David Ngo of the University of Wisconsin Madison delivers a succinct presentation on cost-sharing in this presentation on YouTube, which is offered by NCURA, the National Council of University Research Administrators. Thanks, David!
Cayuse customers Red Hill Studios and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) are using NIH funding to collaborate on building computer games that assist patients with Parkinson's disease improve their gait and balance.
UCSF and Red Hill were the first research team in the United States to receive federal funding in the burgeoning field of low-cost computerized physical therapy games. Unlike off-the-shelf computer games, these specialized games encourage scientifically tested specific physical movements to help people with functional impairments and diseases.
Around 30 of Cayuse's customers sent representatives to Portland for two days of meetings on August 1 - 2. We had great discussions, peeks into the future, debate about enhancements, dialog about best practices, and terrific weather. We kicked off the event with a dinner at the Portland City Grill, featuring a view from the 30th floor, overlooking Portland and the West Hills. It was an excellent event, and we're grateful for our customers and their support.
A few numbers from the meeting:
100: Number of current Cayuse customers
$15,823,295,249: Value of federal proposals submitted by Cayuse customers in FY 2011
99.9%: First time submission success rate to Grants.gov using Cayuse 424
The best information we have as of today is that Grants.gov will continue to operate normally during a federal government shut-down. The site is hosted and staffed by a government contractor at a third party location. These operations are fully funded, so all indications point to grant applications being processed normally by the Grants.gov servers.
Most of the main sponsoring agencies, like the NIH, have systems which automatically retrieve grant proposals from Grants.gov. As long as Grants.gov is accepting applications and as long as the automated agency systems are retrieving them, proposals will be submitted normally.
However, anything that requires human interaction would be subject to delay. Technical issues with a submission, for example, that would normally route through a help desk escalation process would not be likely to receive attention during a shut-down, owing to staff and contractor furloughs. This good news for Cayuse sites, since errors or problems on proposals are quite rare.
The official guidelines from the White House to the federal agencies are posted here (PDF). The only services and web sites that would continue operating are "excepted activities," meaning those that deal with public safety.
Although nothing official has been published from Grants.gov, we don't expect any impact on Cayuse customers who may be submitting grant applications during a possible government shut-down. The Grants.gov servers and technology are operated by a third-party contractor. Since those services are paid in advance, there will be no interruption in service. There may or may not be an impact on the Grants.gov help desk, but Cayuse customers rarely need to use the help desk, since nearly every Cayuse 424 electronic submission is error-free. If the shut-down occurs, the staff at the Grants.gov PMO will likely be drastically reduced. Here is some additional information on a possible shut-down.
We like to point to noteworthy accomplishments at Cayuse customer sites, especially in the area of research. This one is a little off the research theme, but certainly merits mention: CalTech snapped a 310-game losing streak in conference basketball. Congratulations, Caltech!
Last month's GRC Proposal Development Workshop, at which Cayuse was a sponsor, afforded the opportunity to meet people in the front lines of research and sponsored project management.
I had an interesting chat with Enrique Mallen, a professor at Cayuse customer, Sam Houston State University. Dr. Mallen oversees the Picasso Project, which is so well known that it's the top listing in a Google search on its name. Dr. Mallen offered the story of how he started the Picasso Project, how it's funded and supported, and some of the challenges it faces. It was a reminder that sponsored research applies to the arts and humanities, as well as to the sciences.