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.