SPA Newsletter - Spring 2016 SPA NEWS Spring 2016 Sponsored Programs Administration Newsletter Greetings from SPA/OSP/CGA | SPA Metrics: Fiscal Year 2016 | Audit Corner | RA Project Update | Cost Sharing Basics & How It Relates to Your Proposal | How Can Account Explorer Help You? | Two-Factor Authentication | Sponsored Programs Advisory Committee | Post-Award: How Will NIH's Transition to Subaccounts Impact My NIH Account? | Who May Submit Proposals | Client Feedback Metrics | The Fly America Act | Research Administrator Spotlight | Hot Topics Greetings from SPA/OSP/CGA! We are happy to share another newsletter with you. In this issue you will find updates on the Research Administration Project (formerly Kuali Coeus Research Administration, "KC"), the "buzz" about documentation in the Audit Corner, and helpful guidelines related to Cost Sharing Basics, in addition to many other featured topics in Research Administration. I want to extend my appreciation for the outstanding work and enthusiasm of MSU's faculty, research personnel and research administrators in proposing, executing, and administering sponsored programs. Within SPA/OSP/CGA*, we are focused on providing excellent client support and education, efficiently and effectively completing day-to-day work, and improving processes and systems in order to support projects and MSU’s Mission. I am thankful to be supporting you and MSU in managing the complex environment of implementing programs while addressing sponsor requirements. Together, as Spartans, we are finding solutions, getting things done, and making a difference every day! We have more to do and Spartans Will! For comments related to the overall content of the newsletter, or suggestions for future content, please contact Jennifer Lafferty, email@example.com or me. Authors or contact information have been included in each article for topic-specific questions. Thank you for your efforts! Twila Fisher Reighley, Assistant Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies RA Project Updateby Thomas Cooper, RA Project Director The Research Administration Project (formerly the Kuali Coeus Research Administration) is pleased to report that significant progress has been made toward implementing the enterprise-level application. In August of this year, the Sponsored Programs Administration will begin to use the new system. In parallel, the collective MSU research community will receive view-only access to the award module components: institutional proposals, negotiation, award, and subaward. What is the Research Administration Project? The Research Administration Project is an enterprise-level web-based application designed to facilitate research proposals throughout the various aspects of their life-cycle. Upon completion, it is intended to serve as the single source of record for MSU research proposals submitted to or funded by external (non-MSU) sources. The MSU research community will benefit from improved information management throughout the complex life-cycle of proposal development and submission, award administration, and compliance. How can the research community participate? Share this message with others in the research community to inform and provide support during the transition to the new system Seek out information on the website, http://ra-project.vprgs.msu.edu/, and attend forums with this topic presented Participate in e-learning opportunities and classroom trainings beginning in June 2016 for viewing award modules and in January 2017 for proposal development and conflict of interest functionality What is the timeline? In August 2016, the campus research community will receive view-only access to components related to managing award modules (institutional proposal, negotiation, award, and subaward). In April 2017, access to the system will be provided to the campus community; specifically, full functionality for proposal development, and conflict of interest. The Research Administration Project, with the support of the business offices, will partner with college and department leadership to engage research faculty and staff to ensure a successful implementation between now and April 2017. Please visit our website, http://ra-project.vprgs.msu.edu/, for up-to-date information regard-ing this initiative. If you have any questions or feedback, I invite you to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 353-6727. Thank you for reviewing this information and for the continuation of support in the research administration system implementation. Cost Sharing Basics & How It Relates to Your Proposal by Tracie Westrate, OSP & Kasey Schiellerd, CGA What is cost share? Cost share is the portion of the total project costs that are paid by an entity other than the sponsor. Although the majority of cost share at MSU is a commitment of university funds, it may also be a commitment from a third party. Cost sharing can be in the form of actual cash or commitment of effort from personnel. It can also be direct or indirect costs of the project. There are three types of cost share: mandatory, voluntary committed, and voluntary uncommitted. Mandatory cost share is the university’s portion of contribution to the project that is required by the sponsor. It must be included in the proposal to be considered by the sponsor. Mandatory cost share is required to be tracked and reported to the sponsor by post award (CGA). Voluntary committed cost share are quantifiable resources committed and budgeted for in a proposal. This is not required by the sponsor as a condition of receiving the award. Once offered in the proposal, this contribution becomes a binding commitment to the University upon award. Voluntary uncommitted cost share is faculty effort and other direct costs that are over and above what is committed and budgeted for, but is not legally obligated. This type of cost share does not have to be documented, tracked, or reported as it is not required by the sponsor, and it should not be listed in the proposal. Voluntary uncommitted cost share is most frequently the result of reported effort in excess of commitments on a completed effort report. How does cost share affect my proposal? The type of cost share that is included in the proposal determines the documentation needed at proposal stage. With mandatory cost share, OSP Proposal Teams will need to see the cost share portion when reviewing the budget. The mandatory cost share amount must be listed on the eTransmittal in the “Total Cost Sharing/Matching/In-Kind Included” field under "Other Financials". If you include voluntary committed cost share, the OSP Proposal Teams are likely to suggest omitting the quantifiable resources from the proposal. The University only wants to include cost sharing on a proposed budget, narrative, or budget justification when absolutely necessary. If quantifiable costs are pertinent to the project, OSP may request a budget to show calculation of costs. On the eTransmittal, a "Note" needs to be included describing the voluntary committed cost share on the project. Please remember that salary amounts in excess of the NIH salary cap are considered voluntary committed cost sharing, as well as the associated fringe benefits and indirect costs. Some federal agencies, like the National Science Foundation (NSF), have a specific policy that prohibits voluntary committed cost share. What type of expenses are allowed as cost share? The most common types of cost share and easiest to document are effort from MSU personnel and unrecovered facilities and administrative (F&A) costs. Effort is tracked using the effort reporting system on the CGA website. Effort reports act as a “receipt” for effort/time spent working on a sponsored project and meet the federal requirements for documentation for such cost share. Unrecovered F&A is the difference between total F&A costs if the University’s full F&A rate is applied to applicable direct expenses and the allocated F&A costs using the rate approved in the award. Example – Current F&A rate 53.5%, Agency approved rate 20%, $10,000 applicable direct costs F&A costs at 53.5% = $5,350 F&A costs at allowed 20% = $2,000 Difference of $3,350 is unrecovered F&A and can be reported if unrecovered F&A was approved as allowable cost share in the agreement Other types of cost share expenses can include non-personnel direct costs, such as supplies and services, as well as in-kind matching from a third party. Documenting these types of costs can be very time consuming, and require PI and department record-keeping for documentation. How is cost share reported once the award is fully executed? How cost share is reported depends on the type of cost share. Required cost share is monitored and reported by CGA as invoices or financial reports are submitted. Effort The amount to be reported from certified effort is determined using the Effort Report Summary which pulls data directly from effort reports and payroll. The following is a screen shot of the data provided from the report. Other Allowable Expenses If expenses other than effort are budgeted as cost share, CGA requires that the department send operating statements (FIN049) with the cost share expenses highlighted. The operating statements must also include a certification from the PI that the expenses were incurred for the project. CGA requests that these certified operating statements be sent quarterly to the Cash Management or Reports Group. If not received by CGA, a request for the operating statement(s) will be sent when the financial report is in process. Unrecovered F&A If budgeted and part of the award, unrecovered F&A is calculated and reported by CGA each time a financial report is submitted. In-Kind Third Party In-kind third party matching requires a certified letter from the third party describing the matching expenses incurred. How Can Account Explorer Help You?by Evonne Pedawi & Kristy Smith, CGA Account Explorer: One Tool for (almost) All of Your Needs There are many resources available that provide information about your award. However, it can often be very confusing to know where to go for information, or several tools are needed to obtain the information you seek. Account Explorer (AE) is a tool developed by Contract and Grant Administration (CGA) to help manage your restricted awards (RC accounts) by providing relevant information in one location. New Feature in Account Explorer Many people use AE to determine whether prior approval from their grantor is needed before a particular action or purchase can occur. Prior approval checkboxes are now being added to RC accounts to easily display the most common reasons MSU may need to receive such approvals, based on the specific award conditions. The prior approval checkbox enhancement provides a much faster alternative to assessing information than reading the text notes that are also listed in AE. As seen in the below example, if a checkbox is marked, the department should contact CGA's Awards Group to request the prior approval. Other Information Found in Account Explorer You can pull up your project information by entering your RC account number in the Search Box at the top of AE. If you don't know the account number, you may be able to find the project information by using other search criteria, such as APP number or PI name. When the account loads into AE, key project information, including award amount, spendable balance, project dates, grantor, and PI, is listed towards the top of the page. In addition, several tabs of information, some of which are highlighted below, are available to help you manage your project account. This is the default information that is displayed when your project account loads in AE. Located under the previously discussed prior approval checkboxes, several notes will be listed specifically related to your award, including compliance notes (IRB, IACUC, or COI) and Account Notes. These notes will include all award actions, such as modifications, terms and conditions, and department responsibilities, in addition to other information. This tab is currently the only place where you can get all subaward information related to your account, for proper subaward management. The main screen in this section will provide basic information such as subaward amount and unpaid balance by object code for each subrecipient. By selecting a specific subaward, you can access more detailed information, including payments, advances and reconciliations, reported cost share, A-133 expiration date and risk level. CGA either submits an invoice for payment or draws funds from a federal letter of credit system, depending on the award conditions. When CGA submits invoices or receives funds, information is recorded in the Billing tab. In this section, clicking on "show KFS deposits" will display the KFS document numbers for each payment received by the grantor. If the payment was against an invoice, the invoice will be attached to the KFS document. This may help you assess how quickly the grantor is paying for project expenses, identify a collection issue, and determine a cash position. You can see who was paid on your account without using SAP or Business Intelligence via AE’s Payroll Tab. The dates are customizable, and all individuals paid on the account will be listed, in addition to the object code, amount paid and either the percentage of their salary or the number of hours paid by the account. Additional Assistance Account Explorer, as well as CGA's website in general, offers much more information than what was highlighted in this article to assist with your RC project account management. If you would like additional training for yourself or your unit, or have specific questions related to the resources available on our website, please contact Kristy Smith or Evonne Pedawi. Sponsored Programs Advisory Committee (SPAC) by Katie Winkler, SPA The Sponsored Programs Advisory Committee (SPAC) was created in 2014 in response to guidance from the MSU Strategic Plan to listen to those SPA/OSP/CGA support. The committee completed its first year in the fall of 2015. During this time, SPAC established its goals and process, communicated on key issues, highlighted the need for data and metrics, reviewed perceived/actual bottlenecks and improvements, and provided ideas and prioritization. SPAC Members SPAC is comprised of seven faculty (2-3 of which are college research deans) and five college or department administrators. Each member is nominated by their college, and it is anticipated that they serve a three-year term (four initial members will rotate off in two years), meeting 4-5 times per academic year, representing more than eight colleges. Click here for a list of the SPAC members. Accomplishments One of SPAC’s accomplishments includes the suggestion to create a Proposal Checklist that could be published for campus use Simply enter in the sponsor's deadline and "today's" date, and it will fill in the due dates that follow the proposal deadline policy. It includes the steps from the Proposal Preparation Guide, asking the user to confirm that all areas are complete prior to each deadline. SPAC was also responsible for encouraging a central location for SPA/OSP/CGA metrics on the website. The metric information is updated frequently. Full details of SPAC's accomplishments and roster for the 2014-2015 year can be found on the SPA/OSP/CGA website, https://cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/DocumentViewer.aspx?cga=aQBkAD0AMwA0ADAA. Post-Award: How will NIH's Transition to Subaccounts Impact my NIH Account?by Dan Evon, CGA The short answer for MSU PI’s and department administrators is, very little. MSU has found a way to accommodate this NIH accounting transition within Contract and Grant Administration (CGA). The only impact you may encounter is if you are the recipient of NIH funds from another university and they are changing account numbers, which will require a new subaward to be issued to MSU. This may require MSU to negotiate a new subaward and set it up in a new account number. Background: When expenditures are made on an NIH account MSU requests cash to cover those expenditures through a process called Letter-of-Credit (LOC). Historically through the LOC process, CGA would draw cash electronically as expenses were processed in the Kuali Financial System (KFS) by making one lump sum draw for all of MSU’s NIH accounts (~400). These draws were made 2 to 3 times per month. While this method was efficient, it did not provide NIH with the details on which individual projects the cash was used for, which is why NIH recently made the decision to change their LOC process from a “pool” draw system to a “subaccount” draw system. This change creates a lot more work for CGA! The transition is currently taking place as the non-competitive renewals are issued. To help NIH and grantees (MSU) distinguish which projects have transitioned and which have not, a new award number is being assigned to transitioned projects. For most of our peer institutions, this means that the PI’s account number will have to change. Because establishing a new account number for the same project would require a wave of personnel, purchasing, p-card and other paperwork, MSU worked with our colleagues at NIH to find a solution. Under this solution, CGA will complete a Transitional Final Financial Report (TFFR) using the ledger expenses at the date of conversion and internally close this first administrative segment. CGA will change their draw procedures to provide account-level details and to match the new NIH transitioned number, which will allow MSU PI’s to keep their existing account number. In fairness to other universities (almost everyone in the Big Ten), their financial systems will not allow them to keep their same account numbers. We like to think of this as an example of why MSU is Bolder by Design! Who May Submit Proposals Updated 10/2017 by Courtney Peatross, OSP MSU has established policies and procedures regarding who may submit a research proposal in compliance with the MSU Board of Trustee Bylaws and the MSU Faculty Handbook. The permitted faculty members who may serve as a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator without obtaining an exception approval are outlined below: Tenured faculty: Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor Research or Fixed-Term faculty: Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor Non-regular faculty can serve as a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator but must obtain exception approval. The exception approval process routes through the individual’s department chairperson, associate dean for research, and the Office of Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. The members of the University community that must receive this explicit approval are outlined below: Research Associates Specialists Postdoctoral Students/Fellows* Visiting, Adjunct, or Clinical faculty Two options are available to the non-regular faculty members when requesting Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator exception approval. The options are: (1) project-specific approval, which would be solely for the specified project; or, (2) a blanket approval, which would allow the identified member to serve as a PI/Co-PI on all future projects without the need to obtain approval again. Another Key Personnel role, similar in name to a Co-Principal Investigator, is a Co-Investigator. This role is primarily used by the National Institutes of Health, and non-regular faculty assigned the Co-Investigator role do not require exception approval. It is important to note that Michigan State University policy supersedes the sponsor requirements for who is eligible to apply as a Principal Investigator. The Office of Sponsored Programs recommends starting the request for approval as soon as it is known that it will be required. The exception approval process is published on the Office of Sponsored Programs webpage, and as always, please feel free to contact your Proposal Team at ProposalTeam1@osp.msu.edu or ProposalTeam2@osp.msu.edu should any questions arise. Client Feedback Metricsby Erin Schlicher, SPA As a client driven department, our goal is to provide excellent customer service to facilitate successful external funding for research and creative activities. To this end, SPA/OSP/CGA designed three optional surveys to solicit feedback on proposal, award, and post-award processes. We are pleased with the feedback we have received so far, and would like to thank all of you who participated. The results continue to be very useful, helping us plan for system improvements as well as to assess the level of customer service we are providing. Proposal Survey Report We began distributing surveys related to proposal submission to PIs and Department Administrators in February, 2014. As of December 31, 2015, we received a total of 2,118 unique survey responses from individuals who worked with OSP on a proposal submission. Overall, 97 percent of these responses indicated satisfaction with OSP's proposal submission processes. 98% were helped in a timely manner 96% were provided with useful/accurate information 98% were treated courteously 97% were satisfied with the interaction Negotiation & Account Setup Survey We initiated a second survey in July of 2014, soliciting feedback on the award negotiation and account setup activities. As of December 31, 2015, we have received 1,136 unique responses from participants interacting with personnel from the Office of Sponsored Programs or Contract and Grant Administration. Overall, 92 percent of responses indicated satisfaction with the award negotiation and account setup processes. For the award negotiation portion of the survey: 88% were kept informed during the award negotiation process 96% were treated courteously by staff involved in negotiations 92% were satisfied with the negotiation and agreement execution For the Account Setup portion of the survey: 88% agreed that the account setup and availability of funds was handled in a timely manner 96% were treated courteously by staff involved in the account setup 93% were satisfied with the account setup Our most recent survey relates to the post-award services provided by Contract and Grant Administration (CGA). This survey was implemented in March 2015 and was sent out every six months. We plan to send this out quarterly in the future. So far, we have received responses from 134 individuals indicating a 90% overall satisfaction rate for CGA’s post award services. Thank you to all who participated in the surveys! We appreciate your input and will continue to use your responses and comments to improve our services to the campus community. The Fly America Act by Evonne Pedawi & Kristy Smith, CGA Beginning January 2016, MSU’s primary point of contact for the university’s compliance with the Fly America Act and questions related to the act transitioned from MSU’s Travel Office to Contract and Grant Administration (CGA). MSU is required to comply with the Fly America Act, which affects airfare purchased using a federally funded restricted (RC) account. In general, it requires travelers to use a U.S. Carrier, a carrier that code shares with a U.S. carrier, or to qualify for an exception to the law for all air travel funded by the U.S. government. MSU travelers are responsible for compliance, when applicable. If a non-compliant air carrier is used, travelers and/or the department will not be reimbursed by a federally funded project. Therefore, it is highly recommended that travel, when federally funded, is booked through an MSU Preferred Travel Agency, such as Conlin Travel, whose agents are well versed in the Fly America Act. When contacted, agents should be advised that the trip is federally funded. CGA has created a compliance tool that assists in checking the compliance of most flights using a sequence of questions regarding the trip. If a traveler is required to comply with the Fly America Act, the flight must meet one of the following three criteria. The flight is on a U.S. flag air carrier, The flight is a “code share” flight, or The flight is covered by an allowable exception. Code sharing can be identified by the use of a U.S. carrier’s designator code (ex: UA for United Airlines) in front of the flight number. There are several allowable exceptions, including Open Skies agreements, the lack of a U.S. carrier service for that trip leg, and involuntary rerouting. The full list of exceptions are included on the Fly America Act Waiver Checklist, found within MSU's Fly America Act Policy. If an exception is applicable, a certification must be documented. The statement must indicate which exception is present and should be certified by the traveler, Fiscal Officer, or MSU Preferred Travel Agency. If the European Union Open Skies agreement is being utilized as the exception, no additional statement is necessary due to MSU's GSA approved blanket certification statement on file. Please see CGA's website for more information on MSU's Fly America Act Policy. Specific questions can be sent to CGA's Transactions Group, Evonne Pedawi or Kristy Smith. Hot Topics Upcoming Training Opportunities The Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) series provides on-campus training and certification for research administrators and other support staff who have responsibilities for research proposals, grants, contracts, pre- and post-award administration and related activity at Michigan State University. Initial certification is obtained by attending all 5 Cores and a minimum of 3 Electives within a 2-year period. ERA certification is valid for two (2) years following the completion of the initial certification. In order to keep your certification active, you must complete three (3) ERA electives every 2 years after your initial certification period. You may also attend an approved conference or training program (local, regional or national) every 2 years. 2016 Schedule Cores: 4/19, 4/26, 5/10, 5/17 & 5/24 (Registration Closed - At Maximum Capacity) Electives: Due to the training and implementation of the new Research Administration system (formerly Kuali Coeus), a limited number of Electives are available: June 7 - Hands-On Budgeting June 21 - Advanced Budgeting July 19 - Introduction to Clinical Trials & Clinical Research August 23 - International Research September 20 - Departmental Post-Award Account Management October 11 - Fee-for-Service & Service Centers November 15 - Hot Topics SPA Website by Jodi Heliste, SPA The redesigned SPA website will be released to all campus users this spring. Key features of the redesigned site include a new layout and updated process information organized around the MSU research award life cycle. Additionally, the site’s new design improves accessibility for all users and offers on-the-go convenience by auto adjusting for display on tablet and mobile devices.