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NIH News

2017 NIH Salary Cap

Fri, 5th May, 2017

Per NIH notice NOT-OD-17-049, the salary cap for grant, cooperative agreement and contract awards remains tied to Federal Executive Level II.  Effective January 8, 2017, Executive Level II increased to $187,000, up from $185,100.

Investigators may use the 2017 cap of $187,000 in preparing proposal budgets.  However, in keeping with the practice we have used in the past, Ohio State will start utilizing the new cap limit for salary cap processing on eligible projects effective July 1, 2017.  The reason for this practice is to mitigate to some extent the impact on current awards where funds will have to be re-budgeted to cover the increased salary costs.

For additional information, contact your Sponsored Programs Officer.

Category : General Information / NIH

NIH to Replace FPR with Final Research Performance Progress Reports (F-RPPR) Effective January 1, 2017

Fri, 16th December, 2016

The Final Research Performance Progress Report (F-RPPR) will replace the Final Progress Report (FPR) for grants closeout, effective January 1, 2017.  The F-RPPR will be available for use in eRA Commons on January 1, 2017.

What This Means for You

If you have a final progress report due, and you wish to use the old FPR format of an uploaded document, you must submit the FPR before January 1, 2017. NIH will no longer accept any of the old format FPRs on or after January 1, 2017.

The Format

The format of the Final RPPR is very similar to that of the annual RPPR, the notable differences being the F-RPPR does not have sections F (Changes) and H (Budget).

Also, please note that just as with annual RPPRs, once completed, you will need to route the F-RPPR to your SPO so they can submit it.

The Changes

The F-RPPR does have a new section: Section I (Outcomes).  Project Outcomes (Section I) will be made publicly available, allowing recipients the opportunity to provide the general public with a concise summary of the public significance of the research

A significant change with implementation of the F-RPPR, is that in order to maximize public transparency, NIH will not maintain the current Type 2 policy which in accordance with NIHGPS Chapter 8.6.2 states that “whether funded or not” the progress report contained in the Type 2 application may serve in lieu of a separate final progress report. As a standard policy, NIH will request that organizations 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

Deadline Remains Unchanged

The deadlines for submitting a Final RPPR remain the same – no later than 120 days from the project end date.

The NIH says that FAQs and additional information pertaining to NIH’s implementation of the F-RPPR, including instructions, will be available on the NIH RPPR website in the near future.

Category : NIH

2016 NIH salary cap

Wed, 6th January, 2016

The NIH has announced that the salary cap for grant, cooperative agreement and contract awards remains tied to Federal Executive Level II.  Effective Jan 10, 2016, Executive Level II will increase to $185,100, up from $183,300.

Investigators should begin using the 2016 cap of $185,100 immediately in preparing proposal budgets.  However, in keeping with the practice we have used in the past, we will not begin charging NIH funded projects the new cap rate until July 1, 2016.  The reason for this practice is to mitigate to some extent the impact on on-going awards where funds will have to be re-budgeted to cover the increased salary costs.

For additional information please contact your Sponsored Programs Officer.

Category : NIH

Changes to NIH and NSF application instructions

Mon, 4th January, 2016

Changes to NIH Applications/Proposals and RPPR Reports

When do the changes go into effect? On 11/25/15, via NOT-OD-16-029 the NIH announced the release of the new, revised application forms and guides effective for applications due January 25 through May 24, 2016.   During this period, revised FORMS-C application forms and instructions should be used. In a second phase of the 2016 revision, FORMS-D forms should be used beginning May 25, 2016; an application guide to these forms will be released in late March.

What is the rationale for these changes? These changes are part of a new NIH initiative designed to improve the rigor of experimental design and to increase the reproducibility of scientific experiments. It is important to note that these changes will be included in the new Study Section proposal review and scoring criteria. See NOT-OD-16-011 or the NIH information page available here for details on this initiative.

What proposals will be affected? Most grant applications will be affected by this change, including R01, R03, R21, and all K (career development awards).

What are the changes? Major changes to the FORMS-C are summarized in NOT-OD-16-004, with FAQs available here.

Changes include:

  • Updates to instructions for preparing the research strategy attachment have been added, additions as below:
    • Significance section
      • Describe the scientific premise for the proposed project, including consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of published research or preliminary data crucial to the support of your application.
    • Approach section
      • Describe the experimental design and methods proposed and how they will achieve robust and unbiased results.
      • Explain how relevant biological variables, such as sex, are factored into research designs and analyses for studies in vertebrate animals and humans. For example, strong justification from the scientific literature, preliminary data, or other relevant considerations, must be provided for applications proposing to study only one sex. Refer to NOT-OD-15-102 for further consideration of NIH expectations about sex as a biological variable.
      • Use of a new “Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources” attachment is required; in this attachment applicants are instructed to “Briefly describe methods to ensure the identity and validity of key biological and/or chemical resources used in the proposed studies.” These include cell lines, specialty chemicals, antibodies and other biologics. Do not include standard reagents (e.g. buffers, solvents). Information in this section must focus only on authentication/validation of key resources used in the study; all other methods and preliminary data must be included within the page limits of the research strategy. Save this information in a single file named “Authentication of Key Resources Plan,” and attach it as Item 12, Other Attachments, on the Other Project Information form
    • Updated instructions for documents related to use of Vertebrate animals, see NOT-OD-16-006.
    • Updated guidance on criteria to be addressed (description of procedures; justifications; minimization of pain and distress; and euthanasia)
    • A description of veterinary care is no longer required
    • Justification for the number of animals has been eliminated
    • A description and justification of the method of euthanasia is required only if the method is not consistent with AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals
  • Changing the definition of a child to individuals under the age of 18 instead of 21 (NOT-OD-16-010.)
  • Changes to the PHS398 Research Training Plan form, included in Institutional training grant applications (e.g. T32, T34, T35,T90).

What are the changes to the RPPR (Progress Report)?

  • Updates to Section B – Accomplishments
    • By January 25, 2016, the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) instructions will be updated to include the following additional guidance for 6.2 Section B – Accomplishments, in addition to the existing instructions.  Progress reports submitted on or after January 25, 2016 that are initiated prior to the instruction updates may use the current forms while following these additional instructions.  The instructions that will address rigor are listed below for your convenience.
  • 2 What was accomplished under these goals?
    • Include the approaches taken to ensure robust and unbiased results.
  • 6 What do you plan to do for the next reporting period to accomplish these goals?
    • Discuss efforts to ensure that the approach is scientifically rigorous and results are robust and unbiased.

Changes to NSF Applications/Proposals

When do the changes go into effect? On 10/15/2015, the NSF announced changes to the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG). These changes are in effect for all proposals with due dates on or after January 26th, 2016 and awards made on or after January 26, 2016.

A summary of significant changes is available here.

Some notable changes to proposal guidelines include:

  • Chapter I.F: A clarification that NSF will enforce its proposal deadline policy; i.e. that organizations will not be able to submit proposals after 5:00 local time. No solicitations will be issued with a different time due.
  • Chapter II.C.1.e: The addition of the new “Collaborators & Other Affiliations” single-copy document that requires all senior project personnel to provide information regarding collaborators and other affiliations. The requirement to provide the total number of collaborators and other affiliations is removed from the biosketch. This replaces the previous requirement to provide this information as part of the Biosketch.
  • Chapter II.C.2.f: A separate Biosketch for each person named as senior personnel must be provided. Biosketches for all senior personnel cannot be combined into a single PDF file. Section E “Colllaborators and Other Affiliations” is removed from the biosketch.
  • Chapter II.C.2.h: In the Current and Pending support document or form, all current project support must be listed, including internal funds allocated toward specific projects. A separate document or form must be provided for each person named as senior personnel.
  • Chapter II.B.2: Applicant organizations are responsible for ensuring that applications follow all standard NSF type size, margin, and spacing requirements.
  • Chapter II.D.14: The Dual Research of Concern (DURC) is a new section and states that proposing organizations are responsible for identifying NSF-funded life sciences proposals that could potentially be considered dual use research of concern, as defined in the US Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern.
  • Chapter II.C.2.b, Project Summary: only Project Summaries that use special characters may be uploaded in the Supplementary Documents section. Uploaded Project Summaries must contain separate headings for Overview, Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts or the proposal will be returned without review.
Category : NIH / NSF

NIH transition to subaccount billing

Tue, 27th October, 2015

As part of federal government initiatives for transparency and strengthened oversight over funds, DHHS divisions, including the NIH, are transitioning all existing awards as of 10/01/2015 to a new payment system, known as subaccount billing. Under the new subaccount billing system, rather than billing and drawing down funds on NIH awards collectively, universities must bill and draw funds individually by award. As a result of these changes, a set of current NIH awards will be closed out and transitioned to a new award for the remaining years of the grant.

  • Newer awards received in the last 2 years were issued by NIH under the new subaccount billing system and will not go through this transition.
  • If you have an award that is fully funded but has not ended, it will not go through this transition.
  • If you have an NIH award that is 2 or more years old, it is likely to go through a transition to this new system.

For awards that are transitioning, as you receive an NOA (non-competing continuation) for the next year’s funding, the grant number will begin with a 4 instead of a 5 to indicate this award will undergo transition. In this case, OSP will be required to “close-out” the grant by filing a “Subaccount Transitional Final Financial Report” which transfers the remaining unspent funds already received, along with the newly obligated funds, to the Payment Management System (PMS) subaccount established for the grant. Once this is done, it is final and the report cannot be amended or refiled.

This means that transitioning awards will receive new a new GRT number and new project numbers. Your sponsored program officer will let you know in advance if your award is affected, and will be happy to create a preliminary project number for you to begin to use before the actual transition happens.

Category : NIH

2015 NIH Salary Cap

Wed, 14th January, 2015

The NIH has announced that the salary cap for grant, cooperative agreement and contract awards remains tied to Federal Executive Level II.  Effective Jan 11, 2015, Executive Level II increased to $183,300, up from $181,500.

Investigators should begin using the 2015 cap immediately in preparing proposal budgets.  However, in keeping with the practice we have used in the past, we will not begin charging NIH funded projects the new cap rate until July 1, 2015.  The reason for this practice is to mitigate to some extent the impact on on-going awards where funds will have to be rebudgeted to cover the increased salary costs.

For additional information please contact your Sponsored Programs Officer.

Category : NIH

2014 NIH Salary Cap Increase

Tue, 4th February, 2014

NIH (and some other DHHS entities) continue to limit salary charges on grants and contracts to the Executive Level II rate. Effective January 12, 2014, that rate increased from $179,700 to $181,500.   The new value should be used in proposals immediately .  However, to allow time for programming changes, the new rate will be charged beginning with the April payroll.

Category : NIH

Changes to NIH Progress Report – SNAP is becoming RPPR

Tue, 23rd April, 2013

Progress reports for awards with budget start dates on or after July 1, 2013 must be submitted through the RPPR tab in the eRA Commons (unless the award requires a paper report).

To help with the transition, NIH has provided a detailed Users Guide to the RPPR and a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

One significant change that comes with the RPPR process is automatic screening for compliance with the NIH Public Access policy.  This policy requires that manuscripts resulting from NIH funding be deposited with the PubMed Central archive. Publications and manuscripts listed in your progress report and falling under the NIH Public Access policy must include the PubMed Central reference number. NIH will not award non-competing continuation awards when the RPPR publications are not in compliance with the Public Access Policy

The College of Medicine Office of Research has developed a comprehensive web page regarding NIH Public Access Policy, a shorter summary is also available.

Please contact your Sponsored Programs Officer for additional information.

Category : NIH

Salary cap reduced in FY 2012 NIH budget

Wed, 25th January, 2012

The DHHS budget signed on December 23, 2011 includes a reduction in the salary cap from Executive Level I ($199,700) to Executive Level II ($179,700). The actual text in Section 203, General Provisions of H.R. 2055 states “None of the funds appropriated in this title shall be used to pay the salary of an individual, through a grant or other extramural mechanism, at a rate in excess of Executive Level II.”

NIH implementation guidance

  • Executive salary level II ($179,700) APPLIES to FY2012 NIH funds awarded on or after December 23, 2011.
  • Executive salary level II DOES NOT APPLY to FY2012 NIH funds awarded between October 1, 2011 and December 22, 2011, or to any previous year’s funds carried forward into FY2012.

Impact on awards

  1. New awards funded between October 1, 2011 and December 22, 2011
    The level I cap ($199,700) will continue to apply, and current year funding will not be affected.  However, for new awards with categorical budgets future years funding will be adjusted to reflect Executive Level II.
  2. New awards funded after December 23, 2011
    The level II cap ($179,700) applies.  Competing awards with categorical budgets that include salaries at or above the new limit will be adjusted for the current and future years so that no funds are awarded or committed for salaries over the Level II limit.
    Competing awards with modular budgets will not be adjusted for the new salary limit, but may be adjusted based on the awarding Institute’s/Center’s (IC’s) funding principles, consistent with overall NIH goals and the IC budget for FY 12, i.e., each institute will make its own decisions.
  3. Non-competing awards funded after December 23, 2011
    Non-competing awards will not be adjusted for the decrease in the salary limitation.  However salary charges are limited to Level II.  Unless otherwise restricted, any funds made available as a result of the lower cap may be rebudgeted to other costs.

Other changes resulting from NIH Fiscal Policy for FY2012

All cost of living/inflationary adjustments will be removed for FY2012 and future years (though NIH will try to maintain one time changes e.g., equipment costs or additional personnel).

The complete NIH announcements are at and

For new NIH proposal budgets please use the $179,700 cap.

Ohio State implementation of the new salary cap

OSP staff are working on an implementation process that will allow the university to remain in compliance with the NIH requirements while at the same time limiting the impact on investigators.    For many awards, there will be no noticeable effect.  However, for those awards that require new project numbers or other adjustments, we will work with PIs and their staff to develop a minimally disruptive procedure.

The Level II salary cap will apply to all HHS entities, not just NIH, AHRQ and SAMHSA.  However, NIH is the only entity that has issued implementation guidance.  We will share additional information as it becomes available.

Category : NIH

NIH eliminates error correction window; restricts post-submission of corrected materials

Mon, 7th February, 2011

Beginning January 25, 2011, NIH Applicants will no longer have the 2 days after the deadline “error correction window” to work through errors encountered by eRA Commons (see NOT-OD-10-123). An application submitted after 5 pm on the deadline day to correct errors/warnings will be considered late and may not be assigned for peer review or funding consideration. Here are some helpful tips to ensure a successful submission:

  • This change in NIH policy means it is important to identify errors while there is still time to correct them. NIH, AHRQ and NIOSH encourage applicants to submit in advance of the due date to take advantage of the opportunity to correct errors and warnings and to review the application in the eRA Commons before the deadline.
    • Applicants still will be able to view their application and reject and submit a corrected application prior to the submission deadline.
    • OSP strongly urges applicants to build enough time into their submission schedule to carefully review the application image in Cayuse and make any needed adjustments before the deadline.
  • Submission of corrected materials after the deadline is severely restricted. The new NIH policy on post-submission application materials (NOT-OD-10-115) restricts post-submission changes to those resulting from unforeseen administrative issues and eliminates the opportunity to replace an out of date biosketch or incorrect version of Specific Aims post-submission. The information included in your application at the proposal deadline will be considered the final proposal.
  • The application viewing window is NOT the same as an error correction window. Applicants will still have an eRA Commons “application viewing window” for two business days after their application is submitted to view the assembled application image as it will be seen by reviewers.
    • After the proposal deadline, the application viewing window cannot be used to correct errors unless the errors are due to Federal system issues and are appropriately documented and verified by NIH support staff. Please note: Problems with computer systems at the applicant organization are not considered system issues.
    • System issues must be reported to the eRA Helpdesk by your SPO on or before the deadline and will be investigated by NIH on a case by case basis. Contact your SPO if you believe your application has an error due to Federal system issues.
Category : NIH