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The NAVREF "In Case You Missed It" is where you can find updates and announcements from NAVREF and stakeholders alike. Refer to this page if you want more in depth information on topics found in your weekly email briefs.
Written by: Peter Martin, Program Support Specialist
In tandem with scouting for the 2023 NAVREF Conference venue, this trip also served to be the introductory site visit for the new NAVREF staff members in their first years of service: Marlon Ferguson, CEO; Peter Martin, program support specialist. Warmly greeted by Nadine Rogers, Executive Director of the Center for Veterans Research and Education, and her staff, we were able to discuss how we could be of assistance to their work, before getting a tour of their facilities and some insight into their projects. To integrate a bit of wow factor, we were shown motion capture demonstration by Dr. John Looft. We would like to thank CVRE for their hospitality and their excellent showcase of the innovation and commitment to our mission.
Written by: Peter Martin, NAVREF Program Support Specialist
With the 2022 NAVREF conference seemingly still in our rearview mirror, we have been steadfast in our preparations for next year’s conference. We are excited to share that our planning committee has been formed and the next host city has been decided. For those who do not know, the 2023 conference will be held in the land of 10,000 lakes, in the great city of Minneapolis.
Earlier this month, the full-time staff at NAVREF had the privilege to be able to convene in the twin cities and begin scouting venues. Throughout this visit we were able to learn about the rich history and culture of the area as a parallel to our constant traversal of the city’s different neighborhoods. We are confident in saying that this is an ideal conference destination, with ideally located venues and a lot of activities to offer.
We are happy to introduce a diverse and deep planning committee with a lot of new faces inspired by the last conference and some experienced members returning as well.
From the General Counsel’s Office - Derwood J. Haskell, General Counsel
Hello to member nonprofit Title 38 corporations (NPCs) leadership and staff. In this column, I want to update you on some of the work I have been doing and alert you to trends I am seeing that might serve as guidance in your practice.
A common referral I receive from NPCs is a request for advice on subawards to the NPC involving commitments of VA data and/or VA intellectual property (IP). Under VHA Directive 1206, Use of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, NPCs are “highly encouraged” but not mandated to use a VA CRADA template for subawards originating from a federal agency. Most NPCs do not add VA as a party to federal subawards on the standard Federal Demonstration Partnership form, nor do the NPCs typically consult VA OGC Specialty Team Advising Research (STAR), unless there is novel language that raises a concern. One example is language that commits data or IP arising from performance of the statement of work to the pass through entity (PTE) for its use. Since it is VA and not the NPC that is conducting the research, the data and intellectual property derived from the research is VA property, not NPC property. If you have a federal subaward that has language such as, “the PTE may use data and intellectual property for its own internal research and non-commercial purposes,” or any similar clause, please consult me or your STAR attorney. The NPCs are not agencies or instrumentalities of the United States and do not have legal authority to make commitments of VA data or VA IP. 38 U.S.C. §7361(d)(2). I will try and negotiate that language out of the subaward. If the PTE will not agree to remove the language, STAR will have to be consulted and VA added as a party and signatory to the subaward.
Some of the interesting referrals I am working on at the moment include: Master Service Agreements between NPCs and vendors, one for research subject compensation and the other for blood sample analysis; two SWOG clinical trial agreement templates; a potential substantial donation of company stock to an NPC; a problem with NPC matching retirement fund contributions; research subject injury during an MRI procedure and a claim against the NPC; nonpayment of funds due by a CRADA collaborator; and help facilitating a significant multisite clinical trial. On the advocacy front, we are still waiting for distribution of the revised VHA Directive 1200.17 to the NPCs for comment. We are asking that the mandatory requirement for financial officers be deleted and for NPC authority to manage quality improvement and innovation CRADAs. Also, there still has been no legislative action to cure the dually appointed personnel compensation problem created by the U.S. Department of Justice’s opinion on 18 U.S.C. §209. VHA is aware of the §209 problem and consulting congressional staff to seek a solution.
Please do not hesitate to reach-out to me for assistance. It is my privilege to work with you.
The VIPER Act has garnered some progress last week as it moved through the house by roll call vote at the request by Virginia Congressman, Rep. Bob Good. The bill passed the house with a final vote of 381-39. It now heads to the Senate where NAVREF will be working closely with the Senate VA Committee leadership to bringing the bill to the final steps of becoming law.
The VIPER Act was first introduced in October 2021 and aims to improve the VA Medical and Prosthetic Research program by providing additional authority and resources for VA research.
The legislation would add stability and efficiency for the VA research program by formally authorizing VA’s Office of Research and Development and excluding VA research from the Paperwork Reduction Act requirements, better aligning VA with other federal research agencies. The VIPER Act will also work to enhance the diversity of the VA research workforce, increasing scientific opportunities and leading to improved health care for veterans.
The bill also includes provisions to:
Written by Maryam Azarion, STAR
OGC STAR has been billing VA NPCs for the same rate for the past ten years. Effective January 1, 2023, OGC will have a new rate and billing schedule. The new rates were captured based on reviewing the cumulative legal work and the need to simplify existing rates. These rates were negotiated and finalized in coordination with the NAVREF Board and STAR. They are valid for 2 years. To discuss this forthcoming change, and to address any questions about billing, NAVREF will be hosting two Town Hall calls. These calls are scheduled for November 7th at noon and November 16th at 1pm Eastern. Please contact NAVREF if you need the webinar link.
Attachment Download - Attorney Fee SOP (October 2022)
Written by Peter Martin, NAVREF Program Support Specialist
Have you explored the possibilities of Public Service Loan Forgiveness? Although much of the attention has been geared towards general student loan relief plan, we would be remiss if we did not bring attention to the end of the PSLF extension and PSLF accessibility in general.
For those that do not know, currently, public servants with any type of federal loan, can retroactively apply their payments to the 120 total payments (10 years’ worth of payments) required for forgiveness. This includes payments from federal loans that are not direct loans, late payments to federal loans, payments that did not meet the minimum amount, and payments towards federal loan from employment prior to public service(Federal Student Aid). Outside of the current expanded benefits, the Student Borrower Protection Center estimates that out of the 9 million borrowers that are eligible to benefit from PSLF, only 15% have filed the paperwork to follow their progress (Student Borrower Protection Agency).
PSLF has the potential to be useful for hiring and retention, two subjects that are often challenge areas for many NPCs. By encouraging and helping employees apply, employers will also be creating a culture that prioritizes the interests of employees. Thus, NPCs can add an entirely new avenue of service to their missions, especially as a sector that employs veterans, former hospital workers, and others public servants.
Implementation of PSLF assistance at your NPC:
Easy access to certification of years of employment
To apply for PSLF, applicants will need to certify their time in public service. Employers will be required to fill a form on behalf of their employees that are applying.
As and ED, make sure that your office or your Human Resources director has the resources on hand to assist employees
Both sites below are good starting points for those tackling their student loans
Student Loans, Forgiveness | U.S. Department of Education
Home | Federal Student Aid
Make PSLF a staple of your onboarding process: When starting a new job, loan forgiveness may not always be a something new employees think about when starting in a new position.
Remember that your do not have to be an expert, but you should be familiar with the process. Use he guide below to familiarize yourself with potential form of assistance and share it with your employees.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s guide for employers
Beyond this expanded period of loan forgiveness, PSLF will still be available, and the unfortunate reality is that much of the vital information is not reaching those in debt. Many loan servicers fail to provide information on programs such as PSLF.
If you have not yet taken advantage of the PSLF expansion, we encourage you to find out more through the links below:
PSLF Explained- Youtube Video White House- Public Student Loan Forgiveness PSLF Help tool- studentaid.gov
Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) pre-announcement for the Department of Defense (DOD) program managed by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).
The Toxic Exposures Research Program is a new CDMRP program that will allow the research community to improve scientific understanding and pathobiology of toxic exposures, efficiently assess comorbidities, and speed the development of treatments, cures, and preventions. This message is being sent to individuals subscribed to multiple applicable programs to ensure widest dissemination.
FY22 Pre-announcement released:
New! Toxic Exposures Research Program
· Investigator Initiated Research Award
· Translational Research Award
A pre-application is required and must be submitted through the electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP) at Caution-https://eBRAP.org prior to the pre-application deadline. All applications must conform to the final Funding Opportunities/Program Announcements and General Application Instructions which can be found on the Grants.gov website (https://Grants.gov). A listing of all CDMRP and other USAMRDC extramural funding opportunities can be obtained on the Grants.gov website by performing a basic search using Assistance Listing (formerly CFDA) Number 12.420.
New for FY22: The applicant organization must be registered as an entity in SAM (https://www.sam.gov/SAM/ ) and receive confirmation of an “Active” status before submitting an application through Grants.gov. As published in the Federal Register 10 July 2019 (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/07/10/2019-14665/unique-entity-id-standard-for-awards-management), the Unique Entity Identifier for awards management generated through SAM will replace the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as of April 2022. CDMRP has transitioned to use of the Unique Entity Identifier (SAM) and will utilize the latest SF 424 which includes the UEI. The DUNS will no longer be accepted.
For email notification when CDMRP funding opportunities are released, subscribe to program-specific news and updates under “Email Subscriptions” on the eBRAP homepage at https://eBRAP.org. For more information about the CDMRP-administered programs, please visit the CDMRP website (https://cdmrp.army.mil).
For more information on types of funding opportunities offered and application strategies review the CDMRP Webinar Series: https://cdmrp.army.mil/pubs/Webinars/webinar_series .
This message is being sent to the VINCI Cyberseminar list. Attendance is optional.
The VA Informatics and Computing Infrastructure (VINCI) in its continuing efforts to assist our users will be holding its VINCI Training Hour August 17th at 3PM ET. The training format will present an in-depth look at a particular topic and then take questions. This month's topic is:
VINCI Millennium Data Provisioning Update and SOP Release
This presentation will cover the standardized scripts used by VINCI Data Services to extract basic information from Millennium (CDWWork2). These scripts will be shared on CIPHER but an explanation of how they work will be discussed during this presentation. An update on the provisioning process for Millennium will also be discussed.
VINCI Office Hour (Moderated by Andrew Holbrook every Wednesday at 3PM ET except 3rd Wednesday for VINCI Training Hour)
If you have questions about where you might be able to find certain data elements in the CDW, how to access the various VINCI resources for researchers and analysts, or any VINCI data-related questions, please drop by and ask. If we don't have enough questions to answer during the hour, we will use the time to construct an FAQ list based on questions we see a lot, so even if you don't have a specific question to ask us, that might be useful. Note that the VINCI Office Hour Teams meeting (link below) is the same one that is used for the monthly Training Hour.
+1 872-701-0185 United States, Chicago (Toll)
Conference ID: 480 505 813#
WASHINGTON, DC - It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce the onboarding of a talented and fresh perspective to the NAVREF team. Beginning August 1st, Mr. Marlon Ferguson will be joining NAVREF as the new Chief Executive Officer. Marlon has been dedicated to civic service throughout his professional career which has spanned from serving as an enlisted sailor in the United States Navy to his most recent position as the Regional Director for Senator Bob Casey’s office. Marlon is also no stranger to the NPC community with his tenure as an active board member with the Veterans Health Foundation located in Pittsburgh, PA. His experience with our unique industry will serve as an asset as he leads NAVREF into our next era. He will be equipped with a new strategic plan and in a position to effectively manage an organization that has started to pivot towards enhancing core relationships and programs.
Among his many civic achievements, Marlon has also served as President of the Penn Hills Community Development Corporation; Director of Administration & Finance for the University of Pittsburgh School of Law; and Director of Administration for Duquesne University.
A more formal announcement will be made in the coming weeks highlighting additional information about Marlon and what his leadership to NAVREF will mean to our community.
Today we are saddened to hear about the passing of Mr. Allan Krehbiel, an Air Force Veteran, a longtime good friend of NAVREF, and a dedicated supporter of our unique nonprofit community. The loss of Mr. Krehbiel is the loss of a pillar that held our community to higher standards. In the decades we have worked with Mr. Krehbiel, his professionalism and knowledge kept the VA-Affiliated Nonprofit Research Corporations (NPC) poised to grow and enhance their operations. Mr. Krehbiel saw our community as a family, and like any other family, his exigence was out of care and compassion for the NPC to succeed through their next phases. The entire NAVREF community offers our condolences to his family, friends, and to his colleagues across the Department of Veterans Affairs.
We anticipate more information to be announced in the coming days regarding memorial services.
The family has asked donations be made to Tunnels to Towers via the following link:
1717 K ST NW Suite 900
Washington, DC 20006
202-951-7701 | email@example.com
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