NSF Issues New PAPPG; COGR Still Has Questions
Following publication in December of a draft version, the National Science Foundation (NSF) on June 22 published a final Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), which is applicable for proposals “submitted or due on or after” Oct. 4. As described on the NSF Policy Office website, new sections address “requests for reasonable and accessibility accommodations regarding the proposal process or requests for accessibility accommodations to access NSF’s electronic systems, websites and other digital content,” and the necessity of assuring that meetings for which support is requested have a “written policy or code-of-conduct addressing harassment.”
Biographical sketches will be allowed to increase in length from two to three pages under the new PAPPG, which also includes a table that “identifies where pre- and post-award current and pending support disclosure information must be provided.” NSF said “proposers and awardees may begin using this table immediately to assist with completing the relevant proposal and project report sections.” In a June 29 email, Jean Feldman, NSF policy head, also announced that the agency had issued new FAQs on current and pending support to harmonize with the table. In reporting to its members about the new PAPPG, the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) said NSF had responded to some changes it requested in the draft, but not all. COGR is seeking clarification on “how NSF defines visiting scholar, the treatment of consulting permitted by an individual’s appointment versus consulting that falls outside of an individual’s appointment, and questions related to start-up companies.”
NASA Issues RFI on Advancing Racial Equity in Grants, Contracts
In support of an executive order issued by President Biden on his first day in office, NASA is seeking information it can use to “evaluate, implement, modify, expand, and streamline its programs, procurements, grants, regulations and policies to remove systemic inequitable barriers and challenges facing underserved communities,” according to a request for information (RFI) published in the June 15 Federal Register. The order asked agencies to “assess whether, and to what extent, its programs and policies perpetuate systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits for people of color and other underserved groups.”
In addition to seeking comments through the RFI, NASA intends to “use advanced research, data collection and technologies to assist in inter and intra-agency execution of this Administration’s policy to advance equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” The RFI includes questions under the headings “Barriers/Gaps to Accessing Current NASA Grants, Programs and Procurements”; “Opportunities for NASA to Leverage Its Data, Expertise, Missions To Help Underserved Communities”; “Engagement and Outreach With Organizations and Individuals From Underserved Communities”; and “Diversity and Equal Opportunity at NASA and in the STEM Community.” The deadline for comments is July 12.
SACHRP to Review ‘Justice’ Recommendations at July Meeting
The HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections will hold its second two-day meeting of 2021 next month, with an agenda that includes review of recommendations on “justice as an ethical concept,” which has come before SACHRP three previous times. As described in a June 24 Federal Register notice, the July 21-22 meeting, which will be webcast, is also scheduled to include a discussion on “the impact of artificial intelligence algorithms” on institutional review board deliberations. Other agenda items scheduled for July 21 include “a new SACHRP charge addressing the current system of engagement and the interpretation of HHS support” of the Common Rule governing human subjects research. “The second day, July 22, will include discussion of consideration of risks to third parties in research, and continue discussion of topics from the first day’s agenda,” according to the notice.