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The Graduate School, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Division of Finance


Research Administration & Finance


Susan W. Sedwick Appointed as Interim Assistant Vice President for Research Administration and Finance

Dr. Susan W. Sedwick has been appointed as Interim Assistant Vice President for Research Administration and Finance. Dr. Sedwick, a special consultant for Attain, LLC, has over 20 years of professional experience in research administration. Dr. Sedwick previously served as Associate Vice President for Research, and Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects at The University of Texas at Austin, where she was responsible for both pre- and post-award financial administration units. As Associate Vice President for Research, she was responsible for over $630 million in annual sponsored projects expenditures. Prior to her tenure at University of Texas at Austin, she served in a similar capacity at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, where she was responsible for research administration and compliance.

Dr. Sedwick received her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Texas A&M University, and is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA).

"We are delighted to have Dr. Sedwick join us on an interim basis. Her professional experience in research administration at major research universities will allow us to maintain continuity as we conduct a national search for an Assistant Vice President for Research Administration and Finance," said Virginia C. Gregg, Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

Fringe and F&A Rate Updates

Rensselaer has completed negotiations with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to finalize the Fiscal Year 2017-2019 Facilities & Administrative (F&A) rate. ONR has set extended the current F&A rates for the next three years, therefore the On-Campus F&A rate will remain at 62% and the new rate agreement will go into effect July 1, 2016. A copy of the executed agreement will be available on the RAF website on 7/1/16.

More information on the fringe and F&A rates is available here:

Indirect Cost and Fringe Benefit Rates

Export Control Compliance Policy

In support of a strong Export Control policy, Rensselaer has been developing a process whereby no new Funds (or supplements to existing Funds) will be authorized by Research Administration and Finance (RAF) until the Principal Investigator (PI) has successfully completed the CITI Basic Training Course for Export Control Compliance.

This policy is effective immediately. More information is available here:

Export Control Compliance Policy

NIH Update

NIH has announced a dramatically simplified website, and provides two short but very helpful videos to highlight useful features of the website as well as a new web-based guide to completing NIH grant applications.

The new grants.nih.gov

Redesigned NIH Website video

Application Guide video

Also, NIH published the following notice on January 26, 2016, updating the NIH GRA cap from $42,840 to $43,692 effective October 1, 2015.

Revised: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2016

And, NIH has published the following notice updating the PI Salary cap from $183,300 to $185,100 effective January 10, 2016.

Notice of Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts

The NIH Budget Worksheet, NIH GRA Cap Worksheet, and NIH PI Salary Cap Worksheet have been updated and can be found here:

New to Research at Rensselaer?

In addition, NIH has released updated submission policies for 2016 Grant applications with due dates on or after January 25, 2016.:

NIH & AHRQ Announce Upcoming Changes to Policies, Instructions and Forms for 2016 Grant Applications

NSF Update

A new NSF Grant Proposal Guide has been released, and will be effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 25, 2016. It can be found here:

NSF Grant Proposal Guide effective 1/25/2016

In addition, NSF has published a revised version of the

NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide effective 1/25/2016

which is also effective January 25, 2016.

The currently effective NSF Grant Proposal Guide can always be found here:

NSF Grant Proposal Guide

The currently effective NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide can always be found here:

NSF Grant Proposal Guide

Please contact your Grant Administrator with questions:

Department Breakdown by Grants Administrator

RAF Releases Roles and Responsibilities Matrix

Research Administration and Finance, in cooperation with Institute portfolio leaders, has created a Roles and Responsibilities Matrix to enhance the research administration enterprise and provide a helpful tool to the campus community.

The Matrix can be found here:

Sponsored Research Roles and Responsibilities Matrix

Update to Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

On December 26, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements (Uniform Guidance) for Federal Awards in the Federal Register. The Uniform Guidance streamlines and supersedes guidance that was previously contained in eight different OMB Circulars. Included in the new guidance are definitions, uniform administrative requirements (both pre- and post-award), cost principles, procurement standards and audit requirements. From the Institute’s perspective, the Uniform Guidance will supersede OMB Circulars A-110, A-21, and A-133. These new guidelines will be effective with awards issued after December 26, 2014. Rensselaer has decided to incorporate the new Uniform Guidance provisions on all awards with spending authority after December 26, 2014. This includes: new awards, current awards with balances remaining, and current awards expecting incremental funding. Adherence to the procurement standards is delayed until July 1, 2016 and the Audit requirements will be effective July 1, 2015. As permitted by OMB, Rensselaer will adhere to the Procurement provisions stipulated in A-21/A-110 until July 1, 2016.

For the most recent OMB guidelines and updates, please see the Government Regulations section:

Government Regulations

Update to the Proposal Submission Process

Research Administration and Finance (RAF) is committed to its mission of providing excellence in service and administration for the proposal and award activities of approved sponsored grants, contracts and other agreements on behalf of the Institute. Furthermore, in order to ensure timely submission of proposals, to effectively manage workload within RAF, to produce a thorough review of submissions, and to address the increasing number of “last minute” proposal submission over the last several months, the requirements linked below are being established and will be effective June 1, 2014.

Important Information Regarding the Proposal Submission Process