July 19, 2019

New Disclosure Requirements for New DoD Notices of Funding Opportunities

The following messages is from the UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research.

Subject: New disclosure requirements for new DoD Notices of Funding Opportunities (NFOs) starting April 19

Dear Colleagues:

As you may have heard, federal agencies are increasing the requirements for PIs to disclose their foreign sources of support and to disclose how those sources are being used to support the proposed and related research. Last fall, Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health, issued a letter that discussed several concerns, including grantee failures to disclose financial support from other organizations - including foreign governments, foreign institutions of higher education and corporations - in grant applications.

On March 20, the Undersecretary of Defense announced new requirements for all new DoD Notices of Funding Opportunities (NFOs) pertaining to new research and research-related educational activities after April 19, 2019. (See excerpt below and full memo attached.)

New requirements for DoD Notices of Funding Opportunities (NFOs) pertaining to research and research-related educational activities starting April 19, 2019:

Proposers must submit the following information for all key personnel—not just the PI and Co-PI—whether or not the individuals' efforts under the project are to be funded by the DoD:

  • A list of all current projects the individual is working on.
  • Any future (pending) support the individual has applied to receive, regardless of the source.
  • Title and objectives of each of these research projects.
  • The percentage per year each of the key personnel will devote to the other projects.
  • The total amount of support the individual is receiving in connection to each of the other research projects or will receive if other proposals are awarded.
  • Name and address of the agencies and/or other parties supporting the other research projects.
  • Period of performance for the other research projects.

DoD indicates that failure to submit this information may cause the proposal to be returned without further review. DoD also reserves the right to request further details from a proposer before making a final determination on funding the effort.

Please see the full March 20, 2019 memo attached for additional details.

We expect that in the coming months, additional federal agencies will issue revised guidelines for the type of information that is required, as well as the time frame for disclosure. Berkeley is committed to transparency with its federal sponsors, and we are committed to full disclosure. Our Sponsored Projects Office will continue to review disclosure sections of all federal proposals to ensure that comprehensive disclosures of current and pending sources of support are being met. However, PIs are responsible for ensuring that such disclosures are true and accurate.

Note that Phoebe Search can generate reports on key personnel working at Berkeley that include each individual’s current and pending research support (from industry, government and nonprofit sponsors). Projects can be listed by the name of the sponsor, project title, amount of funding (pending or received), and period of performance.

Information on gifts received can be provided by your academic unit’s UDAR development officer.

Responses to FAQs are listed below. If you have any further questions, contact vcr@vcresearch.berkeley.edu for clarifications.

Randy Howard Katz
Vice Chancellor for Research and
United Microelectronics Corporation Distinguished Professor in
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Questions for FAQs

Q: Do I have to report all of my projects, even if they are unrelated to my DoD-funded proposal?

A: Yes - the memo requests a list of all current projects that key personnel are working on, “whether or not the individuals’ efforts under the project are to be funded by the DoD”. We encourage PIs to be transparent in their disclosures, and include all projects funded by gifts, grants or contracts, as well as unfunded projects or collaborations that require disclosure on Conflict of Commitment reporting.

Q: Do I need to disclose US-based industrial support?

A: Yes. The memo does not distinguished between foreign and domestic sources of corporate support. In the spirit of complete transparency, philanthropic gift support as well as industrial alliances and contract and grant support from corporate entities should be disclosed.

Q: I am responding to an NFO that was issued prior to April 19, 2019. Do these rules still apply?

A: No: the March 20, 2019 memo only applies to new NFOs after April 19, 2019. Note that the memo only applies to research and research-related educational activities.

July 12, 2019

NSF’s Other Support Requirements

Since 1978, the National Science Foundation has required senior project personnel on proposals to disclose all sources of support, both foreign and domestic. NSF has just issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to ensure that existing requirements to disclose current and pending support information are known, understood, and followed.

For the full text, see Dear Colleague Letter: Research Protection.

Key points:
  1. To streamline the process for providing these disclosures to NSF, NSF proposes to use an electronic format for submission of biographical sketches, including disclosure of all appointments. As currently envisioned, this will become effective in January 2020. NSF also is working to develop an electronic format for disclosure of current and pending support information
  2. NSF has commissioned the independent scientific advisory group JASON to conduct a study. This study will assess risks and recommend possible practices for NSF and its awardee organizations to achieve the best balance between openness and security of science. They will complete their report by the end of the calendar year.
  3. Finally, NSF is issuing a policy making it clear that NSF personnel and IPAs detailed to NSF cannot participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs. There is a risk that participation in foreign government talent recruitment programs by NSF personnel and IPAs will compromise the ethical principles that bind us. Moreover, such participation poses significant risks of inappropriate foreign influence on NSF policies, programs, and priorities, including the integrity of NSF's merit review process—risks we simply cannot accept.

June 17, 2019 Research Advocate: Upcoming: NSF-Approved Biographical Sketch Format

July 10, 2019

NIH Requirements for Other Support

The National Institutes of Health has issued Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components (NOT-OD-19-114) to remind NIH researchers that they must take care to report all of their foreign activities through other support, foreign components, and financial conflict of interest to prevent scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap.

“Other Support” includes all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant. This includes resource and/or financial support from all foreign and domestic entities, including but not limited to, financial support for laboratory personnel, and provision of high-value materials that are not freely available (e.g., biologics, chemical, model systems, technology, etc.).

Please Note:
  1. All pending support at the time of application submission and prior to award must be reported using “Just-in-Time Procedures.”
  2. Applicants are responsible for promptly notifying NIH of any substantive changes to previously submitted Just-in-Time information up to the time of award, including “Other Support” changes that must be assessed for budgetary or scientific overlap.
  3. Further, if other support, as described as above, is obtained after the initial NIH award period, from any source either through the institution or directly to senior/key personnel, the details must be disclosed in the annual research performance progress report (RPPR).
  4. Post-award, recipients must address any substantive changes by submitting a prior approval request to NIH in accordance with the NIHGPS section on “Administrative Requirements—Changes in Project and Budget—NIH Standard Terms of Award.”
More details on “Other Support” reporting requirements, guidance on how to define a “foreign component,” and NIH reminders about financial conflict of interest reporting are described in NOT-OD-19-114.

Frequently Asked Questions on “Other Support” also are provided.

Please Note:
  • FAQ #A4 indicates that NIH requires that any foreign collaborations that “directly benefit” the investigator’s research be reported in “Other Support” even if the investigator is not involved and the project is not funded with NIH dollars.
  • FAQ #A5 indicates that NIH requires reporting of start-up packages and institutional research grants.
  • FAQ #A6 indicates that NIH requires reporting of outside teaching or consulting (paid or unpaid) if this activity is, “in any way,” related to the investigator’s research endeavors.
  • FAQ #A7 indicates that NIH requires the researcher report activities outside of the researcher’s appointment period (e.g., summer activities for a 9 month appointee).
  • FAQ #B6 indicates that a visiting postdoc paid by a foreign government but working in the US does NOT constitute a foreign component.

November 01, 2018 Research Advocate: NIH and NSF Current and Pending Support Requirements