News Items

... continued from Updates from the Director

COS Pivot is replacing COS funding Opps

COS Funding Opportunities on the COS.com platform will be retiring within the next few weeks. The Office of Sponsored Programs encourages users to become familiar with COS Pivot, prior to the cos.com shut-down to allow ample time to become accustomed to the new features and functionality of Pivot, while being able to continue to use the current Funding Opps product during this transition.

Everyone should start going to the new URL: http://pivot.cos.com. If you do not have an account, you can create one at the Pivot url below, but you must use your JMU email address to be verified.

Users’ log ins will not be affected by the change. If you currently have an account, that username/password will work in Pivot. You can link to this page: http://pivot.cos.com/support which has a plethora of materials for users.

In the next few days, you’ll notice several NEW enhancements to Pivot including:

Tracked Opp Updates

Pivot users will receive an “opp updated email” if the opp they are tracking (on their Tracked or Active list) was updated by a Pivot Admin--in addition to updates provided by the Pivot funding editors. Updates by the admin that would trigger the update email include adding a note or message to a funding opportunity, updating or creating an internal deadline info for an opp, or indicating if your university has been invited to submit a proposal for a particular funding opportunity.

New Funding Opps Export Option

You will be able to export funding opportunities as an Excel csv (comma separated value) in addition to the other formats already available (HTML, ASCII, and tagged text).

April Pivot Webinars Added

As always, don’t forget to take advantage of the end-user training available to you. The end-user training can be found here: https://refworks.webex.com/refworks/onstage/g.php?p=4&t=m

Pivot User Tip

Did you know that when you search for a term in the Profiles area, you’re not only searching the content of all profiles, but any web content within those profiles? Any URL listed in the Web section of the profile is indexed and searched when you run a Pivot profile search. Web page information is also used by the Pivot Advisor when recommending funding.


... continued from the Compliance Corner

Grant Funding from Two or More Agencies under Scrutiny by Federal Government

U.S. authorities are warning researchers and universities that it is illegal to accept funding from more than one agency on the same research project.  It is the responsibility of the researcher to reject a newly funded grant if it overlaps with another currently funded grant with the same research focus.
A recent article in Nature highlights an ongoing case from Pennsylvania State University and a case at the University of Central Florida. To read the article: http://www.nature.com/news/duplicate-grant-case-puts-funders-under-pressure-1.9984.
We ask all faculty to be mindful of these rules and to work with SPAA to assure we do not accept duplicate funding for the same project.
It sounds like every researcher’s dream: two or more agencies are falling over each other to fund your grant proposal.  But for those tempted to accept funding for the same piece of research from more than one agency, grant fraud charges brought by the US authorities on 31 January are a sober warning. The incident has also sparked renewed calls for funding agencies to work harder to avoid grant duplication.

The recent charges were brought against Craig Grimes, who until 2010 was a professor of electrical engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Last month, he pleaded guilty to charges that included accepting grants from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund the same research on solar conversion of carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons. “It is not a problem to apply for funds for the same research at different funding agencies, but it is illegal to accept and use the funding,” says Christine Boesz, a former inspector-general for the NSF. Such duplicate funding is banned in many leading scientific nations. Boesz says that there is no way of knowing how prevalent the problem is, but that cases tend to come to light only if peer reviewers spot similarities in grant applications.


New National Institutes of Health (NIH) FAQs Address Financial Conflict of Interest Regulations

NIH has updated its frequently asked questions Web page on the financial conflict of interest regulation, which goes into effect at the end of August. The 10 new and three updated FAQs, posted March 21, address a variety of topics, including blind trusts, payments on behalf of investigators made to institutions and the differences between significant financial interests as defined in the new regulation versus the 1995 rule. Of interest to those grappling with how to implement the travel expenses disclosure requirements, which are not subject to a payment threshold, is a new question with a three-part answer. The item indicates that institutions "have the discretion to determine which details of the sponsored or reimbursed travel, for example, source of funding, destination, duration of travel, etc., drive further institutional review." Policies could dictate, for example, that anticipated participation in annual meetings and medical society gatherings "may not require further institutional review to determine if the travel constitutes a FCOI," the FAQ states.
Link: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/coi/coi_faqs.htm#3383

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Sponsored Programs Administration & Accounting