Finding the Right Announcement

May 6, 2020

This notice is a reminder to the NIH and AHRQ applicants and recipient community that applicants must use FORMS-F application packages for the due dates on or after May 25,2020. For those submitting application packages for due dates on or before May 24, 2020 you need to still use FORMS-E.

Please be aware the FORMS-F for the “most commonly accessed” Parent Announcements are now available. See below:

For a listing of All Parent Announcements (For Unsolicited or Investigator-Initiated Applications), you can click on this website: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/parent_announcements.htm.

Please make sure you are using the most current application. In other words, pay attention to the announcement’s expiration date.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the SOM Research Administrative Services (RAS) office at RAS@med.wayne.edu.

“Oh, What a Complicated Web We Weave” for Proposal Submissions

Be aware there has been several changes when it comes to the proposal submission processes. See below:

If you have any questions regarding which proposal submission to use, you can contact RAS@med.wayne.edu

NIH Fiscal Operations and Interim Salary Cap Guidance

NIH continues to operate under a continuing resolution through November 21, 2019, meaning that NIH will issue non-competing research grant awards at a level below that indicated on the most recent Notice of Award (generally up to 90% of the previously committed level), as they have in past years. See NIH Guide Oct 4, 2019 for details.

They have also issued interim guidance (NOT-OD-19-099) on salary limits for NIH grants and cooperative agreements. The direct salary limitation follows Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale, which is currently $192,300. The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award predoctoral and postdoctoral stipend levels and tuition/fee are described in NOT-OD-19-036.

If you need guidance on applying the NIH salary cap in your proposals, here is the website: http://somresearch.med.wayne.edu/pre-award-prep  under “Budget” then select “Accounting for the Salary Cap”. If you have any questions, feel free to email RAS@med.wayne.edu

What’s the JIT of Other Support?

Who has the responsibility for verifying and ensuring “other support disclosures” in applications to the sponsor is accurate?  If you answered-the institution applying for and receiving the funds, you are correct. 

“Other support” is not to be confused with the “research support” section within the bio-sketch.  Refer to this link https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/othersupport.htm for guidance as to what info the PI is required to provide in an Other Support as well as samples.  Administrators should work in tandem with the PI to ensure all of the active and pending funding sources are accurately referenced as Sponsors use the “Other Support” to make sure there is no budgetary, scientific or commitment overlap.  Note there can be serious ramifications for inaccurately reporting other support information, especially when the sponsor is federal, since it involves the use of U.S. taxpayer funds.   The severity and length of time for noncompliance determines the type of sanctions received, such as termination of the award.  The link for the NIH Extramural Nexus has been included for further reading on the subject (https://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2019/07/11/clarifying-long-standing-nih-policies-on-disclosing-other-support/)

Cleared Export Control… Leaving on a Jet Plane

Your principal investigator has answered yes on the export control compliance section in Cayuse.  Did you remember to add Export Control to the Approving Units page?  This is an important section that will protect the university and the researcher from severe criminal and or civil penalties, because of unintentional noncompliance to federal regulations.  Export Control is not a topic that is widely discussed or thought about when a principal investigator begins writing a proposal and the administrator starts assembling the application package.

The word “export” will cause many to believe you’re talking about sending items outside the United States, but this is not the case and it may also include consulting, training, and speaking at conferences.  The code of federal regulations under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) defines export as, “an actual shipment or transmission of items out of the United States”, which also includes releasing or transferring.  Most don’t consider that something can be exported via auditory, visual, verbal or electronic means.  This is the reason that our Export Control office exists in order to prevent the innocent violation of any federal regulations.  If you want to learn more about export compliance click on the link https://research.wayne.edu/integrity/export-control and take note there is an CITI Export Control Module offered by WSU.

Is this the Right FOA for Me?

NIH advertises available funding for grant support through funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). One can search for an announcement specific to their area of interest/expertise or apply to one of the generic NIH parent announcements.  FOAs can be accessed via the federal-wide portal – Grants.Gov or via the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.

Please be sure to read the FOA very carefully as there may be additional instructions that refer you to select a specific “companion funding opportunity” within the Parent Announcement.  For example, applications that include clinical trials must be submitted in response to an announcement that allows clinical trials; the same applies to applications that do not allow clinical trials. 

You want to avoid a situation where you’re close to completing the application only to find out the “error” that keeps arising is the result of downloading the wrong application.  If you want to know more about “Understanding the Funding Opportunities”, NIH has a website that provides you with some great tips to be aware of.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the SOM Research Administrative Services (RAS) Office via RAS@med.wayne.edu

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.

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.

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!