NIH has announced changes to their guidelines effective January 25, 2016. Please note there are important changes to the content of the research strategy emphasizing scientific rigor and transparency.

Helpful FAQ’s

Questions?  Please contact your Sponsored Projects Team, Proposal and Award Specialist.


Beginning on January 15, 2016, a new URL will be available to PIs for mobile access to their status information in eRA Commons:

This new mobile access means it will be significantly easier for PIs to track and manage grant applications and awards because the Status screen will be easily viewable on a range of devices such as tablets and smartphones. PIs can simply go to the page and provide their credentials as they normally would when accessing eRA Commons.

The mobile site is designed to provide the basic and necessary information PIs need to track their application submissions and awards. The status screen, resizable due to responsive design, provides a table of all their applications. The applications are grouped based on status, going from Received, Awarded, Pending, Withdrawn, to Not Funded. The column headings are Project Number, Status, Project Title and Date.

Each application can be expanded to show important information such as Priority Score, Percentile, Scientific Review Group (SGR) information and links to other resources, such as the application image and/or summary statement. There is also a Contact section that provides access to a PI’s assigned Scientific Review Officer (SRO), Grants Management Specialist (GMS) and Program Official (PO).

Additionally, at the top of the screen is a large search/filter field. When a PI simply starts to type in any information from any of the columns, the results will be dynamically updated as they type.



The University of Georgia is no longer eligible for NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Program R15 grants.

R15 funding is designed to strengthen the research environment of health-related schools or universities. To qualify, the applying unit must have less than a specified level of total NIH funding. In previous years, certain health sciences colleges at UGA were considered separate from UGA as a whole and thus judged to be eligible for R15 awards. NIH has determined that this will not be the case moving forward. Since UGA’s total NIH funding is well in excess of the cap, no UGA units are eligible to submit to the R15 funding opportunity.


To improve its support to faculty, the pre-award unit of Sponsored Projects Administration is offering a new promise. Beginning January 1, 2016, its staff will ensure the successful submission of all proposals that are received in complete form at least four business days prior to the deadline. To qualify, proposals must be in the Portal in “ready to submit” form by the four-day-in-advance deadline and include the narrative, all letters of support, bios, etc. Grants officers will ensure the successful submission of all such proposals through or the electronic system specified by the relevant funding agency.

The pre-award staff makes every effort to successfully submit all proposals, regardless of when they are received by staff. However, experience shows that proposals submitted to Sponsored Projects Administration close to the deadline are more often rejected by the sponsor due to errors or incomplete information. The typical surge in last minute proposals makes it difficult for staff to identify and correct all errors or omissions that can lead to the rejection of proposals. This new promise is our effort to support faculty and ensure that their hard work isn’t frustrated by errors or omissions that cannot be corrected in time to guarantee the successful delivery of proposals to the funding agency.



The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), funded by the National Institutes of Health, is a nationwide consortium of health science investigators, professionals and institutions collaborating to provide students and scientists across all career stages of health science research with mentorship, networking, professional development and research resources.

The overarching goal of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is to change the face of the biomedical workforce by increasing the number of researchers from underrepresented backgrounds in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences workforce by directly addressing the benefits and challenges of diversity, inclusivity and culture within mentoring relationships and more broadly the research workforce.

As an NRMN mentee or mentor, you can:
• Participate in mentorship in your field that directly addresses diversity, inclusivity, and culture through NRMN’s virtual mentoring platform.
• Participate in synchronous and asynchronous online, as well as face-to-face, evidence-based training programs such as career coaching and train-the-trainer workshops.
• Receive intensive coaching to develop a competitive grant proposal for a research project and/or research career development award in any biomedical or bio-behavioral discipline (this opportunity is targeted to post-doctoral fellows and early career faculty).
• Learn about grant funding opportunities.
• Stay up-to-date on NRMN’s programming and nationwide diversity efforts through webinars, videos, news, and links to ongoing professional development opportunities.

Mentors can avail themselves of additional opportunities such as:
• Get certified or participate in training opportunities that leads to a “NRMN Master Mentor” Certification.
• Apply to become an NRMN “Coach-in-Training” for one of the network’s four intensive coaching programs for grant proposal writing and professional development. This opportunity is for more senior researchers who are committed to the career advancement of investigators from diverse backgrounds and desire to implement NRMN coaching models in the near future.

More information on the National Research Mentoring Network.


Announcements Compliance, Integrity & Safety

Office of Biosafety has recently updated its webpage with the latest information on NIH Guidelines for Recombinant or Synethetic Nucleic Acid Molecules.

NIH Guidelines for Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines) is a set of federal guidelines that specify the practices for constructing and handling (i) recombinant nucleic acid molecules; (ii) synthetic nucleic acid molecules, including those that are chemically or otherwise modified but can base pair with naturally occurring nucleic acid molecules; and (iii) cells, organisms, and viruses containing such molecules.

ALL recombinant DNA research conducted at UGA, irrespective of the source of funding, must be reviewed by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) as a condition for UGA to receive NIH funding. Noncompliance with this requirement jeopardizes all NIH funding for recombinant DNA research at UGA .

To help UGA researchers understand these requirements and requirements associated with recombinant DNA research at UGA, the Office of Biosafety has recently updated the IBC webpage. These updates include the most recent version of the NIH Guidelines, an introduction to the NIH Guidelines and IBC responsibilities, FAQs on reporting of incidents involving  rDNA, and training on Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC).

The University IBC has the responsibility of assessing the safety of research involving biological agents and recombinant DNA to identify potential risks to personnel, the public, or the environment through the review and approval of proposed activities.

Prior to commencement of work, the UGA IBC must approve any teaching or research projects that involve the use of:

  • Recombinant DNA, including transgenic animals, plants, or invertebrate organisms
  • BSL2 or higher human or zoonotic pathogens
  • Animal pathogens that cause diseases reportable to the State Veterinarian
  • Plant pathogens that have not been established in the State
  • Any work involving a select agent or toxin

If you have any questions regarding any of this information, please contact Nancy Mead (IBC Coordinator) at or Patrick Stockton (Director of Biosafety) at


NIH director Francis S. Collins recently published a letter that provides new details about the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort program, which seeks to extend precision medicine to all diseases by building a national research cohort of one million or more Americans. Included in his letter was an announcement about new funding opportunities for researchers working in multiple disciplines.

Please click here to see Dr. Collins’ letter in full.


OVPR is reinventing its GrantSMART unit, based on feedback from faculty users.

The new Office for Proposal Enhancement will assist faculty preparing both larger collaborative proposals as well as smaller individual grant applications.  The Office will work closely with Sponsored Projects Administration and departmental personnel to provide expert technical and administrative support throughout the proposal development process.  The menu of expanded services is available on the Office for Proposal Enhancement website. 


Announcements Compliance, Integrity & Safety

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Human Subjects Office, Office of the Vice President for Research,  is pleased to announce the new Chair of the IRB, Dr. Gerald E. Crites.

Dr. Crites is a professor of medicine and director of program evaluation and educational research at the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership. His scholarly interests include curriculum design and evaluation and evidence-based health care.  Dr. Crites has served on the IRB since 2012.



UGA researchers are invited to attend the annual State of Technology at UGA presentation on Thursday, November 12, at 10 a.m., at the Tate Student Center Reception Hall. All students, faculty, staff and campus technical personnel are welcome to attend this presentation and ask questions about technology services at the University.

Dr. Timothy M. Chester, Vice President for Information Technology, will give the presentation during this open forum to the University community.

Topics in the presentation will include technology trends and initiatives at the University, and TechQual+ survey results of UGA students, faculty and staff.

Reservations are not required to attend.

Information:  Contact Kerri Testement at