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Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Most recent NIH News 

Effective January 8, 2017: NIH Salary Cap Increase

Per NOT-OD-17-049  effective January 8th, 2017 the salary cap for NIH proposals increased to $187,000. The new amount may be used for proposals submitted on or after that date. The salary cap for AY faculty will be $140,250 and the summer salary cap is $46,750.

For awards issued in those years that were restricted to Executive Level II (see Salary Cap Summary, FY 1990 – FY 2016), including competing awards already issued in FY2017, if adequate funds are available in active awards, and if the salary cap increase is consistent with the institutional base salary, grantees may rebudget to accommodate the current Executive Level II salary level. However, no additional funds will be provided to these grant awards.

Once the Department of Health and Human Services Appropriation for FY 2017 is enacted, NIH will publish the annual Notice of legislative mandates to provide information on any statutory provisions that limit the use of NIH grant funds in FY 2017.  Additional guidance on the salary cap will also be provided at that time.

For questions related to budgeting with the new salary cap please contact your OSP Proposal Team. For questions related to current award implications please contact the CGA Awards Group.

January 4, 2017: New Application Instruction Guide

The NIH has improved the language and formatting of the grant application instructions on their website.  View the changes at How to Apply - Application Guide.

To see past News items, go to the News Archive section at the bottom of this page.

NIH Introduction

NIH funds grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts that support the advancement of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems to meet the NIH mission of extending healthy life and reducing the burdens of illness and disability. While NIH awards many grants specifically for research, they also provide grant opportunities that support research-related activities, including: construction, training, career development, conferences, resource grants and more.

As you plan to write and submit an NIH application, it is important to know some important submission basics, such as what type of application will be needed (paper or electronic) and which forms are necessary. For electronic proposal submissions NIH uses Grants.gov.  MSU is registered with Grants.gov and no individual must register with Grants.gov. All that is required by MSU applicants is to use DUNS #193247145 on any application. Anyone listed as a PD/PI must have an eRA Commons Account.

  • The key to successfully getting a proposal submitted through Grants.gov for NIH is to allow plenty of time for preparation, review and submission.
  • Grants.gov and NIH both state it could take up to 2 days each (4 weekdays) to get through their systems due to high volume. 
  • An application must be received with no errors prior to the deadline to be a successful submission to NIH.

OSP is available to assist with the preparation of any proposal. Please call 517-355-5040 or email proposalteam1@osp.msu.edu for questions.

Principal Investigator (PI) Responsibilities:

Step 1.  If you do not already have one, obtain an eRA Commons Account by emailing your respective proposal group contact: https://cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/DocumentViewer.aspx?cga=aQBkAD0AMQA3ADAA. Please update your personal profile.

Step 2. Finding Funding: All Funding Opportunity Announcements can be found at:  http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/index.html  this feature within Grants.gov to locate possible funding programs. Funding programs eligible for electronic submission via Grants.gov will have an application package available for download.

Step 3. Download the application package.

  • You must have a Compatible Adobe version.
  • Download the specific Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and save it to your computer.
  • Review the SF424 Guide.
  • Prepare the application. Overwrite the prior version every time you change the application. All attachments must be converted to non-editable PDF. Please see NIH PDF guidelines.
  • Check Package for Errors
  • There are no format pages except the BioSketch. (please see biosketch template file below).

Step 4: Please review OSP's Proposal Preparation procedures for additional information & timeline.

Step 5: After the OSP submission of the package, log in to eRA Commons and check on status of proposal. Once an application is received with no Errors, you have 2 weekdays to view and reject if needed prior to the deadline.

SRO Responsibilities:

  • Once all administration signatures via eTransmittal have been obtained, OSP will review and submit the electronic proposal prepared by the PI/department administrator via Grants.gov.
  • Proposal is validated by Grants.gov then picked up by the eRA Commons.
  • eRA Commons runs a validation check.
  • PI and OSP will receive an email for eRA Commons notifying of receipt and any Warnings or Errors.
  • OSP will assist in correcting warnings and errors and send final confirmation to the PI.  

Other Useful NIH Links and Information:

NIH Office of Extramural Research

Guide for Grants and Contracts (Funding opportunities)

NIH Commons - FAQ Regarding the Commons

Application Forms (SF424 and PHS398)

Grants.gov and Assist

Standard Due Dates for Competing Applications

Salary Cap Limitations (SCL) – FY2015  $185,100 (AN/12 months) / $138,825 (AY/9 months)

  • Use SI/Salary Budget Builder fringe rates
  • SCL notes for proposals submitted directly to NIH -  (1) always use the PI salary cap on modular budgets; (2) use the actual PI salary for detailed budgets (since NIH's normal process is to review and cap the budgeted salary amounts at time of award) IF the budget DOES NOT bump up against the FOA/solicitation's prescribed direct cost maximum; (3) use the PI salary cap for detailed budgets IF the budget bumps up against the FOA/solicitation's prescribed direct cost maximum.
  • SCL notes for subawards - (1) always use the PI salary cap in the budget; (2) always use detailed budgets in the subaward budget forms.
  • SCL notes for eTransmittal completion - (1) a note should be added to the eTransmittal indicating "It is understood that the budgeted PI salary is limited to the NIH salary cap which will result in required department salary differential support if funded."; (2) the mandatory cost box on the eTransmittal should be -0- since this is not an allowable NIH project cost.

Career Development (K) Awards
Just a reminder that for NIH Training Grants (also called Career Development), the F&A rate should be 8% excluding only the tuition and fees and expenditures for equipment.  The RFA language can be confusing since it states “of modified total direct costs*” for these training grants.  This does not mean that MSU uses our negotiated rate agreement MTDC definition.  Rather, the base is all costs except for tuition and fees and expenditures for equipment.”

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA)

Grants Policy Statement

NIH Public Access Policy

FDP Agency Specific Guidelines

News Archive

November 29, 2016: Revised NIH Grants Policy Statement

The National Institutes of health has released a revised version of their Revised NIH Grants Policy Statement for FY 2017. This revision is applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2016. This revision supersedes, in its entirety, the NIH Grants Policy Statement (October/November 2015) as a standard term and condition of award.  Previous versions of the NIHGPS remain applicable as a standard term and condition for all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods that began prior to October 1, 2016.

NIH’s summary of significant changes can found at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/Significant_Changes_NIHGPS_Oct2016.pdf.

A general summary can be found on our website at SUMMARY of NIH Changes Effective January 2017.

May 25, 2016: New NIH Forms D

NIH is gearing up to start posting updated application forms (FORMS-D) to be used for due dates on or after May 25, 2016. The use of these updated application forms is a critical part of their implementation of Phase II of the 2016 policy changes outlined in NOT-OD-16-004. You’ll start seeing FORMS-D application packages hit the streets as early as mid-March.   See link to sample annotated Form set D below!

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/ElectronicReceipt/files/Annotated_Forms_General_FORMS-D.pdf

February 18, 2016: NIH Rigor and Reproducibility: Use of Animals in Research

This session discussed factors contributing to variability of data associated with animal studies and how investigators might approach the new NIH requirements with respect to explaining the conditions around which studies are conducted.

January 25, 2016: NIH Significant Changes for Proposals Due on or after January 25, 2016

Research Strategy Attachment

In the significance section, must now also address the following:

  • “Describe the scientific premise for the proposed project, including consideration of the   strengths and weaknesses of published research or preliminary data crucial to the support of your application.”

In the approach section, must now also address the following:

  • "Describe the scientific premise for the proposed project, including consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of published research or preliminary data crucial to the support of your application."
  • "If your study(s) involves human subjects, you are expected to explain how relevant biological variables are important to the proposed experimental design and analyses. The sections on the inclusion of Women and Minorities and Inclusion of Children can be used to expand your discussions on inclusion and justify the proposed proportions of individuals (such as males and females) in the sample."

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources - New Attachment!

This is a new attachment required on the SF 424 (R&R) Other Project Information Form, in the Other Attachments field.  The single file should be named “Authentication of Key Resources Plan.”  The attachment must, “Briefly describe methods to ensure the identity and validity of key biological and/or chemical resources used in the proposed studies.  Key biological and/or chemical resources may or may not be generated with NIH funds and: 1) may differ from laboratory to laboratory or over time; 2) may have qualities and/or qualifications that could influence the research data; and 3) are integral to the proposed research. These include, but are not limited to, cell lines, specialty chemicals, antibodies, and other biologics. Standard laboratory reagents that are not expected to vary do not need to be included in the plan. Examples are buffers and other common biologicals or chemicals.”

NIH provides a caution that the information in this attachment must focus only on authentication and/or validation of key resources to be used in the study; all other methods and preliminary data must be included within the page limits of the research strategy. Applications identified as non-compliant with this limitation will be withdrawn from the review process.

Vertebrate Animals

The criteria has been changed as follows:

  • "Description of Procedures. Provide a concise description of the proposed procedures to be used that involve vertebrate animals in the work outlined in the “Research Strategy” section. Identify the species, strains, ages, sex, and total numbers of animals by species, to be used in the proposed work. If dogs or cats are proposed provide the source of the animals."
  • "Justifications: Provide justification that the species are appropriate for the proposed research. Explain why the research goals cannot be accomplished using an alternative model (e.g. computational, human, invertebrate, in vitro).”
  • "Minimization of Pain and Distress: Describe the interventions including analgesia, anesthesia, sedation, palliative care and humane endpoints to minimize discomfort, distress, pain, and injury."
  • "Euthanasia: State whether the method of euthanasia is consistent with the recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. If not, describe the method and provide a scientific justification."

Definition of a Child

The age of a child will be defined as individuals under 18 years old instead of 21 years old.

Training Grant Applications

There are also significant changes to the training grant application instructions. If you are aware of a training grant application being submitted, please make sure to review the new application instructions and contact your Proposal Team if you have any questions.

Direct quotes were taken from the Updated SF424 (R&R) Application Guide

January 7, 2016: Educational Session for faculty

December 24, 2015: NIH Salary Cap Increase

NIH salary cap increased to $185,100 effective January 10, 2016.  More guidance when developing your NIH budget can be found at this link.

12/21/15

NIH has issued significant grant policy statement changes for 2016.

2/26/15

The DHHS/PHS Application Guide instructions related to "Submitting Subaward Budgets that are not Active for all Periods of the Prime Grant" found in section "4.8 Special Instructions for Preparing Applications with a Subaward/Consortium" has been revised and the section language has been replaced in its entirety; see NIH notice for details.

2/12/15

Future Year Commitments on FY 2015 New and Competing Renewal Awards: As in recent fiscal years (see NOT-OD-13-064), inflationary salary increases for future year commitments are no longer provided for all competing and non-competing research grant awards.

This policy was established in 2012 under NIH notice NOT-OD-12-136 that states that a detailed budget can include salary cost-of-living/inflation increases; however, NIH will not award the salary increases due to NIH’s appropriated budget issues (starting in 2012 and continuing as a standing NIH policy). See NIH's FAQ for more information at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/financial/fiscal_policy_faq.htm#3411

12/5/14

The National Institutes of Health has issued significant changes to its Biosketch requirements for all grant and cooperative agreement applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015. Use of the new format for proposals due before May 25, 2015 is highly encouraged.  A very helpful NIH Biosketch Q&A webpage has been updated to explain this new requirement and can be found at this link.

12/30/14

Effective with all Kirschstein-NRSA awards made on or after October 1, 2014, the annual stipend levels* apply to all individuals receiving support through institutional research training grants or individual fellowships, including the Minority Access to Research Career (MARC) program for FY2015.

*Level # Yr Experience AN Stipdend Level Monthly Stipend Level
Freshman/Sophomore   $8,640 $720
Junior/Senior   $12,096 $1,008
Predoctoral All $22,920 $3,570
Postdoctoral 0 $42,840 $3,570
  1 $44,556 $3,713
  2 $46,344 $3,862
  3 $48,192 $4,016
  4 $50,112 $4,176
  5 $52,116 $4,343
  6 $54,216 $4,518
  7 or more $56,376 $4,698

12/19/14

Contrary to the Uniform Guidance guidelines allowing a de minimis rate of 10% F&A, international subawards and educational grants have limited F&A rates.

  • Foreign and international organizations are limited to 8%  less equipment and other items normally treated as indirect costs (e.g. rent) (usually referred to as 8% of "modified total direct costs") subject to the following qualification:
    • Foreign and international organizations may budget items normally treated as indirect costs as a direct cost if properly justified.  NIH will evaluate these costs for allowability.
  • Research Training and Education Grants (e.g. R25) and K Awards are limited to 8% less equipment, tuition and fees  (and health insurance when awarded as part of tuition and fees), subawards in excess of $25,000, and items normally treated as indirect costs (usually referred to as 8% of "modified total direct costs").

12/17/14

NIH has simplified it’s late application submission policy for applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2015.  Specifically, there is now a two week window of consideration after the application due date, during which time NIH might consider accepting a late application.   This is a significant change from previous policy, which tied different late windows of consideration to different types of applications, and provided no late window of consideration for applications submitted to any RFA (Request for Applications) or PAR (Program Announcement) with special application due dates.  See the notice for additional information.

Examples of Reasons Why Late Applications Might Be Accepted:

  • Death of an immediate family member of the PD/PI (or MPI). Sudden acute severe illness of the PD/PI (MPI) or immediate family member.
  • Temporary or ad hoc service by a PD/PI on an NIH advisory group during the two months preceding or the two months following the application due date. Examples of qualifying service include       participation in an NIH study section/special emphasis panel, NIH Board of Scientific Counselors, Program Advisory Committee, or an NIH Advisory Board/Council. Qualifying service does not include participation in NIH activities other than those involved in extramural/intramural peer review or NIH Advisory Council/Board service.
  • Delays due to weather, natural disasters, or other emergencies, not to exceed the time the applicant organization is closed.
  • For PD/PIs who are eligible for continuous submission (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/continuous_submission.htm), the late application policy applies to activities not covered under the continuous submission policy (i.e., other than R01, R21, and R34 funding opportunities that use standard due dates).
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