December 30, 2015

NIH Issues Legislative Mandates FY 2016, Including Salary Cap Increase

The National Institutes of Health has issued the Notice of Legislative Mandates in Effect for FY 2016 (NOT-OD-16-044). The notice provides information on statutory provisions that limit the use of funds on NIH grant, cooperative agreement, and contract awards for FY 2016.

The notice includes an increase to the salary limitation, or salary cap, with further information available in the Notice on Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts (NOT-OD-16-045). NOT-OD-16-145 states that for “FY 2016, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113), signed into law on December 18, 2015, restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. The Executive Level II salary is currently set at $183,300, increasing to $185,100 effective January 10, 2016.”

January 20, 2016 update:
January 26, 2016 update:
January 28, 2016 update:

December 22, 2015

NIH ASSIST Available for All Competing Grant Applications and Some Post-award Actions

ASSIST is the National Institutes of Health system for the preparation, submission and tracking of grant applications through to NIH. Throughout 2015, ASSIST support expanded to a variety of grant programs according to a timeline which is now complete.

ASSIST is now an option for:
  • all single and multi-project, competing grant applications;
  • single-project administrative supplements;
  • single-project, post-award successor-in-interest (type 6) requests; and
  • single-project, post-award change of institution (type 7) requests.
For more information, see ASSIST Now an Option for All NIH Competing Grant Applications and Some Post-award Administrative Actions (NOT-OD-16-042), as well as SPO’s NIH Proposals and Awards at Berkeley.

November 20, 2015 Research Advocate: NIH ASSIST Now an Option for Fellowship Grant Applications
July 20, 2015 Research Advocate: NIH ASSIST Available for Ts, K12, and Other Training and Research Programs
May 1, 2015 Research Advocate: NIH ASSIST Now an Option for R01, Most K, and U01 Applications
January 30, 2015 Research Advocate: An ASSIST for NIH R03 and R21

December 17, 2015

NIH Issues Strategic Plan for FY 2016-2020

The National Institutes of Health has published a new NIH-Wide Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2016–2020: Turning Discovery Into Health.

The plan focuses on four objectives, to:
  1. advance opportunities in biomedical research in fundamental science, treatment and cures, and health promotion and disease prevention;
  2. foster innovation by setting NIH priorities to enhance nimbleness, consider burden of disease and value of permanently eradicating a disease, and advance research opportunities presented by rare diseases;
  3. enhance scientific stewardship by recruiting and retaining an outstanding biomedical research workforce, enhancing workforce diversity and impact through partnerships, ensuring rigor and reproducibility, optimizing approaches to inform funding decisions, encouraging innovation, and engaging in proactive risk management practices; and
  4. excel as a federal science agency by managing for results by developing the “science of science,” balancing outputs with outcomes, conducting workforce analyses, continually reviewing peer review, evaluating steps to enhance rigor and reproducibility, reducing administrative burden, and tracking effectiveness of risk management in decision making.
See the NIH press release, NIH Unveils FY2016–2020 Strategic Plan, for more information.

December 02, 2015

New Version of the Subrecipient Commitment Form

The Sponsored Projects Office has made some necessary changes to the Subrecipient Commitment Form under “Section F: Certifications 6. Conflict of Interest.”

This change was needed because subrecipients without an active and enforced conflict of interest policy consistent with the provisions of the National Science Foundation or the Public Health Service are no longer going to be allowed to rely on Berkeley’s Conflict of Interest policy.

All subrecipients now will have to have an appropriate COI policy in place prior to Berkeley issuing a subagreement under a prime award from NSF/PHS or any organization that has adopted the PHS or NSF Conflict of Interest requirements.

This is explained under Section F: Certifications 6. Conflict of Interest.

Important: Before a proposal is submitted to the NSF or the PHS or any organization that that has adopted PHS or NSF COI requirements, subrecipient investigators (as defined by applicable regulations) from entities without an active an enforced conflict of interest policy must complete the PHS Financial Disclosure (Form 5) or the NSF Financial Disclosure Form (as appropriate) and attach it to the Subrecipient Commitment Form before it is submitted to SPO. Failure to do this will prevent the submission of the proposal.

The new Subrecipient Commitment Form dated (12/2015) must be used by January 15, 2016. All other versions of the Subrecipient Commitment Form submitted to SPO after this date will be returned.

During the interim period, the previous version of the form will be accepted by SPO as long as a new Section F: Certifications 6. Conflict of Interest also is provided with appropriate disclosure forms.