March 23, 2017

Research Administrators’ June RAC Forum Poster Session

As of June 14, 2017, the Research Administration and Compliance (RAC) Forum will be renamed the Research Administration Community (RAC) Forum to reflect the reality of the cooperative nature of research administration on the Berkeley campus. To launch this new enterprise, the June 14th RAC Forum at the Alumni House will be a Poster Session Event “Promoting a Culture of Collaboration.”

This event will provide research administrators across campus with an opportunity to display posters illustrating a process, policy, or job aid that they believe has improved (or has the potential to improve) the effectiveness or efficiency of research administration on the UC Berkeley campus.

Each of the following “research administration communities” are invited to display posters at this event: CSS RA, Department RA, SPO, CGA, and IAO. For information on how to create and display a poster at the June 14th RAC Forum, go to the June 2017 RAC Forum folder in UC Berkeley Box.

In this folder applicants will find an overview of the poster event and instructions. This folder also includes blank poster templates that can be used/adapted to create a 36" x 48" poster. Applicants should read the poster instructions first as well as the tips for creating a visually interesting poster.

The applicant/s that submit the best poster (as judged by RAC Forum attendees) will be treated to a luncheon at the Women’s Faculty Club over the summer months.

March 17, 2017

NIH Operating Under a Continuing Resolution

The National Institutes of Health has issued NIH Operates Under a Continuing Resolution (NOT-17-048). The notice states:
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including NIH, operates under the “Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017,” (Public Law 114-254) signed by President Obama on December 10, 2016.  This Act (CR) continues government operations through April 28, 2017 at 99.8099 percent of the FY 2016 enacted level.

Continuing the procedures identified under NOT-OD-17-001 and NOT-OD-16-046 and consistent with NIH practices during the CRs of FY 2006 – 2016, 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 2017 appropriations are enacted, but NIH expects institutions to monitor their expenditures carefully during this period. All legislative mandates that were in effect in FY 2016 (see NOT-OD-16-044 and NOT-OD-16-048) remain in effect under this CR.  Per NOT-OD-17-049, the salary limitation set at Executive Level II of the Federal Pay Scale, was increased from $185,100 to $187,000, effective January 8, 2017. The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award postdoctoral stipend levels and tuition/fees for FY 2017 are described in NOT-OD-17-003. Until further notice, the undergraduate and predoctoral stipends and tuition/fees will remain at the levels announced in NOT-OD-16-062.
NIH has issued a companion notice, Interim Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements (NOT-17-049), stating:
…The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. The Executive Level II salary was previously set at $185,100, and increased to $187,000 effective January 8, 2017.

For awards issued in those years that were restricted to Executive Level II (see Salary Cap Summary, FY 1990 – FY 2016), including competing awards already issued in FY2017, if adequate funds are available in active awards, and if the salary cap increase is consistent with the institutional base salary, grantees may rebudget to accommodate the current Executive Level II salary level. However, no additional funds will be provided to these grant awards.…
See notices NOT-17-048 and NOT-17-049 for more information.

March 15, 2017

Research Terms and Conditions Implementing the Uniform Guidance

The Final Notice of Research Terms and Conditions (RTC) To Address and Implement the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards Issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was published in the March 14 Federal Register.

These RTCs are the successor to the terms developed with the Federal Demonstration Partnership, and they have been written to comply with the requirements set out in the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200). Agencies are planning to implement the RTCs at different dates in 2017.

Agencies participating, with implementation dates, are:
Note that the Department of Defense is not included; but will implement award terms in compliance with 2 CFR 200.

While the Uniform Guidance outlines provisions that are specific to research, these terms and conditions:
  • Incorporate the entire Uniform Guidance by reference, clarifying or supplementing select provisions where appropriate and consistent with government-wide research policy.
  • Incorporate the latest version of the Frequently Asked Questions for the Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR 200.
  • Apply to an award when included as part of the award or when incorporated in the award by reference. Use of the RTCs is envisioned as a streamlined approach that supports the implementation of the Uniform Guidance by providing clarification, supplementary guidance, and, where appropriate, selected options, while meeting the spirit and intent of a uniform implementation.
In addition to the RTCs, three companion resources will be developed: Appendix A, Prior Approval Matrix; Appendix B, Subaward Requirements Matrix; and Appendix C, National Policy Requirements Matrix.

Resources:

March 21, 2017 update: Includes addition of Appendix A Prior Approval Matrix, Appendix C National Policy Requirements; and DOE, HHS/NIH, and NSF Agency Specific Requirements.

March 08, 2017

New NSF Proposal & Award Policy Newsletter

The Policy Office in the Division of Institution & Award Support at the National Science Foundation has published the first issue of the NSF Proposal & Award Policy Newsletter, a new quarterly publication designed to provide information about upcoming changes and clarifications to policies and procedures that affect how you prepare and submit proposals and manage NSF awards.

The first issue includes articles on PAPPG issuance and implementation, human subjects and vertebrate animals, and new types of NSF proposals.