Category: Proposals

NIH Application Tips: What Staff Check After Submission that Systems Can’t

Posted on November 24, 2015 by NIH Staff
(https://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2015/11/24/application-tips-what-staff-check-after-submission-that-systems-cant/)

You may be familiar with the top ten tips for smoothly getting your application through electronic application submission systems (if not, watch this video!). But are you familiar with the kinds of things NIH staff look at after submission before your application can go to review?

The latest issue of eRA’s NIH eSubmission Items of Interest highlights some of the questions staff ask, before referring applications for further processing. These include:

Does the application include all critical sections?

  • Our systems can tell if you attached a pdf document in a certain spot in the application, but can’t assess the content of that attachment. Make sure you attach the correct document, with the correct content, in the correct spot.

Does the topic of the application fit NIH’s mission?

Is the applicant eligible to apply?

Does the application include information in inappropriate places to get around page limits?

  • Resist the temptation to use appendices and other non-page-limited application sections to augment information in your specific aims, research strategy, abstract, biosketches and other page-limited sections of your application (NOT-OD-11-080NOT-OD-07-018).

Was the application submitted on-time?

  • Unlike many agencies, NIH does not shut down the ability to submit to a funding opportunity announcement at 5:01 pm on a due date. We keep the submission door open and assess the circumstances of “late” submissions on a case-by-case basis. Staff check your cover letter submitted with your application for documented circumstances allowed under our late policy. They check to see if the application falls under our continuous submission policy. They also check to see if you ran into any system issues along the way and appropriately notified the eRA service desk to document them.

Do you already have an application with essentially the same content under review?

  • Even under our latest submission rules which allow you to submit the same application again, you can’t have overlapping applications under review at NIH at the same time (NOT-OD-14-074).

Did you follow font and margin guidelines documented in the application guide when preparing all your attachments?

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FY16 Fringe Benefit Rates Update

The Office of Naval Research has recently approved the fiscal year 2016 predetermined Fringe Benefit rates for Michigan Tech effective July 1, 2015. This predetermined rate agreement replaces the provisional rates communicated in the memo to the Deans, Chairs and Directors on July 1, 2015. This final rate agreement consists of two rate changes from the provisional rate agreement and is effective retroactively to July 1, 2015. The graduate student rate has changed to 7.7% from 9.4% and the temporary employee rate has changed to 9% from 12.5%.

These approved fringe benefit rates should be used on all Sponsored Programs proposal budgets as of the date of this memo. All funds, including sponsored projects, will be charged these new rates retroactive to July 1, 2015. Sponsored Programs Accounting will contact departments and Principal Investigators if a sponsored project that has been closed or is in the process of being closed is affected.

In accordance with the Fiscal Year 2016 approved Predetermined Fringe Benefit rate agreement, the rates effective July 1, 2015 are as follows:

· Regular Non-Student Employees Rate 37.5%

· Summer/Additional Compensation Rate 20.0%

· Graduate Student Rate 7.7%

· Temporary Employees Rate 9%

· Undergraduate Student Rate 0%

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Change in Internal Proposal Deadline for NIH Proposals

The Sponsored Programs Office has changed the internal proposal deadline for NIH proposals requiring them one day earlier than the published internal deadline.  Due to the increased processing time for compliance checks during the submission process, this adjustment was necessary to ensure the complete submission by the NIH deadline.

This change has been noted on the Internal Deadline Chart.

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NSF and NIH new bio sketch guidelines

NSF and NIH have implemented new biographical sketch guidelines.  The new templates can be found on the Sponsored Programs Office website at the following locations:  http://www.mtu.edu/research/references/pdf/NSF-biosketch-sample.docx and http://www.mtu.edu/research/references/pdf/NIH-biosketch sample.docx.  Please use these updated templates and guidelines when preparing your NSF and NIH proposals.

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2014 CAREER Internal Deadlines Announced

All budgets for CAREER proposals are due to the Sponsored Programs Office by noon on Mon., July 7. The internal deadline for complete proposals, “submit” access, and all internal paperwork will be at noon seven days prior to the applicable discipline-specific NSF deadline.

Internal deadlines

  • For all CAREER budgets: Mon., July 7, at noon
  • For proposals submitted to BIO, CISE, or EHR directorates: Mon., July 14, at noon
  • For proposals submitted to the ENG directorate: Tue., July 15, at noon
  • For proposals submitted to GEO, MPS, SBE directorates: Wed., July 16, at noon

The CAREER solicitation and related program information should be reviewed carefully, with particular emphasis on eligibility.

For those planning to submit to an engineering division, please note a raise in the minimum budget request for certain CAREER proposals.

Investigators intending to submit a CAREER proposal in 2014 are asked to notify the Sponsored Programs Office with an Intent to Submit Form by the end of May.

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Transmittal Form: Note for Mac Users

If you are a Mac user, you may receive an error message when trying to open the new transmittal sheet for proposal submission to external sponsors.  To open the file from the website, http://www.mtu.edu/research/references/forms/, please follow the directions below:

To open the file, right click the link, click “Save Link As” and save the file to your desktop.  Open Adobe Acrobat, click “File”, “Open” and search for the file saved on your desktop.

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