Office of Sponsored Programs Administration & Accounting



January 2016 newsletter header



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

Updates from the Director

Don’t Let Inclement Weather Derail your Submission Plans

During the winter season when the university (normally) experiences frequent weather closures, it’s important to build in extra time to complete the university approval cycle and quality checks.  At this time of year it’s especially wise to allow a full 5 business days prior to the posted sponsor deadlines to submit your completed proposal materials to OSP. This is in accordance with University Policy 2201 and allows our office to provide you with the best service including editorial assistance as time allows.  Some sponsors like the National Science Foundation will accept late proposals due to inclement weather however this is not the norm. It would be difficult on everyone to miss a deadline due to inclement weather.

Featured Funding Opportunity

 Due Feb 5

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)SURF NIST Logo

NIST SURF is designed to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in STEM through a unique residential research experience that supports the NIST mission. SURF students have the opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on experience, working with cutting edge technology in one of the world’s leading research organizations. Over the course of 11 weeks, SURF students contribute to the ongoing research of one of the seven NIST laboratories in Gaithersburg, MD or Boulder, CO.  Applications are due February 12 and must be submitted through the Office of Sponsored Programs as one package to NIST. If you have students interested in NIST SURF please refer them to our office for assistance at 568-6872 or


IMPORTANT: All student application materials must be received in our office by February 5 to ensure submission.


Timely Topics

NIH Update

NIH is Committed to New and Early Stage Investigators

In 2009, NIH implemented changes to the New Investigator policies involving the identification of Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) ESIs are New Investigators who are within 10 years of completing their terminal research degree or within 10 years of completing their medical residency at the time they apply for R01 grants.  In order to encourage a reduction in the period of training leading to independence, the NIH monitors their New Investigator pool to make sure that approximately half have ESI status. Applications from ESIs, like those from all New Investigators, are given special consideration during peer review and at the time of funding. Peer reviewers are instructed to focus more on the proposed approach than on the track record, and to expect less preliminary information than might be provided by an established investigator. 

Policy changes have substantially increased the number and the percentage of competing R01 awards going  to New Investigators. By 2010, New Investigators constituted 31.8% of all competing R01s.  In spite of substantial increases in both the number and percentage of New Investigators, the average age at first award has not decreased (42).

 Frequently Asked Questions about NIH New and Early Stage Investigator Policies


NIH Unveils 5-Year Strategic Plan

The biomedical research agency recently published its research strategic plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2020.

Main Objectives Include:

  1. advance opportunities in biomedical research in fundamental science, treatment and cures, and health promotion and disease prevention
  2. foster innovation by setting NIH priorities to enhance nimbleness, consider burden of disease and value of permanently eradicating a disease, and advance research opportunities presented by rare diseases
  3. enhance scientific stewardship by recruiting and retaining an outstanding biomedical research workforce, enhancing workforce diversity and impact through partnerships, ensuring rigor and reproducibility, optimizing approaches to inform funding decisions, encouraging innovation, and engaging in proactive risk management practices
  4. excel as a federal science agency by managing for results by developing the “science of science,” balancing outputs with outcomes, conducting workforce analyses, continually reviewing peer review, evaluating steps to enhance rigor and reproducibility, reducing administrative burden, and tracking effectiveness of risk management

For the full report:

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NIH Announces 2016 Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration in May and October

The Office of Extramural Research  sponsors the NIH Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration. These seminars are intended to help demystify the application and review process, clarify Federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern. The seminars serve the NIH mission of providing education and training for the next generation of biomedical and behavioral scientists. NIH policy, grants management, review and program staff provide a broad array of expertise and encourage personal interaction between themselves and seminar participants. The seminars are appropriate for researchers new to NIH, grants administrators, and graduate students.




May 11-13, 2016

Baltimore, Maryland

SAVE THE DATE!   Discount hotel rates are available at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.

October 26-28, 2016

Chicago, Illinois

Palmer House Hilton
Watch for more information soon!

NSF Update


Effective January 25 please drop section e. Collaborators & Other Affiliations from your biosketches. This information will now be loaded as a separate single copy document in FastLane. The current template may be accessed here.

  • Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information, is a new single-copy document that requires each senior project personnel to provide information regarding collaborators and other affiliations. This information used to be provided as part of the Biographical Sketch. The new format no longer requires proposers to identify the total number of collaborators and other affiliations when providing this information. NSF Collaborators & Other Affiliations Template (for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016)

Topics of Interest to Faculty – Archived Presentations from 2015

NSF Merit Review Process

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program

Biological Sciences

Computer and Information Science and Engineering

Education and Human Resources


Major Research Instrumentation


Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

Compliance Corner

The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) will be hosting a Meet and Greet for all current faculty animal researchers to meet with colleagues working in other vivariums on campus.  This could be a chance to share ideas and potentially collaborate.

ORI is reviewing Program Evaluation Survey responses and greatly appreciate the feedback received and would like to address the concerns that were raised such as the following:   

  1. Differences between the Office of Research Integrity and the Office of Sponsored Programs
  2. IACUC process improvements based on faculty input (i.e., forms)
  3. IACUC redundancy
  4. Number of IACUC members  (i.e., serving in multiple roles, etc.) & questions about members’ experience
  5. Rules and regulations

When:  Friday, January 22nd

Where: HHS 1208

Time:  11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

Pizza and beverages will be provided.  Please respond via email whether or not you are willing/available to attend by no later than Wednesday, January 20th in order for us to assess how much food to order.  We very much look forward to this opportunity to bring the JMU animal researchers together.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact ORI at or x8-2318

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