Notices and Announcements

Here you will find a repository of news and announcements related to research at the University of Delaware from 2011 to the present.

1. New Account Code for Non-IBS Salaries (Tuesday, October 20, 2020)

 

NEW ACCOUNT CODE FOR NON-IBS SALARIES

 

October 22, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Through a collaborative effort, dedicated supplemental compensation accounts have been created to assist with the proper identification of an employee’s Institutional Base Salary.

The 14 new account codes should be used in the LAM to accurately track all supplemental pay for UD employees (excluding summer salary for faculty paid via supplemental contracts).

Before, if an employee held a secondary appointment, the compensation for that appointment was distributed on the same account code (typically 121100/120200) as the compensation for the primary job. This can present problems when reporting an employee’s institutional base salary (IBS) on an effort report.

Now, an employee’s secondary appointment that is beyond the employee’s primary responsibilities can be captured through the 14 account codes outlined below.

ACCOUNT

DESCRIPTION

120210

Professional Staff Full-time Admin Supplement (Non S Contract) — This account is used to record administrative supplement for full-time exempt employees

120310

Professional Staff Part-time Admin Supplement (Non S Contract) — This account is used to record administrative supplement for part-time exempt employees

121010

CHAIR ADMN SUPL (NON S CONTR) – This account is used to record administrative supplement for chairpersons

121020

CHAIR NINTH SUP (NON S CONTR) – This account is used to record ninths for chairpersons

121110

FACULTY ADMN SUPL (NON S CONTR) – This account is used to record administrative supplement for full-time faculty

121120

FACULTY NINTH SUP (NON S CONTR) – This account is used to record ninths for full-time faculty

121210

FAC P/T ADMN SUPL (NON S CONTR) – This account is used to record administrative supplement for part-time faculty

121220

FAC P/T NINTH SUP (NON S CONTR) – This account is used to record ninths for part-time faculty

121610

CTR DIR ADMN SUPL (NON S CONTR) – This account is used to record administrative supplement for center directors

121620

CTR DIR NINTH SUP (NON S CONTR) – This account is used to record ninths for center directors

124510

F/T NON-EX37.5 ADM SUP (NON SC) – This account is used to record administrative supplement for full-time (37.5 hrs/week) non-exempt employees enrolled in 403b

124610

P/T NON-EX37.5 ADM SUP (NON SC) – This account is used to record administrative supplement for part-time (less than 37.5 hrs/week) non-exempt employees enrolled in 403b

124710

F/T NON-EX40 ADM SUP (NON SC) – This account is used to record administrative supplement for full-time (40 hrs/week) non-exempt employees enrolled in 403b

124810

P/T NON-EX40 ADMN SUP (NON SC) – This account is used to record administrative supplement for part-time (less than 40 hrs/week) non-exempt employees enrolled in 403b

For questions related to LAM, please send an email to lam-system@udel.edu. For questions about effort reporting, please send an email to Effort Certification effortcert@udel.edu.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Samuel Mobry

2. Enforcement of NSF Formats Begin October 5 (Tuesday, September 22, 2020)

 

ENFORCEMENT OF NSF FORMATS BEGIN OCTOBER 5

 

September 22, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Effective October 5, 2020, all proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be required to include NSF-approved formats for the preparation of the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support proposal documents. The NSF-approved formats are SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae and an NSF fillable PDF the.

All other PAPPG (NSF 20-1) changes were effective on June 1, 2020. Please refer to the complete list of PAPPG (NSF 20-1) significant changes and clarifications which include the IT system changes and other policy-related changes. A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on proposal preparation and award administration related to NSF PAPPG (NSF 20-1) is also available and includes Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support information.

NSF RESOURCES

NSF ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Effective October 5, 2020, Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support documentation must also be in an NSF-approved formats
  • Effective October 5, 2020, PIs and co-PIs must include an NSF-approved format for Current and Pending Support when notifying NSF that active other support has changed since the award was made, or since the most recent annual report.
  • Effective October 5, 2020, are available on the Automated Compliance Checking of NSF Proposals website.
  • A revised NSF Grants.gov Application Guide will be published on September 16th and effective October 5, 2020.

Questions? Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov. If you have IT system-related or technical questions regarding the SciENcv or NSF fillable PDF formats, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 (7:00 AM – 9:00 PM ET; Monday – Friday except federal holidays) or via fastlane@nsf.gov.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jeff Friedland

3. OPERA Update (Monday, August 17, 2020)

Dear Colleagues,  

The University has continued to focus on improving services for research administration under the Operational Excellence in Research Administration (OPERA) initiative. Throughout this initiative, the Research Office has worked closely with colleagues across campus to reevaluate and enhance various processes and resources. Our goal has been to increase support to faculty by increasing efficiency and reducing administrative burden in several areas.

As a result, we are announcing new policy enhancements and resources available effective immediately:

 

New Policy Enhancements and ResourcesKey Impacts
Effort Reporting PolicyThe Effort Reporting Policy deadline language was revised to:

  • It is expected that effort reports are properly completed within 90 days from distribution. If effort is not certified within 120 days from distribution, the cost will be moved to non-sponsored departmental/unit funding pending final resolution. Extenuating circumstances that prevent timely certification should be brought to the attention of the Manager of Financial Compliance.
Bolster Compliance & Promote Efficiency
Sponsored Projects Cost Transfer PolicyThe Sponsored Projects Cost Transfer Policy was updated to clarify definitions, allowability considerations, and supporting documentation requirements. Bolster Compliance & Mitigate Financial Risk
Cost Sharing PolicyThe Cost Sharing Policy was updated to remove the mandatory 1% effort requirement. Principal Investigators and other senior/key personnel must demonstrate effort on their proposals and awards. This effort may be reflected as direct salary or Cost Sharing on an award.  Reduce Administrative Burden

 

We will continue to provide updates as the OPERA initiative progresses. Please reach out to the Research Office with any questions or ongoing feedback.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jeff Friedland

4. NOW AVAILABLE: Cost Sharing and Single Copy Docs Submitted in Research.gov (Wednesday, July 29, 2020)

 

NOW AVAILABLE ON RESEARCH.GOV

July 29, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Effective July 27, 2020, the National Science Foundation (NSF) enabled cost sharing (Line M on the proposal budget) for programs with mandatory cost sharing requirements on proposals submitted in Research.gov. In addition, enhancements were deployed to the proposal Cover Sheet and proposal upload screens to support Single Copy Documents, which include Deviation Authorization, Special Exception – Natural or Anthropogenic Event, Proprietary or Privileged Information, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, and Additional Single Copy Documents. New associated automated compliance error and warning messages as well as business rules were also implemented. 

Research.gov Support for Full Research Proposals

Research.gov now supports all Full Research proposals that conform to standard Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1) requirements for formatting and document content including:

  • Single submissions from one organization (available since April 2018)
  • Single submission collaborative proposals with subawards (available since June 2019)
  • Separately submitted collaborative proposals from multiple organizations (available since March 2020)

Cost Sharing

The requirement to include cost sharing in a proposal is identified in the program solicitation, and Line M on the proposal budget will only be available for the select few programs that require cost sharing. Line M will appear in year one of the prime organization's proposal budget when the selected funding opportunity includes a mandatory cost sharing requirement. Please see PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.g.xii. for additional information about NSF's cost sharing policy.

New system-related cost sharing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available in the “Proposal Sections” FAQ topic on the Research.gov About Proposal Preparation and Submission webpage. A new automated compliance warning message and business rules for cost sharing have also been added. Please refer to the updated Research.gov Compliance Checklist dated July 27, 2020 on theAutomated Compliance Checking of NSF Proposals webpage. Compliance checks triggering an error will prohibit proposal submission to NSF, whereas checks triggering a warning will allow proposal submission to NSF.   

Single Copy Documents

Single Copy Documents are for certain categories of information that are submitted in conjunction with a proposal and are for NSF use only. They are not provided to reviewers for use in the review of the proposal. Please see PAPPG (NSF 20-1) for Single Copy Document requirements. Research.gov system-related details for Single Copy Documents are included below:

  • Deviation Authorization (PAPPG Chapter II.A.):
    • The Deviation Authorization link can be accessed both in the Optional proposal section as well as via the Deviation Authorization tab in the left navigation pane Optional menu.
    • Once the Deviation Authorization link is clicked in either location, a text entry field with a 256-character limit will be available on the screen.
    • After the Deviation Authorization text entry field is saved, the text is converted to a PDF file. Editing the text entry field and clicking save will generate a new PDF file.
  • Special Exception – Natural or Anthropogenic Event (PAPPG Chapter I.F.3.):
    • When the Special Exception to the Deadline Date Policy checkbox is selected on the Cover Sheet and the Cover Sheet is saved, the Special Exception – Natural or Anthropogenic Event upload section will be accessible either through a link in the blue information message at the top of the Cover Sheet, or by a link in the Other Information section of the Cover Sheet.
    • After a compliant Natural or Anthropogenic Event document has been uploaded, 

the listed deadline due date is bypassed allowing the Authorized Organizational Representative to submit the proposal in Research.gov after the listed deadline.

    • An error preventing proposal submission will be triggered if the Special Exception to the Deadline Date Policy checkbox is selected on the Cover Sheet, but a compliant document has not been uploaded in the Special Exception – Natural or Anthropogenic Event upload section. 
    • Note that checking the Special Exception to the Deadline Date Policy box on the Cover Sheet and uploading a Special Exception – Natural or Anthropogenic Event document will allow proposal submission after the listed deadline in Research.gov, however acceptance remains at the discretion of the NSF Program Officer.
  • Proprietary or Privileged Information (PAPPG Chapter II.D.1.)
    • When the Proprietary or Privileged Information checkbox is selected on the Cover Sheet and the Cover Sheet is saved, the Proprietary or Privileged Information upload section will be accessible either through a link in the blue information message at the top of the Cover Sheet, or by a link in the Other Information section of the Cover Sheet.
    • An error preventing proposal submission will be triggered if the Proprietary or Privileged Information checkbox is selected on the Cover Sheet, but a compliant document has not been uploaded in the Proprietary or Privileged Information upload section.
  • Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (PAPPG Chapter I.G.2. and PAPPG Chapter II.C.1.d.)
    • When the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities checkbox is selected on the Cover Sheet and the Cover Sheet is saved, the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities upload section will be accessible either through a link in the blue information message at the top of the Cover Sheet, or by a link in the Other Information section of the Cover Sheet. 
    • An error preventing proposal submission will be triggered if the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities checkbox is selected on the Cover Sheet, but a compliant document has not been uploaded in the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities upload section.
  • Additional Single Copy Documents
    • The Additional Single Copy Documents link can be accessed both in the Optional proposal section as well as via the Single Copy Documents tab in the left navigation pane Optional menu. Once the Additional Single Copy Documents link is clicked in either location, an upload section will be available on the screen.
    • The Additional Single Copy Documents section supports multiple file uploads.

Other Related Changes for Single Copy Documents

What's Ahead in the Research.gov Proposal Submission System?

Features supporting the following types of proposals are planned for a late fall 2020 release in Research.gov:

  • Rapid Response Research (RAPID)
  • EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER)
  • Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE)

NSF is also currently developing a Research.gov demo site that will be available for training purposes. Stay tuned for additional information about these exciting developments in the coming months!

Help NSF Build Research.gov

Research.gov is being developed incrementally, and features are expanding with the goal of transitioning all proposal preparation and submission functionality from FastLane to Research.gov. NSF strongly encourages the use of Research.gov where possible and wants feedback on your experience, so we can continue to make improvements. Please submit your feedback on the Research.gov Feedbackpage (select “Proposal Preparation & Submission” under the Site Area dropdown menu).

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Friedland
Associate Vice President, Research Administration

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jeff Friedland

5. University of Delaware’s FY21 Fringe Benefit Rates Announced (Monday, July 13, 2020)

July 13, 2020

Dear Colleagues,  

The University of Delaware’s FY21 Fringe Benefit rates have been finalized with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), our new cognizant agency for the period 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2021. The new rate agreement with DHHS and the new rates are located on the Research Office (RO) website for your reference.

Effective immediately, all new proposals will use the fixed fringe rates, which have been programmed into PeopleSoft. These rates will also be applied to existing awards.

Several job aids have been revised for use by the research community regarding the fringe rates:

  1. Here is a link to an updated FY20-21 Salary Reference Sheet.
  2. The Research Office has modified the budget template which may be found on the RO website under Frequently Asked Questions, Getting Started, “How do I construct a budget?” to include the updated rates.
  3. The Research Office has also updated the budget justification template which may be found on the RO website under Budgets & Rates, Budget Justification Template.
  4. Due to the transition to DHHS as UD's cognizant agency, the F&A rate agreement has been updated as well.

If you have any questions, please contact your Contract & Grant Specialist.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Friedland
Associate Vice President, Research Administration

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jeff Friedland

6. Fixed Fringe Rate Agreement Announced (Thursday, July 2, 2020)

Dear Colleagues,  

The University of Delaware has submitted FY21 Fringe Benefit Proposal to Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the period 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2021. You will find a letter from the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Deputy Treasurer on the Research Office (RO) website for your reference. You will also find the new rates on the RO website in the UD Proposal Development Guide.

Effective immediately, all new proposals will use the provisional fringe rates which have been programmed into PeopleSoft. These rates will also be applied to existing awards. Please note that these provisional rates have not yet been finalized with our new cognizant agency, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Several job aids have been revised for use by the research community regarding the fringe rates:

  1. Attached to this email please find an updated FY20-21 Salary Reference Sheet
  2. The Research Office has modified the budget template found on our website under Frequently Asked Questions, Getting Started, “How do I construct a budget?” to include the updated rates.
  3. The Research Office has also updated the budget justification template found on our website under Budgets & Rates, Budget Justification Template.

If you have any questions, please contact your Contract & Grant Specialist.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Friedland
Associate Vice President, Research Administration

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jeff Friedland

7. Tagging COVID-19 Research Costs (Wednesday, June 17, 2020)

COVID-19 Research Costs

Tagging COVID-19 research costs will make it easier to identify, review, and clean-up costs as sponsor guidance continues to evolve.  Monitoring COVID-19 costs will also allow leadership to gauge the potential financial impact to the institution and its research portfolio. While there is no commitment to cover these costs with institutional funds, UD continues to advocate with sponsors for cost extensions during the pandemic.

The tagging includes costs that are allocated to extramural funding due to sponsor-issued administrative relief temporarily allowing costs that are not normally chargeable to awards, as well as other costs associated with loss of operations. The primary examples include:

  • Personnel costs for individuals that may be unable to work as a result of or related to the effects of COVID-19.
  • Non-refundable costs associated with the cancellation of events, travel, or other activities necessary and reasonable for the performance of the award.
  • Costs associated with ramping down research efforts (ex. abandoned experiments, etc.).
  • Costs associated with ramping up research efforts when the time comes (ex. replacement supplies for abandoned experiments, etc.).
  • Costs of PPE donated (including PPE prepared) by researchers to support local response efforts.  Due to the public health emergency, some agencies may provide flexibilities in spending and consider these “other costs” that may potentially be allowable. As a specific example, NIH COVID-19 FAQ Section 4, Part D, No. 6  indicates recipients may donate PPE and other lab supplies in support of COVID-19 efforts.

Tagging Guidance

While the specific period for tagging costs may vary by sponsor, the general timeframe should be considered as March 2020 onward, through the expiration of the sponsored-issued administrative relief and if applicable the ramping up of research efforts.

Personnel Costs

The Provost’s Office has issued guidance that personnel costs should be tagged with Userfield “CV19-COMP”.  Please note that the Userfield is titled “UD Chartfield” in the LAM.

 Non-Personnel Costs

The Research Office recommends that units tag non-personnel costs that are allocated to sponsored programs with Userfield “CV19-RSCH”.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jeffrey Friedland

8. Allocating Sponsored Expenditures to Temporary Purpose Codes (Wednesday, June 17, 2020)

Allocating Sponsored Expenditures to Temporary Purpose Codes

The Research Office would like to remind department administrators about adherence to Uniform Guidance regulations to avoid temporarily charging expenses to purpose codes, specifically 2 CFR section 200.405: Allocable Costs. All efforts should be made to initially allocate the expense to the correct purpose code as to avoid cost transfers at later dates. If the purpose code is unavailable at the time of the expenditure, the expense should be allocated to either a departmental pending/holding code or, if applicable, a request for a pre-award purpose code should be made to the Research Office. Under no circumstances should a sponsored purpose code be used to temporarily hold expenses that are to be transferred to another award at a later date.

An administrator should charge salary expenditures to an award only if they are confident the accompanying level of effort was performed on the award. If there is uncertainty regarding the effort distribution of an individual over the course of a pay period, a non-sponsored departmental code should be charged until the effort of the individual can be confirmed by the PI or the individual themselves.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jeffrey Friedland

9. Participant Support Costs (Wednesday, June 17, 2020)

Participant Support Costs: Post-Award Monitoring

Participant Support Costs (per Uniform Guidance 2 CFR § 200.75) are direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees.  Please be aware that some federal sponsors may place additional restrictions on these types of costs.  For example, the NIH Grants Policy Statement notes that participant support is only allowable when it is identified in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to which the PI applies to.  If it was not specifically identified in the FOA, participant support costs are unallowable.

Undergraduate research programs that issue stipends for research or training experiences, such as the Summer Scholars Program, are participant support costs.  Since participants do not provide services it is not necessarily clear how they benefit the award.  If a PI would like to fund an undergraduate researcher providing services in direct benefit of an award, the appropriate option is to employ the individual, so the costs are expensed as a salary/wage.  The addition of a participant program, where not previously awarded, may be considered a change in scope requiring an agency’s prior approval.

Listed below are some helpful questions to consider when choosing to allocate participant support costs to a sponsored program:

  • Does the awarding agency have any policy restrictions on participant support costs?
  • How were the funds internally budgeted in PeopleSoft upon receipt of the award?
  • Is prior approval of the awarding agency required in order to allocate participant support costs?

Additional guidance on participant support costs can be found in the Grant Management Guide.  For any questions, please consult with your unit’s assigned Contract & Grants Specialist in the Research Office.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jeffrey Friedland

10. NSF Bio Sketch and Support Document Format Webinar (Thursday, April 16, 2020)

NSF BIO SKETCH & SUPPORT DOCUMENT FORMAT WEBINAR

April 16, 2020

Dear Colleagues,  

  NSF recently recorded a webinar about the requirement to use an NSF-approved format for both the biographical sketch and current & pending support documents as part of proposals submitted to NSF. The policy, outlined in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), goes into effect for proposals submitted or due, on or after June 1, 2020.  The two NSF-approved formats are SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae, and an NSF Fillable PDF.   Webinar topics include:

  • the policy guidance for preparation of the biographical sketch and current and pending support sections of the proposal;  
  • a walk-through of the user experience in accessing these formats in NSF systems;
  • detailed guidance from NIH on using SciENcv for preparing both documents; and
  • answers to a number of frequently asked questions.

  For additional information, see the NSF pages for the biographical sketch and current and pending support.  We would like your feedback on these formats prior to the June 1st requirement. Please provide your comments and questions to policy@nsf.gov

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jean Feldman

Share This