Out with the Old, In with the New: Final Research Performance Progress Reports (Final RPPRs) in Use in 2017

Those of you who have been working in the NIH grants world for several years may remember that NIH’s use of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) comes from a federal government-wide transition to a standard reporting format for all federally-funded research projects and research-related activities. As of January 1, 2017, that transition nears completion at NIH. The Final Research Performance Progress Report (Final-RPPR or F-RPPR) will replace the Final Progress Report (FPR) for grants closeout on or after January 1, 2017. Generally, the F-RPPR format will be the same as the current interim/annual RPPR, making it easier for you to navigate and complete….. Continue reading

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New Application Instructions and Important Reminders for Appendix Sections and Post-submission Materials

As you’re preparing your application for due dates on or after January 25, 2017, be sure to consult the recently updated NIH application guide, which reflects two important changes in our submission guidelines.
As announced earlier this year, you may only include certain materials as an appendix to your application. The only materials that will be accepted in the appendix section are: …. Continue reading

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How Many Researchers Were Supported by NIH as Trainees?

Earlier this year we reported on the unique numbers of research project grant (RPG) awardees and applicants each year since the end of the NIH doubling, in 2003. We described how the number of unique RPG awardees has remained relatively constant, while the number of applicants (as assessed over 5-year windows) has steadily and markedly increased.
A number of readers asked us about the prior NIH-supported research training and career development of these investigators. Among RPG awardees, what proportion had received prior fellowship, training, or career development (F, T, or K) awards? And perhaps of greater interest, among unsuccessful, unfunded applicants, what proportion had received prior fellowship, training or career awards?
To answer these questions, we start with a quick recap. …. Continue reading

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Additional Guidance Available on NRSA Stipends for Postdocs

We’d like to call your attention to a recently released NIH Guide notice that provides awardees with additional guidance related to the increases in postdoctoral NRSA stipends for postdoctoral researchers with 0,1 and 2 years of experience that go into effect December 1, 2016. As you may recall from earlier blog posts, under the Department of Labor’s revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as of December 1, 2016, US salaried, full-time professional workers will be entitled to overtime pay if they are paid below the new FLSA defined threshold. As described in an op-ed by NIH Director Francis Collins and Department of Labor Director Thomas Perez, “Fair Pay for Postdocs: Why We Support New Federal Overtime Rules,” NIH will increase postdoctoral NRSA stipends to start at levels above the new FLSA threshold, recognizing the contributions that postdoctoral researchers make to the NIH mission and that postdoctoral research activities – like most biomedical research careers – often exceed forty hours a week and do not neatly fall into hourly shifts. ….. Continue reading

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During a No-cost Extension, Is There a Minimum Effort Requirement for Key Personnel Named in the Notice of Award, Other than the PI?

With the exception of grant programs that have an effort requirement, or where terms and conditions prohibit such reductions, NIH 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, consistent with the NIH Grants Policy Statement Chapter 8.1.1.3, recipients are reminded that for active NIH awards, the PD/PI and other Senior/key personnel named in the NoA must devote a measurable level of effort. Continue reading

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Is Prior Approval Required to Change the Level of Effort for Key Personnel on a Grant Award?

Yes, the PD/PI and other Senior/key personnel named in the notice of award must devote a measurable level of effort to the project. If the level of effort is reduced by 25 percent or more from what was approved in the initial competing year award, prior approval from NIH would be required. (See NIH Grants Policy Statement Chapter 8.1.2.6). With the exception of grant programs that have an effort requirement, or where terms and conditions prohibit such reductions, NIH does not require prior approval for the reduction in effort for Senior/key personnel named in the notice of award during a no-cost extension. Continue reading

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Announcing New Tools and Information to Support Scientific Workforce Diversity in Extramural Programs

Promoting a diverse and robust scientific workforce is critical to advancing scientific discovery and research in support of human health, so NIH has developed a new portal to information on supporting diversity in NIH-funded research. This NIH website has four main areas of focus: Background on NIH initiatives in support of scientific workforce diversity; Resources for scientific leadership & faculty members to ….. Continue reading

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