A round cardboard tag with the words "Thank You," surrounded by silver dots around the edge of the tag, appears in the center of the frame. Extending through a hole in the top of the tag, behind the tag, and stretching to the top and bottom of the frame is a metallic silver ribbon.

OARS to hold 10th annual proposals and awards reception

OARS’ 10th Annual Proposals and Awards Reception will be held Wednesday, February 12, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Advanced Instructional Space (AIS) in King Library, Suite 134.

Miami faculty and staff who submitted proposals and/or received awards from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 have been invited to celebrate their accomplishments. Department chairs and deans have also been invited to join in the celebration, and we encourage invitees to extend an offer to the office support staff who assist with their grant-seeking endeavors.

Those who have not already done so, are encouraged to register no later than Monday, February 10.

We look forward to this opportunity to honor Miami’s researchers, scholars, and creative artists.


Thank you image by emeraldimp via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

A round cardboard tag with the words "Thank You," surrounded by silver dots around the edge of the tag, appears in the center of the frame. Extending through a hole in the top of the tag, behind the tag, and stretching to the top and bottom of the frame is a metallic silver ribbon.

OARS to hold 9th annual proposals and awards reception

OARS’ 9th Annual Proposals and Awards Reception will be held Wednesday, February 13, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Advanced Instructional Space (AIS) in King Library, Suite 134.

Miami faculty and staff who submitted proposals and/or received awards from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 have been invited to celebrate their accomplishments. Department chairs and deans have also been invited to join in the celebration, and we encourage invitees to extend an offer to the office support staff who assist with their grant-seeking endeavors.

Those who have not already done so, are encouraged to register no later than Monday, February 11.

We look forward to this opportunity to honor Miami’s researchers, scholars, and creative artists.


Thank you image by emeraldimp via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

A round cardboard tag with the words "Thank You," surrounded by silver dots around the edge of the tag, appears in the center of the frame. Extending through a hole in the top of the tag, behind the tag, and stretching to the top and bottom of the frame is a metallic silver ribbon.

OARS to hold 8th annual proposals and awards reception

Image of instructional space. Ten tables are situated at various positions throughout the room. Each table has several chairs around it. Four portable whiteboards are arranged along the far walls, interspersed between and beside the three windows. A projection screen and teaching station with a computer monitor are also located along the far wall.
OARS’ Proposal & Awards Reception will be held in the Advanced Instructional Space, Suite 134 King Library.

OARS’ 8th Annual Proposals and Awards Reception will be held Thursday, February 15, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Advanced Instructional Space (AIS) in King Library, Suite 134.

Miami faculty and staff who submitted proposals and/or received awards from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 have been invited to celebrate their accomplishments. Department chairs and deans have also been invited to join in the celebration, and we encourage invitees to extend an offer to the office support staff who assist with their grant-seeking endeavors.

Those who have not already done so, are encouraged to register no later than Friday, February 9.

We look forward to this opportunity to honor Miami’s researchers, scholars, and creative artists.


Image of ORU by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.  Thank you image by emeraldimp via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

A round cardboard tag with the words "Thank You," surrounded by silver dots around the edge of the tag, appears in the center of the frame. Extending through a hole in the top of the tag, behind the tag, and stretching to the top and bottom of the frame is a metallic silver ribbon.

OARS to hold 7th annual proposals and awards reception

Image of instructional space. Ten tables are situated at various positions throughout the room. Each table has several chairs around it. Four portable whiteboards are arranged along the far walls, interspersed between and beside the three windows. A projection screen and teaching station with a computer monitor are also located along the far wall.
OARS’ Proposal & Awards Reception will be held in the Advanced Instructional Space, Suite 134 King Library.

OARS’ 7th Annual Proposals and Awards Reception will be held Wednesday, February 15, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Advanced Instructional Space (AIS) in King Library, Suite 134.

Miami faculty and staff who submitted proposals and/or received awards from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 have been invited to celebrate their accomplishments. Department chairs and deans have also been invited to join in the celebration, and we encourage invitees to extend an offer to the office support staff who assist with their grant-seeking endeavors.

Those who have not already done so, are encouraged to e-mail acceptances or regrets to OARS@MiamiOH.edu no later than Friday, February 10.

We look forward to this opportunity to honor Miami’s researchers, scholars, and creative artists.


Image of ORU by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.  Thank you image by emeraldimp via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

A professor chats with two of his students in the lab.

Distinguished and Junior Faculty Scholars named

Portrait of Elise Clerkin
Elise Clerkin is one of three assistant professors named a Miami University Junior Faculty Scholar in 2015-2016.

Cameron Hay-Rollins, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, has received a Miami University Distinguished Scholar Award. This award honors faculty whose sustained excellence in research or other creative activity has brought them prominence in their fields.

The following faculty have received Miami University Junior Faculty Scholar Awards:

  • Elise Clerkin, assistant professor, Department of Psychology
  • Rick Page, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Leland Spencer, assistant professor, Department of Integrative Studies, Hamilton Campus

This award honors faculty who have demonstrated great potential in research or artistry and have achieved significant standing in their fields. Candidates for this award must have received their highest degree no more than eight years before the time of nomination.

Faculty are nominated for both awards by colleagues, chairs, and/or deans. Recipients are selected by the University Senate Committee on Faculty Research (CFR).


Photos of Rick Page and Elise Clerkin by Miami University Photo Services.

A round cardboard tag with the words "Thank You," surrounded by silver dots around the edge of the tag, appears in the center of the frame. Extending through a hole in the top of the tag, behind the tag, and stretching to the top and bottom of the frame is a metallic silver ribbon.

OARS to hold 6th annual proposals and awards reception

Image of instructional space. Ten tables are situated at various positions throughout the room. Each table has several chairs around it. Four portable whiteboards are arranged along the far walls, interspersed between and beside the three windows. A projection screen and teaching station with a computer monitor are also located along the far wall.
OARS’ Proposal & Awards Reception will be held in the Advanced Instructional Space, Suite 134 King Library.

OARS’ 5th Annual Proposals and Awards Reception will be held Wednesday, February 17 beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Advanced Instructional Space (AIS) in King Library, Suite 134.

Miami faculty and staff who submitted proposals and/or received awards from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 have been invited to celebrate their accomplishments. Department chairs and deans have also been invited to join in the celebration, and we encourage invitees to extend an offer to the office support staff who assist with their grant-seeking endeavors.

Those who have not already done so, are encouraged to e-mail acceptances or regrets to OARS@MiamiOH.edu no later than Friday, February 12.

We look forward to this opportunity to honor Miami’s researchers, scholars, and creative artists.


Image of ORU by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.  Thank you image by emeraldimp via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

A round cardboard tag with the words "Thank You," surrounded by silver dots around the edge of the tag, appears in the center of the frame. Extending through a hole in the top of the tag, behind the tag, and stretching to the top and bottom of the frame is a metallic silver ribbon.

OARS to hold 5th annual proposals and awards reception

Image of instructional space. Ten tables are situated at various positions throughout the room. Each table has several chairs around it. Four portable whiteboards are arranged along the far walls, interspersed between and beside the three windows. A projection screen and teaching station with a computer monitor are also located along the far wall.
OARS’ 5th Annual Proposal & Awards Reception will be held in the new Office of Research for Undergraduates, Suite 134 King Library.

OARS’ 5th Annual Proposals and Awards Reception will be held Thursday, February 19 beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the new Office of Research for Undergraduates in King Library, Suite 134.

Miami faculty and staff who submitted proposals and/or received awards from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 have been invited to celebrate their accomplishments. Department chairs and deans have also been invited to join in the celebration, and we encourage invitees to extend an offer to the office support staff who assist with their grant-seeking endeavors.

Those who have not already done so, are encouraged to e-mail acceptances or regrets to OARS@MiamiOH.edu no later than Friday, February 13.

We look forward to this opportunity to honor Miami’s researchers, scholars, and creative artists.

Image of ORU by Scott Kissell, Miami University Photo Services.  Thank you image by emeraldimp via Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

A red ribbon flows from the upper right of the black background to the lower left

The new Uniform Guidance: What to expect

Official seal of the Office of Management and Budget, which reports to the Executive Office of the President of the United States

Recently, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released final guidance on “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principals, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.”  This guidance, termed the “Omni-Circular” or “Uniform Guidance” combines eight previous circulars in an attempt to streamline policies and procedures for Federal awards into one place.

The new guidance will go into effect on December 26, 2014, with the exception of guidance on audit requirements, which will go into effect at the start of the institution’s fiscal year (July 1, 2015, for Miami University).

Just what the new guidance means for those who submit proposals and receive awards from Federal agencies is yet to be 100% determined, but we can expect some of the following changes.

Conflict of Interest
While a few of the Federal grant awarding agencies have conflict of interest policies in place, many do not. With the new guidance, all Federal agencies will be required to develop conflict of interest policies. Luckily for us, the practice of reporting potential and actual conflicts of interest is already in place at Miami University, so the new guidance should not affect our current practice beyond tweaking our current policy.

Funding Opportunities
The new circular requires that Federal funding opportunities be announced 60 days in advance of due date.  While some exceptions allow for a minimum of 30-days advance notice, we should see fewer “surprise” or last-minute announcements, allowing more time for proposal preparation.  As always, advance notice to OARS is appreciated.  In fact, we developed the External Proposal Submission Incentive (EPSI) Program to encourage an early heads-up to your OARS consultants.

Merit Review
Federal awarding agencies will be required to design and execute proposal review processes based on proposal merit.  The nature of the review process will be left up to the individual agencies.  Over the past couple of years, we have seen the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the NSF (National Science Foundation) take a close look at their review processes, resulting in changes both review and scoring of proposals.  Likely we will see other agencies follow suit.

Voluntary Cost Sharing
Recently, the NSF clamped down on showing voluntary (i.e., non-mandatory) cost sharing in a proposal in order to gain an “upper hand” in the review process.  In the new circular, all Federal agencies are being required to crack down on voluntary cost share.  The bottom line for grant writers: if cost sharing is not required, don’t include it!

Program Income
In the past, Federal agencies could either let program income generated under a Federal award be used toward project costs –or- require that generated funds be returned to the Federal-awarding agency.  In the new guidance, income from fees for services performed, from rental or personal property acquired under a Federal award or from the sale of commodities or items fabricated under a Federal awards (e.g., license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights) can be used to pay for current project costs or used to meet Federal cost share requirements.

Administrative and Clerical Support
Can Federal funds be used to pay administrative/clerical staff?  “It depends,” was the previous answer to this question, and with the new circular little has changed.  The new circular states that salaries for administrative and clerical staff may be allowable as direct costs in certain circumstances provided those costs are not being captured under indirect or facilities and administrative costs (F&A).  Additionally, a specific individual must be identified and associated with specific work on a project in order to directly charge for clerical support.  In our current negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, administrative and clerical support is captured as part of our F&A base.  Therefore, the answer to “Can Federal funds be used to pay administrative/clerical staff?” is still “it depends” based on the nature of the project and the duties to be performed — contact OARS if you have questions.

F&A (Facilities & Administrative Costs)
Federal awarding agencies are now required under the new guidance to accept Federally-negotiated rates unless a particular funding program has a statutory rate.  This means that our current F&A rate of 42% of modified total direct costs can be charged to a majority of our Federal sponsors.  (And if we happen to be working with an entity that does not have a Federally-negotiated rate, the new guidance has set a rate of 10% of modified total direct costs for those entities.)  Again, if you have questions, feel free to contact an OARS representative.

Computers
In the past, a computer or computing device had to be essential to the project (or research) being proposed and had to be 100% allocable and dedicated to the project.  The good news is that while computing devices must still be essential and allocable, they do not have to be 100% dedicated to a project in order to be requested.

Performance Management
The new circular requires that all financial data (i.e., the budget and expenditures) be related to performance outcomes. Because of this new requirement, we may see some Federal agencies requesting budgets be based on performance indicators or milestones. Stay tuned…

Procurement
In order to procure goods and services, institutions currently have to go through a competitive bidding process depending on the cost of the goods/services. The new guidance specifically lays out guidelines for procuring goods and services <$3,000, between $3,000 and $149,999 and >$150,000. If in doubt, contact Miami’s procurement office for guidance.

Grant Close-out
In the past, grantees had 90 days after the award end date to officially close out their grants (with both a technical and final, financial report). The close-out period has been extended to 120 days, but beware, as failure to close-out by the end of the 120 days could result in a loss of funds or future funding with an agency!

More to come
The Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship (OARS), along with Grants and Contracts, will be heavily monitoring the changes in the new guidance and reviewing and analyzing our existing policies and procedures to ensure we are in compliance with the new guidance.  Any changes to our current policies and practices will be communicated to you, our constituents, via e-mail, this blog, and special training/education sessions.

Written by Tricia Callahan, Director of Proposal Development, Office for the Advancement of Research & Scholarship, Miami University.

Featured image (left) by Flickr user Neets & Dre, used under Creative Commons license.