Announcements

NIH Loan Repayment Program 2021

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released five separate program announcements for the 2021 application cycle of the NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP).  The LRP may repay up to $50,000 of qualified student loan debt per year to outstanding health professionals who commit at least two years to conduct biomedical, behavioral, social, or clinical research, and who agree to engage in such research for an average of at least 20 hours per week based on a 40-hour work week. This includes most undergraduate, graduate, and medical school loans. Loan repayment benefits are in addition to the institutional salary received for research. LRP awards are based on an applicant's potential to build and sustain a research career.

The five program announcements are:

  • NOT-OD-20-133 – LRP for Clinical Researchers (LRP-CR)
  • NOT-OD-20-134 – Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds (LRP-IDB)
  • NOT-OD-20-135 – LRP for Contraception and Infertility Research (LRP-CIR)
  • NOT-OD-20-136 – LRP for Pediatric Research (LRP-PR)
  • NOT-OD-20-137 – LRP for Health Disparities Research (LRP-HDR)

The NIH will begin accepting applications on September 1, 2020.  Applications are limited to one per year.  The deadline for applications is November 20, 2020, 8pm EST. Potential applicants should carefully read the general eligibility requirements, plus the requirements under each funding announcement. Questions concerning eligibility should be discussed with NIH staff. Find the appropriate contact at the Contact and Engage page.

Applications are submitted via the LRP website at https://www.lrp.nih.gov/apply. The system will not accept applications until September 1st.  For applicants paid through Columbia University, Columbia University should be listed as their institution.  William Berger at wb2174@columbia.edu should be listed as the Institutional Approver for Columbia University.

Applicants who are paid through Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. (RFMH) are to enter RFMH as their institution (NOT Columbia or NYSPI). Please use Kimberly Eyssen (keyssen@rfmh.org) as the Institutional Approver.

Please note: Recipients of Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) support from an individual postdoctoral fellowship (F32) or an institutional research training grant (T32) will be eligible for loan repayment during the second year of NRSA support if a formal extension of the NRSA service payback is granted (see NIH Training Payback).  Concurrent fulfillment of LRP and NRSA service obligations is prohibited. You must request a deferral of NRSA payback service prior to acceptance into the LRP. A deferral form can be obtained by contacting the LRP Help Line at 866-849-4047.  It is important to note, though, that NRSA recipients may continue to receive their stipends from the NRSA.

All general questions should be directed to the LRP Information Center at (866) 849-4047 or lrp@nih.gov.

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Archived Announcements

NSF released revised NSF Award Terms and Conditions (see this link to original email). The revised terms and conditions will apply to all new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing NSF awards made on or after October 5, 2020, with a few exceptions noted in the original announcement.

To highlight the more commonly used NSF grant mechanisms:

All of the terms and conditions have been updated to include a new article which establishes a post-award disclosure requirement for undisclosed current support and in-kind contribution information. We will continue to update you as we receive more information.

Resources:

NSF-Approved Formats for Current and Pending Support

NSF-Approved Formats for the Biographical Sketch

PAPPG, NSF 20-1, effective June 1, 2020

 

Recommencement of in-person contact with already enrolled research study participants in IRB protocols that fall under the Priority I or Priority II Tier may begin June 22, 2020 with the subsequent approval of the respective department or schoolThis communication from the Human Research Protection Office/IRBs to CUIMC IRB PIs and Study Coordinators dated June 8, 2020 described the Priority Tiers.

If a study does not fall into Priority Tier I or II, in-person procedures may not resume at this time. Please note that if a department or school has received approval from the IRB for a specific plan to recommence studies, that plan prevails.

When in-person procedures resume, all efforts should still be made to limit in-person procedures and interactions to the extent possible. If study goals are able to be met by using study procedures without in-person contact with participants, such procedures should continue to be used. It is the PI’s responsibility to comply with all University, school, and departmental requirements that have been implemented to reduce the risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


The PI of each IRB-approved protocol for which in-person study procedures have been paused or modified will receive an email that states either (a) the study has been determined to fall into Priority Tier I or II, or (b) the study does not fall into Priority II but may fall into Priority I.  In the latter, the criteria will be provided so the PI and department/school can make the determination.  Notification that a study definitely or may fall into Priority Tier I or II is being provided to departments/schools.

Enrollment of new subjects must remain on hold unless the research falls under one of the following categories:

  1. COVID-19 clinical research and trials;
  2. Clinical trials that offer the prospect of direct benefit;
  3. Enrollment is conducted remotely, and study procedures do not require in-person contact;
  4. On-site (i.e. at CUIMC) clinical research in which the research activity occurs during a clinical encounter (e.g., inpatient stay, outpatient visit, or emergency department visit);
  5. Clinical trials and research funded by federal or foundation sponsors; or
  6. Exception granted by the IRB.

If in-person research procedures are being conducted outside of CUIMC (e.g., in community clinics, at other domestic or international sites, etc.), compliance with local requirements is required. If the University’s IRB is not the reviewing IRB for a study, compliance with any more stringent restrictions or requirements established by the reviewing IRB is required.

 

On Friday, NSF announced its decision to delay the requirement to use NSF-approved fillable PDF or SciENcv-generated forms for the biographical sketch and current and pending support sections of NSF proposals until October 1, 2020 [subsequently changed to October 5, 2020 after this email was sent]. However, applicants must continue to complete the biographical sketch and current and pending support sections in accordance with the revised PAPPG requirements (see PAPPG sections II.C.2.f and II.C.2.h).

This delay relates only to the format used to provide the biographical sketch and current and pending support. The broader information required by the revised PAPPG still must be provided.  As a reminder, those requirements are:

  1. Current and Pending Support must include “all resources made available to an individual in support of and/or related to all of his/her research efforts, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value.” In addition to the usual current and pending sponsored projects, this includes:
  • In-kind contributions (such as office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees, students) that have an associated time commitment.
  • Support provided directly to the individual that does not flow through Columbia.
  • In-kind contributions intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed must be reported in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the application.
  1. The Biographical Sketch must include (still limited to two pages):
  • A list, in reverse chronological order by start date of all the individual's academic, professional, or institutional appointments, beginning with the current appointment.
  • Appointments include any titled academic, professional, or institutional position whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).

NSF still encourages applicants to use either SciENcv or the PDF-fillable forms and welcomes your feedback at fastlane@nsf.gov. We will let you know of any new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, please reach out to your SPA Project Officer should you have any policy-related questions.

NSF made updates to their PDF-fillable Biographical Sketches and Current & Pending Support forms on May 1, 2020. A summary of the changes, which are mainly technical in nature, can be found in these FAQs.

They are still encouraging questions related to SciENcv, or questions technical in nature regarding the NSF fillable PDF formats, to be directed to their NSF Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 (7:00 AM - 9:00 PM ET; Monday - Friday except federal holidays) or via fastlane@nsf.gov. Questions regarding the instructions or about policies should be directed to your SPA Project Officer.

We will continue to keep you posted as we receive more information about these forms, required for use for NSF proposals submitted on or due June 1, 2020.

The Shared Research Computing Advisory Policy Committee(SRCPAC) is offering researchers an opportunity to purchase nodes in a new shared High-Performance Computing System.

TIMING
We are taking orders between Wednesday, April 29, 2020 and Monday, June 15, 2020. Please specify the number and type of nodes (servers), and amount of storage. All orders will require a Chart String account code. The system will launch in late Fall 2020.

​CONTACT
For any questions or to schedule an information session please contact ​George Garrett, Manager of Research Computing Services, at ​gsg8@columbia.edu​.

PURCHASE INSTRUCTIONS
Please fill out the Shared HPC Purchase form and send it to CUIT Research Computing Services at rcs@columbia.edu by Monday, June 15th at 5:00pm.

Full announcement: https://research.columbia.edu/content/srcpac/buy-period-shared-hpc-purchase-round-2020

Dear NSF Principal Investigators,

Even with the current research ramp-down and COVID-19-related disruption, NSF policies continue to apply to current projects and proposals.  In January 2020, the National Science Foundation released its updated Proposal and Award Administration Policies and Procedures Guide (“PAPP Guide”).  The revised PAPP Guide takes effect June 1, 2020.  The revised PAPP Guide includes two important changes to information that you include in your funding applications:

  1. Current and Pending Support

Current and Pending Support must include “all resources made available to an individual in support of and/or related to all of his/her research efforts, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value.” In addition to the usual current and pending sponsored projects, this includes:

  • In-kind contributions (such as office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees, students) that have an associated time commitment.
  • Support provided directly to the individual that does not flow through Columbia.

Current and Pending Support must be submitted through an NSF-approved form.  You may either use a fillable PDF developed by NSF or SciENcv, a web-based tool that can pre-populate data from other systems, such as ORCID.

In-kind contributions intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed must be reported in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the application.

NSF has published FAQs concerning Current and Pending Support.

  1. Biographical Sketch

The biographical sketch must include:

A list, in reverse chronological order by start date of all the individual's academic, professional, or institutional appointments, beginning with the current appointment. Appointments include any titled academic, professional, or institutional position whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).

https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg20_1/pappg_2.jsp#IIC2f (emphasis added).

As with Current and Pending Support, the biographical sketch must be submitted through an NSF-approved form, either a fillable PDF developed by NSF or SciENcv.

Although the requirement to use the new forms takes effect June 1, NSF is strongly encouraging researchers to use the forms now, in order to test them and provide NSF with feedback. As always, if you have questions about what to disclose, please contact your SPA Project Officer.  For more information about Science and Security, please visit the University’s Science and Security webpage. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rudi Odeh-Ramadan

Stephanie Scott

 

We wanted to bring to your attention that there are various funding opportunities dedicated to COVID-19 research available on our newly designed website, COVID-19: FAQs and Resources Relating to Research. You can find these opportunities, as well as other resources to support researchers within the section Conduct COVID-19 Research.

Select funding opportunities are available on this website, and there are instructions on how to use Pivot, a funding opportunity database, as a one-stop shop to identify COVID-19 opportunities from federal, private, and global sponsors. You will be able to view a curated list of COVID-19 funding opportunities, and join the COVID-19 Pivot group to receive weekly funding newsletters sent every Monday morning.

We hope you find the new website easy to navigate to answer many of your research-related questions. Please continue to email questions to COVID19_research@columbia.edu; we will make sure your questions are routed to the right person so you receive a timely answer. For questions concerning Pivot, email Pivot-Help@columbia.edu.

Dear Colleagues: 

As you plan for the ramp-down of your laboratories, the Office of the EVPR is available to assist you in any way that we can.

As a start, we have attached a Laboratory Ramp-Down Checklist prepared by EH&S to help you to understand the tasks that are needed to ramp-down your research laboratory.  Not all of the items will be applicable to all laboratories.  EH&S is an important resource to help you to manage the ramp-down in a way that is safe for those essential personnel who are required to maintain permitted research functions and that is protective of valuable equipment.  As laboratories include hazards of many kinds, it is important that all tasks are done carefully and with the correct personnel.  EH&S is available to answer any questions or provide other assistance.  Please contact labsafety@columbia.edu.

In addition, there are already a number of FAQs posted on the EVPR website.  Because there are many questions coming in from researchers about issues relating to the ramp-down, we will be adding additional FAQs as we receive questions that could be of interest to the broader community, organized under topics for easy access to what you need. All FAQs will be updated as necessary. You should check the FAQs frequently.

Please feel free to call any of our units –SPA, CTO, EH&S, Human Research Protection Office /IRBs, IACUC, RCT, and Postdoctoral Affairs--with questions or requests for assistance.

Sincerely,

The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research

The Offices of the Executive Vice President for Research have collected FAQs relating to COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) and its impact on research activities. These can be found on the Research homepage, or directly at COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus): Frequently Asked Questions Relating to Research.

These FAQs contain information about COVID-19 as it relates to the conduct of research, research operations, and sponsored projects. This webpage will continue to be updated frequently as new information is received. As always, if you have questions about sponsored projects, reach out to your assigned SPA Project Officer. Other research-related matters may be addressed in the FAQs. We will continue to keep you posted.

Dear Colleagues,

We write to remind you of three important NIH requirements: (1) disclosure of “Other Support;” (2) prior approval for “Foreign Components;” and (3) disclosure to Columbia of all Financial Interests related to your institutional responsibilities, including honoraria or other compensation and sponsored travel provided by non-U.S. institutions of higher education.

Other Support

The following is NIH’s definition of Other Support, as clarifiedin the recently updated NIH Grants Policy Statement (GPS) for FY 2020

  • “Other support includes all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant.”
  • “This includes resources and/or financial support from all foreign and domestic entities, including but not limited to, financial support for laboratory personnel, and provision of high-value materials that are not freely available (e.g., biologics, chemical, model systems, technology, etc.)” 

(GPS Sec. 2.5.1, emphasis added)

We expect additional guidance regarding Other Support requirements in the next few months. However, please note that NIH is paying particular attention to appointments and affiliations at entities other than the applicant institution, even where unpaid or honorary, and especially when such an affiliation is listed on a publication that acknowledges NIH funding. If you have an appointment or affiliation that affords access to resources for research, you must include it in the Other Support disclosure. If the appointment does not afford access to resources, you mustnonetheless disclose it, e.g., in your Biosketch.  

NIH has not yet updated its instructions or forms for submission of Other Support or Biosketches; in the meantime, please follow the above guidance in the existing forms. If you have questions about whether or where to disclose a particular item, please contact your SPA Project Officer, and err on the side of transparency.

Foreign Components

We also remind you that NIH requires prior approval for all Foreign Components involved with NIH-funded research.  A Foreign Component is defined as:

The existence of any “significant scientific element or segment of a project” outside of the United States, in other words

  1. performance of work by a researcher or recipient in a foreign location, whether or not NIH grant funds are expended and/or
  2. performance of work by a researcher in a foreign location employed or paid for by a foreign organization, whether or not NIH grant funds are expended.

Even if your original proposal did not include a foreign component, sometimes a project may evolve to include one. If that is the case, you must obtain approval from NIH before the performance of any work on the NIH project begins in a foreign location. 

If you believe you may need to obtain approval for a “significant scientific element or segment” of an NIH project to be performed outside the U.S., please contact your SPA Project Officer as soon as possible. 

Disclosures of Outside Financial Interests Related to Your Research

Columbia policy has long required disclosure at least annually of all outside Financial Interests related to a researcher’s institutional responsibilities. This definition is broad. If you are being asked to participate in an outside activity because you are a professional in your field at Columbia, then it may reasonably appear that the requested activity is related to your Institutional responsibilities and you should disclose it. This includes any payments and sponsored travel from:

  • U.S. and non-U.S. companies, foundations, and professional societies
  • non-U.S. institutions of higher education
  • non-U.S. government entities

All disclosures are made through Rascal. If you are unsure about what to disclose, err on the side of transparency. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Research Compliance and Training.

We will continue to keep you updated as we receive new information. For additional information and resources on science and security, please visit Columbia’s website dedicated to this topic: https://research.columbia.edu/science-security.

Sincerely,

Rudi Odeh-Ramadan                                    

Vice President for Research Administration

Naomi Schrag

Vice President for Research Compliance, Training, and Policy

Mark your calendars for a new discussion series that will examine research ethics issues raised in popular films and documentaries!  We welcome multidisciplinary perspectives.  Anyone from any University department is welcome to attend any or all of these meetings.

The slides and webinar recording are now available of the NIH Rigor & Reproducibility Policy webinar that took place on Friday, September 27th, 2019.

You will need your Columbia UNI and password in order to access the slides and video. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Michelle C. Benson, PhD email at mb3852@columbia.edu

Stephanie F. Scott, MS, CRA email at sfs2110@cumc.columbia.edu

 

The New User Request Form (PDF) has been replaced by the CTMS - New User Access Request Form available on the IBM CTMS Accounts & Support page.

    To request a study to be created in IBM CTMS, please submit the Study Intake Form available on the IBM CTMS Accounts & Support page.