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 Grants.gov 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 Grants.gov submissions at this time. Note: This revised procedure only applies to NIH grant proposals.

  1. Complete the NIH grant application in the Grants.gov format.
  2. Upload the NIH Grants.gov application to the SPO Electronic Drop Box. Guidance on this step can be found at: https://coeus.berkeley.edu/dropbox/.
  3. Concurrent with uploading the NIH Grants.gov application to SPO, email the following items as one PDF document to spoeproposal@berkeley.edu.
    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 Grants.gov 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 spoeproposal@berkeley.edu.

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 (jbaldwin@berkeley.edu, 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 Research.gov: CalNet ID Login Now Available

The National Science Foundation Research.gov 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 Research.gov, and in 2013 NSF will require Research.gov for submission of annual, final, and interim progress reports.

Researchers at UC Berkeley now have easier access to Research.gov. Rather than maintaining a separate ID and password at Research.gov, UC Berkeley researchers may now sign in with their CalNet ID and password. Once logged into Research.gov 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 Research.gov:

  • Go to Research.gov: http://www.research.gov
  • 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.”