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ARCHIVED - NIH Grants Policy Statement (03/01)

Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards
Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities -- Part 1 of 8

Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities

This subpart includes terms and conditions that vary from or are in addition to the standard requirements and terms and conditions in Subpart A of this Part because of the type of grant, grantee, or grant-supported activity.

The terms and conditions cited in this subpart may apply in addition to, or in lieu of, those in Subpart A. Each section of this subpart specifies how the coverage relates to that in Subpart A. Cross-references in this Part to other sections within this subpart specifically note this; otherwise the cross-reference is to the cited section in Subpart A.

There are separate sections for:

  • Construction grants, including large-scale alteration and renovation (A&R) activities under grants with specific statutory authority for construction or modernization activities. (This section also includes requirements for certain A&R activities under non-construction grants);
  • Individual and Institutional National Research Service Awards (NRSAs) (also termed "fellowships" and "training grants");
  • Modular applications and awards;
  • Conference grants;
  • Consortium agreements;
  • Grants to foreign institutions, international organizations and domestic grants with a foreign component;
  • Grants to Federal institutions and payments to (or on behalf of) Federal employees under grants;
  • Grants to for-profit organizations; and
  • Research patient care activities.

Construction Grants

The following requirements apply to NIH construction grants and major A&R activities under grants with statutory construction or modernization authority (hereafter, "construction grants") and, as specified, to A&R projects under non-construction grants. Construction grants are awarded under the C06 activity code or support mechanism.

Except as indicated, for construction grants these requirements apply in lieu of the requirements in Subpart A of this Part. Applicants and grantees also should refer to the construction grant program regulations (at 42 CFR Part 52b), 45 CFR Part 74 or 92, and any applicable IC guidance. Any questions concerning the applicability of particular requirements or policies should be directed to the GMO or other official designated on the NGA.

For purposes of this section, "construction" and "modernization" are defined as follows:

"Construction" means the construction of new buildings or the modernization of, or completion of shell space in, existing buildings (including the installation of fixed equipment, but excluding the cost of land acquisition and off-site improvements).

"Modernization" means the alteration, renovation, remodeling, improvement, expansion, and repair of existing buildings and the provision of equipment necessary to make a building suitable for use for the purposes of a particular program.


In addition to any program-specific eligibility criteria, eligible applicants for construction grants must be public or private non-profit entities and must be located in the U.S., its territories or possessions. For-profit organizations and foreign organizations are not eligible for construction grants.

Review and Approval

Construction grant applications are peer reviewed. NIH makes review and selection decisions using the following criteria/factors:

  • Scientific merit of the research program activities that will be carried out in the proposed facility;
  • NIH programmatic relevance;
  • Research and financial need for the project;
  • Scientific or professional standing or reputation of the applicant and of its existing or proposed officers and research staff;
  • Relationship to the applicant's overall research programs and impact on relevant research programs and facilities in the geographic area and nationwide;
  • The availability, by affiliation or other association, of other scientific or health personnel and facilities for carrying out the proposed research program, including, when warranted, the adequacy of a biohazard control and containment program; and
  • The project cost and design.

Public Policy Requirements and Objectives

In addition to the public policy requirements and objectives specified in Subpart A, construction grants are subject to the following public policy requirements. Questions about whether a particular requirement applies to A&R activities under non-construction grants should be directed to the GMO. Grantees receiving construction grants also must require contractors and subcontractors providing construction services to comply with certain Federal labor standards. These labor standards are discussed in "Equal Employment Opportunity, Labor Standards, and Other Contract Requirements" in this section.

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as amended (Public Law 91-190), establishes national policy goals and procedures to protect and enhance the environment, including protection against natural disasters. NEPA requires all Federal agencies to consider the probable environmental consequences of any major Federal activity, including grant-supported activities. To comply with NEPA for its grant-supported activities, NIH requires the environmental aspects of construction grants (and certain requests for financial assistance involving non-construction projects as specified by NIH) to be reviewed and evaluated by NIH technical staff prior to final action on the application. With respect to earthquakes, structures will be evaluated in accordance with the lateral forces provisions of the Uniform Building Code.

If NEPA applies, the application for construction assistance must be accompanied by the applicant's own separately bound environmental analysis to facilitate review and evaluation for environmental concerns prior to approval or other action on the application. An environmental analysis means a written review that indicates the environmental effects that are expected to occur as a result of the proposed action, defines the current and future implications of these effects, and lists any proposed actions or safeguards to avoid or reduce any negative environmental effects. If NIH has not indicated that NEPA applies, no environmental analysis is necessary, unless, in an unusual situation, the applicant anticipates a significant environmental consequence or, following receipt of an application, an official of the NIH awarding office indicates the need for an environmental analysis. In these cases, an environmental analysis shall be provided with the application or as requested by NIH.

Public Disclosure

Section 102 of NEPA and Executive Order 11514 (March 5, 1970) provide for public comment and participation in the environmental impact review process. Applicants are required to publicly disclose the project by publication in a newspaper or other publicly available medium and to describe its environmental impact concurrent with notification to the State Single Point of Contact (see "Intergovernmental Review under Executive Order 12372" in this section). An example of a suitable disclosure statement follows:

"Notice is hereby given that the Uptown Medical School proposes to construct additional space, partially utilizing Federal funds. The proposed construction project is the addition of 2,700 square feet connected to the existing Allen Building, which is located at 5333 Main Street, Downtown, Ohio.

The Medical School has evaluated the environmental and community impact of the proposed construction. There will be construction noise and increased construction traffic during the construction period. No significant permanent environmental impacts are foreseen. All building permits and zoning approvals have been obtained. In accordance with Executive Order 11514 (March 5, 1970), which implements the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, any individual or group may comment on, or request information concerning, the environmental implications of the proposed project. Communications should be addressed to the Office of Planning, Uptown Medical School, and must be received by (date). The Federal grant application may be reviewed at the Office of the Dean, School of Medicine, 5333 Main Street, during normal working hours."

Flood Insurance

The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended (Public Law 93-234), provides that no Federal financial assistance to acquire, modernize, or construct property may be provided in identified flood-prone communities in the U.S. unless the community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and flood insurance is purchased within 1 year of the identification. The flood insurance purchase requirement applies to both public and private applicants for NIH support. Listings of flood-prone areas that are eligible for flood insurance are published in the Federal Register by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Historic Properties and Archeological Sites

Under the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, and the Archeological and Historical Preservation Act of 1960, as amended, the Secretary of the Interior has compiled a National Register of Historic Places—sites and buildings of significant importance to U.S. history. T[22]he statutes require that, prior to approval of a construction grant application (or applications for other grant-supported activities, as specified by NIH), NIH take into account the effect on these sites of the proposed construction (or other) project. The applicant must determine whether activities using NIH financial assistance will affect a property listed in the National Register. If a designated historic property is to be affected, the applicant must obtain clearance from the appropriate State Historic Preservation Office before submitting the application. Failure to obtain this clearance will delay NIH action on an application. The State Historic Preservation Liaison Officer or the National Trust for Historic Preservation may be contacted for additional details.

Intergovernmental Review Under Executive Order 12372

Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs (July 14, 1982), requires consultation with State and local officials on certain proposed Federal assistance. NIH construction grants are subject to these requirements, as implemented by 45 CFR Part 100, Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities. Applicants (other than federally recognized Indian tribal governments) should contact their State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) as early as possible to alert the SPOC to the forthcoming application and to obtain necessary instructions on the State process (see application material or for a listing of the SPOCs). The SPOC is given 60 days to review the application. To accommodate this time frame and the NIH review process, an applicant must provide a copy of the application to the SPOC no later than the time the application is submitted to NIH. SPOC comments must be submitted to NIH with the application, or the application must indicate the date on which the application was provided to the SPOC for review. If SPOC comments are not submitted with the application, the applicant must provide them upon receipt and may include its reaction to the comments, or must notify NIH that no SPOC response was received.

Metric System

Consistent with Executive Order 12770 (July 25, 1991), Metric Usage in Federal Government Programs, all construction projects supported by NIH grant funds shall be designed using the metric system.

Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition

The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policy Act of 1970 (the Uniform Relocation Act), 42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq., applies to all programs or projects undertaken by Federal agencies or with Federal financial assistance that cause the displacement of any person.

The HHS regulations and procedures for complying with the Uniform Relocation Act are set forth in 49 CFR Part 24. The rules at 49 CFR Part 24 provide uniform policies and procedures for the acquisition of real property, including acquisition by grantees, and require that displaced persons are treated fairly and equitably. The regulations encourage acquiring entities to negotiate with property owners in a prompt and amicable manner so that litigation can be avoided and property owners' interests are protected.

Other Public Policy Requirements

Recipients of NIH construction grants must comply with, or require their contractors to comply with, the design requirements set forth in the following:

Other Design Requirements for NIH-Assisted Construction[23]

Grantees may not advertise for bids or negotiate a contract for construction or A&R activities exceeding $500,000 until working drawings and specifications have been approved by the designated NIH official. One purpose of the NIH review is to apply program-specific design standards to the working drawings and specifications to ensure that program needs are met and the facility will suitably accommodate the activities to be carried out there. In addition, NIH will determine whether the final plans and specifications conform to the minimum standards of construction and equipment specified in 42 CFR Part 52b, in the NIH Design Policy and Guidelines issued by the Division of Engineering Services, NIH, and in the documents cited in this subsection. (The NIH Design Policy and Guidelines are available at These standards are subject to modification by the Division of Engineering Services, NIH. The grantee will be subject to the standards in effect at the time of design or construction, as appropriate. NIH will monitor compliance during the project's design phase.

Where State or local codes are proposed to be used as a basis for facility design in lieu of the NIH design requirements, a prior determination must be made by NIH that the specific State or local code is equivalent to, or exceeds, NIH requirements. If State and local codes or requirements exceed the design requirements set forth in NIH regulations or incorporated in program guidance, the more stringent requirements will apply.

Elimination of Architectural Barriers to the Physically Handicapped

The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended, the Federal Property Management Regulations 101-19.6 (41 CFR 101-19.6), and the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards issued by the General Services Administration (41 CFR 101-19.6, Appendix A) set forth requirements to make facilities accessible to, and usable by, the physically handicapped, and include minimum design standards. All new facilities constructed with NIH grant support must comply with these requirements. These minimum standards must be included in the specifications for any NIH-funded new construction unless the grantee proposes to substitute standards that meet or exceed these standards. Where NIH assistance is provided for alteration or renovation (including modernization and expansion) of existing facilities, the altered facility (or part of the facility) must comply, including use of the minimum standards in the specifications. The grantee will be responsible for conducting inspections to ensure compliance with these standards by any contractor performing construction services under the grant. Also see "Public Policy Requirements and Objectives—Civil Rights—Rehabilitation Act of 1973."

Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Healthcare Facilities (1996-97)

Available from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Academy of Architecture for Health, AIA Rizzoli Catalogue Sales, 117 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94108; telephone: 1-800-52-BOOKS; fax: (415) 984-0224.

American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers
Handbook—HVAC Applications (1995)

Available from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), 1791 Tullie Circle, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329; telephone: (404) 636-8400 or, for order questions, 1-800-527-4723.

Seismic Safety for Federally Assisted Construction

The Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, as amended (Public Law 95-124), and Executive Order 12699, Seismic Safety of Federal and Federally Assisted or Regulated New Building Construction (January 5, 1990). The Executive Order requires that new federally assisted or regulated buildings be to be designed and constructed using appropriate seismic standards. State, county, or local jurisdictional building ordinances adopting and enforcing these model codes, in their entirety or without material revisions reducing the level of seismic safety, also are acceptable.

The latest editions of the model codes listed below provide a level of seismic safety considered appropriate for implementing Executive Order 12699 and apply to all federally assisted construction in the applicable geographic location.

  • Uniform Building Code, International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) (5360 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, CA 90601-2298; telephone: (562) 699-0541 or 1-800-284-4406; fax: 1-888-329-4226).
  • 1998 Supplements to the National Building Code (1996) and National Fire Prevention Code (1996), Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA) (4051 West Fossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478-5795; telephone: (708) 799-2300; fax: (708) 799-4981).
  • Southern Building Code Congress Standard Building Code (1997) Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) (900 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL 35213-1206; telephone: (205) 591-1853); fax: (205) 599-9845).
  • Recommended Lateral Force Requirements and Commentary (1996), Seismology Committee, Structural Engineers Association of California (available from ICBO as indicated above).

Where necessary, special structural and other features to protect life and minimize damage to facilities from tornadoes also may be required.

Life Safety Code

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Publication No. 101 and supplements that apply for the code classification and type of occupancy of the particular facility. This document is available from NFPA, 11 Tracy Drive, Avon, MA 2322; telephone: (617) 770-3000 or 1-800-735-0100.

Standards on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Publication No. 45. NPFA, 11 Tracy Drive, Avon, MA 02322; telephone: (617) 770-3000 or 1-800-735-0100.

Prudent Practices for Safety in Laboratories (1995)

National Research Council. National Academy Press, ISBN 0-309-05229-7;

National Sanitation Foundation Standard No. 49 for Class II (Laminar Flow)
Biohazard Cabinetry

National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), 3475 Plymouth Road, P.O. Box 1468, Ann Arbor, MI 48106; telephone: (313) 769-8010.

International Standard Plumbing Code (1996)

Southern Building Congress Code International (SBCCI), 900 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL 35213-1206; telephone: (205) 591-1853; fax: (205) 599-9845.

Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended Practice (1998)

American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), 1330 Kemper Meadow Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45240-1634; telephone: (513) 742-2020; fax: (513) 742-3355.

Health Care Facilities Handbook (1997)

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 11 Tracy Drive, Avon, MA 02322; telephone: (617) 770-3000 or 1-800-735-0100.

Standards for Nonflammable Medical Gas Systems

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Publication No. 99 (at the address and telephone number above).

National Electric Code

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Publication No. 70. (at the address and telephone number above).

Laboratory Ventilation Workbook (1994)

D. Jeff Burton, American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), 2700 Prosperity Avenue, Suite 250, Fairfax, VA 22031; telephone: (703) 849-8888; fax: (703) 207-3561.


Construction grants usually involve a single award, covering more than 1 year, made on the basis of an application for the entire construction project. The project period system of funding normally is not used for construction grants.


NIH construction grants generally require the grantee to share in the costs of the project. This requirement, if applicable, is stated as a matching percentage, and the grantee's match is usually at least 50 percent of the total allowable project costs. Any required non-Federal participation may be in the form of allowable costs incurred by the grantee or a contractor under the grant. Unless required by statute or regulation, NIH generally does not allow grantees to use the value of third party in-kind contributions as a source of matching. Matching funds and in-kind contributions (if authorized) must meet the allowability and documentation requirements of 45 CFR 74.23 or 92.24, as applicable. These costs/in-kind contributions are subject to the same requirements in 45 CFR Part 74 or 92, the applicable cost principles, and this policy statement, as if the grantee were spending NIH funds.

The source and amount of funds proposed by an applicant to meet a matching requirement must be identified in the application. The applicant will be required to demonstrate that the funds are committed or available prior to award. This may take the form of a certification as specified by the awarding IC. The amount of NIH (Federal) funds awarded, combined with the non-Federal share, will constitute the total approved budget as shown in the NGA. The prior approval and other dollar thresholds contained in this section are determined on the basis of the total approved budget unless otherwise specified.

Allowability of Costs/Activities

Construction activity is allowable only when the program legislation includes specific authority for construction, modernization, or major alteration and renovation of facilities, and NIH specifically authorizes such costs. The following listing indicates types of costs and activities generally allowable and unallowable under NIH construction grants. This list is not all-inclusive. Program guidelines and other terms and conditions of the award should be consulted for the specific costs allowable under a particular program or grant.

Allowable Costs/Activities

  • Acquisition and installation of fixed equipment.
  • Under programs that have statutory A&R, modernization, or facilities assistance authority, the costs of adapting any of the following interior building features to the needs of the grant-supported activity are allowable:
    • Physical characteristics of space, such as interior dimensions, surfaces, and finishes.
    • Internal environment, such as heating, ventilation, humidity, and acoustics.
    • Utility services, such as plumbing, electricity, gas, vacuum, or other laboratory piping.
    • Completion of unfinished shell space to make it suitable for purposes other than human occupancy, such as the storage of pharmaceuticals.
    • Fixed equipment, such as casework, fume hoods, large autoclaves, or biological safety cabinets.

A&R costs of this type associated with a building under construction or an otherwise incomplete structure may be allowed if:

    • The space is to be adapted to particular program needs,
    • It is cost-effective to perform the work while the building is being constructed or the structure is being completed, and
    • A&R costs are limited to the difference between the cost of completing the interior space for general use and the cost of adapting the space and utilities to meet specific program requirements.

When the grantee's own construction and maintenance staff are used in carrying out the A&R (i.e., force account), the associated costs are allowable provided the grantee can document that force account is less expensive than if the project were competitively bid, and all costs are substantiated by appropriate receipts for the purchase of materials and certified pay records for the labor involved.

  • Architectural and engineering services.
  • Bid advertising.
  • Bid guarantees, performance and payment bonds (in accordance with 45 CFR 74.48 or 92.36(h)).
  • Contingency fund: Applicants for construction grants may include a project contingency fund in initial cost estimates to provide for unanticipated charges. These funds will be limited to 5 percent of construction and equipment costs before bids are received and must be reduced to 2 percent after a construction contract has been awarded.
  • Filing fees for recording the Notice of Federal Interest (see "Real Property Management Standards—Notice of Federal Interest" in this section).
  • Inspection fees.
  • Insurance: Costs of title insurance, physical destruction insurance, and liability insurance are generally allowable. Physical destruction and liability insurance are usually treated as F&A costs but may be treated as direct costs in accordance with the established policy of the grantee, consistently applied regardless of the source of funds. Title insurance, if required, may be charged to the grant in proportion to the amount of NIH (Federal) participation in the property (see "Real Property Management Standards—Insurance Requirements" in this section).
  • Legal fees related to obtaining a legal opinion regarding title to a site.
  • Preaward costs: Costs incurred before an award for architect's fees and consultant's fees necessary to the planning and design of the project are allowable if the project is subsequently approved and funded.
  • Project management.
  • Relocation expenses.
  • Sidewalks necessary for use of facility.
  • Site survey and soil investigation.
  • Site clearance (as long as reflected in bid).

Unallowable Costs/Activities

  • Bonus payments to contractors, including guaranteed maximum price contractors.
  • Construction of shell space designed for completion at a future date.
  • Consultant fees not related to actual construction.
  • Damage judgment suits.
  • Equipment purchased through a conditional sales contract.
  • Fund-raising expenses.
  • Land acquisition.
  • Legal services not related to site acquisition.
  • Movable equipment.
  • Off-site improvements.

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