Jun 06

The Department of Labor has now announced changes which will be effective December 1, 2016.  Since some grant funded positions such as postdoctoral associates (postdocs) and research technicians will be affected by this change, we wanted to provide some general guidance to departments and PI’s.

What are the changes to the FLSA?

The changes relate to the salary level which determines whether an employee is exempt from the FLSA provisions for overtime (ineligible for overtime), or nonexempt from those provisions (overtime eligible).

The FLSA requirements increase the minimum salary threshold for exemption from overtime provisions to $47,476 ($913 weekly or $1826 bi-weekly).  The revisions also include a provision to update the threshold automatically every 3 years, with an estimated threshold of $51,168 in 2020. 

How will this affect grant funded positions?

The changes to FLSA could impact research budgets through increased overtime costs, since any affected employee who earns less than $47,476 (annualized) and who works more than 40 hours a week will be entitled to overtime compensation, at 1.5x the normal hourly rate.

Postdoctoral researchers are subject to the salary threshold for exemption from overtime.  The National Institute of Health (NIH) did announce, however, that NIH will be increasing the individual fellowship grant awards for postdoctoral National Research Service Awards (NRSA) recipients to above the threshold.

Generally the DOL views graduate and undergraduate students who are engaged in research and under a faculty member’s supervision in the course of obtaining a degree to be in an educational relationship. As such, DOL does not assert that they are overtime eligible.

How should PIs with existing grants plan for these changes? 

For PIs with staff members earning salaries below the threshold, there are several options:

If funding is available, PIs may be able to raise the employee’s salary above the FLSA threshold. PIs are encouraged to reach out to HRS to discuss specific cases, and to contact their agency program officers to determine if a supplement to existing grants is possible to cover the added expense. If not, re-budgeting existing funds would be necessary.

Where base salaries cannot be increased, the supervisor or PI must authorize/monitor and pay employees for all hours worked including any time worked over 40 hours per week. Alternatively PI’s may wish to review and adjust employee schedules to ensure that the work week does not exceed 40 hours.  Please note that you may not allow or expect non-exempt employees to work more than 40 hours per week without paying overtime.

How should PIs plan for these new overtime rules in future proposals?

For all new grant proposals going forward, PIs are strongly advised when planning their budget for postdoc compensation to keep in mind the new salary threshold, internal salaries, as well as external competitiveness and NIH salary scales.  For other employees, PIs should consider how the increased salary threshold might impact budget if staff are now eligible to receive over time and should plan accordingly.

Are there any other changes that will affect future research budgets?

The Research Foundation for SUNY is examining the fringe rates associated with postdoc positions and has advised that recommendations are expected by 2017.

What are the next steps at SBU?

OVPR, HRS and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs are reviewing the impact of the FLSA change and will be reaching out to departments to provide additional information and guidance.

Where can I find more information?

For general information about FLSA changes, please contact your HRS Classification and Compensation Analyst through email to hrs_FLSA@stonybrook.edu. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is available to consult about postdoc-specific issues and will continue to update a resource page at: www.stonybrook.edu/postdocs/overtime

Jan 13

The Research Foundation for SUNY is sponsoring a day and a half Research Administration Symposium, in Albany on March 24-25, 2015. This is a great a great opportunity for those who work in the business of research award management to interact with research administrators at other campuses, and to learn about a variety of topics that relate to research administration support. SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpfer will provide a keynote speech on the first day of the symposium. The RF is providing hotel accommodations and a travel stipend for all participants. All campus department administrators are encouraged to participate as a way to meet other campus personnel and to share ideas and best practices. Feel free to call Office of Grants Management 2- 4886 with questions or to learn more about this event. 

Jan 13

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements (UG) for federal awards intending to reduce the administrative burden and cost of compliance for federal grantees. It introduces reforms and incorporates several important concepts from the current circulars generally providing for more flexibility in the direct charging to federal awards. In doing so, the UG emphasizes the importance of institutional controls that proactively ensures compliance with the terms and conditions of the awards. The Uniform Guidance became effective with all awards issued after 12/26/14 and federal agencies may include them in notice of grant awards on incremental funds. The Uniform Guidance replaces OMB Circulars A21 and A110. Please watch the OVPR website for complete UG guidance information. Of specific importance, we call your attention to the stricter adherence to the federal closeout requirements.

Closeout (200.343) – The UG reinforces that institutions must submit all close-out reports no later than 90 calendar days following the end date of the performance period. In addition to all programmatic reporting, all final costs must be included in the financial closeout report to ensure full reimbursement to the university. The UG allows funding agencies to suspend our ability to draw down cash immediately at the end of the 90 calendar days. For this reason, we will now require that all transactions must be posted to awards within 75 calendar days of project end date. In addition, subaward final invoices from flow through entities, must be received in OGM, within 45 calendar days of project end date. As a reminder, all invoices for subawards must be approved by PI for certification of performance and expenses.

With this in mind our office is developing processes to provide reminders in advance of award termination to facilitate the timely close out. The need to resolve all open transactions and pending payments is essential to our ability to fully recover all costs. 

Apr 16

RFSUNY’s Oracle E-Business Suite and related reporting applications will  undergo a major upgrade from version 11i to 12. To implement this upgrade, it  is necessary to shut down the Oracle Business system for five business days  from Friday April 25 close of business to Monday May 5, 9am.

 

Following are the impacts by area on the campus researchcommunity

Human Resources

There will be

no impact to paychecks for Friday, May 2nd. Access to RF employee self

service will be limited during the shutdown period.  W2′s and paystubs will be available for viewing. Online benefits will be unavailable.

Contact Human Resource Services with any questions

Procurement

The interface between Wolfmart and RF Oracle will be disabled during the shutdown. Departments are asked to plan accordingly and input all requests for Research Foundation funded purchases into the Wolfmart System no later than 2:00 pm on Friday, April 25 to allow time for approvals and processing.  Procurement will accept EMERGENCY ORDERS ONLY, from Monday, April 28 through Friday, May 2 on case by case basis. These orders should be on paper requisitions.

No payments to vendors or reimbursements will be processed after 2:00pm on Friday, April 25. Normal processing will resume on May 5th.

Contact Procurement at 2-6010 with any questions

Grants Management

The Office of Grants Management will operate normally approving transactions within the limitations of the shutdown utilizing the snapshot data from Friday, April 25.

Contact Grants Management at 2-9038 with any questions

Sponsored Programs

Sponsored Programs will hold the setting up of all new awards, projects and tasks.  Changes to existing accounts will also be suspended until May 5.

Contact Sponsored Programs at 2-4402 with any questions

RF Reporting Systems

As part of this upgrade, PIAI, Quickview and Discoverer will be decommissioned and replaced with the new “RF Report Center”. Current reporting tools will be available through April 29.

The RF Report Center will be made available May 5 and will offer functionality offered previously by PIAI, QuickView, Discoverer and MAS/MPS Reports. On-site training sessions for these new tools will be scheduled and communicated.

For a quick introductory video on these tools, see:

Current RF security will be replicated into the RF Report Center providing all current users with the same level of access to information. Web Financial Reports will not be impacted and continue to be made available through the RF portal.

Contact Grants Management at 2-9038 with any questions

Related PC Upgrades

For the users in HR, Procurement, Grants Management, Accounting and Finance that use RF Oracle, DoIT Client Support will update the computers to meet the new Java and browser requirements of your PC. Those users who will only use the RF Report Center will not require any changes.

Contact Client Support at 2-9800 with any questions

RFSUNY has provided a web page with all project updates at http://www.rfsuny.org/upgrade.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as this SUNY-wide complex and critical project is completed.

 

- Dr. David Conover, Interim Vice President for Research and RF Operations Manager
- Lyle Gomes, Vice President for Finance
- Lynn Johnson, Vice President for Human Resource Services

 

Apr 16

To: RFSUNY Principal Investigator Award Interface (PIAI) and QuickView Users:

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As announced in a campus memo on April 4, 2014, RFSUNY will be upgrading RF Oracle to version 12 and replacing the current suite of reporting tools that include PIAI and QuickView. On May 5th, 2014, a new set of reporting tools called “PI Dashboard” and “RF Activities Interface Reporting” will take the place of previous tools. These tools are collectively called RF Report Center.

HANDS-ON TRAINING

There will be a series of 90-minute training sessions on April 23rd  and 24th in the DoIT Training Room #126 located in the ECC building  on the main campus. Registration is required and is limited to 20  attendees per session. You may sign up for any one of the seven  sessions using the following link: https://euclid.noc.stonybrook.edu/Google/

 

NEW FEATURES

There are several enhancements in the new Report Center that make  the following data easily available:

  • Employees terming in next 45 days
  • Awards and Projects terming in next 90 days
  • Progress Reports past due
  • New Awards or Projects created in past 30 days
  • New Person Assigned on a Grant in past 30 days
  • Direct Expenditures at 90% or above

What happens to the existing PIAI functionality?

All PIAI functionality (Admin Inquiry, APT Inquiry, PO Inquiry, Monthly Summaries) is also retained in the new RF Report Center.

LOGIN USING YOUR CAMPUS NETID
With the release of the new tools, you can login with your Campus NetID instead of the current RF Portal login.

SELF-PACED TRAINING

You can get familiar with these tools in the following ways:

(If the Youtube training videos are blurry on your screen, please view them in 720p mode. )

For any questions, contact Grants Management at 632-4886.

Sheila Routh, Director of Grants Management
631-632-4886
sheila.routh@stonybrook.edu

Apr 16

As part of the union-negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Research Foundation of SUNY and the Communications Workers of America, Local 1104, all graduate student Research Assistants who are on the payroll at the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year will receive an automatic $250 increase in their annual salary. The increase is across the board for all RAs and is above and beyond whatever pay rate is in effect at the time of the increase. For the 2015-16 academic year, no automatic salary increase is currently scheduled for RAs though this is subject to further negotiation based on Sponsored Research performance.

 

The Graduate School is developing plans to gradually increase the minimum graduate student stipend from the current rate of $17,145 to approximately $20,145 by 2018. While these plans are not yet definite, we urge those preparing proposal budgets to request annual increases in a commensurate fashion.

Apr 16

Stony Brook is presently collecting the necessary information and cost details that will be used to develop the next Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate proposal that will result in the rate of recovery for federally sponsored research awards, following fiscal year end 2015. The Research Foundation Cost Accounting staff, in coordination with the campus, has started the process which includes, surveys of the space that can be documented as devoted to research, review of institutionally purchased equipment items, and reconciliation of the campus  facility and administrative expenditures that justify the F&A rate.

The proposal will be submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) the campus cognizant audit agency, to determine the chargeable rate for federal awards for the next four years.

An accurate accounting for dedicated research space and facilities cost is essential to secure the appropriate rate of reimbursement to the campus for its research infrastructure costs.

Mar 31

To The Campus Research Community:

RFSUNY’s Oracle E-Business Suite and related reporting applications will undergo a major upgrade from version 11i to 12. To implement this upgrade, it is necessary to shut down the Oracle Business system for five business days from Friday April 25 close of business to Monday May 5, 9am.

Following are the impacts by area on the campus research community 

Human Resources 

There will be no impact on HR processing. Paychecks for Friday, May 2nd will be processed without interruption.

Procurement 

The interface between Wolfmart and RF Oracle will be disabled during the shutdown. Departments are asked to plan accordingly and input all requests for Research Foundation funded purchases into the Wolfmart System no later than2:00 pm on Friday, April 25 to allow time for approvals and processing.  Procurement will accept EMERGENCY ORDERS ONLY, from Monday, April 28 through Friday, May 2 on case by case basis. These orders should be on paper requisitions.

No payments to vendors or reimbursements will be processed after 2:00pm on Friday, April 25. Normal processing will resume on May 5th.

Contact Procurement at 2-6010 with any questions

Grants Management

The Office of Grants Management will operate normally approving transactions within the limitations of the shutdown utilizing the snapshot data from Friday, April 25.

 Contact Grants Management at 2-9038 with any questions

Sponsored Programs

Sponsored Programs will hold the setting up of all new awards, projects and tasks.  Changes to existing accounts will also be suspended until May 5.  

Contact Sponsored Programs at 2-4402 with any questions

RF Reporting Systems

As part of this upgrade, PIAI, Quickview and Discoverer will be decommissioned and replaced with the new “RF Report Center”. Current reporting tools will be available through April 29. 

The RF Report Center will be made available May 5 and will offer functionality offered previously by PIAI, QuickView, Discoverer and MAS/MPS Reports. On-site training sessions for these new tools will be scheduled and communicated. 

For a quick introductory video on these tools, see:

Current RF security will be replicated into the RF Report Center providing all current users with the same level of access to information. Web Financial Reports will not be impacted and continue to be made available through the RF portal.

Contact Grants Management at 2-9038 with any questions

Related PC Upgrades

For the users in HR, Procurement, Grants Management, Accounting and Finance that use RF Oracle, DoIT Client Support will update the computers to meet the new Java and browser requirements of your PC. Those users who will only use the RF Report Center will not require any changes.

Contact Client Support at 2-9800 with any questions

RFSUNY has provided a web page with all project updates at http://www.rfsuny.org/upgrade. Thank you for your patience and understanding as this SUNY-wide complex and critical project is completed. 

May 01

SUNY Center for Professional Development, in partnership with The SUNY Research Foundation, invites you to start your summer off right with this professional development opportunity! Dates:  Begins June 4th and Ends June 22nd  (Online format)  Based on the book, Writing Successful Science Proposals* this virtual workshop outlines the components of a successful proposal and the steps to get there. Learn how to improve your chances of getting funded through fund sourcing, proper planning and organization, concise writing, collaboration, and proposal submission. Participate in interactive and relevant discussions and activities with faculty from the comfort of your home or office. * Although the course is based on a book about scientific proposals the learning and activities are applicable to all types of grant proposals At completion of this workshop, all students should be able to: • Define the types of grants available • Find grant opportunities • Find and work with collaborators • Develop concise proposal sections • Submit a proposal electronically Required Text: Participants should purchase Writing Successful Science Proposals, 2nd edition by Andrew J. Friedland and Carol L. Folt available at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com Format: Meets Online Via Elluminate on:  June 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 22 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm;   Participants are expected to participate in each of the 1.5 hour sessions. Anticipate no more than 1 hour of work between each of the sessions.   What is the cost?

  • $200  –  CPD Members – Use your CPD Training Points to pay for this event! Scholarships available for this course through The Research Foundation for SUNY. Click here for details.
  • $230 –  SUNY Non-CPD Members
  • $260 – Non-SUNY

Details and Registration For complete details, including agenda, syllabus, instructor’s bio, and Registration go to:  http://www.cvent.com/d/0cq1dr Class Size is LIMITED.  REGISTER Soon!  Or visit the SUNY CPD Website at: http://www.cpd.suny.edu Questions? Email Lisa M. Raposo at lisa.raposo@suny.edu SUNY Center for Professional Development 6333 State Route 293 Suite 102 East Syracuse, NY 13057 http://cpd.suny.edu 315.214.2440

Feb 01

A Presentation by the SUNY Center for Professional Development, in partnership with The Research Foundation Dates: Begins March 7th and Ends March 26th (Online format) Based on the book, Writing Successful Science Proposals* this virtual workshop outlines the components of a successful proposal and the steps to get there. Learn how to improve your chances of getting funded through fund sourcing, proper planning and organization, concise writing, collaboration, and proposal submission. Participate in interactive and relevant discussions and activities with faculty from the comfort of your home or office. * Although the course is based on a book about scientific proposals the learning and activities are applicable to all types of grant proposals At completion of this workshop, all students should be able to: • Define the types of grants available • Find grant opportunities • Find and work with collaborators • Develop concise proposal sections • Submit a proposal electronically Required Text: Participants should purchase Writing Successful Science Proposals, 2nd edition by Andrew J. Friedland and Carol L. Folt available at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com Format: Meets Online Via Elluminate on: March 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, and 26 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm; Participants are expected to participate in each of the 1.5 hr sessions. What is the cost? $200 – CPD Members – Use your CPD Training Points to pay for this event! $230 – SUNY Non-CPD Members $260 – Non-SUNY The Research Foundation has established an RF/SUNY Scholarship Program which awards CPD points to SUNY faculty, post-docs, grad students and sponsored program administrators to participate in CPD-sponsored opportunities. Contact Patricia Aceves, in the Department of Teaching, Learning, &Technology (patricia.aceves@stonybrook.edu) ext. 2-2786 for further information on accessing CPD points to attend these programs.

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