National Science Foundation (NSF) & American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS)
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) have launched the Beyond the Box National Digitization Innovation Competition. The initiative will award $1 million to the individual or team who develops a novel way to accurately and efficiently capture digital images of insect specimens and their associated data from a standard museum drawer of insects.
The Beyond the Box Digitization Challenge has been designed to stimulate individuals or teams to solve a problem that is hindering scientific research and innovation - the inability to quickly and accurately digitize specimens and associated data in a standard tray of insects in a natural history museum. Solving this problem will help advance research as well as contribute to improved public health, environmental management, and agriculture by providing scientists, farmers, health care providers, and citizen scientists with access to our nation's insect collections. Moreover, the solution to this problem will almost certainly find additional applications in scientific and commercial settings.
The winning entry will receive up to $1 million for the development of a hardware and software system that automates digitization of pinned insect specimens, without damaging the specimens--one of the most challenging biocollections digitization tasks.
Visit the Beyond the Box website for more information on the challenge.
Reminder: New NIH biosketch format effective May 25th, 2015
The new NIH Biosketch format will take effect for applications submitted on or after May 25, 2015. Key changes include:
- Extending the biosketch page limit to 5 pages
- Allowing PIs and researchers to include up to four references in their personal statement
- Allowing researchers to describe up to five of their most important contributions to science
- Allowing researchers to include a link that provides access to a full list of your published work
Kathy Blazar, interim director at our Cleveland Health Sciences Library, has prepared a power point presentation that can help you navigate the new format: http://www.case.edu/chsl/library/NIHBiosketch.pptx.
Additional points to consider:
If you have questions about the process, please contact Kathy Blazar at email@example.com.
- Investigators need to update their personal profile on eRA Commons
- Public access compliance need to be up to date
- All non-CWRU, most especially international, collaborators must also be compliant if they are named as key personnel.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Simmons Foundation
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Simmons Foundation have partnered to create a new program, the 2016 Faculty Scholar Program, designed to support early-career scientists. The Faculty Scholars competition is open to basic researchers and physician scientists at more than 220 eligible institutions, including Case Western Reserve. The competition seeks scholars who will apply molecular, genetic, computational and theoretical approaches to fundamental problems in diverse areas of biology.
• PhD and/or MD (or the equivalent).
• Tenured or tenure-track position as an assistant professor or higher academic rank at an eligible U.S. institution, or, if at an eligible institution that has no tenure track, an appointment that reflects a significant institutional commitment. Federal government employees are not eligible.
• More than 4, but no more than 10, years of post-training, professional experience. To meet this requirement, the applicant’s post-training, professional experience must have begun no earlier than June 1, 2005, and no later than July 1, 2011.
• Principal investigator or Co-Principal investigator on at least one active, nationally competitive grant with an initial term of two or more years at some point from April 1, 2013 through July 1, 2015. Career development grants qualify. Multi-investigator grants may qualify.
• Up to 70 awardees will receive non-renewable grants ranging from $100k to $400k per year over 5 years ($500k - $2M per award).
• Faculty Scholars are required to devote at least 50% of their total effort to the direct conduct of research.
• Scholars conducting research at the interface of the biological and physical sciences are encouraged to apply.
• Scholars studying biological questions emerging from and applicable to global human health problems, including malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and other diseases that disproportionately affect individuals living in low resource settings are encouraged to apply
• Women and minorities under-represented in the biomedical and biological sciences are strongly encouraged to apply.
Application Deadline: July 28, 2015
For more information visit the Howard Hughes Medical Institute website.
NSF Announces Automatic Compliance Validation Checks on Proposals
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced that proposals submitted in response to Program Solicitations in FastLane will undergo a series of automated proposal compliance validation checks to ensure they comply with requirements outlined in the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (Chapter II.C.2. of the Grants Proposal Guide (GPG)). These checks will automatically validate a proposal for compliance against proposal sections per type of funding mechanism. For example, an error message will appear if a project description or budget are not provided in proposals submitted in response to a Program Solicitation.
Checks will be triggered when proposers select the Check Proposal,Forward to SPO, or Submit Proposal functions. Depending on the rule being checked, a warning or error message will display when a proposal is found to be non-compliant. If an error message appears, the proposal cannot be submitted until it is compliant.
Please note that these automated compliance checks will not be conducted on proposals submitted to NSF via Grants.gov.
To view a detailed list of all compliance checks, see the following website: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/autocheck/compliancechecks_apr15.pdf.
Purchasing Computing Devices with Federal Funds under the New Uniform Guidance (2 CFR Parts 200.20 and 200.453)
Computing devices are machines used to acquire, store, analyze, process, and publish data and other information electronically and include accessories (or peripherals) for printing, transmitting and receiving, or storing electronic information. Computing devices costing less than $5,000 are not considered equipment and therefore are treated as supplies and materials. Therefore, if a computing device is to be acquired for use in the performance of a federal award, the computing device may be charged to the federal award provided that:
Determining whether a computing device is essential – The Principal Investigator should consider (and document) whether performing the work under the award without the computing device would be difficult and inefficient. An important measure of this is determining (and documenting) whether the anticipated cost of performing the work without the computing device is greater than the combined cost of performing the work plus the cost of acquiring the computing device.
- it is essential (i.e., necessary) to performing the work under the award, and
- the cost is allocable and reasonable.
Determining whether a computing device is allocable to a federal award – If a computing device is essential to and will benefit a federal award, it is allocable to that award. The cost may be allocated to a federal award even when its usage is not solely dedicated to it. However, the Principal Investigator should first consider the amount of benefit of the computing device to the project, and the cost should be allocated proportionally with a reasonable cost allocation methodology.
Determining whether the cost of a computing device is reasonable – The Principal Investigator must make an informed, prudent decision, taking into consideration not only the cost, but the utility, quality and value of the device to the project.
If a computing device is not essential to a federal award, it is not allocable (in whole or in part) as a direct cost to that award. In such cases, the computing device is considered to be a “general use” item and must be treated as an indirect cost expense (just like paper, pens and other general use supplies), and charged to an appropriate institutional funding source.
Please remember that all expenses charged to federal awards must conform to the cost principles specified in the OMB Uniform Guidance. Please consult with the Office of Research Administration if you should have any questions about whether you may charge a specific expense to federal funds.
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