What’s New for Investigators this Spring 2015 on Federally Funded Projects

Starting today through Jan 15, representatives from the Federal Demonstration Partnership and all the major federal agencies will convene in D.C.  to discuss what’s new for researchers in 2015.  I should be able to get the discussion handouts that will announce the latest new items for research teams later this week in this blog.

Here are the “hot topics” for investigators and research teams:

  1. FDP and federal govt will discuss the pros and cons of the  new terms and conditions on research grants:  NIH and NSF will announce more details on the expanded authorities (participating Michelle Bulls, National Institutes of Health; Jean Feldman, National Science Foundation).  What this means is that investigators must now get accustomed to asking prior permission for budget revisions in excess of 25% of total budget and investigators must now ask permission in advance for their first no-cost extension.  Research teams are effected by this directly if they are working on subawards where there will be two layers of responses:  one from our prime awardee and the other from the federal program director.
  2. 2.  In 2015 the OMB and Treasury are responsible for implementing the DATA Act. In a separate blog posting this week I will report on the the current status and plans for the DATA Act.  What this means for individual investigators is a gradual trend towards having uniform data points on one universal website. Not a lot new here – but investigators perhaps should be sensitive about what data points they report for future FOIA requests.
  3. 2015 is the year for Export Controls Reform – the federal govt is announcing their “higher fences around fewer items” approach.  Details to follow on with whom you can subcontract and whether your lab still uses materials from the “control list.”  Good news is that the federal govt is moving many items off the Commerce Control List (CCL), which had been a cumbersome annoyance for some labs on Defense grants.
  4. The new NIH and NSF biosketch format is required on applications starting May 25, 2015.  I will report on specifics to the Bio Sketch in a later blog posting.
  5. Report from the FDP Research Compliance committee will discuss the recent NIH initiatives in clinical research.  This will be big news for some labs.  More details when I get them from the attendees this week.
  6. NEW FOR GRANTS.GOV PROPOSALS starting in Feb 2015, researchers can now start using extended characters in text fields (such as the descriptive title).  Prior to this upgrade in Grants.gov proposals would be kicked out of the system for use of scientific notation characters.
  7. NEW FOR INVESTIGATORS is the implication of a rapid expansion of data sets and administrative requirements for investigators to provide wide data sets on their progress reports.   This will probably take effect in late summer. More details when I can get them.

About Suzanne Stroud

Suzanne Stroud has volunteered as a mentor for the Research Administrators Certification Council in NY to help other research administrators prepare for the CRA, CPRA and CFRA exams. You may contact Suzanne if you are preparing to study for these exams or will setup study groups.

Posted on January 11, 2015, in Certified Research Administrator Credentials/Exams. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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