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Welcome to my blog. It contains new and archived messages that I have sent to the campus. Feel free to browse!

Dr. Kenneth W. Sewell, Vice President for Research and Economic Development
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a draft Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) for 2015-2016 that keeps in place a requirement for both the final project and project outcomes reports to be submitted within 90 days "following expiration of the grant" but continues to permit financial drawdowns within 120 days. NSF posted news of the PAPPG in the May 20 Federal Register, which also includes instructions for submitting comments, due by July 20. Award recipients have asked federal agencies to adhere to a 120-day closeout process that would apply to all administrative activities, necessitating a deviation of current requirements under the Uniform Guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget. So far, NIH may be the only agency to allow 120 days for all closeout requirements to be met (RRC 2/15, p. 8).

Link: https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-12086

By Carol Lunn (on 5/21/2015 @ 13:57:39, in Important, read 9 times)
 
As a reminder, all hotel reservations must be processed through Hotel Planner per the Louisiana Office of State Travel.

The following link provides instructions and screen shots of each step to assist when booking a hotel reservation: Hotel Planner Step By Step Instructions.

Refer to the State of LA Hotel Planner Guidelines for a description of the booking process and additional information.

The Hotel Planner site is simple to use and similar to most travel purchasing websites. Through Hotel Planner, there is an option to pay with a credit card or the CBA. The state travel card should be utilized as the form of payment by employees who are in possession of the card. The CBA must be used by UNO employees who do not have a state travel card and as often as possible for students and guests. A travel authorization form must be completed with an authorization code prior to booking a hotel.

UNO was granted an exception to bypass Hotel Planner for conference hotel bookings if the following conditions apply: • The conference hotel’s rate must be less expensive than the identical hotel on Hotel Planner. • The traveler must provide a cost comparison to verify the cost savings. The cost comparison is submitted with the travel card log and/or travel voucher, and must be completed prior to booking. • Conference rates often include amenities not included through Hotel Planner, such as meals, parking, internet services, etc. The cost of included amenities should be taken into consideration when comparing rates. For example, Hotel Planner’s rate may be less expensive than the conference’s rate, but the conference rate may include meals, making the conference rate cost justified.

If you have any questions regarding Hotel Planner, please contact Accounts Payable staff Thomas Scott at ext. 1244 or tmscott4@uno.edu or Dana Bird at ext. 5431 or dbird@uno.edu.

This was sent to all faculty/staff via email on May 19, 2015.

By Carol Lunn (on 5/21/2015 @ 13:53:56, in Important, read 10 times)
 
The UNO College of Engineering, in collaboration with the Southeast Symposium for Contemporary Engineering Topics (SSCET), is proud to offer the third UNO Engineering Forum (UNO-EF) at the University of New Orleans Research & Technology Park on September 11, 2015.

The events will be held concurrently in Lindy C. Boggs Conference Center and offer multiple parallel technical tracks providing solutions to contemporary engineering topics in electrical, naval, mechanical, civil & environmental, chemical, petroleum, and systems engineering and engineering management.

If you would like additional information, would like to present, participate, or would like to be a sponsor please visit: www.uno-ef.org

By Carol Lunn (on 5/8/2015 @ 12:42:56, in Professional Development, read 37 times)
 
Beginning April, 24, 2015, proposals submitted in response to Program Solicitations in FastLane will undergo a series of automated proposal compliance validation checks to ensure they comply with requirements outlined in the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (Chapter II.C.2. of the Grants Proposal Guide (GPG)). These checks will automatically validate a proposal for compliance against proposal sections per type of funding mechanism. For example, an error message will appear if a project description or budget are not provided in proposals submitted in response to a Program Solicitation.

Checks will be triggered when proposers select the “Check Proposal,” “Forward to SPO,” or “Submit Proposal” functions. Depending on the rule being checked, a warning or error message will display when a proposal is found to be non-compliant. If an error message appears, the proposal cannot be submitted until it is compliant.

Please note that these automated compliance checks will not be conducted on proposals submitted to NSF via Grants.gov.

Please direct any questions to the Policy Office in the Division of Institution & Award Support at policy@nsf.gov, or (703) 292-8243.

This was also emailed to all faculty and staff 4/21/15.

By Carol Lunn (on 5/1/2015 @ 13:57:14, in Important, read 53 times)
 
On April 22nd, the MIST Cluster along with our partner the Louisiana Business and Technology Center (LBTC) will be hosting a workshop presented by NASA and its research partners. This workshop will bring together beach managers, researchers, public health and remote sensing experts to exchange ideas and information about beach water quality monitoring and management.

The goal of the workshop is to help promote the use of advanced beach monitoring tools throughout the Gulf Coast in an effort to enhance state beach monitoring programs and improve public health.

The workshop will be held in the ENCE Building at Louisiana State University. For additional information and to register for this event: https://sites.google.com/a/community.nasa.gov/science-ssc-nasa-gov/home/2015-beach-monitoring-workshop.

This email was sent to all faculty and posted on the ORSP blog.

By Carol Lunn (on 4/16/2015 @ 16:06:13, in Workshops, read 36 times)
 
A notice issued by NIH on April 15 warned grant hopefuls of "serious consequences" for submitting applications with errors. "The purpose of this notice is to remind applicants, both investigators and grants office officials, that to be fair to all concerned the NIH needs to consistently apply standards for application compliance. Be mindful that non-compliance can have serious consequences. NIH may withdraw any application identified during the receipt, referral and review process that is not compliant with the instructions" in NIH's application guide, "Funding Opportunity Announcement, and relevant NIH Guide Notices," the announcement said. NIH gave examples of non-compliance, which included improperly completed biosketches. "Applications submitted as new but containing elements of a resubmission or renewal application are noncompliant with the resubmission policy," NIH said, in describing another example.

Link: http://www.mmsend25.com/link.cfm?r=133869014&sid=72959344&m=9877840&u=Atlantic2&j=27187256&s=http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-095.html

By Carol Lunn (on 4/16/2015 @ 13:59:37, in Important, read 30 times)
 
Frequently Asked Questions on the National Science Foundation’s Implementation of 2 CFR § 200 (Uniform Guidance)

April 7, 2015

1. Which awards incorporate the new Uniform Guidance requirements?

The Uniform Guidance is effective for awards and funding increments on existing awards made on or after December 26, 2014. The Uniform Guidance will not be incorporated in the following circumstances:

• If the award is a standard grant made prior to December 26, 2014; or

• If the award is a continuing grant that has received all of its funding increments prior to December 26, 2014.

2. With the implementation of the new Uniform Guidance, how does an awardee know which terms and conditions apply an award?

For existing awards made prior to December 26, 2014, the terms and conditions referenced in the award notice will continue to apply.

If an existing award receives a funding increment on or after December 26, 2014, then the Grant General Conditions (GC-1) will be incorporated by reference into that funding amendment.

3. If an existing award receives a non-funding amendment (i.e., an amendment that does not provide any additional funding, such as a change of PI), is the amendment subject to the Grant General Conditions (GC-1) dated December 26, 2014?

No. The GC-1 is effective for new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing awards made on or after December 26, 2014. Non-funding amendments do not change the terms and conditions of the current award, except as noted in the administrative change.

4. If an existing award receives an amendment and the new GC-1 is incorporated, is it necessary to request a retroactive approval for items that normally require prior approvals?

Once an existing award receives a funding amendment that incorporates the GC-1, dated 12/26/14, preparation and submission of notifications and requests will follow the requirements specified in the new award conditions. Article 2 of the GC-1 outlines the 2 items that require approval from the National Science Foundation. (See also Award & Administration Guide, Exhibit II-1 for additional information.)

5. In regards to NSF’s recent change in the grant conditions that authorize grantees up to 120 days to submit final disbursement requests, will ACM$ allow for disbursement requests up to 120 days on awards not subject to the GC-1 dated, 12/26/15?

The 120 day standard will apply to all awards. The Award Cash Management System (ACM$) will not differentiate between awards and amendments made prior to December 26, 2014 and those made after December 26, 2014.

Indirect Costs

6. It states in the Grant Proposal Guide: "No supporting documentation is required for proposed rates of 10% or less of modified total direct costs." Is it therefore acceptable to allow less than 10% of modified total direct costs? If so, is 0% acceptable?

Submission of proposal budgets that reflect indirect cost rates below the de minimus 10% are not acceptable. NSF’s expectation with respect to indirect costs is made clear in NSF Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II.C.3.g(vi)(e):

“It is NSF’s expectation that, consistent with 2 CFR § 200.414, NSF awardees will use the domestic subrecipient’s applicable U.S. federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s). If no such rate exists, the NSF awardee may either negotiate a rate or use a de minimus indirect cost rate recovery of 10% of modified total direct costs.”

7. The University has, on occasion, experienced receipt of budgets from subcontractors who elect not to charge F&A at all. Is a 0% F&A rate acceptable in these cases?

Indirect cost rates of 0% are not acceptable as this would represent a form of voluntary committed cost sharing which is prohibited under NSF’s Cost Sharing Policy.

Travel

8. Listed as a "Significant Change to the Grant Proposal Guide to Implement the Uniform Guidance" is all travel must now be justified in Line E of the budget. How detailed must this request be to meet this requirement? For instance, if the name of a conference is available but not the exact date or location, is this sufficient?

The NSF Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II.C.2.g(iv) outlines what is required to justify travel costs: “Travel and its relation to the proposed activities must be specified, itemized and justified by destination and cost.” Therefore, proposers should provide as much information that is available to ensure that the travel is specified, itemized and justified. NSF realizes that all details may not be available at the time of proposal submission and, thus, proposers will be unable to provide such information.

9. When might temporary dependent care costs be allowable?

Temporary dependent care costs resulting from travel to conferences may be allowable when all of the conditions specified in 2 CFR § 200.474 have been met. Inclusion of such costs on a proposal budget may be appropriate only if all of the following conditions are met:

• the costs have to be a direct result of the individual’s travel for the Federal award;

• the costs have to be consistent with the non-Federal entity’s documented travel policy (so, if an institution does not allow such dependent care costs, then they would not be allowable on the NSF award); and

• the costs have to be above the normal dependent care costs (for example, if someone currently pays for dependent care during the weekday working hours, then the grant would not pay for those costs while the person is traveling; if however there are additional costs while traveling – such as for attendance at evening meetings – which may require additional care and costs above and beyond what one would normally incur while they were at home, then those additional costs could be allowable on the award).

NSF’s policy regarding travel support for dependents is covered in Chapter II.C.2.g(iv) of the Grant Proposal Guide:

Travel support for dependents of key project personnel may be requested only when the travel is for a duration of six months or more either by inclusion in the approved budget or with the prior written approval of the cognizant NSF Grants Officer. Temporary dependent care costs above and beyond regular dependent care that directly result from travel to conferences are allowable costs provided that the conditions established in 2 CFR § 200.474 are met.

By Carol Lunn (on 4/9/2015 @ 15:12:25, in Important, read 55 times)
 
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is pleased to announce the opening of the competition for the 2015 Internal Grant Programs (IGP). Eligible UNO faculty and research employees are encouraged to apply for one of these awards as a means of honing their grant-making skills, and for the purpose of developing new areas of research or scholarly endeavors.

Budget Note: These internal awards may be used to support up to one month regular salary, but may not be used for extra compensation. The current fringe benefit rate is charged and must be included within the appropriate budget limit (FY 15 fringe is 43% and FY 16 is projected to be 44%). Indirect cost is not charged on internal awards. The forms and guidelines are available on the ORSP IGP SharePoint site: https://sharepoint.uno.edu/research/igp/default.aspx

Deadline for submission of applications: March 20, 2015

By Carol Lunn (on 3/13/2015 @ 14:29:51, in Funding Opportunities, read 66 times)
 
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