May 30, 2013

New NIH Electronic Forms (FORMS-C) for Applications Due on or after September 25

National Institutes of Health applications due on or after September 25 will use a new electronic forms package, FORMS-C.

For due dates on or after September 25, 2013, most applicants will be required to use FORMS-C packages, with exceptions below. The requirement includes electronic applications submitted under the continuous submission policy, administrative supplement requests (Type 3), change of organization requests (Type 6) and change of grantee/training institution requests (Type 7). Multiproject applications that are transitioning to electronic submission beginning with the September 25, 2013 due date will also use FORMS-C packages.

NIH Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) published between now and July that have submission due dates on or after September 25, 2013, will be posted without application packages. Beginning in July, the updated forms will be incorporated into new and existing FOAs.

  • 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 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.

May 28, 2013

Updates in Fund Advance Form and Procedures for Sponsored Projects

A fund advance provides a principal investigator (PI) who is awaiting his/her award with a project fund that can be charged for a limited amount of allowable pre-award costs necessary to start up the project. This same fund can then be used for all subsequent project charges when the award is finalized, thus eliminating the possibility of inappropriate cost transfers. The Sponsored Projects Office (SPO)  is responsible for processing fund advance requests for UC Berkeley PIs and departments.

Guidelines and restrictions for Fund Advance Request processing and the UCB Fund Advance Request Form can be found on the SPO web site.

Recent updates and clarifications have been made to the fund advance request guidelines and form.
  • The Type “A” fund advance is appropriate for new and competing continuation awards from U.S. federal sponsors made directly to UC Berkeley. A Type “A” is not appropriate for the non-competing segments of U.S. federal awards made to UC Berkeley. The Type “A” also is not appropriate for subagreements to UC Berkeley under U.S. federal awards awarded to other entities.
  • The Type "B" fund advance is appropriate when departments/units wish to proactively identify a backup fund to charge if the award is not received as anticipated. As in the past, the authorized financial administrator of the backup fund must certify that this fund has sufficient unrestricted funds to cover the advance.
  • The Type “A” fund advance period continues to be limited to 90 calendar days. Type “B” and “C” fund advance period extensions may be processed by SPO with chair/dean/director approval as long as no other restrictions apply.
  • A signed certification from the chair/dean/director is now included at the bottom of every fund advance form indicating that the approver understands that any deficit that results from any type of fund advance continues to be the responsibility of the PI’s department/unit and will, as in the past, be cleared according to the campus policy on deficit reduction.
All previous restrictions and requirements for processing a fund advance at UC Berkeley still apply.

May 09, 2013

NIH Publishes Fiscal Policy for FY 2013

The National Institutes of Health has issued NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards – FY 2013 (NOT-OD-13-064), that provides guidance for the remainder of fiscal year 2013 (through September 30, 2013).

Sally Rockey, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, published a Rock Talk blog post, Funding Operations for FY2013, that summarizes the new notice.

Key points from the Rock Talk post:
  • NIH will continue many of the same policies established in FY 2012, including National Research Service Awards (NRSA) stipend levels, salary limits, and other legislative mandates in effect for FY 2012.
  • Some non-competing continuation awards were already made at reduced levels (as described in an earlier blog post.) These reductions may be partially restored, but NIH institutes and centers (ICs) likely will be required to issue all non-competing awards at levels below the FY 2013 commitment indicated on the notice of grant award.
  • NIH will make fewer competing awards.
  • The policy set forth in FY 2012, which discontinued inflationary increases for future year commitments, remains in place, but adjustments for special needs will be considered.
  • NIH will continue the targeted support of new investigators, aiming for a success rate on new (type 1) R01 equivalent grants comparable to that of established investigators.
In related news, NIH Director Francis Collins is using Twitter to ask “how the #sequester is affecting your biomedical research right now,” using hashtag #NIHSequesterImpact.

More information on sequestration is available on the SPO web site: Impact of Federal Budget Sequestration on Sponsored Projects.