News from the
Office of Grants & Contracts
July 2014


Uniform Grant Guidance (Omnicircular)

On December 26, 2013, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its final guidance on “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.” The guidance, termed here the Omnicircular, supersedes the requirements of various other OMB circulars, including OMB Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, OMB Circular A-110, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations, and OMB Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations.

This new federal regulation will become effective for new federal awards and new funding for existing awards on December 26, 2014.

The final regulation is located here.

The Medical College of Wisconsin assembled a team to review and catalog changes that may affect MCW policies, procedures and systems.

The Omnicircular Guidance Core Team consists of the following members:

  • Kate Thompson, Director of Sponsored Programs and Accounts Receivable
  • Pam Stanick, Controller
  • Sandi Stoflet, Research Compliance Manager
  • Jane Rebro, Compliance Coordinator III
  • April Haverty, Director of Grants and Contracts
  • Paulette Pecard, Director of Business Services

The Omnicircular Guidance Core Team was assembled to:

  • Discover differences between existing and new federal requirements
  • Identify changes and impacts to policies, procedures and systems and inform responsible parties
  • Deliver final documentation noting changes and documenting: decisions for actions, reviewers and contacts, and required changes to policies, procedures and/or systems
  • Educate the MCW community


May-June 2014


June 26, 2014

Anticipated individual federal agency implementation plans released

June-October 2014

Draft of changes to MCW policies

December 1, 2014

MCW ready to implement changes

December 26, 2014

Federal implementation begins

July 1, 2015

Beginning of first MCW fiscal year under the new guidance


New MCW Federal Rate Agreement – Changes to Fringe Benefit Rates Effective 07-01-2014

MCW has a new negotiated DHHS Federal Rate Agreement, dated 03-14-2014. Effective 07-01-2014, the fringe benefit rates are changing as follows: Faculty and Staff, 25.5%; Graduate Students, 13.3%. The eBridge defaults on page W in the budget have been updated accordingly. There are no changes to any of the location-based F&A rates. If you have questions on the changes to fringe benefit rates, contact a GCO staff member.


NIH eRA Commons User IDs Mandatory for Graduate and Undergraduate Students in October 2014

Beginning in October 2014 NIH will require an eRA Commons ID for all individuals in graduate and undergraduate student roles who participate in NIH-funded projects for at least one person month or more.  The IDs will be required on the All Personnel portion of NIH progress reports, including those submitted on paper using the DHHS Public Health Service Grant Continuation Progress Report (PHS2590), and electronically using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).  Currently a warning is generated when an RPPR is submitted that lists individuals with a graduate or undergraduate student role who have not established an eRA Commons ID.   Beginning in October 2014, RPPRs lacking the eRA Commons ID for Graduate and Undergraduate Students will receive an error, and the RPPR will not be accepted by the NIH without this information. 

The MCW GCO encourages all PIs and departments to begin requesting eRA Commons accounts for students who need to be listed on NIH personnel reports now.  A Request eRA Commons Account form needs to be completed, signed and emailed to the GCO at for each student.  See the NIH Notice for more information.


NIH Piloting New Biosketch Format

The NIH has initiated a second round of pilots to assess a planned modification of the NIH Biographical Sketch (Biosketch).  The new Biosketch format being piloted will extend the page limit from four to five pages and it will allow researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science along with the historical background that framed their research.  NIH currently plans to roll out the modified biosketch for all grant applications received for FY16 funding and beyond, (which generally refers to applications submitted in early 2015).

The MCW GCO will provide more information to PIs and departments after NIH issues final guidance on the revised Biosketch; currently, the new template and instructions could change based on feedback from the pilot program.

For more information on the Biosketch Pilot program, see the NIH Notice and related articles here and here.


Individual Development Plan Now Required for AHA Training Programs

Beginning with the July American Heart Association (AHA) application deadlines, Predoctoral Fellowship, Postdoctoral Fellowship, and Fellow-to-Faculty Transition Award applicants must include an Individual Development Plan (IDP) in their applications.  The IDP will replace the former Fellow’s Career Goals section.  The sponsor must reference the IDP in the mentorship plan, and consideration of the IDP is now part of the of the AHA’s peer review criteria for these three training programs.

AHA will use the FASEB IDP Tool at  Applicants should register with the site, complete the IDP and review it with their sponsor, select the sections that the AHA requires, and print as a PDF.  The resulting PDF document will then be uploaded into the AHA application.  Full instructions for the IDP are located via the AHA Supporting Information webpage.


New AHA Open Science Policies Will Go into Effect with Applications Due in July 2014 and New Awards Beginning January 2015

The American Heart Association (AHA) requires that all journal articles resulting from AHA funding should be made freely available in PubMed within 12 months of publication.

The AHA requires grant applications to include a data sharing plan as part of the application process.  Any data that is needed for independent verification of research results must be made freely and publically available within 12 months of the end of the funding period (and any no-cost extension).  Specific early career awards are currently exempt from this requirement (Undergraduate Fellowships, Medical Student Research Fellowships, Predoctoral Fellowships, Mentor/AHA Mentee Awards, Postdoctoral Fellowships, and Mentored Clinical & Population Research Awards).

View more information about AHA Open Science policies and answers to frequently asked questions.


CDMRP replaces eReceipt System with eBrap

Required Registration

For FY14, CDMRP has replaced the eReceipt system with the electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP).  Application submissions for CDMRP, more commonly recognized as Department of Defense (DOD), are a 2 step process that now requires (1) pre-application submission through the eBRAP system, and (2) the customary SF424 application submission through

Investigators interested in applying for DOD funded grant opportunities must now create an eBrap registration.  PIs can access the eBRAP home page at  All interested applicants will be required to register, and though it is not required before submission of a pre-application using eBrap, it is strongly encouraged that PIs request to be affiliated with MCW during registration.

NEW Post Submission Review Functionality and Verification Period

Invited applicants (PIs) who successfully submit a full proposal using the system can use the eBRAP system to modify the full application.  During this verification period, the PI may upload missing files, replace files, and re‐categorize files.  The Project Narrative and Budget cannot be changed after the application submission deadline. Any other application component cannot be changed after the end of the verification deadline.  All modifications must be completed by the end of the verification period.  The verification period is listed within the RFA.

The ability to view and modify the application in eBRAP is contingent upon the registration and affiliation of the PI with their institution in eBRAP.  At this time MCW is only allowing PIs to register for a role in eBRAP.  There are no roles currently available in the eBRAP system for an assistant or a secondary submitter that can be allowed by MCW for security reasons.  For more information on the eBrap system, view the User Guide available here.


Upcoming Application Deadlines: NIH, Non Profit and Internal MCW Sponsors

The first section of the timetable below displays the standard deadlines for upcoming NIH competing applications, and the date those applications are due to the MCW GCO.  For more information or to find the NIH Standard Due Dates for other NIH funding mechanisms, visit the NIH website.

The second section displays upcoming deadlines for various Non-Profit sponsors and the due dates to GCO.  Please note, some of these grant opportunities require submission of a Letter of Intent with an earlier submission deadline.  Please check each sponsor’s RFA/RFP for full submission details and requirements.

The third section displays upcoming MCW Internal Sponsor deadlines and the due dates to GCO.  For more information on these programs, search on MCW Infoscope.

If you have questions regarding the 5-day submission deadline to the MCW GCO, refer to the MCW Corporate Policy.

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