2019

The NIH as issued Guide Notice NOT-OD-20-043 announcing the publication of the revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS, rev. December 2019). This revision is applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2019. Please see the text of the notice for additional details and links to the revised policy. If you have any questions, please contact your Sponsored Projects teamPosted 12/16/2019.

The NIH issued NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-20-026 announcing the forthcoming NIH "Forms-F" application forms to be used with applications due on or after May 25, 2020. These changes will be implemented with application form packages identified with a competition ID of "FORMS-F" and associated application guide instructions. The NIH will provide additional guidance and confirm implementation plans in early 2020. Posted 11/22/2019.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is migrating its business applications to a modern and flexible platform from November 8 at 8:00 PM EST through November 12 at 6:00 AM EST. As part of this effort, NSF will also upgrade the alpha-numeric character set used by the FastLane and Research.gov systems to correct textual errors, such as special characters displaying as question marks ("?") in proposals and project reports. This migration has been scheduled over the Veterans Day holiday weekend to minimize the impact of the systems downtime on the research community and NSF staff.

During this outage, there will be no access to these websites, proposals cannot be prepared or submitted in FastLane and Research.gov, and project reports and cash requests cannot be submitted in Research.gov. However, previously saved information and uploaded documents in FastLane and Research.gov, including in-progress proposals and project reports, will be accessible after the migration is completed. Posted 10/21/2019

NSF’s Director, Dr. France Córdova, issued a Dear Colleague Letter on Research Protection.  It discusses NSF's concerns regarding foreign influence in research and describes changes that are coming to NSF proposal procedures later this year. Posted 7/15/2019

Departments and ORUs managing NIH awards, please review the NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-20-003 relating to the NIH operating under a continuing resolution through November 21, 2019 and share with PIs as appropriate. If you have questions about it, contact your Sponsored Projects team. Posted 10/18/2019

The NIH has issued guide notice NOT-OD-19-109 stating that individuals supported by research training, fellowship, research education, and career development awards will be required to have ORCID IDs (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifiers) beginning in FY 2020. Please see the notice for details of the requirement. Posted 7/15/2019

The NIH has issued Guide Notice NOT-OD-19-114, "Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components". Per the notice, the intent "is to remind the extramural community about the need to report foreign activities through documentation of other support, foreign components, and financial conflict of interest to prevent scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap". "Other support includes all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant. This includes resource and/or financial support from all foreign and domestic entities, including but not limited to, financial support for laboratory personnel, and provision of high-value materials that are not freely available (e.g., biologics, chemical, model systems, technology, etc.)."

This information must be reported in applications (JIT) and progress reports (RPPR) for all PIs and Senior/Key Personnel. The NIH has also published a FAQ on this topic that further elaborates on what must be reported (i.e. PI start-up funds).

If your department has proposals and/or awards with the NIH, please review these documents and share with any PIs that may have NIH awards, proposals or be contemplating submitting proposals to the NIH.

If you have questions about these disclosure requirements, please contact your Sponsored Projects teamPosted 7/11/2019

A new webpage has been created to provide information on the NSF requirements regarding findings of sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault. Information on UCSB's policies and resources related to harassment must be disseminated to attendees at NSF-sponsored conferences prior to attendance and must also be made available at the conference. The webpage contains a sample letter to be used to communicate UCSB's harassment policies to conference registrants and attendees. A list of related university policies and resources is also provided.

A working group of staff from Academic Senate, Academic Personnel, Administrative Services, Title IX & Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance Office, Equal Opportunity & Discrimination Prevention Office, and the Office of Research have been developing UCSB's implementation of this new NSF policy.

Additionally, a condition code with a link to the webpage is being programmed to be included on the award synopsis of NSF and NSF flow-through awards. If you have questions regarding the NSF policy, please contact your Sponsored Projects team. Posted 4/11/2019

This is a reminder of the requirement to obtain prior approval before any PD/PI or Senior/Key Personnel specifically named in an NIH notice of award:

1) withdraws from the project entirely;
2) will be absent from the project during any continuous period of 3 months or more;
3) reduces time devoted to the project by 25% or more from the level that was approved at the time of the initial competing year award. Reductions are cumulative, i.e., the 25% threshold may be reached by two or more successive reductions that total 25% or more.

It is the PI(s)' and department's responsibility to monitor the status and level of effort of PD/PIs and Senior/Key Personnel.

See the NIH Grants Policy Statement section 8.1.2.6 for additional details and information that must be included in the prior approval request.

Other Federal sponsors have the same or similar prior approval requirements. Prior to changing the status of PI(s) or Senior/Key Personnel, review your award terms and conditions to ensure compliance. Contact your Sponsored Projects team if you have any questions. Posted 2/19/2019

The partial government shutdown has temporarily ended. However, due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the current federal budget situation, UCSB’s Office of Research is providing the following guidance to help our campus plan for another possible partial Federal Government shutdown on February 16. 2019.

If another partial shutdown occurs, operational and administrative activities related to the federal oversight of research and its administration of grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts will again cease for these federal agencies.

Presently, the effected agencies are working to resume normal operations and address the backlog of work from the last 35 days. The National Science Foundation has published a website detailing the NSF process for resuming operations. Departments and PIs with NSF funding should review the website’s information.

Recognizing the possibility of another partial shutdown occuring, please work with your faculty, staff, and Sponsored Projects team to take whatever proactive actions may be available to help avoid or minimize problems that could arise in relation to awards. It is particularly important to submit any prior-approval requests (including no-cost extension requests, if applicable) while the government is fully open.

For information about how the shutdown could affect a specific extramural federally funded project, please see Sponsored Projects’ shutdown website and direct your questions to an officer or analyst in your Sponsored Projects team. Posted 1/28/2019

UCSB has received a new rate agreement from the DHHS. The agreement adds the negotiated composite benefit rates (CBR) to our existing negotiated indirect cost rate (IDC) agreement. The CBR have been approved for two fiscal years (FY 19 and FY20). The attached rate agreement may be provided, as needed, to sponsors as documentation of our CBR and IDC rates. Budget and Planning will be adding the rate agreement to the CBR website soon.

Questions relating to IDC should be directed to your Sponsored Projects team. Questions relating to CBR should be directed to CBRinfo@bap.ucsb.eduPosted 1/9/2019

2018

As a reminder, the federal government is undergoing a partial shutdown. As in past shutdowns, it is likely that no funds–neither new awards nor annual increments of ongoing awards–will be forthcoming from affected agencies until the shutdown has ended.

Until the situation is resolved, researchers with existing awards are encouraged to defer expenses as much as possible so that existing funds may be used, should it prove necessary, to support soft-funded staff, including grad students, postdocs, and other soft-funded researchers and support staff.

Federal agencies subject to the current federal shutdown are issuing instructions to on how to proceed during this period.  Such notices are typically received by the Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) and the PI, but it is possible that only the PI will receive this information.  PIs should therefore forward all shutdown notices to their department liaison and SPO team as soon as possible. PIs and department contract and grant liaisons are responsible for reviewing these notices to learn how the federal shutdown will impact awards and subawards funded by these agencies.

Note:  Agency shutdown instructions vary across federal agencies and may vary among different offices of the same agency. Please see the SPO Government Shutdown website for additional information.

Many agencies have not issued specific stop work orders and may allow for continued spending on a grant as long as time and funds are available. Once the period of performance has ended or obligated funds are expended, work must stop. If these, or other conditions listed in the agency’s notice, apply to a PI’s project/s, the PI or department liaison should notify their SPO team as soon as possible. It is important for PIs to project how long their funds will last and adjust their spending and work plan accordingly.

Reporting Obligations: Grant reporting obligations and original deadlines are still in effect. While there may be no one at the agencies to review these reports, principal investigators must adhere to the reporting schedule per their grant awards and submit on time.  We don’t want to compromise the deliverables of the grants.

New Grant Submissions: Opportunities through Research.gov, NSF Fastlane and Grants.gov with posted deadlines are still in effect although submissions will not be processed until agency operations resume. Agency personnel cannot answer questions about grant submissions.

The Office of Research, including Sponsored Projects, will be closed from December 22, 2018 to January 1, 2019 for the winter holidays. The office will reopen January 2, 2019. Posted 12/21/2018

Sponsored Projects has created a webpage to provide guidance regarding the potential partial Federal Government shutdown. The webpage will be updated as additional information becomes available. Please check back often. If you have award-specific questions not answered by the information on, or linked to from, the webpage, please contact your Sponsored Projects TeamPosted 12/12/2018

The NSF has issued a revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 19-1). The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 28, 2019. Significant changes include:

  • Addition of Research.gov as an option for proposal preparation and submission, and proposal file updates;
  • Revision of eligibility standards for unaffiliated individuals;
  • Specification that conference proposals over $50,000 and all equipment proposals must include the Collaborators and Other Affiliations information in the proposal submission;
  • Revision of resubmission guidelines for NSF programs that accept proposals at any time;
  • Implementation of NSF’s policy on sexual harassment and other forms of harassment, or sexual assault;
  • Specification that proposers are required to have a policy or code-of-conduct that addresses sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, and sexual assault, and that includes clear and accessible means of reporting violations of the policy or code-of-conduct.  This policy or code-of-conduct must be disseminated to conference participants prior to attendance at the conference as well as made available at the conference itself;
  • Emphasis on the importance of training faculty in the responsible and ethical conduct of research;
  • Incorporation of existing patent policy into the PAPPG.  This policy was previously implemented by regulation at 45 CFR 650; and
  • Numerous clarifications and other changes throughout the document.

A webinar to brief the community on the changes to the new PAPPG will be held on November 27 at 2 PM EST.  Sign up to be notified when registration is available on the NSF outreach notifications website, by selecting “All NSF Grants and Policy Outreach Events & Notifications.” Posted 11/2/2018

In NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-19-021, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces the publication of the revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS, rev. October 2018).  This revision is applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2018. This revision supersedes, in its entirety, the NIH Grants Policy Statement (October 2017) as a standard term and condition of award.  Previous versions of the NIHGPS remain applicable as a standard term and condition for all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods that began prior to October 1, 2018. Posted 10/26/2018

The Office of Budget and Planning has created and launched a webpage dedicated to composite benefit rates (CBRs). The page contains pending and projected rates for the nine employee categories as well as information on vacation leave assessment, UCRP supplemental interest assessment, tools, examples and links to CBR FAQs. Posted 8/30/2018

Powerpoint slides can be found here and the Benefits Eligibility Requirements handout herePosted 8/20/2018

The Sponsored Projects Training for Administrators in Research (STAR) program is a comprehensive certificated training program developed by the UCSB Office of Research to meet UCSB's research administration needs. The program's goals are to improve campus understanding of regulations, policies, and procedures; to strengthen internal controls; and to provide staff members with access to key resources and contacts when they need help.

The program is designed for employees with duties and responsibilities related to contract and grant administration. Participants are welcome to take one or several courses in areas of particular interest to them-or they may opt to earn a certificate in the STAR program. Staff members who wish to earn a STAR program certificate must complete the coursework within two years. The certificate program offers 11 required courses from September through May and is free of charge.

For more information, a complete list of courses and to enroll, visit our Contract and Grant Liaison Web Page.

If you have any further questions, please send an e-mail to training@research.ucsb.eduPosted 8/6/2018

The NIH issued the following notice regarding changes in status of the PD/PI or Senior/key Personnel and requirement for prior approval.

Clarification of NIHs Policy Regarding a Change in Program Directors/Principal Investigators Status (NOT-OD-18-172) Office of the Director, NIH

If there is a change in status of a PI or key personnel on an NIH award you manage, please see the NIH GPS, the guide notice below and contact your Sponsored Projects team. Posted 5/4/2018

Sponsored Projects and Office of Research Information technology is hosting a demonstration and training session on an ORBiT function that will be released later in May. The update will allow department liaisons and SPO to route "Desk Actions" (i.e. JIT, NCE, Revised Budget, PI Transfer, etc.) to each other and track the action in ORBiT. Department liaisons are encouraged to attend the session.

Where: Eilings Hall 1601 (CNSI)

When: May 10 from 9:30 to 10:30.

Please note that seating is limited. If you are unable to attend, guidance on this new function will be available. Posted 5/3/2018

UCSB has negotiated a new facilities and administrative (F&A) cost (indirect cost) rate agreement that covers the period of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2021. The new agreement is found here. The on-campus organized research rate has increased to 54.0% for the period of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018 and will increase to 55.0% for the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020. Beginning on July 1, 2020, the rate will increase to 55.5% and the rate after June 30, 2021 will be provisional.

For additional F&A types (Instruction, Other Sponsored Activities, etc.) and their associated rates, please see the attached rate agreement.

As we were just recently notified of the rate change and are already into the FY2018 year, we are implementing the following process for the new rate agreement:

All new and renewal proposals submitted to Sponsor after April 9, 2018 must use the appropriate rate from the new indirect cost rate agreement for each budget period. If the indirect cost rate changes during the budget period, the appropriate rate should be applied for each portion of the budget period in accordance with the dates in the rate agreement.

For example #1, if a new on-campus research proposal  is submitted that has a period of performance of July 1, 2018 through June 20, 2021, the 55.0% indirect cost rate will apply to the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020, and the 55.5% indirect cost rate will apply to the period of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

For example #2, if a new on-campus research proposal  is submitted that has a period of performance of January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2022, the 55.0% indirect cost rate will apply to the period of January 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, and the 55.5% indirect cost rate will apply to the period of July 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022.

Continuation and supplemental proposals should be budgeted at the same rate that applies to the current award. Similarly, current awards will be assessed the same rate as was used in the proposal.

If you have any questions, please contact your Sponsored Projects teamPosted 4/10/2018

Critical change for all submissions to the Division of Chemistry for the September and October submission windows:

The Division of Chemistry has a new solicitation (NSF 18-561), and all new proposals to the individual investigator program (which includes small teams) for the September and October submission windows must go through this solicitation.   There are a few important changes to the usual submission documents:

(1) a listing of the PI’s specific support within any funded, multi-person collaboratives must be delineated in the Current and Pending Support documents;

(2) an additional a single copy document explaining changes to any revised proposal must be included in the resubmissions; and

(3) there is a new limitation in the number of proposals submitted to the Chemistry Division during a fiscal year.  An investigator may only submit one proposal as a PI, Co-PI, or Senior Investigator in this window. As we want to provide the chemistry community with a sustainable and healthy funding rate and manageable workload as reviewers and panelists, we have implemented this change in proposal allowance effective immediately.  Please note that this one proposal per PI per year restriction does not apply to separate solicitations (e.g., CAREER, MRI, CCI, REU, EAGER/RAISE/RAPID, etc.).

Please be sure to submit your proposal to the Chemistry Solicitation (NSF 18-561), and not to the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).  Proposals submitted to the PAPPG will not be accepted.

Centers for Chemical Innovation – Phase 1:

The Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) – Phase 1 program is open for submissions again this fall (NSF 18-555).  Please note that the deadline for required preliminary proposals is August 14, 2018, earlier than in recent years.

Please be aware that the NSF has made revisions to the following documents which take effect Thursday, March 1, 2018:

  • NSF Agency Specific Requirements to the Research Terms and Conditions (ASR);
  • Cooperative Agreement Financial & Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC);
  • Grant General Conditions (GC-1); and
  • Administration of NSF Conference or Group Travel Grant Special Conditions (FL 26).

NSF's award conditions, including the revised documents as well as a corresponding Summary of Signification Changes document for each can be viewed here

Important changes to note include:

  • We are now required to use Research.gov to submit all Prior Approval requests. Additionally, an "Other Request" option has been added to the selection of requests in Research.gov's  "Notifications & Requests" module. This option should be selected if the prior approval we are seeking does not fit into any listed request category. Please remember to consult the RTC's Prior Approval Matrix for project changes which require NSF prior approval.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact your Sponsored Projects teamPosted 2/28/2018

This email is a reminder of the requirement to obtain prior approval before any PD/PI or Senior/Key Personnel specifically named in the NIH notice of award:

  • withdraws from the project entirely;
  • will be absent from the project during any continuous period of 3 months or more;
  • reduces time devoted to the project by 25% or more from the level that was approved at the time of the initial competing year award. Reductions are cumulative, i.e., the 25% threshold may be reached by two or more successive reductions that total 25% or more.

It is the PI(s)' and department's responsibility to monitor the status and level of effort of PD/PIs and Senior/Key Personnel.

See the NIH Grants Policy Statement section 8.1.2.6 for additional details and information that must be included in the prior approval request. Contact your Sponsored Projects team if you have any questions. Posted 2/13/2018

On January 21, 2018, updates were made to the data sheet assurance questions in ORBiT. The changes affect questions related to various compliance activities and include an additional question related to export control. This memo from Brandt Burgess, Director of Research Integrity, explains the updates. Posted 1/22/2018