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SEPTEMBER 29, 2020

Reminder: Return to Campus Research 

https://research.syr.edu/return-to-campus-research/

Grants Overview for Faculty 

  • What do you wish your faculty knew?  

Invitation for Peer Demos 

  • Results from 2019 member survey showed interest in the following topics (with # of “interested” votes):  

   Award acceptance and project startup (7)

   Award management, e.g., monitoring award expenditures, monthly financial reports (6)

   Award close-out (6)

   Maxwell internal funding programs (6)

   Reviewing sponsor guidelines (6)

   Budget development (5)

   Cost share (5)

   Identifying potential funding sources (4)

   Effort (4)

   Financial Conflict of Interest Policy: what and why (4)

   Maxwell research resources, e.g., ICT (4)

   IRR Form: how and why (3)

AUGUST 25, 2020

In attendance: Peg Austin (CPR),  Katrina Fiacchi (CPR), Jill Ferguson (Dean’s Office), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Heather Macknik (PAIA), Jackie Nocevski (Campbell), Jacquie Meyer (Political Science)

cc:  Karen Cimilluca (ASI),  Juanita Horan (Moynihan), Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Debbie Toole (Geography), Amy Schmidt (CCE), Anthony Terrinoni (ASPI), Roxanne Tupper (PARCC)

Grant Proposal Budgets and IRRs

A. Reminder: Dean Van Slyke does not review Internal Routing and Review (IRR) forms; rather, the Dean has delegated authority to Andrew London, in his capacity as associate dean for research, to review and approve. 

B. Clarification/New Process: Per Maxwell Research Policies, budgets that include voluntary cost share require discussion and approval early in project planning and budget development—that is, well before the IRR routes for signatures. Examples include: 

  • F&A, either waived or return to the project 
  • Tuition remission for one or more graduate students (if an allowable cost on the grant)  

In such cases, please send an initial draft of the internal budget to Jill Ferguson for review; as needed, Jill with consult with Andrew for pre-approval of the budget. 

In general, voluntary cost share should be a rare exception. As such, in most cases, budgets will not require pre-approval ahead of the IRR. 

C. Reminder: Please including supporting documentation and/or a note in the IRR routing email for situations such as the following:     

  • The budget does not include full F&A recovery; however, the sponsor has a published policy, making the lower rate acceptable per University policy. 
  • The budget includes funds for a full-time graduate student(s) but does not include tuition remission; however, the sponsor has published policy that tuition remission is an unallowable cost or the PI has confirmed that the project requires an advanced student who has completed all coursework (ABD). 
  • The budget includes funds for a course buyout, which the academic chair has approved. 

JULY 28, 2020

In attendance: Peg Austin (CPR), Karen Cimilluca (ASI), Jill Ferguson (Dean’s Office), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Heather Macknik (PAIA), Jackie Nocevski (Campbell), Roxanne Tupper (PARCC)

cc:  Katrina Fiacchi (CPR), Juanita Horan (Moynihan), Jacquie Meyer (Political Science),  Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Debbie Toole (Geography), Amy Schmidt (CCE), Anthony Terrinoni (ASPI)

Tenth Decade Project Special Call for Proposals 

  • On June 25, the Dean's Office announced a Special Call for Proposals for Tenth Decade funding under the theme "Confronting Systemic Racial Inequality." Applications for the Special Call will be accepted through September 30. 
  • The "Multidisciplinary Discovery" Call for Proposals remains open with a rolling deadline.    
  • See the Tenth Decade Project resource page for full details.  

New Shared Resources Added to the Maxwell Research Home Page on Answers  

Faculty and Staff Resources 

Finding Funding 

New! Funding Opportunities

Proposal Development Resources 

Proposal Library (Open Grants)   

NSF Application Toolkit

Grants Administration 

Administrator New Award Checklist 

Maxwell Research Administrators Monthly Meeting Notes  

Professional Development Opportunities in Research Administration 

Research

About 

New! Maxwell Research Policies 

Maxwell Internal Grant Programs 

New! Tenth Decade Project

Entering Payroll

  • Open discussion on processes (and preemptive workarounds) for entering payroll for summer salary, course buyouts, etc. Please continue to bring questions, tips, and tricks to the group. 

JUNE 23, 2020

In attendance: Peg Austin (CPR), Karen Cimilluca (ASI), Jill Ferguson (Dean’s Office), Katrina Fiacchi (CPR), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Juanita Horan (Moynihan), Heather Macknik (PAIA), Jacquie Meyer (Political Science),  Jackie Nocevski (Campbell), Roxanne Tupper (PARCC)

cc:  Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Debbie Toole (Geography), Amy Schmidt (CCE), Anthony Terrinoni (ASPI)

Chartstring Changes Crossing Fiscal Years  

Per the following email from OSA, a prior issue with Chartstring Changes crossing fiscal years has been resolved. You can now enter chartstrings that cross fiscal years.   

From: Cathleen P Hayduke <cphayduk@syr.edu>
Sent: Thursday, June 4, 2020 1:16 PM
To: Kelly A O'Connor <kaocon02@syr.edu>; Melissa A Wike <mawike@syr.edu>; Liz Bull <ewbull@syr.edu>; Lynn Roundy <leroundy@syr.edu>
Cc: Toni M Besaw <tbesaw@syr.edu>; Cathleen P Hayduke <cphayduk@syr.edu>
Subject: Chartstring Changes

 Hello All,

 I want to share an update with all of you regarding Chartstring changes crossing fiscal years. The prior communication from Brian has now been amended.

 Prior:

Brian gave us the following instructions:

This fiscal year end dates would be as follows:

 Semi-monthly employees- on sponsored funds please input an end date of 6/30/20 for the sponsored chartstring and an effective date of 7/1/20 for the non­-sponsored chartstring.

 Weekly employees- on sponsored funds please input an end date of 6/24/20 for the sponsored chartstring and an effective date of 6/25/20 for the non­-sponsored chartstring

After discussions with Brian, Jim / HR, Mike, and myself, it was decided that since the Chartstring Changes inability to cross fiscal years last year has been resolved, we can now allow the crossing of fiscal years. If you recall, there was an issue with the effective dated rows and the processing of items using sponsored chartstrings that crossed fiscal years. This issue has been resolved.

 What this means, is that departments can now enter chartstrings that will cross fiscal years. The current limitation is: chartstrings can be entered that will either end one year after the current fiscal year (6/30/21), or the project end date, whichever occurs first.

This change is effective immediately. This changes should allow for improved workflow and management of sponsored awards.

Please feel free to share this with your department administrators.

 If anyone has any questions, or concerns, or wishes additional information, please let me know.

 Thank you,

Cathy Hayduke

Director, Office of Sponsored Accounting


Revised Travel Policy for Faculty and Staff 

  • Revised Travel Policy for Faculty and Staff (Coronavirus Update 6.12.20)

    Effective immediately, we will ease existing restrictions on travel deemed essential to an academic or business purpose of the University. For faculty, researchers, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students: Essential travel is defined as travel require to (1) preserve the safety of a research subject and cannot be postponed; or (2) preserve the continuity and results of a research activity and cannot be postponed.

    For faculty, researchers, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, travel to attend professional or educational conferences is defined as non-essential. Faculty, researchers, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students with questions about whether specific proposed travel is essential, or those seeking approval to engage in essential travel, should confer first with their department chairs. Deans (or department chairs, if designated by the dean) will make a recommendation as to the essential nature of the travel request and forward that recommendation to the interim vice president for research. The VPR will make the final determination and notify both the traveler and the dean or department chair making the request. Any faculty member, researcher, postdoctoral scholar or graduate student whose essential travel is approved is required to register that travel on the University travel registry system.

NSF Application Toolkit: Standard Application Guidelines

  • Link to Answers page: https://answers.syr.edu/x/UddDBg
  • As of today, later sections are still under construction; however, sections through "Current and Pending Support” should prove useful now. 

  • The Biographical Sketch section and Current and Pending Support section address the significant changes to the requirements for these documents as of the current PAPPG (NSF 20-1); see 2/25/20 meeting  notes below. 
  • Active Funding Opportunities at the National Science Foundation (NSF): Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), including:  
    • Biological Anthropology (July 20, 2020)
    • Law and Science (August 3, 2020)
    • Cultural Anthropology (August 17, 2020)
    • Security and Preparedness (August 17, 2020)
    • Accountable Institutions and Behavior (August 17, 2020)
    • Sociology (August 17, 2020)
    • Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences (August 18, 2020)
    • Economics (August 18, 2020)
    • Decision, Risk and Management Sciences (August 18, 2020)

MAY 26, 2020

In attendance: Peg Austin (CPR), Jill Ferguson (Dean’s Office), Katrina Fiacchi (CPR), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Heather Macknik (PAIA), Jacquie Meyer (Political Science),  Roxanne Tupper (PARCC)

cc: Juanita Horan (Moynihan), Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Debbie Toole (Geography), Amy Schmidt (CCE), Anthony Terrinoni (ASPI), Karen Cimilluca (ASI), Jackie Nocevski (Campbell)

Reminder: University's Fiscal 2020 Year-End Accounting Closing Procedures and Dates

Refer to May 19 email from Sponsored Accounting and May 15 memo from the Comptroller’s Office, which includes important information regarding requirements and deadlines to support the University’s fiscal 2020 year-end closing. Note that Sponsored Award deadlines differ from non-Sponsored deadlines.  

Reminder: Effort Reporting Certification Window is June 1-19

Overview

Certification Calendar 

Certification PeriodCertification WindowEffort Period of Performance
Spring 2020June 1, 2020 – June 19, 2020Faculty: January 1 – May 7

Staff: January 1 – May 15

Procedures

Off-campus Access to the Effort Reporting System (ERS)

  •  From ERS FAQsERS is an administrative function within MySlice that can only be accessed from on campus or via a secure Syracuse network. If off campus, a VPN or similar secure remote connection must be obtained to access the system. If additional assistance is needed, please on contact your DSP (technical support personal) within your home department.

Check-in on COVID-related Research and Effects of Shutdown on Active Projects

  • Watch for a "Return to Campus Research" email from Interim Vice President for Research Ramesh Raina, which all Maxwell faculty received on 5/26/20 (via the Dean's Office). 

  • All associate deans for research have been tasked with providing to the Office of Research a 1-page summary of anticipated research priorities post-COVID. Maxwell's response will suggest that research will largely look the same, although some research agendas will have expanded to take COVID-related issues into account. The summary will also acknowledge the investments we have made based on our strategic plan, our momentum (e.g., significantly increased research expenditures, new multi-year center and network grants, investment in postdocs), and our commitment to clusters. 

Maxwell Research Answers Page

Jill demoed this new internal resource, including how to:

  • Access compiled Maxwell RAN meeting notes

  • Export pages to Word and PDF (useful for Admin New Award Checklist for instance)

  • “Watch” the pages and receive notifications of updates

Please send comments, questions, and suggestions to improve on and expand the pages. 

APRIL 28, 2020

In attendance: Peg Austin (CPR), Karen Cimilluca (ASI), Jill Ferguson (Dean’s Office), Katrina Fiacchi (CPR), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Heather Macknik (PAIA), Jacquie Meyer (Political Science), Jackie Nocevski (Campbell), Roxanne Tupper (PARCC)

cc: Juanita Horan (Moynihan), Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Debbie Toole (Geography), Amy Schmidt (CCE), Anthony Terrinoni (ASPI)

  • Welcome new member Karen Cimilluca, Assistant Director for the Aging Studies Institute

  • Introductions (including quick summary of grants-related job responsibilities) for new members

Effects of COVID-19 Shutdown on Active Projects 

In each of your units, which active projects have been affected by the shutdown and how? (e.g., requesting no-cost extension, delayed fieldwork, other requests/inquiries to sponsors)

Related reminder: Guidance for Researchers and follow-up 4/24/20 email from ADR Andrew London

  • One example from CPR of how active projects are affected: X Lab projects involving randomized controlled trials (human subjects research) have had to pause actions and activities. 

  • Several new no-cost extensions in both ASI and CPR.

  • Travel reimbursements: Many instances where faculty and GAs booked airfare for conferences, now cancelled, related to grant-funded projects. In cases where faculty have been issued airfare credits (versus refunds), questions include the following: 

    • If charged to the grant, does the credit also have to benefit the project? 

Waiting for further guidance from sponsors and OSP, but presumably yes.  

    • What if the project is ending and there are no other anticipated costs (travel or otherwise)? 

Waiting for further guidance from sponsors and OSP, but presumably the reimbursement should not come from the grant but rather another internal source such as the PI's faculty research account. The airfare credit could then be used at a later date for any research project, and grant funds could be re-budgeted to faculty summer salary, additional GA hours, etc., if appropriate for remaining effort/tasks on the project. However, this could raise concerns from faculty about having to pay from faculty research funds expenses that would otherwise be covered by a grant (current or future). 

Professional Development Opportunities in Research Administration

All: Please email Jill with information about the kinds of grants administration PD you have participated in and would recommend. Discussed initial leads, including OSP Awareness Sessions, Excel Training and Certification Program, LinkedIn Learning, SRAI, and NCURA. See Professional Development Opportunities in Research Administration Answers page for details.  

MARCH 24, 2020

In attendance: Peg Austin (CPR), Jill Ferguson (Dean’s Office), Katrina Fiacchi (CPR), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Juanita Horan (Moynihan), Heather Macknik (PAIA), Jacquie Meyer (Political Science), Jackie Nocevski (Campbell), Roxanne Tupper (PARCC), Anthony Terrinoni (ASPI)

cc: Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Debbie Toole (Geography), Amy Schmidt (CCE)

  •  Welcome new member Jackie Nocevski, Administrative Assistant (budget, grants, major events) in the Campbell Institute 

SU COVID-19 Guidance for Researchers 

Guidance for Researchers and follow-up Maxwell email of 3/24/20 (appended  below). Important takeaways:  

  • Guidance applies to both faculty and graduate students conducting research.

  • Researchers should consider all ongoing research projects, both externally and internally funded.

  • Jill can help to comb through the University and sponsor guidance as questions arise. 

Subject: RE: Guidance on Research / Please Circulate to All Faculty, Graduate Students 

From: Andrew S London <anlondon@maxwell.syr.edu
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 4:59 PM
To: Andrew S London <anlondon@maxwell.syr.edu>; Douglas V Armstrong <dvarmstr@maxwell.syr.edu>; Stuart S Rosenthal <ssrosent@maxwell.syr.edu>; Thomas A Perreault <taperrea@maxwell.syr.edu>; Norman Alan Kutcher <nakutche@maxwell.syr.edu>; William D Coplin <wdcoplin@maxwell.syr.edu>; Matthew Cleary <macleary@maxwell.syr.edu>; Prema Ann Kurien <pkurien@maxwell.syr.edu>; Renee de Nevers <denevers@maxwell.syr.edu>; Brian D Taylor <bdtaylor@maxwell.syr.edu>; Robert Bifulco Jr <rbifulco@maxwell.syr.edu>
Cc: Jill S Ferguson <jsfergus@maxwell.syr.edu>

 Maxwell Research Community,

 In accordance with the recent Guidance for Researchers from the Syracuse University Office of Research, the following is intended to provide additional information to assist with next steps for all ongoing research in Maxwell:

 For the purposes of assessing and managing impacts due to COVID-19, ongoing research falls into one of four categories, listed below. Principal investigators (PIs) should be certain about which categories their research activities fall into and thus the appropriate course of action for all project personnel, including faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students. For any project or activity where the determination is unclear, please contact Jill Ferguson or Andrew London in the Dean’s Office.

1.    Essential campus-based research

Effective immediately, PIs must scale back research activities to a minimum and report the essential research activities for approval to remain operational.  

2.    Non-essential campus-based research

Effective immediately, PIs must pause all research activities conducted by all project personnel (faculty, staff, and students) until further notice.  

3.    Non-essential human subjects research involving in-person data collection activities

Effective immediately, PIs must pause all research activities conducted by all project personnel (faculty, staff, and students) until further notice.  

4.   Research that can be conducted remotely (including human subjects research that limits participant interactions to online or remote communication, telephone contact, remote monitoring, remote data collection or secondary data analysis)

May continue as before

For any other questions about the impact of COVID-19 on research (e.g., late applications, salaries and stipends, travel, conference grants, no-cost extensions), please email your department/center research administrator, OSP research administrator (if externally funded), and Jill Ferguson in the Dean’s Office.

 Continued best of luck with your research, and take care,

Andrew

Dean’s Office Summer Project Assistantship Application Deadline

Applications due April 17

Administrator New Award Checklist: Current Final Version Date 3/24/20

Final version (dated 3/24/2020) posted in Word and PDF versions to MS Teams under “Files” and to the shared Dropbox folder.

  • Is there a better (i.e., more easily and regularly accessible) way to share documents and other resources? Current options include: Dropbox, MS Teams, and the Collab (Maxwell shared) drive 

FEBRUARY 25, 2020

In attendance: Jacquie Meyer (Political Science), Katrina Fiacchi (CPR), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Jill Ferguson (Dean’s Office), Roxanne Tupper (PARCC), Anthony Terrinoni (ASPI), Peg Austin (CPR)

cc: Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Heather Macknik (PAIA), Debbie Toole (Geography), Amy Schmidt (CCE), Juanita Horan (Moynihan)

Off-campus Access to the Effort Reporting System (ERS)

From ERS FAQsERS is an administrative function within MySlice that can only be accessed from on campus or via a secure Syracuse network. If off campus, a VPN or similar secure remote connection must be obtained to access the system. If additional assistance is needed, please on contact your DSP (technical support personal) within your home department.

Summer Project Assistantship Programs across Maxwell

  • Select Maxwell units including the Center for Policy Research (CPR), the Aging Studies Institute (ASI), and the Dean’s Office offer assistantships for summer projects. Faculty members apply for this internal funding to support a graduate student to work with the faculty member to develop a research proposal that the faculty member will submit to an external funder.

  • Requests for proposals will go out over the next few weeks, with decisions in April. Faculty affiliated with units that have a SPA program should submit their proposals to that unit; all other faculty should submit proposals to the Dean’s Office program.

  • The funding amount per assistantship for summer 2020 is $2,000. The graduate student is hired through payroll at an hourly rate; assume a fringe benefit rate of 8.5% (FICA only), though it may not be charged. In that case, you can add a few additional hours to spend the full amount of the assistantship. 

NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (NSF-20)

  • NSF PAPPG (NSF 20-1): NSF announced the issuance of the revised Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (NSF 20-1). The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted on or due, and awards made, on or after June 1, 2020. Significant changes include a new NSF approved format for preparation of biosketches and current and pending support documents.

 NIH FY2020 Salary Cap 

  • (not discussed, but FYI): NIH FY2020 Salary Cap: NIH Notice NOT-OD-20-065 increases the Executive Level II salary cap to $197,300.

Administrator New Award Checklist: Revisions to Draft 

The current draft is here, including the following revisions based on meeting discussion: 

  • Deleted sections on debarment and suspension as this process is an OSP/HR function.

  • Deleted sections on intellectual property agreements (IPAs) as this is now an annual process versus by project. As with financial conflict of interest (FCOI) disclosures, OSP monitors IPAs and alerts the faculty/staff and department administrator if lapsed. 

Jill will continue to circulate and revise, aiming for a final version to approve at the March meeting.

Graduate Research Assistantship Stipend Levels

Graduate research assistantship stipend levels seem to be the only Maxwell-specific rate that research administrators and faculty need to know in addition to OSP’s Syracuse University Identifiers and Financial Information.

Holly Johnson sent the AY2020-2021 rates to the Maxwell Admin Assistants distribution list on 2/25/20.

All: Please share with your research faculty for use in proposal budgets. 

JANUARY 28, 2020

In attendance: Jacquie Meyer (Political Science), Katrina Fiacchi (CPR), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Jill Ferguson (Dean’s Office), Roxanne Tupper (PARCC), Anthony Terrinoni (ASPI), Juanita Horan (Moynihan), Peg Austin (CPR)

cc: Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Heather Macknik (PAIA), Debbie Toole (Geography), Amy Schmidt (CCE)

Staffing Updates 

  • La’retta Castro’s last day with the Aging Studies Institute (ASI) was December 21. The job listing for the Assistant Director position can be found here: https://www.sujobopps.com/postings/83463

  • Sunju Raybeck’s last day with the Campbell Institute of Global Affairs was January 28. The job listing for the Administrative Assistant (S4) position can be found here: https://www.sujobopps.com/postings/83525

Policy Review: Special Considerations for Graduate Assistants – Fringe Benefits and Tuition

 https://sponsoredprograms.syr.edu/develop-and-submit-proposals/the-specifics/budget-development/preparing-your-budget/personnel-compensation/fringe-benefits/ 

There are two fringe benefit rates for Graduate Assistants.

1) The federal rate must be used on all federal awards and on non-federal awards where tuition is a direct charge. The federal rate may be charged on some non-federal awards provided that the student hasn’t previously received tuition support using the non-profit/foundation fringe benefit rate. In cases where the non-profit/foundation rate is waived, no tuition may be provided to the student.

2) The non-profit/ foundation rate may be used for graduate assistants proposed on non-federal awards for which tuition is not direct charged, but is an allowable cost. The higher fringe benefit rate may not be used for sponsors that disallow tuition as a direct cost.

 University Fringe Benefit Rates FY2019

https://bfas.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/University-Fringe-Benefit-Rates-for-Fiscal-2020.pdf

 Jill is detailing clarification on this topic to disseminate soon and discuss again at the February meeting. 

Administrator New Award Checklist: Revisions to Draft

All: Please review (marking edits, comments and questions with Track Changes) the current draft of a proposed Administrator New Award Checklist, saved here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1eknn2ky5mbcklu/AAD8jusLG2NDx1o6UTZd1YRda?dl=0

DECEMBER 17, 2019

In attendance: Peg Austin (CPR), Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Heather Macknik (PAIA), Sunju Raybeck (Campbell), Jacquie Meyer (Political Science), Katrina Fiacchi (CPR), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Jill Ferguson (Dean’s Office)

cc: Juanita Horan (Moynihan), Debbie Toole (Geography), La’retta Castro (ASI), Amy Schmidt (CCE), Roxanne Tupper (PARCC), Anthony Terrinoni (ASPI)

Initial Efforts to Develop Administrator New Award Checklist 

Award Acceptance and Project Startup

The action item from the November meeting was to work toward a shared resource for initiating a new award at the department level. During the December meeting, we discussed the process of award review, negotiation, and acceptance/execution in OSP. We identified key differences in the SU process compared to that represented in the VCU checklist example.

We noted that compliance considerations (e.g., IRB-approval for human subjects research, financial conflict of interest [FCOI] disclosure, responsible conduct of research [RCR] certification) should be incorporated into the Maxwell checklist.

Next step: Jill will make next-round revisions and redistribute to the group for comment. The following documents (saved to the Maxwell RAN shared folder) remain the basis developing this internal resource document; other examples are welcome and encouraged.

  • OSP’s Award Management Aids for PIs and Support Staff

  • VCU’s Administrator New Award Set-Up Checklist

Maxwell Internal Funding Programs: 2019 Awards from the Appleby-Mosher Fund for Faculty Research and Roscoe Martin Fund for Dissertation and Thesis Research

For the 2019 cycle, 23 faculty members received Appleby-Mosher funding, and 43 graduate students received Roscoe Martin funding.

Jill is working with the Maxwell Communications Team on a formal announcement/news article. If you would like a list of your unit’s awardees in the meantime, email Jill.

SU Office of Foundation Relations

FYI re: SU Office of Foundation Relations: https://corporationsandfoundations.syr.edu/about/office-of-foundation-relations/services/

Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research 

FYI re: Institutional Review Board approval for human subjects research: https://researchintegrity.syr.edu/human-research/

NOVEMBER 26, 2019

In attendance: Amy Schmidt (CCE), Jacquie Meyer (Political Science), Roxanne Tupper (PARCC), Katrina Fiacchi (CPR), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Jill Ferguson (Dean’s Office)

cc: Peg Austin (CPR), Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Heather Macknik (PAIA), Sunju Raybeck (Campbell), Juanita Horan (Moynihan), Debbie Toole (Geography), La’retta Castro (ASI)

Report from National Science Foundation (NSF) 2019 Fall Grants Conference (Jill)

Presentation slides and webcasts available here.

Policy Update

  • A new version of the Proposal and Award Policy and Procedure Guide (PAPPG) is typically posted in October with an implementation date of January. However, this year NSF received a significant number of comments in response to the draft PAPPG, one-third of which related to the Current and Pending Support form and instructions. While NSF works through those comments and makes additional clarifications to the draft PAPPG, posting and implementation dates for the new version have not been set. So, for now, continue to follow the PAPPG (NSF 19-1).  

  • In the draft PAPPG, NSF announced that it will only accept PDFs for Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support components that are generated through use of an NSF-approved format. NSF has selected SCiENcv as an approved format and encourages faculty to begin using the NSF template in SciENcv.  SciENcv (Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae) is an online tool developed by a federal interagency working group that helps researchers create a research profile.

Proposal Preparation

  • For the Biographical Sketch, NSF policy (PAPPG, Chapter II.C.2.f(i)(d)) allows for up to five distinct examples of synergistic activities.  Each item must be one activity and must not be followed by a listing of additional sub-activities.  As an example, you may summarize that you served on ten review panels, however, you should not list the specific panels for that distinct example. You may also be in contact with the cognizant Program Officer listed in the solicitation to which you are submitting your proposal for additional guidance on this subject.

  • For the Budget Justification, NSF guidance for proposed travel is that the justification should be “itemized, specified, and justified." Q: Should the justification be as specific as rates for airfare, hotel, per diem, etc.? A: Reviewers pay attention to the budget, so being specific is important; however, consider timing—i.e., it is reasonable to estimate next-year travel (and so itemize) but probably not travel planned for three years from now (and so generalize).

  • Voluntary uncommitted cost sharing (e.g., release time) should be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources attachment, not in the Budget Justification or Project Description. Voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited. See PAPPG, Chapter II.C2.i.   

  • Letters of Collaboration should use the template language provided in the PAPPG and must not recommend or endorse the PI or project. All relevant collaborative activities should be described in the Project Description, or in the Facilities statement. A Letter of Support is endorsement and is not allowed. The spirit of the guidance is that the letter use the template language only, with the level and nature of collaboration described elsewhere. 

  • In the Results from Prior NSF Support section, you can list awards more than 5 years past, but only those within 5 years are required. For large, collaborative proposals, NSF acknowledges that it can be a challenge to include all required information within the 15-page Project Description when there are numerous projects that must be summarized (with intellectual merit and broader impacts).

 Award Management

  • There are real and potentially severe consequences of overdue reports. An overdue report prevents NSF approval of all actions (funded and administrative) for the subject award and any associated awards for both the PI and any co-PIs. Delayed submission can impact other PIs' awards—especially critical during the 4th quarter of the fiscal year. NSF has started to send emails to VPs of Research listing the overdue reports, essentially asking: What are you going to do about these, and what are you going to do to prevent this from happening in the future? 

  • For all reports, submit early: The program officer must review and approve the report by the due date. There is a 30-day grace window, but don't take it. 

  • Submitting a final report means that you have completed the project. If you haven't completed the project, don't submit the final report. Ask for a no-cost extension; talk to your program officer to see what your options are. 

  • A no-cost extension is always about the scope, not about the money. While it is okay to mention funds remaining in the request, the fact that funds remain should not be the driving reason for the request to extend. Be mindful of the original scope of the project or the scope that was approved. A project with $0 will not be extended: The project is over. 

Award Acceptance and Project Startup

Review and comment on OSP resource:

Award Management Aids for PIs and Support Staff

Can/should we further develop this as a Maxwell shared resource? Are there other models? 

  • Agreed that collectively we will work on developing a checklist. Jill will circulate a starting point.

Additional OSP guidance to consider and possibly incorporate:

Clarification on Manually Terminating Positions in Payroll

Discussion for clarification from last meeting         

  •  FYI/Reminder: For payroll, positions no longer automatically terminate as of the end date of a grant account (or other fund account). Be sure to manually terminate to avoid having charges continue to post past the end date.

OCTOBER 22, 2019

In attendance: Sunju Raybeck (Campbell), Amy Schmidt (CCE), Jacquie Meyer (Political Science), Juanita Horan (Moynihan), Peg Austin (CPR), Katrina Fiacchi (CPR)

cc: Debbie Toole (Geography), La’retta Castro (ASI), Kathy Forrest (ASI), Alexandra Punch (Lerner), Heather Macknik (PAIA)

End Dates on Fund Accounts

  • Grant accounts (like other fund accounts) no longer automatically terminate as of the end date. Be sure to manually terminate to avoid having charges continue to post past the end date.

Forward Funding

  • Forward funding on a sponsored project enables the PI to begin spending prior to having a fully-executed award in place or to incur expenses before the start date of an expected award.

  • In the event the anticipated award is not received or costs incurred are subsequently determined to be unallowable by the sponsor or University, forward-funded costs will be transferred to the departmental or unit chartstring provided at the time of request.

  • [update 11/12/19:] Peggy confirmed with Caroline McMullin that OSP RAs receive a weekly report of projects in forward-funded status.

  • [update 11/12/19:] For a list of forward-funded projects, go to MySlice -> SAMTool -> Award Summary Report; “FF” in the second column (Forward Funded Indicator) denotes forward-funding status.  

  • To our knowledge, there is no systematic monitoring in OSP/OSA of forward-funded projects. As a best practice, schedule regular reminders to follow up with the PI and OSP for a status of the award document.

Maxwell Internal Funding Programs

  • Appleby-Mosher and Roscoe Martin applications are due November 18. The Calls for Proposals are attached.

  • Going forward, Dean’s Office funding opportunities (and others) will be shared via the Maxevents listserv in addition to chairs and directors distribution lists.

  • Tenth Decade Project: Four new projects were recently funded. The current round of this internal funding opportunity has a rolling deadline. The Call for Proposals, initially distributed in March 2019, is attached. 

  • Tracking: We discussed the various ways units track (or do not track) research funds awarded to faculty from the Dean’s Office and other internal funding programs. At minimum, it is helpful for RAs to be notified when faculty in their units receive internal funding. 

Campus-wide Programs and Initiatives

Award Acceptance and Project Startup

We tabled this topic for the next meeting, both given the productive conversation noted above and to hopefully include additional group members in this discussion in November.

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