News from the NIH: The Grant Support Index to limit total NIH grants to individual PIs

(excerpted from The NIH Director Page at, released on May 2, 2017)
NIH will be […] working with NIH grant applicants/recipients to limit the total NIH grant support provided to an individual principal investigator through NIH-supported research.   We call it the Grant Support Index (GSI).  It is not a new concept, although it is a new name (we introduced it as the Research Commitment Index).
The GSI is a measure of grant support that does not solely focus on grant money, since differing areas of research inherently incur differing levels of cost.  Instead, GSI assigns a point value to the various kinds of grants based on type, complexity, and size.  Applications for NIH-funding that will support researchers who have GSIs over 21 (the equivalent of 3 single-PI R01 awards) will be expected to include a plan in their applications for how they would adjust those researchers’ existing grant load to be within the GSI limits if their application is awarded.  While implementation of a GSI limit is estimated to affect only about 6 percent of NIH-funded investigators, we expect that, depending on the details of the implementation, it would free up about 1,600 new awards to broaden the pool of investigators conducting NIH research and improve the stability of the enterprise. 
We strongly encourage all investigators to read the complete release at and Michael Lauer’s blog at

Learn About Your 401(k)

PAVIR HR has scheduled a free group 401(k) educational meeting to review plan basics, investment options and strategies, and tax advantages of investing in a 401(k).  All employees are welcome to attend! Space is limited so please RSVP with Margaret Hinebaugh at

  • When: Tuesday, June 6,  from 1:00-2:00 pm
  • Where: PAVIR office (Building 101, Room A2-230, media conference room)

Individual Retirement Planning
For personalized guidance regarding your retirement, PAVIR is also offering free, 30-minute individual retirement planning sessions with a 401(k) advisor. Limited 1-1 private sessions are available, so please RSVP to reserve a time slot with Margaret Hinebaugh at
  • When: Tuesday, June 6 -   Available time slots: 2:30-3:00, 3:00-3:30, 4:00-4:30, 4:30-5:00
  • Where: PAVIR suite (Building 101, Rooms  A2-230 & A2-210A)

Spending Deadline: June 30, 2017

We want to remind PIs and their staff that PAVIR allocated ADM funds expire.  ADM funds must be expended by June 30th of each subsequent fiscal year of receipt. The 30th of June is fast approaching!  Your Contract & Grant Analyst is poised to discuss your expiring balances and answer any questions you may have.  
PAVIR funds administrative accounts for PIs with PAVIR administered awards made with the full federally negotiated rate, currently at 36.1%.  ADM accounts are created within 15 days of the end of the first quarter of a qualified award, to provide up to 8% of direct cost expenditures, excluding equipment purchases and subcontract costs (Modified Total Direct Costs – MTDC), for the support of facility and administrative expenses. 

Capital Equipment – Special Policy Exception

PAVIR's Board approved policy stipulates that funds from ADM accounts cannot be used to purchase capital equipment (durable, non-expendable assets with acquisition costs, including taxes, shipping and installation, of $5,000 or more and a useful life of more than a year.)   For the first time, and as a temporary policy exception, we invite PIs to submit requests to use ADM funds for capital equipment because we want to experiment with broadening our policy. 

Requests must include the name and (digital) signature of the PI, or must be emailed from the PI’s email by COB on June 15, 2017. Please list the vendor, item #, name, list price, and planned use of the equipment (<100 words).   Requests will be reviewed quickly.  You will receive a response by June 21st.  There is no need to get a detailed quote as part of the request submission.  All requests must document that the requested equipment is not for a specific project, but that it supports overall lab operations.  If applicable, include that the requested equipment may be used by other investigators as well.

PAVIR observes Memorial Day – Monday May 29, 2017

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and falls this year on Monday, May 29th.  Memorial Day is a PAVIR paid holiday. 

Memorial Day originally started as an event to honor Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War.  In a proclamation, General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic — an organization of former soldiers and sailors — dubbed May 30, 1868, Decoration Day, which was "designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion."   Because the day was closely associated with the Union cause, many Southern states did not embrace this holiday. Only after World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action and the holiday was renamed “Memorial Day”.

Decoration Day and then Memorial Day were formerly held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. Starting in 1971, the Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May.   Many celebrate Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries.  The nearby national cemeteries maintained by the VA include:

The San Jose Mercury lists several fun events for the memorial weekend on their website at

We all work with and for the VA.  We encourage you to find a moment of reflection to pause and think of the many men and women who served in our military forces and died or sacrificed part of their health.  Or perhaps listen to “Taps.”

Planning Vacations

As summer approaches, please remember to request any vacation time off with your supervisor and/or timecard approver in advance.  All vacation, as well as other leave, must be requested and approved in ADP WorkforceNow prior to timecard approval for proper payroll processing.
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Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR)
Bldg 101, Suite A2-210

Core Office: (650) 858-3970
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