April 15th is Coming: The Government's Version of Closeout
Well, it is just about that time of year. Tax time, and April 15th is fast approaching! And the question is… Have you done yours yet? Doing taxes is always a challenge for me. Sure, I get my W-2 about a week into January. And sure, I say, "Oh good, I'll do my taxes right away!" And sure, I do that, if by "right away," you mean April 13th or 14th.
You can kind of think of taxes as your own fiscal year closeout, similar to closeout of an NIH grant. It's not all that hard. All the forms are there, all the steps are laid out for you. Sort of like me and using an online service. And yet, I wait… and wait… and wait. It's not that I am a procrastinator; I just prefer to work under a panic inducing deadline.
And with that in mind, eRA is trying to help you avoid the Closeout deadline panic. We have added a new field to the Institution Profile (IPF) form. The Closeout Correspondence Email field has been added to make sure specific Closeout information gets to the right people in your institution. For active institutions already registered in Commons, eRA has populated this field with the email address found in the institution's Notice of Award Email field of the IPF; however, all institutions are urged to access their IPF and update the Closeout Correspondence Emailfield directly to avoid the possibility of missed communications.
For new institutions, this is now a required field when registering with eRA Commons. Having this email available and monitored by your institution will become increasingly important as NIH moves to unilateral closeout as an option for institutions that fail to complete the closeout process in a timely manner.
The Closeout email address is not the only new thing coming. Starting in April, there will be new reminder notifications and new status options when searching for an award. So don't procrastinate on the Closeout. The sooner it's done, the sooner it's done.
For more information on these topics, check out the January 2015 Commons Release Notes, Guide Notice NOT-OD-14-084 NIH Updating Grant Closeout Policies and Procedures to Align with New HHS Requirements, and the eRA video, Grants Closeout in eRA Commons.
And so you know, my taxes were done way early this year! Yay! (I will neglect to mention I got married this summer…and my wife did them).
"The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it's just sort of a tired feeling."
― Paula Poundstone
Last Call for...Baltimore!
Just a little reminder that NIH's 2015 Regional Seminar is coming up soon, May 6-8. There are a few spaces still available so don't miss your chance to attend. The seminar is being held in Baltimore and we have many informative workshops and sessions scheduled.
We hope to see you there! And if you attend, make sure you come by the eRA and Grants Info desks to say "Hi!"
New Videos – Closeout, Inclusion, and Reviewer Intro
If you haven't already, make sure you check out the eRA Videos page. We continue to add to the list of video tutorials to instruct, educate, and support you through the grant process. There are currently 15 tutorials about Commons and 9 tutorials to assist reviewers.
The two most recent additions for Commons are Grants Closeout in eRA Commons and Inclusion Management System (IMS) Tutorial: IMS for Principal Investigators (PIs). And for the reviewer, the new addition is the Reviewers: A Brief Introduction to IAR.
In the works and coming soon will be three new tutorials on registering with eRA Commons and account creation.