March 26, 2020

Sponsored Projects Office COVID-19 Guidance

SPO is maintaining a COVID-19 Guidance page with information published by agency sponsors and other entities related to contracts and grants. The UC Berkeley campus community is encouraged to review this page.

In addition, COVID-19 Related Proposals, Awards, and Subawards provides information on late proposals and on expedited awards and subawards, COVID-19 Related Funding Opportunities lists funding and other opportunities, and additional campus guidance is available on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Administering Contracts and Grants under COVID-19 Conditions.

March 11, 2020

NASA Requirements for Reporting Harassment

On March 10, 2020, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration published its new grant term and condition regarding grantee obligations for reporting harassment in the Federal Register: Reporting Requirements Regarding Findings of Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, or Sexual Assault.

Upon implementation, the new term and condition will require UC Berkeley to report to NASA any findings/determinations of sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault regarding a NASA funded principal investigator (PI) or Co-PI.

The new term and condition will also require the recipient to report to NASA if the PI or Co-I is placed on administrative leave or if the recipient has imposed any administrative action on the PI or Co-I, or any determination or an investigation of an alleged violation of the recipient’s policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders relating to sexual harassment,other forms of harassment, or sexual assault. Finally, the new term and condition specifies the procedures that will be followed by NASA upon receipt of a report.

This is similar to what is required now by the National Science Foundation.

February 18, 2020

NSF Current and Pending Support FAQs

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

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce issuance of a set of Current and Pending Support Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that accompany the revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), effective June 1, 2020. The FAQs address policy questions related to the PAPPG clarifications to the current and pending support coverage, as well as questions regarding use of an NSF-approved format for current and pending support. The FAQs will be updated periodically as appropriate.

If you have any questions regarding the 2020 PAPPG, please contact the DIAS/Policy Office by email at policy@nsf.gov.

Regards,

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

January 24, 2020 Research Advocate: NSF Issues Revised Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (NSF 20-1)

February 05, 2020

New NIH Salary Cap

The National Institutes of Health has released an announcement about the new salary cap, Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements FY 20 (NOT-OD-20-065).

Effective January 5, 2020, the salary limitation for Executive Level II is $197,300.

For awards issued in those years that were restricted to Executive Level II (see the historical record of the salary cap), including competing awards already issued in FY2020, 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.

January 24, 2020

NSF Issues Revised Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (NSF 20-1)

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

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that a revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1) has been issued.

The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted or due, and awards made, on or after June 1, 2020. Significant changes include:
  • NSF will require use of an NSF-approved format in submission of the biographical sketch and current and pending support documents, once the PAPPG (NSF 20-1) becomes effective;
  • New requirement for proposing organizations to submit government-wide representations and certifications in the System for Award Management (SAM);
  • New requirement for providing e-mail documentation of Program Officer approval for the submission of RAPID and EAGER proposals; and
  • Clarifications to current and pending support coverage as well as other changes throughout the document.
You are encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG.

NSF plans to conduct a webinar covering these changes on February 6 at 2PM EST. Visit the webinar website to register for this event.

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on June 1, 2020, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 19-1) continue to apply.

A PDF version of the PAPPG will be available in the coming weeks. 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

December 19, 2019 Research Advocate: Update: NSF Revised Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
June 17, 2019 Research Advocate: Upcoming: NSF-Approved Biographical Sketch Format
May 29, 2019 Research Advocate: NSF Requests Comments: New Version of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide

January 06, 2020

Statement of Economic Interests (700-U) Form Revised for 2020

The State of California has issued a revised 700-U Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators for immediate use. The revised form, dated 2019/2020, 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 2019 version. Please contact Alaisha Hellman (researchcoi@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.

NIH Form Packages

The National Institutes of Health recently announced plans to update NIH grant application form packages for use with due dates on or after May 25, 2020 (FORMS-F). For more information, see New NIH "FORMS-F" Grant Application Forms and Instructions Coming for Due Dates on or after May 25, 2020 (NOT-OD-20-026).

For due dates on or before May 24, 2020, applicants must continue to use the application form packages and instructions (FORMS-E) posted with NIH funding opportunity announcements despite the expiration dates noted on each form. These forms are extended for use through March 2020.

For more information, see OMB Approval for Grant Application and Related Forms Underway – Continue to Use Current Forms (FORMS-E) through May 24, 2020 (NOT-OD-20-047).

March 10, 2020 update: Reminder: FORMS-F Grant Application Forms & Instructions Must be Used for Due Dates On or After May 25, 2020- New Grant Application Instructions Now Available (NOT-OD-20-077)

December 12, 2019

Update: NSF Revised Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide

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

The National Science Foundation is currently working to finalize a revised Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) for use in 2020. We anticipate that the revised PAPPG will be released in the coming months and, as is standard practice, will be effective 90 days after its release.

We wanted to highlight some important information to assist the community in preparing for this new PAPPG as it relates to the preparation and submission of the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support sections of NSF proposals that fall under this revised PAPPG.
  • NSF is partnering with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to use SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae as an NSF-approved format for use in preparation of both the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support sections of an NSF proposal.
  • Use of an NSF-approved format for the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support documents will be required upon implementation of the PAPPG. NSF is encouraging proposers to begin using SciENcv for preparation of the Biographical Sketch now.
  • SciENcv allows proposers to integrate their ORCiD to enable pre-population for the Biographical Sketch. Additional information is available on the ORCiD website.
  • SciENcv will produce NSF-compliant PDF versions of these documents. Proposers must save these documents and submit them as part of their proposals via FastLane, Research.gov or Grants.gov.
  • Additional resources including video tutorials are available on the SciENcv website.
NSF will continue to communicate with the community regarding the 2020 PAPPG and will provide further notice to the community as soon as the revised PAPPG is released. We encourage you to sign up for notifications about future PAPPG implementation webinars. In the meantime, proposers should continue to follow the guidance in the current PAPPG, (19-1).

Please direct any further questions to policy@nsf.gov.

Regards,

Jean Feldman
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution & Award Support
Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management

May 29, 2019 Research Advocate: NSF Requests Comments: New Version of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
June 17, 2019 Research Advocate: Upcoming: NSF-Approved Biographical Sketch Format

December 09, 2019

Upcoming: Updated NIH and AHRQ Application Forms

The National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have announced plans to transition to updated application forms and instructions for due dates on or after May 25, 2020.

The planned changes encompass the following areas:
  • Training in techniques for rigorous and reproducible research
  • Training in relevant quantitative and data science approaches
  • Progress reporting for renewal applications
  • Research training data tables
  • Extending requirements for rigor and transparency to fellowship research projects
  • Required letters for applications to diversity-related programs
For more information:

November 07, 2019

NIH Proposed Policy on Data Management and Sharing

The National Institutes of Health posted the Draft NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing for public comment. Details are available at NIH Data Management and Sharing Activities Related to Public Access and Open Science. Comments may be submitted on the NIH Comment Form by January 10, 2020.

The NIH proposed requirements will apply to all research, funded or conducted in whole or in part by NIH, that results in the generation of scientific data. This includes research funded or conducted by extramural grants and contracts.

The effective date of these new requirements will depend on feedback on NIH’s proposal.

Costs associated with data management and data sharing may be allowable under the budget for the proposed project. See Supplemental DRAFT Guidance: Allowable Costs for Data Management and Sharing.

NIH has posted supplemental draft guidance regarding elements of a Data Management and Sharing Plan. See Supplemental DRAFT Guidance: Elements of a NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan. The plan should describe in two pages or less the proposed approach to data management and sharing that the specific research will employ. If certain elements of the plan have not been determined at the time of submission, an entry of “to be determined” may be acceptable if a justification is provided along with a timeline or appropriate milestone at which a determination will be made. Note, NIH does not expect researchers to share all scientific data generated in a study.

October 30, 2019

NSF Technical Report Requirements/Guidance

What is Required?

NSF requires that all Principal Investigators (PIs) submit annual reports during the course of an award.
  • The annual report is due no later than the 90-day period before the end of the current budget period for the award; it is overdue the day after that 90-day period ends. 
  • A final report must be submitted no later than 120 days following expiration of an award. It is overdue after that 120-day period ends.
  • The annual and final reports are reviewed by the award’s managing Program Officer; the reporting requirement is met only after the Program Officer has reviewed and approved the report.
  • NSF also requires that PIs submit a non-technical, Project Outcomes Report (POR), for the general public 120 days following expiration of an award. This report is submitted and posted on the Research.gov website exactly as submitted, without review by a Program Officer. Its intended audience includes the general public, journalists, Congress and its staffers.  The Project Outcomes Report should be a brief summary (200-800 words). The POR does not need to include a list of publications resulting from the award because NSF automatically imports the citations that the PI provided as part of the PI’s annual and final project reports into Research.gov’s Research Spending and Results.
Overdue reports will prevent the release of continuing grant increments (CGI), approval of No-cost Extensions, and the awarding of additional funding to the PI and all co-PIs listed on the award that has the overdue report.

Where/How to Submit

The above reports are submitted by the PI to NSF via the Project Reporting module in Research.gov.

Select “Awards & Reporting,”  then “Project Reports.”  The PI will need a NSF username and password to login.
  • To find an existing user ID, go to the NSF ID Lookup.
  • To create a new ID, go to Research.gov and click on “Register” at the top of the page. Remember, after creating a FastLane ID, new users will need to affiliate with UC Berkeley. To do this, new UC Berkeley users should send a message to spoawards@berkeley.edu and provide the newly created FastLane ID. SPO will then affiliate the new user with UC Berkeley going forward.
The reporting module can be accessed only by the PI and co-PIs of an award. The module is organized with tabs for each of the components of the report: Accomplishments, Products, Participants, Impact, Changes/Problems, and Special Requirements.

The template also allows the PI to attach PDF documents for images, charts and other supplemental materials; PDF attachments are not permitted for the narrative content of the report.

Note that annual and final progress reports are not cumulative and should be limited to accomplishments, products, etc. from the current reporting period.

A “Getting Started Guide” for creating (and editing) annual and final reports is available on Research.gov.

October 18, 2019

EU Horizon 2020 Grants: Avoiding Common Errors in Claiming Costs

The European Union Horizon 2020 grants program has published guidance for awardees, How to Avoid Errors When Claiming Costs in H2020 Grants. The document lists the most common errors along with some explanations.

Additional grant management resources are available on the Participant Portal H2020 Online Manual website. Topics include keeping records, amendments, reports and payment requests, deliverables, dissemination and exploitation of results, communicating your project, and checks, audits, reviews and investigations.

September 26, 2019

NSF and NIH News

National Science Foundation News


Proposal & Award Policy & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

Due to the number of comments received (many about current and pending support), there will not be an October 2019 posting of the PAPPG on the NSF website, and there will not be a January 2020 PAPPG effective date. The actual posting and effective dates are still to be determined.


National Institutes of Health News


Foreign Components

Since “foreign components” require NIH prior approval, the following guidance has been provided by NIH:

Key measures for identifying foreign components are as follows:
  • Is a portion of the project being conducted outside the US?
    • No – not a foreign component
    • Yes – are the activities being conducted outside of the US significant?
  • Indicators include:
    • collaborations with investigators at a foreign site anticipated to result in co-authorship;
    • use of facilities or instrumentation at a foreign site; or
    • receipt of financial support or resources from a foreign entity.
ORCID Identifiers

In October 2019, the requirement for ORCID identifiers will be incorporated into the appointment process for trainees, scholars, and participants supported by institutional research training, career development, and research education awards that require appointments through the xTrain system, including the following:
  • T03, T15, T32, T34, T35, T37, T42, T90/R90, TL1, TL4, TU2,
  • K12/KL2, R25, R38, RL5, RL9
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
Regional Seminar

An NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration will be held in Phoenix, Arizona on November 6-8, 2019.

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.