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Electronic Research Administration

Many federal agencies use ERA systems for grant submission and award administration. The National Science Foundation uses Fastlane, the National Institutes of Health use the eRA Commons, and many federal agencies use Grants.gov. See below for information on using these systems at UCSB.

 

Account Set-up

 

 

Resources

Hot Topics in ERA:

 

NSF Pilot Requiring Spreadsheet Template for Collaborators and Other Affiliations Information

Effective April 24, 2017, NSF will require the submission of a spreadsheet template to identify collaborators and other affiliations. Please note that the spreadsheet template:

The template and associated instructions may also be accessed directly at:https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/coa.jsp. Posted 4/13/2017


Grants.Gov: Follow this link for constant Grants.gov updates & releases: Grants.gov Releases

 

NIH:

11/23/16

NIH Final Research Performance Progress Reports (Final RPPR)

Please note the change to the final progress report process published in today’s NIH Guide. (Notice copied below.)

The National Institutes of Health intends to replace the Final Progress Report (FPR) with the Final Research Performance Progress Report (Final RPPR) through a new eRA Commons module effective January 2017.

 

10/14/16

NIH eRA Items of Interest — October 2016

Prior Approval – $500K

A principal investigator (PI) needs to seek prior approval from the NIH before submitting a grant application with direct costs of $500K or more for a single budget year.

NIH has been developing a way to provide you with an option to electronically submit these prior approval requests through eRA Commons. And effective Sept. 15, this option is a reality.

Here is how it works:

The Invite to Initiate a $500K Request

The PI will reach out via email or phone to the Program Official at the Institute/Center (IC) with whom they have been working concerning the $500K request, per current practice. The PO can then choose to invite the PI to initiate the prior approval request through eRA Commons.  The initiation of the request will trigger an email notification to the PI and to the email address listed for receiving the Notice of Award (NoA) on the Institutional Profile screen.

PI Action

Upon being notified, the PI will go into eRA Commons and go to the Prior Approval tab along the top navigation menu. The PI will find two options and should click List my Requests.  The PI will find the $500K Request under the column Request Type, with a status of “In Progress PI,” and should click the “Modify” link.

The Prior Approval Request $500K screen will open. The screen is pretty straightforward with a few required fields, such as Project Title, FOA number, and Anticipated Submission Date.  The PI will need to provide a short justification (just 500 characters) for the request, with up to 10 supporting documents allowed. Depending on the business processes of the institution, the PI can route the request to the SO for review, or submit directly to NIH.

SO Action

Since the notice to submit the prior approval request is sent to the NoA address as well, the SO should login to eRA Commons and go to the Prior Approval tab. SOs should use the Search for Requests button and select the $500K Request under the Request Type drop down. The SO has the ability to view the request, or if they choose, recall it, thus giving them the ability to modify it and submit it.

Next Steps

If the request is approved by the Program Official at the IC, the PI will receive an email from the Program Official.  When the error free application is received by NIH, this application will be matched with the $500k approval from the IC and the application will move through the normal process.

For the moment, this is an option for the submission of $500K requests. However, as we continue to move from all paper processes to a formal electronic environment, this option may become a requirement as we seek solutions that provide accountability, transparency and improved reporting capabilities.

There are other features (status and history), which you can read about in the Prior Approval section of the eRA Commons Online Help.

For more information, please see Guide Notice NOT-OD-17-005.

Also, coming soon will be two new video tutorials on Prior Approval. One focuses on the request to withdraw an application, and the second demonstrates the process of $500K requests as described above.

Password and Login Issues

True story: I woke up the other morning and received an alert that one of my bank accounts had dipped below the minimum threshold. That’s not supposed to happen. I panicked.

I went to log in to see what was happening. With hands shaking, blood pressure rising, fear running down my spine, I was greeted with “Invalid password. ACCESS DENIED!” Then I freaked!  Then my dog freaked. And my wife? She just walked away (such a smart woman). Then I remembered that I had recently changed that password. Whew!

Oh, passwords… such a necessary scourge.  You need a certain number of characters; special characters; numbers; capital and lower case letters; they expire every 32 seconds; you can’t use the last 311 passwords; etc.  But where would we be without them?

And of course for eRA Commons, we have similar requirements for passwords. So is it any wonder the most frequent calls to the eRA Service Desk are about passwords and trouble logging in? Not really.

So some colleagues and I got together and developed a kind of troubleshooting support document for login issues, cleverly titled, ‘Having Trouble Logging in to eRA Commons?’ This walks you through the four most common issues related to logging into eRA Commons. And then on the back (also cleverly titled, ‘Additional Information and Resources Concerning Login Issues’) is a list of other errors, Password Guidelines, and how to contact the eRA Service Desk.

For example, did you know your Commons password has to have a minimum of 8 characters, BUT it cannot be more than 16 characters? Or that you cannot use any of your previous 24 passwords? See, helpful information.

Take a look, download it, and share it with friends and colleagues. Hopefully it can help you avoid a moment of panic! And as it turned out, my panic was only kind of justified.  My A/C company errantly charged me twice for my service contract. The issue was resolved by 9AM. And my wife came back.

Joe Schumaker

eRA Communications

Division of Communications and Outreach

NIH Office of Extramural Research

Questions? If you have a question about this email, please contact the eRA Service Desk at http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact) or call 1-866-504-9552/301.402.7469.

Help us improve our communications; send your suggestions and feedback to eRACommunications@mail.nih.gov or call 301-435-8185.

To read other recent articles and messages, please visit our Latest News page at http://era.nih.gov/news_and_events/index.cfm.

We are sorry if you receive duplicates. This notification was sent to multiple distribution lists. To subscribe to or unsubscribe from our listservs, please visit http://era.nih.gov/about_era/get_connected.cfm.

 

 

10/16/15

These notices (NOT-OD-16-011 & NOT-OD-16-012) inform the biomedical research community of updates to application instructions and review language intended to enhance the reproducibility of research findings through increased scientific rigor and transparency. These updates will take effect for most research grant applications (including small business and complex research grant applications) submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2016.


6/19/15

NOT-OD-15-102 - Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-funded Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is committed to improving the health outcomes of men and women through support of rigorous science that advances fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems.  Sex and gender play a role in how health and disease processes differ across individuals1, and consideration of these factors in research studies informs the development and testing of preventive and therapeutic interventions in both sexes.  This notice focuses on NIH's expectation that scientists will account for the possible role of sex as a biological variable in vertebrate animal and human studies.  Clarification of these expectations is reflected in plans by NIH's Office of Extramural Research (OER) to update application instructions and review questions; once approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), these updates will take effect for applications submitted for the January 25, 2016, due date and thereafter.  Please refer to NOT-OD-15-103 for further consideration of NIH expectations about enhancing reproducibility through rigor and transparency.

 

NSF FastLane:

 

Effective January 30, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that a revised set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Proposal Preparation and Award Administration has been issued.  These FAQs accompany the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 17-1), and are effective for proposals submitted or due, and awards made on or after, January 30, 2017.

If you have any questions regarding these FAQs, please contact the Policy Office in the Division of Institution & Award Support at 703.292.8243 or by e-mail to policy@nsf.gov.

 

Regards,

Jean Feldman

Head, Policy Office

Division of Institution and Award Support

Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management

 

Effective January 30, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

On January 30, 2017, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will release updates to FastLane that may impact the way you work. NSF will implement the following changes in FastLane to support the policy updates in the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 17-1) and to run new and enhanced automated compliance checks on proposals:

Proposal Submission

 

Deadline Submission

Updated References and Terminology

Enhanced Automated Compliance Checks

Note About Proposal File Update (PFU):

The automated compliance checks also apply when a PFU is performed on a proposal. The compliance checks will be run on all sections of the proposal, regardless of which section was updated during the PFU. Proposers should be aware that if a proposal was previously submitted successfully, a PFU performed on the proposal will be prevented from submission if the proposal does not comply with the compliance checks in effect at the time.

We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues. For system-related questions,please contact FastLane User Support at 1-800-673-6188 or fastlane@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

Thank you,

The FastLane Team at the National Science Foundation

 

Effective January 30, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that a revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 17-1) has been issued.  The PAPPG has been modified in its entirety, to remove all references to the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and Award & Administration Guide (AAG).  The document will now be referred to solely as the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide.  The document will be sequentially numbered from Chapter I-XII and all references throughout have been modified to reflect this change. Given the number of important revisions, the community is strongly encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided at the beginning of the PAPPG.

The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017.  In addition to the significant change mentioned above, other revisions include:

Webinars to brief the community on the new PAPPG will be held on November 7th and January 19th at 1 PM EST.  Registration is required on the outreach events website.

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on January 30, 2017, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 16-1) continue to apply.  We will ensure that the current version of the PAPPG remains on the NSF website, with a notation to proposers that specifies when the new PAPPG (including a link to the new Guide) will become effective.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the Policy Office on (703) 292-8243 or by e-mail to policy@nsf.gov.

Regards,

Jean Feldman

Head, Policy Office

Division of Institution and Award Support

Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management

 

Effective September 26, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

On September 26, 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will release updates to FastLane that may impact the way you work.

As part of NSF’s efforts to modernize proposal submission and increase competitive fairness in the proposal process, NSF continues to focus on implementing automated proposal compliance checks in FastLane.

Effective September 26, 2016, FastLane will now check to ensure that the combined text of the Project Summary text boxes (or uploaded PDF if the Project Summary contains special characters) does not exceed one page prior to submission, rather than the current check of 4,600 characters. See the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter II.C.2b for further information.

The compliance checks will trigger an error message in the following circumstances:

o   Project Summary text exceeds the one-page limit;

o   Project Summary text is entered and the user also uploads a “Project Summary with Special Characters” supplementary document.

Note About Proposal File Update (PFU):

Proposers should be aware that if a proposal was received by NSF prior to September 26, 2016, containing a Project Summary that complies with the previous 4,600-character limit but exceeds the one-page limit, a PFU addressing any section of the proposal will result in the proposal not being accepted if it does not comply with these compliance checks. The checks will be run on all sections of the proposal, regardless of which section was updated during the PFU.

Note About Grants.gov:

Proposers should also be aware that Grants.gov will allow a proposal to be submitted, even if it does not comply with these proposal preparation requirements. Should NSF receive a proposal via Grants.gov that is not compliant, it will be returned without review.

We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues. For system-related questions,please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or Rgov@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

Thank you,

FastLane Team at the National Science Foundation

 

 

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