Internal Communications

Important Information from the NIH and NSF

Dear Investigator,

On July 10th, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a reminder on NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components.  This was followed on July 11th by a Dear Colleague Letter on protecting research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) from NSF Director, Dr. France Córdova. These notices relate to the ongoing concerns regarding foreign influence in federally funded research.

In response to these publications, the OVPR recommends that any collaborations with foreign entities or individuals, or appointments with foreign entities (including foreign talent or similar programs) be disclosed to the NIH or NSF program officer, your Dean, and the OVPR (contacts and additional information listed below).

The OVPR has posted additional guidance on our site regarding Active and Pending Support and Foreign Collaborations. For any questions or for guidance on this and other related matters, please contact:

Thank you for your cooperation,

Radenka Maric, PhD
Vice President for Research
UConn/UConn Health

 

 

Important Information from the NIH and NSF for UConn/UConn Health Investigators

The NSF Letter references the draft NSF Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide published in May 2019.  Clarifications in the draft Guide related to current and pending support and biographical sketches include:

  • Providing information for all current and pending support irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or directly to the individual.
  • Expanding examples of current and pending support to include non-profit organizations and consulting agreements.
  • Reporting all projects and activities requiring a time commitment (no minimum has been established), even if the support received is only in-kind.
  • Appointments should include any titled academic, professional, or institutional position whether or not remuneration is received.

The Dear Colleague Letter also states the NSF will be issuing a policy that NSF personnel and Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assigned personnel cannot participate in foreign government talent-recruitment programs.

The NIH Notice reminds applicants that in regards to Other Support, they must:

  • List all positions and scientific appointments, both domestic and foreign, held by senior/key personnel which are relevant to an application including affiliations with foreign entities or governments such as titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).
  • Report all resources and other support for all individuals designated in an application as senior/key personnel – including the program director/principal investigator and other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they request salaries or compensation. All current support for ongoing projects must be included, irrespective of whether such support is provided through the applicant organization, through another domestic or foreign organization, or is provided directly to an individual who supports the senior/key personnel’s research efforts.
  • Report all current projects and activities involving senior/key personnel, even if the support received is only in-kind (e.g. office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees), including, but not limited to, foreign financial support, research or laboratory personnel, lab space, scientific materials, selection to a foreign “talents” or similar-type program, or other foreign or domestic support.
  • Provide the total award amount for the entire award period covered (including facilities and administrative costs), as well as the number of person-months (or partial person-months) per year to be devoted to the project by the senior/key personnel.

 

The Notice also reminds applicants of the need to determine whether projects include a foreign component, defined as the existence of any “significant scientific element or segment of a project” outside of the United States including:

  • Performance of work by a researcher or recipient in a foreign location, whether or not NIH grant funds are expended and/or
  • Performance of work by a researcher in a foreign location employed or paid for by a foreign organization, whether or not NIH grant funds are expended.

 

If a significant portion of a project will be conducted outside the United States, then there is a foreign component and NIH prior approval is required.  If all project activity is conducted within the United States, but there is a non-U.S. resource supporting the project, it must be reported as other support.

Program in Accelerated Therapeutics for Healthcare (PATH) Awards

Dear Colleagues,

I’m very pleased to announce that the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has recently finalized award decisions for the inaugural cycle of the Program in Accelerated Therapeutics for Healthcare (PATH).  PATH is a partnership that includes the OVPR, the School of Pharmacy, and the School of Medicine to accelerate the translational pathway for researchers to convert their discoveries to new medical therapeutics. Under PATH, funding is provided to academic research programs designed to quickly develop novel therapeutic approaches focusing on well validated molecular targets for a specific disease area with an unmet treatment need in the current commercial marketplace. Projects focusing on a wide range of therapeutic interventions (small molecule, biologic, antibody, peptide, gene therapy) are eligible for consideration.

Given your leadership role in the University, I want you to be among the first to hear the results of this competition so you can join me in congratulating the awardees.  Seven PATH grants were awarded in two categories after a highly selective competition:

 

PATH Trailblazer Grants – $75,000

Xiuling Lu, Pharmaceutical Science
Cutting Cancer at Its Root: Inhibition of Acute Leukemic Stem Cells Using Doxorubicin-Loaded Nanoparticles

Jessica Rouge, Chemistry
Determining the Pharmacology of a Novel DNAzyme-therapeutic Formulation for the Treatment of Allergic Airway Disease

 

PATH Ascent Grants – $10,000

Brian Aneskievich, Pharmaceutical Science
Establishing Protein Conformational Flexibility to Enhance Next-Step Drug-Screen Targeting

Nicholas Leadbeater, Chemistry
Towards Development of Novel Therapeutics for Treatment of Toxoplasmosis

Rajkumar Verma, Neuroscience, UConn Health
Discovery of Novel Purinergic P2X4 Receptor Antagonist for the Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

Simon White, Molecular and Cell Biology
Screening for Small Molecule Inhibitors against Enterovirus D68 2C Helicase

Ming Xu, Genetics and Genome Sciences, UConn Health
Discover Drugs Targeting Cellular Senescence to Improve Healthspan and Lifespan

For more information about PATH, visit the program website.

Thank you for helping to foster the culture of excellence in your schools/colleges, departments, and centers, that allows UConn faculty to engage in research, scholarship, and creative activities at the highest levels.

Cheers,

Radenka

OVPR Quarterly Reports – FY19Q2

Dear Colleagues,

Now that data have been finalized, I would like to provide you with several reports relating to sponsored program activity—both research and education/service—managed by Sponsored Program Services within the Office of the Vice President for Research at UConn and UConn Health. Please visit the OVPR website to view the following reports: https://ovpr.uconn.edu/news/quarterly-reports/

  • List of Proposals Submitted: FY19 2nd Quarter
  • List of Awards Received: FY19 2nd Quarter
  • Proposals, Awards, Expenditures: FY14-FY19Q2

In the reports, data are presented in two ways: by the PI’s Academic Home Department and by the Managing Department or Center/Institute. Please refer to the first pages of the reports for definitions and information regarding the data. Should you have any questions regarding these quarterly reports, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please note that we have included an additional Summary of Sponsored Program Activity, which includes the Effective F&A rate on awards. This information provides a snapshot of our activity as compared to the same period last year.

The OVPR continues to seek creative solutions that allow UConn and UConn Health to grow our research enterprise through federal funding, industry partnerships, and collaboration with foundations. I am confident we can continue upward trends by continuing to work together, aggressively applying for extramural funding, and pursuing new channels of support for the tremendous research, scholarship, and creative activities taking place every day at UConn and UConn Health.

Thank you for your continued commitment and contribution to our students, to your research and scholarship, and to UConn/UConn Health.

Sincerely,
Radenka

 

Dr. Radenka Maric
Vice President for Research
UConn/UCH

2019 CARIC Award Recipients Announced

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that two teams have been selected for funding in the inaugural cycle of CARIC (Convergence Awards for Research in Interdisciplinary Centers).

CARIC supports the development of collaborative, interdisciplinary teams bidding for major federally funded research initiatives. These initiatives can include large, multi-million-dollar research grants or even entire research centers.

2019 CARIC Awards:

  • David Rowe, Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development
    Bed to Bench (BTB) Collaboration for Skeletal Research
  • Yu Lei, Castleman Distinguished Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Exposure, Health Effects, Sensing and Remediation of Emerging Contaminants Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center

The CARIC program will provide these projects with funding of up to $150,000 to support planning, outreach to strategic partners and proof-of-concept research for a year, with the possibility for renewal. This initial funding allows researchers to develop more competitive bids for prestigious national awards.

To learn more about CARIC, visit the website of the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Sincerely,

Dr. Radenka Maric
Vice President for Research
UConn/UConn Health

OVPR Quarterly Reports – FY19Q1

Dear Colleagues,

Now that data have been finalized, I would like to provide you with several reports relating to sponsored program activity—both research and education/service—managed by Sponsored Program Services within the Office of the Vice President for Research at UConn and UConn Health. Please visit the OVPR website to view the following reports:

  • List of Proposals Submitted: FY19 1st Quarter
  • List of Awards Received: FY19 1st Quarter
  • Proposals, Awards, Expenditures: FY14-FY19Q1

In the reports, data are presented in two ways: by the PI’s Academic Home Department and by the Managing Department or Center/Institute. Please refer to the first pages of the reports for definitions and information regarding the data. Should you have any questions regarding these quarterly reports, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please note that we have included an additional Summary of Sponsored Program Activity, which includes the Effective F&A rate on awards. This information provides a snapshot of our activity as compared to the same period last year.

The OVPR continues to seek creative solutions that allow UConn and UConn Health to grow our research enterprise through federal funding, industry partnerships, and collaboration with foundations. I am confident we can continue upward trends by continuing to work together, aggressively applying for extramural funding, and pursuing new channels of support for the tremendous research, scholarship, and creative activities taking place every day at UConn and UConn Health.

Thank you for your continued commitment and contribution to our students, to your research and scholarship, and to UConn/UConn Health.

Sincerely,
Radenka

Sponsored Program Guidance during the Partial Federal Government Shutdown

Updated: 12/27/2018 with additional agency specific guidance and information.

Effective Saturday, December 22nd at 12:00am, appropriations for fiscal year 2019 for approximately 25% of the federal government expired. Agencies who have full appropriations and are not currently impacted by the partial shutdown include Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services (including NIH). Agencies that are impacted by the partial shutdown include the National Science Foundation, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation, Department of State, Department of Justice and NASA.

Interim guidance for agencies impacted by the partial shutdown is provided below. Additional guidance will be provided if the shutdown persists. If you have specific questions about a proposal or award, please contact Sponsored Program Services.

Proposals

  • If the electronic system for submission is operating, the proposal should be submitted by the deadline in the solicitation in accordance with standard practice.
  • If the electronic system for submission is not operational or offline, the proposal will not be submitted until further guidance is received from the federal sponsor. To be safe, SPS recommends that you prepare your proposal for submission as best you can by the published deadline, even if it cannot be submitted.
  • Currently Grants.gov and FastLane (NSF submissions) are available and operational.

Award Management

  • Current funded awards may continue regular activities and incur normal expenses (exception: NSF payment systems are not operational – contingency plans will need to be further discussed if the shutdown persists longer than a couple weeks).
  • Contact SPS prior to charging any major or capital expenses.
  • UConn may not receive new awards during the shutdown.
  • Sponsor required prior approval requests (i.e. No Cost Extension requests) may not be approved during the shutdown.
  • Please contact SPS with specific questions about your award.

Agency Specific Guidance during the Shutdown

 

NSF

https://www.nsf.gov/shutdown/grantees.jsp

  • No new funding opportunities will be issued.
  • FastLane and Research.gov are available for most functions but NSF will not process proposals or prior approval requests until normal operations resume.
  • Annual and final project reports should be submitted by the due date however they will not be processed and continuing grant increments will not be issued.
  • No new grants or cooperative agreements will be awarded.
  • No prior approvals and no payments will be made during the shutdown.

 

Additional Agency Specific Guidance and Information

UPDATE: Partial Federal Government Shutdown, 12/27/18

NASA

If your grant or cooperative agreement requires access to a NASA facility or participation from NASA personnel in order to perform the instrument’s stated research objectives, the guidance in paragraph (a) below is applicable. If your grant or cooperative agreement does not require access to a NASA facility or participation of NASA personnel in order to perform the instrument’s stated research objectives, the guidance in paragraph (b) below is applicable.

  1. To the extent the grant or cooperative agreement includes work performed on-site at a NASA facility, the NASA facility will not be available for the performance of such work beginning on December 26, 2018. You are instructed to commence an orderly shut-down of your onsite operations and you are to preserve resources and take all actions necessary to minimize costs incurred under the subject grant or cooperative agreement during this Government shutdown. This includes notifying your employees immediately of this orderly shutdown. Contact Sponsored Program Services immediately if this applies to your award.

  2. Since your grant or cooperative agreement does not require access to a NASA installation, access to NASA IT resources and data, or participation of NASA personnel in order to perform the instrument’s stated research objectives, you are to continue to perform research under your grant or cooperative agreement as long you have available funding. Special Condition 1260.53 Incremental Funding (for awards subject to 14 CFR Part 1260) or Term and Condition 1800.921 Incremental Funding (for awards subject to 2 CFR Part 1800) of your grant or cooperative agreement specifies the total amount of funding that has been allotted to your grant or cooperative agreement. You are also reminded the Agency is not obligated to reimburse your institution for the expenditure of amounts in excess of the total funds allotted to this grant or cooperative agreement. Your institution is not authorized to continue performance beyond that period covered by the allotted funding and is cautioned to closely manage all available funding, as additional funding will not be provided while the Agency is without appropriations. Any research performed during this time period should be carefully planned, taking into account that NASA technical and administrative personnel will not be available to support these activities during the Government shutdown. Expenses and work should not exceed the funding and time of the award even if additional funding and time is expected. Contact Sponsored Program Services if you have additional questions.

 

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

NEH is currently shut down. We expect that grant proposals may still be submitted via Grants.gov but per their website, NEH will not update information, process transactions or respond to inquiries until funding is resumed. We also do not expect NEH to issue awards during this period.

 

Department of Commerce

https://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2018/12/shutdown-due-lapse-congressional-appropriations

The Department of Commerce includes the following bureaus which are all impacted by the partial shutdown (UConn Storrs and Regional Campuses has funding from agencies that are listed in bold):

Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
U.S. Census Bureau
Economic Development Administration (EDA)
Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)
International Trade Administration (ITA)
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

The following services and activities will not be available during a lapse except to the extent funded by other than current annual appropriations:

  • Most research activities at NIST and NOAA (excluding real-time regular models on research computers used for hurricane and FAA flight planning)
  • Assistance and support to recipients of grant funding
  • Technical oversight of non-mission essential contracts
  • Services and activities provided by:
    • Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
    • Economic Development Administration (EDA)
    • Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)
    • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
    • U.S. Census Bureau with the exception of the support of the Decennial Census, which remains funded and activities funded by other agencies and non-Federal entities through reimbursable agreements.
  • Most services and activities provided by the International Trade Administration (ITA)

Additionally, electronic systems utilized by the Department of may not be functional (Grants Online which supports EDA and NOAA is not currently functioning).

 

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

NEA is currently shut down. We expect that grant proposals may still be submitted via Grants.gov but per their website, NEH will not post messages or respond. We also do not expect NEH to issue awards during this period.

 

Department of Transportation

No cooperative agreements, contracts, purchase orders, travel authorizations, or other documents obligating funds will be executed by the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration.

 

USDA – NIFA

NIFA program activities will be suspended during a shutdown. The scope of the activities includes all NIFA extramural funding programs supporting research, education, extension or a combination of two or more of these functions. This includes agency activities associated with competitively awarded, noncompetitive Federal financial assistance payments, capacity and infrastructure, endowment, and all other NIFA grant programs.

 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

As a general rule, recipients of funded grants and cooperative agreements can continue work on their projects during any EPA shutdown. Grant recipients currently approved to utilize the Automated Standard Application Payment (ASAP) system may make drawdowns of authorized obligated levels during a shutdown. With the exception of grant recipients using ASAP, in the case of government shutdown no payment processing will be available for cost reimbursable or recipients with special award terms and conditions requiring EPA approval prior to payment disbursement (either by paper check, drawdown, or by ACT payment outside to the ASAP system). EPA staff will not be available to make payments until the shutdown ends. Recipients must stop work if they reach a point at which they require EPA involvement or approval.

Interim Director of Research Compliance Services

Dear Colleagues,

Ms. Karen Moré, who currently serves as the Executive Program Director in support of the IACUC in the Office of the Vice President for Research for UConn’s Storrs and Regional Campuses, has agreed to serve as the Interim Director of Research Compliance Services (RCS).

As Interim Director, Karen will direct the day-to-day operations of RCS and provide leadership on University-wide programs and services for the research and teaching community. She will serve as a liaison to faculty, staff, students, and University leadership regarding matters related to research compliance issues.

For the past 8 years, Karen has managed the IACUC at UConn and has been an invaluable resource for faculty, students, and staff. Since joining the University in 1999, Karen has been an integral part of UConn’s program for the humane care and use of animals in research and teaching, and has been crucial to the University’s efforts to achieve and maintain AAALAC accreditation.

Karen brings extensive experience, expertise, and a history of collaboration and engagement with colleagues to this appointment. Please join me in thanking her for her continued service to UConn’s research community, and in congratulating her on this new position.
Regards,

Wesley G. Byerly, Pharm.D.
Associate Vice President

Office of the Vice President for Research
Research Integrity and Regulatory Affairs
University of Connecticut and UConn Health
263 FARMINGTON AVENUE, MC 1524
FARMINGTON, CT 06030
860.679.2230 Administrative Assistant
860.422.3978 Mobile Phone

OVPR Quarterly Reports

Dear Colleagues,

Now that data have been finalized, I would like to provide you with several reports relating to sponsored program activity—both research and education/service—managed by Sponsored Program Services within the Office of the Vice President for Research at UConn and UConn Health. Please visit the OVPR website to view the following reports:

  • List of Proposals Submitted: FY18 4th Quarter
  • List of Awards Received: FY18 4th Quarter
  • Proposals, Awards, Expenditures: FY14-FY18Q4

In the reports, data are presented in two ways: by the PI’s Academic Home Department and by the Managing Department or Center/Institute. Please refer to the first pages of the reports for definitions and information regarding the data. Should you have any questions regarding these quarterly reports, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please note that we have included an additional Summary of Sponsored Program Activity, which includes the Effective F&A rate on awards. This information provides a snapshot of our activity as compared to the same period last year.

The OVPR continues to seek creative solutions that allow UConn and UConn Health to grow our research enterprise through federal funding, industry partnerships, and collaboration with foundations. I am confident we can continue upward trends by continuing to work together, aggressively applying for extramural funding, and pursuing new channels of support for the tremendous research, scholarship, and creative activities taking place every day at UConn and UConn Health.

Thank you for your continued commitment and contribution to our students, to your research and scholarship, and to UConn/UConn Health.

Sincerely,
Radenka

 

NIH Asks for Your Feedback on a Future Draft Data Management and Sharing Policy

The Office of the Vice President for Research would like to share some information regarding data sharing with researchers who may be affected.

 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking feedback on proposed key provisions to help inform the development of a draft NIH policy for data management and sharing. Submit your comments to NIH by December 10, 2018. Additional information can be found in this NIH blog post, and questions about the proposed provisions may be sent to the NIH Office of Science Policy at SciencePolicy@od.nih.gov

 

NIH will also be hosting a webinar on the proposed key provisions on November 7, 2018, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET.

 

For questions, please contact Research Compliance Monitor, Ellen Ciesielski at 860.679.6004.

 

Are You Liable for ClinicalTrials.gov Civil Money Penalties?

The Office of the Vice President for Research would like to share some information regarding ClinicalTrials.gov with researchers who may be affected.

 

On September 18, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a draft guidance titled Civil Money Penalties relating to the Clinical Trials.gov Data Bank. The guidance addresses how the FDA Centers (Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and Center for Devices and Radiological Health, for drug, biological, and device products, respectively) identify whether parties have failed to submit required clinical trial registrations, results, or certifications, or knowingly submitted false or misleading information.

The guidance explains that when a responsible party has potentially failed to comply with its disclosure obligations, the FDA will send a Preliminary Notice of Noncompliance Letter, and allow the responsible party 30 days to make corrections. If the FDA determines that the responsible party has still failed to comply, the FDA may issue a Notice of Noncompliance, assess civil monetary penalties, or seek an injunction and/or criminal prosecution. The statutory maximum for civil penalties is “not more than $10,000 for all violations adjudicated in a single proceeding,” plus “not more than $10,000 for each day that the violation continues” past the 30-day notification period.

The deadline to submit your comments to the FDA on this draft is November 20, 2018.

 

  • To check if your trial meets the criteria for ClinicalTrials.gov registration and results posting set forth by the FDAreview this checklist. Applicable clinical trials include those evaluating at least one drug, biological, or device product regulated by the FDA.

 

  • If your NIH-funded study involves human subjects, review this checklist to see if it meets the NIH’s broad definition of a clinical trial and will require registration and results posting. NIH defines a clinical trial as a research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.

 

For questions about ClinicalTrials.gov, please contact Research Compliance Monitor, Ellen Ciesielski at 860.679.6004.