McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University

Office of Research Administration

Our Mission - Working with McCormick Faculty

Our mission is to assist McCormick faculty in their pursuit and management of external funding as they engage in research to solve challenging scientific problems for the advancement of society.

We help McCormick faculty members with all aspects of sponsored funding, but predominantly with the administrative details associated with proposal preparation and award management.

Our Goal - Compliance and Stewardship

Our goal is to provide needed administrative assistance to the faculty while always maintaining a high-level of stewardship and mindfulness of the public trust.  Government (and other sponsor) regulations, along with University policies, guide everything that we do.  These regulations and policies help us ensure that funds from outside sponsors are used for the benefit of all and that research undertaken at Northwestern University is conducted with the highest ethical standards.

Quick Link to the McCormick Budget Template

Northwestern/McCormick News

  • Northwestern University will be closed July 4 for Independence Day.
  • Northwestern University will be closed May 26 for Memorial Day.
  • Welcome, Juleen Morford, our new Associate Research Administrator in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)! Juleen started with MSE on 3/10/14.
  • Northwestern University will be closed January 20 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
  • Northwestern University will be closed January 6 and January 7 because of severe weather.
  • Northwestern University will be closed December 24 and December 25 for Christmas, as well as December 31 and January 1 for New Year's.
  • Welcome, Laura Chavez, our new Research Administrator in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS), who started 12/05/13.
  • The McCormick Research Administration Team will be having a staff retreat on 11/26/2013. For any proposal due that day, please plan accordingly on getting all necessary documents to your RAs beforehand.
  • Welcome, Andrew Mark, our new Associate Research Administrator in the McCormick Resaerch Administration office, who started 10/28/13.
  • Congratulations to Aaron DeLee on his promotion to the position of Research Administrator of Chemical and Biological Engineering, having started 09/15/13.
  • Welcome, Jonathan Schatz, our new Associate Research Administrator with Mechanical Engineering and McCormick Research Administration, who started 10/21/13.
  • Welcome, Jennifer Howard, the new Scientific Writer with the McCormick School of Engineering, who started in 9/19/13.

Sponsored Research News

  • Based on Notice Number NOT-OD-14-103, NIH has adjusted their Payment Management System (PMS) timeline. The timeline for the subaccounting implementation deadline has been extended to October 1, 2015. Please note that all new awards and competing continuations issued on or after October 1, 2013 use the new subaccount process. The change to the subaccount process will also limit the request of funds to 90 days after the award project end date.
  • Updated fringe benefit rates for NU employees has been released for FY15.
  • Updated RAS tuition rates for NU graduate students has been released for FY15.
  • Effective April 22, 2014, NIH and AHRQ has announced an update to their proposal policies. They will accept a new (A0) application following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application. The subsequent new application need not demonstrate substantial changes in scientific direction compared to previously reviewed submissions, and must not contain an introduction to respond to the critiques from the previous review.
  • The January 2014 NIH system update has increased the character limit from 81 characters to 200 characters for project titles. Note that when submitting a Revision application, applicants must use the exact project title displayed in eRA Commons for the awarded application. If the project title of the awarded grant was previously truncated to 81 characters, then only those 81 characters can be used for the Revision application.
  • The NSF GPG has been updated with minor changes starting February 24. Changes include: language clarification and expansions, restrictions on including information beyond what is specified for the biosketches, senior personnel not requesting salary or effort having their roles described in the facilities document, and uploading "Not Applicable" documents for sections that are not applicable per specific solicitations. Click here for the list of GPG updates; or read the complete updated GPG here: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf14001/gpgprint.pdf.
  • Based on Notice Number NOT-OD-14-043, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including NIH, operates under the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014. It is anticipated that non-competing research grant awards will be issued at a level lower (generally up to 90%) than what was issued in the most recent notice of award. In addition, in accordance with Executive Order 13655, the pay scale for Executive Level II was increased by 1 percent from $179,700 to $181,500 effective January 12, 2014.
  • There has been recent notice that NSF has become more administratively stringent, returning an increasing number of proposals without review due to non-compliance with the GPG proposal preparation requirements (specifically, "Results from Prior NSF Support").  While "Results from Prior NSF Support" section has always been a requirement, investigators must now include separate sections addressing Broader Impacts and Intellectual Merit within this section.

Contact Information

Beth Seaton

Director of Research Administration
Phone: 847-467-0343
Fax: 847-467-0362


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