Archives—January 2018

Two-Tier Internal Deadline Implemented for all NIH Opportunities

Due to the success of the two-tier internal deadline pilot, the Sponsored Programs Office will permanently implement the two-tier internal deadline structure for all future NIH opportunities.  The implementation of this structure for other opportunities will be announced at a later date.

As a reminder, all final internal documents and the application package (completed in NIH ASSIST) are due to the Sponsored Programs Office no later than 7:00 a.m., 1 week (7 calendar days) prior to the sponsor deadline.  Not all of the science documents in the application package, however, needs to be final and the application package does not need to include the completed budget forms.  All final science related documents are due to the Sponsored Programs Office no later than 7:00 a.m. the day of the sponsor deadline.  Once received, personnel in the Sponsored Programs Office will upload the final documents into the application package.  This later deadline will provide valuable time for the PI/researcher to focus on the science aspects of the proposal.

Once the Sponsored Programs Office receives the internal documents and the application package, personnel in the Sponsored Programs Office will enter the approved budget into the applicable application package….the PI/researcher will not need to complete this task.

The specific science related documents for each application package will be identified and communicated to the respective Principal Investigators once the intent to submit is known.

Feel free to contact the Sponsored Programs Office at 487-2226 if you have any questions.


Changes to Participant Support Costs on Sponsored Projects

Due to recent clarification from the National Science Foundation, effective January 22, 2018, there will be changes to budgeting for participant support costs on all sponsored projects.

Per the federal regulations, the participant support cost category is for the support of participants or trainees only.  Participant support costs are for direct cost items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences, or training projects.

Unless specifically approved in the sponsor solicitation, the participant support cost category should not include costs for items such as speaker or trainer fees, room rental fees, catering at the event, and supplies.  These costs are typically allowable but they must be budgeted and charged in the appropriate category within the non-participant direct costs portion of the budget.

Participant support costs will be charged in accordance with the approved budget on existing awards and any future awards where the proposal was submitted prior to this clarification.


Effective: 1/19/2018 – Changes to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects

Effective January 19, 2018, Read about how the Revised Common Rule will affect researchers at Michigan Tech

Dear Michigan Tech Research Community:

Final revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (a.k.a the “Common Rule”) were issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 18, 2017. The majority of changes will go into effect on January 19, 2018. Our institution will not be changing the method of processing continuing reviews at this time, and our current informed consent template has already implemented guidance for incorporating the new changes within your written consent forms.

What to expect:

Our institution asks that all research be submitted to our office for evaluation purposes.

Exemptions and Limited Review

The Compliance, Integrity, and Safety (CIS) Office announces the launch of a new human subject research submission form to be used by all researchers whether faculty, staff, or students effective January 19, 2018.

This new form will incorporate new categories and clarification of existing categories. Some exemptions may require “limited IRB review” (similar to an expedited review process). The form will ask questions to determine whether or not exemption applies or if limited review is needed. NOTE: not all research planned will be able to use this form; it is intended for use for only research qualifying under the explained exemptions, or the new Limited Review categories (example research types: benign social behavior projects, class assessment, research about a process and not someone, etc.). The form will also indicate when you do not qualify for any of the categories in which case you will need to complete and submit a Protocol Document and/or informed consent information along with other applicable documents for the study.

The new Exemption Form will be contained in the human subject library of the software tool our institution uses along with all other forms, and templates. You must be a registered user of irbnet.org to download all Forms, Templates, Samples, and Instructions.

Existing studies: those investigators who currently have ongoing human subject protocols approved before the effective date of Jan. 19, 2018, there is nothing that you need to do at this time. Your study may not be affected at all, however, if your study qualifies for any burden-reducing changes such as annual review, you may apply the new rule and request to minimize your burden at the time of your next annual review.

If you have any question, feel free to contact the Research Compliance Coordinator, Cheryl Gherna at 487-2902 or email irb@mtu.edu.

Additional information:  https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/regulations/finalized-revisions-common-rule/index.html


NSF Grant Expands Engineering Technology Opportunities for Talented, Financially Disadvantaged Students

The Michigan Tech School of Technology (SOT) received nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation to address the need for a highly trained engineering technology STEM workforce with baccalaureate degrees. The five-year $999,483 Engineering Technology Scholars IMProving Retention and Student Success (ETS-IMPRESS) project provides financial support and an ecosystem of high-impact curricular and co-curricular activities to increase student success. It supports 12 first-time undergraduate engineering technology students with four-year scholarships and 36 students transferring from community colleges in Michigan and neighboring states with two-year scholarships. The project focuses on expanding the number and diversity of academically talented and financially disadvantaged individuals entering and completing engineering technology degrees at Michigan Tech. The project brings together engineering technology programs offered through SOT with programs available through Tech’s Pavlis Honors College.

The project evaluates the effectiveness of using an inclusive honors college curriculum and support structure on student motivation, performance, retention, intentions to persist, and professional skill development of academically talented but financially needy underserved and underrepresented students. It will also evaluate the influence of a transfer pathway to engineering technology versus a traditional engineering curriculum on performance, retention, and time to graduation.

“This grant will allow the School of Technology to provide a unique opportunity to engage academically talented engineering technology students in activities designed to foster leadership, technical know-how, and employability skills for technology fields that actively recruit and employ graduates from diverse backgrounds and communities, with a goal to increase student retention and graduation,” says Nasser Alaraje, professor and program chair of the electrical engineering technology program at Michigan Tech, and principal investigator for the project.

The project team members are: Lorelle Meadows, Pavlis Honors College; Laura Fiss, Pavlis Honors College; Kellie Raffaelli, Center for Diversity and Inclusion; Mohsen Azizi, School of Technology; Guy Hembroff, School of Technology; John Irwin, School of Technology; Aleksandr Sergeyev, School of Technology; and Susan Amato-Henderson, Cognitive and Learning Sciences.