UC San Diego SearchMenu

OCGA News

Find information and links to news related to sponsored projects.

Check it out: OCGA Announces New C&G Officer Assignment Model!

To improve service to the research community, effective April 25, 2017, the Office of Contract and Grant Administration is implementing a change in contract and grant staff support for proposal and award activity, transitioning from assignments based on sponsor expertise, to assignment where teams of skilled staff support all activity for a given Division/ Department. The new model will ensure that OCGA staff are well informed about faculty and department research focus, the sponsors they work with and the portfolio of individual researchers. This new model provides a one-to-shop for departments and a team dedicated to each department’s contract and grant activities. 

The OCGA teams have already met with research support staff from most academic research units to introduce the assigned team members and explain the benefits of this new model in order to ensure that administrative staff are informed of this change. 

Refer to the OCGA staff assignment page for each department team. 

Expand all

April 2017 - Interim Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements (NIH Salary Cap)

The maximum salary that can be paid to an individual from NIH funds increased to $187,000 effective January 8, 2017 (previously set at $185,100).

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.

More information on the NIH Salary Cap can be found on the NIH Notice NOT-OD-17-049.

July 22, 2016 - NSF Shutdown

NSF Systems and Services Unavailable

A power failure in the NSF Data Center Thursday evening caused all servers to shut down. This means that NSF IT Systems are unavailable to NSF staff and our research community of applicants and awardees. Here is what you should know: All systems and websites are down, including Research.gov, NSF.gov, and FastLane.

All deadline dates (including the CAREER program) scheduled for today will be postponed until early next week. A notice will be published on the NSF website and FastLane page when specific deadline dates have been determined.

The deadline date for proposals due on Thursday, July 21, from organizations located in the Pacific time zone and westward, whose local 5:00 pm deadline occurred after 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT; UTC/GMT -4 hours), will be similarly postponed until next week.

We will update this message as more information becomes available.

Public Access to Copyrighted Material (NSF)

The January 25, 2016 PAPPG implements the updated NSF Public Access Policy concerning Public Access to Copyrighted Material. For more information see the NSF page.

Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) on NSF proposals/awards

The January 25, 2016 PAPPG implements the U.S. Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC). For more information see the NSF page.

New NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide effective January 25, 2016

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has come out with a new PAPPG  (Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide), which is effective January 25, 2016:

January 2016 - NIH Salary Cap effective 1/10/16

The NIH Salary Cap will remain at the Executive Level II. The Executive Level II, currently at $183,300, is scheduled to increase to $185,100 effective January 10, 2016.

More information on the NIH Salary Cap can be found on the Salary Cap Summary page and the NIH Notice NOT-OD-16-059.

December 2015 - FY2016 NIH Grants Policy Statement

NIH has released their FY2016 NIH Grants Policy Statement (which governs award administration) for projects with budget periods on or after October 1, 2015: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/HTML5/introduction.htm

A Summary of Significant Changes that the FY2016 version includes can be located at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/Significant_Changes_NIHGPS_Oct2015.pdf (PDF)

This is a reminder that the March 2015 NIH Grants Policy Statement (which governs award administration) is still in effect for projects with budget period on or before October 1, 2015: http://archives.nih.gov/asites/grants/10-13-2015/grants/policy/nihgps/HTML5/introduction.htm

September 2015 – New Tuition Remission Rates for 2015 Graduate Student Researchers

Effective immediately, Graduate Student Research Tuition-and-Fee (GSRTF) Remission rates for use in proposals for extramural support have been updated by the Office of Graduate Studies for the 10/1/15 time frame.

View the new Tuition Remission rates.

March 2015 - Fringe benefit rates for use in proposals updated by the Campus Budget Office

See Budgets - Direct Costs for updated rates.

Please Note: Under certain circumstances, the use of composite benefit rates may understate actual costs for employee benefits (e.g., when the majority belong to family dental and health plans). In those situations, or when a more precise measurement of fringe benefit costs is desirable, budgeting the actual fringe benefit costs, expressed as a percentage of salary, would be warranted in proposal budgets rather than the use of composite rates. Should this approach be used, it should be applied consistently to all named employees ("to be named" employees will still require the use of composite rates).

Updated fringe benefit rates

See the Budgets - Direct Costs page for the rates as updated by the Campus Budget Office.

Please Note: Under certain circumstances, the use of composite benefit rates may understate actual costs for employee benefits (e.g., when the majority belong to family dental and health plans). In those situations, or when a more precise measurement of fringe benefit costs is desirable, budgeting the actual fringe benefit costs, expressed as a percentage of salary, would be warranted in proposal budgets rather than the use of composite rates. Should this approach be used, it should be applied consistently to all named employees ("to be named" employees will still require the use of composite rates).

New NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide effective February 24, 2014

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has come out with a new PAPPG  (Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide), which is effective February 24, 2014:

New - Quick Guide to OCGA

We've created a one-stop, Quick Guide to OCGA page that contains all the links concerning OCGA, as well as links to the most popular sponsored research pages in the Research Topic area.

NIH Salary Cap Executive Level II Increase

Please note that the salary cap amount for Executive Level II has been raised as follows:

Awards issued 10/1/13 – 1/11/14 are subject to the previous Executive Level II of $179,700.

Awards issued 1/12/14 – 9/30/14 are subject to the newly increased Executive Level II of $181,500.

Here are links to the Salary Cap Summary page and the NIH Notice NOT-OD-14-043, which mentions the Executive Level II increase in the last sentence.

Upcoming Changes in Processing Proposals with Outgoing Subawards

Dear Department Contacts and Business Officers,

The purpose of this memo is to inform you about upcoming changes for submitting sponsored research proposals that include outgoing subawards effective January 1, 2014.

In October 2012, OCGA, HS SPO, and Business Contracts engaged in a Business Process Optimization (BPO) project to improve the management of subawards.  The project team completed a comprehensive review of current processes, systems, and roles and responsibilities.  They also solicited feedback from campus departments to ensure any proposed changes are aligned with customers’ needs and requirements.  

Based on the team’s analysis, they have identified a way to improve the overall subaward process by collecting key documents during the proposal stage including the subrecipient’s budget, scope of work and subrecipient commitment form.  This form should be completed by the subrecipient at the same time they are completing the budget and scope of work. 

By capturing this information at the proposal stage, the actual processing time of subawards will be reduced since any red flags will be identified up front and resolved through collaboration and discussion with the Principal Investigator.  

The subrecipient commitment form is not a new or unknown requirement to most entities who participate in sponsored research as a subrecipient.  The main change is that this form will now be collected earlier at the proposal stage which is consistent with how other Universities manage outgoing subawards, and coincides with the completion of proposal documents required by subrecipients at the proposal stage.  

Departments are encouraged to start collecting the subrecipient commitment form at the proposal stage beginning October 1, 2013.  By January 1, 2014, the intent is that all proposals with outgoing subawards will include the subrecipient commitment form. Please note that proposals WILL NOT be held up from submitting to the sponsor if the subrecipient commitment form is missing, but under this circumstance, the form will need to be completed by the time of subaward issuance.

Please help us communicate the upcoming change by sharing this information with those involved in the preparation and management of sponsored research proposals.    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.  The team will be conducting outreach with departments in the coming months and ensuring departments are comfortable and prepared for the change. 

Best Regards,

Linda Collins
Assistant Vice Chancellor
Office of Contract and Grant Administration 

Maureen O’Connor
Director
Health Sciences Sponsored Project Pre-Award Office
Health Sciences Research Services Core

Ted Johnson
Associate Controller, Integrated Supply Chain
Chief Procurement Officer
Procurement & Contracts, Business Contracts

http://portal.sliderocket.com/BZXLG/BPO-changeisgood

Guidance for NIH Lobbying Survey

As a result of an item contained in the Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General’s 2013 Work Plan regarding DHHS lobbying prohibitions and the mechanisms to address lobbying violations, Principal Investigators may receive an NIH survey such as this sample.

Please contact the Office of Contract and Grant Administration (OCGA)SIO Contracts and Grants Office, or Health Sciences Sponsored Projects Preaward Office (HSSPO), as applicable for questions.

Guidance for completion of questions #3 and #7 of the survey:

Question #3: 

Q:  In which of the following methods were you informed of the prohibitions on the use of Federal grant funds for lobbying activities?

A:  Funding Opportunity Announcement (i.e., grant application). 

For more details, refer to 4.1.17 Lobbying Prohibition 

Question #7:

Q:  Please describe how your grantee organization ensures that Federal grant funds are not used for prohibited lobbying activities (e.g., compliance officer responsibilities, expenditure reviews,)

A: Univ. of Calif., San Diego ensures that Federal grant funds are not used for prohibited lobbying activities in accordance with the following campus website guidance: Sponsored Projects Cost Accounting Standards and Sponsored Projects Allowable and Unallowable Costs.

For More details, refer to Federal Certifications List A:2 Lobbying  

Required Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) begins May 2013 for NIH

Latest NIH Nexus News Item for RPPR.

Required use of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) module for submitting Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship progress reports will begin in May 2013.

You can read the official Guide Notice for more detailed information. But we urge you to get familiar with the new process now if you have not already tried using the eRA RPPR module. RPPR has been available as an option to all NIH grantees since October 2012. You want to note as well that RPPR will be replacing the eSNAP tab in eRA Commons, and eventually as eSNAP functionality will be retired. 

RPPR vs. SNAP vs. eSNAP

Streamlined Non-Competing Award Process (SNAP) includes a number of provisions that modify requirements for annual progress and financial reports and for Notices of Award. eSNAP is the electronic version of SNAP progress report, which grantees have been required to use for SNAP progress reports since August 2010. 

RPPR is a federally mandated reporting format for all federal grant agencies (NIH, NSF, DoD, etc.) designed to provide consistent information on the progress of federally funded research and research related activities.   RPPR will replace the eSNAP progress reports for SNAP awards and PHS 416-6 for Fellowship progress reports in May, and will eventually replace the use of the PHS 2590 for non-SNAP awards..

The eSNAP module will be replaced by the RPPR for SNAP awards in May 2013. 

There is no change to non-SNAP award progress reports at this time but the eRA team continues to develop an electronic solution for these reports. Of course, you will be updated as when the implementation timeline for non-SNAPs has been defined. 

The RPPR web page has some very good information on it that might help ease the transition to this federally-mandated reporting scheme.  In particular, there is the October 2012 webinar NIH RPPR Training Webinar for Grantees presented by the Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA). And we cannot forget the ever helpful NIH RPPR Instruction Guide!

To PRAM or Not to PRAM - In addition to all the above changes, you will see the expansion of Progress Report Additional Materials (PRAM) functionality. The PRAM link that can be found in the Action column of the eRA Commons Status page will used to provide either the public access compliance information, the additional materials requested by IC, or both, depending on which is applicable to the particular RPPR. The grantee may provide the requested information, route the response to a Signing Official (SO), or, if the PD/PI has been delegated Submit Progress Report authority by the Signing Official, submit the materials to the agency. The materials may be viewed from the status information screen in Commons.

Grantee use of the PRAM link to respond to PRAM requests is not mandatory at this time; the grantee may respond via email to the Grants Management Specialist. However, NIH expects to mandate use of the electronic PRAM feature in the future and encourages grantees to familiarize themselves with the functionality.

August 2012 - Timely Submission of Proposals Deadline

OCGA 3.0 is underway!  As we transition to new systems and processes sponsored by eRAP, we are re-engineering olds ways of doing things, and developing new services that align with our commitment for a higher level of customer service.   Here is a brief summary of some of the more significant changes:

Timely Submission of Proposals Guidelines:  Effective July 1, 2012, proposal submission deadlines are enforced for all proposals submitted to OCGA. Please refer to the full content of the notice recently sent to the campus Academic and Staff communities by Vice Chancellor Sandra Brown.  OCGA has published numerous checklists and guidance as tools to assist departments with communication and planning purposes: 

Expand all