Thank you to all who attended yesterday’s webinar on Pivot, a funding opportunity and profile database. Slides, the full webinar recording, and a Quick Start Guide are available:
- Webinar - Pivot Overview-Find Funding and Collaborators, 9-16-2020
- Webinar Slides
- Pivot Quick Start Guide
We have additional training materials on our website at Find Funding Using Pivot. To access Pivot, go to https://pivot.proquest.com/, click “Use login from my institution”, select Columbia University from the drop-down menu, and enter your UNI and password.
If you have any questions, feel free to email Pivot-Help@columbia.edu.
This is a reminder that hyperlinks and URLs are not allowed anywhere in an NIH proposal unless specifically allowed in a funding opportunity announcement (FOA). If included, NIH may withdraw the proposal from consideration. See The Do’s & Don’ts of Hyperlinks in Grant Applications, which provides further guidance.
The following is taken from the NIH formatting instructions:
- Hyperlinks and URLs are only allowed when specifically noted in funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and form field instructions. The use of hyperlinks is typically limited to citing relevant publications in biosketches and publication lists. It is highly unusual for a FOA to allow links in Specific Aims, Research Strategy and other page-limited attachments.
- Hyperlinks and URLs may not be used to provide information necessary to application review.
- Reviewers are not obligated to view linked sites and are cautioned that they should not directly access a website (unless the link to the site was specifically requested in application instructions) as it could compromise their anonymity.
- When allowed, you must hyperlink the actual URL text so it appears on the page rather than hiding the URL behind a specific word or phrase.
As always feel free to reach out to your SPA Project Officer if you have any questions.
NSF sent the reminder below about the enforcement of the NSF-approved Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support formats, beginning October 5, 2020. NSF provides additional important details.
As a reminder, we will have our own webinar to review the latest NSF policy updates and forms this Friday at 2pm. To register for that webinar, click here using a Columbia-affiliated email address.
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Enforcement of NSF-approved Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Formats Begins on 10/5/20
Effective October 5, 2020, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will begin enforcing the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1) requirement to use NSF-approved formats for the preparation of the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support proposal documents. The NSF-approved formats are SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae and an NSF fillable PDF.
All other PAPPG (NSF 20-1) changes were effective on June 1, 2020. Please refer to the complete list of PAPPG (NSF 20-1) significant changes and clarifications which include the IT system changes and other policy-related changes. A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on proposal preparation and award administration related to NSF PAPPG (NSF 20-1) is also available and includes Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support information.
Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Websites
- The NSF Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support websites include links to the NSF-fillable PDF formats, updated FAQs, and instructions.
- For the fillable PDF formats, NSF recommends users download and save the blank PDF document prior to adding content. Populating content directly into a web browser (e.g., Chrome or Safari) may result in formatting inconsistencies. The completed and saved PDF can then be uploaded via FastLane, Research.gov, or Grants.gov.
- Beginning on October 5, 2020, links to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support websites will also be located in FastLane (on the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Personnel pages), in Research.gov (on the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Upload pages), and in Grants.gov (on the NSF Senior Key Person Profile form version 2.0).
Change of Principal Investigator (PI) and Add/Change Co-PI Requests
- Effective October 5, 2020, Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support documentation must also be in an NSF-approved format when uploaded with a Change of PI and an Add/Change co-PI request in FastLane.
Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) Submissions with Active Other Support Changes
- Effective October 5, 2020, PIs and co-PIs must include an NSF-approved format for Current and Pending Support when notifying NSF that active other support has changed since the award was made, or since the most recent annual report.
- This new requirement serves as NSF’s implementation of the revised RPPR, a uniform format for reporting performance progress on Federally-funded research projects and research-related activities.
- Further details about the RPPR can be found on the Research.gov About Project Reports website.
Automated Compliance Checks for NSF-approved Formats
- Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support documents not in an NSF-approved format will trigger a compliance error and ultimately will prevent proposal submission or completion of the post-award action. This compliance check applies to proposals, Change of PI requests, Add/Change co-PI requests, and relevant RPPR submissions.
- The complete lists of FastLane and Research.gov automated proposal compliance checks effective October 5, 2020, are available on the Automated Compliance Checking of NSF Proposals website.
- Note that automated compliance checks also apply when a proposal file update (PFU) is performed on a proposal. Proposers should be aware that if a proposal was previously submitted successfully, a PFU performed on the proposal will be prevented from submission if the proposal does not comply with the compliance checks in effect at the time.
NSF-approved Format Updates
Based on feedback from the research community, NSF has enhanced both approved formats, and users are encouraged to use the latest versions. Please see the system-related FAQs on using SciENcv and the system-related FAQs on using the NSF fillable PDF for a list of the improvements to each format. In particular, note the permitted use of “et al.” for publication citations in the Biographical Sketch when listing multiple authors. Senior personnel who wish to include publications in the products section of the Biographical Sketch that include multiple authors may, at their discretion, choose to list one or more of the authors and then "et al." in lieu of including the complete listing of authors' names.
The SciENcv module for creating NSF Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support documents will be updated prior to October 5, 2020; however, all SciENcv-generated Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support PDF documents created on or after April 1, 2020 remain compliant in NSF systems.
Prior to the October 5th requirement to use the NSF-approved format, SciENcv will make a number of enhancements that include:
- ability for users to reorder products and appointments in the Biographical Sketch
- ability for users to edit long author citations imported from ORCID on the Biographical Sketch and add “et al.”
- addition of a Current and Pending Support tool tip to provide clarification and guidance on how users should document support under a fiscal year calendar
Please see the system-related FAQs on using SciENcv for details.
As a reminder, the SciENcv tool integrates with ORCID, enabling users to populate the Biographical Sketch by importing data directly from ORCID records rather than having to manually enter all the required information. This helps reduce administrative burden associated with the Biographical Sketch preparation process. Additionally, SciENcv allows users to grant access to delegates to assist with maintaining and updating data. SciENcv also offers users a dynamic and more customized PDF. For example, users with fewer Current and Pending Support entries may elect to use SciENcv to generate their Current and Pending Support PDF document since SciENcv will produce a PDF without any blank pages. Conversely, the Current and Pending Support fillable PDF will always be 15 pages regardless of how much data is included.
Latest NSF Fillable PDF Version
- Revised NSF fillable PDF formats were released on May 1, 2020; however, the previous versions remain compliant in NSF systems.
- The May 1, 2020 version is indicated by "Revised 05/01/2020" printed on the first page of each form.
Additional Training Resources
To learn more about the NSF-approved formats for Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support, please view the NSF PAPPG (NSF 20-1) webinar and NSF-Approved Formats for the Biographical Sketch & Current and Pending Support Sections of NSF Proposals webinar.
SciENcv has created the following materials to guide NSF users through the preparation of the NSF documents available in SciENcv:
- NSF Biographical Sketch Video Tutorial
- NSF Current and Pending Support Video Tutorial
- NSF-specific Bookshelf Resource (includes screenshots and step-by-step instructions)
Other Updates for Proposers
A revised NSF Grants.gov Application Guide will be published on September 16th and effective October 5, 2020. The Guide will be updated to remove references and instructions for the Research & Related Personal Data Form. NSF will no longer require this form, and this form will no longer be included in NSF's packages effective October 5, 2020.
Questions? Policy-related questions should be directed to email@example.com. If you have IT system-related or technical questions regarding the SciENcv or NSF fillable PDF formats, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 (7:00 AM - 9:00 PM ET; Monday - Friday except federal holidays) or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSF ERA Forum Team
National Science Foundation
Staff Associate, Research.gov
Division of Institution and Award Support
Budget, Finance & Award Management
National Science Foundation
We will be hosting a webinar on Friday, September 18th, 2:00pm – 3:00pm for faculty and staff to review the latest updates concerning NSF Current & Pending Support and Biographical Sketches. Click here to register, using a Columbia-affiliated email address.
Agenda will include:
- Latest clarifications from NSF and FAQs
- Walk through of the PDF-fillable forms
- Demo of SciENcv
As we have previously communicated, the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1) went into effect for proposals submitted or due on or after June 1, 2020. The PAPPG contains important policy changes concerning Current & Pending Support and Biographical Sketches. The NSF will require their PDF-fillable forms, or SciENcv, to create Current & Pending Support and Biographical Sketches for proposals submitted or due on or after October 5, 2020.
To access the PDF-fillable forms, information on SciENcv, FAQs and other training materials, see:
Feel free to send questions prior to the webinar to Stephanie Scott at email@example.com. If you are unable to attend the webinar, the slides will be made available afterwards.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 (email@example.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
- Grant General Conditions (GC-1), effective October 5, 2020:
- Cooperative Agreement Financial & Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC), effective October 5, 2020:
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.
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 school. This 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:
- COVID-19 clinical research and trials;
- Clinical trials that offer the prospect of direct benefit;
- Enrollment is conducted remotely, and study procedures do not require in-person contact;
- 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);
- Clinical trials and research funded by federal or foundation sponsors; or
- 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:
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
For any questions or to schedule an information session please contact George Garrett, Manager of Research Computing Services, at email@example.com.
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:
- 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.
- 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).
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- performance of work by a researcher or recipient in a foreign location, whether or not NIH grant funds are expended and/or
- 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.
Vice President for Research Administration
Vice President for Research Compliance, Training, and Policy