RAISE THE CAP (salary that is…..)

Please check your budgets! The Office of Personnel Management has recently released new salary levels for the Executive Pay Scale.

Effective January 6, 2019, the salary limitation for Executive Level II is $192,300.

If you are awarded with a budget that did not include the new cap, you’re welcome to rebudget using the new cap within the limitations of the award, but no new funds will be given by the agency. If you’re in the process of working on proposals for any upcoming deadlines, now is a great time to revise those budgets and any associated cost sharing.

As always, drop us a note at RAS@med.wayne.edu with any questions, and take a look at the notice for more details.

Collaborations Across Campus

There is encouragement from federal sponsors and Wayne State University’s (WSU) Office of Vice President for Research to conduct more team science research.  With this movement towards team science, we’re seeing more proposals with other Schools/Colleges/Institutes such as CLAS and Engineering to name a few.  Reminder, when building budgets and rosters, the personnel section should include every WSU person working on the project.  This allows the participating departments to see what faculty/staff are committed to projects outside of their primary departments.  Submitting within 3 – 7 days of the deadline will allow ample time for E-Visions departmental approvals, before moving on to Sponsored Programs as the final approver.

Can I Get An OnCore, Do You Want More (Money In Your Budget)

To bring you up to speed, the use of OnCore is School of Medicine policy on all studies with human subjects.  It’s canon.  We need to see that you’ve accounted for this in your submissions.  The use of OnCore is mandated to help track human subjects populations here at Wayne State and, until recently, OnCore fees were to be budgeted into all studies with human subjects.  While a good portion of budgets still need to reflect this, the mandate has been altered slightly.

 

Going forward, investigators applying for funding from non-corporate (i.e., federal and foundation) sources no longer need to include OnCore fees in their budget.  They DO, however, need to ensure that their protocol and human subjects populations are registered in the OnCore database at time of award. Please note that proposals and contracts with corporate entities (i.e. pharmaceuticals, biomarkers, and devices) that exceed $50,000 in total direct costs WILL still need to include OnCore fees in their budgets. For all funded studies (corporate and non-corporate) that wish to use OnCore as their Clinical Research Management tool, respective OnCore fees will apply.

 

This should bring some relief to federal and foundational proposal budgets that are often subject to caps.  To reiterate, however: your human subjects populations must still be registered with OnCore (this includes non-clinical trial populations).  Please be sure to contact the Clinical Research Services Center (CRSC) for assistance in registering your population,  or for questions regarding study management capabilities.

May your June submissions be fruitful!

Up, Up and Away: Salary Cap

Check your budgets, folks!  The Office of Personnel Management has released increased executive level compensations caps effective January 7, 2018.

 

  • Your new salary cap: $189,600.

 

If you are awarded with a budget that did not included the new cap, you’re welcome to rebudget using the new cap within the limitations of the award, but no new funds will be given by the agency.  If you’re submitting for the March 16 NIH deadline (hello out there, R03/R21 resubmissions and renewals!) now is a great time to revise those budgets and any associated cost sharing.

 

As always, drop us a note at RAS@med.wayne.edu with any questions, and take a look at the notice for more details.

FREE SLIDERS

If you came here looking for ways to get your hands on some delicious mini-burgers, this post is not for you.

 

If, however, you’re looking for a way to simplify unallowable cost determination under the Super Circular, rejoice!  Cost-allocation software company CostTree is giving away handy pocket sliders to aid you in your cost determination quests (and if you’re not into print materials, they have a digital version, too).

 

To get yours, head on over to the CostTree request site and input your vitals.  It’s helpful, it’s nice-looking, and it’s free for the low, low cost of being added to a mailing list.  Happy allocating!

Say Hello, Waiver Goodbye

In a department, administrators and PIs have a lot of room to negotiate with other institutions when it comes to budgets involving awards and subcontracts.  Personnel effort?  That’s a classic.  Materials and supplies?  Probably your first stop.  Indirect cost percentage?  Slow your roll, holmes.

 

If the project is federally-sponsored, chances are slim that you’ll be successful in  your quest F&A reduction below our negotiated 54%*.   There are times when a lower F&A rate is acceptable without waiver/permission; for instance, the funding opportunity announcement caps the rate at lower than our negotiated rate, or the award is being transferred from another entity with direct cost equivalency.  Anything else requires a waiver with approval from the Vice Dean and SPA.  You cannot negotiate a reduced F&A on your own.

 

Here at Wayne State, the waiver request process begins with an IDC Waiver form. The Research Administrator and the PI should initiate the request, and it must be approved by the PI, the department chair, and the Vice Dean for Research before being sent for approval to SPA. The Vice Dean for Research will consider requests for Indirect (F&A) cost waivers in very limited circumstances, so be sure your justification is sound.  Here are some examples that may be considered on a case-by-case basis:

  • Capped awards
  • Seed grants which may attract larger awards
  • Only available source of funds in an area
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Awards which include equipment or building funds

 

If you’re just trying to make a proposal look more competitive, or  the PI/department failed to submit the proposal via approved institutional channels (e.g., through the Vice Dean or SPA) prior to submission to the sponsor, you’re out of luck.  Wayne State’s acceptance of an award with an unapproved F&A reduction does not constitute acceptance of the rate.  If you are awarded with a reduced F&A that was not properly approved, you must renegotiate at the time of award, otherwise the department will be responsible for cost-sharing the portion of the F&A not paid by the sponsor.

 

Questions?  You know where to find us!

 


* 54% is our federally-negotiated rate at the time of this post.

Cayuse Your Own Adventure: Cost Share Edition

Now that February 6 has come and gone, most everyone has had experience with what we’re looking for at the brand-spankin’-new School of Medicine level of approval.  One of our major review points is cost share, and whether an index has been identified if it exists.  Not sure how to record that on the SP side of Evisions?  Don’t fret; you’re not alone.  Here is a step-by-step guide to recording your index for approval (click on images to see full mark-up):

 

1. Go to proposal budget:

 

2. Find “Cost Sharing” heading; choose “Yes”

 

3. When the cost sharing options box appears, choose “Voluntary”

 

4. Choose “Salary Cap.” Enter the amount of cost share. Refer to calculations in the comments line. Don’t forget to actually upload the cost share calculations document to “Proposal Attachments.” (Note: SoM is not requiring signatures for over-the-cap cost sharing at this time.)

5. Click the “Add Unit” link to assign your department to cost share and record the index. Use the search icon to find your department. Note: you can add more than one unit of account if you are splitting the amount between departments or accounts.

 

 

6. Choose “Add Unit” once the appropriate information has been entered.

 

7.  Congratulations! You’ve added your cost share record to your proposal.

 

 

(Don’t forget to insert the number into the budget line by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of your page, so you don’t get the nasty error message.)

Let us know if you have any problems; we can walk you through it 🙂

Permission to Buzz the Budget

The stone-written commandments of NIH proposals have long included, “thou shalt request prior approval when requesting more than $500,000 in direct costs (excluding consortium F&A costs) in any one year of an unsolicited proposal.” As an aside: did you know you’re supposed to request that approval no later than 6 weeks before submission

 

Since the inception of this rule in the dark ages of 2002, these requests were required in writing or by telephone.  You now have the option of making the request by webform in a new “Prior Approval Module” through eRA Commons (NOT-17-005).  Of important note: you must request the form to be “opened” by your Program Officer before it will be accessible.  Once it is available, you complete the form and submit. As another aside: the word “option” appears to be used loosely here; it’s along the lines of being volun-told).

 

The logic behind the Prior Approval Module appears to be subsequent management of such requests.  The module allows PIs and GCOs to amend, modify and withdraw previously submitted requests as proposals shape up differently in the days leading to deadlines.  The module will appear between the “ASSIST” and “RPPR” tabs on your login screen:

prior_approval

 

 

If you have not yet contacted your Program Officer for access to the module, you will receive an error message (“We are sorry, you are not authorized to access this function”).  Not sure whether to request the limit stretch, or just not sure what to do next?  Drop us a note and we’ll be happy to help you sort through!