Sponsored Programs Section: What's New!


  • NSF has published Frequently Asked Questions on the National Science Foundation's Implementation of 2 CFR § 200 (Uniform Guidance). (April 2015

  • Early Alert: NSF and Increasing Public Access Requirement Coming in January 2016

    The National Science Foundation has developed a plan outlining a framework for activities to increase public access to scientific publications and digital scientific data resulting from research the foundation funds. The plan, entitled "Today's Data, Tomorrow's Discoveries," is consistent with the objectives set forth in the Office of Science and Technology Policy's Feb. 22, 2013, memorandum, "Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research," and with long-standing policies encouraging data sharing and communication of research results.

    NSF will require that articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions be deposited in a public access compliant repository and be available for download, reading and analysis within one year of publication.

    Details of the plan are available on the NSF website. (April 2015)

  • The Magallen SAC has information to those considering 2015B Magellan proposals:

    1. For the MagAO system, please remember to read the MagAO website for Information for Observers, including collaboration rules.
    2. The MagE instrument will be moved from Clay to Baade between August and September 2015 and hence will not be available for those dates.
    3. Those people interested in using M2FS should contact Mario Mateo mmateo@umich.edu) as soon as possible *before* submitting a proposal to touch base about capabilities and whether the M2FS team will be willing to support the observations. The exact rules have not been finalized, but potential users should contact Mario at least 10 days before the proposal deadline.
    4. MegaCam will be offered in 2015B and 2016A without preordained number of nights. The engineering costs for the f/5 will be charged to the institution(s) in a manner prorated to the number of MegaCam nights each institution is getting.

  • The ALMA Operations Plan envisages an ongoing international program of development and upgrades that may include hardware, software, or data analysis tools. A new Call for Development Studies is being issued on 2015 March 16. To support this new Call, an informational webinar will be held on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at NRAO headquarters in Charlottesville, VA. An overview of the current ALMA Development Plan and studies now under way will be given and presentations will be available on line. The primary aims of these studies are to:

    • give groups in North America the opportunity to propose ALMA upgrades that may later be implemented as part of the ALMA Development Plan;
    • support the development of conceptual and detailed designs for ALMA upgrades; and
    • encourage relevant long-term research and development in areas important for ALMA.

    The release date for the FY2015 Call for Study Proposals is March 16, 2015. The period of performance for funded Studies will run from the award date (October 1, 2015) to no later than September 30, 2016 (approximately one year). Proposers are requested to submit a Notice of Intent by May 15, 2015. The closing date is June 12, 2015. Proposals received after the closing date may be rejected, at NRAO's sole discretion. Further details are can be found in the "Conditions Governing the Call for Study Proposals" (refer to the "Proposal Documents" table). A total of one million U.S. dollars ($1.0M) is available for funding Studies during the FY2016 Development Program cycle (subject to the FY2016 Federal Budget and allocation of funds). As a guideline, the NRAO expects to fund several Studies. No individual Study will be funded in excess of two hundred thousand U.S. dollars ($200K).

    An informational webinar will be held in Charlottesville, Virginia on March 25, 2015 as noted above. Interested parties may attend via telecon, videocon, or in person, and are requested to communicate their intention to participate (preferably by close of business on March 20, 2013) to the North American ALMA Science Center at almadevelopment@nrao.edu.

  • As part of the effort to modernize FastLane, NSF will transition notifications and requests from FastLane to Research.gov. The first step in this transition will be rolled out on March 23, 2015, when three new requests will be released in Research.gov. These new requests are required by the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG, NSF 15-1), and include the following:

    • Salaries of Administrative or Clerical Staff
    • Travel Costs for Dependents
    • Additional categories of participant support costs other than those described in 2 CFR § 200.75 (such as incentives, gifts, souvenirs, t-shirts and/or memorabilia)
    All other existing notifications and requests will continue to reside in FastLane and will be migrated in the future. Awardees may view the status of all notifications and requests in both FastLane and Research.gov, regardless of where they were created and submitted. For a full listing of all NSF notifications and requests, please click here.

    NOTE: Some individuals with Sponsored Project Office (SPO) responsibilities may not be able to access notifications and requests because their existing permissions in FastLane need to be adjusted to work with Research.gov. NSF sent a separate communication to these individuals.

    If you have any questions, contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188, or ithelpcentral@nsf.gov

  • NASA grants and cooperative agreements are governed by regulations and non-regulatory guidance. Effective Dec. 26, 2014, the regulations at 2 CFR Parts 200 and 1800 will supersede NASA's regulations, which include NASA's Grants Handbook, at 14 CFR Parts 1260 and 1273 (in their entirety). 2 CFR 200 and 1800 apply to all new grant and cooperative agreement awards awarded on or after December 26, 2014 except those cooperative agreements with commercial firms subject to 14 CFR 1274. The new regulations also apply to cooperative agreements with commercial firms when cost sharing is not required. For existing grants and applicable cooperative agreements, the NASA Grants Handbook continues to apply until new funding increments are made.

    For information about 2 CFR Part 200 and 2 CFR Part 1800 go to https://cfo.gov/cofar/. In addition to the regulations, the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement annual (GCAM) provides internal policy guidance to NASA Technical Officers and Grant Officers to implement government-wide and NASA-specific regulations for awarding and administering grants and cooperative agreements, found in 2 CFR Parts 200 and 1800. The GCAM also applies to all new grants and cooperative agreements, awarded on or after December 26, 2014 except those cooperative agreements with commercial firms subject to 14 CFR 1274. It also applies to cooperative agreements with commercial firms when cost sharing is not required. For existing grants and applicable cooperative agreements, the GCAM will apply to funding increments made on or after December 26, 2014.

    To access a copy of the GCAM go to http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/pub/pub_library/srba/index.html

  • NASA's Science Mission Directorate announces the release of its annual omnibus solicitation, Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES) for 2015 on February 13, 2015 at http://solicitation.nasaprs.com/ROSES2015.

    This ROSES NRA (NNH15ZDA001N) solicits basic and applied research in support of NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). This NRA covers all aspects of basic and applied supporting research and technology in space and Earth sciences. Awards range from under $100K per year for focused, limited efforts (e.g., data analysis) to more than $1M per year for extensive activities (e.g., development of science experiment hardware). The funds available for awards in each program element offered in this ROSES NRA range from less than one to several million dollars, which allow selection from a few to as many as several dozen proposals depending on the program objectives and the submission of proposals of merit. Awards will be made as grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and inter- or intra-agency transfers depending on the nature of the proposing organization and/or program requirements. The typical period of performance for an award is four years, although a few programs may specify shorter or longer (maximum of five years) periods. Organizations of every type, domestic and foreign, Government and private, for profit and not-for-profit, may submit proposals without restriction on the number or teaming arrangements. Note that it is NASA policy that all investigations involving non-U.S. organizations will be conducted on the basis of no exchange of funds.

    Frequently asked questions about ROSES-2015 will be on the web at http://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/faqs/. Further information about specific program elements may be obtained from the individual Program Officers listed in the Summary of Key Information for each program element in the Appendices of this ROSES NRA and at http://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/program-officers-list/.

  • On January 26, 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will release updates to FastLane and Research.gov that may impact the way you work. This update will implement revised policy and incorporate feedback received from NSF staff and the research community. It is suggested any proposals due on or about that date (1/26/15) should be submitted early, if possible, to avoid any last minute glitches that could affect a timely submission. For more details, please read this email from NSF, which will also be available on SP's Preparing NSF Fastlane Proposals and Policies & Procedures pages. (January 16, 2015).

  • The Contractual and Cost information page has been updated to reflect new approved rates provided by ONR Negotiation Agreement dated 9 January 2015 that shall be used for forward pricing and billing purposes for Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016. (January 2015)

  • In the revised and updated contracts and grants guidance in 2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards ("Uniform Guidance"), there have been changes regarding the treatment of administrative and clerical staff labor costs as direct costs in proposals to government sponsors. SAO's current practice of including appropriate staff costs in our direct cost budgets is not changing, but we must demonstrate that such costs are allocable to a federal award. For more information, please see Administrative & Clerical Staff Salaries, which will be available in the Policies section of SP's Policies and Procedures web page, as well as the Proposals web page. (January 2015)


  • The NSF Grant Proposal Guide and the NSF Award & Administration Guide have been updated as of December 26, 2014. Summaries of significant changes can be found at the NSF website:

    For more information on NSF proposals, please visit our Preparing NSF Fastlane Proposals page. (December 2014)
  • SAO's Management Fee Policy has been updated to reflect recent announcements by NASA:

    The policy can always be found on the Sponsored Programs Section's Policies and Procedures page.
  • NSF recently held a webinar presentation outlining plans to modernize the Fastlane proposal submission system. A .pdf of the slide show can be found here; NSF welcomes your thoughts about proposal submission at NSF. Questions and comments may be shared with us by emailing modernizeproposals@nsf.gov. (December 2014)

  • The U.S. Department of Energy's Office oflnspector General (IG) recently conducted an audit of the DOE Office of Science's management of research misconduct allegations. IG found that allegations appeared to be properly addressed, but recommended that the DOE Office of Science "provide additional education and guidance on the procedures and responsibilities for conducting research misconduct allegation reviews to Department officials, laboratories, and financial assistance recipients." In response to this audit and the IG recommendation, the DOE Office of Science has established a new "Research Misconduct - Information and Frequently Asked Questions on Policies and Procedures" page on the DOE Office of Science website, with information on Federal and DOE policy and procedures on research misconduct, including links to the relevant official documents.

    Please note especially the specific requirement to notify your DOE contracting officer in the event that your institution initiates a research misconduct investigation. DOE research misconduct policies and procedures apply to all DOE-sponsored research.

  • The SAO Management Fee Policy has been updated to incorporate Appendix C, which is a list of sponsors that do or do not accept a management fee. The SAO Management Fee Policy is available in .pdf and Word format on our Policies and Procedures page under "Policies". (October 2014)
  • The SI PI Portal has been updated to include department level access. A designated Unit Administrator can now give access to grants, contracts, and Inter-Agency Agreements (IAA) in their own department. This means authorized users will now be able to see and manage all awards for their department. Please access the web site for further information. (July 14, 2014)
  • The Research.gov Team at the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released a video tutorial on Research.gov's feature to capture citations in annual and final project reports through the uploading of a BibTeX file. This tutorial walks awardees through the creation and uploading process of a BibTeX file to a project report via Research.gov. To view the tutorial, visit the Research.gov Project Reporting page.
    The Research.gov BibTeX video tutorial is one in a series of tutorials that NSF is releasing to help awardees. This past February, NSF released the Project Reporting video tutorial, which highlights the process and tools available to complete and submit a project report.
  • NASA has provided inflation tables "for the purposes of estimating new efforts and for normalizing historical cost from prior missions. Pursuant to direction from the SAO Financial Management Department. All grant proposals, unless instructed otherwise, should include the inflation factors, identified below in all proposal budgets and budget justifications. Please Note: These factors should NOT be used if there is contract already in place. DCAA approved forward pricing indices should be used for all efforts that are already under contract." (April 7, 2014) NASA Inflation Tables
  • NSF announces changes to Research.gov reporting features, based on user feedback. Some of the changes implemented March 17, 2014 include:
    • POs will view project reports in HTML rather than PDF
    • NSF will pre-populate the Products, Organization and Participants sections of a project report from information previously submitted in Research.gov
    • The progress report pages will be redesigned to optimize space, minimize scrolling efforts, and become more user-friendly
    • PIs will be able to edit reporting periods for an Interim Project Report (IPR)
    For more information, visit the Sponsored Programs Section's Preparing NSF Reports page. (March 17, 2014)
  • Web-STGMS (STScI's web-based reporting platform) is now operational and ready for use! Check out the new look, features and enhancements, and take it for a spin! Watch the 'How To Login' video after you go to the STGMS home page, and read the 'Web-STGMS Quick Reference Guide' before beginning (this is not meant to be an inclusive step by step manual, but covers the functions most frequently used by Investigators and Administrators).
    • Browsers Supported by Web-STGMS:
      • Firefox -- Preferred
      • Safari -- Preferred
      • Chrome -- Preferred
      • Internet Explorer (IE) -- Not Preferred (IE is problematic with web-based applications. If you must use IE, only IE 9 or higher is supported)
    Experiencing problems and have already referenced 'Help' and the 'Quick Reference Guide'? Contact the STScI Grants Administration Office at gms_mail@stsci.edu or (410) 338-4200 (January 24, 2014)
  • NSF announces launch of Research.gov Demo Site in order to further improve the project reporting process. The Research.gov Demo Site provides National Science Foundation (NSF) awardees (specifically PIs, co-PIs and Sponsored Project Office staff) the opportunity to explore and familiarize themselves with preparing, submitting, and reviewing NSF project reports without actually submitting a real report.
  • New NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, effective February 24, 2014. Available at NSF web page as .pdf download or HTML.









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