Office of Sponsored Programs Administration & Accounting


August 2015 newsletter header



Regular Business Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm

From May 11, 2015 - Aug. 21, 2015, the Office of Sponsored Programs will be following JMU's Summer Schedule:
Monday - Thursday, 8:00am - 5:00pm, and Friday, 8:00am - 12noon

Updates from the Director

As summer slips away, please consider completing remaining sponsored programs activities before the academic year starts. Please remember to complete summer payroll transactions as soon as possible. Agency Transaction Vouchers (ATVs) moving salary from one project or department ID to another, and Personnel Action Request (PAR) forms to pay employees for summer work, must be completed now so that they will be accurately reflected in the Summer Effort Certification Reports. As applicable, revisit processing of final expenses related to grant activity, submit required technical reports to the sponsor (with a copy to OSP), and plan for no-cost extensions or budget revisions. Please contact us if we can be of assistance with administrative transactions or issues. Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Last Chance: Jeffress Memorial Trust renewal Applications Due by Sept 1

The next, and final, Jeffress renewal application deadline is September 1.  You may be eligible to submit a renewal application for this deadline if you have not already received two renewal awards and your original grant was awarded between January 2009-May 2012.  This is the last time that Jeffress will accept renewal applications.

If you wish to submit a renewal for the September 1 deadline, please provide the Office of Sponsored Programs with the signed Internal Approval Form and proposal materials, including a line item budget, on or before August 25.  Please use this form to prepare your renewal request: Renewal Proposal Form.   

Featured Funding Opportunities

Commonwealth Health Research Board [CHRB]/ Concept Papers due Thursday, September 17, 2015 by 4:00 pm

In just over a month, concept papers are due to CHRB. CHRB funds support research efforts having the potential of maximizing human health benefits for the citizens of the Commonwealth. CHRB encourages collaborative research efforts among two or more institutions or organizations, gives priority to those research efforts where CHRB support can be leveraged to foster contributions from federal agencies or other entities, and supports both new research efforts and the expansion or continuation of existing research efforts.

The Office of Sponsored Programs will coordinate electronic submission of all concept papers to conform to CHRB guidelines. The Concept Papers are complex, mandate institutional match, and require extra time to complete detailed forms, so please don't delay in starting your application materials.

  • Funding: For the FY 2016/2017 CHRB competition, applicants may request funding to support projects over either a one-year ($100,000) or two-year period ($200,000)
  • Guidelines for FY 2016/2017 – **includes examples of reasons for denial of a full scientific review of a Concept Paper
  • Full proposals, by invitation only, are due February 4, 2016

Contact OSP ASAP to indicate your interest in this program and to receive assistance with budget development, forms and submission.


Virginia Foundation for the Humanities/Open Grant Program - Due Oct. 1
VFH accepts proposals from nonprofit organizations seeking funding to develop public humanities programs for audiences in Virginia. This competition is open to proposals on a wide range of subjects, for projects in any format, and for amounts typically up to $10,000.  Draft proposals are strongly encouraged.

October 15
Draft proposals submitted by October 5
Decisions in early December


Smaller Discretionary Grants of up to $3,000 are also made on a rolling basis. There is no deadline for this program; applications are accepted at any time. Applicants should contact VFH staff before submitting a Discretionary Grant proposal.


Key areas of priority:

  • Books, Reading, and Literacy/ Rights and Responsibilities/ Media and Culture/ Violence and Community/ Science, Technology, and Society/ Virginia History
  • Teacher education programs (especially those related to Virginia’s Standards of Learning)/ African American history and culture/ Native American history and culture/ The history and culture of other minority communities in Virginia/ Virginia’s folklife and traditional culture(s)/ The future of rural Virginia

Timely Topics

NSF Agency Update: Don’t Risk Receiving “Returned Without Review”

Dr. Sonia Esperanca, NSF’s Division of Earth Science (EAR) program Director noted common problems which may result in noncompliance and proposals being returned without review. She urges principal investigators to follow guidance in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and the program solicitation. She notes that EAR Program staff check proposals for compliance and a Program Officer may return a proposal without review if it is deemed not compliant with either the GPG or the relevant program solicitation. The main areas that proposals deviate from compliance are:

a) Results from Prior Support: The summary of results must be separately described under two headings, Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

b) Broader Impacts: The Project Description must contain a separate section (with the title “Broader Impacts of the Proposed Work”) that contains an explanation of the broader impacts of the proposed research as described in GPG.

c) Biographical Sketches: These should comply with the specific format listed in the GPG, and fit within two pages. The use of “et al.” is not allowed.

d) Budget Justification: The 3 pages allotted to the budget justification should be carefully constructed to conform to the significant changes in the guidance for several areas of the budget, such as those for travel. For proposals that contain sub-awards, each sub-award must include a separate budget justification of no more than 3 pages.

e) Unfunded Collaborations: Any substantial collaboration with individuals not included in the budget should be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section and documented in a letter of collaboration from each collaborator.

f) Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources: This section should describe only those resources that are directly applicable and should include an aggregated description of the internal and external resources (both physical and personnel) that the organization and its collaborators would provide to the project.

g) Letters of collaboration: Letters of collaboration should be limited to stating the intent to collaborate and should not contain endorsements or evaluation of the proposed project.

Don’t let these common errors derail your proposal!

NIH Agency Update: Important Note on Deadlines for Required Final Reports & Grants Closeout

Posted on June 30, 2015 

When an NIH awardee’s grant project periods comes to an end, recipients must close out their grant by submitting a Final Federal Financial Report (FFR), Final Progress Report (FPR), and Final Invention Statement and Certification (FIS). The deadlines for these reports has recently changed to align with forthcoming standard award terms and conditions for participating Federal research agencies. All projects with a period of performance end date on or after October 1, 2014 must submit the final FFR, the FPR, and the FIS within 120 calendar days of the end of the period of performance. For any grants with a period of performance (project period) end date prior to October 1, 2014, the reporting deadline will be 90 days from the project period end date.

As announced in the NIH Guide, eRA systems are currently being updated to reflect these changes. The “grants pending closeout” search by institution in Commons Quick Queries will reflect the new deadline.

For more information about grants closeout visit our frequently asked questions on grants closeout.

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