News & Updates
Metropolitan Washington Council - Grant Writing Workshop
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grant workshop in Washington, D.C. on July 9-10, 2013. This workshop will train grant-seekers in all disciplines and help you find grants and write winning proposals.
Complete event details can be found here.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has established the Grant Writing and Management Academy for criminal justice practitioners and researchers that apply for or receive federal grants. This training provides an overview of project planning, management, administration, and assessment of federally funded programs. The training encourages participants to think strategically about how they develop and fund projects. Visit BJA's Grant Writing and Management Academy for the tools you need to apply for funding in FY 2013. BJA also recommends that you take a look at the Office of Justice Programs' Grants 101 training which also provides helpful advice on how to create and submit an application for funding.
OSP Welcomes New Staff
Operations & Communications Manager
Office of Sponsored Programs
As Operations & Communications Manager, Jen is responsible for managing the department’s operations and communications functions, which includes developing communications processes and standards, assisting with the creation of informational materials and reports, and coordinating and implementing departmental training programs and events. As the principal communications contact for the OSP, she will also aide in the research and delivery of funding opportunity announcements to University research faculty and staff, and handle administrative and budgetary management of the OSP department.
Before coming onboard to American University, Jen was the Marketing Communications & Operations Manager for telecommunications-based company BroadSoft. Prior to that, she held various Marketing positions with Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union and Chevy Chase Bank (now Capital One). Jen joined the Office of Sponsored Programs on March 18, 2013.
Senior Grants & Contracts Manager
Office of Sponsored Programs
Nia Pree brings over ten years of invaluable experience in grants and contract administration, negotiation review of award terms and conditions, as well as practice in proposal review and compliance. As Senior Grants & Contracts Manager, Nia will provide non-financial post-award assistance to faculty and staff in the Washington College of Law, School of International Service, School of Public Affairs, University Library, Kogod School of Business, School of Professional & Extended Studies, and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies.
Prior to joining American University, Nia was a Lead Grants & Contracts Specialist for the Children’s National Medical Center, where she assisted in the development of standard best practices. She also held a Senior Grants & Contracts Officer position with Georgetown University and worked as a Subaward Administrator for both George Washington University and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation. Nia joined the Office of Sponsored Programs on April 1, 2013.
Grants & Contracts Manager
Office of Sponsored Programs
Melissa Alves joins American University as a Certified Research Administrator with over three years of adept experience in research administration, negotiation review of award terms and conditions, as well as knowledge in handling proposal review and compliance. As Grants & Contracts Manager, Melissa will be providing technical support and assistance to faculty and staff in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Communications, and WAMU.
Melissa is currently a Research Administrator for the Office of Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining University of Pennsylvania, Melissa worked as and a contract attorney for several law firms in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and served as a Law Clerk for the D.C. Superior Court and City of Philadelphia Law Department. Melissa also worked as Grants Management Specialist with Booz Allen Hamilton. Melissa joined the Office of Sponsored Programs on April 15, 2013.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is transitioning annual, final, and interim project reporting from FastLane to Research.gov.
What do I Need to Know Now?
Principal Investigators (PIs) and co-PIs must stop submitting new project reports in FastLane starting on February 1, 2013. On March 18, 2013, NSF will transfer its current project reporting service from FastLane to Research.gov. You should pay particular attention to your reports that are currently in progress and reports previously submitted and returned by your NSF Program Officer.
Project reports that are in progress as well as those reports that are returned by NSF program officers should be revised and resubmitted prior to February 1. To assist the research community with this transition, the overdue dates have been extended for all project reports originally scheduled to become overdue between January 31 and April 30, 2013. Starting March 18, 2013, you can use Research.gov to submit project reports.
Where Can I Find Out More?
For more information about the transition of annual, final, and interim project reporting to Research.gov, please visit the Project Report Informational Page
A recent internal review of sponsored programs practices revealed an institutional noncompliance matter involving grant proposals submitted to PHS agencies (i.e. NIH, AHRQ, FDA, HRSA, etc.). Specifically, the Principal Investigator's (PI's) Assurance Statement was not obtained by the institution prior to proposal submission as required. The PHS-issued requirement that institutions obtain PI assurances went into effect in 2006 as per NOT-OD-06-054.
NOT-OD-06-054 specifically requires applicant organizations "to secure and retain at the organization a written assurance from the Principal Investigator (PI) prior to submitting an application to PHS." NOT-OD-06-054 also states that "this assurance must be available to the sponsoring agency or other authorized HHS or Federal officials upon request."
According to PHS guidelines, an applicant organization may secure a "written assurance from the PI in either a traditional handwritten format or through alternative methods such as:
1) An electronic or on-line review/approval system that distinctly captures the PI assurance
2) A scanned copy of a PI signature certifying to an assurance
3) A faxed copy of a PI signature certifying to an assurance
Regardless of the method chosen, the organization must be able to ensure the authenticity of the signature. As per NOT-OD-06-054, “such an assurance must include at least the following certifications: (1) that the information submitted within the application is true, complete and accurate to the best of the PI's knowledge; (2) that any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or claims may subject the PI to criminal, civil, or administrative penalties; and (3) that the PI agrees to accept responsibility for the scientific conduct of the project and to provide the required progress reports if a grant is awarded as a result of the application."
Because American University currently uses an electronic proposal review/approval process ("Cayuse"), the required PI Assurance Statement will be included on the proposal routing form attached in Cayuse. Because Cayuse is the institution's official proposal routing/approval system, the PI is deemed to have provided assurance when the PI approves his/her proposal in Cayuse at the time of proposal routing. Thus, no additional PI signatures will be needed.
If circumstances occur where the PI is not able to access Cayuse, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) will make every attempt to obtain the PI's Assurance, including providing a hardcopy assurance statement via fax and/or e-mail for the PI's signature. However, per PHS policy, the PI cannot delegate his/her signature authority for the purpose of providing the required PI Assurance. Thus, a PI may not have someone else sign on his/her behalf and may not have someone else "approve" the proposal on his/her behalf in Cayuse.
Although the PI Assurance Statement is only applicable to PHS agencies, as a matter of consistent institutional practices, the PI Assurance will be required for all proposals prior to submission to funding agencies.
Effective January 1, 2013, the standard mileage rates for a private automobile used for travel in the performance of a federal sponsored project is 0.565 or 56.5 cents per mile.
NIH is currently operating under a continuing resolution which continues government operations at 2012 enacted levels. Until the FY 13 appropriations are enacted, all legislative mandates that were in effect in FY 12 remain in effect under the continuing resolution, including the salary limitation (“salary cap”) set at Executive Level II ($179,700) for grant proposals and awards with an initial issue date on or after December 23, 2011.
National Science Foundation (NSF) Updates Proposal & Award Policies (PAPPG) Changes and Clarifications
The Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide is comprised of documents relating to NSF's proposal and award process. It consists of two parts:
Part I is comprised of NSF’s proposal preparation and submission guidelines -- the NSF Grant Proposal Guide and the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide. Both the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and Grants.gov Application Guide provide guidance for the preparation and submission of proposals to NSF, whether by the NSF Fastlane System or Grants.gov. Some NSF programs have program solicitations that modify the general provisions of these Guides, and, in such cases, the guidelines provided in the solicitation must be followed.
Part II is comprised of the documents used to guide, manage, and monitor the award and administration of grants and cooperative agreements made by the Foundation. Coverage includes the NSF award process, from issuance and administration of an NSF award through closeout. Guidance regarding other grant requirements or considerations that either is not universally applicable or which do not follow the award cycle also is provided.
Attached here is a synopsis of the most recent changes to that guide.
NIH grantees with Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship awards are now required to use the eRA Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) Commons Module for awards with start dates on or after July 1, 2013 (due dates on or after May 15 and May 1, respectively). Progress reports for these awards submitted in any other format will not be accepted and must be resubmitted in the RPPR format. If a progress report has been initiated as an eSNAP, the format must be changed to the RPPR, with the help of the eRA help desk. It is important to be aware of these requirements because noncompliance with them will jeopardize the NIH's ability to issue timely awards.
Not sure if this requirement applies to your NIH grant? Your Notice of Award will specify whether an award uses SNAP. Awards routinely using SNAP are "K" awards and "R" awards. The RPPR requirement also applies to all fellowship ("F") awards as well. If you need additional help, you can find contact info for assistance in this NIH Guide notice, or get in touch with your grants management specialist. The RPPR page and Frequently Asked Questions also contain additional information to help you.
The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), in collaboration with Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA), is pleased to announce the launch of its Research Administration Certification program at American University. RAC is a comprehensive training and certification program designed to assist AU departmental and school/college level staff with research administration and/or grant/contract development and management responsibilities. The RAC program will provide pertinent information to enable participants to effectively manage sponsored awards.
The RAC program consists of eight (8) consecutive sessions that will be offered annually during the academic year (Sept. – May). The first session will be held on Sept. 27th at 9:30am in the Butler Board Room. Each session will last 2-3 hours (depending on content), and will include topics covering proposal preparation, research compliance, financial management and reporting, as well as applicable regulations, polices, and guidelines governing sponsored grant and contract awards.
A certificate will be issued upon successful completion of all eight RAC sessions.
The following RAC sessions will be held during the fall 2012 semester:
Modules Presented by OSP
Session 1: Overview of Research Administration
Date: Sept. 27th (View training material here)
Time/Location: 9:30am-11:30 Butler Board Room
Session 2: Proposal Related Issues
Date: Oct. 24th (View training material here)
Time/Location: 9:30am-11:30 Butler Board Room
Session 3: Grants Management I (Pre-award)
Date: Nov.15th (View training material here)
Time/Location: 9:30am-11:30 Hugh Formal
Session 4: Grants Management II (Pre-award)
Date: Dec. 13th (View training material here)
Time/Location: 9:30am-11:30 MGC 4&5
Modules Presented by Grants & Contracts Accounting
Session 5: Financial Mangement I/Post -Award Policies Date: Feb. 21st (View training material here)
Session 6: Financial Management II (Post-award) / Procedures
Date: April 17, 2013 (View training material here)
Time / Location: 9:30am-11:30am KSB Room 118
Session 7: Systems Overview
Date: April 24, 2013 (View training material here)
Time / Location: 9:30am-11:30am KSB Room 118
Module Presented by OSP
Session 8: Research Compliance Overview
Date: May 9, 2013 (View training material here)
Time / Location: 9:30am-11:30am KSB Room 118 (*Location has been changed)
Interested participants should register in advance by submitting an e-mail with your name, job title, academic unit, and desired session number/title to the following:
- Grants and Contract Accounting Office at gcaEvents@american.edu (for modules presented by GCA)
- Office of Sponsored Programs at OSPEvents@american.edu (for modules presented by OSP)
Please RSVP no later than 2 PM on Thursday, April 11th so that we can properly accommodate the number of attendees.
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To ensure proper administration and institutional compliance with sponsored awards, the Office of Sponsor Programs (OSP) has established new criteria for determining when Project/Award Start-up meetings will be required.
Effective September 4, 2012, Project/Award Start-Up meetings will be required when one (or combination) of the following applies:
The project is a first award to the Principal Investigator (PI)
The PI, Grant & Contract Accounting, Research Compliance, Vice Provost or Dean has requested the meeting
When the sponsored award contains any of the following conditions:
Cost Share Commitments/Requirements
Effort reporting frequency differs from institutional policy
Special space requirements: when the project calls for leased space, off-campus space, private/project office space, etc.
Special Risk and Compliance Matters: involving human subjects, animals, biological material, export control considerations, foreign travel to known countries of risk, etc.
Special Publication Conditions: prior review, special acknowledgment, use of name/logo, etc.
Intellectual Property: where terms, though consistent with university policy, are unique or atypical.
Atypical project reporting requirements: technical, financial, supporting documentation, etc.
Awards requiring project activity/expenses to be tracked and reported separately.
Unusual Budget Restrictions (including special re-budget prior approval requirements).
Use of Subcontractors/Consultants when proposed payment or deliverable schedule will potentially impact AU’s performance and/or payment obligation to Subcontractor/Consultant.
Other special terms and conditions governing PI's responsibility, project administration, and/or institutional compliance.
While the impact of the above new criteria may reduce the number of Project/Award Start-up meetings, the primary purpose for establishing the new criteria is to ensure a thorough understanding of select special terms and conditions governing the award, and special responsibilities of the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or American University.
As per the current process, the Project/Award Start-up meeting will be conducted prior to the start of the sponsored project/award activities.