Announcements

Proposals due to sponsors between July 1 and July 10, 2019 must be submitted within SmartGrant in the last two weeks of June. More information and a table with dates for submission to the Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS) and to the sponsor is available.

*Please let us know now if you plan to submit a proposal with a deadline between June 17 and July 12, 2019.*

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched a newly revamped eRA website on April 30, 2019

There have been recent concerns and mandates from U.S. government agencies regarding international research disclosure. The National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation have each raised concerns regarding foreign influences on research integrity. For questions, please contact the Office of Research Compliance at 413-545-5283.

The transition of our Electronic Research Administration (eRA) system from SmartGrant to Kuali Research will begin July 1, 2019.

Kuali will be available for use starting Monday, July 8, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.

To allow for data migration, neither system will be available from July 1 - July 7, 2019. This transition week was selected to align with the annual PeopleSoft downtime and to fall during the week of the July 4th holiday. More..

SmartGrant and e-Protocol will be replaced by Kuali Research this summer. Kuali Research will provide the necessary administrative and compliance support to conduct high impact research commensurate with other leading research universities, as outlined in the campus strategic plan.

Important: There have been recent concerns and mandates from U.S. government agencies regarding international research disclosure. The National Institutes of Health (NIH Foreign Influence Letter PDF) and the Department of Energy (DOE Memorandum PDF) have each raised concerns regarding foreign influences on research integrity. For questions, please contact the Office of Research Compliance at 413-545-5283 or rescomp@research.umass.edu.

The IT Software System Specialist position is responsible for programming, implementation, configuration, and security management for software applications managed under Research and Engagement – Office of Research Information Technologies, along with data integrity for campus research data reporting needs of administration faculty and staff and students.

For more information and to apply, see: http://careers.umass.edu/amherst/en-us/job/498110/research-it-software-system-specialist

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) approved the university’s indirect cost rate (PDF) application on January 14, 2019. The predetermined indirect cost rates remain unchanged from the previous rate agreement, but the effective period has been extended to June 30, 2021 (until amended).

Due to the recent lapse in appropriations, implementation of the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG or GPG), (NSF 19-1) was postponed. It is now effective for proposals submitted or due on or after February 25, 2019.

See here for a complete summary of all changes to the GPG.

See here for the internal NSF checklist assembled by the Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS) in support of all proposals subject to the 19-1 guidance; the updates are highlighted using a red font.

The GPG 19-1 checklist is also available on our website. Please scroll down to “General Guidance for NSF Proposal Preparation”; and then select “NSF proposal checklist for Grant Proposal Guidelines NSF 19-1, effective February 25, 2019”.

For questions, please contact:

  • Kimberly Lowney at klowney@research.umass.edu (for departments within the colleges of Engineering; Humanities & Fine Arts; Social and Behavioral Sciences; and the schools of Education, Management; Nursing; and Public Health & Health Sciences)
  • Mary Santos at mary.santos@umass.edu (for departments in the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Information and Computer Sciences)

After years of effort, the U.S. Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) has published the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects; Final Rule known as the “Common Rule”.  On January 21, 2019 the revisions to the Common Rule will be effective.

Some of the major revisions include but are not limited to:

  1. New/Revised Definitions

  2. Changes to the Continuing Review Procedures

  3. Changes to the Exempt Categories

  4. Changes to the Informed Consent

UMass Amherst Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) has developed a resource document and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist researchers in understanding the revisions to the Common Rule and their impact on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) review process.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have: humansubjects@ora.umass.edu or 413-545-3428

Below is a reminder to update you on two policies related to research:

The first of these is the recent NSF Policy and award requirement on “Notification Requirements Regarding Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, or Sexual Assault.” This requires the university to inform the NSF of:

  • Any findings or determinations that an NSF-funded principal investigator or co-principal investigator committed harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  • The placement of the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on administrative leave, or of the imposition of any administrative action relating to a harassment or sexual assault finding or investigation.

NSF will consult with the awardee organization, and determine what action is necessary under NSF's authority. NSF actions may include substituting or removing principal investigators or co-principal investigators, reducing award funding, and -- where neither of those options is available or adequate -- suspending or terminating awards. For more information, see https://www.nsf.gov/od/odi/harassment.jsp and especially the recently updated Sexual Harassment FAQ (PDF).

The second concerns the possession or use of marijuana, including but not limited to use in research. Despite recent changes in Massachusetts law, this remains prohibited on campus or on university-owned or controlled property, except under the conditions described in the legal alert from the Office of General Counsel (PDF).

Please consult the Office of Research Compliance, Melinda Lelacheur (melindal@research.umass.edu), with any questions on these policies.

Thank you for your attention to our compliance requirements which are an important component of our relationship with our federal funding partners.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a revised version of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (19-1) effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 28, 2019. Significant changes and clarifications are summarized on the PAPPG website.

The NIH published its annual update to the Grants Policy Statement (GPS). For a synopsis, see Summary of Significant Changes to the NIH GPS (PDF)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced minor updates to the application instructions and review criteria language for Research, Career, and Fellowship award applications effective for proposals submitted on or after January 25, 2019. Updates are available on the How to Apply – Application Guide website

During the first meeting of the semester on September 14, 2018, James Kitts was elected as the new Research Council Chair and Lori Goldner was elected as the new Research Policy Committee Chair.

Based on an extensive vetting process over the past year with the help of multiple stakeholders (e.g., faculty, business administrators, the Research Council and the Research Administration Advisory Board) and at various events (e.g., focus groups with campus community members and discussions with peer institutions), and as the result of a competitive bidding process, Kuali Research has been selected as the new Electronic Research Administration (eRA) system for the UMass Amherst campus.

Learn more at www.umass.edu/research/kuali-era-system

The UMass Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) semi-annual facility inspections will take place in October. All expired items should be removed from facilities regularly and solutions, dilutions, etc. need to be clearly labeled with contents and date.

We developed a new web page with detailed information to help faculty and staff better understand Graduate Student Fellowships.

https://www.umass.edu/research/graduate-student-fellowships

The recently approved fringe rates for Fiscal Year 2019 are now posted to our website and updated in SmartGrant.

For links and further information on how this impacts grant proposals currently in the queue but not yet submitted, please see below:

Updated Fact Sheet for FY’19 - https://www.umass.edu/research/guidance/fact-sheet - All new changes are highlighted in yellow.

Graduate Student Calculator – update pending

Important SmartGrant Reminder - With the advent of the new fiscal year, like the COLAs, the new fringe rates will automatically update all SmartGrant based budgets when accessed. Since no mechanism exists to lock down the budgets currently in process that were created prior to July 1, 2018, the budgets will automatically be updated with the new rates when the detailed budget is accessed in SmartGrant. Business Managers and Principal Investigators should evaluate whether or not to revise their budgets to accommodate the changes or to submit with the older rates.

In recognition of the fact that the variance to the budget should generally have minimal impact, we can either submit budgets for active proposals in the pipeline with last year’s rates or the Business Manager and Principal Investigator can opt to make revisions to their budget to accommodate the updates. Our staff are aware of the issue and will be monitoring this closely for proposals due in the first couple of weeks of July.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (NIH, HRSA, etc.) and Colleges and Universities are now assigned at the level of school/college and shared by two pre-award administrators. For more details, see our Staff Contacts for Proposals.

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