Office of Sponsored Programs Administration & Accounting

 
     
 
       
     
   
     
   
     
     

REMINDER: Office Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 
Fridays: 8 a.m. to Noon  

Updates from the Director

 

Revised Summer Business Hours
Please Note: Effective May 6 – August 16, the Office of Sponsored Programs will be observing the University's business hours: M-Th 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Fridays 8:00 AM to Noon. This may mean that our office hours may impact Friday or Monday proposal deadlines for your grant applications.  Please work closely with us to coordinate proposal deadlines to achieve a smooth submission!

Announcing the Office of Research Integrity and Contact Info
In the coming months you will notice that the Office of Research Compliance will now be known as the Office of Research Integrity with a new departmental e-mail, mail stop code and website (to soon go live).
E-Mail: researchintegrity@jmu.edu
MSC 5738
Please begin using the departmental e-mail and MSC for correspondence.

Cascade Websites Coming Soon
This summer the Office of Sponsored Programs, Sponsored Programs Accounting, and the Office of Research Integrity websites will migrate to Cascade so lookout for a new look and feel.

Reminder to Complete Cost Transfers Before End of Fiscal Year
JMU's fiscal year end process can cause significant disruptions to sponsored program projects if you do not plan ahead. Finance has issued year-end memo that is available at URL: http://www.jmu.edu/financeoffice/memos/year_end_memo_2013.docx

The cut-off dates for expenditure transactions are applied to Sponsored Programs as well. Accordingly, all expenditure vouchers should be submitted by noon Friday, June 14 if payment is required before June 30. If you have known expenses that should be paid before June 30 or even early in July, please process them now.  If expenses are incurred in mid to late June; you may wish to inform your payee that payment could be slightly delayed related to normal JMU processing.

 
Compliance Corner  

JMU Institutional Review Committees

Research projects involving human subjects, non-human animal subjects, radiation/radioactive materials or biohazards must be reviewed by the appropriate university institutional review committee. At James Madison University, there are four research review committees that are charged with ensuring the protection of researchers and the subjects of research at the University. They are also responsible for compliance with applicable federal and state regulations. The four committees are:

Institutional Review Board - Human Subjects Research

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee - Animal Research

Radiation Safety Committee

Institutional Biosafety Committee

Information about each committee, contact information for the committee chairperson and links to committee policies, procedures and forms can be found by clicking on the above links.

Note: It is the researcherís responsibility to submit an application to the appropriate review committee. We encourage the submission of protocols to the respective review committees at the proposal stage. Some funding agencies such as NSF, NIH, and other DHHS programs require that applications be submitted to the review committee at the time of official proposal submission. The principal investigator must receive approval from the appropriate review committee before an award can be made.


National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding Application(s)
: Writing Your Vertebrate Animal Section
Use of Vertebrate Animals in NIH Funding Applications: Answer the Five Points in the Vertebrate Animals Section

Peer reviewers can adjust your overall impact score based on your responses to the five points below. An incomplete or missing response could exclude your application from review.

Address these five points in the Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS) of the Research Plan:

1. Provide a detailed description of the use of animals in the research. Identify species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers of animals to be used.

2. Justify the use and number of animals and choice of species with additional justification if animals are in short supply or are costly or if you plan to use large numbers.

3. Provide information on veterinary care for the animals.

4. Describe procedures for ensuring that discomfort, pain, and injury will be limited to what is unavoidable. Describe the use of analgesic, anesthetic, tranquilizing drugs, and restraining devices to minimize discomfort, distress, pain, and injury.

5. Describe any euthanasia method to be used and the reasons for its selection. State whether this method is consistent with the recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines on Euthanasia. If not, justify not following the recommendations.

For electronic applications, follow the instructions for Vertebrate Animals in the SF 424 Application Guide. For paper applications, follow the instructions for Vertebrate Animals in the PHS 398.

NIH's Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section (PDF) describes requirements and provides an example of a complete VAS.

Since there is no page limit for this section, use as much space as you need to convince reviewers that you'll do everything right. Don't assume reviewers will automatically know what you're talking about. Help them understand why your approach will yield the best results and how you will limit animal pain and distress to that which is scientifically necessary.

Resource

Grants Podcast produced by the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) features Dr. Pat Brown, Director, OLAW, who explains what must be included in your grant application if you use vertebrate animals in your research. Listen to: http://grants.nih.gov/podcasts/All_About_Grants/episodes/Animals_May_2011.mp3


Avoiding Research Misconduct

The release of "The Lab: Avoiding Research Misconduct" is now available for viewing on the DHHS Office of Research Integrity web site. The video simulation allows users to assume the role of a graduate student, post-doc, research administrator, or PI and make decisions that affect the integrity of research. http://ori.hhs.gov/TheLab

 
Timely Topics  

Proposed Changes to Federal Funding for STEM Education Programs

As you may be aware, the President's FY14 budget includes significant eliminations and consolidations of the STEM education and outreach programs managed by various federal agencies, including NSF, ED, NASA, NOAA, and others. The proposed federal budget will accomplish a 50% reduction of STEM programs from 226 down to 112 to eliminate lowest priority programs and increase funding for effective STEM programs. Familiar programs such as the NSF's TUES (formerly CCLI), MSP, and STEP programs as well as the ED's Teacher Quality program have been mentioned in the list of possible eliminations/consolidations, however nothing is finalized yet. The President has proposed an increase of 6.7% in STEM educational programs over FY2012 funding levels, primarily under the NSF and ED umbrellas but the Smithsonian also benefits. While this is only a proposed budget at this point, it is likely that some of these projected changes will occur. Following is a link to an article in the journal Science below. Within the article are included links to the White House's proposal, which provides extensive details.

Until it’s sorted out where the new STEM opportunities will reside, there may be some uncertainty among our long-time recipients of grants under existing programs. As these changes unfold in the coming months, we will keep you apprised of any program changes and push out the new STEM funding opportunities.

Consolidations & Reductions list from FY2014 budget: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2014/assets/ccs.pdf

Link to Science article: "A U.S. Makeover for STEM Education: What it Means for NSF and the Education Department" http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2013/04/a-us-makeover-for-stem-education.html

We would like to acknowledge Katie Plum, research administrator at Angelo State University for publishing this information to a list serve.


National Science Foundation: Guidance on Project Outcomes Report (POR)

Along with requiring PI's to submit annual progress reports and project end reports, the National Science Foundation (NSF) also requires every grantee to submit a project outcomes report (POR). According to NSF, "project outcomes report for the general public…This report serves as a brief summary, prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project."

NSF's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently conducted an "Evaluation of Results for Division of Undergraduate Education Programs" and focused in on PORs. In their review, the OIG found there are problems with final reports which could then in turn affect PORs. Many grantees pull information from their final reports, which can be too technical for the general public and not convey the outcomes of the project clearly.

The OIG provides the following advice and observations as a result from their evaluation:

1. "The POR should provide a visible link between the project’s objectives and what was ultimately accomplished toward those objectives. A transparent connection between stated goals and eventual outcomes is important insofar as it shows how well the grantee institution has served as a steward of the taxpayer funds the project received."

2. "To help ensure that project results are presented to the public in a clear and understandable manner, NSF solicitations should explain that to the extent that objectives are listed in the abstract, the POR should describe how the objectives are achieved."

3. The PORs "are not easy for lay people to decipher. We also found very little in the way of concrete quantitative data that supported the specific goals… By defining POR expectations with greater precision in the program solicitation, DUE can alert its awardees to this important new reporting requirement and ensure that results are communicated in a meaningful way to the public and other stakeholders."

It is important to note that NSF does not review or approve the POR. The POR is posted the next business day on Research.gov’s Research Spending and Results website exactly as it is submitted by the PI along with the following disclaimer:

"This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content."

The PI may edit the report for 30 days after it has been submitted. An unlimited number of addenda may be submitted after the 30 days has passed to supplement the report.

Link: http://nsf.gov/oig/Results_for_DUE_Programs.pdf

Research.gov Project Outcomes Report Fact Sheet: http://www.research.gov/common/attachment/Desktop/ProjectOutcomesReportFactSheet.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Project Outcomes Report: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/porfaqs.jsp 


National Science Foundation Report: Unlocking the Secrets of Science

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13079/nsf13079.pdf?WT.mc_id=USNSF_124