3/19/09 Stimulus Update from Sponsored Projects Administration

All funding opportunities that we become aware of are posted on the Stimulus (ARRA) website at:http://evpr.columbia.edu/content/stimulus-arra

Current NIH Stimulus related Request for Applications (RFA’s) and Notices:

Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research (RC1)  - Deadline:  4/27/09

Core Facility Renovation, Repair, and Improvement (G20)Deadline:  9/17/09

Extramural Research Facilities Improvement Program (C06)Deadline:  5/6/09 ($2-5mil), 6/17/09 ($10-15mil), 7/17/09 ($5-10mil)

High-End Instrumentation Grant Program (S10)Deadline:  5/6/09

Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Administrative SupplementsOpen (see NIH Institute/Center websites for specific deadlines)

Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision ApplicationsDeadline:  4/21/09

Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Administrative Supplements Providing Summer Research Experiences for Students and Science Educators - Open (see NIH Institute/Center websites for specific deadlines)


How will grants be submitted?

Grants.gov:  The current information from NIH indicates that the majority of grant applications are to be submitted via grants.gov.  As many of you are aware, the grants.gov submissions have been extremely problematic in the past several months.  The Director of the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently issued a memo to all the heads of federal agencies indicating that grants.gov is considered a high risk aspect of the stimulus activities.  He instructed the grants.gov lead agency (DHHS) to initiate immediate improvements to grants.gov and also instructed federal agencies to identify alternative methods of accepting grants.  We will continue to follow these developments closely and provide up to date information for you via email and the stimulus and SPA websites.  It appears that some agencies may require paper submissions and we will help provide guidance on this in future communications.  

InfoEd:  Over the last several months SPA and CUIT have worked with InfoEd to upgrade both systems and performance.  This work has had positive results and InfoEd is now available for grant submissions.  Departments are welcome to start using InfoEd again, but can also continue to use Adobe if they prefer.  It is important to share with your SPA project officer your intended submission method for each proposal submission.

Grant Deadlines

We are projecting a 60% increase in grant submissions under ARRA.  Beginning in April, grant applications must be submitted to SPA 5 business days prior to the actual deadline or SPA will be unable to process them.  For the NIH Challenge grants that are due April 27th, this means all proposals must be in to SPA by close of business on April 21st.  We continue to encourage you to inform your SPA Project Officer of all intended submissions so that we can track this closely and provide the best possible service.  This will also help us plan for the appropriate level of resources required.

Possible changes in regulations

Meetings and conversations are taking place in Washington DC related to potential changes to grants regulations.  One potential change being discussed is the allowability of charging some specific administrative salaries to ARRA funded grants as direct costs.  This is an extremely positive development and one that research institutions have been requesting for several years on grants in general.  However, the change being discussed is not yet official.  We will notify you if and when it does become official and include information about how Columbia plans to implement this change.

Stimulus related information – how to stay informed

We encourage you to stay informed about all the stimulus activity and requirements by visiting the Stimulus (ARRA) website regularly. http://evpr.columbia.edu/content/stimulus-arra

We will continue to send regular emails and attend department meetings to discuss, as needed.  SPA, in partnership with Sponsored Projects Finance, is also beginning regular Administrator Forums on each campus to share general grants related information and discuss stimulus information in greater detail.  We encourage all grants administrators to attend.

CUMC Sponsored Projects Administrators Forum
Monday, March 23, 2009
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Hammer Building, 701 West 168th Street, room 401, 4th Floor

Morningside Sponsored Projects Administrators Forum
Friday, April 3, 2009
12:00 – 1:30 pm
School of Social Work, 1255 Amsterdam Ave (between 121st St. & Seminary Row), Lower Level, Room C03

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have further questions.
Lynette Arias
Associate Vice President, Sponsored Projects Administration