Fringepocalypse Redux

The October 1 fringe rate adjustment has been rolled back to the pre-October rates.  That is, the 26.6% combination that was previously in place is now in place again, replacing the 21.4% combo that was temporarily in place.  This will remain (we think) until October 1, 2015, when the rate will be revisited again.  These rates have been in effect since November 17, so all proposals since that time period should use these rates (note that we are back to nine classes); any proposals that went out with the four-class rates will still be charged at the currently enacted rate, should they be funded.  Also note that a new rate agreement underscores these changes; the new date for our DHHS rate agreement (for your proposals) is 11/06/2014.

 

Note that a BAO memo was released earlier this week, clarifying the steps taken to ensure rate adherence in the system.  The re-updated values have been entered into Banner to identify the rates for each corresponding e-class, effective October 1, 2014. This update has been done and should be reflected with Pay Period 25, so be sure your personnel are aligned to match their new/old classes.  Budget adjustments on affected indexes will also be enacted to make up for previous adjustments and reclassifications on the 4-class rate.

 

We know this can be confusing.  We’re happy to help you sort things out if you’re not quite sure what you are seeing on your accounts.  Give us a shout if you need us!

Internal Affair

Many submissions have been initiated for the internal funding competitions sponsored by OVPR (Office of the Vice President for Research).  If you haven’t already, take a look at the existing funding programs and see if they align with your needs!

 

When you’re applying, keep these two important points in mind:

 

  1. Look carefully at the instructions.  It doesn’t jump out at you, but they do require that all applications be submitted as a single PDF file (uploaded into eProp, of course!)
  2. Your eProp completion date is NOT your submission date.  When reviewing applications, OVPR considers the date of submission the day that the eProp has cleared the queue and made it to the OVPR approver.  This means that all of your departmental approvals have to be obtained before the posted due date to be considered on time and eligible for consideration.

 

Most of the confusion experienced so far has stemmed from these procedural issues.  Let us know if we can help with further clarification!

Getting Closure

Now that we’re firmly planted in the month of December, it will help to keep in mind that many offices close for a period of time during the holidays; this can affect your application and submission schedule.

 

Our office (here in 1271 Scott Hall) will be closed on December 25, 2014 through January 2, 2015; we’ll be back on January 5, 2015.  Many agencies have similar closures, so check with your program officers if you have progress reports due or other submissions that may require input.  Remember that electronic submission procedures mean that materials are automatically time-stamped, whether there is personnel in the office or not!  Most agencies follow the NIH policy: when a postmark/submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day. If your award cycle has your progress report deadline set for January 1, for instance, you can wait to submit on January 2 as January 1 is recognized as a Federal holiday.  But if your date is December 30, that deadline is hard and fast; even if there are no staffers in an agency office, that report will need to be in on December 30.

 

As long as you keep holiday schedules in mind when planning your resources and time commitments, December shouldn’t cramp your submission style.  Be sure to check agency post-holiday deadlines so you can plan accordingly.  NIH lists their standard due dates here, and the collection curated by the SOM Development Office (linked on our Current Research Opportunities page) also provides a deadlines.  We’re here if you have any questions!