October 29, 2014

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 at 12 noon on Friday, December 19, 2014 until Monday, January 5, 2015. Offices will reopen on Monday, January 5, 2015. (Please note that this schedule has been revised since originally posted.)

SPO Proposal Submission

SPO will process proposals due in December 2014 and January 2015 according to the VCR’s five-day proposal submission policy with the following exceptions:

Deadlines Due to SPO*
From Monday, December 22, 2014 through (and including) Friday, January 2, 2015 8 am on Monday, December 15, 2014
Monday, January 5, 2015 8 am on Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 8 am on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Wednesday and Thursday, January 7 and 8, 2015 noon on Thursday, December 18, 2014
Friday, January 9, 2015 8 am on Monday, January 5, 2015

*Note: Proposals submitted to SPO with a draft technical section on or before the five business day deadline will be considered “on time” if the proposal is complete in all other respects.

Principal Investigators also are encouraged to inform their SPO Contract and Grant Officer (CGO) 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 11, 2014 meeting is November 25, 2014.
ACUC Protocol Submission

Please note that all protocols and protocol revisions must be submitted via email to acuc@berkeley.edu 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 full committee review of protocol submissions for the January 21, 2015 meeting is Monday, November 17, 2014.
  • Likewise, the deadline for protocol submission for the February 11, 2015 meeting is noon on Friday, December 19, 2014.
CPHS Protocol Submission

Important: if your study is “greater than minimal risk” needing full board review and the approval will expire before January 23, 2015, you must submit your renewal application in time for review at a December 2014 CPHS meeting.
  • There is no CPHS-1 meeting in December 2014.
  • The deadline for protocol submission for the December 12, 2014 CPHS-2 meeting is Monday, November 10, 2014.
  • There is no CPHS-1 meeting in January 2015.
  • The deadline for protocol submission for the January 23, 2015 CPHS-2 meeting is Monday, December 15, 2014.
  • The deadline for protocol submission for the February 6, 2015 CPHS-1 meeting is Monday, January 5, 2015.

October 27, 2014

NIH Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) Guidance

As of October 17, 2014, the National Institutes of Health began requiring grantees to submit all type 5 progress reports (non-competing continuation applications) using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) module in eRA Commons. See NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-15-014.

Note: For SNAP awards, UC Berkeley PIs may submit the RPPR report directly to NIH if they have been delegated submission authority by SPO.

Individual Development Plans (IDPs)

All NIH progress reports (RPPRs) submitted after October 1, 2014 must include in Section D - List of Participants - a brief description of how and whether individual development plans (IDPs) are used to identify and promote the career goals of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers associated with the award. Actual IDPs should not be included. (For more information, see NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-14-113.)

The following statement is provided to assist Berkeley PIs respond to Section D of the RPPR:

“Berkeley graduate students and postdocs are encouraged to utilize IDPs to set academic and career goals and facilitate conversations with their mentor(s). Similarly, Berkeley faculty mentors are encouraged to promote the use of IDPs among their trainees. Over the next few months, Berkeley will establish a working group to move towards implementing more targeted information and training sessions to help facilitate the use of IDPs.”

General suggestions and resources for IDPs can be found on the SPO NIH Proposals and Awards at Berkeley page under Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).

October 16, 2014 Research Advocate: Reminder: NIH Requires RPPR for All Type 5 Progress Reports
September 24, 2014 Research Advocate: NIH Progress Reports Submitted after October 1, 2014: Section on Individual Development Plans
August 7, 2014 Research Advocate: NIH to Require Individual Development Plan Description in Progress Reports

October 16, 2014

NIH Notice for PIs Responding to the West Africa Ebola Outbreak

The National Institutes of Health has published a Notice of Special Accommodations for Submission and Reporting Requirements for Program Directors/Principal Investigators Responding to the West Africa Ebola Outbreak (NOT-OD-15-010).

This notice states:

“In appreciation of the humanitarian assistance being provided by Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) who travel to West Africa to participate in the Ebola outbreak response and other Ebola-related public health emergencies, NIH is making an accommodation to provide additional time for application submission and grant related reporting for these investigators.”

This accommodation will be extended to individuals who meet all of these conditions:
  • Served in West Africa as part of the response to the Ebola outbreak at the time of the application due date
  • Serve as PD/PI (or Multiple PD/PI) on the late application
  • Include a cover letter with their application that documents specifically that the delay was caused by the PD/PI being engaged in Ebola-related response activities in West Africa at the time the application was due.
NIH will consider these late applications based on the amount of delay caused by the emergency response and the processing time required to prepare each submitted application for peer review. See NOT-OD-15-010 for more information.

Also NIH understands that some progress report delays due to Ebola response activities are unavoidable. Therefore, if researchers are unable to complete progress reports before the scheduled due date, they should promptly contact the Sponsored Projects Office to initiate discussion with the NIH contacts listed on the Notice of Award.

NSF Accepting RAPID Proposals on Ebola Virus

The National Science Foundation has issued a Dear Colleague Letter on the Ebola Virus.

The letter states that “In light of the recent emergence of the lethal Ebola virus in the US, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical care research that can be used immediately to better understand how to model and understand the spread of Ebola, educate about prophylactic behaviors, and encourage the development of products, processes, and learning that can address this global challenge.”

NSF invites researchers to use the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism.

Reminder: NIH Requires RPPR for All Type 5 Progress Reports

As of October 17, 2014, the National Institutes of Health is requiring grantees to submit all type 5 progress reports using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) module in eRA Commons.

Annual progress reports submitted in any format other than the RPPR will not be processed by the NIH and will require resubmission through the RPPR.

For more information, see the NIH RPPR web page and the NIH Guide Notice Reminder: NIH Requires the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) for All Type 5 Progress Reports (NOT-OD-15-014).

October 02, 2014

NIH Offering Webinars for New Applicants

The National Institutes of Health is offering a series of webinars in November for new NIH grant applicants, mentors, and others. The NIH Guide notice, Webinars on What You Need to Know About NIH Application Submission and Review (NOT-OD-15-002), provides details.

The NIH Center for Scientific Review will host four Meet the Experts in NIH Peer Review: Webinars for Applicants to give useful insights into the submission and peer review processes. Each of the webinars will focus on a different type of application:
  • Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15): November 4, 2014
  • Fellowship Awards: November 5, 2014
  • Small Business Grants (SBIR/STTR): November 7, 2014
  • Research Project Grants (R01): November 10, 2014
Register for the webinar you wish to join by Tuesday, October 28. NIH also plans to post archived recordings of each webinar within a week after broadcast.

October 01, 2014

DHHS and NIH: Continuing Resolution Notice

Campus researchers with Department of Health and Human Services funding, including National Institutes of Health funding, should be aware of the following notice from NIH on the Continuing Resolution, published October 1, 2014.

NIH Operates Under a Continuing Resolution (NOT-OD-15-001)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including NIH, operates under the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.J.Res. 124) signed by President Obama on September 19, 2014. This Act (CR) continues government operations through December 11, 2014 at 99.9 percent of the FY 2014 enacted level.

Continuing the procedures identified under NOT-OD-14-055 and consistent with NIH practices during the CRs of FY 2006 – 2014, the NIH will issue non-competing research grant awards at a level below that indicated on the most recent Notice of Award (generally up to 90% of the previously committed level). Upward adjustments to awarded levels will be considered after FY 2015 appropriations are enacted, but NIH expects institutions to monitor their expenditures carefully during this period. All legislative mandates that were in effect in FY 2014 (see NOT-OD-14-053 and NOT-OD-14-046) remain in effect under this CR including the salary limitation set at Executive Level II of the Federal Pay Scale as described in NOT-OD-14-052.