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Berkeley Research Development Office
This page contains important updates on proposal preparation and submission as well as BRDO news.
Click on the links below or scroll down for more information on each item.
- January 2017: Revised version of NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and Grants.gov Application Guide
- January 2017: Revised version of NIH SF424 (R&R) Application Guides and Supplemental Instructions
- March 2016: SPO's 5-day Rule - Additional Internal Deadlines and Consequences
- October 2015: Funding agencies strict about application requirements
- May 2015: New NIH Biosketch format
- Proposal Tips and Tricks from "Research Development & Grant Writing News"
NSF has updated its Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), which can be found here: PAPPG 17-1, and released a revised version of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide updated to align with PAPPG 17-1. Changes mainly exist of clarifications to existing instructions, editorial changes, as well as the replacemenet of all references to the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and Award & Administration Guide (AAG) with references to the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The new NSF PAPPG 17-1 and Grants.gov Application Guide will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017.
[Posted Dec 9, 2016; Updated Jan 13, 2017]
NIH has updated its SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and a list of significant changes can be found here. Please note that in 2016 NIH made several changes to their proposal preparation instructions. These changes focus on (1) Rigor and Transparency, important for the Research Strategy Section (See also http://www.nih.gov/research-training/rigor-reproducibility); (2) Vertebrate Animals; (3) The Definition of "Child"; (4) Research Training; and (5) the introduction of new (FORMS-D) forms with impact areas such as Inclusion reporting, Data safety monitoring, Research training, Appendices, Font requirements, and Biosketch clarifications. These changes have been in effect since May 26, 2016.
[Posted Jan 13, 2017]
SPO has made their internal deadlines (the 5-day rule) for proposal submission tighter, adding a deadline for final submission too, and employing a new priority system for review and submission. Failure to adhere to the new rules will impact the level of review you receive as well as the chance for successful submission of your proposal. Please review the complete updated rules and FAQs here: http://www.spo.berkeley.edu/procedures/submission.html
Some key take aways:
- New time limit for the final proposal: In addition to the 5 business day rule, SPO is also putting time limits on receipt of the final proposal. SPO will need to receive your final proposal at least 8 business hours before sponsor deadline to consider it "on time". (>16 hours before sponsor deadline for priority 1; 8-16 hours before sponsor deadline for priority 2; <8 hours before sponsor deadline for priority 3/"late proposal")
- Proposals that fall into priority 3 because they missed EITHER the 5-day deadline OR the 8 business hour final deadline will need "late submission approval" from VCRO in order to be submitted. These requests need to come from your chair and be submitted to VCRO by 5pm the day before the final deadline.
- Late proposals (whether by 5-day or 8-hour rule) will receive limited review for institutional issues only. This means that SPO won't review for potential submission errors and since your proposal will be submitted only after all priority 1 and 2 proposals, this may prevent successful submission to the agency.
- PIs will be limited to maximum 3 late proposal approvals by VCRO per fiscal year.
- Incomplete proposals (including those with blank sections in the technical component draft) will be returned by SPO without review and a new time stamp will be added upon receipt of the complete proposal.
[Posted Feb 23, 2016]
To tame a rising tide of grant proposals, federal agencies are becoming sticklers about enforcing their application requirements — stating deadlines in hundredths of seconds and using software to prevent the submission of error riddled applications. The wrong font size on a proposal could lead to its rejection, forcing the applicant to wait months until the next grant cycle to resubmit. The delay can prove damaging with the tenure and promotion clock ticking. K. Marking, "Grant Programs Get Persnickety," Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/21/15. Read the full article-->
[Posted Oct 22, 2015]
For proposals with a due date on or after May 25, 2015, you must use NIH’s new format for biosketches, which is a major departure from the previous format. The biggest change is that instead of listing your publications in section C, you now are asked to describe your five most significant contributions to science placed in historical context, each of which may be supported by up to 4 of your publications or other products. Other changes are the option to include a url to a complete list of your publications (e.g. SciENcv, My Bibliography, My NCBI Collection; links to full CV or personal website are discouraged as they can compromise reviewer anonymity) in section C, and the option to add up to 4 publications in your personal statement (section A). To accommodate these changes, the page limit has been increased from 4 to 5 pages. The instructions and a sample as provided by NIH can be found here. Answers to frequently asked questions are here.
This new descriptive format will need to be written by the investigator as it cannot easily be compiled by an administrator. Developing the new biosketch may be time-consuming, so please make sure that all collaborators on your proposal are aware of the new requirements.
NIH also points towards the Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv), NCBI's tool to create biosketches for multiple federal agencies. While it will allow for easy transformation between the different biosketch formats (NIH old, NIH new, NSF, and more to come), it still requires you to complete all fields at least once.
[Posted Mar 25, 2015]
Berkeley faculty and research personnel now have free access to Research Development & Grant Writing News, a monthly publication that contains articles and resources to help proposers use proven competitive strategies to achieve success in a difficult funding climate. An archive of past issues from Feb 2015 to the present is available here (CalNet ID required).
[Posted Mar 1, 2015]