[Office-of-research] Next C&G User's Group Meeting (May 17) and SPA Announcement

Charles -Jr E Greer charles.greer at ucr.edu
Fri May 11 12:35:02 PDT 2012

Dear Colleagues:

I would first like to take this opportunity to say, "SPA hears you!"  While federal agencies are placing more and more administrative burdens upon contract and grant recipients, the University's procedures for adhering to various regulations need not also add more burden than absolutely necessary.  Thus, with limited resources campus-wide, SPA is looking at ways to ease our internal processes and procedures.

To begin with, the Vice Chancellor for Research has agreed to fund the piloting of Cayuse, which is a web-based system-to-system proposal submission alternative for preparing, validating, and submitting proposals to federal agencies and which does not require the use of Adobe Forms.  Rather than having to learn multiple proposal electronic submission systems (e.g., Grants.gov, NSF FastLane, ProposalCentral, etc.), which seems to differ from one federal agency to the next, Cayuse is a one-stop shop for inputting proposals.  Cayuse will then submit the proposal to the appropriate electronic system of the soliciting agency while converting it into the appropriate format.  (Note:  Reviews from other sister-UC campus utilizing Cayuse have been very positive.)  The three month trial period for the Cayuse pilot at UCR will be rolled out within the coming weeks ahead.

Additionally, SPA does not want to impose more stringent proposal documentation than is required by extramural sponsors, applicable laws, regulations, and policies.  Thus, in an effort to lessen the administrative burden associated with the proposal review process at UCR, the following procedural changes are being immediately implemented:

·        We will no longer be requesting more than what the sponsor requires, pursuant to their solicitation.  Specifically:

o   If a sponsor does not require a budget or budget justification, then SPA will not require it during the proposal submission process (other than completion of the fields on the Budget tab in the eCAF).

o   If a budget justification is not well justified, yet is not in violation of OMB Circular A-21 on its face, SPA will no longer require that the expense be further justified.  It is the responsibility of the PI, and his/her department, to justify the costs to the sponsor and, if awarded, maintain documentation demonstrating that the proposed project costs are allowable, allocable and reasonable and in compliance with the cost accounting principles of OMB Circular A-21.

§     For example, general purpose equipment (e.g., computers, phones, office furnishings, etc.) are consistently treated as F&A expenses.  If a PI were to propose a computer as a direct cost, yet the budget justification for doing so is not as explicit as SPA would prefer to adequately demonstrate it to be an allowable direct cost to the project under A-21, SPA will no longer seek further justification (provided the justification is not in violation of A-21 on its face).  (CAVEAT:  Funding of a proposal does not mean that the sponsor has pre-determined the budget to be in compliance with OMB Circular A-21.)

  *   NIH Modular Budgets - An internal budget and justification will not be required unless and until the proposal has been selected for funding.  As part of the JIT process or upon receipt of the notice of award, a detailed budget will be requested from the department so that the ADE can be processed.  Please be reminded that we all share the responsibility to remain in compliance with the Cost Accounting Principles.

We are hoping that these changes will alleviate some of the administrative burden campus-wide.  Such procedural changes will be discussed at the next C&G User Group Meeting held from 1:30 - 3:30 pm on Thursday, May 17th in the Genomics Auditorium.  SPA will continue to seek ways to ease our internal processes and procedures, and we welcome any appropriate and useful suggestions.

Best regards,

Charles Greer

Charles E. Greer, Jr.
Assistant Vice Chancellor/CFAO
Office of Research
University of California Riverside
200 University Office Building
Riverside, CA 92521-0217
(951) 827-3093 (p)
(951) 827-4483 (f)

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