Dear Colleagues,

The Provost and my office, in collaboration the Chancellor, have established the Large-Scale Interdisciplinary Research Awards (LIRA) program . LIRA will offer seed funds totaling up to $400,000 to support integrated team efforts to develop large-scale initiatives. The goal of this program is to empower creativity; to promote equitable collaborations, especially those that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion; and to attract substantial external funding. Preference will be given to projects that address large-scale societal problems, with potential for significant impact. The program will provide professional cohort-based training to awarded teams on integrative teaming, equitable collaboration, and budget planning, and research development support for ideation and proposal development. LIRA topic areas should be well aligned with campus strengths, including, but not limited to, strategic emphasis areas, such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Sustainability; Healthy Aging; Society and Technology; and Data Science. The Provost and VCRE will soon announce another seed funding opportunity – the Interdisciplinary Faculty Research Awards (IFRA). IFRA will focus on these same areas of emphasis, but will target faculty teams at the earliest stages of collaboration who may not be targeting external funding.

Due date for LIRA applications is May 8, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.

The LIRA program has two tracks:

  • Track 1 - Integrative Team Development awards up to $30,000. Track 1 supports the development of integrated team research, often spanning multiple disciplines, leading to proposals for significant extramural funding of $1 million per year or more for at least 3 years. Track 1 awards will support integrative team development and may support research to demonstrate the viability of the concept.
  • Track 2 - Center Development awards up to $60,000. Track 2 supports the advancement of integrated teams, often spanning multiple disciplines, with a vision for a large, center-level grant proposal leading to external funding of $3 million per year or more for at least 5 years. Track 2 awards will support teams with pre-existing collaborations among participants.

The Office of Research Development will hold a virtual LIRA informational workshop on April 11, 2023, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. for potential teams to help them determine their level of team readiness and provide guidance on writing a successful application to the LIRA program. Register here.

Request for Proposals (RFP) can be found here.


Mike Malone
Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement
University of Massachusetts Amherst
(413) 545-5270
Assistant: Christine A. Burnett,

Posted 3/10/23

Acorn Innovation Awards Help Massachusetts Research Institutions Commercialize Scientific Breakthroughs. Congratulations to UMass Amherst Researchers:

  • Rachid Skouta, PhD, Larry Schwartz, PhD; Joseph D. Jerry, PhD; University of Massachusetts Amherst; Kin-Ho Choi, PhD, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Govind Srimathveeravalli, PhD, Dr. Stephen Solomon, MD; University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Office of Research and Engagement, in collaboration with the Controller’s Office and A&F systems, is pleased to announce the spring 2023 Research Administration Core Curriculum Training Program.

Register now through Workplace Learning and Development (WLD).

The goal of this program is to offer a comprehensive overview of research administration for new staff, as well as members of the campus community looking for a refresher or interested in learning new job skills. The program is broken down into six core topic sessions that will be presented by various content experts. More detail and program descriptions.

We also offer Kuali Proposal Development group Zoom trainings through WLD.

For on-demand Kuali training for individuals via Zoom, please email to

Posted 2/14/23

Please be aware that the Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS) is currently short-staffed, and an above-average number of proposal submissions are anticipated in what remains of the month of February. OPAS will be closed Monday, February 20, 2023 for President’s Day. Anything that PIs and grants/contracts staff can do to get ahead of the required five business days for proposal submission would be greatly appreciated. Please also note that OPAS likely cannot accommodate late proposals this month.

In collaboration with Research IT, we have developed a new Kuali Build No-Cost Extension Request form to help facilitate no-cost extensions. The form will help Principal Investigators (PIs) and Business Managers request no-cost extensions and cut down on emails. It is now live and can be found on the Research Administration Forms page.

The new form will request information that is typically required by sponsors and the Office of Post-Award Management (OPAM) in order to approve, submit, and process no-cost extension requests. Fields will autofill based on Kuali Award ID.

For sponsors (NSF, DOE, NOAA) that already have their own portals for submission of no-cost extension requests, you will continue to submit requests through those portals. Our new form will alert you to submit through the sponsor portal if the form does not need to be completed.

For questions, please submit a ticket to the R&E Help Desk.

Posted 2/2/23

TO: Deans, Directors, Department Chairs

CC: Provost Tricia Serio, Senior Vice Provost John Wells, Vice Chancellor Michael F. Malone, Vice Provost Kalpen Trivedi, Dean Jacqueline Urla

FROM: Dan Sacco, Senior Associate Director, Research Compliance

DATE: January 31, 2023

SUBJECT: Restrictions on the Provision of Remote Instruction

Dear Colleagues,

As we begin the new semester, I would like to remind you about United States Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) country-specific sanctions programs that restrict the remote delivery of courses and other forms of instruction by U.S. institutions of higher education. Such comprehensive sanctions programs currently restrict our ability to deliver remote instruction to students and other audiences from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine.

Under these regulations, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is prohibited from “exporting” online or remotely delivered graduate level courses to nationals of those countries when they are outside of the U.S., whether they are in their home country or elsewhere. In other words, unless such students are physically present in the U.S., UMass Amherst is prohibited, by OFAC regulations, from enrolling them in graduate courses remotely. These regulations also prohibit the delivery of instructional content through webinars and participation in virtual conferences to or in the sanctioned countries. Further, apart from considering country-based restrictions, we must also screen remote international students and scholars against restricted-party lists issued by OFAC and other government departments and agencies. These restrictions apply to courses and content being delivered remotely due to COVID-related circumstances and programs originally intended for remote delivery, such as online graduate degree programs, webinars, and virtual conferences. The penalties for violating OFAC regulations are severe and may include, among others, significant monetary penalties and disqualification from receiving Federal research funding.

If you are or become aware of any courses or presentations intended for remote delivery to international students or other audiences outside of the U.S., it is critical that you notify the Office of Research Compliance in advance to screen the remote participants to ensure they are not from or in an OFAC comprehensively-sanctioned country or on a restricted-party list before the program begins. To identify or discuss this type of situation, please contact me at or 413-545-3468.

Thank you,

Dan Sacco
Sr. Associate Director, Office of Research Compliance
University of Massachusetts Amherst

TO: Faculty

CC: Chancellor's Council, Deans, Directors, Department Chairs/Heads, Faculty Senate Rules Committee, Research Council, Research Administration Advisory Board, Business Managers, Research and Engagement Directors

FROM: Michael F. Malone, Vice Chancellor, Research & Engagement

DATE: January 19, 2023
SUBJECT: New Procedure to Meet NSF Safe and Inclusive Working Environments

We are writing to provide you with a new UMass Procedure to meet NSF Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research Requirements . The linked webpage will provide you with information about the new National Science Foundation (NSF) requirements related to “off-site” and “off-campus” research. The Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS) is now required to certify that a plan is in place to address safe and inclusive working environments at the time a proposal is submitted. This will be accomplished by agreeing to a series of attestations in a new required Kuali Build form that will be uploaded to the Kuali Research proposal record.

The procedure is effective January 30, 2023.

For questions, please submit a ticket to the R&E Help Desk.


Mike Malone
Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement
University of Massachusetts Amherst
(413) 545-5270
Assistant: Christine A. Burnett,

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is implementing changes to the grant application forms and application guide instructions for due dates on or after January 25, 2023. Applicants must use the new FORMS-H application package for due dates on or after January 25, 2023.

These key changes in NIH forms are part of the implementation of the 2023 NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. A new “Other Plan(s)” attachment field has been added and applicants will now need to include a required Data Management and Sharing Plan in FORMS-H applications. For proposals requiring a Data Management and Sharing Plan, this information will be included in the solicitation-appropriate PHS 398 form. Please follow instructions for your specific solicitation as the location of upload varies by call. See NOT-OD-21-013 and NOT-OD-22-189 for more information. 

In addition to the “Other Plan(s)” attachment field, the following changes must be addressed in all applications with a Data Management and Sharing Plan:

  • For NIH Modular Budgets, a brief Data Management and Sharing justification must be included as part of the “Additional Narrative Justification”
  • For NIH Budgets including the RR Budget form, Data Management and Sharing costs must be included in a single line item and a brief justification must be included in the Budget Justification

Additional updates on renumbered fields, updated expiration dates, and proposal specific requirements can be found here.

Posted 1/17/23

The next Research Administration PRO Series Training, Unpacking the Kuali Proposal Questionnaire: Definitions, Processes, and Guidance, takes place on Thursday, January 19, 2023 - 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. via Zoom. Register today through Workplace Learning & Development.

Training Description:
Come join representatives from various Research and Engagement Offices and Environmental Health and Safety to explore the Kuali proposal questionnaire in detail. Participants will learn about the meaning behind many of the questions, why they are important, and the underlying processes related to these types of activities.

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the new year, I want to thank you for all your contributions to the university and its research enterprise. Without you, the many accomplishments featured on the new campus research web pages would not have been possible.

Among many other highlights, in FY22 there were almost 1,500 proposals and 1,175 awards for a total of more than $231 million in sponsored research. This was an increase of 14% over 2021, not counting COVID-19 relief grants, an all-time high for the campus.

I wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and a peaceful, prosperous, and healthy 2023.


Michael F. Malone
Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement
University of Massachusetts Amherst
(413) 545-5270
Assistant: Christine Burnett,

Posted 12/22/22

Researchers can now associate their ORCID iDs to their CITI Program account profiles. Learn more here.

Posted 12/13/22

From the Office of the Chancellor (11/30/22)

To the Campus Community:

The Office of Research Compliance (ORC) maintains, updates, and implements UMass Amherst's policies and procedures regarding U.S. export controls under the direction of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement. This memo reintroduces campus export control policies and procedures and provides basic information about export controls and resources available to help comply with them.

Export controls are U.S. laws and regulations that restrict the release of certain items, information, and services to foreign nationals, within and outside of the United States, and foreign countries for foreign policy and national security reasons. These laws and regulations, which include international sanctions programs, also restrict activities within certain countries and with designated institutions, entities, and individuals, even if no controlled items are involved. Among the sanctioned countries, the following are currently subject to comprehensive sanctions programs: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine. Any potential University-related activities in or with parties in these countries require advance consideration by and planning with ORC. Export controls, given their purpose, are subject to frequent additions and amendments responsive to rapidly-changing international affairs.

The term “export” is defined broadly within U.S. export controls and includes, but is not limited to, releasing identified items and information to foreign nationals within the U.S. UMass Amherst’s Export Control Compliance Program Guidelines, training materials, resources, and guidance on the laws and regulations are available on the ORC export controls website.

It is the responsibility of all campus community members to be familiar with and adhere to the requirements of export control regulations. Individuals and institutions that violate federal regulations governing export-controlled activities may be subject to civil and criminal penalties that can include significant fines, jail terms, denial of export or research privileges, and debarment from government contracting.

Because of the broad scope of export-controlled items, which include, but are not limited to, equipment, software code, chemical and biological materials, and technical data, these laws and regulations apply to virtually all fields of science and engineering and restrict both physical shipments and electronic transmission of information. Further, country-specific sanctions programs and party-based restrictions apply regardless of research subject matter. Export control laws apply to all activities—not just sponsored research projects.

University of Massachusetts policy requires compliance with all U.S. export control laws and regulations, which apply to both researchers individually and their institutions. Therefore, all faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates involved in export-controlled research are required to have training before beginning those projects. Further, it is strongly suggested that all community members involved in sponsored or international research take advantage of two export control training modules available through the CITI program:

  • Export Compliance for Researchers: Part I, and
  • Export Compliance and United States Sanctions Programs.

For more information visit the Export Control Training Program website. Should you have questions, or to schedule training on the application of export controls to your research area, please contact Dan Sacco or Ellie Kurth, who are both staff members within the Office of Research Compliance.

TO: Faculty

CC: Provost, Controller, Deans, Directors, Department Chairs/Heads, Research Council, Research Administration Advisory Board, UMass IT Vice Chancellor, Foundation Relations Director, Business Managers, Research and Engagement Directors

FROM: Michael F. Malone, Vice Chancellor, Research & Engagement

DATE: December 1, 2022
SUBJECT: Sponsored Projects Update – Proposal Roles & Responsibilities

We are writing to provide you with updated sponsored project proposal submission requirements and procedures. The linked webpage will provide you will all the information you need to know about campus procedures for proposal preparation and submission in support of sponsored projects to conform to Board of Trustee Policy DOC. T94-034. This includes new procedures developed in consultation with the deans to reduce duplication of administrative steps between department or college/school offices and the central Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS). Important highlights include:

  • Programmatic and budgetary review of proposals generated by institutes, centers, and programs shall be performed by the administrator(s) to whom the institute or center director reports after review by the responsible department head(s) or chair(s) and dean(s) whose personnel, programs, or resources are impacted by the proposed program.
  • Opportunities with unusual requirements such as non-standard terms and conditions, representations, certifications, e.g., involving publication restrictions, export control, participation of non-US institutions, etc. may require more time for review. It is STRONGLY encouraged to consult OPAS as far in advance as possible for those opportunities. Please submit a ticket to the R&E Help Desk with information on the submission, any questions, and attach the request for proposals, as available. Insufficient time to review these types of proposals can potentially jeopardize submission.
  • The following updates to the responsibilities of the Principal Investigator(s), Department, and School/College are of note:
    • Sponsor Requirements: Text format, references, page limit, diagrams, tables, URLs, etc. Note: These will no longer be checked by OPAS.
    • Biosketches: OPAS is responsible to check only for the presence of the materials, but not their content or format.
    • Sponsor requirements for Current and Pending Support are rapidly evolving- check sponsor requirements regularly
    • If the proposal includes use of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), include UMass Amherst Information Technology (IT) in the routing for approval or add an MOU documenting the approval by UMass Amherst IT.

For questions, please submit a ticket to the R&E Help Desk.


Mike Malone
Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement
University of Massachusetts Amherst
(413) 545-5270
Assistant: Christine A. Burnett,


TO:  Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors, Department Heads and Principal Investigators

FROM: Andrew Mangels, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance

Michael Malone, Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement

DATE: November 17, 2022

SUBJECT: New Facilities and Administration (F&A) Rates

The Facilities and Administration (F&A) rate that is used to recover indirect costs associated with sponsored research, instruction and other sponsored activity has recently been negotiated with, and approved by our cognizant agency, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for fiscal years 2023-2027 as shown below. 

The changes in our rates, the first since 2015, are driven by increases in facilities costs including utilities, maintenance and upkeep, and depreciation of renovated/new research buildings.  Note that the administrative cost component of the rate is capped and remains unchanged.  The rate changes enable the campus to recover a portion of the significant investments made in our research enterprise allowing us to compete as a top-tier research university in the rapidly evolving research environment.  The university also negotiated new rates specific to on and off campus Department of Defense (DOD) awards.

The change in our rates aligns the campus with other top-tier peer research institutions. The table below summarizes a sample of institution on-campus F&A rates.

* Reflects the published (non-DOD) on-campus rate Facilities and Administration cost rate

These new rates will go into effect for all proposal submissions beginning on January 1, 2023.  Pending proposals and existing awards will not be impacted by the rate changes and will continue to use the rates that are already incorporated into those proposals and awards.  The stepped rates will be introduced into Kuali proposal development on December 19th, with guidance from the Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS) following this announcement.

Please refer questions about F&A rates to the Controller’s Office at

The new rates will be posted on this Research and Engagement webpage. Definition of project types can also be located on this webpage.

Posted 11/17/22

As we approach the coming winter holidays, we would like to remind you of some upcoming due dates that will make the holidays merry for all campus faculty and staff. All proposals scheduled to be submitted between December 26, 2022 and January 3, 2023 should target submission before the holidays as we encourage our staff to spend this period with their family and friends.

  • All proposals due between December 26, 2022 and January 3, 2023 should arrive at the Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS) by 9:00 a.m. on December 19, 2022.

The schedule for submissions due between January 4 and January 6, 2023 will be adjusted as follows:

  • Proposals due Wednesday January 4, 2023 should arrive at OPAS by 9am on December 20, 2022.  
  • Proposals due Thursday January 5, 2023 should arrive at OPAS by 9am on December 21, 2022.
  • Proposals Due Friday January 6, 2023 should arrive at OPAS by 9am on December 22, 2022.

Internal applications for the FY23 Office of Technology Commercialization & Ventures (OTCV) Technology Development Fund are due Thursday, December 22, 2022.

Full details: OTCV Technology Development Fund FY23 Research grants (Word)

Please email applications to by Thursday, December 22, 2022.

The fund was established by OTCV in the President's Office in 2004 to provide UMass researchers with supplemental funding to advance previously disclosed university technology toward commercialization.

Note: We'd like to point out that participation in the I-Corps @ UMass Amherst program has led to increased success rates in earlier funding rounds.

Posted 11/10/22

The Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS) will be closed Thursday, November 24, 2022 for the Thanksgiving holiday. All proposals that need to be submitted on November 24th and 25th should arrive to OPAS no later than Thursday, November 17, 2022 and target submission before the holiday closure.

Laura Vandenberg, associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs in the School of Public Health & Health Sciences and professor of Environmental Health Sciences, has been named associate vice chancellor for research and engagement. Vandenberg succeeds Martina Nieswandt, who was recently named vice president for research at Chapman University in Orange, California.

Beginning in January, Dr. Vandenberg will work on centers and institutes, increasing research support services and capacity, communication, and implementing strategic initiatives including international research.

Vandenberg came to the School of Public Health & Health Sciences faculty in 2013 from Tufts University’s Department of Biology and Center for Regenerative & Developmental Biology, Medford, MA where she completed an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship. Prior to her time at Tufts, she also received postdoctoral training at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and the Forsyth Institute in Boston, MA. She earned her PhD in Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology from Tufts University School of Medicine and a BS in Biology from Cornell University.

Vandenberg is a developmental biologist trained in the study of endocrinology with a research program that is focused on the health effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), i.e., synthetic chemicals that alter what hormones do in the body or how those hormones normally function. Her work brought her to the fields of environmental health sciences and public health, which are interdisciplinary areas of research. Several of her research collaborations focus on issues that impact the health of minoritized populations, women, and biologically vulnerable groups.

She is especially enthusiastic about strengthening interdisciplinary research programs at the university and stimulating the work supported by university centers and institutes. Her own work has utilized the resources of several centers and institutes on campus.

Vandenberg’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and several foundations and NGOs (Cornell Douglas Foundation, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the JPB Foundation, and the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition). She is an author on 115 published papers and 17 book chapters, and her work has been high-profile, leading to numerous invitations to give keynote and platform talks, interviews with news outlets, and other outreach opportunities.

In her former role as graduate program director in Environmental Health Sciences, and current role as associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs in SPHHS, she has developed and demonstrated leadership and management skills that will equip her to develop innovative solutions to pressing challenges in the research and engagement enterprise at UMass Amherst.

Laura has an excellent record in her own research, including international collaborations and in administration in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. We are excited that she will join our team in Research & Engagement, bringing a lot of enthusiasm for growing programs and support for the research community.

Posted 11/9/22

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued three instrumentation grants all due June 1, 2023. Faculty interested in applying to any of these programs will have to submit a pre-submission assessment before January 15, 2023.

To submit an assessment, please fill out the Equipment Acquisition Request Form.

As part of this process, faculty will also have to coordinate with Design and Construction Management to evaluate potential renovation needs. Please follow the instructions on the Facility Assessment Worksheet for Equipment Grants (Word).

Proposal Solicitations:

  • Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program – PAR-22-080
    • The SIG Program funds grant awards in the $50,000 to $600,000 range.
  • High-End Instrumentation (HEI) Grant Program – PAR-22-079
    • The HEI Program funds grant awards in the $600,001 to $2,000,000 range.
  • Basic Instrumentation Grant (BIG) Program – PAR-22-081
    • The BIG Program is limited to institutions that have not received S10 instrumentation funding of $250,001 or greater in any of the Federal fiscal years 2020-2022. The minimum award is $25,000. There is no maximum price limit for the instrument; however, the maximum award is $250,000.

Please send questions or comments to Ian Raphael,

Posted 11/3/22

The new graduate student minimum salary for academic year (AY) 2022-2023 is $32.66/hour, per collective bargaining agreements. Any proposals in progress now can be submitted with the old rate. All new proposal budgets need to use the new grad student minimum starting on or before Friday, November 18, 2022.

The fact sheet has been updated with this change. Note: There is a new web version of the fact sheet available that will replace the PDF version at the end of the year. Both versions can still be found here.

The FY23 Kuali Salary Guide has been updated as well. Note: You may have to clear your browser's cache if you see an old version of the file after downloading it.

Posted 11/1/22