Coeus Upgrade This Weekend

For our previous blog posts about FORMS-F click HERE. This weekend (May 16-17) the Coeus team will be installing necessary changes for the upcoming FORMS-F funding opportunities. We have chosen this weekend because Grants.gov will be making their own changes and will be unavailable the entire weekend. If possible, we encourage users to wait until Monday morning to work on those proposal records being submitted system-to-system. Users can work in Coeus over the weekend if necessary; however, Coeus will not be able to connect to Grants.gov Saturday or Sunday for funding opportunities or run Grants.gov validations against a Coeus record. Users may also experience intermittent downtime or errors in Coeus associated with the upgrade. If you experience strange errors, we suggest closing Coeus, waiting 15 minutes, and then trying to reconnect. Users can email CoeusHelp-vumc@vumc.org with questions or concerns at any time.

FORMS-F Release

See previous blog posts related to Forms F here and here. NIH application packages due on or after May 25, 2020, will use FORMS-F application packages. Over the next two weeks, we will be posting several blog posts related to the roll-out of those new forms. In this post we will outline what you can expect. Grants.gov is not making the forms available for use until May 15; unfortunately we cannot make them available in Coeus until that date. Form changes include (but are not limited to): Alterations to human subjects data collection, including changes to narrative attachments A new section on the PHS Cover Page Supplement for projects using human fetal tissue New narrative documents for career and fellowship applications A new narrative attachment for training grant proposals As you know, the eCat system was developed and released by the VUMC Coeus team in early 2018 to accommodate previous NIH forms changes. To date, eCat has been used to

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eRA Moving to the Cloud, Will Be Unavailable April 17 – 20

Of particular concern to those submitting supplements and RPPRs in the coming weeks: eRA will soon be migrating its modules to the cloud. As a result eRA Commons, ASSIST, iEdison, and IAR will be unavailable from April 17 – 20, 2020. Any informational pages associated with these modules will also be unavailable during this time. Please be sure to plan accordingly. Any affected application due dates will still be covered by NIH’s updated late application policy due to COVID-19 (NOT-OD-20-091). For more information, please visit NIH’s eRA Items of Interest. Please contact your OSP specialist with any questions or concerns.

NIH FORMS-F: Due Dates on or After May 25, 2020

As you may recall, NIH released the FORMS-E package in January 2018. This change included the new “Human Subjects and Clinical Trial Data” form, and in response VUMC rolled-out its eCat web tool. Recently, NIH began releasing funding opportunities that require FORMS-F packages. The new forms were announced in late 2019, and the VUMC Coeus team has been preparing for the upcoming transition ever since. We will endeavor to make the change as seamless as possible and anticipate making FORMS-F available in Coeus for proposal creation by mid-May. NIH application packages due on or after May 25, 2020, will use the FORMS-F application package. Until then, NIH requires applicants to continue using FORMS-E. The FORMS-F changes are substantive and require widespread technical changes to Coeus and Grants.gov. However, the changes should be minor for Coeus users and investigators. In fact, we have taken this opportunity to make targeted improvements that will make life easier for our users. For example, those

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FORMS-F: NIH Validation Warning

On May 25, 2020, grant submissions to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will begin using the new FORMS-F package. OSP is aware that users running NIH validations in Coeus receive the following warning: Grant application form update underway (NOT-OD-20-026). Use the form package with Competition ID “FORMS-E” for applications to a due date on or before May 24, 2020, and Competition ID “FORMS-F” for due dates on or after May 25, 2020. If you have confirmed the correct forms are in use, no additional action is needed. OSP’s technical team has been working to update Coeus to the FORMS-F package, and we will notify the VUMC research community once the forms are ready for use. Most of the changes will be largely unnoticeable for Coeus users. The changes are generally technical and will not impact proposal data. We expect new funding opportunities will be published closer to the change date, and users can simply change to the new FOA

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Reminder: Washington’s Birthday and What Happens When NIH Grant Due Dates Fall on Weekends or Holidays

If and when a submission date for standard due date cycles falls on a weekend, federal holiday, or Washington, DC, area office closure, the due date is automatically extended to the next business day (excluding those FOAs with a specific due date listed in the announcement). The upcoming February 16 deadline (R03, R21, R33, R21/R33, R34, R36, U34, UH2, UH3, UH2/UH3), however, is a special case: the published deadline falls on a Sunday and is immediately followed by a federal holiday (Washington’s Birthday) on Monday. As a result, this particular due date is now Tuesday, February 18, 2020. This revised due date also applies to RPPRs originally due Saturday, February 15. As a friendly reminder, grant applications are due to OSP for review and approval five (5) business days prior to the stated agency/sponsor submission deadline. The requested deadline for actual submission to the funding agency is two (2) business days prior to the stated agency deadline, allowing OSP three

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Updated: Changes to the NIH Salary Cap for FY 2020

Earlier today NIH announced changes to its Executive Level II salary limitations for FY 2020. Effective January 5, 2020, the NIH salary cap increased to $197,300 from the previous limit of $192,300 (“Guidance on Salary Limitation for Grants and Cooperative Agreements FY 2020,” NOT-OD-20-065). This cap is also used by other select federal agencies, including ACF, AHRQ, AoA, ATDSDR, CDC, CMS, HRSA, HIS, NIS, and SAMHSA. As previously communicated, please continue to apply the new salary cap within all proposals for agencies utilizing the Executive Level II salary cap. Additionally, NIH has authorized the rebudgeting of active awards to accommodate the new cap, subject to the availability of adequate funds. No additional funds will be provided for these awards. For those impacted by the new change, ePAC has been updated to reflect the new salary cap of $197,300. Finance recommends submitting EDCs with an effective date of March 1, 2020, rather than using a mid-month conversion. Please note that any modifications cannot predate January 5,

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NIH Warning Regarding Graphics in the Specific Aims and/or Abstract

OSP has received several questions regarding a new eRA Commons warning that appears when graphics are included in either the specific aims or abstract (i.e., the publicly available sections of a grant): “The file attached to Specific Aims/Abstract on the Research Plan form contains graphic files. Please make sure the specified attachment does not contain any graphic files.” OSP reached out to the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) to determine the potential impact this warning has on current VUMC grant submissions. CSR confirmed that NIH is working on a policy that prohibits digital images in the specific aims or abstracts of NIH grant applications due to potential copyright infringement. Although this policy has not yet taken effect, the above-warning serves as a notice to the research community that a change is forthcoming. Until NIH formally updates and releases their new policy, this warning will not prevent the application from moving forward for review; however, it is OSP’s recommendation that applicants heed

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New ORCID ID Requirements for Individual Fellowship and Career Development Awards

As of January 25, 2020, NIH requires all applicants for individual fellowship and career development awards (F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F37, F38, F99/K00, FI2, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K38, K43, K76, K99/R00) to have an ORCID ID linked to the PD/PI’s eRA Commons personal profile. Please note that eRA system validations now check whether applicants have ORCID IDs, and applications will be returned if the ORCID ID is missing or unlinked. For instructions on how to link Commons profiles to ORCID IDs, please visit NIH’s website. To create an ID, please visit ORCID’s website. OSP will continue to provide updates as these new requirements take effect.

FY 20 Salary Cap Guidance for Proposal Preparation

AHRQ recently announced changes to its Executive Level II salary limitations for FY 2020. Effective January 5, 2020, the AHRQ salary cap increased to $197,300 from the previous limit of $192,300 (“Salary Limitation on AHRQ FY 2020 Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts,” NOT-HS-20-006). While there has been no official update from NIH or other HHS agencies regarding changes to their salary cap at this time, it is our understanding that an announcement with similar guidance is forthcoming.  As such, Coeus has been updated to reflect the new cap and should be used for all proposals to agencies that utilize the Executive Level II salary limitations. Additional guidance will be shared regarding updates to ePAC and timing of EDCs once NIH’s formal announcement has been issued.