December 18, 2012

SPO Web Site Redesign

The Sponsored Projects Office web site has been revised using UC Berkeley campus templates. This redesign fits with the other previously updated Research Administration and Compliance sites.

The new format will allow users to find all of the information contained on SPO’s previous web site, but the new organization and format will enable users to find this information more easily.

SPO will continue to add information and new features to assist the campus community with contracts and grants, so your comments and suggestions are welcome.

December 04, 2012

NIH RPPR Requirement Coming in Spring 2013

In Spring 2013, National Institutes of Health researchers will be required to use the new Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) to submit Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship progress reports for the following activity codes:

R01-like SNAPs: D71, DP1, DP5, G08, G11, G13, P40, R00, R01, R03, R18, R21, R33, R34, R36, R37, R56, RC1, RC2, RL1, S10, S21, S22, SC1, SC2, SC3, UB1, UC2, UH1, UH2, UH3, UP5, P01, P20, P30, P40, P41, P50, PL1, R24, S11, U01, U10, U19, U24, U34, U54

Individual K SNAPs K01, K02, K05, K06, K07, K08, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K99, KL1

Education SNAPs: D43, K30, R13, R25, RL5, T14, T36, U13, U2R

Fellowships: F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37

SBIR/STTR SNAPs: R41, R42, R43, R44, U43, U44

Although this will be required in the spring, NIH grantees now have the option of using the RPPR for SNAP and Fellowship progress reports now. See the NIH Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) web page for resources to assist researchers and department administrators make this transition.

December 03, 2012

PRIM&R IRB Meeting Coming to Berkeley in February

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Administrator 101 and IRB 250, two educational programs sponsored by PRIM&R and hosted by UCB and UCSF, will be held on the Berkeley campus on February 11-13, 2013. Registration is now open.

IRB 101 focuses on Administrative staff of the IRB. IRB 250 is more focused on IRB members and researchers in three specific topical themes (research with biological specimens, international research, and internet research).

November 26, 2012

SPO and RAC Offices Flooded

The Sponsored Projects Office and Research Administration and Compliance offices suffered flooding and severe water damage over the weekend. This may affect business operations and processing times for some of the SPO activities. We will continue to provide updates as we receive additional information from the building management and restoration service. In the meantime, please bear with us as we work through the recovery activities. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

December 12, 2012 Update: Please see SPO and RAC Flooded Offices Update on our web site for news and some photos.

November 20, 2012

NIH Changing Public Access Policy Reporting Requirements

The National Institutes of Health has announced Upcoming Changes to Public Access Policy Reporting Requirements and Related NIH Efforts to Enhance Compliance (NOT-OD-12-160).

NIH plans to implement these changes to the compliance requirements and procedures for the NIH Public Access Policy by Spring 2013 at the earliest. Among the changes, NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy. The award will not be processed until recipients have demonstrated compliance.

November 15, 2012

NSF Webinar on 2013 PAPPG on November 19

The National Science Foundation is hosting a webinar, Revisions to the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), on November 19 from 11:00 to 12:30 Pacific Time. The revised PAPPG is effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 14, 2013.

Registration on the Webinar Registration Page is required. When your request is approved, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the meeting.

October 4, 2012 Research Advocate: NSF Issues New Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide

November 09, 2012

2012 Sponsored Projects Annual Report Published

The Sponsored Projects Office Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2012, is now available on the SPO web site. The report provides information on campus proposals and awards during the past fiscal year; in fiscal year 2012, the Berkeley campus received $714.2 million in contract and grant awards.

October 10, 2012

NSF Webinars on Transfer of Project Reports to

In early 2013, the National Science Foundation will transfer all project reporting from FastLane to Principal investigators and co-PIs will use to meet all NSF project reporting requirements, including submission of annual, final, and interim project reports and the project outcomes report.

In support of the transition, NSF will pilot the new service in beginning in October.

NSF is hosting two webinars for grantees interested in learning more about Each webinar will review current and upcoming services and tools for the research community, including the transition of project reports to, financial services available on and the upcoming Award Cash Management Service (ACM$), and access services such as InCommon and Single-Sign On with FastLane.
    NSF webinars:

    October 04, 2012

    RAC Offices to Close During the Annual Campus Winter Break

    The Office for Animal Care and Use, the Conflict of Interest Committee Office, the Office for the Protection of Human Subjects, the Sponsored Projects Office, and the Research Administration and Compliance Office will be closed during the campus energy curtailment beginning Monday, December 24, 2012 until Wednesday, January 2, 2013. Offices will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

    SPO Proposal Submission

    SPO will process proposals due in December 2012 and January 2013 according to the VCR’s five-day proposal submission policy with the following exceptions:
    • For proposals with deadlines that fall during the curtailment period (Saturday, December 22 through Tuesday, January 1), the due date to SPO will be no later than noon Monday, December 17, 2012.
    • For proposals due the first week of January 2013, the due date to SPO shall be FIVE FULL BUSINESS DAYS. For example, if the due date is 5 pm on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, the SPO deadline is no later than noon on Tuesday, December 18, 2012. Proposals due Thursday, January 3 shall be received no later than noon Wednesday, December 19, and so on.
    Principal Investigators also are encouraged to inform their SPO Research Analyst if they will be submitting a proposal with a due date just prior to, during, or just after the curtailment period. This will give SPO and the PI an opportunity to discuss the best way to handle the proposal to make sure it is submitted in a timely manner.

    COI Disclosure Submission

    In order to be on the agenda for any meeting, complete disclosure packets must be received no later than 10 working days prior to the date of the meeting.
    • The deadline for submission for the December 20, 2012 meeting is December 6, 2012.
    ACUC Protocol Submission

    Please note that all protocols and protocol revisions must be submitted via email to by 5 pm on the deadline date. If you wish to make changes to an approved protocol, you must first contact the Office for Animal Care and Use (OACU) to obtain a copy of the current approved version of your protocol. Failure to do so may result in your protocol being returned to you.
    • The deadline for full committee review of protocol submissions for the January 9, 2013 meeting is Monday, November 19, 2012.
    • Likewise, the deadline for protocol submission for the February 13, 2013 meeting is December 17, 2012.
    CPHS Protocol Submission

    Important: if your study is “greater than minimal risk” needing full board review and the approval will expire before January 18, 2013, you must submit your renewal application in time for review at a December 2012 CPHS meeting.
    • The deadline for protocol submission for the December 7, 2012 CPHS-1 meeting is Monday, November 5, 2012.
    • The deadline for protocol submission for the December 14, 2012 CPHS-2 meeting is Monday, November 19, 2012.
    • There is no CPHS-1 meeting in January 2013.
    • The deadline for protocol submission for the January 18, 2013 CPHS-2 meeting is Monday, December 17, 2012.
    • The deadline for protocol submission for the February 1, 2013 CPHS-1 meeting is Monday, January 7, 2013.

    NSF Issues New Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide

    The National Science Foundation has issued the new version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 13-1), effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 14, 2013. The NSF PAPPG consists of the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and Award & Administration Guide (AAG).

    A Dear Colleague Letter - Issuance of a new NSF Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide lists major changes and resources for information on the revision.

    Some significant changes include:
    • Revisions to the NSF Merit Review Criteria which implement National Science Board recommendations. Changes will affect the project summary and project description sections of proposals. Annual and final reports also will be affected.
    • Instructions for preparation of the Biographical Sketch have been revised to rename the “Publications” section to “Products” and amend terminology and instructions accordingly. This change makes clear that products may include, but are not limited to, publications, data sets, software, patents, and copyrights.
    • Coverage on compensation of facilities and administrative (F&A) dosts (indirect costs) has been clarified to specify that, except as noted in the GPG sections on participant support and international travel grants, or as specified in an NSF program solicitation, the applicable indirect cost rate(s) negotiated by the organization with the cognizant negotiating agency must be used in computing indirect costs for a proposal.
    • Modification of the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of proposals to assist proposers in complying with the NSF cost sharing policy.
    A summary of the changes by chapter is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide.

    NSF is also providing:
    Note that the revised version of the PAPPG becomes effective on January 14, 2013. In the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 11-1) continue to apply.

    September 25, 2012

    Revised NIH Grants Policy Statement Published, Effective October 1, 2012

    The National Institutes of Health has announced publication of the revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS, rev.10/1/2012), applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2012.

    The revision does not introduce any new material, but “incorporates new and modified requirements, clarifies certain policies, and implements changes in statutes, regulations, and policies that have been implemented through appropriate legal and/or policy processes since the previous version.” NIH has provided a Word document that summarizes the significant changes implemented with the revision.

    September 20, 2012

    NIH Announces Revised Forms and Instructions

    The National Institutes of Health has announced the “the availability of newly revised forms and instructions used to submit interim and final progress reports, and other post-award documents associated the monitoring, oversight, and closeout of an award. Related revised Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) forms are also now available.”

    The September 20 NIH Guide notice, Revised Pre- and Post-Award Forms and Instructions Available (NOT-OD-12-152), includes a table summarizing the changes.

    NIH has posted the newly revised forms and instructions on the NIH Forms & Applications page with a date of 08/2012.

    August 30, 2012

    PHS FCOI Requirements: Impact on New Proposals and Awards

    Revised Public Health Service (PHS) financial disclosure regulations, effective August 24, 2012, require the Sponsored Projects Office to change the way it processes various types of transactions for PHS sponsors as well as several other non-PHS sponsors who also have adopted these same PHS FCOI requirements.

    The following guidance is effective as of August 24, 2012 and describes what is required of UC Berkeley principal investigators (PIs) who plan to submit research proposals and/or receive research funding from any of the PHS funding agencies and non-PHS agencies that have adopted the PHS Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) regulations. A current list of these sponsors is provided at the end of this notice.

    Please note: This guidance applies to all PHS funded research grants and cooperative agreements including research grants, career development grants, center grants, individual fellowship awards, infrastructure awards, institutional training grants, program projects, or research resources awards. It does not apply to NSF or any other non-PHS sponsor except those listed at the end of this announcement. Also, it does not apply to Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) applications, but it does apply to Phase II SBIR/STTR applications/awards.

    Proposal Submission to Sponsors with PHS FCOI Policy

    Before any new research proposal can be submitted by SPO to any sponsor that has adopted the PHS FCOI policy, the UC Berkeley PI must provide SPO with:
    1. A faxed or scanned PI certification form signed and dated by the UC Berkeley PI. This is a new form entitled, “PHS FCOI Policy: Principal Investigator Certification.” In lieu of a signed/dated form, SPO also will accept an email directly from the PI with the certification language included.
    2. A faxed or scanned PHS Financial Disclosure (Form 1) for each UC Berkeley investigator named in the proposal.
    3. A faxed or scanned PHS Financial Disclosure (Form 5) for each subrecipient investigator named in the proposal, but only if the subrecipient does not have a PHS-compliant FCOI policy.
    Note: UC Berkeley PIs who are notified after August 24, 2012 that they will be funded by a PHS sponsor or a non-PHS sponsor that has adopted the PHS FCOI policy must provide items 1-3 above to SPO if these were not provided at the proposal stage. The award will not be set up by SPO until these items are received and all positive disclosures have been approved by the UC Berkeley COI committee.

    Determining if a Subrecipient has a PHS-Compliant FCOI Policy

    The UC Berkeley PI should take these steps:
    • First consult the FDP FCOI Clearinghouse to see if the subrecipient is listed. If the subrecipient is listed on the FDP FCOI Clearinghouse website, nothing more is required of the UC Berkeley PI for the subrecipient’s investigators.
    • Each subrecipient must complete a UCB Subrecipient Commitment Form. The current version of the form, dated 9/2012, has questions pertinent to the new PHS financial disclosure regulations to determine if a subrecipient has a PHS-compliant policy in place. If the subrecipient has completed and signed a previous version of the UCB Subrecipient Commitment Form (earlier than 9/2012), and if the subrecipient is not listed on the FDP FCOI Clearinghouse website, the UC Berkeley PI must ask the subrecipient to complete and submit a UCB “Subrecipient Commitment Form: FCOI Addendum,” so that the new information is provided.
    • If the subrecipient’s authorized official indicates on the Subrecipient Commitment Form or on the Addendum that it DOES NOT have a PHS-compliant FCOI policy, the UC Berkeley PI will need to submit to SPO a faxed or scanned PHS Financial Disclosure (Form 5) signed and dated for each of the subrecipient’s investigators named in the proposal.

    PHS Non-Competing Continuation Applications (Progress Reports)

    For a non-competing continuation application/progress report submitted to any PHS sponsor, the UC Berkeley PI must submit to SPO items 1-3 listed above on or before the date the non-competing continuation application/progress report is due to the PHS sponsor. Failure to do this will violate PHS FCOI regulations.

    Other Covered Transactions

    PHS FCOI regulations also require SPO to collect from the UC Berkley PI items 1-3 listed above prior to submitting a request for a no-cost extension or any supplement that extends the end date of the award.

    PHS Sponsors

    National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
    Indian Health Services (IHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin (SAMHSA)

    Non-PHS Sponsors adopting PHS FCOI Regulations

    Alliance for Lupus Research
    American Cancer Society
    American Heart Association
    Arthritis Foundation
    Susan G. Komen for the Cure

    For more detailed information about PHS financial disclosure requirements consult PHS Financial Disclosure on the RAC Conflict of Interest web site.

    August 24, 2012

    UCB Implements PHS Regulations for Financial Disclosure

    The Public Health Service (PHS), including the National Institutes of Health, requires disclosure of significant financial interests by investigators who participate in PHS-funded research either directly or via subaward. The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Alliance for Lupus Research, Arthritis Foundation, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure have also adopted the PHS requirements.

    The RAC Conflict of Interest Office has developed a three-stage process to implement the disclosure, review, and reporting requirements of the revised PHS financial disclosure regulations, which are effective August 24, 2012. This new process, with new PHS financial disclosure forms, has been designed to reduce and simplify the administrative burden associated with financial disclosure and review at the initial proposal submission stage for new and competing continuation/renewal proposals. Detailed information, guidance, and the new forms are available on the COI PHS Financial Disclosure page.

    The COI Office has also revised the NSF Financial Disclosure Form for applicants to the National Science Foundation. Applicants to NSF must disclose project-related financial interests for themselves and all other project investigators at the proposal submission stage. This requirement applies to subcontracts from NSF, and the UCOP Special Research Programs have also adopted the NSF requirements.

    August 21, 2012

    NIH Announces Special Review for Applications from PIs with More than $1 Million Direct Costs for RPGs

    The National Institutes of Health has announced a new Special Council Review policy. In September 2012, Advisory Council members will provide additional consideration of new and renewal applications from investigators who currently receive $1 million per year in direct costs from active NIH awards for Research Project Grants (RPGs).

    In May 2012, NIH piloted Special Council Review procedures to provide additional review of applications from investigators with NIH funding of  $1.5 million per year in total costs. The main change from the pilot is that the threshold was changed from $1.5 million total costs to $1 million direct costs from active NIH awards.

    Applications that will be given special review include:
    • New and renewal applications from investigators who currently receive $1 million or more in direct costs for RPGs, excluding no cost extensions
    Applications excluded from special review include:
    • Pending applications received in response to requests for applications
    • P01s and other multi-component RPGs, unless all the investigators exceed the $1 million threshold
    • Multi-PI applications, unless all the investigators exceed the $1 million threshold
    • Administrative supplements
    • Subprojects within complex applications (This may be revisited by NIH when complex applications are accepted through eRA Commons.)
    The August 20 NIH Guide Notice (NOT-OD-12-140) and a Rock Talk post on Moving Forward with Special Council Review provide additional details.

    May 22, 2012 Research Advocate: NIH Piloting Special Review for PIs with Over $1.5M in Research Project Grants

    August 09, 2012

    Campus Guidance on F&A Rate Increases

    The campus has a new multi-year Facilities and Administration (F&A) rate agreement.

    Awards in which the University’s F&A costs were not waived (all or in part), have start dates on or after July 1, 2011, and were awarded with a provisional F&A rate will be subject to the new F&A rate agreement/rate increases. The Controller/EFA will automatically apply the appropriate rate for the effective period based on the new F&A agreement.

    Example: An award was made to UC Berkeley with a start date of 7/1/11 for a period of three years. The approved budget included the provisional F&A rate of 53.5% across all three project years.
    The Controller/EFA will now apply the appropriate predetermined F&A rate for each effective period according to the new rate agreement:

    Year 1: 7/1/11-6/30/12 - 53.5% of MTDC (no change)
    Year 2: 7/1/12­-6/30/13 - 55.5% of MTDC (+2.0%)
    Year 3: 7/1/13-6/30/14 - 56.5% of MTDC (+3.0%)

    To cover the change/increase in F&A in Years 2 and 3, the Principal Investigator (PI)/Department has two options:
    1. The PI could request additional funds from the sponsor to cover the increase in F&A. The feasibility of this option, as always, depends on sponsor policy.
    2. The PI/Department could rebudget to make more funds available for F&A costs. This action may or may not require sponsor approval depending on sponsor policy.
    The following provides the campus with guidance on how to manage the impact of the new F&A rate agreement/rate changes on awards from different types of sponsors:

    1. National Science Foundation (NSF)

    NSF awards that meet the criteria listed above made directly to UC Berkeley (or via a subagreement/MCA) will be charged F&A according to the new rate agreement. NSF policy is not to provide additional funding to cover any increase in F&A costs that result. Therefore, PIs/Departments will need to rebudget for the increase in F&A costs. This may be done without additional NSF approval as long as Research Terms and Conditions (RTC) apply to the NSF award. PIs/Departments should consult the NSF award document for this information. If RTC does not apply, the PIs/Department should contact the SPO Research Administrator (RA) assigned to their unit for guidance.

    2. National Institutes of Health (NIH)

    When SPO receives a Just-in-Time (JIT) request for a possible award from NIH, SPO will provide the new campus F&A rate agreement to NIH and attempt to get the appropriate new rates included as part of the new award.

    For already established NIH awards that meet the criteria listed above made directly to UC Berkeley (or via a subagreement/MCA), NIH is not obligated to make any supplemental or other award for additional F&A costs just because a grantee’s rate agreement has changed. However, NIH will allow grantees to charge NIH projects at the newly negotiated rate in effect at the time direct cost expenditures are made during each project year covered under the new rate agreement.

    Therefore, PIs/Departments will need to rebudget for any increase in F&A costs. This may be done without additional NIH approval as long as Research Terms and Conditions (RTC) apply to the NIH award. PIs/Departments should consult the NIH award document for this information. If RTC does not apply, the PIs/Department should contact the SPO RA assigned to their unit for guidance.

    3. All Other Awards

    PIs/Departments should consult the terms and conditions of individual awards that meet the criteria listed above to determine if the sponsor’s policies allow it to provide additional funds for changes in indirect cost rates. If allowed, the PIs/Department should contact the SPO RA assigned to their unit to make this request.

    PIs/Departments that decide to rebudget to cover an increase in F&A costs should consult their award document to determine whether Research Terms and Conditions (RTC) apply. If RTC terms do not apply, PIs/Departments should consult with the SPO RA assigned to their unit to determine if sponsor approval for re-budgeting is required and work with the SPO RA to make this request. (Note: For NASA, substitute FDP Terms and Conditions for RTC in this paragraph.)

    Impact on the Project’s Scope of Work

    Typically small changes in F&A costs do not impact the scope of work of the project. Fluctuations in fringe benefit rates and other costs during the life of a project often occur and most project budgets can accommodate small changes in F&A rates as well. However, if a PI determines the scope of work will change as a result of changes in F&A rates (or any other reason), PIs/Departments should contact the SPO RA assigned to their unit to notify the sponsor.

    Please contact SPO Director Pamela Miller if you have questions about this guidance.

    For questions about the process for rebudgeting to accommodate the new predetermined F&A rates, please contact Extramural Funds Accounting.

    July 27, 2012

    Audit and Advisory Services “Bridging the Gap” Continues in 2012-2013

    Audit and Advisory Services has announced that the “Bridging the Gap” information sharing series will continue for a second year. The sessions are open to all faculty and staff.

    The following sessions are available for registration:
    • “Ask the Auditor” with Wanda Lynn Riley (Monday, July 30, 2012 from 3-4:30pm) 
    •  “May I Speak Frankly? The Attorney-Client and Work-Product Privileges” with Christopher Patti (Monday, August 27, 2012, 3-4:30pm) 
    •  “Achieving Success Through Managing Risk: Lessons from the Successful (and Disastrous) 1911 Discovery of the South Pole” with Hans Gude (Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 3-4:30pm) 
    •  “The Truth or Consequences of Managing the Berkeley Brand” with Maria Rubinshteyn and Jan Gonsalves (Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 1-2:30pm) 
    All sessions will be held in 150 University Hall. Participants are asked to register using the UC Learning Center available in the campus Blu portal. Additional sessions will be posted and available for registration in August.

    July 24, 2012

    New Facilities and Administrative Cost Rates

    The campus has a new multi-year Facilities and Administration (indirect cost) rate agreement with the federal government. The agreement, dated June 29, 2012, specifies the F&A rates to be applied to awards from federal and non-federal sponsors.

    Under the new agreement the rate for on-campus research increases to 55.5 percent on July 1, 2012, 56.5 percent on July 1, 2013 and 57.0 percent on July 1, 2015. The off-campus research rate will remain at 26.0 percent. The Space Sciences Laboratory’s special rate will be 40.0 percent for on-campus research and 24.5 percent for off-campus research beginning July 1, 2012. Rates for other sponsored activities will also change. These new rates will bring indirect cost recovery from sponsored projects significantly closer to the campus’s actual costs.

    For detailed information on the new rates, see Facilities and Administrative (Indirect Cost) Rates on the SPO web site.

    July 09, 2012

    No Telephone Service for RAC on July 10

    The Research Administration and Compliance Office, the Office for Animal Care and Use, the Conflict of Interest Committee Office, the Office for the Protection of Human Subjects, and the Sponsored Projects Office will have no telephone service on July 10, 2012. Please use email to contact staff.

    There will be no phone service or voicemail available on July 10. 2150 Shattuck is being converted to the new campus CalPBX Communication System.

    July 10, 2:30 p.m. update: RAC phones should all be working again.

    July 05, 2012

    New Composite Fringe Rates for UC Berkeley

    New composite fringe rates for the UC Berkeley campus for fiscal year 2013 are now posted on the Sponsored Projects Office web site.

    These rates have been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and are now in effect. The new rates should be used (along with the projections provided) to prepare proposal budgets. (Please note: Rates beyond June 30, 2013 are estimates and are provided for planning purposes only. Future benefits rates are subject to review and approval by the Department of Health and Human Services on an annual or bi-annual basis. Therefore, regardless of which rates are used to estimate the cost of fringe benefits at the proposal stage, the fringe benefit costs ultimately charged to the sponsored project will always be based on the DHHS-approved fringe rates in existence at that time.)

    Additional information on the creation of these rates and methodology for implementation will be forthcoming shortly from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO).

    Update: July 6, 2012 Calmessages memo from  Office of the Chief Financial Officer  (CalNet required)

    July 23, 2012 update: The following is additional guidance regarding the application of the campus’ new composite fringe benefit rates that may help with the preparation of proposals going forward:
    1. Fringe costs now should be requested for all employees full AND part-time according to the rates posted on our webpage. Note that undergraduate student employees fringe rate is 0%.
    2. The composite fringe benefit rates are approved by DHHS on a year-by-year basis. Thus, only FY13 rates have been approved by DHHS. Future rates are provided only for projection purposes. Final rates are subject to review and approval by DHHS a year at a time.
    3. In FY 14 we anticipate transitioning to composite fringe rates being developed by UC Office of the President for the entire UC system. However, we should continue to use the projections specific to UC Berkeley to prepare proposal budgets until the outcomes of UCOP’s composite fringe benefit rate proposal are known.
    4. Not all legacy fringe benefit costs are included in the new composite fringe benefit rates. Some fringe costs that carry special costing circumstances are excluded from the rates and should continue to be budgeted and expensed separately. Namely: Graduate Student Health and Tuition Remission, General Automobile and Employment Liability (GAEL), Incentive Award Assessment (IAP), and all expenses recorded to account codes in the 52XXX range such as vacation accrual and compensatory time.

    July 02, 2012

    Grant Forward Funding Database Replaces IRIS

    Grant Forward is a new grant search service that has replaced the University of Illinois Researcher Information Service (IRIS) funding database. Grant Forward is available all faculty, postdocs, staff, and students at UC Berkeley because of the campus subscription to the service. Grant Forward can be accessed directly from a campus computer or from an off-campus computer by first setting up an account.

    There are two search methods: basic and advanced. The basic search provides a simple unified search that accepts phrases, keywords, and restrictions, and autocompletes for ease of use. Advanced search provides a set of fields for targeted queries. In advanced search, you can specify general keywords, categories (similar to IRIS Subject Keywords), sponsors, and a variety of additional attributes.

    Grant Forward provides a FAQ for new users and transition guide for former IRIS users to help answer questions about the service.

    Setting up a Grant Forward account provides additional features. Once you create a Grant Forward account using a UC Berkeley computer or email address, and link your account to UC Berkeley, you can then sign in from any computer (work or home) to search for grants. With an account, you can save searches and set email alerts to receive notices of new or updated funding opportunities, and also save individual grant opportunities.

    June 27, 2012

    DOE Notice on Accelerated Spending of ARRA Funds

    Recipients of Department of Energy American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) discretionary program funds should read the June 22, 2012 letter from David Sandalow, Acting Under Secretary of Energy, to all of DOE’s prime grant recipients. This letter addresses the Office of Management and Budget’s September 2011 memorandum M-11-34 regarding accelerated spending of ARRA funds.

    Please note that the deadline is July 15, 2012 for requesting an extension that moves a project’s period of performance beyond September 13, 2013. These requests must be submitted through SPO.

    DOE will be submitting a waiver to OMB for every DOE Recovery Act discretionary grant recipient that already has a Period of Performance that extends past September 30, 2013. For all other requests, DOE will review the request and determine on a case-by-case basis which to submit to OMB. Once OMB releases formal guidance on the waiver process, DOE will follow up with recipients.

    If you are unsure if your DOE-funded project includes ARRA funds, please consult the list of ARRA awards received by UC Berkeley.

    June 15, 2012

    NIH Provides “LikeThis” Search Tool in eRA Commons

    The National Institutes of Health eRA Commons has a new LikeThis search tool to help principal investigators find and learn about other research projects. By entering specific scientific terms or accessing their own grant applications or grants and clicking on LikeThis, investigators will be provided a listing of similar funded projects and/or publications.

    The LikeThis tool is available to PIs registered in eRA Commons and is available as a link after logging in to eRA Commons. The search data is confidential and is not available to other users of this site.

    NIH suggests that PIs can use LikeThis to determine which NIH Institute or study section to list as a preference in application cover letters. PIs can enter scientific text from their grant application into LikeThis to find similar grants, including the name of the NIH funding Institute as well as a list of the study sections where these were reviewed. Alternatively, PIs can access their previously funded or unfunded grants from the “My Applications” tab in LikeThis to find similarly funded grants.

    LikeThis is currently available to PIs only. However, after July 20, the tool will be available to Signing Officials as well as others with eRA Commons roles such as Trainee, Post Doc, and Assistant.

    US Ignite to Encourage New Applications for Next-Generation Networks

    The White House and the National Science Foundation have announced a new initiative, US Ignite, to support new applications to improve healthcare delivery, advanced manufacturing, disaster response, and address other societal needs, using fast, open, next-generation networks.

    NSF will serve as the lead federal agency. US Ignite will expand on investments in the NSF-funded Global Environment for Networking Innovation (GENI) project which lays the technical groundwork for the initiative. NSF has issued a Dear Colleague Letter requesting EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals or supplemental funding requests for the development of novel applications that take advantage of advanced networks developed through GENI and have societal impact. Before submitting an EAGER proposal or supplemental funding request, investigators must submit a two-page summary by email.

    NSF has also announced an award to the Mozilla Foundation to host an open innovation challenge, Mozilla Ignite.

    NRC Report on Research Universities and the Future of America

    On June 14, the National Research Council published Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security. This report was requested by Congress to assess the competitive position of  U.S. research universities and to respond to the question: “What are the top ten actions that Congress, the federal government, state governments, research universities, and others can take to assure the ability of the American research university to maintain the excellence in research and doctoral education needed to help the United States compete, prosper, and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment, and security in the global community of the 21st century?”

    The report recommends the following ten strategic actions that the nation should take in the next five to ten years to maintain top-quality U.S. research institutions.
    • Federal Action: Within the broader framework of U.S. innovation and R&D strategies, the federal government should adopt stable and effective policies, practices, and funding for university-performed R&D and graduate education so that the nation will have a stream of new knowledge and educated people to power our future, helping us meet national goals and ensure prosperity and security.
    • State Action: Provide greater autonomy for public research universities so that these institutions may leverage local and regional strengths to compete strategically and respond with agility to new opportunities. At the same time, restore state appropriations for higher education, including graduate education and research, to levels that allow public research universities to operate at world-class levels.
    • Strengthening Partnerships with Business: Strengthen the business role in the research partnership, facilitating the transfer of knowledge, ideas, and technology to society, and accelerate “time-to-innovation” in order to achieve our national goals.
    • Improving University Productivity: Increase university cost-effectiveness and productivity in order to provide a greater return on investment for taxpayers, philanthropists, corporations, foundations, and other research sponsors.
    • A Strategic Investment Program: Create a Strategic Investment Program that funds initiatives at research universities critical to advancing education and research in areas of key national priority.
    • Full Federal Funding of Research: The federal government and other research sponsors should strive to cover the full costs of research projects and other activities they procure from research universities in a consistent and transparent manner.
    • Reducing Regulatory Burdens: Reduce or eliminate regulations that increase administrative costs, impede research productivity, and deflect creative energy without substantially improving the research environment.
    • Reforming Graduate Education: Improve the capacity of graduate programs to attract talented students by addressing issues such as attrition rates, time-to-degree, funding, and alignment with both student career opportunities and national interests.
    • STEM Pathways for Diversity: Secure for the United States the full benefits of education for all Americans, including women and underrepresented minorities, in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.
    • International Students and Scholars: Ensure that the United States will continue to benefit strongly from the participation of international students and scholars in our research enterprise.

    June 11, 2012

    California HIV/AIDS Research Program Letters of Intent Due July 10

    On June 5, 2012, the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP) managed by the UC Office of the President announced a Call for Applications in Basic Biomedical Sciences. In 2012, the program will offer Awards for Innovative Pilot Studies (IDEA- Innovative, Developmental, Exploratory Award) and Research Training Awards for Dissertation and Postdoctoral Training.

    Required letters of intent are due July 10, 2012, and applications are due September 13, 2012. CHRP will host a webinar for prospective applicants on Tuesday, June 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    June 07, 2012

    DOD Minerva Initiative for Social Science Research: Save the Dates

    The U. S. Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative is a university-based social science basic research program that seeks to build deeper understanding of the social, cultural, and political dynamics that shape regions of strategic interest around the world.

    The Initiative has posted a “save-the-date” notice that the 2012 Minerva Conference will be held September 13-14 in Washington, D.C.

    The  program intends to release a new Broad Agency Announcement this summer for a 2012/2013 competition, with similar but updated topic tracks to the 2011/2012 competition.

    July 27, 2011 Research Advocate: DoD Funding for Social Sciences: Minerva Research Initiative

    May 25, 2012

    No-Cost Extensions for NIH Grants Funded by ARRA

    On September 15, 2011, the Office of Management and Budget issued OMB memorandum M-11-34, “Accelerating Spending of Remaining Funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Discretionary Grant Programs.” This memo directed Federal agencies to take steps to ensure grantees complete Recovery Act projects by September 30, 2013.

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have provided guidance on meeting the accelerated spending goal. NSF published additional Frequently Asked Questions changing the deadline for no-cost extension requests to NSF from June to March.

    For NIH awards funded by ARRA scheduled to end on or before September 30, 2013, a no-cost extension must be submitted to NIH by June 1, 2012.

    If a no-cost extension is necessary, it must be requested through SPO and sent to the NIH by June 1, 2012, no matter the end date of the award.

    NSF and NIH will grant approvals based on the allowable exceptions described in OMB M-11-34. Grantees may still exercise their one-time, grantee-approved no-cost extension as long as the period of performance does not extend beyond September 30, 2013. Sponsors must approve all extensions beyond the September 30, 2013 date, and no unilateral extension beyond September 30, 2013 will be recognized by the sponsor. Grantees are still encouraged to responsibly accelerate spending. For more information see Accelerating Spending of ARRA Funding on the SPO web site.

    PI requests for a no-cost extension should be submitted to SPO as soon as possible in order for the request to be submitted to NIH by the June 1, 2012 deadline.

    December 14, 2011 Research Advocate article: NSF and NIH Issue Guidance to Accelerate Spending of ARRA Funds
    November 10, 2011 Research Advocate article: Acceleration of Unspent ARRA Grant Funds

    May 22, 2012

    NIH Piloting Special Review for PIs with Over $1.5M in Research Project Grants

    The National Institutes of Health published a Notice of NIH Piloting of Procedures for Special Council Review of Research Applications from PD(s)/PI(s) with More than $1.5 Million Total Annual NIH Support (NOT-OD-12-110) in the May 18 NIH Guide.

    In a follow-up Rock Talk post, Dr. Sally Rockey, the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, writes, “This is not a cap on the total amount of funds an investigator can receive from NIH. It is a special review during Advisory Council deliberations to determine if additional funds should be provided to well-supported investigators.”

    The Notice states that:

    “During the current round of May IC Council meetings, NIH will be piloting the procedures whereby Council members will be asked to provide additional consideration of new and renewal applications from well-supported investigators who currently receive more than $1.5 million in Research Project Grants (RPGs). These RPGs are generally investigator-initiated research projects rather than NIH’s other grant programs which include support for investigator training and career development and center grants.  In addition to the common R01 grant program, the RPG level includes cooperative agreements (example: U01) and subproject costs where an investigator is a sub-project leader on a Program Project Grant (P01) or other multi-project RPG award.  Multiple PD/PI projects are also proportionally included in determining the $1.5 million level for a specific PD/PI.”

    Exclusions to the pilot include applications in response to most RFAs, P01s and other multi-project RPGs unless all of the PD/PIs and sub-project leaders are at or above the $1.5M level, and multiple PD/PI projects unless all of the PDs/PIs are above $1.5 million.

    May 04, 2012 and Fastlane Unavailable This Weekend

    Both the National Science Foundation web site and NSF FastLane will be unavailable this weekend for scheduled maintenance. The sites will be down from 5:00 pm Pacific Time, Friday, May 4 to 8:59 pm Pacific Time, Sunday, May 6.

    NSF provides guidance in a FastLane Advisory for reviewers and panelists planning to work on a review or submit a review during the weekend outage.

    April 05, 2012

    NIH Tutorial on Financial Conflict of Interest

    Investigators are encouraged to take a new tutorial on financial conflict of interest developed by the National Institutes of Health.

    The NIH web-based tutorial addresses the main requirements of the 2011 revised regulation, Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which PHS Funding is Sought (Title 42, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 50, Subpart F), for grants and cooperative agreements (commonly known together with the revised regulation for contracts, as the Financial Conflict of Interest [FCOI] regulations). The tutorial highlights the key federal requirements for which the investigator (through the institution’s implementation of the regulation), the institution, and the NIH, are accountable under the FCOI regulation. The tutorial is not intended to substitute for the comprehensive review and implementation of all regulatory requirements.

    The University of California Office of the President will also be offering a UC training module for the new NIH regulation; details will be available soon.


    NIH Regional Seminars for 2012: Indianapolis, IN and Washington, DC

    Each, year the National Institutes of Health Office of Extramural Research sponsors two NIH Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration. The seminars are intended for grants administrators and researchers new to NIH. Early registration is highly recommended, as space is limited.
    The NIH Notice on the 2012 seminars notes that optional NIH eRA computer workshops are offered the day prior to the two-day seminar. The half-day workshops are designed for administrators and investigators, providing attendees with hands-on experience utilizing the eRA Commons and the overall electronic grants process.

    April 02, 2012

    NIH Just-In-Time: Electronic Submission, Business Process Change Effective April 20

    The National Institutes of Health has issued a Notice of Requirement for Electronic Submission of Just-in-Time Information and Related Business Process Changes Beginning April 20, 2012.

    The notices states that to “reduce application confusion and to minimize requests from NIH staff for JIT submissions, NIH is revising its business processes so applicants will have better information on when JIT submissions are required, and to require electronic submission of JIT information through the eRA Commons as of April 20, 2012.”

    Electronic Submission
    NIH will require applicants “to submit their information using the JIT feature of the eRA Commons at least 60 days before the applicant’s proposed project period start date (or sooner if requested by the IC).”

    Revised Business Processes

    NIH is also changing the JIT process so “applications receiving an impact score of 40 or less will receive a standard notice and request for submitting JIT information.” NIH will send notices by e-mail from the eRA Commons to the Project Director(s) and/or Principal Investigator(s) two weeks after release of the impact score. See the Notice for additional details.

    March 29, 2012

    Federal “Big Data” Multi-Agency Initiative: NSF/NIH Funding Announced

    The National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health are jointly funding a new program, Core Techniques and Technologies for Advancing Big Data Science & Engineering (BIGDATA). The “program aims to extract and use knowledge from collections of large data sets in order to accelerate progress in science and engineering research. Specifically, it will fund research to develop and evaluate new algorithms, statistical methods, technologies, and tools for improved data collection and management, data analytics and e-science collaboration environments.”

    Deadlines are June 13, 2012 for mid-scale projects (between $250,001 and $1 million per year for up to five years), and July 11, 2012 for small projects (up to $250,000 per year for up to three years). Up to $25 million total is available.

    The NSF/NIH program is part of a federal “Big Data Research and Development Initiative,” announced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). To launch the initiative, six federal departments and agencies (NSF, NIH, the Department of Defense, DARPA, the Department of Energy Office of Science, and the U.S. Geological Survey) will be announcing more than $200 million in new commitments.

    A $10 million NSF award to researchers at UC Berkeley is one of the new awards announced in conjunction with the Big Data R&D Initiative, under the NSF Expeditions in Computing program.


    March 27, 2012

    New UCB Bakar Fellowships Program Supports Early Career Faculty: Applications Due April 23

    UC Berkeley is offering a new program supports innovative research by early career faculty at UC Berkeley with a special focus on projects that hold commercial promise. The Bakar Fellows Program is open to tenure-track faculty at the assistant and associate professor level in the fields of engineering, computer science, chemistry, biological sciences, physical sciences, or multidisciplinary work in these disciplines.

    Bakar Fellows will receive discretionary research support of $50,000 per year for up to five years. Fellows will become part of a campus network that assists researchers in introducing their discoveries to the market. Five fellowships will be awarded in 2012, and another five in 2013. Applications for 2012 are due on Monday, April 23, 2012. Applications for the 2013 cohort of Fellows will be due in spring 2013.

    The program is managed by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. The selection process involves both an academic advisory committee and an industry advisory committee.


    March 01, 2012

    Feds Ask for Comments on Proposed Reforms to Grant Policies

    For the past year, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and federal agencies have been working with stakeholders to develop ideas for reforming federal grantmaking processes to improve the accountability and performance of federal grants, while reducing administrative burden for grant recipients. This effort is in response to Presidential directive to strengthen accountability for taxpayer dollars and reduce unnecessary regulatory and administrative burdens.

    On February 28, OMB published a Federal Register notice requesting comments on a collection of ideas for potential reforms to OMB circulars, including A-21, A-133, and A-110. The list includes ideas that would standardize information collection across agencies, adopt a risk-based model for single audits, and provide new administrative approaches for determining and monitoring fund allocation.

    Based on feedback, OMB plans to develop a set of proposed amendments to publish for public comment later this year. OMB is also considering implementing reforms through the development of one integrated set of guidelines issued as one consolidated circular, with limited variations by type of entity.

    Additional key proposed reforms include:

    • For indirect (“facilities and administrative”) costs, using flat rates instead of negotiated rates
    • Exploring alternatives to time-and-effort reporting requirements for salaries and wages
    • Charging directly allocable administrative support as a direct cost
    • Including the cost of certain computing devices as allowable direct cost supplies
    • Requiring agencies to provide 90-day notice of funding opportunities
    • Providing a standard format for announcements of funding opportunities
    Comments are due by March 29, 2012, and may be submitted to

    March 23 update: OMB has extended the comment period to April 30, 2012.


    February 14, 2012

    Workshop for Grad Students on Human Subjects Research: February 23 and 29

    Staff from the campus Office for the Protection of Human Subjects (OPHS) are presenting a two-part workshop series for graduate students on February 23 and 29. The workshop is open to UC Berkeley graduate students in all disciplines. Preregistration is required.

    OPHS Presenters: Jonathan Banda, MA, CIP and Melanie Hassel, MS
    • Workshop 1: Fundamentals of Human Subjects Research
      Tuesday, February 23, 2012, 1pm - 3pm
      110T Sproul Hall
    • Workshop 2: Navigating the IRB Review Process
      Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 11am - 1pm
      110T Sproul Hall
    For details, see the Flyer for Human Subjects Workshops – Spring 2012.

    The workshop was organized by Academic Services in the Graduate Division. For more information about the workshop series, please contact Academic Services, Graduate Division, UC Berkeley, 321 Sproul Hall, (510) 643-9392.

    February 10, 2012

    White House OSTP Briefing on R&D and STEM Education in the 2013 Budget

    The federal Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is holding a briefing on the research, development, and STEM education portions of the President’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget on Monday, February 13, 2012, at 10:30-11:30 a.m. PST.

    Live web streaming of the event will be provided as a public service by the American Association for the Advancement of Science at


    • John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
    • Carl Wieman, Associate Director for Science, OSTP
    • Patrick Gallagher, Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology
    • Subra Suresh, Director, National Science Foundation
    • David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, Department of Energy

    Human Research Protection Program: Change in UC System MOU Process

    As of February 1, 2012, UC Berkeley is transitioning to a new online UC IRB Reliance Registry hosted by the UC Office of the President. This new system applies for all studies eligible to be covered by the UC Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU allows a research study to be reviewed by the IRB at only one UC institution or Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) rather than having to go through the entire IRB process at two or more campuses where the research will take place.

    As the campus transitions to the online system, the paper version of the Notice of Intent to Rely (NOITR) on one UC IRB will be phased out. New requests for one UC campus to rely on another campus’ review must be submitted via the online UC IRB Reliance Registry prior to protocol submission at the reviewing campus’ IRB. Existing agreements must be entered into the new online Reliance Registry at the time of protocol renewal or amendment.

    Further details and instructions may be found on the UC IRB Reliance Registry for Studies under the UC MOU page on the CPHS/OPHS web site.

    February 08, 2012

    Consent Builder: New Online Tool to Create Consent Forms

    The Human Research Protection Program at UC Berkeley is now providing a new resource for the campus research community: Consent Builder. Consent Builder is a web-based tool for creating Word document consent forms, based on the information the investigator enters online. See the CPHS/OPHS Informed Consent page for instructions and a link to Consent Builder.

    February 03, 2012

    Upcoming NIH Regional Seminars

    Make plans to attend one of the 2012 NIH Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration.

    The NIH Regional Seminars are intended for those new to the grants process, including sponsored project officers and departmental administrators, investigators, faculty, graduate students, etc. However, it is also an opportunity for those with more experience to obtain updates on grants policies and procedures. These seminars are expected to draw approximately 500-600 attendees, providing extended opportunities for sharing and learning from peers as well as NIH experts. Due to the popularity of these seminars, early registration is highly recommended. Space is limited.

    April 16-18, 2012 – Indianapolis, Indiana (Registration Open)

    • Monday, April 16, 2012: Optional eRA Hands-On Computer Workshops
    • Tuesday, April 17 & Wednesday, April 18, 2012: 2-Day Seminar
    • Get the "EARLY" rate by registering on or before February 13!
    • Venue and Seminar Hotel: JW Marriott Indianapolis
    • Room Reservations: Click the “Hotel/Travel” tab on the Indianapolis NIH Regional Seminar website to obtain the special rate and registration details.
    • The local ambassador institution for this seminar is Indiana University School of Medicine.

    June 20-22, 2012 – Washington, DC (Registration opens mid-February 2012)

    • Wednesday, June 20, 2012: Optional eRA Hands-On Computer Workshops
    • Thursday, June 21 & Friday, June 22, 2012: 2-Day Seminar
    • More details will be announced soon.

    Held twice each year, the NIH Regional Seminars provide an unparalleled opportunity for participants to gain a better perspective of NIH policies and programs, network with their peers, gather helpful NIH contacts, and to return to their offices and/or labs with inside information, resources, and tools to assist in obtaining and managing NIH awards.

    For more information see the above links and the NIH Guide notice: Announcing the 2012 NIH Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration: Indianapolis, IN and Washington, DC.

    January 23, 2012

    New NIH Salary Cap; Other NIH Notices for FY2012

    The National Institutes of Health budget approved December 23, 2011 reduces the salary cap from Executive Level I ($199,700) to Executive Level II ($179,700). On January 20, 2012, the NIH issued Notice of Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts (NOT-OD-12-035) regarding the salary limitation.

    Summary of the NIH Notice of Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts

    The NIH budget approved December 23, 2011 reduces the salary cap from Executive Level I ($199,700) to Executive Level II ($179,700). The lower level is effective with FY2012 awards where the initial Issue Date of the award is on/after December 23, 2011. For FY2012 awards issued on/before December 22, 2011 (competing and non-competing), the effective salary limitation remains at Executive Level 1, $199,700. See the NIH Salary Cap Summary and the time frames associated with salary caps.

    Impact on proposals to be submitted to NIH submitted by UC Berkeley Principal Investigators: PIs should budget using projected salaries for the project period regardless of the new salary cap. NIH will adjust salary levels if necessary at the time of award.

    NIH non-competing awards will not be recalculated to adjust for this decrease in the salary limitation. However, the level to charge for salaries on non-competing grants is dependent upon the issue date of the initial FY2012 award. For non-competing grants with initial issue dates on/before December 22, 2011, the applicable salary limitation is Executive Level I; for non-competing grants with an initial Issue Date on/after December 23, 2011, the applicable salary limitation is Executive Level II. For grants now limited to Executive Level II, unless otherwise restricted grantees may rebudget any funds freed as a result of the lower cap.

    Questions & Answers 4, 5, and 6, excerpted below from the NIH Notice, provide information relative to re-budgeting for competing and non-competing awards.

    4. A grant was issued on/after December 23, 2011. The award was based on the Executive Level I. Can I rebudget the funds awarded in excess of the new Executive Level II salary limit, or will NIH adjust the award by the difference between the two? It depends on the type of award. If the award is a non-competing award, then grantees may rebudget the funds awarded in excess of the new salary limit. However, if the grant is a competing award, the NIH IC will revise the award when an adjustment for the lower salary limit is needed.

    5. Can grantees rebudget on FY2012 awards that were proposed using Executive Level I and are awarded on/after December 23, 2011? Executive Level II is effective with awards with an initial Issue Date of December 23, 2011 and beyond. For non-competing awards with an initial Issue Date of December 23, 2011 and beyond, grantees can rebudget. For competing awards issued on/after December 23, 2011, the ICs will revise the award and adjust the current and all future year commitments to apply Executive Level II when applicable.

    6. For awards issued on/before December 22, 2011, will future year commitments be adjusted to reflect Executive Level II? For competing awards issued on/before December 22, 2011, no adjustment will be made to the FY2012 award; however, future year commitments will be adjusted when applicable to reflect Executive Level II. Non-competing awards will not be adjusted to reflect Executive Level II for either the FY2012 award or any future year commitments.

    NIH issued several other notices related to FY2012 in the January 20 NIH Guide:

    January 20, 2012

    NIH Grant Proposals: Hard Copies No Longer Needed for Review by SPO

    As of January 23, 2012, the Sponsored Projects Office will begin reviewing National Institutes of Health grant applications submitted via in electronic format only. Departments will no longer need to provide SPO with an additional hard copy of their NIH grant application for review as of this date. This policy will apply to NIH grant proposals only. It will not apply to any other type of submissions at this time. Note: This revised procedure only applies to NIH grant proposals.

    1. Complete the NIH grant application in the format.
    2. Upload the NIH application to the SPO Electronic Drop Box. Guidance on this step can be found at:
    3. Concurrent with uploading the NIH application to SPO, email the following items as one PDF document to
      1. Completed and signed Proposal Review Form (PRF)
      2. Letters of support from any named consultants and/or collaborators (not already included in proposal)
      3. Completed and signed federal conflict of interest disclosure forms*
      4. Any other required documents as needed, e.g., letters confirming cost sharing commitments, sub-recipient commitment forms, etc.
    *For SBIR and STTR proposals only, signed 700-U forms must still be submitted to SPO in hard copy form per State requirements.


    To avoid problems and ensure a timely review of your NIH grant application, it is important that you upload the application to the SPO Electronic Drop Box at the same time you email the rest of the required information listed above as a PDF document to

    Remember that steps 1-3 above must be completed five working days before the submission deadline for the proposal to be considered “on time.”

    Please note: The proposal will not be logged in or considered received by SPO until steps 1-3 have been completed. Attachments that do not include a completed and signed PRF and all required attachments will not be accepted by SPO.

    Late proposals must follow the VCRO’s procedures for late proposal exceptions.

    This guidance is also posted on the SPO web site: Special Instructions for NIH Grant Proposals.

    January 12, 2012

    Statement of Economic Interests (700-U) Form Revised for 2012

    The State of California has issued a revised 700-U Statement of Economic Interests for Principal Investigators for immediate use. The revised form, dated 2011/2012, is available on the Conflict of Interest Committee web site and is the only version that will now be accepted. If you have any questions please contact Jyl Baldwin (, 2-8110). This year, no changes have been made to the form itself, and there are no substantive changes to the instructions.

    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.

    January 10, 2012

    NSF’s CalNet ID Login Now Available

    The National Science Foundation web site provides services and research-related information for NSF, USDA, and NASA. One service allows researchers to check the status of NSF and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant applications. NSF has recently added financial functions to, and in 2013 NSF will require for submission of annual, final, and interim progress reports.

    Researchers at UC Berkeley now have easier access to Rather than maintaining a separate ID and password at, UC Berkeley researchers may now sign in with their CalNet ID and password. Once logged into with CalNet, principal investigators (PIs) and co-PIs can connect seamlessly to NSF FastLane’s Principal Investigator (PI/co-PI) services without having to log in again.

    Log in with CalNet to

    • Go to
    • Click the drop-down menu under “LOGIN AS” (top left), choose “InCommon,” and click “Login”
    • Click the drop-down menu, choose “University of California, Berkeley," and click “Log In”
    • Log in with your CalNet ID
    Additional one-time steps if you have an existing NSF FastLane account:
    • Once you are logged in, click the “My Profile” link (top right), and click “Edit My Activations”
    • Read the Rules of Behavior and click “Activate”
    • Enter your last name, current NSF FastLane ID, and password and click “Submit”
    If you have questions or problems using your NSF FastLane ID or password, please contact your SPO Research Administrator for assistance.

    January 06, 2012

    NIH Establishes NCATS, Eliminates NCRR, Publishes Implementation Plans

    The National Institutes of Health has established a new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). NCATS is intended to “re-engineer the process of translating scientific discoveries into new drugs, diagnostics, and devices” and help “identify and overcome hurdles that slow the development of effective treatments and cures.” The establishment of NCATS was included in the federal Fiscal Year 2012 Omnibus Appropriations bill, signed into law December 23, 2011.

    With the establishment of NCATS, the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) has been dissolved, and NCRR programs are being transferred to other NIH Institutes and Centers.

    NIH posted two NIH Guide Notices on January 6, 2012, one on the implementation of NCATS and the second on the plans to transfer all NCRR programs, awards, and applications. The NCRR web site has a list of the programs being transferred. The NIH Guide Notice on NCRR provides implementation information and states that “over the next few weeks Project Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) and institutional officials will receive multiple e-mails from NIH explaining where their NCRR applications and awards will be administered and identifying the appropriate NIH contact person for addressing questions.”