for the CPHS/OPHS site should make it easier to navigate and find what you need. The site also has some new content and revised guidance and instructions. Some of the new features include a site map, What Needs Review and Types of Review pages, and Where to Start: Decision Tree for new researchers.

Please have a look around the new site, and let OPHS know if you have any questions.

New NSF Requirement for Responsible Conduct of Research Training

Effective January 4, 2010, when submitting new research proposals to the National Science Foundation, UC Berkeley is required to certify that the campus has a plan in place for providing education and training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) to all students (undergraduate and graduate) and postdoctoral scholars who will be supported by those grants to conduct research.

The Berkeley campus has implemented plans for this new NSF RCR training requirement at

The Vice Chancellor for Research issued a campus memo through CALmessages on January 13, 2010. The text of the memo is included below.

From: Graham Fleming, Vice Chancellor for Research
To: Deans, Directors, Department Chairs
Subject: New NSF Requirement for Responsible Conduct of Research

On January 4, 2010, the National Science Foundation started requiring that institutions receiving NSF awards have in place plans to provide undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars supported on NSF grants with training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). This requirement does not apply to existing awards; only those based on proposals submitted after January 4, 2010. While there is no requirement that training plans be submitted with proposals, we must certify that all eligible students and scholars receive some form of training and provide access to these training plans at the agency's request. Institutions are being provided maximum flexibility in creating and implementing RCR programs to meet this new requirement.

At UC Berkeley, we recognize that there are differences between the education and research experiences of the target groups receiving RCR training, and we have designed programs and choices to meet these different needs. Current planned options for UCB undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars are listed below.

Completion of these activities alone, however, does not guarantee that students and trainees will internalize the essential elements of conducting research responsibly and ethically. The role of the Principal Investigator and other senior faculty in mentoring students and trainees and in providing other opportunities as a basis for didactic discussion (such as readings, workshops, lectures, and courses) cannot be underestimated. I would welcome your ideas about building a more robust campus RCR program.

Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars
The Office of Research Administration and Compliance (RAC) is offering an RCR Curriculum through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). This online course will form the basis of training in different discipline fields: Biomedical; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Humanities, Physical Sciences; and, Engineering. Students and trainees may go to to register for the Berkeley course. Individuals who may have taken Berkeley CITI courses for Human or Animal Subjects may use their same user name and password for the RCR coursework.

Undergraduate Students
RAC has also coordinated with UCOP and other UC campuses to develop a handout on major RCR topics. Academic units may choose to provide the handout to all student employees, not just those supported on NSF grants. This handout is available on the RCR web page ( as a PDF document.

Principal Investigators
For NSF proposals submitted after January 4, 2010, Principal Investigators must certify on a per award basis, that all students and post doctoral scholars supported by his or her NSF award have completed RCR training within 60 days of the individual's becoming supported by NSF funding. PIs must provide such certification to RAC by using the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Certification Form available at This document must be submitted to RAC, c/o Rebecca Armstrong - RCR Coordinator, within 90 days of the award being made; and, annually thereafter on the anniversary date of the award for the duration of the project updating any additions of students and postdocs since the last report and certifying that training has occurred as required. This original record will be kept with the SPO award file for the project. PIs should keep a copy for their own records.

January 08, 2010

Keeping Current with NIH: Recent Notices

The National Institutes of Health issued a number of important NIH Guide notices in recent weeks, linked and summarized below.

Availability of Reissued Parent Announcements for Due Dates on or after January 25, 2010
In mid-December NIH issued a notice serving as a progress report on the process of updating and reissuing NIH funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) with due dates on or after January 25, 2010, related to the new shorter NIH forms that must be used for all new or resubmission applications targeting due dates on or after January 25, 2010.

Error-Correction Window Extended for Electronic Applications Intended for Submission Deadlines On and Between January 25 and May 7, 2010
NIH, AHRQ, FDA and CDC are temporarily extending the electronic application error correction window (the time allowed after the submission deadline to correct errors/warnings identified by the eRA system) to five business days for all electronic applications intended for submission deadlines on and between January 25, 2010 and May 7, 2010. The temporary five-day window is being used to accommodate the January 25 transition to new application forms and instructions, part of the implementation of the NIH “Enhancing Peer Review” initiative.

NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards – FY 2010
This Notice provides guidance about the NIH Fiscal Operations Plan for FY 2010 and it implements the FY 2010 enacted Omnibus Appropriation Act that provided NIH with $31.0 billion or 2.3 percent more than FY 2009 funding.

Non-Competing Research Awards: Non-Competing Research Awards: The FY 2010 appropriation as specified in P.L. 111-171 provides NIH a 2 percent inflation allowance to NIH investments in research supported by research grants. Each Institute and Center (IC) will use its own discretion to allocate the adjustment among its non-competing research grants (modular and non-modular) to ensure compliance with the 2 percent inflation allowance provided in its FY 2010 committed level.

Competing Research Awards: Each NIH Institute and Center (IC) will manage its competing portfolio using funds that have not been committed for non-competing awards. Consistent with the FY 2010 appropriation, the FY 2010 average cost of competing grants is allowed to increase by 2 percent over FY 2009 when compared to similar policies.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA): NIH will support a 1 percent increase at all stipend levels.

Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts

Every year since 1990, Congress has legislatively mandated a provision limiting the direct salary that an individual may receive under an NIH grant. For FY 2010, Public Law 111-117: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level I of the Federal Executive Pay scale. The Executive Level I annual salary rate was $196,700 for the period January 1 through December 31, 2009. Effective January 1, 2010, the Executive Level I salary level increased to $199,700.

See the NIH Salary Cap Summary page for more information.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2010
This Notice establishes new stipend levels for FY 2010 Kirschstein-NRSA awards for undergraduate, predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and fellows. The Tuition and Fees, Training Related Expenses for trainees and the Institutional Allowance for individual fellows remain unchanged. The budgetary categories described in the Notice are effective only for Kirschstein-NRSA awards made with FY 2010 funds. All FY 2010 awards issued using FY 2009 stipend levels will be revised to increase the stipend category to the FY 2010 level. Retroactive adjustments or supplementation of stipends or other budgetary categories with Kirschstein-NRSA funds for an award made prior to October 1, 2009 are not permitted.

Notice of Legislative Mandates in Effect for FY2010
Public Law 111-117: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 provides funding to NIH for the fiscal year ending 2010. The intent of this Notice is to provide information on the statutory provisions that limit the use of funds on NIH grant, cooperative agreement, and contract awards for FY2010.

Implementation of the Federal Financial Report (SF-425) - Interim Guidance
The Office of Management and Budget is requiring that the Financial Status Report (FSR or SF-269/SF-269A) and the Federal Cash Transaction Report (FCTR or SF-272/SF-272A) be consolidated into a single form, the Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425/SF-425A). The Department of Health and Human Services has submitted the necessary paperwork to OMB to extend approved use of the SF-269 while the Department continues its phased migration to the full use of the FFR.

Effective January 1, 2010, NIH grantees are to report cash transaction data via the Payment Management System (PMS) using the FFR cash transaction data elements. The first quarter fiscal year 2010 report is for the period October 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009, and must be filed within 30 days of the end of the quarter.

Until notified otherwise, NIH grantees should continue to use the eFSR system in the eRA Commons (based on the Financial Status Report SF-269) to report actual expenditures. There are no changes in existing business practices for this reporting requirement at this time.