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The NIH has produced a one page tip sheet explaining what is considered Rigor and Reproducibility in NIH Applications. The tip sheet can be found here.

New forms and guidelines are in store for anyone applying to the NIH on or after May 25, 2016.

All proposals submitted on or after May 25th must use Forms D!

A full summary of changes can be found here: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/how-to-apply-application-guide/forms-d/general/g.120-significant-changes.htm

The NIH has updated the application guide and supplemental instructions for use with grant application due dates on or after May 25, 2016. Take a moment to check these sites out.

The John Templeton Foundation makes grants in five areas http://templeton.org/what-we-fund/core-funding-areas. Researchers interested in funding first contact the foundation via an online letter of inquiry, seeking to receive an invitation to submit a full proposal. Due dates for these inquiries are based on the size of the grant sought: for projects of $217,400 or less, LOIs are due 5/31, 8/31, and 11/30; for projects over $217,400 there is one upcoming due date, 8/31. Interested faculty should contact the Office of Corporate, Foundation, and Government Grants prior to submitting an LOI.
Core funding areas:

  • Science and the Big Questions provides resources for research (and disseminating the results of research) about the “basic forces, concepts, and realities” governing the universe and humankind’s place in the universe. This program is the largest of the foundation’s funding initiatives and is further divided into five areas:
    • Mathematical and Physical Sciences: The Foundation supports innovative projects that focus on foundational questions in mathematics or that seek a deeper understanding of the nature of reality within the realm of physics, cosmology, astronomy, chemistry, or other physical sciences. Projects that are unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources are especially encouraged.
    • Life Sciences: The Foundation supports projects investigating the evolution and fundamental nature of life, human life, and mind, especially as they relate to issues of meaning and purpose. Projects are welcome from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including the biological sciences, neuroscience, archeology, and paleontology.
    • Human Sciences: The Foundation supports projects that apply the tools of anthropology, sociology, political science, and psychology to the various moral and spiritual concepts identified by Sir John Templeton. These include altruism, creativity, free will, generosity, gratitude, intellect, love, prayer, and purpose.
    • Philosophy and Theology: The Foundation supports projects that attempt to develop new philosophical and theological insights, especially (but not only) in relation to advances in scientific understanding.
    • Science in Dialog: The Foundation has a strong interest in projects that bring one or more scientific disciplines into a mutually enriching discussion with theology and/or philosophy, whether for a scholarly audience or the public at large.
  • Character Virtue Development component supports a broad range of programs, publications, and studies focused on the universal truths of character development, from childhood through young adulthood and beyond. The qualities of character referenced by the foundation are awe, creativity, curiosity, diligence, entrepreneurialism, forgiveness, future-mindedness, generosity, gratitude, honesty, humility, joy, love, purpose, reliability, and thrift as well as the relationship between culture (as expressed in beliefs, values, and worldview) and behavior.
  • Individual Freedom and Free Markets support a range of programs intended to liberate the initiative of individuals and nations and to establish the necessary conditions for the success of profit-making enterprise.
  • Genetics research support is a relatively new goal for the foundation. The foundation’s initial investments in genetics can be seen on their website, and they are open to new ideas and expect to broaden their portfolio of funded projects.
  • Exceptional Cognitive Talent and Genius represents the Foundation’s strong commitment to identifying and nurturing young people who demonstrate exceptional talent in mathematics and science. The foundation has made individual awards and funded research under this program, in both the U.S. and internationally.

The NSF has updated the Grants Proposal Guide, effective for all proposals due January 25, 2016 and after. Here is a summary of the changes:

The NSF is updating its Grants Proposal Guide. Beginning with proposals due on January 25th the following applies:

The 5 p.m. (local to the institution) deadline – will now be enforced. Fastlane will now use the official government wide clock to determine if a proposal is late. Our office asks that you have your final copies uploaded into Fastlane and be ready to submit by 4:45 p.m. on the deadline day. As always we prefer to submit the day before, but do recognize that circumstances arise that makes that impossible.

Biosketches – Collaborator and other affiliation information has now been removed from the biosketch. Collaborator and other affiliations information will be a separate document uploaded as a Single Copy Document.
Biosketches for the PI/co-PIs/Senior Personnel must now be uploaded separately

Current and Pending – internal funds allocated towards specific projects must be included
Current and Pending for the PI/co-PIs/Senior Personnel must now be uploaded/entered separately

Vertebrate Animals – updated guidance on the information that must be provided in the Project Description for projects that involve use of vertebrate animals and the procedure to follow if IACUC approval has not been obtained prior to submission.

Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPISS) – This will be one more step before the awarding program officer makes the final decision. This database will include information about Wesleyan as a grantee of the federal government. Please be sure to get your reports, etc. in on time. This information may be considered in a program officer’s decision to award.

Final Project Report and Project Outcome Report – will now be due at the 120 day deadline for consistency with the financial reporting deadline.

Public Access – Entry information on publications will be required for any grant funded after 1/25/16. This is an entirely new section to the GPG.

For a summary of major changes to the Grants Proposal Guide please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf16001/sigchanges.jsp

The new Grants Proposal Guide can be found here: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf16001/gpg_print.pdf



Soon Principal Investigators (PIs), will have be able to request Prior Approvals for NIH applications with direct costs over $500,000 electronically! The request will be initiated and submitted before the submission of the grant application through eRA Commons . The PI will need to provide justification for the request, along with a detailed budget that will be uploaded as a 10 page limit PDF.

PIs will also be able to initiate requests electronically to withdraw their applications. These requests will be routed to a Signing Official (SO), who can then submit them. Like the $500K request, they will need to provide a justification for withdrawing the application.

The SO can still initiate and submit both types of request.

The hope is to add this functionality to eRA Commons by late spring.

NSF  announced today  it’s framework for Public Access in order for information about NSF funded research to be accessible to all.

This NSF requirement will apply to new awards resulting from proposals submitted, or due, on or after the effective date of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that will be issued in January 2016. NSF will require that either the version of record or the final accepted manuscript in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions must:

  • Be deposited in a public access compliant repository designated by NSF;
  • Be available for download, reading and analysis free of charge no later than 12 months after initial publication;
  • Possess a minimum set of machine-readable metadata elements in a metadata record to be made available free of charge upon initial publication;
  • Be managed to ensure long-term preservation; and
  • Be reported in annual and final reports during the period of the award with a persistent identifier that provides links to the full text of the publication as well as other metadata elements.

There will be FAQs regarding these changes published in April, 2015.

For more information please visit the NSF Public Access Special Report Site.

The NIH has released a new, simplified policy for late application submission. There is a two week window of consideration after the application due date, during which time the NIH will consider accepting a late application. For complete guidelines on the policy as well as what is considered acceptable and not acceptable for late application submission please visit: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-15-039.html for complete information .

The NIH is rolling out a new format for biographical sketches. PIs may use the new format for proposals beginning January 25, 2015, but the new format is required effective with proposals due May 25, 2015 and after.

The significant changes are:

  • Page length (5 pages)
  • Instead of Publications the section is now called “Contributions to Science” and is limited to five most significant contributions (this section has new instructions with what information is required – see link below or attachments)

You may not combine new and old formats prior to the May 25th effective date. If you chose to use the current format you must adhere to the guidelines for the current format, if you choose to use the new format you must use the new guidelines.

The new form and instructions are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm#format .  The first MS Word link when you land on the page is the new form and the second link provides both the instructions for each section and a sample biosketch. I am also attaching both Word documents here. The attachment “SF424R-R biosketchsample VerC.dox” includes both the instructions and the sample.

The NIH is also advocating for PIs to use Science Experts Network (SciENcv)   as a tool to build biosketches and this functionality will be available in the upcoming weeks with the NIH forms.  There is a YouTube video  that provides instruction on using SciENcv.

The NSF has released an updated GPG. The new regulations go into effect for proposals being submitted December 26th and later. The new GPG is available (HTML) at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf15001/index.jsp.

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