Updated SF-424 (R&R) Application Instructions

NIH recently released updates to their SF-424 Application Instruction Guide. Please note that any changes to process or procedure apply to those proposals submitted on or after January 25, 2019. A summary of significant changes can be found here (Section G.120) and apply to the following areas: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information R&R Other Project Information Form PHS 398 Research Plan Form PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form Research Training Program Plan Form PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form We understand that there may be some questions about these upcoming changes. Please know that OSP is working with the relevant VUMC offices for guidance as necessary (i.e., regarding changes related to human subjects and institutional compliance surrounding harassment and discrimination) and will update the community accordingly. Please direct any questions or concerns to your OSP specialist.

The More You Know: NIH Applications With a Third-Tier Subcontract/Consortium

Does your application include a third-tier subcontract or consortium? For those applications subject to either a specific direct cost budgetary cap or the 500k direct cost in a single budget period limit (without prior approval), please note that any F&A costs for third-tier subcontracts (a sub of a sub) will be included as part of the total direct cost calculation. That is, NIH will not exclude third-tier F&A costs as they would for a direct subcontract from the prime (a second-tier contract from VUMC to another party). The following is taken from NIH’s “How to Apply” resource, under Consortiums/Subawards Budget Development: Direct costs: In the rare case of third-tier subawards, section F.5 “subawards/consortium/contractual” costs should include the total cost of the subaward, and the entire third tier award is considered part of the direct costs of the consortium for the purposes of calculating the primary applicant’s direct costs. While NIH’s SF424 FORMS E Application Guide and NIH’s Grants Policy do

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Deadline Day Reminders

Happy Deadline Day! OSP would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our colleagues that non-conformity with NIH application requirements can have serious consequences. NIH may withdraw any application at any time during the receipt, referral, and review process that it identifies as not conforming with instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, the applicable funding opportunity announcement, or relevant NIH Guide Notices. Examples of possible policy violations that may lead to withdrawal or rejection of a submitted application include but are not limited to: Applications containing one or more biosketches that do not conform to the required format Applications that include inappropriate or disallowed materials and thus exceed published page limitations Applications submitted as new but that contain elements of a resubmission or renewal application that do not conform with the resubmission policy Applications submitted after 5 PM VUMC time (CST) on the application due date It is important to remember that these are just examples: applicants must follow

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Common Mistakes: SF 424 Form

OSP is pleased to announce a new blog series that explores common errors and warnings we see, along with solutions on how to prevent their occurrence. Error: Federal Identifier Format (“Previous Grants.gov Tracking ID # in Coeus) – while new applications do not require this field to be completed, it is required for submitting changed/corrected new, renewal, revision, and resubmission system-to-system applications. For renewal, revision, and resubmission applications, the tracking ID should include the IC (institute/center) designation as part of the assigned application/award number.  Please also ensure that the previous/original proposal number is listed in Coeus. To learn how to create and format a changed/corrected, please visit Coeus Help’s training module (use Firefox: the training is listed under “Coeus: Additional Tasks”).  For more information regarding avoiding common mistakes in NIH applications, please visit the NIH website.

Tips of the Trade: Mechanism-Specific Instructions for SF-424 Budgets (FORMS-E)

Did you know that NIH provides a library of filtered application form instructions, organized by grant mechanism? The following instructional guides are available: Research Career Development Training Fellowship Multi-Project SBIR/STTR As always, OSP recommends consulting the individual program announcement to determine applicable instructions. Please also note that FORMS-E are required for due dates on or after January 25, 2018. For questions please contact your OSP specialist.

Common Mistakes in Biosketches

OSP has been receiving a lot of questions about the proper formatting and content of biosketches. Please note that according to NOT-OD-15-095 and NOT-OD-17-105, NIH may withdraw any application during the receipt, referral, or review process that is incomplete or non-compliant with the instructions included in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. To assist in the completion of compliant biosketches, OSP has compiled a list of common mistakes: Format: NIH requires all applications submitted on or after May 25, 2015, be compliant with the instructions detailed in the application guide: Complete all sections (Section A – Personal Statement; Section B – Positions and Honors; Section C – Contributions to Science; Section D – Research Support or Scholastic Performance) Include no more than five (5) contributions to science with no more than four (4) citations per contribution Ensure that when utilizing reference tools such as My Bibliography, the URL is public and accessible. Verify that only the information outlined in the application

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Ensuring NIH Applications Are Complete and in Compliance

This post serves to underscore the importance of ensuring NIH applications are complete and compliant with NIH policy and application instructions upon submission, as outlined in NOT-OD-17-105. Please note that NIH reserves the right to withdraw or deny any applications deemed incomplete or noncompliant with instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and in any specific RFA instructions. The general policy is outlined as follows: NIH applications must be both complete and compliant with all guidelines and instructions at the time of submission Although placeholders may not trigger validation errors in eRA Commons, NIH strongly discourages their use and reserves the right to reject any incomplete application It is the responsibility of the applicant to check for problems, errors, emissions, and oversights before submission and before the deadline NIH application deadlines are 5 PM CST (applicant organization’s time) on the application due date Grant applications are due to OSP for review and approval five (5) business days prior to the stated agency/sponsor submission

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