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Recent Agency and ORSP News


Procurement and the Micropurchase Threshold

The long-awaited OMB Memorandum to address implementation of the Micropurchase Threshold was released on June 20, 2018. Specifically, OMB Memorandum M-18-18, Implementing Statutory Changes to the Micro-Purchase and the Simplified Acquisition Thresholds for Financial Assistance, effectively implements the statutory changes set forth in the National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA) for Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018.

A key element of the Memorandum is the section titled: Process for Requesting a Higher Threshold Under the NDAA for FY2017. COGR recognized the sense of urgency for those institutions that currently have an MPT greater than $10,000 and the need to have a clear and timely “approval process” to continue using their MPT greater than $10,000. Finally, under this section of the Memorandum, guidance has been provided:

Requests for approval should be submitted to the institution's cognizant Federal agency for indirect cost rates; however, institutions should contact the agency before sending the request to determine the correct point of contact. The cognizant Federal agency will assign review of the request to the appropriate office within the agency to determine whether to approve, and will maintain records and justification of all approvals. The request should include the threshold level being requested and the justification(s) for it based on the criteria above per Section 2 I 7(b) of the NDAA for FY2017.

See Lehigh's Purchasing Office for more information.

For years, applicants have applied for federal grants by submitting a package of PDF forms. But on Dec. 31, 2017, will officially retire the legacy PDF package as a method to apply for a federal grant. Why? There’s now a fast, easy, and secure alternative to apply for federal grants called Workspace. Workspace is an online environment optimized for applicants who are collaborating on an application. Forms can either be completed online within a web browser or downloaded individually and uploaded to Workspace. Applicants who have already made the switch say Workspace is saving them time and making the application process easier.

See the tutorial at

Browse the YouTube channel today and learn how to register with to use Workspace when applying for your next federal grant.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NEXUS - The online news source for the National Institutes of Health

NIH Grants and Funding Listing

Application Guide: 2018 NIH SF424 (R&R) - Forms Version E Research Instructions - To download PDF

NIH recommended 2018 Post-doctoral and predoctoral stipend levels


National Science Foundation (NSF)

January 29, 2019 - NSF's new 2019 Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) goes into effect. For a PDF or HTML version, see the link below.

December 4, 2018 - NSF releases FAQs for their new award Term and Condition entitled "Notification Requirements Regarding Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, or Sexual Assault." Click on this link:

June 2018 - The two primary mechanisms for submitting proposals to NSF are through solicitations or to core programs. Core programs are standing programs that accept unsolicited proposals across the range of engineering disciplines. In ENG, these core programs have had annual or semi-annual submission windows but, effective August 15, 2018, will accept unsolicited proposals at any time throughout the year.

NSF has announced through a Dear Colleague letter that it will be removing deadlines for unsolicited proposals to core Engineering programs CBET, CMMI, EEC, and ECCS as of August 15, 2018. This means that all core programs will accept proposals at any time throughout the year. This does NOT apply to solicitations such as CAREER, Energy Research Centers, SBIRs, etc. See 18-082 letter and associated FAQs 18-083.

NSF Newsfeed

Application Guide: 2019 NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide


Department of Energy (DOE)

DOE open Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs)


Research Notes  ORSP Newsletter archive

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