Sponsored Research News | October 2020
COVID-19 Updates



  • UT allows PPE to be charged to a sponsored project account if it is required to conform with UT’s Research Restart guidelines (e.g., masking) and if the use of the PPE can be attributed 100% to that sponsored project. As always, be sure to follow sponsor guidelines and restrictions:
  • NIH issued NOT-OD-20-164 that sets parameters for charging PPE to Clinical Trials and Clinical Research Agreements.



  • NIH issued NOT-OD-20-179 extending the special exception to the NIH/AFRQ/NIOSH Post-Submission Material Policy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: August/October 2021 Councils.


The OVPR, RSC, and OSP COVID-19 FAQ pages are continually updated, so please check regularly for the most up-to-date information.
Sponsor Updates
NIH Updates

At the FDP meeting in September, NIH announced they will be making updates to the Biosketch and Other Support forms. OSP will update campus when new forms and instructions become available.

NIH issued NOT-OD-20-174 to remind the research community about guidance that restricts use of hypertext in NIH applications.

NIH issued NOT-OD-18-172 to provide guidance regarding change in status, including absence of PD/PI and Other Key Personnel Named in NOA. Please note that project transfer requests should include a statement as to whether the change in recipient institution is related to concerns about safety and/or work environments involving the PD/PI.

NIH will host a free virtual seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration on October 27th - October 30th. Register on the seminar's website.
NSF Updates

All requirements listed in PAPPG (NSF 20-1) are in effect as of October 5, 2020. All proposals are now required to use an NSF approved template for Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending documents.

NSF added the following question to the RPPR: Has there been a change in the active other support of the PI/PD(s) since the last reporting period? If there is a change, an updated Current & Pending document in an NSF-approved template must be uploaded with the RPPR. Visit the NSF Project Reports site for additional information.

The Fall 2020 NSF Grants Conference will be virtual later this fall. OSP will alert campus when the registration opens, or you may sign up to get notified by NSF.
Federal Regulation Update
Please note that the federal government has implemented a prohibition against using federal funds to purchase telecommunications and video surveillance equipment and services from certain Chinese companies. This regulation is being incorporated into federal grants and contracts received at UT Austin through 2 CFR 200.216 and/or Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) clause 52.204-25.
 
The federal regulation specifically prohibits the purchase of telecommunications equipment and services from: Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities defined below); Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, or Dahua Technology Company (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities). The definition of "Affiliate" can be found in FAR 2.101. The list of subsidiaries and affiliates of Huawei and ZTE can be found in Supplement Number 4 to 15 CFR Part 744.
 
In order to comply with this requirement, we ask that campus research administrators share this information with their principal investigators and assist in the efforts to ensure that federal funding at the University is not utilized to purchase telecommunications equipment or services from the aforementioned entities. 
 
If you have any questions regarding the federal requirement or an existing federal award, please contact David Ivey at ivey@austin.utexas.edu or Mark Featherston at mark.featherston@austin.utexas.edu. Questions directly involving existing or proposed purchasing arrangements should be directed to purchasing@austin.utexas.edu.
University Updates
Sponsored Project Cost Overruns

In July, SPAA announced it will begin to utilize holding accounts to address cost overruns impacting 26 accounts.
In general, PI/department contacts will be provided two warnings prior to having costs transferred to the Holding Account.


Additional information will be made available on the OSP website. 

REVISED Project Closeout Process

SPAA revised the sponsored project closeout process. The process ensures expenditures and income are finalized on accounts and that no further action is anticipated.


90 days before Funding Period End Date
PI and department contact receive an automatic email notifying that the account is ending.

At this time, the PI should ensure that
  • Expenditures are as expected
  • All project costs are incurred by the project end date
  • Encumbrances will be finalized
  • Salary allocations are moved to other funding sources at project end
  • Any required cost share is documented

Review the accounts to determine
  • If an extension is needed
  • If any budget transfers are needed
  • If any salary transfers are needed from departmental accounts, including stop gap accounts
  • That all cash advances are reconciled
  • That all subaward and contractor invoices have been received and paid

Costs can continue to post to the project for one month after the end date, including payroll and payments for expenditures incurred before the end date. During this time, the PI and department can also make any cost transfers necessary to correct errors.

SPAA will also be looking at accounts to help identify potential issues so they can be resolved in a timely manner.
 
At End Date
PI and department contact receive an email on status of account. This email will include current expenditure information and will encourage the PI and department to finalize expenditures.
 
Before Final Invoice/Final Reports Due Date
  • SPAA will prepare final invoice/final reports
  • Verify that IDC has earned appropriately
  • Send email to PI/dept with final invoice/final report amounts before submitting final invoice/final report
  • Submits final invoice/final reports

At Close Date
SPAA will verify that all income has been received and make any needed adjustments 


UT Research Management Suite

UT Research Management Suite - IRB went live on August 11 for the submission of new human subject research studies. If you missed the IRB Informational Webinars and would like to view a recorded session, visit the Training page for a link to the recording.

Do you have new staff joining your team this semester? Schedule an Agreements training session to get them up to speed on submitting in the Agreements module.

Congratulations!
ARA hosted a fantastic Research Administrators Day Celebration on September 22nd. It was a great way to remember our role in the amazing research happening on our campus.

Dr. Preston presented awards to some deserving UT research administrators:

Rookie Research Administrator Award:
Janet Bui, Department of Chemistry

Outstanding Research Administrator Award: Mark Featherston, OSP
and
Meghan Tantum, Population Research Center

Congratulations to the award winners!
Continuing Education
The Office of Sponsored Projects and other research support units offer educational opportunities on campus each month. Check the OSP Calendar for free on-campus training that is applicable to
CRA re-certification. Below are training opportunities that were available last month as well as those coming up in the month ahead.
MONTH IN REVIEW
-SEPTEMBER-

THE MONTH AHEAD
- OCTOBER -



Learn More
Find the latest Federal regulation and UT Austin policy and procedures related to sponsored research on the OSP News & Alerts page.

Reserve your seat for live-cast webinars and workshops on Research TRACKS (where your research-related continuing education credits are recorded).
Did you miss the last newsletter? View past newsletters on the OSP Website.
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