Budget and/or Scope Negotiations

When a sponsor decides to support a project, it may fund the project at a different level from that requested. The sponsor may also want changes in the proposed work or in the services to be provided by the PI. If so, the sponsor will notify the University of its desire to negotiate the award agreement. Depending on the kind of change negotiated, a revised System Tracking and External Projects (STEP) form may be prepared and new approvals required. The PI will work with their research development specialist on revising the budget and STEP forms will be completed for budget revisions that must be submitted to and approved by the sponsor prior to release of award.

University processes when negotiating and accepting awards

  1. Financial conflict of interest (FCOI)

    Public trust is essential to the scientific endeavor. It is therefore paramount that research conducted at NIU be unbiased and of the highest integrity. Toward this end, and in-line with changes to NIH regulations related to financial conflict of interest, the NIU Office of Research Compliance, Integrity and Safety (ORCIS) has revised its Research Conflict of Interest Policy. The purpose of the policy is to better ensure that financial conflicts of interest do not affect the conduct of research performed at NIU. Consult ORCIS with questions regarding FCOI.

    Note: PIs and Key Personnel receiving support from the PHS/NIH have special FCOI requirements associated with receiving a PHS/NIH funded award. Consult the ORCI with questions regarding FCOI training.

  2. Compliance protocols

    If you believe your project involves human subjects, animal subjects, recombinant DNA, or biohazards, you should contact the NIU Office of Research Compliance, Integrity and Safety (ORCIS) for assistance. Sponsor and university regulations require that approvals be obtained by the appropriate university compliance committee(s) before an award is made, and in some cases, that approvals be obtained at or soon after submission of the proposal. You should be aware that you cannot begin data gathering on your project until university clearances have been obtained. Your project's involvement with any of these compliance issues is noted on the System Tracking and External Project (STEP) form and SPA cannot set up an account until all compliance activities applicable to your award are approved.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) procedures

The IRB reviews research proposals that involve human participants. Even projects that include minimal involvement of human participants, such as surveys or questionnaires, require some procedural IRB review. Your department chair or director of graduate studies should have specific procedures in place for your department. In addition, all researchers must complete CITI training prior to beginning a study that includes human participants.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) procedures

The IACUC reviews all research and instructional activities that involve the use of live, vertebrate animals, and sets forth institutional policy governing such activities.

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) procedures

The IBC reviews all activities that involve recombinant DNA and/or pathogenic substances, and conducts yearly inspections of laboratories where such activities are conducted.

When receiving NIH awards: Just-in-Time procedures

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Just-In-Time (JIT) process requires applicants to submit certain information to the NIH only if an award is likely. This process decreases the administrative burden for applications that will not receive funding and provides NIH with the most current information "just-in-time" for award. JIT information includes up-to-date Other Support (current and pending time commitments), compliance approvals (IACUC, IRB), and Human Subjects Education Documentation. Submission of JIT materials to the NIH must be reviewed by SPA prior to submission.

In April of 2012, the NIH altered the procedures associated with JIT to (a) require electronic submission of JIT information through the eRA Commons at least 60 days prior to the proposed project start date, and (b) change business practices to request JIT information for all applications receiving an impact score of 40 or better.

If you (or SPA) have received an e-mail or another request from NIH requesting JIT information and your application received an impact score of 40 or better then you must respond.

Contact your Research Development Specialist (RDS) as soon as you receive a formal request for JIT information from NIH.

Please note that a "JIT" link appears in the eRA Commons for all applications that have undergone peer review and received an impact score. The appearance of this link alone is not an indicator of potential funding, nor is it a request to submit JIT information.

JIT information should be submitted to NIH at least 60 days prior to the proposed project start date, or by the due date specified in the request from NIH, whichever comes first.

The JIT response should be submitted to SPA a minimum of three (3) full business days prior to the NIH due date.

If your project will require NIU compliance approvals (IRB, IACUC, and/or IBC) that are not yet approved, an application should be submitted right away to ensure approvals are secured in time to meet JIT deadlines.

If you are a collaborator on another organization’s NIH proposal and the NIH requests JIT information for this proposal, the collaborating organization will often request JIT materials from you for inclusion with their JIT submission to the NIH. These materials, including other support, confirmation of Human Subjects Education, and IACUC and/or IRB must be reviewed and approved by SPA before you submit your information to your collaborator.  Please inform your RDS when you receive a JIT request from your collaborator. Your RDS will assist you with compiling this information and obtaining approval and approval signatures.