Agency Updates Available for Streaming
On March 17, 2022, three major federal agencies – OMB, NIH, and NSF – presented updates on research policy. These updates were recorded and can now be streamed for free (by ECU personnel) using the links below.
CMSI has also prepared summaries of these presentations – also below.
Links to the agency policy updates:
Office of Management and Budget
Landscape of Grants – Federal funding of research has grown exponentially over time, from $7B in 1960 to over $1TR in 2022 (this figure does not include COVID-19 related funding). The Federal Research and Development Budget increased by 9% for 2022.
American Rescue Plan (2021 COVID Relief) – OMB Memorandum M-21-20 explains similarities and changes from M-20-17, which provided flexibility due to COVID-19 in 2020. OMB provided a FAQ sheet regarding these changes.
2 CFR Revisions (2020) – OMB has provided an updated FAQ Sheet in 2021 to further explain these revisions.
- Introduced new emphasis on grant performance and accountability: “The use of goals, measurement, evaluation, analysis and data-driven reviews to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of agency operations.”
- The OMB also provided a reference to assist: “Managing for Results: The Performance Management Playbook for Federal Awarding Agencies”
- Clarified responsibilities of pass-through entities to address only subrecipient’s audit finding related to their specific subaward
National Institutes of Health
NIH Salary Cap – The NIH changed its salary cap to $203,700 earlier this year. The new rate is in effect for proposals.
Forms-G – NIH has transitioned to a new form set which are now required for all submissions. eTRACS proposals use this new form set automatically.
2-Factor Authentication – NIH now requires Commons users to use 2-factor authentication via Login.gov. Login-gov is a fed-wide system for managing 2-factor authentication.
Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) has replaced DUNS – All proposals to NIH going through Grants.gov (including eTRACS submissions) must now use UEI instead of DUNS to identify ECU as the applicant. eTRACS has implemented this change.
Biosketch, Other Support, and “Commitment Transparency” – NIH has implemented new forms and disclosure requirements requiring investigators to disclose foreign relationships. There are extensive FAQ’s and other guidance available at the NIH website.
National Science Foundation
“Hot Topics” – On March 16, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the establishment of the Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships or TIP—the agency’s first new directorate in more than 30 years. According to NSF, the new directorate “creates breakthrough technologies; meets societal and economic needs; leads to new, high wage jobs; and empowers all Americans to participate in the U.S. research and innovation enterprise.”
Change in procurement guidance relative to goods manufactured in America – new regulations primarily impact construction funding and requires materials to be made in America.
Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Changes – The policies and procedures guide (PAPPG) is undergoing revision with the anticipated timeline as follows:
NSF will post the revisions to the PAPPG in the Federal Register for public comment in Spring 2022. Following the period of opportunity for public comment, NSF plans to post the revised version in October 2022, with the changes becoming effective in January 2023. ECU will be monitoring the proposed changes and will follow the public comments to ensure the university community is prepared.
NSPM-33 Disclosure Requirements – National Security Presidential Memorandum 33 (NSPM-33) established national security policy for U.S. Government-supported R&D. The impact of NSPM-33 is significant to ECU researchers, as the memorandum requires significant changes in disclosure requirements in proposal submission. NSF has been working for almost three years to implement disclosure requirements for compliance with NSPM-33, and the agency has been collaborating with NIH to ensure that NSF disclosure requirements are as consistent as possible for use by researchers when preparing their Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Documents. NSF has posted “disclosure tables” to assist faculty in implementing the new requirements. NSF notes that there is work still to be done to “harmonize” requirements across all federal agencies, including standardized templates and instructions. The presentation provides further guidance and instructions in implementing the new procedures.
Transition to Research.gov from Fastlane – FastLane is targeted to be removed as a submission option from all funding opportunities by the PAPPG implementation in January 2023. The presentation provides additional detail regarding the transition, including advice and guidance to faculty in proposal preparation and submission.
Implementation of SAM Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) – Effective February 28, NSF began using the new System for Award Management (SAM) issued Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) in Research.gov and FastLane. NSF-registered organizations do not need to manually replace DUNS with their SAM UEI in NSF systems. Any subrecipients named in a proposal are also required to obtain a SAM UEI and register in Research.gov. Subrecipients named in the proposal, however, do not need to be registered in SAM.