Announcements

Reminder to Address Inclusion of Individuals Across the Lifespan in Grant Applications

NIH just posted in the Extramural Nexus this morning a reminder to applicants of the new Inclusion Across the Lifespan Policy. It requires grant applicants to address the age-appropriate inclusion or exclusion of individuals in Section 2.4 of the Study Record in the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trial Information Form.

As a reminder, this policy, and all other policy changes impacting NIH proposal preparation for 2019 can be found on our website at New NIH FOAs and Application Changes for 2019. We’ll continue to update this page with additional resources and materials as they become available.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to your SPA Project Officer.

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Archived Announcements

A number of new and re-issued NIH Parent Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs), as well as policy changes impacting proposal preparation, are going into effect in the coming weeks. To assist researchers and administrators with the transition, we created a new webpage as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to provide summaries and guidance. We’ll continue to update and include more resources to this webpage as we receive more information.

Please see New NIH FOAs and Application Changes for 2019.

In addition, you can use the attached one-pager to distribute during department faculty and staff meetings to facilitate discussion of the changes.

As always, please feel free to ask any questions to your assigned SPA Project Officer.

January 07, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

As of this time, the partial government shutdown continues and it is uncertain when it will be resolved. This announcement serves to provide guidance on the management of sponsored projects funded by those federal agencies impacted by the shutdown.  This includes NASA, NSF, Commerce (including NIST and NOAA), FDA, EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

None of HHS (including NIH, CDC, CMS, HRSA, SAMHSA and AHRQ), DOD, VA, DOE and the DE is impacted by the shutdown.

Communications

Contact with federal agency staff by phone, email, fax, USPS mail, FedEx or UPS will not be possible during the funding lapse. Please do not contact furloughed federal employees, including program officers, until operations resume.

Proposals

Grants.gov will continue to operate during the shutdown. All federal agency proposal deadlines remain in effect. While proposals can be submitted, they will not be processed until normal agency operations resume. Help desk support for agency-specific proposal development systems, such as NSF FastLane, will not be available to provide technical assistance.

Peer Review/Panel Council Meetings 

All panels scheduled to take place during the shutdown will be cancelled.  Affected meetings will likely be rescheduled at a later date.

Awarded Grants 

Awardees may continue performance under their awards during a lapse in appropriations, to the extent funds are available, and if the period of performance of the grant or cooperative agreement has not expired. However, federal agencies are not obligated to reimburse expenditures for amounts in excess of total funds authorized per the terms of awarded grants or cooperative agreements.

Notices of Awards 

No new notices of awards (NoAs) or non-competing awards will be released during the funding lapse. Pending NoAs will be released once operations resume.

Progress Reports 

Please continue to submit progress reports per required deadlines. However, they will not be processed by federal agency staff until operations resume.

No Cost Extensions

A no cost extension (NCE) request for most federal awards can be processed through SPA if it is a first time request, and if the NoA does not indicate that it requires agency prior approval. Contact your SPA Project Officer for guidance. If the federal agency requires prior approval for the NCE, the request can be submitted to the agency via your SPA Project Officer; however, it cannot be reviewed or processed by agency staff until operations resume. Unused funds remaining beyond the award end date cannot be obligated for expenses until the federal agency approves the NCE request. 

Other Prior Approval Requests 

Requests can be submitted to a federal agency via your SPA Project Officer.  Such requests cannot be reviewed or processed by agency staff until operations resume.

Contracts 

Contractors will be notified if work on contracts can continue. No new contracts will be issued during the shutdown. SPA will contact the PI immediately if we receive notice of a Stop Work Order. Should you receive a Stop Work Order directly, or other communication regarding a federal contract, notify your SPA Project Officer immediately. 

SPA will continue to provide updates as we receive them. Please feel free to contact your SPA Project Officer should you have any questions.

For more specific information for specific agencies:

NSF: For Proposers and Grantees and For Panelists.

NASA: Furlough Notification to all Grants and Cooperative Agreement Recipients

Dept. of Commerce (includes NIST and NOAA): Shutdown Due to Lapse of Congressional Appropriations

Office of Management and Budget: Other Agency Contingency Plans

 

Sincerely,

Rudi Odeh-Ramadan, PharmD

Vice President for Research Administration

Columbia University

December 22, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

As many of you already know, the partial shutdown of the federal government went into effect at midnight last night.  The shutdown primarily affects those agencies that have not been funded through the end of federal fiscal year (FFY) 2019, including NSF, NASA and EPA and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, State and Transportation.  With the exception of the NSF, the affected agencies have not yet issued guidance on how the shutdown will impact their grant and contract operations.  Limited information from NSF can be found at Information About the Government Shutdown for NSF Proposers and Grantees.

Agencies that were funded through the end of FFY 2019 will generally not be affected by the shutdown.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following agencies within the Departments of Health and Human Services: NIH, CDC, CMS, HRSA, SAMHSA and AHRQ, in addition to the Departments of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

SPA will keep you informed as we receive additional guidance.  We plan to circulate a more detailed analysis of the effects of the shutdown on our primary funding agencies in the very near future.

Should you have any immediate and specific questions, please contact your SPA Project Officer or email CUIMC SPA at grants-office@columbia.edu or Morningside SPA at MS-grants-office@columbia.edu.

Sincerely,

Rudi Odeh-Ramadan, PharmD

Vice President for Research Administration

Columbia University

 

Today NIH released the new Parent Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for the R01 and R21 funding mechanisms dedicated to Basic Experimental Studies Involving Humans. These studies fall within the NIH definition of a clinical trial and also meet the definition of basic research. Read the NIH Open Mike blog for more information.

These new Parent FOAs, along with all other Parent FOAs, can be found in the NIH Parent Announcements.

In addition, similar FOAs were released for all the Parent Career Development Award (K-series) FOAs. However, those are only available in the November 30, 2018 NIH Weekly Guide at the moment.

For the standard February 5th, 2019 NIH deadline for new and competing renewal R01 applications (and February 16th, 2019 for R21 applications), this means that there are now THREE new Parent R01s and R21s to select from.

Chart Comparing FOA Types by Clinical Trial Allowability: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/Comparison-of-FOA-Types-Clinical-Trials.pdf

NIH states they plan to issue more resources to assist researchers with selecting the correct FOA. We strongly encourage you to reach out to the Scientific/Research Contact(s) named in these individual FOAs to inquire about the appropriateness of the FOA for your particular research project.  There will be more information coming, and we’ll do our best to summarize and simplify the information as we receive it.  You can feel free to ask me, or your SPA Project Officer, any questions.

Official NIH Notice: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-19-036.html

NIH just released the stipend levels for fiscal year (FY) 2019 (October 1, 2018 – September 30th, 2019) Kirschstein-NRSA awards for predoctoral, and postdoctoral trainees and fellows. The link above includes all of the details. I know many of you preparing training grants and fellowship applications right now. You can use these new stipend and expense levels in your proposals and progress reports, effective immediately.

To note, the predoctoral stipend increased to $24,816 (FY19), up from $24,324 (FY18). However, the Training Related Expenses and Institutional Allowances for predoctoral trainees and fellows remain unchanged.

The zero level postdoctoral stipend increased to $50,004 (FY19), up from $48,432 (FY18). The Training Related Expenses and the Institutional Allowance for postdoctoral trainees and fellows have increased to $10,850 (FY19), up from $9,850 (FY18).

As a reminder: the maximum amount that NIH will award to support the compensation package for a graduate student research assistant remains at the zero level postdoctoral stipend, as described in NOT-OD-02-017.

The amount NIH will award tuition and fees remains unchanged.

And very important, “Retroactive adjustments or supplementation of stipends or other budgetary categories with Kirschstein-NRSA funds for an award made prior to October 1, 2018 are not permitted.”

Please let your SPA Project Officer know, if you have any questions.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released its latest version of their Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS, rev Oct 2018). It is applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning October 1st, 2018. It supersedes the previous version (NIHGPS, rev Oct 2017).  You can read the full announcement here:

https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-19-021.html

The HTML and PDF versions of the NIHGPS can be found at https://grants.nih.gov/policy/nihgps/index.htm.

NIH updates the NIHGPS every October to incorporate policy announcements that were released during the last year, and to clarify existing policies. Therefore, this revised NIHGPS does not introduce any new policies for the first time.

A summary of significant changes can be found here: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/Significant_Changes_NIHGPS_Oct2018.pdf

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your SPA Project Officer.

The Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library (HSL) and Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) are pleased to introduce you to a new tool PIVOT, which allows instantaneous access to the funding opportunities that are right for you. 

Start using PIVOT at: https://pivot.cos.com/ and sign up for an account using your Columbia University email address. 

PIVOT strengths:

  • Editorially curated up-to-date funding opportunities span all disciplines and project types, from health and medicine to humanities, law and education, worth an estimated $49 billion.
  • A proprietary algorithm that compiles researcher profiles and matches them to current funding opportunities.

HSL and SPA will be collaborating in the coming months in various outreach and training events. In the meantime find video tutorials and other training materials, or if you have questions, please feel free to send them to us via HSL.

For further information about funding sources, including SPIN, visit Columbia Research website.

Attention NIH Investigators and Administrators,

I wanted to highlight some resources that are available for addressing rigor and reproducibility in your grant applications. In a July Open Mike blog post, NIH highlighted several resources that are readily available. These resources, plus many more, have been compiled in an easy-to-navigate online repository as part of the Research and Data Integrity (ReaDI) Program here at Columbia. You may already be aware of the ReaDI Program and the resources that are available to Columbia researchers, but if you want to know more, the ReaDI Program is hosting an online webinar on September 28, to provide a more detailed look at everything the ReaDI Program has to offer. Spaces are limited and registration is required for this online event.

In addition to the ReaDI Program resources, Dr. Michelle Benson, Assistant Director for Research Integrity and Compliance, and I are available to give presentations on NIH’s Rigor and Reproducibility Policy for individuals new to the NIH proposal process or are looking for a refresher. Contact us to discuss your needs at mb3852@columbia.edu and sfs2110@columbia.edu. Thank you!

NIH announced last week that they are retiring the Inclusion Management System (IMS) and replacing it with a new Human Subjects System (HSS) as of June 9th, 2018. Per the NIH HSS website, “The HSS system is a shared system that enables grant recipients to electronically report and update their data on human subjects and clinical trials to NIH; and for NIH agency staff to monitor and manage the data.”

The information you provide in the new PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in proposals, and in the Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs), automatically populate in this new HSS system. Updates to human subjects and clinical trial-related information have to be done in HSS via the eRA Commons Status page as of June 9th, 2018.  IMS will no longer be available as of this date.  Examples of updates you may need to do in HSS include converting a delayed onset study to a full study record, providing interim data as per direct requests from NIH staff, informing NIH of ClinicalTrials.gov registration, or reporting participant sex/gender, race, and ethnicity information.

Training Materials:

Please see the official NIH announcement that explains more of the details of this transition: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-18-179.html.

Official NIH Notice: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-18-175.html

NIH released the stipend levels for fiscal year (FY) 2018 (October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018) Kirschstein-NRSA awards for predoctoral, and postdoctoral trainees and fellows. The link above includes all of the details. You can use these new stipend and expense levels in your proposals and progress reports, effective immediately.

To note, the predoctoral stipend increased to $24,324 (FY18), up from $23,844 (FY17). However, the Training Related Expenses and Institutional Allowances for predoctoral trainees and fellows remain unchanged.

The zero level postdoctoral stipend increased to $48,432 (FY18), up from $47,484 (FY17). The Training Related Expenses and the Institutional Allowance for postdoctoral trainees and fellows have increased to $9,850 (FY18), up from $8,850 (FY17).

As a reminder: the maximum amount that NIH will award to support the compensation package for a graduate student research assistant remains at the zero level postdoctoral stipend, as described in NOT-OD-02-017.

The amount NIH will award tuition and fees remains unchanged.

And very important, “All FY 2018 awards previously issued using NOT-OD-17-084 and NOT-OD-17-003 will be revised to adjust funding to the FY 2018 levels.  Appointments to institutional training grants that have already been awarded in FY 2018 must be amended to reflect the FY 2018 stipend levels once the training grant award has been adjusted by the NIH.  Amended appointments must be submitted through xTrain in the eRA Commons.  Retroactive adjustments or supplementation of stipends or other budgetary categories with Kirschstein-NRSA funds for an award made prior to October 1, 2017 are not permitted.”

Please let me, or your SPA Project Officer know, if you have any questions.

This is to provide an update on the status of the release of the FY18 Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) funding opportunities and program pre-announcements.  You can subscribe to be alerted on the release of specific CDMRP funding opportunities by selecting your area of interest at https://ebrap.org/eBRAP/programSubscription/Subscribe.htm.

As of today, the only FY18 extramural opportunities available are the Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP), which is currently accepting applications for six award mechanisms throughout May 2018.

You can view the latest pre-announcements at CDMRP’s Upcoming Funding Opportunities, which allows investigators time to plan and develop ideas for submission before the opportunities are officially released. Recently, the following pre-announcements were released:

Autism Research Program

  • Clinical Trial Award
  • Clinical Translational Research Award
  • Idea Development Award

Neurofibromatosis Research Program

  • Clinical Trial Award
  • Early Investigator Research Award (New for FY18)
  • Exploration - Hypothesis Development Award
  • Investigator-Initiated Research Award
  • New Investigator Award

 

Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program

  • Idea Award with Special Focus
  • Career Development Award
  • Translational Team Science Award
  • Impact Award

Prostate Cancer Research Program

  • Idea Development Award
  • Impact Award
  • Health Disparity Research Award
  • Health Disparity Scholar Award
  • Early Investigator Research Award
  • Physician Research Award

 

I’ll be sure to update you as official announcements are released at http://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/prgdefault.

NIH issued guidance on the use of a new NIH salary cap, to increase from $187,000 to $189,600.  See https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-18-137.html.  The effective date of this increase is January 7th, 2018.

NIH has not received the final Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 appropriation and is operating under a continuing resolution through March 23rd, 2018 (see NOT-OD-18-136 also a very important notice).  However, NIH issued this guidance until a budget is passed.

In summary, this is how the $189,600 salary cap can be applied:

  • NIH proposal budgets may be submitted using the new cap.
  • Active NIH awards may rebudget to the new cap if restricted to Executive Level II, and adequate funds are available, and the salary cap increase is consistent with the institutional base salary.  The new cap should be prorated for the applicable months:
    • Cap is $187,000 through 1/6/18.
    • Cap is $189,600 from 1/7/18 – present.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your SPA Project Officer.  We will keep you posted on any developments.

Last week, an announcement came out from NIH & AHRQ that stated “beginning in early FY 2020, NIH and AHRQ intend to require the use of the xTRACT system in the eRA Commons to prepare the required data tables for certain types of training grant applications.”

You can read the full announcement here: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-18-133.html

Here is the important part:

“Beginning with RPPRs due on or after October 1, 2019 and applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2020, NIH and AHRQ anticipate that they will mandate that required training data tables submitted with T32, TL1, T90/R90, and T15 applications and progress reports be created via the xTRACT system.  System validations in Grants.gov and the RPPR module will check to ensure that tables were created via xTRACT, and applications and RPPRs that are not in compliance will be rejected.”

Here at Columbia, we’ve been encouraging the use of xTRACT since its inception since October 2015, and we participated as volunteers in its early development. We do have training materials, videos, and we’ve done webinars as well.  All of these items can be found on our website at https://research.columbia.edu/content/nih-institutional-training-grants. Look at BOTH the ‘Training, Presentations, Videos’ section and ‘Data Tables and xTRACT. We will continue to provide training opportunities in the future.

If you have not touched xTRACT yet, using it for an upcoming RPPR would be a good way to get familiar with it.  NIH & AHRQ will provide more guidance as we get closer to their required use, and I will be sure to update you.