New federal rules coming for research project funding


U-M has begun to implement new federal regulations for the oversight of federally funded research projects.

The new regulations, which were issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, took effect in December, but organizations are allowed to phase them in gradually, which the university is doing over the next two years.

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Known as the Uniform Guidance, the new OMB requirements combine a number of individual OMB rulings into a single regulation aimed at increasing financial accountability and transparency, as well as easing the administrative burden for organizations receiving federal research dollars.

Debbie Talley, director of sponsored programs, and Daryl Weinert, associate vice president for research and sponsored projects, have been working with a task force for more than a year to determine the most effective way to implement the Uniform Guidance. The task force, which includes employees from University Audits, Research and Finance, has focused on amending U-M policies and developing training materials.

“It’s very important to note that there will be little, if any, impact on the day-to-day work of our research community as a result of these new regulations,” said Talley. “The compliance requirements detailed by OMB’s Uniform Guidance will largely be implemented and managed by Finance and Research.”

Talley also stressed that a key part of the implementation process — from OMB’s perspective — involves taking steps to ensure that members of the university’s research community know about the Uniform Guidance, even though little will change for them.  That, she added, will include a variety of measures, ranging from articles in targeted newsletters to posting information on websites.

“U-M’s annual research spending has averaged more than $1 billion for the past six years. And Finance and Research are partnering to ensure the university’s research enterprise is not disrupted in any way while we implement OMB’s new Uniform Guidance. Our main goal is to make this process as seamless as possible for the research community,” Weinert said.


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