March 15, 2007

NSF Soon to Allow Only Four Fonts in Proposals

The National Science Foundation Policy Office has published a second issue of their quarterly newsletter:

The biggest news is in an update on some of the changes coming in the soon-to-be-released consolidated policy document, the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide. Effective with implementation of the new Guide, NSF will be allowing only four fonts in NSF proposals: Arial, Helvetica, Palatino, and Georgia.

NIH Delays NRSA (T, F) and Career Development (K) Move to

The National Institutes of Health is delaying the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional training grant (T), NRSA Fellowship (F), and Career Development (K) mechanisms to electronic submissionusing NIH will continue to accept paper copies until the transition is made. NIH will also continue to use the current

The announcement was published on January 25 in the NIH Guide at Updates on the status of the transition to electronic submission are posted on the NIH eRA Electronic Submission of Grant Applications web site at

NIH and AHRQ Change Receipt Dates for AIDS/AIDS-Related Applications

In October 2006, the National Institutes of Health and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality announced a spreading of due dates that involved all applications except AIDS. Since then organizations have noted that the January 2 date causes particular problems for many institutions.

Therefore, NIH and AHRQ are changing the deadlines for AIDS and AIDS-related applications. Effective May 7, 2007 the due dates for AIDS applications are May 7, September 7, and January 7.

NIH announced this change in the February 23 NIH Guide at

NIH Updates Related to FY 2007 Budget Appropriations

The National Institutes of Health published several notices in the February 23 NIH Guide ( related to the approval of the FY 2007 NIH budget appropriations.

Notice of Legislative Mandates in Effect for FY 2007 -050.html
This notice provides information on the statutory provisions that limit the use of funds on NIH grant, cooperative agreement, and contract awards for FY 2007. Joint Resolution (P.L. 110- 005) provides funding for the remainder of FY 2007 It also continues the bill language from FY 2006 under the same terms and conditions as were provided in the FY 2006 Appropriations Act (P.L. 109-149).

Implementation of NIH Fiscal Policy for Non-Competing Grant Awards - FY 2007 -049.html
To implement the FY 2007 fiscal guidance, non-competing research awards will be awarded at 97.1% of the FY 2007 committed level. Future year commitments also will be adjusted accordingly. Institutes and centers will maintain the flexibility to supplement such non-competing awards on a case by-case basis. However, such supplements will not be considered as part of the base for future budgetary adjustments. Non-competing awards previously issued in FY 2007 at reduced levels will be revised to restore funds to the level indicated above.

Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts -051.html
The provision in the NIH appropriations that restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level I of the Federal Executive Pay scale continues through FY 2007 The Executive Level I annual salary rate was $183,500 for the period January 1 through December 31, 2006. Effective January 1, 2007, the Executive Level I salary level increased to $186,600.

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipend and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2007 -052.html
The stipend levels for FY 2007 Kirschstein-NRSA awards for undergraduate, predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and fellows remain the same as in FY 2006. The notice provides summaries of the stipend levels and of training-related expenses and institutional allowances or predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and fellows.

NIH Publishes "Observations" from COI Site Reviews

The National Institutes of Health Office of Extramural Research recently published its "Observations from NIH's FY 2006 Targeted Site Reviews on Financial Conflict of Interest" on the OER Conflict of Interest page at Berkeley's site review was conducted in April 2006.

The NIH site reviews focus specifically on compliance with the Financial Conflict of Interest regulation pertaining to NIH grants. NIH developed the observation document for use by the grantee community as a resource for evaluating implementation of the regulation. The document contains a discussion of compliance issues and suggestions for implementation.

For more information, see the campus Conflict of Interest Committee web site,, or contact Jyl Baldwin at

OMB Publishes "Agency Good Guidance Practices"

Before federal agencies issue guidance documents, they wlll soon have to have them reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget, according to the new OMB "Final Bulletin for Agency Good Guidance Practices" (

The new regulation is "intended to increase the quality and transparency of agency guidance practices and the significant guidance documents produced through them."

OMB currently reviews rulemaking but not guidance documents. The new regulation will require agencies to make their policies and practices for issuing guidance documents similar to and more consistent with rulemaking practices. Agencies will be required to be highly transparent with respect to guidance documents. All guidance documents for an agency will have to be listed on a common web page and have a mechanism for public feedback.

Campus Offers Pilot Program for Faculty Salary Exchange

The campus has announced a pilot program that will allow faculty who charge part of their academic year salary to extramural funds to bank salary savings generated from their position as discretionary funds. The Faculty Salary Exchange Program (FSEP) provides schools and colleges the option to implement a program that allows investigators to direct charge up to 30 percent of their academic year research effort to appropriate contracts and grants and use the salary savings generated from their faculty position to create a research fund. Funds released by participation in this program are intended to be used in support of temporary commitments. Any salary charged to individual grants must be allowable under sponsor guidelines and fall within the total percentage of the investigator's effort on the project.

Deans are delegated the decision whether to make the FSEP program available to faculty in their school or college. Deans are also responsible for determining specific program and process guidelines, including whether any portion of the salary release should be retained by the college or department. In those colleges that opt to make the program available, a further decision to participate should be made on a department-by-department basis by each chair. Faculty wishing to participate must obtain approval from both the department chair and dean and are responsible for initiating and renewing FSEP requests.

The campus memo from Jan de Vries, Vice Provost - Academic Affairs and Faculty Welfare, is available at Additional tools and administrative details to assist in planning implementation of the pilot are available at the Academic Personnel Office web site:

New Requirements for Research Involving Controlled Substances

The campus is implementing revised procedures for complying with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration requirements for the use of controlled substances in research. These changes will help ensure that the campus's institutional permit for use of controlled substances in research is renewed by May 2007.

Effective immediately, principal investigators are responsible for ensuring that specific requirements are met for any controlled substances used in the course of their research. More information is available in the campus announcement:

Human Stem Cell Research Policy for Campus

In order to ensure that all UC Berkeley research involving the use or derivation of human stem cells is conducted with the highest ethical and scientific standards, and in compliance with all applicable government regulations, UC policies, and the requirements of extramural sponsors, the Vice Chancellor for Research has announced a new campus policy for the review and approval of human stem cell research.

The policy states that before beginning research using human stem cells or deriving human stem cell lines, Berkeley investigators must have their research protocol approved by the newly formed campus Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (SCRO).

The announcement to campus is available at The policy is published at or

RAC is Hiring! Business Manager Position Available

The Research Administration and Compliance Office is recruiting applicants for a Business Manager/MSO II position.

Reporting directly to Assistant Vice Chancellor Marcia Smith, the RAC Business Manager will be responsible for management of all business functions in RAC including managerial leadership, support staff supervision, budgeting, planning, personnel administration, planning and management of outreach events, and financial and accounting administration.

The job is posted at, Job # 006004.

April 10 RAC Forum

The next RAC Forum will be held on April 10 from 10:30 to noon in the Lipman Room in Barrows Hall.

The following meetings will be on May 8 and June 12. Upcoming agendas and meeting schedules for the RAC Forum are available at Notices will also be sent out by email. To be added to the mailing list, please contact Shelley Sprandel at or 2-8122.

Statement of Economic Interests (700-U) Form Revised

The State of California has issued a revised 700-U Statement of Economic Interest for Principal Investigators for immediate use. The revised form is up on the COI Committee web site ( and is the only version that will now be accepted. If you have any questions please contact Jyl Baldwin (, 2-8117).

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. For research projects, the Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators (Form 700-U) should accompany the proposal and Proposal Review Form to the Sponsored Projects Office or to the Industry Alliances Office. For MTAs, the Form 700-U should accompany the Material Transfer Agreement Review Form to the Industry Alliances Office.

Federal Budget Update: Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008

On February 15, the President signed H.J.Res. 20, a joint resolution passed by Congress that, combined with the already-enacted bills for defense and homeland security, provides the final appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2007. The resolution eliminates Congressionally designated earmarks, allowing increases in funding for certain research and education activities.

The total federal R&D investment for FY 2007 is a record $139.9 billion, and increase of $4.6 billion. The increase primarily goes to development programs in the Defense Department for weapons systems and to NASA for new human spacecraft.

The appropriations contain increases for three physical sciences agencies as part of the American Competitiveness Initiative: the National Science Foundation, the Energy Department Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the Commerce Department. Also, the National Institutes of Health receives an inflationary increase instead of flat funding.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science Budget and Policy Program provides analysis of research and development (R&D) in the fiscal year 2007 budget at

President Proposes FY 2008 Budget

The President's proposed budget for FY 2008 was released February 5 ( The proposed budget includes increases for the three physical sciences agencies in the American Competitiveness Initiative, increases for weapons development and human spacecraft development, and decreased funding for the remaining federal R&D portfolio, including NIH.

To track the progress of the FY 2008 budget, resources include the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program (, the American Association of Universities (, and the federal Office of Management and Budget (

AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program