Sponsored Research Topics from 10/17/10 FAF+GMAF Meeting

Sponsored Research Topics from 10/17/10 FAF+GMAF Meeting

Oct 14, 2010

The following are notes from the research portion of the first combined meeting of the Finance and Administration Forum (FAF) and the Grants Management Forum (GMAF).

Topics covered:  New Organizational Structure for Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research; New Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form; Customer Satisfaction Survey; Proposal Development Module;  On-Line Effort Certification Module; Faculty Activity Reporting;  Banner 8; Multi-Year Encumbrances; OSR Communications Plan; FFATA (Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act) Requirements; Effort Certification; Effort Certification Training;  A-133 Audit


New Organizational Structure for Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research (Tammy Goldberg)

  • Reviewed the changes, all effective 10/4/10. 
  • Most notably for many BSC staff, the Office of Sponsored Research is now Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA).  Current staff will stay in place and provide the same services. 
  • No physical moves are planned.

New Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form (Julie Simpson)

Customer Satisfaction Survey (Julie Simpson)

  • In the second half of October customers of what was formerly OSR will receive an email message with a link to a survey.  Results will help the new SPA, Research Integrity Services, and Research Information Technology set goals and improve services.  Thanks to everyone for completing the very brief survey.

Proposal Development Module (Suzanne Huard)

  • A steering committee is working to implement the InfoEd Proposal Development module, which will allow proposal development, routing, approval, and in some cases submission, to be completed on-line.

On-Line Effort Certification Module (Suzanne Huard)

  • Another steering committee is working to implement on-line effort certification in time for next summer’s certification period.  The product is web-based and will use the USNH WISE system.

 Faculty Activity Reporting (Suzanne Huard)

  • A Digital Measures product will be used to provide a consistent vehicle for faculty activity reports.  All academic units are represented on the core committee.  Research Information Technology (formerly OSR’s IT staff) will contribute data on faculty members’ research activity. 
  • The second phase of the project will focus on developing a searchable database of faculty research and scholarship interests.

 Banner 8 (Suzanne Huard)

  • Some early glitches with the new version have been resolved with much support from FAST.
  • To better articulate with Banner 8, an identifier remediation effort will be undertaken with InfoEd, replacing use of social security numbers with the new USNH identifier.

Multi-Year Encumbrances (Suzanne Huard)

  • The new function will allow encumbrances for salary and fringe to cross fiscal years.  The tool is very flexible -- units may use it or not, and the selection can be made right down to the job level.  EPAF’s have been developed to support use of the function. 
  • Unfortunately, complications arose regarding how the data are reported, so use of the tool is on hold and work is ongoing with Sungard to resolve the issues. 

OSR Communications Plan (Victor Sosa)

A multi-legged approach has been developed:

  1. Targeted emails when information needs to be delivered immediately.  Distribution lists are being worked on, and a method whereby customers can subscribe/unsubscribe is being explored.
  2. A research blog has been launched (see http://www.unh.edu/osrblog/).  News will be posted and will remain in searchable form.  The blog is also RSS enabled:  when users sign on to this function emails containing new posts are delivered to a special folder in Outlook.
  3. FAF+GMAF:  in-person delivery of information.

FFATA (Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act) Requirements Victor Sosa

  • There may be a delay in establishment of subcontracts greater than $25K related to federal awards received after 10/1/10 (federal new year) due to new FFATA requirements for ARRA-like reporting (see http://www.ffata.org/ffata/ffataact.html).  SPA is building a business process in order to comply.

 Effort Certification (David Browning)

  • The coming on-line mechanism will replace the current inefficient, very manual process.
  • Thanks to all for help with the certification period that just ended – SPA has received 98% of PAR’s (Personnel Activity Reports).
  • With implementation of the on-line tool, the certification period is expected to remain at 90 days (due by September 30).

 Effort Certification Training (David Browning)

  • Completion of the on-line training module is mandatory for faculty and staff paid by grants & contracts (see http://www.unh.edu/osr/training/effort_training/).  
  • Deadline for completion of the  training by those paid on sponsored projects in FY10 was 9/30/10.  Currently, 65% of those required to take the training have done so.
  • Students are exempt from the training requirement. 
  • The training can be completed in 20 minutes.
  • Email reminders have been sent.  Thanks to all who have helped spread the word.

 A-133 Audit (David Browning)

  • The auditors’ on-site work has been postponed until November 3.  This will still be earlier than last year’s visit.  The auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has pledged to complete their report by December 17.  The final audit must be submitted to the Audit Committee of the USNH Board of Trustees, and finally to the Federal government by March 31.
  • Thanks to everyone’s hard work, UNH is well prepared for the audit.
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