... continued from the Director
Counting December 1st, there are only 15 total work days remaining in 2011; only 120 hours if you believe in an eight hour workday. So that everyone can enjoy the time off that follows these remaining hours; please consider if any of the following actions should be taken related to your Sponsored Project:
- No cost extensions: Does your 12/31 expiring project require additional time that must be approved by the sponsor?
- Actions that will impact Fall 2011 Effort Reporting: PAR forms to pay for work performed this fall or Agency Transactions Vouchers (ATV’s) to move salary expenses to the appropriate project.
- Complete technical or financial reports that are due prior to Dec 31st; (Dec 21st for practical purposes).
- Complete purchases or other financial transactions that must post in December; particularly where the project periods end on Dec 31st.
- Proposal development – Counting December 1st, there are only 20 work days to submit a proposal with a Jan 9th due date; 25 work days to meet a January 15th deadline.
Complicating all these issues is the annoying fact that people have lives and other responsibilities. Some staff have to take vacation or lose that time; faculty have exams and grading; scheduled meetings increase as student demands decrease; employees have family commitments and travel arrangements: the bottom line is that obtaining signatures or collaborating with others will become more time consuming or impossible. And lastly, whether it’s wanting a transaction to be keyed to the Finance or Payroll systems or just getting a letter in the mail before 12/31; the full time necessary to complete a process must be considered. Hand delivering a PAR to Human Resources Dec 21st with an expectation that it is processed by Payroll in December is not reasonable; please adjust your schedule to allow other areas time to accurately meet your needs.
Thank you from Sponsored Programs Administration and Accounting for a productive 2011 and best wishes for 2012.
With both grief for the sudden loss and fondness for him, we reflect on the death of Dr. John Noftsinger only a few weeks ago and the many contributions he made to the university and to sponsored programs specifically. His comprehensive support of Research and Public Service both encouraged and stimulated Sponsored Program interest and activities. He will be sorely missed as a leader, principal investigator, colleague and friend.
At the same time the Office of Sponsored Programs is excited about the prospects for the future under the leadership of Ken Newbold. As a PI, Ken has a valuable understanding of the demands placed on faculty and administrative staff that have received external funding. Ken is also keenly aware of the political and economic climates and the need for JMU to remain diligent in our oversight of sponsored projects and adhere to ever-expanding compliance regulations. OSP fully supports Ken in his new duties and looks forward to the New Year and beyond under his leadership.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking feedback on how to better manage its grant-making in light of flat or declining funding, with the possibility of limiting the number of awards per investigator or capping salaries, Sally Rockey, director of the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER), wrote recently on her blog.
Ms. Rockey said NIH would not move forward without discussions with stakeholders and invited comments on various proposals posted on the OER Web page. In addition, NIH is seeking comments on how to give extramural investigators access to its Clinical Center, as recommended in December 2010 by the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB). “To implement the SMRB recommendations and to broaden and accelerate translational research, the NIH is considering the establishment of a new Bench to Bedside program of cooperative agreements between basic and clinical researchers, both within and outside the NIH. Teams will have at least one NIH intramural and one extramural investigator. These investigators will have access to the NIH Clinical Center, leveraging its diverse resources, expertise, and infrastructure to test promising discoveries in the diagnosis treatment and prevention of disease,” the RFI states.
National Science Foundation Change Conditions to the U.S./European Union Open Skies Agreement
The new general grants conditions document states that “As of 2011, two significant changes have been made to the U.S./European Union (EU) Open Skies Agreement. First, EU airlines are now granted the right to transport civilian agency-funded passengers who are NOT eligible to travel on General Services Administration Airline City Pair Contract fares (e.g., grantees) between a point in the United States and a point outside the United States even if there is a GSA Airline City Pair Contract fare in effect between the origin and destination points.” The second change was that “EU airlines are now authorized to transport passengers between points in the United States and points outside the EU if the EU airline is authorized to serve the route under the agreement. This includes flights that originate, arrive, or stop in the EU. Prior to this change, EU airlines were limited to flying passengers between points in the U.S. and points in the EU,” the general grants conditions document states.