The Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services, in a final review, found that HHS "had designed a process to (1) perform limited data-quality reviews intended to identify material omissions and/or significant errors in information reported by recipients (grantees and contractors) of Recovery Act funds and (2) notify recipients of the need to make appropriate and timely changes." OIG said its objective was to determine whether HHS had instituted such an oversight process. HHS received approximately $167 billion in Recovery Act funds and established the Office of Recovery Act Coordination to ensure compliance with related federal requirements. (According to OIG, the majority of the funds were for entitlement and mandatory programs; approximately $18.1 billion funded discretionary programs.) OIG said it interviewed officials from that office and had no recommendations to make in its report
Late filers may submit their required American Recovery and Reinvestment Act quarterly reports, which were due Oct. 10, until Oct. 20 at Federalreporting.gov. However, they must explain the reasons for the delay, and they will be identified on Recovery.gov as late filers. According to the reporting site, "Since this is the first time that recipients are submitting data reports and some states are encountering technical challenges in filing bulk reports for their recipients, Federalreporting.gov will remain open for reporting until Oct. 20." Reports are submitted at Federalreporting.gov, and after a period of quality and data review, the information will be accessible to the public at Recovery.gov. Link: www.federalreporting.gov
The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board is seeking comments on ARRA Section 1512, which sets out the data standards for reporting under the act, according to a notice in the Oct. 8 Federal Register. In August, the board sought feedback on the burden imposed by requirements to register on Federalreporting.gov (RRC 9/3/09). In the most recent notice, the board estimates nearly 134,000 organizations or institutions will be filing quarterly reports under ARRA for a total of over 1.3 million hours. The earlier estimate on registration was 12,558 hours for an estimated 151,000 registrants. (The comment period is still open on the August request, with feedback accepted until Oct. 30.) The Oct. 8 notice includes an overview of the reporting responsibilities of and data elements for prime recipients to report for themselves, subrecipients, and vendors. Comments are due by Dec. 7. The Council on Governmental Relations has posted its response; it "conservatively" estimates compliance will require "46 hours per year, per award." Link to COGR letter: http://220.127.116.11/docs/RATBBurdenLetter.pdf
The Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services has released its fiscal year 2010 work plan, which includes an appendix dedicated to its planned reviews related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As in previous years, OIG plans to review colleges' and universities' compliance with selected cost principles under OMB Circular A-21, continue reviews of conflict of interest procedures at the National Institutes of Health, and begin looking at the Food and Drug Administration's process for evaluating investigational new drugs trials to assess their safety and effectiveness. In addition to examining NIH's oversight of ARRA funds, "we will review selected NIH grantees to determine whether they have the capacity to manage and account for federal funds and to operate in accordance with Recovery Act requirements. ... We will review NIH's internal controls for ensuring that grantee reporting processes comply with the Recovery Act requirements" and will also "determine whether NIH grantees spent funds in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the Recovery Act and applicable federal regulations," the work plan states. Link: http://oig.hhs.gov/08/Work_Plan_FY_2010.pdf.
The deadline for recipients to submit the first quarterly reports for funds received under the Recovery Act is, according to www.federalreporting.gov, Saturday, Oct. 10 (midnight Pacific time). To assist with initial reporting by recipients, a service desk will be open Oct. 10, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (Eastern time), in addition to its regular hours of 7 a.m.–9 p.m., Monday–Friday. The October issue of RRC will include a story on some universities' experiences with meeting the deadline.
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle says that it has received more than $40 million so far in federal stimulus money.
The Associated Press
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle says that it has received more than $40 million so far in federal stimulus money.
The center says the money is paying for 60 research grants, and it estimates it will retain and create about 920 jobs. The largest single grant - $4.8 million - went to Dr. Amanda Paulovich, who is studying ways to detect and measure human proteins.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 30, 2009
PRESIDENT OBAMA ANNOUNCES RECOVERY ACT FUNDING FOR GROUNDBREAKING MEDICAL RESEARCH $5 Billion from Recovery Act Will Fund 12,000 Grants and Speed Scientific Discoveries in Every State Bethesda, MD - In a visit to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus, President Barack Obama announced $5 billion in grant awards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) to fund cutting-edge medical research in every state across America. The more than 12,000 grant awards are expected to create tens of thousands of jobs over the next two years and are part of an overall $100 billion Recovery Act investment in science and technology to lay the foundation for the innovation economy of the future.
"We know that this kind of investment will also lead to new jobs: tens of thousands of jobs conducting research, manufacturing and supplying medical equipment, and building and modernizing laboratories and research facilities," said President Obama. "I’ve long said, the goal of the Recovery Act was not to create make-work jobs, but jobs making a difference for our future. There is no better example than the jobs we will produce or preserve through the grants we are announcing this morning."
"This historic investment demonstrates this administration’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of science and turning those discoveries into benefits for the American people. NIH researchers and grantees are already conducting some of the world’s most groundbreaking biomedical research, said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "These awards will accelerate our progress towards the new medicines, treatments, and cures that will help Americans live longer, healthier lives.
By creating brand-new programs, such as Challenge Grants, Grand Opportunity grants, and Signature Initiatives, NIH is funding innovative research throughout the nation. The grant awards will support the full spectrum of medical research—from basic research to clinical and translational studies. The Recovery Act funded NIH grants are in several areas including heart disease, autism, HIV-AIDS, H1N1 Flu and cancer.
More than $1 billion of the grant funding is dedicated to research applying the technology produced by the Human Genome Project between 1990 and 2003. This new funding will allow researchers to make quantum leaps forward in studying the genomic changes linked to cancer, heart, lung, and blood disease and autism– potentially leading to new treatments and cures. The investment includes $175 million for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to collect more than 20,000 tissue samples from more than 20 cancers, and determine in detail all of the genetic changes in thousands of these tumor samples. TCGA involves more than 150 scientists at dozens of institutions around the country. All data will be rapidly deposited in databases accessible to the worldwide research community.
"We are about to see a quantum leap in our understanding of cancer," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "Cancer is a disease of DNA—it occurs when glitches in the DNA cause a good cell to go bad. This ambitious effort promises to open new windows into the biology of all cancers, transform approaches to cancer research and raise the curtain on a more personalized era of cancer care. This is an excellent example of how the Recovery Act is fueling discoveries that will fundamentally change the way we fight disease and improve our lives."
More information about NIH’s efforts under the Recovery Act is available at www.nih.gov/recovery/index.htm. A list of the NIH Recovery Act grants can be viewed at http://report.nih.gov/recovery/arragrants.cfm. To view a web video on how these Recovery Act funds will create jobs and speeding scientific discovery, go to: www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Creating-Jobs-and-Finding-Cures/. To read a White House fact sheet on this funding, go to www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Fact-Sheet-Recovery-to-Discovery-5-Billion-Recovery-Act-Investment-in-Scientific-Research-and-Jobs/
Duke University: A clarification from yesterday's email concerning IRB* protocols for ARRA proposals. The IRB* would like investigators who believe that they have a high likelihood of being funded to complete the submission form and upload all study documents in the eIRB, leaving the study in the "Presubmission" state. Immediately upon receiving notice of funding the PI* should hit the "Submit" button. Please confirm beforehand that your study team's ethics (education) credentials are up to date, and please remember that after the PI* hits the “Submit” button all co-PIs must electronically sign before the submission is considered complete. Immediately after hitting the "Submit" button, the PI* should send an e-mail to your departmental IRB* Board Specialist, Department Chairperson, Department Business Manager, Departmental Reviewer (or administrator), and Jody Powers (power008). Notification to your Board Specialist and Jody will allow the IRB* to monitor the progress of your submission and notify you if the submission is delayed at any step. For more information see
ARRA Update is an electronic memo distributed to Duke University Principal Investigators and Grant Managers to inform and support them with managing grants funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information, visit the Duke Economic Stimulus website: http://stimulus.ors.duke.edu.
Washington, DC — U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that up to $85 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be awarded in early 2010 to support at least 50 early career researchers for five years at U.S. academic institutions and DOE national laboratories.
“This funding highlights the Administrations continued commitment to building the nation’s scientific workforce by attracting top emerging researchers to careers in vital areas of basic research,” said Secretary Chu. “By investing in scientific researchers in their formative years, we can provide scientists with the resources to do some of their most exciting and productive work.”
To be eligible for the competition, a researcher must be an untenured, tenure-track assistant professor at a U.S. academic institution or a full-time employee at a DOE national laboratory. The applicant must also have received a Ph.D. within the past ten years.
Each university award will be at least $150,000 per year for five years to support summer salary and other research expenses. For DOE national laboratories, awards will be at least $500,000 per year for five years to support year-round salary and expenses.
Early career researchers may apply to one of six Office of Science program offices: Advanced Scientific Computing Research; Biological and Environmental Research; Basic Energy Sciences; Fusion Energy Sciences; High Energy Physics; or Nuclear Physics. Proposed research topics must fall within the programmatic priorities of DOE’s Office of Science, which are provided in the program announcements. Funding will be competitively awarded on the basis of peer review.
Letters of intent will be due on August 1, 2009, and proposals will be due on September 1, 2009.
Gretchen Davis Richey
Outreach & Support Manager
University of Washington
Thousands of UW students and alumni will flock to the annual UW Spring Career Fair, set for 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 15 in the HUB Ballroom.
Produced by the UW Career Center, the fair last year had more than 2,000 students go through in less than four hours; it hosted nearly 150 employers from across Puget Sound.
“Despite the economic turmoil, employers are still looking to hire for a variety of positions,” said Susan Terry, director of the UW Career Center. “It is true that employers are more cautious, but to say they are not hiring is simply incorrect,” Terry said. The UW Career Center expects this year’s participants will focus more heavily on internships compared with previous years. “Some employers who are being hardest hit in this economy have communicated they are decreasing staffing or freezing their hiring temporarily,” Terry said. “At the same time, we are seeing an increasing emphasis on quality internships. Our employers understand that the university is one of the top research institutions in the U.S., and our students are part of the top tier of universities,” she said.
In addition to hosting the largest career fair for the University of Washington, the UW Career Center hosts a variety of other events and student and alumni-focused workshops through its facility in Mary Gates Hall.
Terry said the UW Career Center can help students, current and former, find stability in unstable times. “The next couple years may be tough,” Terry said. “We will continue to work with students and alumni to help them find jobs and careers. We are committed to that effort regardless of economic conditions that affect the labor market,” she said.
This year, the UW Career Center is introducing live blogging and video casting during the first three hours of the event. “We know there is a lot of interest from students and alumni who are unable to attend the event to interact virtually,” said Nick Morse, the Center’s communications specialist. “With the increased reliance on online technologies, the Center is continuing to push out new ways of reaching out and keeping everyone involved.”
This year’s fair counts Alaska Airlines, Eli Lilly, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Frito-Lay, MAQ Software, Philips, Real Networks and T-Mobile among its many employers in attendance this year.
More information about the UW Career Center can be found at their website: http://careers.uw.edu, including interactive calendars and event descriptions. Information about the fair, including employers attending the event and the live blogging and video, is at http://careers.uw.edu/UW-Spring-Fair.
• Teams in place to develop streamlined reporting systems for ARRA-funded grants as soon as reporting information is available
• State requires reporting of ALL ARRA funding, not just research-related
• ALL ARRA funding must be set up with special budget numbers, beginning with 20-
As the UW begins to receive our first ARRA awards, I’m sure you are all wondering about the ARRA reporting requirements. To that end, I am writing to give you an update on ongoing activities to address the reporting requirements for ARRA grants and our plans to serve the UW community. Information has been filtering in to us very slowly, and we are working through a variety of channels to acquire the latest facts regarding how, what, and when for these reporting requirements. As yet, we do not have much in the way of concrete information.
We are taking a proactive approach so we will be able to provide the infrastructure, tools, training and support that will allow our faculty and staff to respond rapidly with accurate data. Lynne Chronister of OSP and Tami Sadusky of GCA are heading up this effort and have assembled multi-unit task groups that include the Office of Sponsored Programs, Grant and Contract Accounting, the Office of Research Information Services, Human Resources, Finance and Accounting and External Affairs. We also have multi-unit task groups to handle topical issues such as non-research funding, compliance, economic impact, training, process and policy development, and reporting. Throughout this entire process we will continue to communicate with campus for information and feedback. A key mechanism for tracking will be the use of special budget numbers starting with 20- for all ARRA-funded awards.
I also want to make you aware that we will be required to report all non-research funding to the state, and will need to identify state-imbedded funding streams that do not go through OSP and GCA, such as state appropriations, subcontracts, and other non-grant revenue. These will also have special budget numbers to facilitate tracking and reporting. One of our task groups is meeting to discuss these requirements, identify university resources, and develop communication and training plans for faculty and staff. It is important to communicate the need for reporting these non-research ARRA funds as early as possible to your faculty and staff so they can begin to set up processes for capturing this information early in the funding cycle. We will be disseminating information on these requirements as soon as the state provides us with information. Jeff Follman is heading up the non-research funding task group and you can contact him with any questions at: email@example.com.
We will be in communication with you as we have more information, and will be providing regular updates to staff through the Monthly Research Administration Meetings (MRAM) and also on the ARRA web site at http://www.washington.edu/research/gca/recovery/.
UW Researchers as of June 15, 2009 have submitted 1052 proposals to federal agencies requesting $806,975,712M in support of research and graduate training. To date, these researchers have received $11,401,400 Million in Recovery Act funds from 29 awards. Twelve (12) of these awards were made by the National Science Foundation and seventeen (17) from Institutes with the National Institutes of Health. The programs funded under ARRA range from a $2 M grant from the National Science Foundation for training graduate students in Inverse Problems and Partial Differential Equations to research looking at variability and trends in Antarctic sea ice to hurricane prediction and tracking. The National Institutes of Health are supporting ARRA projects such as defining new DNA delivery mechanisms, looking at identifying pathogenic pathways in juvenile ALS, suicide prevention, purchase of advanced NMR technology and treatment of advanced ovarian cancer. See links below: ARRA Proposals as of 6/15/2009 ARRA Awards as of 6/15/2009 ARRA Awards Weekly as of 6/15/2009
The Governor’s Office is launching a comprehensive SharePoint website that provides a central, interactive online location for managing and coordinating American Reinvestment & Recovery Act efforts.
What is RecoveryShare and why should I use it? We have developed RecoveryShare as an online space for sharing and contributing information. It will be a primary vehicle of communication between the Governor’s Economic Recovery team, workgroups and state agencies.
What can I find on RecoveryShare? RecoveryShare is the overarching team site for collecting and sharing documents. You can get the latest on recovery efforts, such as:
o Organized libraries of documents (including federal and state guidance) and the latest versions of information shared with agencies on recovery.
o Certification and assurance letters and other accountability and reporting information.
o Media and communications information including media clips and news releases.
o Contact information for Governor's Recovery Team members, Subcabinet agency representatives, and agency recovery team members.
o A special team site for internal auditors, with resources focused on risk management and auditing and oversight.
How can I access RecoveryShare? To learn more, visit www.accountability.wa.gov/recoveryshare. This informational website answers many questions you may have, including:
o How to get access to RecoveryShare.
o Any technical questions you may have.
o Frequently asked questions
Who has access to RecoveryShare? At this time, Governor’s Office and Office of Financial Management personnel with a specific ARRA role or assignment have access to RecoveryShare. The Internal Audit Team identified by Kim Cregeur, Governor’s Economic Recovery Team Quality Assurance Coordinator, is the first agency group we are working with to gain access to RecoveryShare. Other agency teams will follow in the coming weeks.
If you have any suggestions or questions, email RecoveryShare@gov.wa.gov.
We received the following information from NSF:
Due to an expected increase in Grants.gov submissions relating to the processing of Recovery Act proposals, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has authorized agencies to use alternative methods for proposal submission and acceptance. As you know, NSF is able to accept directly its full complement of proposals, both regular submissions and those additional proposals anticipated under the Recovery Act, using our long-established FastLane capabilities for proposal submission and acceptance. Therefore, in order to assist Grants.gov in the effort to alleviate system strain and increase system capacity, proposers will now be required to prepare and submit proposals to NSF through use of the NSF FastLane system.
Effective immediately, new funding opportunities issued by NSF will exclusively require the use of FastLane to prepare and submit proposals. In addition, NSF plans to revise existing funding opportunity documents to reflect this change and to remove all active application packages from Grants.gov APPLY. NSF will continue to post information about available funding opportunities to Grants.gov FIND.
Detailed instructions regarding the technical aspects of proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/.
If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact the Policy Office on 703.292.8243 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution & Award Support
Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management
At the bottom of this note is the NIH FAQ that defines the NIH approach to proposed administrative and clerical costs on ARRA awards. This is consistent with the COGR ListServe message we sent last week in regard to how OMB responded to the original request to permit the direct charging of ARRA administrative specialists.
In addition to engaging with OMB last week, we have corresponded with representatives from NIH. Our PRELIMINARY understanding is that for applications that included a direct charge for ARRA Specialist salaries, each IC will have discretion in determining if the amount awarded needs to be reduced. For example, in the case of NIH Challenge Grants that are limited to total costs of $500,000 per year, the presumption is that if ARRA Specialist salary costs had not been requested, then other costs could have been justified. Therefore, awarding the full $500,000 would be appropriate, with re-budgeting of the ARRA Specialist salary costs to other allowable direct costs. Submission of a revised budget would not be necessary. Once again, this is our PRELIMINARY understanding.
Taken at face value, the NIH FAQ language does not convey this message. However, we are actively engaging our contacts at NIH, and hope to have further clarification over the next couple of days.
We will provide additional ListServe notifications as we learn more.
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Can ARRA grant budgets include direct costs to address ARRA administrative and reporting requirements? (New: 05/15/2009) No. It has been determined that ARRA requirements do not provide sufficient justification to support the provision of direct costs for administrative support in addition to the Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs in the awarded budget.
NIH staff will continue to evaluate direct costs requested for administrate support using the guidance provided in OMB Circular A-21 F.6.b.(2) http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a021/a021.html. However, ARRA requirements will not be considered in this determination, because they are incorporated within the core administrative support for the project, which is reimbursed to the institution through the provision of F&A costs.
When direct costs have been requested to address ARRA administrative and reporting requirements in requested budgets, NIH staff will make appropriate adjustments . Revised budgets submitted solely to remove administrative costs will not be accepted.
Director, Costing Policy
Council on Governmental Relations, COGR
1200 New York Ave. NW, #750
Washington, DC 20005
202.289.6655, Ext. 12
Department of Energy Solicitations
o Recovery Act - Demonstration of Integrated Biorefinery Operations-- The intent of this FOA will be to select integrated biorefinery projects that have the necessary technical and economic performance data that validates their readiness for the next level of scale-up. Estimated Total Program Funding: $480,000,000.. Award Ceiling: $50,000,000. Current Closing Date for Applications: Jun 30, 2009
o Joint Mathematics/Computer Science Institute-- This FOA calls for innovative approaches that integrate applied mathematics and computer science to develop the insights and tools that are required for computers at extreme scales to be effective tools for scientific discovery through simulation. It is anticipated that up to a total of $4 million annually will be available for multiple awards for this program. Application Due Date: 06/05/2009.
Some Recent Posts:
o The Week at a Glance May 11-15
o NSF Releases Recovery Act Procedures
o APLU Provides Preliminary Analysis of FY10 President’s Budget Request
o NOAA FY10 Budget Request Briefing Materials
o DOD FY10 Budget Request Briefing Materials
o NASA FY10 Budget Request Briefing Materials
o NSF FY10 Budget Request Overview
o HHS FY10 Budget Request Briefing Materials
o NEA FY10 Budget Request Briefing Materials
o NEH FY10 Budget Request Briefing Materials
o NIH FY10 Budget Request Tables Available
o Department of Education FY10 Budget Request Briefing Materials
o Department of Energy FY10 Budget Request Briefing Materials
o White House Posts FY10 Budget Request Details
o DOE Announces Recovery Act Grant Competitions for Biofuels Projects
o Seen in DC
o Washington Post Article on Obama Student Aid Reforms
o Senate Finance Committee Releases Options to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Costs
o Obama Administrations Seeks Input on Scientific Openness
0 VA Announces Post-9/11 GI Bill Application Availability
o FY10 Budget Resolution Finished
o Conflict of Interest Rules Proposed for Medical Research
COGR: NSF ARRA Terms & MRI-R/2 & ARI-R/2 Annoucements
On May 8, 2009, the National Science Foundation posted its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Terms and Conditions (NSF Document # arra0509) – terms that will apply to any award made using funds from the ARRA. The terms are available on the website at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/arra/arratc_509.pdf?govDel=USNSF_109 . Building on the standard NSF award conditions, grantees are required to meet the reporting requirements specified in ARRA. As with other agencies, ARRA funds are to be separately tracked and the provisions flow down to sub-recipients. NSF will rely on the implementation of www.FederalReporting.gov for the special reporting and reminds/requires all grantees and sub-recipients to maintain current registrations in the Central Contractor Registration
In a departure from ARRA requirements, NSF requires reports within ten calendar days after each calendar quarter. COGR has asked OMB to use ten business days for reporting and will forward a similar request to NSF.
MRI-R2 and ARI-R2
NSF released two Program Solicitations on March 11, 2009: the Major Research Instrumentation: Recovery and Reinvestment Program (MRI-R2 – NSF-09-561) and the Academic Research Infrastructure Program: Recovery and Reinvestment (ARI-R2 – NSF-09-562). Potential applicants should review the program solicitations carefully, special requirements and eligibility criteria apply to the MRI-R2 and the ARI-R2 solicitation has been revised from the 1996 version.
The most significant change in the MRI-R2 is the waiver of the America COMPETES Act’s 30% cost-sharing requirements for those institutions of higher education that are not ranked among the top 100 of those receiving Federal research funding. This waiver is in addition to the regular MRI waiver of cost-sharing for non-PhD-granting institutions and is applicable for the current MRI-R2 ONLY. A presidential certification affirming that the proposal meets the waiver conditions (described in the solicitation) must be submitted at the time of application.
COGR is pleased that NSF has extended this waiver for the MRI-R2 program. In November 2007, COGR urged NSF to exercise its authority to reduce or waive cost-sharing for institutions not ranked among the top 100 in the regular MRI program. At that time, NSF felt the extension of the waiver to a particular group or class of NSF applicants required a determination of eligibility at the time of application that, given the time constraints of a fast approaching program announcement, NSF could not exercise or process equitably. In February 2009, COGR urged NSF and the National Science Board (NSB) to reconsider the additional waiver in COGR’s letter to the NSB as it prepared its report on cost-sharing, Investing in the Future: NSF Cost Sharing Policies for a Robust Federal Research Enterprise. In February, COGR highlighted the challenges faced by institutions in the deteriorating economic climate.
An additional waiver condition is described in the America COMPETES Act – cost-sharing can be reduced or waived for all higher education institutions, including the top 100 institutions, if they participate in a consortia of that includes at least one non-PhD-granting institution. COGR will seek clarification on the applicability of this waiver in the MRI-R2 program.
Carol J. Blum
Research Compliance and Adminstration
Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)
202-289-6655, ext. 17
OMB Permits States to Charge Fee for ARRA Compliance; Still No Word on Universities' Request
In a memorandum issued May 11, Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said states could charge up to 0.5% of funds received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for administrative costs incurred in complying with requirements related to the funds. ARRA actually specified that states could charge for administrative costs. However, it provided no such opportunity for universities.
The Council on Governmental Relations has asked OMB to let universities charge ARRA funds for the cost of "research administrative specialist personnel" but has not yet received a response from the agency. Link: www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/memoranda_fy2009/m09-18.pdf.
NSF Releases ARRA Terms and Conditions
Recovery Act Announcement: Secretary Chu Announces $93 Million from Recovery Act to Support Wind Energy Projects
National Renewable Energy Laboratory to receive more than $100 million from Recovery Act
(EERE News, April 29, 2009) In an ongoing effort to expand domestic renewable energy, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today announced plans to provide $93 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support further development of wind energy in the United States during a visit to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory today. Secretary Chu also announced more than $100 million in funding from the Recovery Act for NREL facility and infrastructure improvements.
The funding will leverage the Department of Energy’s national laboratories, universities, and the private sector to help improve reliability and overcome key technical challenges for the wind industry. These projects will create green jobs, promote economic recovery, and provide the investments needed to increase renewable energy generation.
“Wind energy will be one of the most important contributors to meeting President Obama’s target of generating 10 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2012,” said Secretary Chu. “The projects funded by this opportunity will advance wind technology so that it can reliably supply a substantial portion of our nation’s electricity. They will also help in creating more new jobs and expanding a clean energy economy.
$45 million for wind turbine drivetrain R&D and testing
DOE will provide $45 million directed toward enhancing the federal government’s ability to support the wind industry through testing the performance and reliability of current and next generation wind turbine drivetrain systems.
This investment will deliver dependable and cost effective hardware for utility scale wind turbines with over a 20 year design life. Overall, this project will help to improve the country’s competitiveness in wind energy technology, lower capital costs of wind systems, and maintain a high level of wind energy capacity growth.
$14 million for technology development
To strengthen its support of the wind industry, DOE will make available $14 million to advance technology development in the private sector. This effort will aim to improve the quality and use of lighter weight, advanced materials for turbine blades, towers, and other components. Another area of emphasis will be process controls for lamination, blade finishing, trimming, grind, painting, materials handling and inspection.
$24 million for wind power research and development
DOE will provide $24 million for the development of up to three consortia between universities and industry to focus on critical wind energy challenges. These partnerships will allow universities to establish research and development programs to advance material design, performance measurements, analytical models, and work with the industry to improve power systems operations, maintenance and repair, and component manufacturing.
$10 million for National Wind Technology Center
DOE will invest $10 million at its own National Wind Technology Center in Colorado. This funding will enhance the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s ability to support the wind industry through testing current and next generation wind turbine drive train systems for better performance and reliability. Additionally, upgrades to the electrical distribution system will permit cost recovery of the power produced by two new utility-scale wind turbines being installed there for testing and evaluation.
Additionally, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will receive: $68 million for Research Support Facility
This project will create the nation’s most energy efficient office building at the same cost of low efficiency commercial construction today. It will achieve LEED Platinum and 50% energy use reduction over standard commercial office buildings. The goal is to create a design process that can be replicated by future construction projects.
$19.2 million for Renewable Energy and Site Infrastructure
Will use solar and potentially geothermal and fuel cells to replace power currently purchased from utilities and reduce our carbon use.
$13.5 million for upgrades to the Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility
New funding will create a continuous process research and development capability to develop commercial scale cellulose to ethanol technologies. It will also accelerate the development of commercially viable conversion processes.
Wind energy is among the fastest growing energy technologies in the United States. The U.S. now leads the world in wind energy generation and has led the globe in new wind energy capacity installations for the past four years. Last year, wind energy accounted for 42 percent of all new energy generation capacity in the United States. In 2008, DOE published the 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report which examines the technical feasibility of using wind energy to generate 20 percent of the nation’s electricity demand by 2030.
For more information on these and other Recovery Act related funding opportunities, visit www.energy.gov/recovery
PLAN TO SPEND MOST STIMULUS MONEY ON EDUCATION SWIFTLY:
The first nine states to apply for federal State Fiscal Stabilization Funds are spending most of their money on public schools, rather than higher education, and spending it in the first two years. http://chronicle.com/daily/2009/05/17977n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en
GAO Reports on ARRA Oversight Activity: FraudNet
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09672t.pdf (full report)
COGR Asks OMB for ARRA Reporting Delay
Steven Chu today announced plans to provide $786.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate advanced biofuels research and development and to provide additional funding for commercial-scale biorefinery demonstration projects. Please find relevant articles President Obama Issues Presidential Directive to USDA to Expand Access to Biofuels , President Obama Takes Action to Advance Biofuels Production, and DOE Announces Nearly $800 Million from Recovery Act for Biofuels on our Itecs Insider blog. It is expected that open solicitations for these funds will be coming out in the next 3-6 weeks. Give us a call if you would like to find out whether your technology fits within this program.
NIH's $200 Million Challenge Grant Sweepstakes (From SCIENCE Magazine)
The preliminary numbers are in: As of today, the National Institutes of Health has received more than 10,000 applications for its Challenge Grants, NIH officials say. (The deadline was 27 April with an extension for making corrections.) The agency tagged $200 million of its $10.4 billion in the recent stimulus bill for the competition, which covers research on dozens of specific topics. If NIH funds only 200 of the $1 million, 2-year grants, as initially proposed, that will put the success rate at a mere 2% (compared with roughly 20% for a regular NIH research grant). Individual institutes could decide to fund more grants, but that will depend on how proposals fare in peer review, NIH officials say. Reviews begin mid-May and results will be out in late July.
A few more Challenge applications could trickle in, as NIH is giving investigators another week to fix errors in applications that are stuck in the Grants.gov submission system.
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General recently posted information on the special whistleblower protections contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (see RRC, March 2009, p. 10). Nonfederal employers receiving funds are prohibited from "discharging, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against any employee as reprisal for that employee's disclosing" to an appropriate body evidence of gross mismanagement of a contract or grant relating to the funds; a gross waste of funds; a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety related to the implementation or use of the funds; an abuse of authority related to the implementation or use of the funds; or a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a contract or grant awarded or issued relating to the funds. Other requirements also apply.
OIG also posted its first "Monthly Recovery Update Report," which will be regularly updated. Links: www.oig.hhs.gov/recovery/whistleblower.asp; www.oig.hhs.gov/recovery/monthly_report.asp.
DOE Recovery Act-Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) -- ARPA-E is a new organization within the Department of Energy (DOE), created specifically to foster research and development (R D) of transformational energy-related technologies. Transformational technologies are by definition technologies that disrupt the status quo. They are not merely better than current technologies, they are significantly better. This FOA supports the Nation's need for transformational energy-related technologies to overcome the threats posed by climate change and energy security, arising from its reliance on traditional uses of fossil fuels and the dominant use of oil in transportation. Award Ceiling: $20,000,000. Award Floor: $500,000. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: Yes. Current Closing Date for Applications: Jun 02, 2009.
UW's First ARRA Award
CONGRATULATIONS to Gary Drobny and his team. Dr. Drobny has officially received the 1st ARRA award here at the University of Washington. His project title is "Solid State NMR Console and Probe Upgrade for Biophysical and Biomaterial Studies". The award was issued by the National Institute of Research Resources (NCRR).
On April 23, 2009, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued government-wide guidance and standard award terms and conditions for financial assistance agreements (grants, cooperative agreements and loans) funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, Recovery Act). The interim final guidance appeared in the Federal Register (74FR18449) and is effective immediately. Before finalizing the guidance, OMB is accepting comments until June 22, 2009.
The principal purpose of the guidance is to establish standards for implementing three sections of the Recovery Act, Sections 1512 (quarterly reporting), Section 1605 (Buy American provisions for public works projects) and Section 1606 (setting wage rates under Davis-Bacon). These provisions will be incorporated into 2 CFR as Part 176. In addition, the guidance describes how Recovery Act funds should be identified and reported as a part of audit records and reports under OMB Circular A-133.
Research organizations will want to review the reporting requirements to ensure that they are collecting the necessary information within the organization and from their first-tier subrecipients (2 CFR Part 176, Subpart A). The prime and subrecipients must maintain Central Contractor Registration through the award period. The Buy American provisions apply to projects for construction, alteration, maintenance and repair of a public building or public work. These provisions may or may not apply to state-assisted colleges and universities and institutions should refer to the Appendix to this Subpart B of Part 176 to determine applicability and consult with appropriate institutional officials. The wage rate requirements (2 CFR Part 176, Subpart C) set wage standards for laborers and mechanics employed by the prime and subrecipients as required under the Davis-Bacon Act provisions. Subpart D outlines the Single Audit tracking and documentation requirements and provides specific terms to include in subrecipient agreements for monitoring and tracking ARRA funds.
The information in these standard award terms echoes the guidance provided by OMB to the agencies on April 3, 2009 as the Updated Implementation Guidance for the ARRA and incorporates the standard reporting data elements proposed by OMB in an Information Collection Notice that appeared in the April 1, 2009 Federal Register. COGR commented on the Updated Implementation Guidance and will offer comment on the standard data elements (due May 1, 2009) and the March 31, 2009 Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) interim rule addressing the same requirements from the contracting perspective (due June 1, 2009). All the comment letters are/will be available on COGR’s website (http://www.cogr.edu). We welcome your comments and suggestions on the documents with open comment periods (to email@example.com concerning the standard grant terms; to firstname.lastname@example.org for the FAR rule).
NIH Stem Cell Research Guidelines
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued draft Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research in the April 23, 2009 Federal Register (74FR18578) and seeks comment by May 26, 2009. On March 9, 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13505, Removing the Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells. In the EO, the President directed the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through NIH to issue new guidance for stem cell research within 120 days of the order.
The draft Guidelines permit the use of NIH funds for research that uses human embryonic stems cells if the cells are derived from embryos created for reproductive purposes, are no longer needed for this purpose, and are donated for research purposes under a set of documented conditions including written informed consent. COGR’s comment will focus, in part, on 1) whether the current NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will continue to provide information concerning cells that meet the guidelines or whether the required documentation will be the principal compliance mechanism; 2) whether the new guidelines will automatically remove any restrictions on existing grants and, if not automatic, how NIH will remove such restriction (e.g., an award amendment); and, 3) the relationship between this policy on the use of stem cells and the Dickey-Wicker Amendment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 110-161.
COGR welcomes your comments and suggests to email@example.com.
OSTP Scientific Integrity Recommendations
On March 9, 2009, President Barack Obama issued a Memorandum on Scientific Integrity. The President directed John P Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to ensure the highest level of integrity in all aspects of the executive branch’s involvement with scientific and technological issues. In meeting this responsibility, the President asks the Director to develop recommendations for a strategy for ensuring that the selection of scientists and technology professionals for science and technology positions in the executive branch is based on those individuals’ scientific and technological knowledge, credentials, and experience. In addition to getting the best people for the jobs, agencies must use peer-reviewed science and technology as the basis for policies. Finally, agencies must have appropriate rules and procedures to ensure the integrity of the scientific process within the agency, including whistleblower protection.
In developing the recommendations for the President, the Director has requested public comment in each of the areas highlighted in the President’s memo. Comments are required no later than May 13, 2009. In making comment, OSTP seeks recommendations, specific implementation strategies and/or data that address the effectiveness of various strategies to promote scientific integrity. OSTP urges correspondents to be succinct as possible (1000 words or less). COGR welcomes your very brief comments and suggestions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Carol J. Blum
Research Compliance and Adminstration
Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)
202-289-6655, ext. 17
The UW Jobs website now includes an announcement on the anticipated recruitments for research-related positions expected to be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Please see: www.washington.edu/jobs. The banner is also on the secondary page if you click “staff jobs.” (If you do not immediately see the banner, please refresh your browser.)
You can learn more about ARRA funding at the UW in today’s Seattle Times: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009091984_sciencemoney21m.html. How ARRA is affecting the work of UWHR will also be April’s news and notes cover story. Watch for it on April 30.
NCRR Updates Process for Submitting ARRA Supplements
The following is an important e-mail announcement from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) revising the application procedure for ARRA supplements. Contact OSP at email@example.com or 616-6375 if you have questions.
You are receiving this e-mail because you are either the PI or the Signing Official for an award from the National Center for Research Resources. You may now be working on a Recovery Act administrative supplement for that award (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/the_american_recovery_and_reinvestment_act/administrative_supplements_and_competitive_revision_applications/administrative_supplements/ ). We are writing to announce a revised application procedure for those supplements that will make it easier for you to submit. Please do NOT submit supplements by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
To submit an ARRA administrative supplement, the signing official should go to https://Supplements.ncrr.nih.gov. The PI should provide the Signing Official with the following information:
A) Grant Number
B) Topic of the Administrative Supplement (one of the following)
1. Administrative Supplement to Advance Translational (T1 & T2) Research
2. Administrative Supplement for the CTSA Consortium Strategic Goals
3. Administrative Supplement for Enhancing NCRR Pilot Project Mechanism
4. Administrative Supplement for Collaborative Community Engagement Research
5. Administrative Supplement for Research Workforce Development and Dissemination
6. Administrative Supplement for Science Education and Dissemination
C) PHS 398 containing the body of the administrative supplement.
The signing official should log into the system using the normal eRA Commons login. Only a signing official can submit the supplement request. Once the supplement has been submitted, both the PI and the signing official will receive e-mail confirmation at the address listed for each in the eRA Commons. The deadline for these administrative supplements is still May 18.
Do not use this system to submit supplements for Summer Research Experiences for Students and Science Educators (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/the_american_recovery_and_reinvestment_act/summer_research_experiences/ ). The deadline for that program continues to be April 27 and the signing official should send those applications to email@example.com .
We expect that the list of supplements to be funded will be decided by July 15. Please do not contact your program officer or the grants management specialist to ask whether a funding decision has been made prior to that date.
If you have questions or problems with the software used for submission, please call 1-866-504-9552 or write NCRRSupplements@mail.nih.gov . Questions concerning the content of the supplement should be addressed to the program officer or the grants management specialist assigned to the award. The name and contact information for those people can be found in the eRA Commons.
Recovery Act-Transportation Electrification -- Area of Interest 1: Electric Drive Vehicle Demonstration and Evaluation; Area of Interest 2: Transportation Sector Electrification; Area of Interest 3: Combined Proposals for Area of Interest 1 and 2; and, Area of Interest 4: Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program. Application Due Date: Round 1: May 13, 2009.
Recovery Act - Smart Grid Demonstrations -- projects will include regionally unique demonstrations to verify smart grid technology viability, quantify smart grid costs and benefits, and validate new smart grid business models, at a scale that can be readily adapted and replicated around the country. This FOA is issued in DRAFT form for comments only at this time. Any questions or comments regarding the DRAFT FOA must be submitted to DOE via the FedConnect "Questions" feature outlined on the following page. DOE will review all questions and comments submitted during the comment period. DOE will attempt to respond to all questions and comments when the FINAL FOA is issued, and DOE will utilize them, as appropriate, in creating the FINAL version of the FOA. Questions or comments regarding the content of the DRAFT announcement must be submitted through the FedConnect portal by May 6, 2009.
COGR sent a letter to OMB on Friday, April 17 in response to OMB’s request for feedback on the Updated Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Most of the guidance is aimed at the Agencies, but there were a few topics where it was appropriate for us to respond.
Our understanding is that the Implementing Guidance is an ongoing work in progress, and that the next version will be available in 30 to 60 days. OMB should consider some of COGR’s comments.
COGR will also have the opportunity to respond to the Federal Register Notices on OMB’s Proposed Information Collection and the FAR Reporting Requirements. Those due dates are May 1 and June 1, respectively.
To review a copy of the April 17 letter, go to www.cogr.edu. On the home page, see the “Recent COGR News” header and follow the corresponding April 17 link to the letter.
HIPAA Covered Entities Face a Variety of New Enforcement Risks Under Measures Enacted in February
On March 31, 2009, the FAR Council issued five interim Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) rules that implement several requirements mandated by the stimulus plan. This update discusses each of those rules, which apply only to federal procurement contracts funded with stimulus money.
View the Government Contracts Update
As you know, on February 27 COGR wrote to the OMB Director asking for approval to charge administrative salary costs directly to research grants funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to meet the extraordinary reporting requirements of the Act. We subsequently met with OMB and other Federal officials for discussion of our proposal, and we provided data from about 20 COGR member institutions on the estimated amount of Recovery Act funding for research and the impact of direct charging research admin specialists to those grants. In transmitting the data to OMB we expressed our concern and need for a quick decision.
While we are cautiously optimistic that OMB will approve our request, we have not yet received an answer. Meanwhile, the April 27 deadline for submission of NIH Challenge Grant applications is fast approaching, and many universities are asking if they should budget for direct charging these positions. The COGR Board and I have considered this situation and believe that it is reasonable for institutions to include direct salary charges for these positions in grant applications. Sample language in each application might include the following:
Due to the extraordinary administrative oversight and reporting activities associated with awards made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this proposal includes (insert appropriate percentage of effort) salary support for the additional administrative services required by the Act should an award be issued. Regulatory support for this request is located at OMB Circular A-21 F.6. a. (2.), which states: “Direct charging of salaries of administrative and clerical staff costs may be appropriate where administrative or clerical services required by the project are significantly greater than the routine level of such services provided by academic departments.”
We have already heard from a number of institutions that agree with this position and have distributed internal guidance to departments and faculty to include a line item in Recovery Act grant budgets to cover research administrator specialist salary. Based on the survey we conducted with about 20 institutions, 10% effort seemed to be a reasonable figure, but I have heard from other institutions that they will use 5%. Obviously each institution, in deciding whether or not to take this action, will have to consider its particular financial and organizational situation and proceed accordingly.
It is our understanding from discussion of this approach with agency officials that the inclusion of such costs as a direct charge will not jeopardize the application from being selected for funding.
Please contact David Kennedy – firstname.lastname@example.org – or myself (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
Council on Governmental Relations
1200 New York Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20005
Holdren's Comments On ARRA Reporting
R21 and ARRA
Dear NCRR grantee,
A recent notice has been published on the NCRR website regarding Administrative Supplements for NCRR Awards. Please note that R21 awardees are NOT eligible to apply for Recovery Act-supported administrative supplements (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/the_american_recovery_and_reinvestment_act/administrative_supplements_and_competitive_revision_applications/administrative_supplements/ ).
Michael Chang, Ph.D.
Division of Comparative Medicine
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Room 942, MSC4874
Bethesda, MD 20892-4874
The Office of Management and Budget on April 3 issued its second guidance on compliance with requirements in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Unlike the first document issued Feb. 18, the new 175-page guidance deals more with requirements that apply to the federal government generally and agencies specifically. However, it does contain sections on grants and contracts, noting that "agencies must take steps, beyond standard practice, to initiate additional oversight mechanisms in order to mitigate the unique implementation risks of the Recovery Act." The guidance also references related recently published Federal Register notices (see RRC E-News, April 2). Link: www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/memoranda_fy2009/m09-15.pdf
NIH Issues Notice Explaining ARRA Terms and Conditions, Other Information
The National Institutes of Health published a notice April 3 describing the standard terms and conditions for awards issued with Division A ARRA funds. The "Division A" refers to provisions in the act applicable to NIH funding. The notice also addresses other information related to these funds, including that they will be issued with a special "Document Number" schema and that special procedures must be used when accessing funds. Link: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-080.html.
Here are some links (note: they are also listed on the links in the left hand column):
NHLBI Recovery Site http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/recovery
NHLBI Strategic Plan http://apps.nhlbi.nih.gov/strategicplan/StrategicPlan_Appendix.pdf
NHLBI FAQ's http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/recovery/faq.html
NHLBI Milestones http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/recovery/milestone.html
OMB Director Peter Orszag has issued additional guidance to heads of federal Departments and agencies on implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – dated April 3. 2009, Memorandum number M-09-15, and available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/recovery_default/.
Also on April 3, NIH issued Notice number NOT-OD-09-080, entitled “NIH Award Terms and Additional Information for Recipients Receiving Recovery Act Grant Funding” - grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-080.html
This new document supplements, amends and clarifies the initial OMB guidance issued on February 18, 2009. Of particular interest for grantees:
1. Sections 2.10 through 2.15 provide more detailed description of the ARRA reporting requirements. Importantly, OMB has determined that it will be most effective and efficient if it develops a central collection and reporting capability to comply with Section 1512 of the Recovery Act. Federal agencies will be able to add data elements for collection so that they can meet their reporting requirements under the Act, but OMB states that the central system will be developed with the flexibility to collect agency-specific and program-specific reporting elements. Any other deviation from use of the central reporting system by Agencies must meet certain criteria and be approved by OMB.
2. Section 2.11 indicates that the first statutory reporting deadline is October 10, 2009, NOT July 10, 2009 as originally indicated. Our understanding is that the central reporting system will not be completely functional to be used for July 10 reporting. Despite that determination, the OMB Guidance states that OMB is working with agencies to determine how to collect information from recipients for July 10 reporting, so some data will be required but it is not certain what that will be or how it will be collected. Also, OMB states that detailed reporting instructions for use of the central reporting system will be available no less that 45 days before the October 10 deadline, so by late August we should see those instructions at www.federalreporting.gov.
3. Section 2.13 has a greatly expanded discussion of the requirement to report on jobs created and retained under ARRA funding. OMB states that, in order to ensure recipient reporting of estimated jobs created or retained, it has worked with agencies to include job reporting requirements in the terms and conditions of contract, grant, and loan agreements. As we know, on March 31st and April 1, changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation and an Information Collection Notice for Financial Assistance were published in the Federal Register, seeking comments on proposed reporting requirements for ARRA contracts and grants that includes jobs reporting requirements.
Excerpt from the OMB Guidance on reporting jobs information:
For recipient reporting of jobs, the requirements state that prime recipients should provide a description of the employment impact of the Recovery Act funded work, including the types of jobs (e.g., job titles or broader labor categories), and an estimate of the number of jobs created or retained by project and activity or contract. Only jobs that are compensated should be reported. Recipients should report full-time equivalent (FTE) estimates cumulatively created or retained for each calendar quarter. FTE calculations are based on aggregate hours worked to ensure temporary or part-time labor is not overstated. Grant recipients are also encouraged to clarify in their narrative job description where projects or activities are funded by multiple Federal awards as well as specifying the jobs attributable to Recovery Act funds as part of the project or activity total. If known, grant recipients will also address the impact on the workforces of sub-recipients. At a minimum, each recipient shall provide:
(1) A brief description of the types of jobs created or jobs retained in the United States and outlying areas. "Jobs created” means those new positions created and filled, or previously existing unfilled positions that are filled, as a result of Recovery Act funding. "Jobs or positions retained" means those previously existing filled positions that are retained as a result of Recovery Act funding. Recipient descriptions may rely on job titles, broader labor categories, or the recipients existing practice for describing jobs as long as the terms used are widely understood and explain the general nature of the work. Note that a job cannot be reported as both created and retained.
(2) An estimate of the number of jobs created and jobs retained in the United States and outlying areas. At a minimum, this estimate shall include any new positions created and any existing filled positions that were retained to support or carry out Recovery Act projects or activities managed directly by the recipient, and if known, by sub-recipients. The number shall be expressed as “full-time equivalent” (FTE), calculated cumulatively as all hours worked divided by the total number of hours in a full-time schedule, as defined by the recipient. For instance, two full-time employees and one part-time employee working half days would be reported as 2.5 FTE in each calendar quarter. Because FTE is calculated based on aggregate hours worked, temporary or part-time labor is not overstated.
4. Included in the April 3 OMB Guidance is an upcoming Federal Register Notice, “Interim Final Guidance for Federal Financial Assistance – Requirements for Implementing Sections 1512, 1605, and 1606 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for Financial Assistance Awards”. This Guidance is primarily directed towards the federal agencies, but as always may directly impact recipients responsibilities. It provides detailed instructions on compliance with the “Buy American” Act, the wage rate requirements that apply to certain ARRA projects, and how to ensure proper accounting and reporting of Recovery Act expenditures in Single Audits under OMB Circular A-133. Comments on this Interim Final Guidance are due 60 days from Federal Register publication, so the comment deadline will be around June 4, 2009.
Finally, OMB states that it welcomes comments on any part of its April 3 Guidance, and that it will be issue further memoranda within the next 30-60 days, clarifying any points based on the feedback received. We will be reviewing this document to develop COGR comments, and would greatly appreciate receiving your comments and concerns ASAP.
NIH Notice on Recovery Act Funding – NOT-OD-09-080
Institutions should carefully review the new terms described in this April 3 announcement; a summary is provided below. The terms, particularly the reporting requirements, have been anticipated and generally conform to the requirements outlined in the Recovery Act and included in the recently released Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) interim rule and data elements proposed by the Office of Management and Budget for financial assistance awards.
NIH Award Terms and Additional Information for Recipients Receiving Recovery Act Grant Funding
Using a special banner, NIH will mark each Recovery Act Notice of Award (NOA) and reference the special Department of Health and Human Services-approved special terms. The award numbers will include an additional last character – a “Z” – to further identify the awards.
NIH provides the reporting requirements in the linked DHHS-approved terms. Report are required for each ARRA award and sub-award (sub-grant and sub-contract) separately. The quarterly reporting – not later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter – includes new data elements. In addition to predictable data – amount of the award; expenditures and obligations – the expenditures must be linked to project activities and an evaluation of the completion status. The report will require an estimate of the jobs created and/or retained and detailed information on subrecipients. The information on subrecipients includes the data required for compliance with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-282).
The Notice includes information on the payments as well. Recipients will draw down ARRA funds on an award-specific basis. Pooling of ARRA award funds with other funds for drawdown or other purposes is not permitted. The DHHS Payment Management System is establishing separate “P” accounts for grantees receiving ARRA funds and each individual NIH award will be established as a sub-account under the “master” P account for the institution.
This Notice describes special terms and business processes established for managing ARRA Administrative Supplements and Competitive Revisions – ARRA T-3 awards. Institutions applying for and receiving such awards will want to review this Notice carefully, as it describes unique business processes for rebudgeting, carryover of funds, no-cost extensions, and separate financial and closeout reporting.
Institutions should continue to monitor all the agency announcements. We will provide information on significant policy and procedural changes for the membership as the information becomes available.
The purpose of this RFA, issued March 30, is to aid the recruitment of faculty. This opportunity is very unlike traditional P30s, and is institute-specific. Many NIH institutes are not participating in this program. The first table, attached, summarizes the following points:
1. the inter-institute differences regarding the number of applications that can be submitted by the University,
2. certain other key information such as the specific units that can submit
3. the required characteristics of the new faculty to be recruited. Complete information is to be found at the links listed above the table.
The second table, attached, lists current P30 awards. Depending on what is being proposed, prospective PIs under the RFA might wish to coordinate with existing NIH centers at the University. However, such coordination is not required in the RFA.
Please note that any semi-organized group (department, center without NIH center status--e.g., a UW recognized center or institute), NIH-designated P30 center, or collaborative group have standing to apply. One need not be a chair of a department or director of a center to be PI. However, UW hires faculty only through departments, so appropriate arrangements must be in place.
Should you wish to apply, you must state your intent to the Office of Research by the end of business, Monday, April 13. Send your statement of intent to Peggy Fanning by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Office of Research will evaluate your intent and, as necessary, make the institutional choices required by the RFA within two days of this deadline. Please include:
1. PI name
2. Center/ group and Department to which the faculty member will be recruited
3. Center mission, BRIEF descritpion of the individual sought and how the new person will compliment the center.
4. Total NIH grant awards in the center or group to which the new individual is to be recruited.
5. Connection to University, School, Departmental or Center intiatives.
The university will select those proposals thought most likely to be competitive for funding by the agency.
For more information:
ARRA NIH P30 Faculty Recruitment RFA - limitedsubmission guidelines.docx
More NIH Funding announcements
o Recovery Act Notice: NIH ARRA Funding Considerations for Applications with Meritorious Scores that Fall Beyond the Pay-line http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-078.html
o ARRA Administrative Supplements and Competitive Revisions: Clarifications on Programmatic Limitations and use of Modular Budgets http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-079.html
o Recovery Act of 2009: NIH Award Terms and Additional Information for Recipients Receiving Recovery Act Grant Funding http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-080.html
o Recovery Act Notice: NIH ARRA Funding Considerations for Applications with Meritorious Scores that Fall Beyond the Pay-line
National Institutes of Health
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009
o ARRA Administrative Supplements and Competitive Revisions: Clarifications on Programmatic Limitations and use of Modular Budgets
National Institutes of Health
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009
o Recovery Act of 2009: NIH Award Terms and Additional Information for Recipients Receiving Recovery Act Grant Funding
National Institutes of Health
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009
o Announcement of Participation of NINR on RFA-OD-09-004, Recovery Act Limited Competition for NIH Grants: Research and Research Infrastructure Grand Opportunities (RC2)
National Institute of Nursing Research
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009
o Notice of Clarification to RFA-RR-09-007 and RFA-RR-09-008 (NOT-RR-09-011)
National Center for Research Resources
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009
FAR Council Publishes ARRA Funds Reporting Requirements; OMB Proposes Info Collection Data Elements
Interim regulations published in the March 31 Federal Register spell out the reporting and other requirements that contractors receiving funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act must follow. The requirements cover quarterly reporting to the federal contracting agency on various data elements, including the number of jobs created. Also addressed are the new ARRA whistle-blower protections and the power that the Government Accountability Office will have to investigate contractors, similar to that exercised by the office of inspector general. The interim rules are effective March 31, and they apply to all solicitations and contracts awarded on or after the effective date. Contracting officers also must modify existing contracts to include the new clause if ARRA funds are used. Comments submitted by June 1 will be considered in formulation of a final rule. Links: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-7025.pdf (reporting requirements); http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-7020.pdf (whistle-blower protections); http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-7030.pdf (GAO access);http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-7029.pdf (GAO/IG access)
ARRA Reporting Requirements
It's time to call in the bulldozers at many of the Department of Energy's national laboratories. Officials at the 10 laboratories have been waiting, wish lists in hand, to hear how much of the stimulus package they might get to spend. Today, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu laid out a plan for how to spend $1.2 billion of the $1.6 billion that the $787 billion stimulus bill provides DOE's Office of Science. Most of that money will pay for upgraded buildings and equipment at the national laboratories.
The biggest single chunk of cash—$150 million—will go to Brookhaven National Laboratory to speed up construction of its National Synchrotron Light Source II.
Other big winners include the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ($124 million), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ($116 million), Oak Ridge National Laboratory ($71 million), and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory ($68 million.) Some $65 million will go to accelerate a big upgrade of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, and $69 million will pay for a super-high-speed data network that will link the nation's research centers. Another $50 million will go to the NOvA neutrino experiment to be managed by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in cooperation with the University of Minnesota.
Office of Innovation and Improvement; Overview Information: Teacher Quality U
U.S. Department of Education: The Teacher Quality Partnership, including IHE’s, program seeks to improve the quality of new teachers working in high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) and high-need schools by creating successful and high-quality model Pre-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation programs and/or Teaching Residency programs for those qualified to begin teaching. Projects may also include a school leadership component to train superintendents, principals, early childhood educator program directors and other school leaders in high-need or rural LEAs. Initiatives to support development of digital education content, to improve the quality of pre-baccalaureate teacher preparation programs, and/or to enhance the quality of pre-service training for prospective teachers are also supported.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are working to address short-term capacity problems using Grants.gov. In a notice posted today (March 30) to HHS’s Recovery Act website, HHS, as the program management office (PMO) for Grants.gov announces that “HHS is acting quickly to accommodate the unprecedented demand…. We have identified a path forward to correct the problems of Grants.gov and have begun to implement it. The Office of Management and Budget and HHS are working to ensure that the necessary funds are in place to increase storage and processing capacity and purchase new hardware and software to support Grants.gov. These improvements will be made rapidly and will help ensure Grants.gov runs in a smooth and efficient manner. “ The complete announcement is available on the website (link below).
COGR staff and member representatives along with colleagues from the Association of American Universities (AAU) met with HHS last week to discuss the short-term and long-term problems with Grants.gov. We were encouraged in that discussion and by this announcement that HHS and OMB will be working in the short-term to enhance the capacity of Grants.gov to facilitate the application process. Our discussion focused on long-term improvements as well. HHS is committed to designing and implementing what one participant called the next generation of Grants.gov. We pledged the research communities cooperation. We will continue to press for improvements and will keep the membership informed.
(located under the “Grants & Contract” tab as “Background”)
Carol J. Blum
Research Compliance and Adminstration
Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)
202-289-6655, ext. 17
On April 16, the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health will a hold meeting to discuss implementation plans associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The meeting, from 3-5 p.m., will be open to the public. An agenda will be posted at http://acd.od.nih.gov/. This is a special meeting, as the ACD typically meets in full-day sessions several times a year. It is the highest ranking advisory committee in NIH. Link: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-6472.pdf.
OR/OSP is adding supplemental computers and leasing server space to accommodate the enormous increase in submissions. Temporary staff will be hired and trained in Grants.Gov submissions. Grants and Contracts Accounting is coordinating the effort to determine how to track ARRA awards and meet the quarterly reporting requirements. HR is developing a process to expedite hiring for new employees funded with ARRA funds.
NIH: A preliminary survey indicates that UW faculty will be submitting a huge number of NIH Challenge Grants by the April 27th deadline. Since these must go through Grants.Gov it is going to be imperative to get these in as early as possible. However a confounding submission issue is that the Competitive Revision Proposals are due on April 21st. Many of these will be submitted on Grants. Gov. So the ideal time to submit final proposals for the Challenge Grants will be April 22-April 24. If the original proposal was submitted electronically, i.e. if the program has transitioned to electronic submission, then the Competitive Revision must be submitted through Grants. Gov.
Each Center and Institute is setting its own deadlines for submission of Administrative Supplements.
NSF: NSF has posted two criteria for funding under ARRA and has announced that much of the ARRA funding has already been targeted for proposals already submitted. If you have not contacted your Program Officer, it is important to do so right away. NSF also has announced that they plan to make awards for five years not two years. However, if the funding level is not sufficient after the first year, the funds may be rescinded. NSF expects to have their FAQ’s posted soon.
o All grants issued with Recovery Act funds will be standard grants with durations of up to 5 years. This approach will allow NSF to structure a sustainable portfolio.
o Funding of new Principal Investigators and high-risk, high-return research will be top priorities.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for Research and Development contains provisions to promote rapid expenditure of the funds. This is in keeping with the intent of the Act, which is to pump recourses into the economy to get it moving again.
The act contains numerous dates by which certain funds must be “obligated”. For example, the act states under Department of Defense funding: For an additional amount for ‘‘Research,Development, Test and Evaluation, Army” (Navy, Air Force, etc.), $75,000,000, to remain available for obligation until September 30, 2010.
The question remains as to what “obligated” means in this context. Does it mean the agency must give the awards out by this date or does it mean the recipients of the funds must have it obligated by this date? There seems to be some conflicting interpretations among the various federal agencies. We are awaiting further clarification on this point and will communicate what we learn as soon as it is available.
From Report on Research Compliance:
o NSF Issues ARRA Funding Guidance
The National Science Foundation will use $2 billion of its $3 billion largess from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund "proposals that are already in house and will be reviewed and/or awarded prior to Sept. 30, 2009," the agency said in a notice posted on its Web site March 18. "The foundation also expects to expeditiously award funds as specified in the Recovery Act for: the Math and Science Partnership program (funded at $25 million); the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (funded at $60 million); the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction Account (funded at $400 million); the Academic Research Infrastructure (ARI) program (funded at $200 million); and the Science Masters program (funded at $15 million). Solicitations for these latter two programs will be posted this spring," NSF said. The notice also contained other information about how NFS is handling the funds. Link: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/issuances/in131.pdf?govDel=USNSF_109.
o GAO Official Describes ARRA Oversight Activities At a hearing earlier this month before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, an official of the Government Accountability Office described GAO's role in helping to ensure accountability and transparency of funds distributed under the ARRA. Gene L. Dodaro, acting comptroller general, testified that "GAO is charged with reviewing the use of funds by selected states and localities" and would be focusing on Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. He also said agencies' inspectors general "are expected to audit the efforts of federal agencies' operations and programs related to the Recovery Act, both individually within their particular entities and collectively," and described "best practices" for preventing fraud, which is a risk given the large sums at hand. These best practices include ensuring contracts are well-structured by establishing clear requirements prior to award, awarding contracts competitively, and using fixed-price contracts to the maximum extent possible. Link to hearing: http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=bdb909ea-7e73-430f-a14d-a136aab767ab. Link to testimony: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09453t.pdf.
COGR: NIH Supplemental Funding & Fiscal Policy Notices
We have included below information concerning new Recovery Act funding announcements from NIH as well as information concerning NIH 2009 Fiscal Policy.
With regard to the Recovery Act funding opportunities, institutions should be monitoring all agency websites for Recovery Act funding information. These websites will provide the most up-to-date information including agency contact information. COGR will monitor policy and procedural issues and report to membership on any significant changes in policy and/or procedures.
NIH Recovery Act
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued new Recovery Act notices for three supplement opportunities for active NIH-supported research project grants. It is important to note that applications for the Administrative Supplement (NOT-OD-09-056) and Summer Research Experience (NOT-OD-09-060) require paper submissions. The Competitive Revision Applications (formerly known as competitive supplements) will use Grants.gov if the active NIH project was funded under a program (activity code) that has already transitioned to electronic submission. Applicants are directed to use the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) that was used for the parent grant. Or, if this FOA is no longer active, use the Parent FOA that matches the program (activity code) of the award.
In all cases of supplements, potential applicants should check their institute/center websites for specific instructions for the application. Links to the funding announcements are included below. Complete information concerning NIH Recovery act programs is available on NIH s website at: http://grants.nih.gov/recovery/
1. Recovery Act Funds for Administrative Supplements
2. Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications (formerly termed competitive supplements); deadline April 21, 2009)
< http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-058.html >
3. Recovery Act Funds for Administrative Supplements Providing Summer Research Experiences for Students and Science Educators
< http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-060.html >
NIH Fiscal Policy
With the enactment of the final fiscal year 2009 appropriations bill, NIH issued its fiscal policy for FY 2009 awards on Wednesday, March 18. The notice is available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-066.html. As in the past, each Institute/Center will establish fiscal policies consistent with these NIH-wide policies according to its specific scientific and programmatic imperatives. Additional information on FY2009 Fiscal Operations, including specific funding strategies for ICs will be posted at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/financial/index.htm.
For Non-Competing Research Awards: The FY 2009 appropriation allows NIH to support investments in research by funding research grants at the most recently committed levels. Non-competing awards previously issued in FY 2009 at reduced levels will be revised to restore funds to the level indicated above (for most, likely 3%).
For Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA): NIH will support a 1 percent increase in all stipend levels.
Carol J. Blum
Research Compliance and Adminstration
Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)
202-289-6655, ext. 17
1. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is responsible for providing supplies to the military services and supporting the DOD's acquisition of weapons and other material. Response date for this BAA is June 4, 2009.
See full announcement at: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=acb063ae6e233ea5c3627695be0c6d08&_cview=0
2. Tank and Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC--US Army) has three Topics with funding that might be of interest to you.
Topic #17: Alternative Fuels and their Impacts on Systems Performance
Topic #18: Advanced Energy Storage
Topic #19: Mobile Micro Grid http://contracting.tacom.army.mil/baa/05RBAA1/Topic_19_Mobile_Microgrid.pdf
Federal agencies that received funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus law, have begun posting research funding opportunities on their Web sites. The National Institutes of Health, for example, recently announced it was accepting applications for a total of $1.5 billion in ARRA funds. These will fund "scientific research, construction and improvement of research facilities, and the purchase of scientific equipment."
Specifically, NIH will spend:
o "At least $200 million in Challenge Grants to support research on topics that address specific scientific and health research challenges in biomedical and behavioral research that would benefit from significant two-year jumpstart funds;
o "$1 billion in construction grants to help build new or improve existing research facilities and help grow the economy; and
o "$300 million in shared instrumentation grants to facilitate the purchase of research equipment that will enable scientists and researchers to complete their critical work."
Link to NIH Web site: http://grants.nih.gov/recovery.
Link to list of agency ARRA sites: www.recovery.gov/?q=content/agencies
Department of Commerce and US Dept of Agriculture have announced a new joint Broadband initiative under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and stated that “President Obama’s commitment to expanding broadband service to rural areas will provide rural communities with access to worldwide markets and the education, first responder, and health care resources they need to prosper and compete,” The program announcement and notice of public meetings is at www.ntia.doc.gov/broadbandgrants.
Department of Education: States will soon be applying for Recovery funds which can open up opportunities for universities to partner with the state department of Education. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that $44 billion in stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will be available to states in the next 30 to 45 days. The first round of funding will help avert hundreds of thousands of estimated teacher layoffs in schools and school districts while driving crucial education improvements, reforms, and results for students. www.ed.gov/recovery
Department of Defense: Much of the DOD funds will be going for facilities improvements and construction. However, there should be extensive opportunity for collaboration with DOD contractors. Especially in energy related projects. The DOD plan can be found at www.defenselink.mil/recovery .
National Science Foundation: NSF has announced that their funds will be allocated with $2.5 Billion for Research, $100 Million for Education and Human Development and $400 Million for Major Research and Equipment.
Department of Energy: The DOE has provided a link to funds that will be distributed to the State of Washington. This information is at www.energy.gov/washington.htm
Stimulus Applications Could Overwhelm Grants.gov. See Washington Post article http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/03/11/stimulus_applications_could_ov.html?hpid=topnews.
If funds over $25,000 or 10% of the budget are requested for travel or collaboration with a foreign researcher, a specific request for a variance must be requested. The rationale was that the funds are to stimulate jobs creation and economic enhancement in the US. See NIH News Release
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