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Other / Current & Pending Support

Northwestern Guidance

In recent years, many Federal agencies have clarified their instructions regarding financial support and resources available to university researchers for their research  and there is an increased focus on overseeing compliance. Federal sponsors are requesting: 1) Candid and thorough accounts of other support for research programs and 2) Disclosure of any foreign component of the research. Agencies and sponsors may have varying requirements and guidelines regarding the formatting, documentation and specific information for biosketches, Other Support, and Current and Pending Support disclosures.

General Guidance

General Rules of Thumb

  • All means all: “All” means any time commitment and any resources available to the research program, whether at Northwestern or elsewhere, including: funding (whether contributing salary support or not), access to lab space, funded visitors, and materials/in-kind resources not generally available to all
  • If you’re unsure about including something, it’s better to be transparent and include it rather than leave it out.

In addition to Other Support / Current and Pending documents, other opportunities to disclose support include:

  • Biosketches
  • Facilities/other resources
  • Progress reports

Note: Current sponsor guidance should always take precedent over general advice provided on this page.

Investigator Responsibilities

Investigator Responsibilities for Completion of Other/Current and Pending Support Documents

Consistent with federal agency expectations and requirements, Northwestern University requires that every disclosure to an external funding agency of an investigator’s active, pending, or previous sources of support for research and other sponsored activities be true, complete, and accurate to the best of the investigator’s knowledge. It is the investigator’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of other support documents, in accord with the application guidelines or the sponsor’s instructions. False, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or claims (including intentional omissions) may result in administrative, civil, or criminal penalties.

As sponsor guidance may change, Sponsored Research recommends that investigators and departmental staff pay close attention to the sponsor’s instructions in the solicitation and/or related policy guide on how to prepare these documents.

Time Commitment Specifics

Any activity conducted within the scope of an Investigator’s Northwestern appointment that provides funding or requires a quantifiable commitment of time must be reported. Commitments are regular obligations of time (part of an investigator’s regular activities, except teaching), but not short-term obligations, such as attending a meeting and making a presentation.

  • Activities that provide funding or have a quantifiable commitment of time are typically – but not exclusively – Federal or Non-Federal sponsored projects.
  • Reportable outside activities and collaborations occurring in the summer should be included.
  • If an investigator has a quantifiable commitment for an activity but is receiving no salary support from the activity (salary is cost shared by the University), that activity must be reported.
  • Awards resulting from internally-funded competitions, should be included only if there is measurable effort.
  • All collaborations and affiliations that provide funding, resources (even in-kind), or require a commitment of time must be reported, whether foreign or domestic.

As appropriate:

  • Include the proposal being submitted as a pending proposal.
  • Address potential overlap or over-commitments. As this is a primary concern of Federal agencies, please be clear in your explanations.
  • List projects with no-cost extensions.
  • Update information as much as possible (e.g., remove outdated proposals or expired awards) unless specifically requested by sponsor, such as DoD.

Foreign Influence

Please refer to the following guidance from the Office of the Vice President for Research:

Federal Agency Guidance

NIH

NSF

DOD

General Application Instructions (Version 601)

Section III. A. 4 Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile (Page 16) Note: Emphasis added for clarity

  • For all previous (award period of performance ending within the past 5 years), current, and pending research support, include the title, time commitments, supporting agency, name and address of the funding agency’s procuring Contracting/ Grants Officer, performance period, level of funding, brief description of the project’s goals, and list of the specific aims. If applicable, identify where the proposed project overlaps with other existing and pending research projects. Clearly state if there is no overlap.
  • List all positions and scientific appointments, both domestic and foreign, held by senior/key personnel that are relevant to an application, including affiliations with foreign entities or governments. This includes titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).
  • Report all resources and other support for all individuals designated in an application as senior/key personnel–including for the PI and for other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they request salaries or compensation. Information must be provided about all current support for ongoing projects, irrespective of whether such support is provided through the applicant organization, through another domestic or foreign organization, or is directly provided to an individual who supports the senior/key personnel’s research efforts.
  • Report all current projects and activities that involve senior/key personnel, even if the support received is only in-kind (e.g., office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees). All research resources including, but not limited to, foreign financial support, research or laboratory personnel, lab space, scientific materials, selection to a foreign “talents” or similar-type program, or other foreign or domestic support must be reported.
  • Provide the total award amount for the entire award period covered (including facilities and administrative costs), as well as the number of person-months (or partial person-months) per year to be devoted to the project by the senior/key personnel involved.
  • If there is no previous, current, or pending support, enter “None.” An updated previous, current, and pending support document will be required if an award is recommended for funding.

DOE

Department of Energy

FY 2021 Continuation of Solicitation for the Office of Science Financial Assistance Program Department of Energy – Office of Science (DE-FOA-0002414) (Click on “Related Documents” to access the full announcement)

Note: The original version of the announcement was released on October 1, 2020; Amendment 00001 was released October 28, 2020 and provided clarification about the adoption of a new format for biographical sketches and current and pending support. Specifically, the use of a format required by the National Science Foundation is mandatory, either through SciENcv or a fillable PDF. An abstract of the other activity is not required in current and pending support.

How to Prepare Current and Pending Support (Page 92)

Current and Pending support is intended to allow the identification of potential duplication, overcommitment, potential conflicts of interest or commitment, and all other sources of support. The PI and each senior/key person at the prime applicant and any proposed subaward must provide a list of all sponsored activities, awards, and appointments, whether paid or unpaid; provided as a gift with terms or conditions or provided as a gift without terms or conditions; full-time, part-time, or voluntary; faculty, visiting, adjunct, or honorary; cash or in-kind; foreign or domestic; governmental or private-sector; directly supporting the individual’s research or indirectly supporting the individual by supporting students, research staff, space, equipment, or other research expenses. All foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs must be identified in current and pending support. SC requires the use of the format approved by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which may be generated by the Science Experts Network Curriculum Vita (SciENcv), a cooperative venture maintained at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sciencv/, and is also available at https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/nsfapprovedformats/cps.pdf. The use of a format required by another agency is intended to reduce the administrative burden to researchers by promoting the use of common formats.

For every activity, list the following items:

  • The sponsor of the activity or the source of funding
  • The award or other identifying number
  • The title of the award or activity. If the title of the award or activity is not descriptive, add a brief description of the research being performed that would identify any overlaps or synergies with the proposed research
  • The total cost or value of the award or activity, including direct and indirect costs. For pending proposals, provide the total amount of requested funding.
  • The award period (start date –end date).
  • The person-months of effort per year being dedicated to the award or activity

Additional Guidance for Current and Pending Support

  • “Checklist for avoiding common errors” (Page 7): “Ensure complete listing of all activities including brief abstract of scope of work for all items listed, regardless of source of funding.”
  • Appendix I Biographical Sketch (Page 66): “All foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs must be identified in current and pending support.”
  • Appendix II Current and Pending Support (Page 66): Provide a list of all current and pending support for the PI and senior/key personnel, including subawardees, regardless of funding source. Provide the Current and Pending Support as an appendix to your project narrative. Concurrent submission of an application to other organizations for simultaneous consideration will not prejudice its review.