Sponsor Updates

September 23, 2020
A hand writing the word Sponsored

NSF Update

September 22, 2020

Message from NSF

Research.gov Implementation Update

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been at the forefront in the development of Federal agency electronic systems designed to prepare and submit proposals for Federal financial assistance. From the introduction of FastLane in 1994, to the incremental development of Research.gov as its eventual replacement, NSF has led the way with modern, agile systems tailored to meet the needs of the research community.

While NSF's FastLane system has been a resounding success story, it is now an aging, antiquated system that has become increasingly expensive to maintain and even harder to improve. Over the past few years, NSF has partnered with and received valuable input from the research community, resulting in the development of a modern, flexible Research.gov system that reduces administrative burden to meet the current and future needs of researchers, administrators and organizations. As a result, NSF has successfully migrated important research functions from FastLane to Research.gov including the preparation and submission of annual and final project and outcomes reports, most notifications and requests and award payments. NSF is now taking proactive steps to incrementally move the preparation and submission of all proposals from FastLane to Research.gov with a tentative target date for completion by 2022.

In support of this effort, in the coming weeks and months, NSF will begin making changes to specific funding opportunities to require the use of Research.gov for the preparation and submission of proposals to NSF.1 The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) will soon require the use of Research.gov for the preparation and submission of proposals in response to its core programs that do not have deadline dates. NSF funding opportunities will clearly specify whether submission via Research.gov is available or required.

To ensure that researchers and administrators are prepared for these changes, NSF is developing additional training materials to meet the needs of the community. This includes video tutorials, Frequently Asked Questions, step-by-step guides and a demonstration site. Current training materials are available on the About Research.gov site.

NSF encourages the community to become familiar with Research.gov and to begin using it for the preparation and submission of proposals, as well as to provide NSF with valuable feedback. For additional information, FAQs, opportunities for training and to provide feedback, please visit Research.gov.

Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director


1During this time, NSF will continue to permit proposals to be prepared and submitted via Grants.gov.


eRA Enhancement

September 1, 2020

Message from eRA News

eRA Enhancement: Ability to Select Awarded Components on RPPR Screen, Instead of Manually Adding for Multi-Project Awards

eRA is pleased to inform you of a new way of selecting components for multi-project awards for the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) coming on Thursday, September 3, 2020. 

Ability to Select Awarded Components for Multi-Projects

In RPPR, awarded components for multi-project grants will automatically show up on the RPPR Menu screen, reducing the burden on the grantee of individually adding these components. The list of components displayed will be from the last competitive application that was awarded.

Add a New Component (existing functionality)

A grantee can also continue to use the existing feature of adding a new component.

Add the name of the component in the New Component Project Title field, and then from the drop-down menu, select the component type. (See Figure 3 below) Once the new component is added, you can select the edit option from the ellipsis icon (more on this below) and complete the RPPR sections A through H as required.

New Three Dot Menu for Actions

Previously, action options were represented by hyperlinked text in the Action column. This has been replaced by an ellipsis (a three-dot icon). Hover the cursor over the ellipsis and select from the menu options that appear. (See Figure 4 and Figure 5 below).
You can find more information detailed information, including helpful screenshots, in the eRA Enhancement.


NSF Update

August 28, 2020

Message from OSP

Issuance of Proposal Preparation & Award Administration FAQs related to the PAPPG (NSF 20-1)

The National Science Foundation just announced the issuance of a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on proposal preparation and award administration related to the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1).

Some of the topics addressed in the FAQs include conference proposals, cost sharing, deadline dates, indirect costs, international activities/considerations and participant support.


OMB Update

August 21, 2020

Message from [RAD] August 21, 2020

OMB 2020 Compliance Supplement

The Federal Register August 18, 2020 notice announced the release of OBM's 2020 Compliance Supplement for uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements regulations. The 2020 Compliance Supplement replaces the 2019 Compliance Supplement and applies to fiscal year audits beginning after June 30, 2019. According to an OMB memo, the supplement continues implementation of the President’s Management Agenda, Cross Agency Priority (CAP), “Results-Oriented Accountability for Grants,” and includes guidance related to Coronavirus administrative relief. Comments are being accepted until October 10, 2020. Contact GrantsTeam@omb.eop.gov with questions.


NSF Update

August 7, 2020

Message from OSP

Updates to NSF Existing Proposal and Award Policy-related guidance

National Science Foundation (NSF) has made updates to the following guidance on their website based on inquiries from the community: 

The updates provide clarifications on professional appointments, research endeavors, principal investigators working outside the U.S. for an extended period of time, and reporting on in-kind support and outside consulting activities.


eRA Enchancement

August 5, 2020

Message from eRA News

Change in Format to the Notice of Award Starting October 1, 2020

Starting on October 1, 2020, recipients will see a new standardized Page One of the Notice of Award (NoA). The NoA is the legal document issued to notify the recipient that an award has been made and that funds may be requested from the designated HHS payment system or office. This enhancement is part of HHS’s Reinvent Grants Management initiative to standardize the NoA across various HHS systems and reduce the burden on recipients.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in collaboration with Operating Divisions (OpDivs) and recipients has developed a standardized Page One of the NoA that will serve as the first page of every HHS NoA for all discretionary awards.

The new format captures key award information for grant recipients in an intuitive and digitally accessible format. For instance, financial award information and federal agency contacts (program official contact information, etc.) will be available on Page One. The remaining sections of the NoA will remain mostly as is, with some data elements moving to Page One from subsequent pages of the NoA.

The new NoA Page One will be used by all HHS OpDivs.

We are developing a number of resources to help recipients get familiar with the new Page One of the NoA. In the coming weeks, please look for these resources on the View Notice of Award page of the public eRA website.

For more information, please see Guide Notice NOT-OD-20-155.


NIH Update

July 31, 2020

Message from NIH

Upcoming Changes to the Notice of Award (NoA) Beginning October 1, 2020

NOT-OD-20-155 announces the upcoming changes to the format of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Notice of Award (NoA). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed a standard Page One to be used across HHS effective October 1, 2020.

The majority of the change will affect the appearance of Page One of the NoA. There will be four sections (see the NOT-OD-20-155 for details):

  • Award Data
  • Recipient Information
  • Federal Agency Information
  • Federal Award Information

NIH NoAs will continue to use the following sections, following Page One:

  • Section I – Award Data
  • Section II – Payment Information
  • Section III/IV – Terms and Conditions of Award

In the coming weeks, additional information and samples will be posted on the View Notice of Award webpage.


NSF Dear Colleague Letter

July 30, 2020

Message from OSP

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for NSF 20-087, Dear Colleague Letter

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released FAQs for the May 2020 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), NSF 20-087. Beginning October 1, 2020, hard deadlines will be removed for Small project proposals submitted to the Core Research Programs in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). These are CISE divisions for Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF), Computer and Network Systems (CNS), and Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS). Small project proposals may be submitted at any time throughout the year. The Small project proposal allows a budget up to $500,000 and three years.


eRA Information

July 23, 2020

Message from OSP

NIH released news of ASSIST being expanded for submission of administrative supplements:

Beginning Saturday, July 25, 2020, the use of ASSIST for the submission of administrative supplements will be expanded. This release builds on the previous enhancements to ASSIST, outlined in ASSIST Has Been Streamlined to Support Easier Initiation and Submission of Administrative Supplements from April 7, 2020.

As of this date, there will be three methods for initiating an administrative supplement through eRA systems:

  • Initiate in ASSIST, enter the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for an administrative supplement and enter information manually 
  • Initiate in ASSIST and after entering the Federal ID number of the parent grant award, some of the information from the parent award is prepopulated 
  • Initiate through eRA Commons and after identifying a specific grant for administrative supplement, be directed by the system to ASSIST where some information from the parent award is prepopulated

For more information, please visit the eRA News webpage.


NSF Update

July 7, 2020

Message from OSP

Significant Changes to Revised Terms and Conditions

National Science Foundation (NSF) has revised several sets of award terms and conditions to align with the PAPPG. There are two significant changes of note outlined in the OSP Blog.


Click to see Proposal Deadline Updates

Don’t Forget to Use FORMS-F

July 1, 2020

Message from NIH Staff

At this point, nearly all grant applications should be using our updated application forms (FORMS-F; NOT-OD-20-026 and NOT-OD-20-077). If you aren’t sure how to tell the form version you are using, check out Do I Have the Right Forms for My Application?

Resources related to form updates:

There are a few notable exceptions:

  • NIH will accept FORMS-E application form packages for the following FOAs until they are reissued on or around June 25, 2020 (NOT-OD-20-110)
    • PA-18-589 Successor-in-Interest (Type 6 Parent Clinical Trial Optional)
    • PA-18-590 Change of Grantee Organization (Type 7 Parent Clinical Trial Optional)
    • PA-18-591 Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp – Clinical Trial Optional)
    • PA-18-592 Research Supplements to Promote Re-Entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers (Admin Supp – Clinical Trial Not Allowed
    • PA-18-935 Urgent Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Urgent Supplement – Clinical Trial Optional)
    • PA-20-135 Emergency Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Awards (Emergency Supplement – Clinical Trial Optional)
  • Applicants have until June 25, 2020 to complete submission of their in progress administrative supplements to promote diversity using FORMS-E application packages and parent FOAs PA-18-906 or PA-20-166.
    • New applications should use FORMS-F application packages and reissued FOA PA-20-222: Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp – Clinical Trial Not Allowed).
  • A few institutes have issued notices in the NIH Guide extending late application windows for specific opportunities due to COVID-19 impacts (see Late Application Policy Notices section of this page.) Applicants should use FORMS-E application form packages If submitting late applications for due dates on or before May 24, 2020.

Direct questions regarding our form update to:

NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Systems Policy Branch
Email: OPERAsystemspolicy@nih.gov


NSF Guidance OMB Memo

Refer to the guidance on NSF’s implementation of OMB M-20-26 which extends two of the short-term administrative relief from specific requirements contained in 2 CFR Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These extensions go beyond what was previously outlined in the OMB M-20-17.


RFI: Rigor of Animal Research

NIH issued a Request for Information (RFI) regarding rigor, transparency, and translatability to improve biomedical and behavioral research involving animal models. Read NOT-OD-20-130 and submit feedback by July 31, 2020.


Submission of the FFR

According to NOT-OD-20-127, as of January 1, 2021, NIH grant recipients will be required to submit the SF-425 Federal Financial Report (FFR) in the Payment Management System (PMS) instead of eRA Commons. 


Impact Scores & Summary Statements

June 18, 2020

Message from NIH Staff

Effective June 24, 2020, summary statements and overall impact scores for grant applications will be available on the eRA Commons Status Information screen to users with the signing official (SO) role. Currently, only principal investigators can view the scores and summary statements.

This change came about following the update to the  System of Records Notice (SORN) for eRA records, allowing NIH to disclose information to applicant organizations for the purpose of communicating about matters related to agency award programs.

This means that the NIH will make the overall impact score and all current and previously issued summary statements available to the applicant organization through the NIH eRA Commons.  The user must have the signing official (SO) role in the eRA Commons in order to view the impact score and the summary statement.

For help accessing the Status Information screen, please see the online help for the Status Module. Once the system is released on June 24, there will be a help page with specific instructions for how SOs can access review outcomes.

For information regarding this change, please refer to Guide Notice NOT-OD-20-126.


New “All About Grants” Podcast

Message from NIH Staff

Yes, we are talking about contracts in this next installment of the
NIH’s All About Grants podcast series. Our guests will be George Kennedy and Brian O’Laughlin, who are acquisition staff from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and National Institute on Drug Abuse, respectively. The conversation (MP3 Transcript) will introduce you to the world of contracts at NIH, what they are, how they differ from grants, where to find them, what types of research are solicited, tidbits to focus on when developing a proposal, and more.

Check out the System for Awards Management (SAM)  to find more information on contract solicitations.


Change in Status Including Absence of Key Personnel 

NOT-OD-20-124 clarifies expectations regarding change in status, including absence of Program Directors, Principal Investigators, and other key personnel named in the Notice of Award. NIH expects that funded research occurs within an environment that is safe, healthful, and conducive to high-quality work. Refer to modified guidance,"Change in PD/PI and Other Senior/Key Personnel," NIH GPS Section For more information read this week's post, New Steps to Help Ensure Safe Work Environments for NIH-Supported. Research.


NIH Reissue of Parent Announcements

According to NOT-OD-20-110, the reissue of Parent Announcements and the urgent/emergency competitive revision of Funding Opportunity Announcements is in progress. Applicants should continue using the Current Announcements/Forms Packages until NIH reissues, which is expected by June 25, 2020. Changes apply to NIH grant application forms/instructions due on or after May 25, 2020 (FORMS-F).


A Walk-Through of the PHS Human Subjects & Clinical Trials Information Form

June 2, 2020

Message from NIH Staff

We’ve updated the Walk-through of the PHS Human Subjects & Clinical Trials Information Form video to align with our latest application form update (FORMS-F). In just six minutes, you’ll learn how to use the form and how to complete both delayed onset and full study records. The video describes each of the five sections of a study record and points out which fields are required for human subjects and clinical trial studies. You might even discover a handy tip or two along the way.

For a summary of significant form changes and detailed guidance for completing the form, check out our FORMS-F application instructions.