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This is the list of all contributions published in this section, in chronological order.

By Carol Lunn (on 4/9/2015 @ 15:12:25, in Important, read 272 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 3/6/2015 @ 15:25:24, in Important, read 257 times)
As you know, we are well into our first year of compliance of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In an effort to prevent IRS penalties for our University next year at this time, please be reminded that student workers and intermittent workers are not allowed to work in excess of 29 hours in a work week. Also, please be reminded that during class sessions, student workers are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per work week.

Please forward this reminder to appropriate personnel who may not be on distribution.

Thanks,

Ranzy P. Montet

Assistant VP for Human Resource Management

504-280-6259 (Office)

504-280-6390 (Fax)

 
By Carol Lunn (on 1/20/2015 @ 08:57:41, in Important, read 211 times)
On January 26, 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will implement changes in FastLane to support the revised version of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and to run additional automated compliance checks on proposals.

Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 15-1)

A revised PAPPG was issued on November 20, 2014, which incorporates OMB’s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance), as well as other policy updates. The following changes will be made to FastLane to support the revised PAPPG:

• Budget Form Update: The budget form will be updated so that the “Residual Funds” line (Line K) will not be editable for all programs except Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR). As this field is currently used for the purpose of collecting fees, “Residual Funds” will be renamed to “Small Business Fee.”

• Budget Justification Upload: Budget justification can no longer be entered as text. Awardees will be required to upload a budget justification for each organization added to the budget via an upload screen. Already, 95% of proposers take advantage of the upload option.

• Cost Sharing Notifications Requirement: The existing requirement that only awards with cost sharing of $500,000 or more must submit a cost sharing certificate will be modified to support the revised policy which specifies that cost sharing notifications must be submitted by all awardees with awards that include cost sharing.

• New Funding Mechanism: The FastLane proposal cover sheet will be updated to include the new funding mechanism type, Ideas Lab. Ideas Lab is designed to support the development and implementation of creative and innovative project ideas. These projects will typically be high-risk/high-impact as they represent new and unproven ideas, approaches, and/or technologies.

Automated Compliance Checks

FastLane will begin to run an additional 24 automated compliance checks on proposals to ensure they comply with requirements outlined in the PAPPG, Chapter II.C.2 of the Grants Proposal Guide (GPG). These checks will validate a proposal for compliance with page count, proposal sections per type of funding mechanism and budget related rules for proposals submitted in response to the GPG, Program Announcements and Program Descriptions. At this time, these checks will not be enforced for proposals submitted in response to Program Solicitations.

• Page Count: Page count rules will be enforced on the following proposal sections:

o Project Description: 15-page limit [exceptions: 8-page limit for Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), and 5-page limit for Rapid Response Research (RAPID)]

o Budget Justification: 3-page limit for the proposing institution and a separate, 3-page limit for each sub-recipient organization

o Mentoring Plan: 1-page limit

o Data Management Plan: 2-page limit

• Budget: Budget-related checks will focus primarily on proposal duration and requested amount. For example, the system will enforce a maximum requested amount of $200,000 for a RAPID proposal and $300,000 for an EAGER proposal.

• Proposal Section: Proposal sections will be enforced by their funding mechanism for Program Announcement, Program Description and other GPG-type funding opportunities. For example, an error message will appear if a Project Description was not provided for an EAGER proposal.

The checks detailed above will be triggered when the “Check Proposal,” “Forward to SPO,” or “Submit Proposal” functions are selected by a proposer or proposing organization. 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 organization will not be able to submit the proposal until it is compliant. To view a detailed list of all compliance checks, click here.

We encourage you to share this information with your respective organization. Please contact policy@nsf.gov for any further questions.

 
By Carol Lunn (on 12/2/2014 @ 12:06:18, in Important, read 229 times)
NIH has announced a new biographical sketch format to be used in all grant applications with due dates on or after January 25th, 2015.

See the NIH Guide notice at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-024.html for more details.
 
By Carol Lunn (on 6/19/2014 @ 13:40:15, in Important, read 277 times)
2013-2014 Fiscal Year End Deadlines Information

Invoices/Check Requests/Contractual Services/Travel Vouchers/Travel Logs/PCard Purchases

Due in Accounts Payable July 1 by Noon

In order to make the yearly closeout timely and accurate, please be aware of these important deadlines. Thank you for your help and cooperation.

Vendor Invoices Due Noon July 1, 2014

The following deadlines apply to all fund types (general, grant, & projects) regardless of fund type. If goods/services are delivered/rendered by 6/30/14, the invoice must be sent to Accounts Payable in order for it to be paid out of FY 2013-14 funds. If the invoice is not submitted to Accounts Payable by 7/1/2014, please notify Accounts Payable of the amount that needs to be expensed in FY 13-14.

Travel Vouchers/ Travel Logs/Check Requests/Contractual Services - Due Noon July 1, 2014

Reimbursement or payments directly to a vendor via check request or contractual agreement are not allowed on items which should have been purchased through the purchase order process. If you miss the PO deadlines, these items WILL NOT be accepted on a check request.

Remember to attach freeze exemptions to check requests and contractual services if applicable.

Travel advances are not charged to department budgets until properly supported travel vouchers are submitted to the AP department. Therefore, please clear your FY 13-14 travel advances.

BOA State Travel Card Charges

For travel that ends by June 30, logs and receipts for these charges must be submitted to Accounts Payable by Noon July 1.

PCard Purchases

All charges made through June 30 must be verified and approved by the supervisor by July 1.

Interdepartmental Billings

All interdepartmental billings must be submitted to General Accounting by Noon July 7.

Accounts Payable Contacts

Invoice Issues: Philip Coco pcoco@uno.edu

Travel Vouchers: Earline Barnes eallen@uno.edu

Check Requests, Honorariums, Contractual Services, Check Info: Greta Belmonte gatemple@uno.edu

BOA Travel and Pcard Issues: tmscott4@uno.edu

Budget Info, General Accounting Questions: Dana Bird dbird@uno.edu

General Accounting Contacts: Debra Alvarez interdepartmental@uno.edu
 
By Admin (on 10/25/2013 @ 13:41:20, in Important, read 388 times)

Notice Number: NOT-OD-14-007

Key Dates
Release Date: October 22, 2013

Related Announcements
NOT-OD-14-002
NOT-OD-14-003
NOT-OD-14-006

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

This Notice is to inform the community that NIH has revised its approach to resuming operations after the government shutdown. This Notice supersedes NOT-OD-14-003.

Responding to input from applicants and reviewers, NIH has reevaluated the plans for rescheduling initial peer review meetings that were cancelled due to the government shutdown. NIH will now reschedule most of the 200+ missed peer review meetings so that most applications are able to be considered at January 2014 Council meetings.

Rescheduling Peer Review Meetings
Most NIH peer review meetings that occurred during or immediately following the government shutdown will be rescheduled so that as many applications as possible are able to be considered at January 2014 Council meetings.

Opportunity to "Refresh" Applications that are Reassigned to May 2014 Advisory Council
As this is an unprecedented situation where the review meetings are being rescheduled under tight time frames, scheduling complexities may prevent the evaluation of the full complement of applications for this round.  Thus, while it is thought to be a small number, there may be some applications that cannot be reviewed in time for the January 2014 Advisory Council. These applications will be reassigned to the May 2014 Advisory Council and both the principal investigator and the signing official listed on the grant application will receive an email notification alerting them to the change during the week of November 4, 2013. NIH will also adjust the meeting dates listed in the eRA Commons for these refresh-eligible applications to 09/09/9999 so the applications can be easily identified.

Applications reassigned to the May 2014 Advisory Council will proceed to initial peer review in February/March 2014 without any action from the applicant. However, NIH is giving these applicants the option of withdrawing and submitting a refreshed application. If you choose to refresh your application, follow the steps below carefully:

  • Withdraw the existing application by November 15. 
  • Submit the refreshed application to the original funding opportunity announcement (FOA), if possible. If that FOA has closed, submit to the appropriate parent announcement. If there is no parent announcement for that activity code, send an e-mail to grantsinfo@od.nih.gov with the previous FOA number and we will work with you to get the application submitted.
  • Submit a cover letter with the refreshed application. Indicate that you are refreshing your application for the May 2014 council round, include the previous application number, and provide the previous study section assignment. Applicants are welcome to use the email notification they received from NIH as the cover letter.
  • Make the refreshed application a "new", "resubmission" or "renewal" to match the withdrawn application.
  • All refreshed applications are due by December 11, 2013. No late applications will be accepted for this special receipt date.
  • Only applicants who are reassigned to May 2014 Advisory Council round, and who are notified by NIH of their eligibility to refresh an application, may submit for the December 11 deadline. Any other applications for this deadline will not be reviewed. As always, other applications that are rescheduled for review this round may be withdrawn for any reason, as per our usual process, and submitted for the next standard deadline.

Rescheduling October Application Due Dates

  • All October grant application submission deadlines have been rescheduled as follows (this information has not changed from the previous Notice):

Standard Due Dates:

Activity Code

Original Due Date

New Due Date

R01s, U01s (New)

October 5

November 12

Ks (New)

October 12

November 12

R03s, R21s, R34s, R36s (New)

October 16

November 18

R15s (All)

October 25

November 18

 

Special Due Dates:

Funding Opportunity

Original Due Date

New Due Date

RFAs, PARs, PAs

Due dates not listed above

November  1*

 

*Exceptions:

Funding Opportunity

Original Due Date

New Due Date

PAR-13-277

October 1

November  14

PAR-13-351

October 23

November 14

RFA-AI-13-043

October 23

November 14

PAR-13-086

October 24

November 14

PAR-13-087

October 24

November 14

 The NIH Loan Repayment Program application deadline has been extended from November 15 to December 2.

  • Grants.gov will continue to accept applications for funding opportunity announcements with October closing dates, even if those dates have passed.

November Application Due Dates
November grant application deadlines will not change (with the exception of the Loan Repayment program deadline listed above).

Refreshing an Application that was Submitted for an October Due Date
Since October 2013 application due dates are moving to November, NIH is giving applicants who have already submitted an application for an October due date the opportunity to replace the submission with a "refreshed" application. These applications should be submitted according to the rescheduled receipt date table, above.  Follow the guidance below if you choose to submit a "refreshed" refreshed application for the rescheduled due dates:  

  • If an application has an image in the eRA Commons and is within the two day viewing window the institutional Signing Official should first reject the application in the Commons to keep it from further processing, then submit the refreshed application.   
  • If there is no option to reject the application in the Commons (meaning the application has moved beyond the viewing window for further processing by NIH), applicants should withdraw the application before submitting a refreshed application.
  • Applications that have been submitted but have errors (thus have no application image), can submit a changed/corrected application. 

    Note: Replacing the application submission with a "refreshed" application does not count as a resubmission (A1), meaning that an application submitted for an October due date as a "new" application should be submitted as a "new" application. A "resubmission" should be submitted again as "resubmission".  A "renewal" should continue to be a "renewal".

Processing of Applications Submitted During the Shutdown
Applications submitted since October 1 that were held at Grants.gov during the period of the shutdown have been processed by NIH's eRA systems.

  • Please proactively check the Commons for the status of any application submission. 
  • All error free applications submitted during or in the two days prior to the shutdown will be held for viewing in the Commons on Tuesday and Wednesday Oct 22 and 23 to ensure applicants have 2 full business days to check their application image before it moves on to NIH's Center of Scientific Review (CSR) for processing.

Rescheduled Research Performance Progress Report Due Dates
Due dates for Research Performance Progress Reports that were due between October 1and October 21 have been extended to November 4, 2013. If you have issues being able to submit on time, contact staff at the NIH funding Institute or Center.

eRA Systems Availability
eRA systems are now fully available.

Early Stage Investigator Eligibility
NIH will automatically adjust the Early Stage Investigator (ESI) status for applicants whose status has changed during the period of delay caused by the shutdown.  

K99/R00 Eligibility
Information on the late resubmission due date for the K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence Award program (see NOT-OD-13-050) will be issued in a separate Notice (NOT-OD-14-006). All other K99/R00 application due dates follow the due dates for career development awards (Ks) in the table above.

Payment Management System
Payments through the Payment Management System (PMS) should be processing as usual.  If grantees received a communication during the shutdown that a drawdown request was on hold, please contact PMS directly to determine the status of that pending request.

Award Actions
NIH anticipates beginning to release awards sometime after November 1.

Financial Operations under a Continuing Resolution
NIH soon will publish a Notice on our financial operations under a continuing resolution.

NIH will continue to provide the community with guidance on resumption of extramural activities after the shutdown as necessary.

FAQs will continue to be developed as NIH gets questions. NIH has established a web page to consolidate information on resuming operations after the shutdown. 

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to: 

NIH Grants Information
Telephone: 301-435-0714
Email: grantsinfo@od.nih.gov

 
By Carol Lunn (on 10/21/2013 @ 14:24:13, in Important, read 399 times)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have released information regarding the resumption of operations since the shutdown ended.

NIH

All October grant application due dates have been rescheduled as follows:

R01s, U01s (New) had an original due date of October 5 and a new due date of November 12.

Ks (New) had an original due date of October 12 and a new due date of November 12.

R03s, R21s, R34s, R36s (New) had an original due date of October 16 and a new due date of November 18.

R15s (All) had an original due date of October 25 and a new due date of November 18.

For other opportunities with application due dates not listed above, applications are tentatively due on November 1.

The eRA Commons will be available for public access on October 21. Applications submitted since October 1 have been held at Grants.gov and will be processed by NIH’s eRA systems on October 21, once NIH makes eRA systems available. Also, since October application due dates are moving to November, NIH is giving applicants who have already submitted an application for an October due date the opportunity to replace the submission with a “refreshed” application.

See the notice for more details or contact NIH Grants Information at grantsinfo@od.nih.gov or 301/435-0714.

NSF

Notice from Jean Feldman, head of NSF’s policy office: a new page has been developed directly off the main NSF website that includes both the Important Notice as well as supplemental guidance that addresses grant and cooperative agreement related policy and systems issues. This page will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Policy-related questions regarding the shutdown may be addressed to policy@nsf.gov.

 
By Carol Lunn (on 10/4/2013 @ 14:17:11, in Important, read 464 times)
Our federal sponsors had prepared written procedures for what to expect in the event of a government shut-down, and we hope that the shut-down will be brief. Some of the key items relative to impacts on our campus are:

Proposal submissions to federal agencies - Grants.gov will continue to be functional during a shut-down for receipt of grant proposals. However, grants.gov will not be delivering the proposals to the sponsoring agencies. Therefore, you will not know until the shutdown concludes whether your proposal made it through all of the error checking for that particular agency’s rules. For NSF proposals, Fastlane will not be available during the shutdown. NSF will provide updated information about any deadlines occurring during a shutdown after business at the agency resumes.

Grant and Contract Funding - Agencies will allow work being performed under already funded awards to continue unless an agency has provide a stop work notice for a particular award. No new awards, award increments, supplements or modifications will be processed during the shutdown. HHS will allow the university to continue to draw down funds on existing awards, but NSF’s payment mechanisms will not be available. Nonetheless, UNO will continue to support existing projects to prevent disruption of research activities. In the event a project account expires while waiting for the next award increment, please utilize the Advance Number Request Form https://sharepoint.uno.edu/research/default.aspx to continue your sponsored research account.

Research Collaborations/subcontracts - Sponsored Programs will not be able to issue (execute) new subawards or subaward amendments on federally funded programs that are expired during the shut- down even if an advance account request is in place. Collaborators should be prepared to utilize their own risk-account processes for the duration of the shut-down in order to continue ongoing research work.

Availability of federal staff - Federal staff will be furloughed for the duration of the shut down and will not be available for questions or discussions or speaking engagements.

Grant and Contract Reporting - NSF and HHS systems for reporting (research.gov, RPPR) will not be functional during a shutdown. Federal staff will also not be available to assist with requests for modifications and/or guidance relative to your awards. Please be prepared to submit required reports as soon as the government and its systems are up and running again.

You can find more detailed information about individual agency specifics by following the links below:

http://www.srainternational.org/sra03/template/tntbAB.cfm?id=6008

http://www.hhs.gov/budget/fy2014/fy2014contingency_staffing_plan-rev2.pdf

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/contingencyplans/2013/nsf-shutdown2013.pdf

http://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2013/09/agencies-post-shutdown-plans-online/70976/?oref=govexec_today_nl

Thank you.

 
By Carol Lunn (on 10/4/2013 @ 13:51:10, in Important, read 359 times)
The University of New Orleans Emergency Preparedness team is currently monitoring Tropical Storm Karen in the Gulf of Mexico. The University is currently operating under normal conditions. At this time, the greater New Orleans metropolitan area remains outside the hurricane watch zone.

For updates please check the UNO homepage.

 
By Carol Lunn (on 5/31/2013 @ 15:19:19, in Important, read 377 times)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) intends to release a new Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) in October 2013, with an anticipated effective date of January 2014. NSF formally announced our intention to revise the PAPPG in the Federal Register on May 30, 2013. The upcoming release contains revisions across a broad range of topics, such as clarifications on proposal preparation and submission; information on environmental compliance; and updates on reporting requirements and financial payments. A detailed summary of significant proposed revisions is available at the beginning of the draft document.

NSF invites the research and education community to access and review a draft version of the PAPPG. The proposed significant changes are highlighted in yellow throughout the document.

Comments may be submitted as indicated in the Federal Register notice. NSF is accepting comments until COB June 28, 2013.

Any questions should be addressed to the DIAS Policy Office.

 
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