January 23, 2012

New NIH Salary Cap, Effective 12-23-12

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued guidance on Friday, January 20, related to the new Executive Level II salary limitation (“salary cap”). With passage of H.R. 2055 into law, the NIH salary cap is reduced to $179,700 (Executive Level II) from $199,700 (Executive Level I), effective December 23, 2011.  

        ·         For competing grant awards with an initial Issue Date on or before 12/22/2011: The salary cap remains at $199,700 for the FY2012 award period (no adjustment required). NIH will adjust future years for these awards to reflect a salary cap of $179,700.  

        ·         For competing grant awards with an initial Issue Date on or after 12/23/2011: A salary cap of $179,700 applies to current and all future years (adjustment required). NIH will revise the award.   

        ·         Non-competing grant awards with an initial Issue Date on or before 12/22/2011: Applicable salary cap is $199,700 (no adjustment required).

        ·         Non-competing grant awards with an initial Issue Date on or after 12/23/2011: Applicable salary cap is $179,700. Unless otherwise restricted, grantees may rebudget any funds freed as a result of the lower cap.   

Note that a lower salary cap raises the level of salary cost share required on a project. OSPA is currently reviewing NIH awards and will soon contact Department personnel regarding affected projects requiring adjustments to budgets and cost-shared salary.

Finally, our understanding is that all Health and Human Services (HHS) operating divisions are subject to the new Executive Level II salary limitation, whereas in the past only NIH, AHRQ, and SAMHSA were affected. Guidance from these agencies is not yet released; we are seeking clarification and will relay information as it becomes available.

Feel free to contact me with any questions as they arise. 

January 19, 2012

AHA Professional Membership or Application Fee Requirement

Effective with the winter 2012 deadlines, the American Heart Association (AHA) has instituted a new Membership/Application Fee requirement for submission of grant applications. The Membership/Application Fee requirement is in effect for the upcoming January 27 deadline for Midwest Affiliate programs, including Clinical Research Program, Grant-in-Aid, Pre- and Post-doctoral Fellowships, and Scientist Development Grant. Only applicants to the Undergraduate Student Research Program are exempt.

The AHA application form in Grants@Heart now includes a new Membership/Application Fee page prompting the applicant to:

-       Enter an active AHA Professional Membership number
-       Join/renew AHA Professional Membership (membership tiers start at $75)

-       Enter credit card information to pay a $100 application fee (per application)   

MU OSPA confirmed with AHA that individual membership is required; there is no institutional membership option for the University to pursue.

As in the past, all applications are submitted to the institutional Grants Officer (Sr. Grants and Contracts Administrator, OSPA) for review, approval, and submission on behalf of the applicant and institution. Until the Membership/Application Fee requirement is fulfilled, Grants@Heart will not allow submission to the institutional Grants Officer.

Note that while joining for new membership or paying the application fee allows instant access to submit an application to the Grants Officer, retrieving a forgotten membership number from AHA could take a few days. Please plan ahead to fulfill the new AHA requirement and comply with the OSPA Five Day Submission Policy for a thorough review and on-time submission.

Refer here to review the full AHA announcement and FAQs. Feel free to contact me should you have any other questions or concerns.