Office of Sponsored Programs Administration & Accounting

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OSP Office Hours:

8:00am - 5:00pm:  Monday - Friday

Updates from the Director

Farewell to Grants Specialist Julia Rhodes

Julia just recently departed the Office of Sponsored Programs to move forward in her research administration career at Virginia Commonwealth University. We thank her for her service with our team in support of your external funding endeavors and wish her the best. We hope to introduce a new team member shortly. In the meantime, please contact us as early as possible to request resources so that we can allocate time to attend to your submissions.

Plan Now for 2 Limited Submission Internal Competitions (November)

As noted in last month’s newsletter, we have 2 very popular funding opportunities coming up with deadlines right after Winter Break: NSF’s Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI), due January 22, 2015 and the Jeffress Trust Awards Program in Interdisciplinary Research, due January 15, 2015. 

Jeffress Action Required:  The new funding announcement for the Jeffress Trust Awards Program in Interdisciplinary Research is now available!

Funding Available: $100,000

Award Period: June 30, 2015 - June 29, 2016

Internal Deadline: November 14

Sponsore Deadline: January 15, 2015 (Noon)

Only 4 submissions may move forward from the university.  Last year we had interest from multiple groups.

If you are interested in this limited competition, please submit the required Limited Submission Form by November 14 to jmu_grants@jmu.edu.

Note: Release of a revised NSF MRI solicitation is anticipated at any time. The previous funding solicitation is now archived but available for review.
 
NSF MRI Action Required: Those interested in submitting either an acquisition or development MRI grant application should send an “MRI notice of interest” e-mail to jmu_grants@jmu.edu as soon as possible to inform us of interested parties.

  • The body of the e-mail should include the name of the Principal Investigator, any Co-Investigators, and whether the application is an acquisition or development grant application. This information is important in case there more than 2 parties developing an acquisition application. In that case we will run a Limited Submission competition internally to identify the most beneficial projects to move forward.

Jeffress Action Required Though the new official funding announcement is not available yet, the Jeffress administrator indicates that a new competition will be available for applications in mid-January 2015. Only 4 submissions may move forward from the university. Last year we had interest from multiple groups. If interested in this limited competition, please submit the required Limited Submission Form by November 14 to jmu_grants@jmu.edu
Link to 2015 RFP  -

Featured Funding Opportunity

Announcing the Popular EPA's People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Program

The P3 has been a good funding source for JMU especially in that it engages students in projects to solve serious environmental challenges and provides hands-on active learning opportunities.

Under faculty guidance, students work in teams to design sustainability solutions and compete for more funding to take their ideas from the lab to the real world. Interdisciplinary teams, including representatives from engineering departments and/or departments of chemistry, industrial design, business, economics, policy, social science, and others, are encouraged to apply.

Deadline: Dec 16

Funding Available: $15,000

Official Request for Applications: 12thAnnual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet

Click here for instructions on how to apply.

For general program information, visit:http://www.epa.gov/ncer/p3/index.html

Please contact our office early to alert us to your interest in the P3 program. With exams, Winter Break looming, and the vagaries of winter weather, this will be a very busy time at the university!

Timely Topics

Data Management Plans Increasingly Required

The Department of Energy is the latest federal agency to require that investigators integrate a data management plan into the overall research plan. This requirement applies to all Office of Science research solicitations and invitations for new, renewal, and some supplemental funding issued on or after October 1, 2014.

All proposals submitted to the Office of Science for research funding must include a Data Management Plan (DMP) that addresses the following requirements:

  1. DMPs should describe whether and how data generated in the course of the proposed research will be shared and preserved. If the plan is not to share and/or preserve certain data, then the plan must explain the basis of the decision (for example, cost/benefit considerations, other parameters of feasibility, scientific      appropriateness, or limitations discussed in #4). At a minimum, DMPs must describe how data sharing and preservation will enable validation of results, or how results could be validated if data are not shared or preserved.
  2. DMPs should provide a plan for making all research data displayed in publications resulting from the proposed research open, machine-readable, and digitally      accessible to the public at the time of publication. This includes data that are displayed in charts, figures, images, etc. In addition, the underlying digital research data used to generate the displayed data should be made as accessible as possible to the public in accordance with the principles stated above. This requirement could be met by including the data as supplementary information to the published article, or through other means. The published article should indicate how these data can be accessed.
  3. DMPs should consult and reference available information about data management resources to be used in the course of the proposed research. In particular, DMPs that explicitly or implicitly commit data management resources at a facility beyond what is conventionally made available to approved users should be accompanied by written approval from that facility. In determining the resources available for data management at Office of Science User Facilities, researchers should consult the published description of data management resources and practices at that facility and reference it in the DMP. Information about other Office of Science      facilities can be found in the additional guidance from the sponsoring program.
  4. DMPs must protect confidentiality, personal privacy, Personally Identifiable Information, and U.S. national, homeland, and economic security; recognize proprietary interests, business confidential information, and intellectual property rights; avoid significant negative impact on innovation, and U.S. competitiveness; and otherwise be consistent with all applicable laws, regulations, and DOE orders and policies. There is no requirement to share proprietary data.

DMPs will be reviewed as part of the overall Office of Science research proposal merit review process. Additional requirements and review criteria for the DMP may be identified by the sponsoring program or sub-program, or in the solicitation.

JMU Libraries provides data management plan templates through the DMPTool.  Expert assistance in creating DMP’s is available from Librarian Yasmeen Shorish or through the Data Management help page.

Uniform Guidance (UG): Focus on Procurement (2 CFR Part 200.318 – 200.320)

The UG mandates the procurement procedures required for purchases of specific dollar amounts.  The change with the greatest impact to JMU’s procedures is that ALL purchases over $3,000 must document some form of competition at the proposal stage and prior to purchase.  While JMU’s current Small Purchase Credit Card (SPCC) uses a threshold of $5,000 for non-competitive purchases, purchases on federal funds of $3000 or more require documentation that a competitive review was performed for price and quality.  (Purchases under $3000 are called “micro-purchases” and require no documentation of a price/quality evaluation of the items purchased). 

In addition, over the $3,000 threshold, there is a hierarchy of requirements to fulfill that are covered by JMU current procurement procedures (except for items between $3000 and $5000).  Those categories are requirements are:

  • Small Purchase/Simplified Acquisition Threshold (>$3,000 up to $150,000 with prior approval or in proposal) – require price or rate quotations from an adequate number of qualified sources, don't require cost or price analysis
  • Sealed Bids > $150,000
  • Competitive Proposals > $150,000
  • Non-Competitive (Sole Source procurement) – monitored very stringently with the new guidance and there will be far fewer of these

Starting now our office will advise applicants that  IF you plan to buy anything valued over $3,000 on a federally funded project, you MUST collect competitive pricing information and share that information with the Office of Sponsored Programs. This will become part of your proposal/award file and will be available in case of audit.  We will also advise principal investigators that they may wish to work with Procurement to fulfill these new requirements upon award.  Their staff will publicly post/solicit for anything over $3,000 for a federal grant purchase to comply with UG regulations. 

Impact: Because of tightened purchasing requirements for federal grants, faculty should be prepared for closer scrutiny in budget reviews pre-award as we adapt our internal controls, processes, and documentation standards to meet the UG requirements.

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