Support for Legacy PDF Application Package Ends March 31, 2018
Proposal Preparation and Submission in Research.gov to Begin in April 2018
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is pleased to announce that beginning on April 30, 2018, proposers will be able to prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in Research.gov. The initial release of this new Research.gov capability will run in parallel with existing FastLane proposal preparation and submission capabilities, so proposers can choose to prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in Research.gov or in FastLane starting on April 30, 2018.
University's PINS record recommendation
Carefully follow the procedures required by the funding agency and allow adequate time for College and University reviews.
So that we may better align with the University’s PINS record recommendation and satisfy our sponsor’s requirement for an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) signature, a PINS record is required for an AOR signature for all types of external submissions.
- Proposal Budgets/Justifications: Do Not send proposal budgets and justifications via email for review. Our office will not review any budgets or justifications without the proper PINS record being completed and routed.
- Proper PINS Records: The PINS records should contain at least the following: budget, justification, cost sharing commitments, waiver/reduction of F&A and if applicable, the request for proposal (RFP). This will allow the faculty member to continue working on the science/technical portion.
- 8-Day/4-Day policy: (see below Getty Ready: Timelines)
- 8 business days prior to due date: PINS record initiated by PI or Department Administrator;
- 4 business days prior to the due date: college receives the final proposal with permission to submit
- University Operating Schedule: Our office hours are basically 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. We will work with our faculty within reason. If the University is officially closed, so is our office.
It is advantageous to have a PINS record in place because it enables us to better monitor and tracks all activity. This also allows the Principal Investigator (PI) to have a record of those initiatives in which they have expressed an interest and to monitor and track cost share that may have been committed.
It will also be beneficial in the event the PI is invited to submit a full proposal, making the internal paperwork task straightforward since we can simply clone the pre-proposal/white paper PINS record and make updates as needed.
Additionally, the PINS record provides an alert to our office as to the forthcoming activity, which is always welcomed so that we may prioritize and staff accordingly.
Our Office of Research Administration (ORA) require:
8 business days prior to due date: providing the college notice of your intent to submit a proposal:
- PINS record initiated by PI or Department Administrator with the minimum requirements: (*required by College Research Office and SPARCS, even when sponsor does not require it **when applicable)
- Solicitation (RFP, BAA, FOA, etc)
- Budget breakdown by year with a cumulative total*
- Budget justification (narrative)*
- Cost Share commitment documentation*
- Documentation for F&A when it deviates from the federally negotiated rates** (i.e. solicitation, sponsors website, FAQ’s, and sponsor letter on their letterhead with proper authority (president, CEO).
- PINS is added to college workflow by assigning a college processor
- workflow is deadline driven
- identify and prepare for big deadlines
- Allows sufficient time…
- for the processor to review and offer feedback
- for PI/department administrator to make necessary edits
- to engage other offices when necessary
4 business days prior to the due date: ensuring the college has at least 4 business days to submit a proposal. The Whitehouse has directed federal agencies to employ alternative proposal submission protocols (other than Grants.gov) that will add tremendous complexity to proposal submission and require unprecedented agility in institutional processes.
- College receives the final proposal with permission to submit
- Allows sufficient time for:
- Final review by both processor and Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)
- College’s final feedback and recommendations
- PI/Department Administrator to make necessary revisions
- Address errors during submission
- Grants.gov has a stated processing time of 2 – 4 days with no tolerance if errors exist and cannot be corrected before the deadline.
- Federal agency servers routinely crash during peak demand times that occur when hundreds of institutions submit proposals at the same time. No tolerance is given for server errors to last-minute proposal submitters by any of the federal sponsors.
The University continues to delegate to the colleges the authority to determine the handling of ‘rush’ proposals: Due to the timelines in which we receive your proposal, unfortunately, we are unable to provide a thorough review prior to the final submission. Further, in these circumstances, the PI/Department takes full financial and programmatic responsibility of the final proposal submitted including any audit/non-compliance issues that may arise from lack of a thorough review, such as unallowable costs, budget shortfalls, mathematical errors, etc.
- College receiving a PINS record less than the 8 business days and/or
- Receiving the final proposal less than 4 business days and/or
- Receiving a completely revised full application or budget
- RFP and proposal does not get a thorough review, thus vital requirements could be overlooked
The college cannot guarantee a successful or proper submission. We can not move a rush PINS record/proposal ahead of PINS records/proposals that followed the policy.
- NOTE: PINS record
- a RUSH proposal should not be marked with a TARGET date
- Any RUSH with special circumstances must come with instructions to Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance Services (SPARCS) explaining the reason for its rush status
- Proposals that contain Agreements or RFPs with terms and conditions should NOT be marked as a RUSH.
We are being told again and again by our sponsors not to wait until the day the proposal is due to submit. Some sponsors are even telling us to submit a month early. As always, we will do our best to accommodate the needs and wants of our faculty and departments, but there comes a point where we cannot take accountability for missing deadlines and making mistakes.
As an added service to our customers, ORA can accept less than a full proposal to begin the processing. In other words, we will begin our review and recommendation upon receipt of a PINS record, budget, budget justification, cost share (documentation required for both College and/or University) and RFP (i.e., Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), Financial Assistance Opportunity (FAO), Program Solicitation, Funding Opportunity Number (FON), etc.) when available. This allows our PI to continue working on the programmatic section of the proposal while we are processing the financial section.
- Embedded terms and conditions
- Budgeting requirements of labor hours or labor rates
- Cost share
- Publication restrictions
- Export controls
- Intellectual Property (IP) issues or governing law
- Research: Separately budgeted scholarly or scientific investigation or inquiry; to study thoroughly.
- Instruction: Training or teaching activities (other than research training), including the development and distribution of curriculum in a matriculated setting such as at the University or for K-12 education. It does not include the development of training materials for a project otherwise in the Public Service or Extension domain — that would fall under Other Sponsored Activities.
- Other Sponsored Activities: Programs and projects that involve the performance of work other than instruction and research. Examples of such programs and projects are health service projects and community service programs.
- Editable Budget: SPARCS requires an editable budget to be uploaded to all PINS records, except NSF FastLane submissions, at the time of College approval. This will enable the SPARCS negotiator to make minor adjustments to the budget when working with a sponsor, thus eliminating the need for the change to go back to the PI, Department, and College.
- Statement of Work and Budget: All proposals must contain a separate Statement of Work and budget. Even if the sponsor does not require a budget, the PINS record must include an internal budget for account setup. A budget is an estimated financial representation of the proposal’s Statement of Work. Enough detail should be provided in the budget to demonstrate that the University’s costs are fair and reasonable, allocable and consistent. If the budget does not show enough detail, please provide a separate budget justification.
- Three-Day Workshop: If you have a three-day workshop or an event for a short duration, it is recommended you make the actual Period of Performance 180 days to allow for both pre-award and closeout.
PINS Proposal FAQ
You will want to include instructions to SPARCS if needed. Provide instructions that include anything specifically needed or expected. For example: include instructions if SPARCS is to send a specific agreement (i.e. SPA, PSWO) or if they are to contact the sponsor first before sending an agreement or the sponsor has requested certain terms (i.e., payment terms, deliverable schedule, etc.). Also provide the detail contact information (full name, title, mailing address and phone number).
This should not be checked when the proposal comes with a fully executed award or an MOA. Instead these should come with instructions to SPARCS that a fully executed award is included and ready for award. The same with STTR/SBIR proposals or other types of proposals with an industry direct sponsor and federal prime sponsor unless our industry sponsor has already been selected for funding.
One of the differences with the STTR type initiative is that it addresses specific technology research and more rules regarding IP issues. Hence, in the instance of an STTR application, you would ask yourself:
- Is there going to be any background IP used in this project, either NC State background IP or the sponsor’s background IP? If so, the background IP needs to be identified.
- Will there be any new technology developed from this project?
- Did we secure the sponsor’s contact information (P-O-C, address, phone number, email)? This will be necessary for SPARCS that draws up the AOR agreement.
Note: AOR agreements are no longer processed by the SPARCS office as a RUSH due to the risk associated with the University. Proper time is needed to research the existence of background IP and seek OTT’s guidance on the background IP.
- In the budget justification, clarify that NC State does not currently possess the equipment* being requested at any site/location on campus.
- In the instance of fabricated equipment, identify if the equipment is currently being manufactured by a company.
- If yes to (b), then compare the amount you are requesting from the sponsor for NC State to fabricate the equipment vs. the manufacturer’s purchase price or lease of the same equipment.
- For fabricated equipment, indicate the component listing and whether these price estimates are based upon catalog prices, vendor quotes or past experience purchasing similar items.
- Indicate if the equipment will be fully dedicated to the research project or if it will be prorated.
- State in your budget justification that NC State requests approval to retain title to the fabricated/purchased equipment (in this instance, we do not charge F&A on the fabricated/purchased equipment).
- If a grant includes equipment and/or if we are charging equipment to a grant, you will want to be sure at the time of award to secure a CAMS number for that equipment.
- If we initially proposed an equipment grant and later purchased items that would be considered supplies, you will need to adjust the F&A fee accordingly.
This information is not meant to stand alone as it is important to be familiar with and incorporate University, State, Federal and Sponsor guidelines when it concerns equipment purchases or fabrication.
Additionally, the current use rate that is provided by Eric Sills, OTT, i.e., $700/$750 for 1 TB of storage centrally maintained by NC State University, has expired. Contracts and Grants is in contact with Sills to develop a current rate that will be acceptable by the University and meet federal guidelines.
Therefore, if you elect to include these fees in your proposal, not only will you need to defend the costs to the extent that it is considered an unlike circumstance, but also need to state in the justification that these fees are contingent upon the University developing an acceptable user rate that meets federal guidelines.
NCSU Libraries: Data Management Planning for Researchers at NC State
- Subcontract: Completes tasks which enhance the scientific research goals and outcomes of the project. Provides analysis and offers suggestions regarding the research itself. The organization will contribute work and/or deliverables with little direct guidance from NC State University. The subcontractor is subject to compliance requirements of the program.
- Consultant: The task is to be accomplished through the efforts of one person (who is an established consultant) or by an established consulting firm. The task is singular in nature and is to be accomplished over a relatively short period of time. Generally, who is an individual who is not using any institutional or organizational facilities and is acting as a direct agent.
- Vendor: Performs services only (does not provide analysis or discretionary judgment) such as lab testing, report printing, website design, etc., that are part of regular business operations and are available to many different purchasers or customers.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
eRA Commons ID/Password
Faculty who wish to apply for NIH funding must have a current/valid User ID. Please contact Laurinda Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org with a cc to Pat Hayes at email@example.com with any eRA Commons requests. Please be sure and let us know of any prior NIH support. We would need the IC and the serial number of said support.
Avoiding Common Errors
Going through the final checks will help you avoid errors and successfully submit your application! For additional help avoiding common errors check out our Annotated Forms with field-by-field tips on completing electronic grant application forms.
OMB Publishes Free Online Grants Management Training
Internal Forms, Templates and Agreements
As a reminder, when one requests a Pre-Award Contract and Grant account, in addition to the financial risks, there may be risks associated with export controls identified within the sponsor’s terms and conditions and made available to us at the time of award notification. For example, if the sponsor prohibits us from employing the services of a foreign national on a research project, we may not be aware of such restrictions until after the award is received and the terms and conditions are reviewed/approved by the University. Therefore, it is recommended that we consider these potential risks, in addition to the financial risk, and proceed with caution at the time the Pre-Award Contract and Grant account is established.Pre-Award Form (PDF)
NC State Research Development Office (RDO)
The RDO can assist faculty in finding research funding for individual, collaborative and cross-disciplinary research funding.
• New Funding Opportunities
• Current Limited Submission Opportunities
• Internal Funding Programs
• Scholar Awards
• External Funding Agencies
• Funding Databases + Search Tools
• NC State Grants.gov Portal
Go to the RDO website to subscribe to Funding Opportunity Listserv
Grants.gov is focused on improving access to services via the Internet. It is currently the single access point for over 900 grant programs offered by the 26 federal grant-making agencies, allowing organizations to electronically find and apply for competitive grant opportunities.
Search for grants at Grants.gov
Pivot - Community of Science
Locating and securing research funding is becoming increasingly competitive as funding opportunities are limited and the number of researchers vying for those dollars continues to grow. The Pivot website connects funding and research expertise.
Find funding opportunities at pivot.cos.com
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is making major changes to the way the research community registers for NSF accounts and maintains account and user profile information in FastLane and Research.gov.
Effective March 26, 2018, NSF is introducing a new centralized and streamlined account registration process in Research.gov for the research community that will provide each new user with a single profile and unique identifier (i.e., NSF ID) for signing in to FastLane and Research.gov for proposal and award activities.
The new account management functionality will:
- Allow users to create and self-manage accounts, including personal information and role requests;
- Eliminate the need for organizational Administrators to create accounts and maintain profile information for their users, allowing Administrators to focus on managing roles for their organizations through a dashboard with functions to approve, disapprove, assign, and remove roles; and
- Replace the existing FastLane and Research.gov account management functions.
Existing NSF Accounts
Existing NSF account holders, including Grants.gov and Application Submission Web Service (ASWS) users, will be migrated to the new account management system through a simple, one-time operation when initially signing in to FastLane or Research.gov after the new functionality is released. Account holders will be required to verify information to transfer it to the new system. Each user will have one NSF ID per the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (NSF 18-1), Chapter I.G.4.
- Users with existing NSF accounts can access the NSF ID Lookup page for their NSF ID. Forgotten passwords for established NSF accounts may be retrieved here.
- New users will be able to register directly with NSF through Research.gov on or after March 26, 2018, via this link: https://www.research.gov/accountmgmt/#/registration . Note that this link will not work until March 26, 2018.
Notes About Grants.gov and ASWS
- Beginning on March 26, 2018, the Principal Investigator (PI), all co-PIs, and the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) listed on a Grants.gov proposal must all be registered with NSF prior to proposal submission. NSF IDs for the PI, all co-PIs, and the AOR listed will need to be included in the proposal submission.
- When a proposal is submitted to NSF on or after March 26, 2018, through Grants.gov and ASWS, the NSF system will cross-check the DUNS number and organization name with NSF records.
- If there is no match to the DUNS number and/or organization name, the proposal will be rejected and the PI/AOR listed on the proposal submission will receive an email notifying that the proposal submission was not accepted by NSF.
- Currently, for proposals submitted via Grants.gov or ASWS, the NSF system registers organizations and will allow proposal submission in cases where there is a mismatch of the DUNS number and/or organization name with NSF records; however, this will no longer be possible effective March 26, 2018.
New NSF Registration Requirements for Organizations
- Organizations new to NSF will also register via the account management system in Research.gov.
- New organizations will be able to register directly with NSF through Research.gov on or after March 26, 2018, via this link: https://www.research.gov/accountmgmt/#/registration . Note that this link will not work until March 26, 2018.
- Beginning on March 26, 2018, before a new organization can register with NSF, it must first be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM; https://www.sam.gov) and have a data universal numbering system (DUNS) number.
- Organizations not already registered with NSF should be aware that completion of the SAM registration process could take up to two weeks.
- Note that the vast majority of universities are already registered with NSF via FastLane.
The new centralized account management functionality is being released first to the Administrator, PI, AOR, Sponsored Project Officer (SPO), Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Coordinating Official and Financial Official, and Award Cash Management Service (ACM$) groups. NSF plans to eventually expand the new functionality in the future to additional groups including proposal reviewers, GRFP applicants, and NSF staff.
NSF is currently finalizing new account management training resources such as job aids, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and instructional videos. These materials will soon be available on an “About Account Management” page accessible on the Research.gov homepage.
The National Science Foundation