August 09, 2019

New Fellowship and Career Development Award Requirement from NIH, AHRO, and CDC

The National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced that individuals supported by research training, fellowship, research education, and career development awards will be required to have ORCID iDs (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifiers) beginning in FY 2020.

Beginning with receipt dates on or after January 25, 2020, the requirement for ORCID identifiers will be enforced at the time of application for individual fellowship and career development awards, including the following: F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F37, F38, F99/K00, FI2, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K38, K43, K76, K99/R00.

eRA system validations will check whether applicants have ORCID iDs and applications will not be accepted unless an ORCID iD is linked to the PD/PI’s eRA Commons Personal Profile.

As of August 2019, prospective applicants for individual fellowship and career development awards are encouraged to follow the ORCID link from their Personal Profiles in the eRA Commons, where they can either link their eRA profiles to existing ORCID accounts or create ORCID profiles and link them back to the eRA Commons. Similarly, PD/PIs of institutional research training, career development and research education awards are urged to begin alerting potential appointees to do the same.

See the August 29, 2019 NIH Guide Notice Requirement for ORCID iDs for Individuals Supported by Research Training, Fellowship, Research Education, and Career Development Awards Beginning in FY 2020 (NOT-OD-19-109) for details.

For additional information, see the NIH Open Mike blog, Linking ORCID Identifiers to eRA Profiles to Streamline Application Processes and to Enhance Tracking of Career Outcomes.

July 19, 2019

New Disclosure Requirements for New DoD Notices of Funding Opportunities

The following messages is from the UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research.


Subject: New disclosure requirements for new DoD Notices of Funding Opportunities (NFOs) starting April 19

Dear Colleagues:

As you may have heard, federal agencies are increasing the requirements for PIs to disclose their foreign sources of support and to disclose how those sources are being used to support the proposed and related research. Last fall, Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health, issued a letter that discussed several concerns, including grantee failures to disclose financial support from other organizations - including foreign governments, foreign institutions of higher education and corporations - in grant applications.

On March 20, the Undersecretary of Defense announced new requirements for all new DoD Notices of Funding Opportunities (NFOs) pertaining to new research and research-related educational activities after April 19, 2019. (See excerpt below and full memo attached.)


New requirements for DoD Notices of Funding Opportunities (NFOs) pertaining to research and research-related educational activities starting April 19, 2019:

Proposers must submit the following information for all key personnel—not just the PI and Co-PI—whether or not the individuals' efforts under the project are to be funded by the DoD:

  • A list of all current projects the individual is working on.
  • Any future (pending) support the individual has applied to receive, regardless of the source.
  • Title and objectives of each of these research projects.
  • The percentage per year each of the key personnel will devote to the other projects.
  • The total amount of support the individual is receiving in connection to each of the other research projects or will receive if other proposals are awarded.
  • Name and address of the agencies and/or other parties supporting the other research projects.
  • Period of performance for the other research projects.

DoD indicates that failure to submit this information may cause the proposal to be returned without further review. DoD also reserves the right to request further details from a proposer before making a final determination on funding the effort.


Please see the full March 20, 2019 memo attached for additional details.

We expect that in the coming months, additional federal agencies will issue revised guidelines for the type of information that is required, as well as the time frame for disclosure. Berkeley is committed to transparency with its federal sponsors, and we are committed to full disclosure. Our Sponsored Projects Office will continue to review disclosure sections of all federal proposals to ensure that comprehensive disclosures of current and pending sources of support are being met. However, PIs are responsible for ensuring that such disclosures are true and accurate.

Note that Phoebe Search can generate reports on key personnel working at Berkeley that include each individual’s current and pending research support (from industry, government and nonprofit sponsors). Projects can be listed by the name of the sponsor, project title, amount of funding (pending or received), and period of performance.

Information on gifts received can be provided by your academic unit’s UDAR development officer.

Responses to FAQs are listed below. If you have any further questions, contact vcr@vcresearch.berkeley.edu for clarifications.

Randy Howard Katz
Vice Chancellor for Research and
United Microelectronics Corporation Distinguished Professor in
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
randykatz@berkeley.edu
https://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/


Questions for FAQs

Q: Do I have to report all of my projects, even if they are unrelated to my DoD-funded proposal?

A: Yes - the memo requests a list of all current projects that key personnel are working on, “whether or not the individuals’ efforts under the project are to be funded by the DoD”. We encourage PIs to be transparent in their disclosures, and include all projects funded by gifts, grants or contracts, as well as unfunded projects or collaborations that require disclosure on Conflict of Commitment reporting.

Q: Do I need to disclose US-based industrial support?

A: Yes. The memo does not distinguished between foreign and domestic sources of corporate support. In the spirit of complete transparency, philanthropic gift support as well as industrial alliances and contract and grant support from corporate entities should be disclosed.

Q: I am responding to an NFO that was issued prior to April 19, 2019. Do these rules still apply?

A: No: the March 20, 2019 memo only applies to new NFOs after April 19, 2019. Note that the memo only applies to research and research-related educational activities.

July 12, 2019

NSF’s Other Support Requirements

Since 1978, the National Science Foundation has required senior project personnel on proposals to disclose all sources of support, both foreign and domestic. NSF has just issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to ensure that existing requirements to disclose current and pending support information are known, understood, and followed.

For the full text, see Dear Colleague Letter: Research Protection.

Key points:
  1. To streamline the process for providing these disclosures to NSF, NSF proposes to use an electronic format for submission of biographical sketches, including disclosure of all appointments. As currently envisioned, this will become effective in January 2020. NSF also is working to develop an electronic format for disclosure of current and pending support information
  2. NSF has commissioned the independent scientific advisory group JASON to conduct a study. This study will assess risks and recommend possible practices for NSF and its awardee organizations to achieve the best balance between openness and security of science. They will complete their report by the end of the calendar year.
  3. Finally, NSF is issuing a policy making it clear that NSF personnel and IPAs detailed to NSF cannot participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs. There is a risk that participation in foreign government talent recruitment programs by NSF personnel and IPAs will compromise the ethical principles that bind us. Moreover, such participation poses significant risks of inappropriate foreign influence on NSF policies, programs, and priorities, including the integrity of NSF's merit review process—risks we simply cannot accept.

June 17, 2019 Research Advocate: Upcoming: NSF-Approved Biographical Sketch Format

July 10, 2019

NIH Requirements for Other Support

The National Institutes of Health has issued Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components (NOT-OD-19-114) to remind NIH researchers that they must take care to report all of their foreign activities through other support, foreign components, and financial conflict of interest to prevent scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap.

“Other Support” includes all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant. This includes resource and/or financial support from all foreign and domestic entities, including but not limited to, financial support for laboratory personnel, and provision of high-value materials that are not freely available (e.g., biologics, chemical, model systems, technology, etc.).

Please Note:
  1. All pending support at the time of application submission and prior to award must be reported using “Just-in-Time Procedures.”
  2. Applicants are responsible for promptly notifying NIH of any substantive changes to previously submitted Just-in-Time information up to the time of award, including “Other Support” changes that must be assessed for budgetary or scientific overlap.
  3. Further, if other support, as described as above, is obtained after the initial NIH award period, from any source either through the institution or directly to senior/key personnel, the details must be disclosed in the annual research performance progress report (RPPR).
  4. Post-award, recipients must address any substantive changes by submitting a prior approval request to NIH in accordance with the NIHGPS section on “Administrative Requirements—Changes in Project and Budget—NIH Standard Terms of Award.”
More details on “Other Support” reporting requirements, guidance on how to define a “foreign component,” and NIH reminders about financial conflict of interest reporting are described in NOT-OD-19-114.

Frequently Asked Questions on “Other Support” also are provided.

Please Note:
  • FAQ #A4 indicates that NIH requires that any foreign collaborations that “directly benefit” the investigator’s research be reported in “Other Support” even if the investigator is not involved and the project is not funded with NIH dollars.
  • FAQ #A5 indicates that NIH requires reporting of start-up packages and institutional research grants.
  • FAQ #A6 indicates that NIH requires reporting of outside teaching or consulting (paid or unpaid) if this activity is, “in any way,” related to the investigator’s research endeavors.
  • FAQ #A7 indicates that NIH requires the researcher report activities outside of the researcher’s appointment period (e.g., summer activities for a 9 month appointee).
  • FAQ #B6 indicates that a visiting postdoc paid by a foreign government but working in the US does NOT constitute a foreign component.

November 01, 2018 Research Advocate: NIH and NSF Current and Pending Support Requirements

June 17, 2019

Upcoming: NSF-Approved Biographical Sketch Format

As of January 1, 2020, when a new iteration of the PAPPG is issued, the National Science Foundation will only accept PDFs for biographical sketches that are generated through use of an NSF-approved format. A description of NSF-approved format(s) will be posted on the NSF website when the new PAPPG is issued. The biographical sketch and file format requirements will apply to NSF proposals submitted through Research.gov and Grants.gov.

In preparation for this new requirement, COGR has issued information that NSF has designated the National Institutes of Health’s SciENcv (Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae) as an NSF-approved format for submission of biographical sketch(es) and is encouraging its use to prepare a biographical sketch for inclusion in proposals to NSF.

Multiple training resources are available on the SciENcv website. The following website resources may be of assistance to proposers preparing a biographical sketch using the SciENcv format:
UC Berkeley is not currently an institutional member for the purposes of creating the CV using the National Institutes of Health’s SciENcv. Therefore, Berkeley Principal Investigators cannot use the “third party sign in option.”

Berkeley PIs have been able to gain access by signing in with a personal ORCID and creating a separate account.
Note: A draft version of the PAPPG has been published in the Federal Register for public comment. The deadline for submission of comments is COB July 29, 2019.

May 29, 2019 Research Advocate: NSF Requests Comments: New Version of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide

May 29, 2019

NSF Requests Comments: New Version of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide

A message from Jean Feldman, Head of the National Science Foundation Policy Office:

Dear Colleagues:

NSF published a notice today in the Federal Register announcing the availability of a “For comment” draft of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The Foundation is accepting comments from the external community until cob July 29, 2019. The draft PAPPG is available on the Policy Office website.

To facilitate review, revised text has been highlighted in yellow throughout the document and explanatory comments have been included in the margins, where appropriate.

Any questions should be directed to the Policy Office at policy@nsf.gov.

We appreciate the research and education community’s interest and look forward to your input.

Best,

Jean

Jean Feldman
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution & Award Support
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230
email: jfeldman@nsf.gov

April 17, 2019

Salary Limitation for Federal Grants and Cooperative Agreements FY 2019

The Office of Personnel Management has recently released new salary levels for the Executive Pay Scale. Effective January 6, 2019, the salary limitation for Executive Level II is $192,300.

The National Institutes of Health has issued Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements FY 2019 (NOT-OD-19-099).

For federal awards issued in those years that were restricted to Executive Level II, including competing awards already issued in FY2019, if adequate funds are available in active awards, and if the salary cap increase is consistent with the institutional base salary, grantees may rebudget funds to accommodate the current Executive Level II salary level. However, no additional funds will be provided to these grant awards.

For more information , see the full announcement in the NIH Guide.

March 06, 2019

Indirect Cost Recovery on State of California Awards

Nathan Brostrom, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the University of California, has issued the following guidance on State of California sponsored projects:

On July 1, 2019, the first escalation of IDC from 25% to 30% MTDC is expected to be applied to on-campus agreements from all State of California agencies except for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

Off-campus activities will remain at 25% MTDC.

Starting on July 1, 2019, IDC on funding originating from CDFA increases to 25% MTDC. Special provisions have been made for IDC for funding from Marketing Orders and Commodity Boards.

CSU has agreed to follow UC’s course with regards to these escalations.

For more information, see State of California Proposal Requirements.

February 13, 2019

New Effective Date for the Revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide

A message from Jean Feldman, Head of the National Science Foundation Policy Office:

Dear Colleagues:

Due to the recent lapse in appropriations, implementation of the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 19-1) was postponed. We are pleased to announce that the revised PAPPG will now be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 25, 2019. Significant changes include:
  • Addition of Research.gov as an option for proposal preparation and submission, and proposal file updates;
  • Revision of eligibility standards for unaffiliated individuals;
  • Specification that conference proposals over $50,000 and all equipment proposals must include the Collaborators and Other Affiliations information in the proposal submission;
  • Revision of resubmission guidelines for NSF programs that accept proposals at any time;
  • Implementation of NSF’s policy on sexual harassment and other forms of harassment, or sexual assault;
  • Specification that proposers are required to have a policy or code-of-conduct that addresses sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, and sexual assault, and that includes clear and accessible means of reporting violations of the policy or code-of-conduct.  This policy or code-of-conduct must be disseminated to conference participants prior to attendance at the conference as well as made available at the conference itself;
  • Emphasis on the importance of training faculty in the responsible and ethical conduct of research;
  • Incorporation of existing patent policy into the PAPPG.  This policy was previously implemented by regulation at 45 CFR 650; and
  • Numerous clarifications and other changes throughout the document.
You are encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG.

To learn about the changes in the revised PAPPG (NSF 19-1), please view the latest NSF Proposal & Award Policy Update webinar.

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on February 25, 2019, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 18-1) continue to apply. We will ensure that the current version of the PAPPG remains on the NSF website, with a notation to proposers that specifies when the new PAPPG (including a link to the new Guide) will become effective.

Associated award terms and conditions (including RTC NSF Agency Specific Requirements, GC-1, and FL-26) will also be effective for proposals submitted or due, on or after, February 25, 2019. Cooperative Agreement Conditions (CA-FATC) and CA-FATC Modifications and Supplemental terms and conditions are effective for new awards and funding actions to existing awards beginning on February 12, 2019.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the DIAS/Policy Office at  policy@nsf.gov.

Regards,

Jean Feldman
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution and Award Support
Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management
National Science Foundation

January 03, 2019

Statement of Economic Interests (700-U) Form Revised for 2019

The State of California has issued a revised 700-U Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators for immediate use. The revised form, dated 2018/2019, is available on the Conflict of Interest Committee website and is the only version that will now be accepted. The form and requirements are the same as the previous 2018 version, except for an increase in the limit for gifts of travel. Gifts of travel may be subject to a $470 gift limit in 2018. This gift limit has increased from $470 to $500 in 2019 and 2020. Please contact Alaisha Hellman (amhellman@berkeley.edu, 510/642-0122) with any questions.

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. Please see State of California Financial Disclosure for more information.

December 20, 2018

What Happens If the Federal Government Shuts Down?

There is once again the possibility of a federal government shutdown. The deadline for averting a shutdown is December 21, 2018. If a shutdown occurs, it will be a “partial” government shutdown that it will affect some government sponsors and not others. For example, DHHS, DOD, and DOE appropriations are signed into law, but NSF, NASA, DOI, DOC, and EPA appropriations (as of this date) have not been finalized.

This means that these agencies will order agency employees to stay home, i.e., they will be furloughed. With agency personnel furloughed, it will not be possible to communicate with federal sponsors by email or phone. It is likely that NSF FastLane and Research.gov as well as other federal agency portals will not be available. Based on past experience, proposals will not be accepted or reviewed and no new awards will be made by agencies subject to this partial shutdown. However, existing federal projects, in most cases, will continue to operate, and already authorized funding will not be impacted.

However, it is important to read agency specific guidance. For example, NASA's most recent guidance on shutdown procedures is that grantees and partners in cooperative agreements may be authorized to work under a CR continue at their normal level of operations as long as funds already obligated remain available, the work does not require access to a NASA or other closed Government facility, and the work does not require any civil servant oversight or other government support that would be funded by a lapsed appropriation. NASA also states that it still may be necessary to suspend or reduce planned work during a funding hiatus.

What we know now about federal agencies and their contingency plans for shutdown is posted on the SPO website. We will update this information as we receive it. Please see the see the Federal Agency Contingency Plans on the OMB website for information on plans for agencies across the federal government.

January 19, 2018 Research Advocate: What Happens If the Federal Government Shuts Down?

New NIH Training Grant Requirement

Applications for National Institutes of Health institutional training grants (T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TL4) must include a letter on institutional letterhead signed by a key institutional leader that describes the institutional commitment to ensuring that proper policies, procedures, and oversight are in place to prevent discriminatory harassment and other discriminatory practices. This policy applies to applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2019.

The full announcement is found in the NIH Guide Notice Harassment and Discrimination Protections in NIH Training Applications (NOT-OD-12-029).

A letter from University of California Provost Michael Brown will meet this new requirement for institutional training grant applications. Please include this letter in training grant applications submitted to the Sponsored Projects Office on or after January 25, 2019.

December 07, 2018

Revision of NSF Award Terms and Conditions

A message from Jean Feldman, Head of the National Science Foundation Policy Office:

Dear Colleagues:

I wanted to make you aware that the following sets of NSF Award Terms and Conditions have been revised:
  • NSF Agency Specific Requirements to the Research Terms and Conditions (ASR);
  • Cooperative Agreement Financial & Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC);
  • Cooperative Agreement Modifications and Supplemental Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions for Major Multi-User Research Facility Projects and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers; Grant General Conditions (GC-1);
  • and Special Terms and Conditions (FL 26) for Administration of NSF Conference or Travel Grants. 
Each set of terms and conditions is accompanied by a summary of changes made to that document.

The revised Terms and Conditions will apply to all new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing NSF awards made on or after January 28, 2019.

Questions regarding NSF terms and conditions may be sent to the DIAS Policy Office at: policy@nsf.gov.

Regards,

Jean

Jean Feldman
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution & Award Support (DIAS)
Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management
National Science Foundation

November 01, 2018

NIH and NSF Current and Pending Support Requirements

On August 20, 2018, Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health, issued a letter that discussed several concerns, including grantee failures to disclose substantial resource contributions from other organizations, such as foreign governments and foreign institutions of higher education, in grant applications.

To promote and foster compliance with federal funding application rules, it is important to carefully follow the instructions published by federal sponsors. Failure to do so could lead to questions from federal sponsors about specific applications, funded projects, and progress reports. For your convenience, below are the National Institutes of Health definition of Other Support, and the National Science Foundation definition of Current and Pending Support.
  • NIH: “Other Support includes all financial resources, whether Federal, non-Federal, commercial or institutional, available in direct support of an individual’s research endeavors, including but not limited to research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and/or institutional awards. Training awards, prizes, or gifts do not need to be included”. [emphasis added]

  • NSF: Current and Pending Support is the support requested or available from other federal agencies and other sources. The NSF Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II.C.2.h states that “All current project support from whatever source (e.g., Federal, State, local or foreign government agencies, public or private foundations, industrial or other commercial organizations, or internal funds allocated toward specific projects) must be listed. The proposed project and all other projects or activities requiring a portion of time of the PI and any other senior personnel must be included, even if they receive no salary support from the project(s).” [emphasis added]
For all other federal sponsors, please follow the application directions for disclosing the support of other organizations in your proposal. If you have any questions about the sponsor’s requirements, please contact your SPO Contract and Grant Officer for assistance.

With heightened federal scrutiny and increasing concerns about this issue, it is more important than ever that together we ensure the submission of accurate and complete information about project support to federal sponsors.

October 12, 2018

NIH Seeks Comments on Proposed Data Management and Sharing Policy

The National Institutes of Health issued Request for Information (RFI) on Proposed Provisions for a Draft Data Management and Sharing Policy for NIH Funded or Supported Research (NOT-OD-19-014) to solicit public input on proposed key provisions that could serve as the foundation for a future NIH policy for data management and sharing. The feedback will help NIH develop a draft policy.

NIH is accepting comments through December 10, 2018.

NIH is hosting a webinar on the proposed key provisions on November 7, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00am PT.

For more information, see