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NACOP—August 18-19, 2010 Grants.gov & NIFA: the systems/tips. G rants.gov searches and the application process Role ARIS plays in grant applications & awards Marcie Currie-Gross, Northern Plains Area Extramural Agreements Specialist.

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nacop august 18 19 2010 grants gov nifa the systems tips

NACOP—August 18-19, 2010Grants.gov & NIFA: the systems/tips

Grants.gov searches and the application process

Role ARIS plays in grant applications & awards

Marcie Currie-Gross, Northern Plains Area

Extramural Agreements Specialist

“Making Agreements Work for You”

what s listed in grants gov
What’s listed in grants.gov?

**DOD, DOE and NASA will sometimes require proposal submission through their own websites; the SY’s must be registered with these entities (separate from grants.gov registration).

  • 26 federal agencies posting program announcements
      • Agriculture (USDA)
      • Defense (DOD)**
      • Energy (DOE)**
      • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
      • Interior (DOI)
      • National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA)**
      • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • 21 categories of grant opportunities are listed
              • Agriculture
              • Energy
              • Environmental Quality
              • Food and Nutrition
              • Health
              • Natural Resources
              • Science and Technology

Grants.gov does have links to the NIFA/AFRI announcements

slide7

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

    • Formerly the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)
  • The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program announcements are listed
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): how does it apply to ARS?
sbir fee and the aris entry
SBIR Fee and the ARIS entry

2.5% is assessed on the outgoing funds when the Funding Project is any D project (appropriated in-house funds).

The 2.5% is used for the Small Business Innovation Research Program.

11 Federal agencies participate in the SBIR Program (required by law—it is not just a matter of ARS administrators assessing a fee).

zero sbir fee when using incoming funds
Zero SBIR fee when using incoming funds

When Incoming funds (“soft funds”) are used to fund an outgoing agreement, the Funding Project is not assessed the 2.5% SBIR fee.

It’s important to know and remember this because it does become a factor when grant proposal funds are used to fund outgoing agreements (the grant proposal budget and budget justification).

regional projects ir 4
Regional Projects: IR-4
  • Check the Full Announcement in the Request for Applications (RFA) for specific information/links regarding a regional project grant program
    • Interregional Research Project-4 Minor Crop Pest Management Program
      • Regional Centers are a key component to success due to geographical limitations on minor and specialty crop production
      • Each region has environmental factors which un-alterably influence which crops can be feasibly grown there
    • Awardees will be expected tobuild on the successes and capacitydeveloped by the Minor Crop Pest Management, IR-4 Program.
        • Progress reports and a strategic plancan be foundat the web site: www.ir4.rutgers.edu
  • North Central (NC):Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin
  • Western (W):Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Marianas, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
we found a program of interest now what
We found a program of interest; now what?
  • NIFA requires a Letter of Intent (sometimes the SY’s will refer to this as a “Pre-Proposal”)
  • There’s a deadline: who do we notify and how
  • Is ARIS needed (Incoming Agreement Form (IAF), formerly called the ARS-425), for a Letter of Intent/Pre-Proposal (“encouraged” or “discouraged” response from NIFA)
  • What information is required in the Letter of Intent
  • Are there multiple ARS scientists across research units or other locations who will be participating
    • The full proposal has already been submitted, do we still need to enter the IAF
slide17

215 LOI’s received

  • 86 discouraged from submitting
  • 129 encouraged to submit
  • 129 encouraged to submit
  • 15 awarded
  • 114 rejected proposals
the sy decides to go for it
The SY decides to go for it!
  • Enter the ARIS IAF immediately!!
  • Make sure registration in grants.gov is complete/current
  • Download/print the instructions for the Program Area
    • Go through those instructions and highlight the most important or relevant parts
    • Pay attention to the restrictions, limitations, or suggestions
    • If they recommend templates and provide a link—go get that template (life will be easier and less chance of proposal rejection due to errors)
    • Ask for help and proof read multiple times (use someone not familiar with the research as they will find things that don’t match up or make sense—budgets and budget justification)
  • Working with multiple partners will be challenging
  • Allow plenty of time to write and edit
slide20

Explanations about overhead costs restrictions (applicable to university partners who normally assess 40% or more are now restricted, usually to 22% overhead); travel, supplies/materials, funding periods, etc.

Everything the scientist asks about is in the instructions/guidelines.

starting the application preparation
Starting the application preparation
  • Application Filing Name:whatever name you want to use, it’s for your use only.
  • Mandatory fields are highlighted in yellow.
  • Mandatory Documents for the proposal are on the left side of the screen and they must be moved (one by one) to the right side of the screen so they can be opened and data entry completed.
program code name and program code entering them correctly is extremely critical
Program Code Name and Program Code(Entering them correctly is extremely critical)
  • Check the Request For Applications (RFA) announcement for the correct Program Code Nameand Program Code (it’s usually the last 2-3 pages).
  • These are not the same as the Funding Opportunity Number or Catalog (CFDA) codes.
  • It’s always a required field and must exactly match the Name and Code listed in the RFA.
form completion information
Form completion information
  • Complete Congressional District info is vital when working with multiple partners (call the County Court House for Congressional District info if it is not known—usually the Voter Registration section).
  • Signature and Date blocks: automatically propagates the information into the system when the Submit process is completed (based upon the AOR duties assigned in the system under the Area’s DUNS number).
slide28

► Read the instructions carefully; it explains who should be listed in this section.► This is particularly important later on when there are cooperators with sub-award budget entries and budget justifications.

  • Double-check to ensure the appropriate Budget Period info is entered.
  • There is no mechanism to highlight and delete a full line; each block within the line must be deleted individually.
submitting the completed application
Submitting the completed application
  • Use the Check Package for Errors button first.
  • Click on the Save button after checking for errors and save the application package to the hard drive.
  • The Save & Submit button will transition from gray to black to allow for application submission (the application package cannot be submitted until this happens).
slide33

Note the validation message received from grants.gov

Grants.gov received the application package, but it still has to make it to the NIFA program for acceptance.

slide34

The e-mail message below is received from the granting organization (in this case it is from the NIFA program).

There is a difference in the e-mails received from grants.gov and NIFA, so be very aware of all e-mail notifications received.

the role of aris
The role of ARIS
  • The NIFA Letter of Intent (or “Pre-Proposal”) stage does not require entry of the IAF
    • It is helpful/useful to forward the NIFA Letter of Intent and subsequent memo/e-mail to the Agreements Specialist so the Area is aware of the submission (future reports)
    • The IAF is required when the SY will submit a proposal (to a Non-profit, grants.gov, DOD, DOE, NASA, etc.)
      • Line management approval is required from all applicable levels prior to submitting the proposal (not after the fact)
      • List all ARS scientists/locations participating in the proposal (linked to the Primary Agreement Holder field and designation as Yes or No)
      • Universities: will the university submit the proposal or will ARS
        • If it is ARS and the university will receive funds via a sub-award from the Prime Grant awarded to ARS: requires additional data entry in ARIS
slide37

The more information the better. Tell line management which ARS Locations/Scientists and the approximate amount that SY/Location will receive if the proposal is funded; working across ARS Areas is great—it is not a problem (Agreements staff will work to get it put together and flow the funds accordingly).

Funds requested are rarely awarded, most likely the figures will change.

slide38

SOF/Funds tab: this Unit will show only the amount that will be retained at their Location for their portion of the project (including any sub-awards from your ARS unit to your SY’s university partners).

  • Other ARS units will show their portion of the budget for their part of the project in their own separate IAF (including sub-awards from their ARS SY to their university).
slide39

What does the information tell us to watch for?

  • Who is the PI submitting the proposal (ARS or University)
  • Will this be a Primary Agreement Holder (PAH) Yes or No entry
  • Will some of the funds coming in to this Area SY be used to fund an outgoing cooperative agreement
slide40

Primary Agreement Holder (PAH) = No and the PAH Log Number is unknown: The other ARS Units/Locations participating on a grant proposal can still enter their own separate IAF’s to document participation on the grant proposal and to obtain line management review/approval. The IAF can be revised to include the PAH Log Number later on (so don’t delay or stop entry because the PAH is not available at the time of data entry).

slide41

The Original SOF is not ARS (or USDA, etc.); only the Direct SOF should be entered (using AFRI in this example).

The funds will be awarded to ARS (all ARS parties involved), and the PAH = Yes and PAH = No and dollar amounts reflect the flow of funds accordingly.

slide42

Select Both when incoming funds will be retained by ARS and sub-awarded to a university or other cooperating partner.

Enter the Non ARS Performing Organization information, including the amount of the sub-award to the cooperating partner (this should match the grant proposal budget and budget justification information).

slide43

Space is limited, but a description of what the university will do on the grant proposal project is required.

slide44

This grant proposal will flow differently from the previous two we just looked at: TAMU will submit the proposal to AFRI and the ARS SY’s will be Co-PI’s receiving a sub-award (from the Prime Grant awarded to TAMU).

In addition, ARS will issue a separate sub-award to Oklahoma State University (after ARS receives the incoming funds via TAMU).

slide45

ARS Primary Agreement Holder (PAH): If your ARS unit will receive the incoming funds (either directly awarded or via a sub-award from the university), then the PAH = Yes.

If another ARS unit will receive the incoming funds, and “distribute” the funds to your unit, then the PAH = No (IAF’s will be “linked” by the agreement number).

slide46

AFRI will award the funds to TAMU under the Prime Grant.

  • TAMU will sub-award the ARS portion of $407,055 via a sub-award under the Prime Grant.
  • ARS will then sub-award the Oklahoma State University funds ($307,000) after ARS receives its incoming funds from TAMU (which won’t happen until after TAMU receives its funds from AFRI).
  • It is not a speedy process, every party involved needs to be patient.
slide47

Check the Work to be Performed block to ensure it reflects an outgoing agreement with a university (Both should be selected—per the red arrow above).

  • Check the Non ARS Performing Organization information to ensure the University named in the Comments and on the grant proposal match; check the dollar amount (many times the amount entered here doesn’t align with the grant proposal or Comments block—approximate is okay because it will be revised once the grant is awarded, but being off by thousands of dollars is not good).
coding the relevant 417 codes
Coding: the relevant 417 codes

Not all related in-house D project codes apply; use only the ones that are relevant to the project proposal for the IAF submission.

slide49

Create Work Record-Amendment: adding the AIMS for the first time or a subsequent action that will require ARS and the Cooperator to sign the amendment record

  • Create Work Record-Correction: there is a typo, or to update the related in-house project number/codes
  • Create Work Record-Non AIMS: adding the 416/417 to an Interagency (FS, DOE, NRCS) or when receiving funds directly from NIFA/AFRI; or when revising a Research, No Funds to ARS from Pending to Active (also applies to CRADA’s)
  • Create Work Record-Closeout: only the Agreements Specialist can use this
  • Unfund Incoming Agreements: the proposed project has received notification that it will not be awarded (includes Research, No Funds)
  • Terminate Incoming Agreements: the agreement has reached its Term Date and is complete
  • Expire Incoming Agreements: the agreement has reached its Term Date and needs to be closed by the Agreements Specialist
aims purpose benefits
AIMS: Purpose & Benefits
  • Streamlines approval processes
    • E-Review of IAF and 115’s (implementing for other ARIS submissions)
  • Eliminates use of multiple software programs
    • Retaining separate files in Word, Excel, etc.
  • Provides uniformity in agreement packages
    • Universities have begun to tell other Federal agencies about the way ARS is conducting business (via e-mail & standardized agreement packages)
  • Reduces/Eliminates paper processes
    • E-Green File (see handout for specific screen prints/info—very new!)
  • Facilitates use of electronic submissions/distribution of agreements
    • Utilizing e-mail to expedite agreement turn-around between ARS and our Cooperators; processing to NFC and ARS staff at Location, etc.
    • Cost savings (paper, printing/duplication, postage/overnight mail)
  • Eliminates burdensome data calls (inquiries from OMB, Congress, etc.)

Data retention in the agency’s official database

slide51

The SY with a Pending IAF submission has received notification it will be funded:

  • Create a Work Record of the IAF
    • Select Create Work Record-Non AIMS (for Interagency Reimbursable Agreements or CRADA’s; NIFA/AFRI grants are considered Interagency)
    • Select Create Work Record-Amendment for Trust Fund or Reimbursable Cooperative Agreements with other funding organizations that are non-federal (when adding the very first AIMS)
  • Go to Work Incoming Agreement / Forms-Agreement Info (AIMS):
    • This is where the Agreement package information is entered, including the REE-451 and Statement of Work, which ultimately “creates” the actual agreement document to be signed by ARS and the Awarding Organization.
slide52

To add the 416/417 for an incoming agreement awarded for greater than $25,000: just click on the Generate 416 button (after the Work Record has been created).

slide53

Once the R or T project 416/417 has been added: click on the Comments tab and enter the appropriate information for the line management review and documentation. NOTE: The AIMS can be entered first and then add the 416/417; or the 416/417 can be added first and then enter the AIMS information.

Usually we see something like this entered in the Comments field:

Adding the 416/417 and AIMS to Log #12345.

slide54

Adding the AIMS info

There are two components for AIMS completion

Red arrows = 1st part; Green arrows = 2nd part

slide55

Questions or Comments?

Thank you for attending!

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