The RAP - General News - Winter 2021 Updates
Winter 2021

The Research Administration Post

General News & Updates

In this issue of The RAP - General News & Updates - Winter 2021:



U-M Fringe Benefits Updated

The Staff Fringe Benefits Table for the current calendar year has been updated to help you determine appropriate staff benefits to be included in sponsored proposals. 
Example only of a Fringe Benefits for Calendar Year - Maximum ChargeableFor various salary categories, this spreadsheet presents the maximum levels of staff benefits chargeable to sponsored accounts. It displays these levels as flat costs and is updated each January. (With thanks to Brian Watson for providing this.)

You can also view previous Staff Fringe Benefits Tables for historical calendar years on this page, below, under References & Resources.

New RA Forum on Workplace

What about informal sharing?

Informal sharing is the missing link in our Communications toolkit. How do we connect and share information? This new RA Forum on Workplace fills this gap perfectly.

The purpose of the RA Forum on Workplace is to expand our research administrator's networks - a place to ask questions or share things that aren’t policy or official procedure, but more about experience, best practices, templates.  
You can post on the forum to ask a question, share something you learned, or a template you created to help your colleagues.

Who is on the RA Forum?

U-M research administrator community broadly. This is for research administrator's to collaborate peer-to-peer, like we are huddled around the coffee station or water cooler. Sharing knowledge across our 19 schools and colleges and 3 campuses.

It is "informal sharing, so the leadership of ORSP and Sponsored Programs have asked that their staff members not answer questions on this forum to avoid confusion about official communication. Rest assured, you can still reach them via the usual channels. Visit the ORSP or the Sponsored Programs websites for information on policies or procedures.

How to join the RA Forum on Workplace?:
  • find the RA Forum information on the ORSP website
  • copy the direct link into your browser
  • If you are already on Workplace at U-M, you can search for us and request to join
  • click on the link in the email if a colleague has invited you - note, once you join, you can invite colleagues you think would be interested!
Facebook Workplace is completely separate from Facebook social media. There is no connection between any personal Facebook account and a Workplace account.

If you have never used Facebook Workplace at U-M, you may be prompted for your Umich email address, this is legitimate and you should enter it.
Join the RA Forum on Workplace today! 

Deadline Policy - Risks Associated with Re-submission to ORSP

DeadlineThe risk of re-submission to ORSP includes two scenarios:

  1. If your proposal was successfully submitted to the sponsor by ORSP in advance of the sponsor’s deadline, and ORSP needs to pull it back for re-submission, you will have to re-enter the queue and your proposal will not be prioritized over other proposals.
  2. If your proposal is in the queue waiting for ORSP review, and you need to pull it back to make changes to the proposal which have not been requested by ORSP, your proposal will be incomplete and will need to reenter the queue and will be re-prioritized with other proposals. Changes made at the direction of ORSP in the course of review typically will not trigger a re-prioritization of your proposal in the queue.

Depending on the number of unreviewed proposals ahead of your request, it may be highly inadvisable to withdraw an otherwise high-quality proposal due to the fact that your submission may miss the sponsor’s deadline. 

PACR Automation Programming Will Begin Development!

Programming for automation of the PACR is being planned:
  • Implement a sequential approval process for routing to the PI, Department, and School/College that is visible on the ACR record.
  • Standardize the change type descriptions to include subheadings for: Use, Examples, Additional Information.
  • System enforcement of approval requirements (e.g. PI of AWD required to electronically sign all requests).
  • Enhanced functionality to track the status of multiple requests on one ACR.

Deliverables on Closeouts

We are in Phase I for the new business process that will utilize the eRPM Deliverables functionality in Award Management on all federal projects. The College of Engineering (CoE) is currently partnering with ORSP to test the first phase of the implementation. The new business process will include:
  • Final Progress/Technical Reports
  • Final Hardware/Software/Other Items
This will keep track of the deadlines. It is designed to:
  • Ensure institutional compliance with the terms and conditions of federal award agreements.
  • Reduce institutional risk and potential loss of federal funding.
  • Improve the efficiency, timeliness, and transparency of the project closeout process.
Project Teams will:
  • Use the Deliverables activity in eRPM for federal projects to record the submission of the Final Technical Report to the Sponsor.
  • Receive email reminders from eRPM to complete the Deliverables prior to the deliverables due date.
  • Be alerted through automated notifications about any delinquent Final Technical Reports.
Stay tuned for future roll-outs to other schools, colleges, and institutes.


NIH/DHHS Salary Cap

Effective January 3, 2021, the salary cap for Executive Level II, per DHHS and NIH, has increased to $199,300 from $197,300.

Though NIH will not automatically increase awards to accommodate the new salary cap, you can begin to charge at the new salary level as of January 5, 2020, if appropriate and you choose to rebudget. Reference a history of Salary Caps and refer to NIH guidance.


NCURA Webinar on Managing Fear, Anxiety, and Stress

NCURA logoNCURA allows its members to share their video resources with colleagues at one's institution. This latest video is now available on our NCURA video page on the ORSP website.

The latest webinar is designed to address some of the impactful areas that employers and employees need to resolve and address to minimize the effects that fear, stress, and anxiety may create. The presenters provide practical tools, strategies, and approaches to address and embrace these feelings to help plan for the foreseeable future. 

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