November 28, 2016

NIH Implementation of Final Research Performance Progress Reports (Final RPPR)

As of January 1, 2017, National Institutes of Health Principal Investigators will be required to use the Final Research Performance Progress Report (F-RPPR) instead of the Final Progress Report (FPR) for closeout. FPRs will not be accepted after January 1, 2017.

Significant Changes:
  • PIs must submit an “Interim-RPPR” while their renewal application (Type 2) is under consideration. In the event that the Type 2 is funded, NIH will treat the Interim-RPPR as the annual performance report for the final year of the previous competitive segment. If the Type 2 is not funded, the Interim-RPPR will be treated by NIH staff as the institution’s Final-RPPR.

  • PIs will be required to adhere to the new requirement to report on Project Outcomes. This section will be made publicly available, thus allowing recipients the opportunity to provide the general public with a concise summary of the cumulative outcome or findings of the project (analogous to the Project Summary/Abstract section of the competing application).
Remaining the Same:
  • NIH is aligning its reporting requirement with other federal research agencies and therefore will not be making any changes to the deadline for submitting the final report, i.e., the Final RPPR or Interim-RPPR must be submitted via eRA Commons no later than 120 calendar days from the period of performance end date.

  • If a recipient fails to comply with this reporting requirement, NIH may take one or more enforcement actions, such as a decision not to make a non-competing continuation award.

  • NIH will maintain the business rule in the RPPR module enabling institutional signing officials, at their discretion, to delegate submission of the Final RPPR or Interim-RPPR to the Program Director/Principal Investigator.
For more information, see NIH Implementation of Final Research Performance Progress Reports (Final RPPR) (NOT-OD-17-022).

January 19, 2017 update: NIH Implementation of the Interim-RPPR while a Renewal Application is Under Consideration (NOT-OD-17-037).

PI Effort During an NIH No-Cost Extension

With the exception of grant programs that have an effort requirement, or where terms and conditions prohibit such reductions, the National Institutes of Health will not require prior approval for the reduction in effort for Senior/Key Personnel named in the Notice of Award (NoA) during a no-cost extension. However, recipients are reminded that for active NIH awards, the Project Director/Principal Investigator and other Senior/Key Personnel named in the NoA must devote a measurable level of effort.

For additional information see section 8.1 of the NIH Grants Policy Statement (Revised November 2016).

November 17, 2016

NIH Publishes Revised NIH Grants Policy Statement

The National Institutes of Health has published the revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS, rev. November 2016).

The NIH Guide Notice, Publication of the Revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (Rev. November 2016) for FY 2017 (NOT-OD-17-021), states:

“This revision is applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2016. This revision supersedes, in its entirety, the NIH Grants Policy Statement (October/November 2015) as a standard term and condition of award. Previous versions of the NIHGPS remain applicable as a standard term and condition for all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods that began prior to October 1, 2016.”

The revision does not include new material, but “incorporates new and modified requirements, clarifies certain policies, and implements changes in statutes, regulations, and policies that have been implemented through appropriate legal and/or policy processes since the previous version of the NIHGPS dated October/November 2015.”

Along with the revised NIHGPS, NIH has provided a summary of significant changes.

November 07, 2016

NIH Announces Adjustment to NSRA Stipend Levels

The National Institutes of Health has published Adjustment to Stipend Levels for Postdoctoral Trainees and Fellows on Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) (NOT-OD-17-002). From the notice:
“The purpose of this Notice is to announce the process whereby recipients of Kirschstein-NRSA institutional training grant and individual fellowship awards supporting currently active postdoctoral trainees or fellows with 0, 1, or 2 years of experience as of December 1, 2016, will received increased stipends. The Notice also provides instructions for requesting one-time supplemental funding to cover the stipend increase.”
The notice states that current NRSA awardees that meet the criteria who wish to apply for the one-time supplemental funding must submit an application to the awarding IC as soon as possible. See NOT-OD-17-002 for details on the rates and the process.

December 15, 2016 update: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) Postdoctoral Stipends, Training Related Expenses, Institutional Allowance, and Tuition/Fees Effective for Fiscal Year 2017 (NOT-OD-17-003)

August 8, 2016 Research Advocate: NIH Announces Projected FY 2017 NRSA Stipend Levels

November 04, 2016

NIH Prior Approval Through eRA Commons

Under National Institutes of Health policy, Principal Investigators (PIs) needs to seek prior approval from NIH before submitting a grant application with direct costs of $500,000 or more for a single budget year.

PIs now have the option to electronically submit these prior approval requests through the NIH eRA Commons.


As per current practice, the PI will first reach out via email or phone to the Program Official (PO) at the Institute/Center (IC) to discuss the request. From there, the PO can then choose to invite the PI to initiate the prior approval request through eRA Commons.

The initiation of the request will trigger an email notification to the PI and to the email address listed for receiving the Notice of Award (NoA) on the Institutional Profile screen. Upon being notified, the PI will go into eRA Commons and go to the Prior Approval tab along the top navigation menu. The PI will find two options and should click “List my Requests.”

The PI will find the $500K Request under the column Request Type, with a status of “In Progress PI,” and should click the “Modify” link.

Then the Prior Approval Request $500K screen will open. The screen is pretty straightforward with a few required fields, such as Project Title, FOA number, and Anticipated Submission Date. The PI will need to provide a short justification (just 500 characters) for the request, with up to 10 supporting documents allowed.

The PI should then submit the request directly to NIH. The UC Berkeley Sponsored Projects Office will receive a notification when this occurs.

If the request is approved by the Program Official at the IC, the PI will receive an email from the Program Official. When the error free application is received by NIH, this application will be matched with the $500k approval from the IC and the application will move through the normal process.

Although submitting this request through the eRA Commons is optional now, NIH intends to make it a requirement in the future.

See the NIH eRA News for more information.