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Wayne State University

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May 19 / RAS

Free To Be H1B (and still submit)

Researchers here at Wayne State with H1B visa status are not precluded from submitting proposals to the NIH.  Grants given are technically awarded to the university, so submission is allowed as long as the H1B holder is officially employed by Wayne State.

 

You will need to remain at WSU long enough to finish your proposed project, and you’ll have to state in your application that your visa will allow you to be here long enough to be productive.  As you know, H1B visas are held for a maximum of six years, and it may be issued in increments of up to three years by the USCIS.

 

While submissions and award are both possible, there ARE special procedures for funded foreign nationals to perform select agents and toxins research. If your proposed project has an agent or toxin that is considered “select” (go here to find out: http://www.selectagents.gov/SelectAgentsandToxins.html) we’re happy to walk you through the whys/hows.

May 11 / RAS

On May 25, “D” is for “Different”

By now you are most certainly aware that Forms D will be required for all NIH applications on or after May 25. If you are using ASSIST, you will automatically be directed to the Forms D cloud set (in the past few weeks, you were given a choice on the initiation screen, but now we’re very close to the no-option date).  If you are still using the SF424 (why aren’t you using ASSIST?) be sure that any work you are doing is in the correct form set.  The Forms D application guides are revamped and available on NIH’s website.

 

We first warned you of this back in October, so now is a great time to re-familiarize yourselves with the required changes: Brace Yourselves, Forms D Are Coming.  For an exhaustive list of changes, NIH has provided a high-level list of FORMS-D pre-award form changes, as well as a landing page for all things Forms D.  And, as always, drop us a note if anything looks murky; we’re always happy to help find clarification!

 

Apr 27 / RAS

Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me Some Money

There’s a new funding mechanism in town, and they want your rejected NIH applications.  OnPAR (the Online Partnership to Accelerate Research) is a public-private partnership established to offer a second funding opportunity for unfunded NIH research applications. OnPAR works to match research applications to non-government funding sources.

 

The process still relies on research applications being subject to the NIH peer-review processes. Unfunded applications that have scored within the 30th percentile (or scored well in programs that do not provide percentiles) will be invited to participate in the OnPAR review and funding process. Applicants submit abstracts through the OnPAR website; here, abstracts are reviewed and provided to OnPAR funding members if/when they meet an organization’s research priorities. If priorities align, applicants are then asked to upload their full NIH application, scores, percentile, and summary statements (NIH will not provide any application material to OnPAR ; that’s all you). Each OnPAR member will review their chosen applications, may select some for funding consideration, and will negotiate final terms with applicants.

 

This concept is still in pilot stage, with high hopes to expand in the near future.  Non-governmental funders participating in the pilot include: Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Children’s Tumor Foundation, JDRF (previously Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Melanoma Research Alliance, National Alopecia Areata Foundation, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.  For more information about OnPAR, check out their website.  Happy funding!

 

Apr 18 / RAS

Guess who’s back, back again..?

Calling all Tips & Tools attendees!  It’s time again for our quarterly live meeting in Scott Hall, taking place this coming Wednesday, April 20.  As usual, we will be meeting in Scott Hall room 1358.  Not so usual: we will have a guest presenter in Marty Kuznia, speaking about the ins and outs of putting a project to bed in the waning months of grant support.  The presentation is entitled, “Race to the Finish: Effective Post-Award Management in the Final Months of a Sponsored Project and Beyond;” the agenda for the meting can be found HERE. We look forward to seeing everyone again!

Jan 6 / RAS

An Investigator By Any Other Name

Start your year off right: make sure you’re getting credit for all of your funding!  As new internal funding data is being pulled, it is becoming clear that there are a lot of people that appear with less support than they should for one key reason: they are using the “Co-PI” designation on NIH applications.

 

Here’s a gentle reminder: the “Co-PI” designation is not recognized by NIH.  When applying for NIH funding, don’t select it if you are using the SF424 (also: why are you still using the SF424?) and don’t type it in if you are using ASSIST.  That designation appears for other agencies that DO use Co-PIs; NIH is not the only agency that uses the SF424 and so the SF424 is inclusive of other labels.  For a little more information on how this affects internal candidacy tracks and overall university rankings, check out our previous post, “When Good Labels Go Bad.”

 

Instead, when applying for NIH funding, use the “PD/PI” designation for BOTH if you and another PI are both considered to be PD/PI (or if there are more than two of you, even).  If someone is not sharing principal or directorial duties with you, that person should be designated as “Co-Investigator.”  If you’re still not sure what your label should be, drop us a note and we’ll help you figure it out!  Don’t short yourself (or your department) on support; you work hard and deserve your due credit!

Dec 3 / RAS

New Year, New Rules

The brand spankin’ new NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS) was released on November 25, 2015.  This document governs all NIH awards, so be sure you’re familiar with the changes! In case you missed it, here is a handy table of the changes that were made since the March 2015 version: Summary of Significant Changes

 

The new NIHGPS is available in a web-based format HERE; it is also available in PDF, but NIH encourages the use of the web document.  These terms and conditions are applicable to any award made on or after October 1, 2015 (despite the November release date).  Questions about the changes?  We’re here to help sort them out!

Nov 12 / RAS

You’re Just In Time for an NSF Pilot

For fiscal year 2016, the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation will be piloting a just-in-time (JIT) system.  The intent of the pilot is to allow NSF reviewers to focus on the science and to reduce PI workload by requiring only basic budget justifications; think along the lines of the impetus behind NIH modular budgets.   If a proposal is recommended for award, NSF staff will request full budgets and associated justifications at that time (hence the term).

 

Here’s where it gets a little sticky: during the initial proposal submission stage, NSF is requesting a blank FastLane budget (listing zero dollars). Since FastLane prepopulates fields for senior personnel, there is a work-around to erase those fields in Section A if senior personnel are on the project (here’s a hint: they probably are).   Here’s what NSF wants you to do:

  • Go the Budget;
  • Click Funds (or Add a Year, if appropriate, then click Funds);
  • Delete the Senior Personnel from Budget Section A (by clicking on ‘Add/Remove Senior Personnel’) and then click Save; and
  • Click to the Bottom of Page, click Calculate and Save and Go Back.

 

The budget justification will include resource details, but not dollar amounts (except for large equipment).  If they are being requested, information must be provided for:

  • Total number of person-months of Senior Personnel salary for the entire project (such as 3 months, 6 months, etc.);
  • Number of postdoctoral scholars, graduate or undergraduate students, administrative and clerical staff, and a brief overview of their respective roles in the project;
  • Equipment purchases, including estimated cost;
  • Number of domestic and foreign trips anticipated, their necessity for the project, as well as the number of travelers and the location of the trip, if available;
  • Number of project participants for whom travel, stipend, etc., support is requested;
  • Pertinent materials and supplies to be purchased, consultant services, etc.; and
  • Any subawards, to whom, and a brief description of the work to be performed.

 

As you can see, the new NSF JIT framework is a bit nuanced.  Make sure you read the pilot announcement to fully understand the JIT implementation if you are planning to submit a DMS NSF proposal in FY2016.  This is also worth a read if you plan to submit to any NSF division in the future 😉

Nov 4 / RAS

There’s No Such Thing As A Bad Review

…especially when it’s FREE!

 

Don’t forget that Office of Vice President of Research (OVPR) has funds put aside to pay for review or your proposal.  That’s right, YOU get to choose whom you would like to review your proposal, and OVPR has money for that.  You don’t have to cross your fingers and sweat it out; get an expert to review your science!  Here’s what OVPR has allotted for various types of review:

  • $300 for internal review (transferred directly into the reviewer’s indirect cost account)
  • $600 for an external review
  • $500 for mock study sections reviews (transferred directly into the indirect account of the college/department/division doing the mock)

 

All review fund requests are made using the eProp system. Hoping you (or your PI)  qualify for one of these reviews?  Check out the details on the Pre-Submission Review Program. Take a look at the editing seminar stipends too!  If you’re not sure where to take your proposal for review, drop us a note; we’ll help you get connected!

Oct 29 / RAS

Diversifying Your Portfolio: Additions to the NSF Conversation

For those of you unable to attend the Tips & Tools meeting last week, Kathryn Wrench’s presentations slides are available HERE.  If you were a part of the discussion, a couple of corrections were subsequently made to the information presented:

 

  • Resubmissions to NSF Programs: Resubmissions are considered new submissions by NSF, if substantially revised. If not substantially revised, the investigator risks return without review, or the Program Official may be kind enough to suggest that the proposal be withdrawn so that NSF does not need to take an adverse action. Some NSF Directorates explicitly prohibit resubmission within 1 year of the original submission, others do not. There is no formal standardized process for the entire organization. The NSF Proposal Review Process is accessible here. The Non-Award Decision actions are accessible here.
  • Salary Cap:  NSF removed their statutory salary cap around 1990. Keep in mind, however, that NSF has a general limit of 2 month’s pay for Senior Personnel. Although that rule is general, we go by it in budgeting unless the program would justify deviation with permission (there are some exceptions permitted to the 2 month limit). Apparently, the agencies that impose a cap are certain components of DHHS, including NIH $183,300, and DOD $952,308. The DOD and other cap provisions outside of DHHS apply to contracts only (more on that here).

 

If you have any questions about submitting an NSF proposal, Kathryn Wrench has indicated that she is happy to take your questions.  RAS is also here to help sort out the details!

Oct 21 / RAS

Brace Yourselves: Forms D Are Coming

It’s that time again: the form sets for federal submissions are a-changin’.  Be on the look out: Forms D take effect for all submissions on May 25, 2016 and after.  There are, however, many changes that take effect before Forms D are released; these go into effect on and after January 25, 2016.  A version of the following table was handed out at today’s Tips and Tools meeting (PDF here).  Here it is, if you missed it:

 

ATTACHMENT   CHANGE
Biosketch Clarifications

NOT-OD-16-004

  • A URL leading to a publication list is optional, but must lead to a .gov website
  • Publications (peer-reviewed or not) and research products may be cited in both the personal statements and contributions to science.
  • Graphics, figures and tables are not allowed.
 

Effective for January 25, 2016 Submissions

Research Strategy

NOT-OD-16-011 and NOT-OD-16-012

 

New rigor and transparency guidelines will be given to reviewers.  This will affect the way the research strategy is reviewed.
Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

NOT-OD-16-004

 

This is an ENTIRELY NEW ATTACHMENT.
Vertebrate Animals

NOT-OD-16-006

 

  • Veterinary care description no longer required.
  • New guidance on necessary criteria (procedures, justifications, pain/distress minimization; euthanasia).

–    Euthanasia descriptions/justifications only required if not consistent with AVMA.

 

Inclusion of Children

NOT-OD-16-010

 

Age definition of “child” is now lowered from 21 to 18.
TRAINING: Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity

NOT-OD-16-004

 

The focus must be on recruitment.
TRAINING: Human Subjects

NOT-OD-16-004

 

 

  • Language must exist stating explicitly how Wayne State will ensure that trainees only participate in exempt human subjects research or non-exempt human subjects research that has IRB approval.
  • List of potential trainees and associated IRB information no longer required.
TRAINING: Vertebrate Animals

NOT-OD-16-004

 

 

  • Language must exist stating explicitly how Wayne State will ensure that trainees only participate in IACUC-approved vertebrate animal research.
  • List of potential trainees and associated IACUC information no longer required.
TRAINING: Progress Report

NOT-OD-16-004

 

No longer required to report on publications arising from work conducted by the trainee; this will now be requested for Just-in-Time.
 

Effective for May 25, 2016 Submissions – when FORMS D go into effect

TRAINING/FELLOWSHIP: Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

NOT-OD-16-004

 

THIS IS A NEW ATTACHMENT.  It will be required for all Research Plan, Career Development Supplemental, and Fellowship Supplemental sections.
TRAINING/FELLOWSHIP: Plan for the Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility

NOT-OD-16-004

 

THIS IS A NEW ATTACHMENT.
Vertebrate Animals

NOT-OD-16-007

 

New questions regarding euthanasia added.
Planned Enrollment/Cumulative Inclusion

NOT-OD-16-004

 

More study descriptors will be added. Additional details will be available prior to the release of the new forms.
Data Safety Monitoring Plan

NOT-OD-16-004

 

THIS IS A NEW ATTACHMENT. This will be included with all clinical trials.
TRAINING: Tables

NOT-OD-16-007

 

 

 

  • Only 8 tables will be required (instead of 12) to minimize individual-level reporting.
  • Tracking of trainee outcomes will be extended from 10 to 15 years.
  • A new NIH system (xTRACT) is now available in eRACommons to help with table preparation.
Assignment Request

NOT-OD-16-008

 

 

This is a new OPTIONAL form.  It is utilized to uniformly request preference in institute, study section, potential conflicts, and necessary expertise.  This replaces the need for some information commonly written in an introduction.
Font Guidelines

NOT-OD-16-004

 

  • Size: 11 points or larger; smaller is acceptable in figures as long as it is legible at 100%
  • Density: no more than 15 characters per linear inch, including characters and spaces
  • Spacing: no more than six lines per vertical inch
  • Color: must be black. Color text in figures is acceptable as long as it is legible.
  • Recommended fonts: Arial, Garamond, Georgia, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, Times New Roman, Verdana