Office of Sponsored Research

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In the spotlight

Upcoming Effort Certification Period

On March 1st, the University will begin the effort certification period for FY15 and for the first half of FY16. Currently, we are in the pre-review period, and on March 1st, we will ask you log into ecrt, review the labor allocations, and certify that the labor distributions reasonably reflect the activities for which you were compensated during the reporting period (or make corrections as needed). Training materials, including a short PowerPoint presentation, quick reference guides, and a YouTube video, are available for your reference on the OSR Website. Effort certification is a requirement under the terms and conditions of the University's federal awards, and the University is committed to compliance with this requirement. Recognizing that the University is asking you to certify two reporting cycles at the same time, the University will be offering three drawings for prizes during the 30-day effort certification period. All of those who have completed their effort certifications by the date of a drawing will be entered in that drawing and in all subsequent drawings. The drawings for the prizes listed below will be held on the following dates:

  • March 8th - iPad, 5 drawings
  • March 15th - Silverspot Cinema gift cards, 10 drawings for $100 each
  • March 22nd - Bulls Head Bookshop gift certificates, 20 drawings for $50 each
In addition, a drawing for departmental pizza parties will be held on March 25th for departments that have achieved 100% effort certification completion by that date. As a reminder, all certifications are required to be completed within 30 days of release, or by March 30th. Please see the University's Effort Reporting Policy for further information. Although you cannot certify before March 1st, we encourage you to review the salary allocations in ecrt now and make any needed changes ahead of time so that you can accurately complete the certification upon release on March 1st. If you have questions, please contact your effort coordinator or ecrt_help@unc.edu.

Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protections

In order to encourage employees to report fraud, waste, and abuse in federally funded programs, the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2013 (41 U.S.C. § 4712), established the “Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protections” (the “Program”).  The purpose of the Program is to provide protections for employees against reprisal for certain whistleblowing activities in relation to federal grants and contracts. The Program provides that employers may not discharge, demote, or otherwise discriminate against an employee as reprisal for whistleblowing.  These protections cannot be waived by agreement, policy, form, or condition of employment. Whistleblowing is defined in the Program as disclosing information that an individual reasonably believes is evident of any of the following:

  • Gross mismanagement of a federal contract or grant;
  • Gross waste of federal funds;
  • Abuse of authority relating to a federal contract or grant;
  • A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or
  • A violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a federal contract or grant (including the competition for, or negotiation of, a contract or grant).
The Program provides protection when the disclosure is made to one of the following persons or entities:
  • A member of Congress or representative of a committee of Congress;
  • An inspector general;
  • The government accountability office;
  • A federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the relevant agency;
  • An authorized official of the Department of Justice or other law enforcement agency;
  • A court or grand jury; or
  • A management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor, or grantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover, or address misconduct.
Procedures for making a report of suspected fraud, waste or abuse as described above can be found on the Office of the Inspector General’s Whistleblower Hotline website (http://www.oig.doc.gov/pages/hotline.aspx). Any employee with concerns of possible noncompliance may also report them to the University Compliance Line: https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/report_company.asp or 1-866-294-8688. Furthermore, if you believe that you have been discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for whistleblowing related to a federal contract or grant, you may submit a complaint to the Inspector General of the agency associated with the federal contract or grant. Complaints under the Program must be filed within three years after the date on which the alleged reprisal took place. For more information regarding the Program and an employee’s rights and remedies, please read the statute here:  http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:41%20section:4712%20edition:prelim) A report of suspected fraud, waste or abuse may also be protected under State law.  For more information, please see the University’s “Policy for Reporting Improper Government Activities,” available at:  http://policies.unc.edu/policy-category/university/

FY 2016 Fringe Benefit Rates – DDD Memo dated 10/06/2015

Please refer to the DDD memo for Fiscal Year 2016 fringe benefit rates for budgeting on sponsored agreements.

OSR Budget Controls

Please read the email from Vanessa Peoples regarding changes to OSR budget controls effective October 5, 2015.

Fall Proposal Deadlines

Please read the email from John Sites regarding the upcoming proposal deadlines.