Research Matters Blog


Updates from MUSC's Offices of Research Administration

Online Activity Reporting Course

Did you know that we have an online Activity Report training course designed for department coordinators?  This class and quiz were designed as a refresher for all current department coordinators and is also a requirement for new coordinators to take after the completion the first level of training with our office.  You can find it in MyQuest as, “Accounting 201: Activity Reporting for Department Coordinators”.  We would love to get your feedback, email

NSF, Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 17-1) has been issued.  The PAPPG has been modified in its entirety, to remove all references to the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and Award & Administration Guide (AAG).  The document will now be referred to solely as the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide.  The document will be sequentially numbered from Chapter I-XII and all references throughout have been modified to reflect this change. Given the number of important revisions, the community is strongly encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided at the beginning of the PAPPG.
The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017.  In addition to the significant change mentioned above, other revisions include:

  1. Addition of new sections on Special Processing Instructions and Types of Proposals, including two new types, RAISE and GOALI;       
  2. Additional instructions for proposers on completion of the Collaborators and Other Affiliations information;
  3. Supplemental guidance on submission of proposals by organizations impacted by a natural or anthropogenic disaster;
  4. Implementation of 45 CFR 690.118 for applications and proposals lacking definite plans for involvement of human subjects;
  5. Update on the type of information that NSF may request from proposers with regard to Federal environmental statutes;
  6. Supplemental information regarding treatment of NSF awards with canceled appropriations; and
  7. Numerous other changes and clarifications throughout the document.

NSF is hosting 2 webinars to brief the community on the new PAPPG and these will be held on November 7th and January 19th at 1 PM EST.  Registration is required on the NSF outreach events website.
While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on January 30, 2017, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 16-1) continue to apply.

Intellectual Property Town Hall

Intellectual Property Town Hall
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 from 3:30-4:30pm
Bioengineering Building 110
Presenters will discuss changes to MUSC’s Intellectual Property Policy, and the impact of those changes.
•     Michael G. Rusnak, Executive Director, MUSC Foundation for Research Development
•     G. Thomas Finnegan, Director, MUSC Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Sponsored by the Faculty Senate Communications and Education Committee.
Please contact Emily Brennan,, with questions.

eRA Commons Option Available to Submit an Unsolicited Application exceeding $500K in direct costs

NIH has a longstanding policy that states any applicant requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs (excluding consortium F&A costs) in any one budget period within a competitive segment is required to contact the NIH Institute or Center (IC) Program Official (PO), in writing or by telephone, as early as possible during development of the application but no later than 6 weeks before submission for prior approval. Since NIH supports projects with large budgets, the purpose of this policy is for fiscal planning and therefore it provides NIH ICs the appropriate amount of time to consider the possibility of such awards as early as possible in the budget and program planning process.

Notice number NOT-OD-17-005 informs NIH applicants that requests to submit an unsolicited application that will exceed $500,000 in direct costs will now have an option to submit this request electronically through eRA Commons, under a new Prior Approval Module.