June 17, 2008

Federal Agencies Implementing New Standard Research Terms and Conditions

On January 25, 2008, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) published a Federal Register Final Notice giving federal agencies a new standard core set of administrative terms and conditions on research and research-related awards that are subject to OMB Circular A-­110, ‘‘Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations’’ (2 CFR part 215).

The new core set of research terms and conditions is largely based on the terms and conditions that have been used for a number of years by the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP). Agencies are also encouraged to use the documents that the FDP maintains for national policy requirements and requirements that flow down to subrecipients. The goal is to create greater consistency in the administration of federal research awards.

Effective July 1, 2008, federal research agencies and awarding offices participating in the FDP must use the core set of administrative requirements, to the maximum practicable extent, in their research and research-related grant awards to organizations that are subject to 2 CFR part 215. Agencies and awarding offices may supplement the core set with agency-specific, program-specific, or award-specific administrative requirements, but should limit supplemental requirements to those that are consistent with 2 CFR part 215 or required by a statute that supersedes that part, and necessary for programmatic purposes or good stewardship of federal funds.

Other agencies and awarding offices that are not participating in the FDP are encouraged to replace administrative requirements in awards to organizations that are subject to 2 CFR part 215 with the core set of standard requirements and similarly limit their supplementation of those standard requirements.

Each member agency is required to post its plan for implementing the administrative requirements either at the NSTC Research Business Models Subcommittee site or at its own web site by July 1, 2008.

The National Science Foundation has established a Research Terms and Conditions web page that consolidates and organizes the new administrative requirements and related documents. The page currently includes: