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:
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/)
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
announcements. FOAs can be accessed
via the federal-wide portal – Grants.Gov or via the NIH Guide for Grants and
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
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
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.
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.
when entering text where these symbols may be used it is suggested that their
meaning be written in longhand, i.e.
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:
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
We’re all clear that Forms-D are being retired in favor of the new, improved Forms-E, right? Right. Forms-E must be used for due dates on or after January 25, 2018. We’re all on the same page here. This is old news.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! As of December 31, 2017, downloadable Forms packages will no longer be available. You read that correctly: downloadable application packages are no longer a thing (don’t say we didn’t warn you). Your only options for submission after December 31, 2017 are: system-to-system submissions (our Evisions, for example), ASSIST (your life will be easier if you just do Evisions, but OK), or Workspace (just… don’t).
Do yourself a favor: if you haven’t transitioned Evisions yet, do it now and get used to it for your upcoming (likely October) deadlines. If you need help, we at RAS are happy to walk you through your application (and Tim Foley in SPA offers training on Evisions as well, if you don’t have a specific application yet).
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:
Seed grants which may attract larger awards
Only available source of funds in an area
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.
Cost sharing is the art of dedicating effort to a project and getting someone else to pay for it (usually the University). It’s nuanced. It’s subtle. It can drive you crazy.
A true cost share is one in which the effort dedicated is not entirely paid for by the project, usually to alleviate a budget. In order to save you some time, please know that it is very, very rare that these types of cost shares are getting approved nowadays if general funds is involved, here at the med school. Over-the-cap cost share, of course, is picked up as a matter of policy; these are those situations in which grant personnel make a higher salary than the agency cap ($187,000 as of this post, for most federal agencies) and Wayne State needs to pick up the difference. If you’re looking for how to do those calculations, check out our post from February 26, 2014 (note that the salary cap has been raised since then).
In order to help your cost share experience go as smoothly as possible, here are some general questions and answers to help you figure out your next move:
Is this cost share request solely for over-the-cap charges?
If your answer is yes, you do not need chair and dean signatures in the pre-award phase, only just-in-time. You do, however, need to make the calculations and note the amount and index in Evisions/SP. We have a brief tutorial on that, too.
Who needs to sign the cost share form in order to be considered “fully executed?” The cost share for must be signed by the chair of the department of the cost share request, School of Medicine Fiscal Affairs, and the School of Medicine Vice Dean for Research, in that order.
There are instances where a business official may sign in the place of the department chair. In order for a business official to proxy for a chair, the Office of the Vice Dean for Research must have a memo on file granting this proxy. This memo must have an end date (so it remains reviewable and renewable in turnover phases), and must specifically mention cost share signatory authority. These memos can be filed with our office.
What percentage goes in the “Effort %” box on the form? The title of this box is misleading; this is actually a space for the percentage of the investigator’s salary that will be cost shared. You can clarify the percent effort dedicated to the grant in the comments box. For instance: if an investigator has a salary of $250,000 per year and will dedicated 10% effort to a project, the percentage of her salary to be cost shared is: [($250,000-$187,000)/$250,000]*10%, or about 2.5%. That is the number that will go in the box on the form.
With the major November NIH deadlines about to pass us by, many will turn their attention to their 2017 submissions. As you pursue your application strategies, chances are you’re considering the use of an appendix to bolster your argument for funding. Proceed with caution: the appendix rules for 2017 are not what they once were.
The only allowable appendix materials in 2017 are:
Blank informed consent/assent forms
Blank surveys, questionnaires, data collection instruments
Funding opportunity announcement-specified items
Clinical trial applications may also include clinical trial protocols and/or investigator’s brochures from Investigational New Drug (IND), as appropriate.
Note that the revision of allowable appendix material has significantly reduced inclusion potential. If you weren’t sure before whether you could submit that manuscript, good news: under the new rules, you definitely cannot! No manuscripts allowed!
This announcement was made via NOT in August (check out the full text of NOT-OD-129). The penalties for submitting out-of-bounds material is withdrawal and non-review. Ouch. If you have questions about what this change means, or how it may affect your application, give us a shout and we’ll help you talk through it.