RAIN Meeting Summary – March 2022

The March RAIN meeting reviewed the agenda below – the slides are available for review at this link.

Welcome & Introduction

  • New Attendees​

Deborah Lundin introduced herself as the Director of Pre-Award Services

New Business​

  • Notes on Proposal Budgeting

Jessica Miller summarized a recent session presented by the Office of Faculty Excellence. The presentation included a summary of the types of budgets, different F&A rates, and compensation. It also described the importance of deadline/milestone management during budget preparation and the impact of sound budgeting on merit review.

  • Questionable Costs Processes

Julie Cole outlined the nature of questionable costs as charges which require additional justification because auditors might question their relevance to the project or assume ECU should already cover such costs out of overhead. The presentation described the new ecuBIC reports that will soon be delivered monthly to the department research administrators and the hubs and the eTRACS based approval process used to approve and justify specific charges. Examples and samples were provided to further clarify the entire process.

  • Research.gov​

Attendees were apprised of NSF’s notification that all proposals must come through Research.gov beginning in 2023. The majority of ECU proposals to NSF already go through Research.gov, so there are no anticipated operational issues arising from this deadline.

  • Source of Cost Share Draft Text​

Building on discussions at the February RAIN meeting, new guidance on cost share documentation was provided ahead of inclusion into policy. The basic approach is that deviations from cost share budgets in proposals and notices of awards should be sent to ORA Financial Analysts – who will determine if such deviations require prior written sponsor approval.

Old Business​

  • Effort Update​

The next effort certification cycle – for the period from 1 Jan – 15 May – will open in early June.

  • NCURA Webinars​

Recent NCURA webinars presenting updates from OMB, NSF, and NIH will shortly be available for streaming by all ECU personnel. Notifications and links will be sent when the streams are live.

  • Open Research Administration Positions​

A list of open internal research administration positions was provided and interested attendees were encouraged to apply.

Next Meeting – March 23, 2022

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