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.

Don’t’ Let These Characters Stop The Show

Discussing usage of the mathematical inequality symbols; <, >, ≥, ≤ , within NIH application text fields.

  •  In early 2015 NIH released a notice informing the  grant seeking community  of the support for the full  Unicode Character Set, in the free-text form fields.  http://unicode.org/charts/

According to the above notice and guidelines the mathematical inequality symbols are included within the acceptable/supported Unicode Character Set. However, it has come to our attention that usage of these particular symbols may delay if not prevent the successful submission of an NIH application.  While the use of these symbols will not result in error notices within the University’s Cayuse system, the problem is encountered when the application is routed from Grants.gov to eRA Commons.    

So, when entering text where these symbols may be used it is suggested that their meaning be written in longhand, i.e.

                              < ( Less than), (Less than or equal to), etc.

Partial Government Shutdown…Should I be worried?

With a few exceptions (e.g., the National Institutes of Health and US Department of Energy) most federal agencies are closed as a result of the government shutdown.

Here are some latest updates for research faculty and support staff pertaining to the government shutdown:

Grants Disbursement:

  • Faculty members may continue to spend their grant awards. SPA should be able to continue to bill agencies as per award requirement.  Note however, supplements and renewals will not be received by the institution.  New monies from the federal agencies will not be awarded
  • Pending requests (e.g., approvals to re-budget, etc) should be placed on hold and discussed with your GCO in SPA.

Reporting Obligations:

  • Existing grant reporting and original reporting deadlines are still in effect. Although there may be no one at the agency to review these reports or to answer questions, the PD/PI’s must adhere to their reporting schedule as stated in the grant award and submit on time

Notice of Awards:

  • Those SOM/WSU faculty that received a Notice of Grant Award (NOA) should continue with their project and research. Note however, agency staff will not be available to assist or help with questions or unique issues.

Review Panels:

  • Faculty and staff serving on review panels for an agency that is shut down should not travel during this period and should consider cancelling their travel plans.  Note, most agencies will not reimburse lost deposits of airfare, etc.

New Grant Submissions:

  • Funding opportunities through Research.gov, NSF Fastlane and Grant.gov with posted deadlines remain in effect although submissions will not be processed until agency operations resume. Again, agency personnel may not be available to answer questions about grant submissions.

Holiday Closure Deadlines

The Research Administrative Services (RAS) office (1271 Scott Hall) will be closed on December 24, 2018 through January 1, 2019; returning on January 2, 2019.  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 deadlines.  We’re here if you have any questions (RAS@med.wayne.edu)!

 

What Do You Want From Me? A Field Guide to SoM-Level Review

School of Medicine-level review in the proposal queue has been around for a while now, but long cycles of funding can prevent even the most well-funded among us from subjection to our scrutiny.  And, as in all protocols sponsor-related, new compliance elements are being added all the time.  Here’s a quick-reference guide on what we’re looking for, and why:

 

  1. The full proposal. We have to see what is going to the agency, even if internal budgets are provided.  This way, we can say “yes, we knew that this is what Dr. X communicated to the sponsor, and we can support that with necessary School of Medicine resources.”  If you are using the system-to-system submission feature through Evisions, your full proposal is already included!  If your proposal needs to be submitted by other means (such a sponsor website), use the “Print to PDF” or similar feature to save a copy of the proposal, and upload the PDF to the “Attachments” section of the Evisions record.
  • For subcontracts: if WSU is the subcontractor, we don’t need the prime proposal, but we do need the letter of intent to subcontract, and the supporting documents that are being submitted to the prime recipient institution.

 

  1. Your internal budget. If you are doing a detailed budget on a system-to-system submission, you’re probably covered.  If, however, you are submitting a budget overview or a modular proposal, we need to verify that the funds requested are commensurate with planned funding.  This also helps us check for cost share.

 

  1. Cost share commitment forms. Speaking of cost share, any cost share commitment forms must be uploaded to the “Attachments” section of the Evisions record.  If there is a cash match commitment in the proposal, there must be evidence of the agreement of the match source uploaded.  In addition to the uploaded forms, choose “YES” on the Evisions “Proposal Budget” page as the answer to “Cost Sharing.”  This will reveal the ability to enter cost share information, such as department and index, so that the cost sharing department can verify their commitment to the cost share.
  • For over-the-cap:  In pre-award, we do not require a fully-executed cost share commitment form for the amounts over-the-cap (no Dean signature, no Fiscal Affairs signature) but we do require a department signature for awareness documentation.  Please also provide the index that will fund the cost share.  Note: over-the-cap cost share is considered “Voluntary.”

 

  1. OnCore accountability, or waiver: If you have human subjects, you have to either include OnCore fees in your budget, show how you will be cost sharing the fees, or upload a waiver to “Proposal Attachments.” Waivers are obtained from the Clinical Research Service Center, whether your project is clinical or not.  Unfamiliar with the policy?  Check out the handbook!

 

  1. Correct coding. Evisions coding is super important!  The data that is input at this phase is the basis for a whole host of reporting that affects such things as department rankings and investigator credit.  To be sure that you are getting full and accurate credit for the submission, be sure the “General Information” is input correctly; take a look at our coding table for guidance, or ask us if you’re not sure.
  • Investigator credit: This is done on the “Personnel Roster” page of the Evisions record.  If your investigator has a retreat to more than one department, s/he will have to be listed twice (or as many times as s/he has appointments) and the credit split proportionally between departments.  Confused?  Give us a shout.

 

Most of what we need to see is what your GCO also needs, with a few additions and for different reasons.  We’re not here to duplicate SPA review; we’re here to ensure the School of Medicine can support your project in a compliant way.  Remember: it’s extremely important to route your proposal before submission!  This way, every source of manpower and resources on your project is aware and on board.  The result?  Fewer headaches at award time, and more credit where credit is due.

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 🙂

Help Us Help You

Public Service Announcement!

 

With the October NIH deadlines less than a month away, our office already has a pretty hefty load.  We would very much appreciate an early heads-up (this week would be great!) if you think you may need any kind of support centered on a September 28/October 5/October 16 deadline (or any other in that range).  We’re here to help, and we want to be sure we can maximize our resources to offer everyone the best accommodation possible.

 

Thanks in advance from the entire RAS office 🙂