|NIH Staff FAQs|
NIH RPPR resources for grantees are posted at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/rppr/index.htm, and include an archive of the RPPR Training for Grantees Webinar and related Power Point slides, the RPPR Instruction Guide, Screen Shots of the R01-like RPPR, and a description of how the RPPR differs from eSNAP.
Other Public Health Service (PHS) agencies that will be adopting the NIH eRA RPPR module in the near future are: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration. Each of these agencies will announce their schedule for implementation as their plans are finalized. All other agencies are responsible for implementing the RPPR in accordance with the OSTP/OMB Policy Letter; agency implementation plans are posted at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/rppr/index.jsp.
Yes, for some progress reports. The eRA Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) Module is required to submit progress reports for Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship awards. See NOT-OD-13-035. Grantees should consult the Notice of Award to determine if the SNAP provisions are applicable. NIH has discontinued the use of the PHS 416-9, NRSA Individual Fellowship Progress Report for Continuation Support, and requires use of the RPPR for Fellowship progress reports.
The RPPR is now available for all type 5 non-SNAP progress reports. Institutions may opt to submit a type 5 non-SNAP progress reports either using the RPPR or the PHS 2590. See NOT-OD-14-079. NIH anticipates requiring the RPPR for all type 5 non-SNAP progress reports in October 2014; however, a separate Guide Notice announcing that requirement will be issued on a future date.
Not at this time. The NIH Final Progress Report Instructions are posted on the NIH Forms and Applications site under Grant Closeout in Word and PDF formats. There is no form page for the final progress report and grantees are strongly encouraged to submit the final progress report electronically through the eRA Commons (see the eRA Commons User Guide, section 9.11 Closeout). SBIR/STTR Phase II grantees are strongly encouraged to use the format at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/finalprogressreport_SBIR_PhaseII.doc If uploaded through the Commons all documents must be combined into a single pdf.
NIH implemented the RPPR for MYF progress reports submitted on or after January 31, 2014. See NOT-OD-14-026.
B. RPPR Module
There is no automatic save feature at this time, although NIH is aware that grantees have a strong preference for such an enhancement to the RPPR. Prior to leaving an RPPR component in which the user has entered or uploaded information, the user must click “save” which appears at the top and bottom left of each screen. Even if “save” was clicked, the system will display a warning message stating “You will lose any data entered or edited if you do not click the 'Save' button at the bottom of the page before leaving the page.” The message helps users avoid inadvertently losing information that they have entered.
Yes and no. RPPR data is either uploaded as text attachment PDF files, or entered directly into data or text boxes. Any PDF attachment uploaded to the RPPR may include non-ASCII characters, “rich” text, or images. A number of sections of the RPPR require a PDF attachment, including B.2. (accomplishments), and C.5. (other significant products that were developed).
Data fields and text entry boxes only support ASCII characters. Although the system will allow the user to enter non-ASCII characters in RPPR data or text entry fields, upon submission of the RPPR to the agency a PDF of the progress report is system-generated and the non-ASCII characters will not appear correctly. Accordingly, use only ASCII characters in data fields and text boxes and always review the final RPPR prior to submission.
Only a Signing Official (SO) may delegate authority to a PD/PI to submit a progress report for SNAP progress reports only. The steps for the SO to follow are detailed below:
The My Delegates screen opens. If applicable, the My Current Delegations area of the screen displays a table of your existing delegations. If you have no current delegations, the table will indicate ‘No records were returned.’
For more information about basic eRA Commons Tasks see: http://era.nih.gov/commons/steps_commons.cfm. A detailed description of all eRA Commons Delegations appears in Section 6 of the eRA Commons User Guide.
The SO, Administrative Official (AO), PD/PI or a Commons Delegate may edit, save, view and route the RPPR. Only the SO or PD/PI with Progress Report Authority may submit a RPPR.
C. RPPR Data
The Recipient ID field is for grantee use only. It allows the grantee to record an internal tracking number or identifier for its own use. It is not a mandatory field and NIH will disregard the information. The Recipient ID entered on the RPPR will not appear on the Notice of Award or be retained in any NIH database or system. It will reside only in the PDF of the RPPR generated by the system upon submission to the agency.
Major goals are the equivalent of specific aims. However, if NIH approved changes to the goals prior to award or during the reporting period, list the revised goals and objectives and explain any significant changes in approach or methods from the agency approved application or plan in B.1. The first non-competing year that an RPPR is submitted you must enter or cut and paste the major goals into the B.1 text box. In subsequent years, the major goals entered the previous year will prepopulate in B.1 and you will not be able to edit them. If the major goals have changed, you indicate in B.1.a that the major goals have changed you will be provided with a text box in which to enter the revised goals. Therefore the major goals from the previous year will appear in B.1 and the revised goals will display under B.1.a.
No, the two-page “limit” for summarizing accomplishments toward the major goals for most NIH awards is exclusive of tables and figures.
No. For each question in the RPPR NIH determined whether the response must be entered as data in a field, text in a text box, or provided as a PDF uploaded file. In some instances discrete data is required in order to store it in NIH systems for later analysis and reporting (e.g., E.4. dollar amount spent in foreign countries). In other instances, text boxes with a maximum number of characters are used to systematically enforce a limit on the amount of information provided. In other cases, PDFs are required because of the potential need for the grantee to provide a large amount of information (e.g., a new human subjects section). For the major goals, a text box with a limit of 8,000 characters is permitted and should prove more than sufficient. NIH’s recommended length is up to one page.
Representatives from research agencies implementing the RPPR met to develop a government-wide RPPR Data Dictionary to define the structure of all of the data elements that may be collected in the RPPR. For those items where NIH adopted a text box the data dictionary standard is 8,000 characters (approximately 3 pages). NIH adopted this standard to be consistent with other agencies, but would prefer that grantees be more concise and provide less detail than allowed in 3 pages. Consequently NIH provides “recommended lengths” throughout the RPPR. The recommendations are not systematically enforced; they are agency preferences and guidance for grantees. The only systematic enforcement for text boxes is the limit of 8,000 characters as stated in the instructions.
Only PDF files may be uploaded, and the maximum size per PDF is 6 MB. The only location in the RPPR where the user may upload multiple PDFs in response to one question is G.1. Special Notice of Award and Funding Opportunity Announcement Reporting Requirements.
Under B.3 the user is provided with 700 characters to describe the specific aims for each Revision/Supplement, and 700 characters to describe the accomplishments for each Revision/Supplement. These descriptions will of necessity be brief, and NIH strongly encourages concise responses. If the Notice of Award requires more extensive reporting you may provide additional information in the uploaded attachment for G.1, Special Notice of Award and Funding Opportunity Announcement Reporting Requirements.
When NIH adopted the Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (SNAP) one of the provisions for SNAP awards was that IRB and IACUC approval dates were not required as part of the SNAP submission. With the implementation of the RPPR NIH is expanding this provision to all awards regardless of SNAP designation. The expansion will affect non-SNAP awards when a progress report is submitted using the RPPR. It remains an institutional responsibility to ensure that these reviews are conducted in accordance with all Federal requirements. The Federal-wide (human subjects) and Animal Welfare Assurance numbers will continue to be maintained in the Institutional profile section of the eRA Commons. IRB and IACUC approval dates must be submitted to the NIH upon request.
Follow the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide Instructions for NIH and Other PHS Agencies Section 2.6 Format Specification for Text (PDF) Attachments. This section details requirements for file names, font, paper size, margins, figures, etc….
D. Non-SNAP RPPRs
If progress has not been reported for the completed component, include the component in the RPPR. Since the component will not be continued in the next year, the budget should reflect zero dollars and the component will not need to be included in subsequent RPPRs.
Upload Table 12A and/or 12B in response to RPPR question B.4 What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Tables should be updated to reflect trainees supported by the grant during the reporting period.
An issue has been identified with the system-generated Composite Budget Summary for the grantee organization's indirect costs. When an RPPR includes a component(s) led by an organization other than the grantee organization, the system does not provide for the entry of any applicable Indirect Cost for the grantee organization. If the grantee's F&A rate agreement allows for recovery of indirect costs on the first $25,000 of subawards, the grantee will not be able to enter that information for the component and the Composite Budget Summary will not reflect those indirect costs for the grantee organization.
The grantee organization may document the Indirect Cost Calculation error in the the budget justification of a project led by the grantee organization. However, the RPPR review is not affected by this issue and NIH will correct the budget calculations administratively when preparing the award.
It depends. The RPPR requires the use of the SF 424 (R&R) budget. Therefore, even if your application was submitted using the PHS 398 budget, you would use the SF 424 (R&R) budget in the RPPR. The only exceptions to this are RPPRs that do not require a budget and some Training awards, which use the PHS 398 training budget. For training awards that where submitted using the PHS 398 training budget, the RPPR should include the PHS 398 training budget. Otherwise, the SF 424 (R&R) budget should be included in the RPPR.
No, the due dates for non-SNAP RPPRs will not change. Non-SNAP progress reports require detailed budgets and are often multi-project; therefore, they require more time to review than do SNAP progress reports.
The non-SNAP progress report is due the first of the month preceding the month in which the budget period ends (e.g., if the budget period ends 11/30, the due date is 10/1).
If you are submitting an RPPR for an award or component with more than 30 subaward budgets, the remaining budgets should be converted to PDF and included as part of Section K. Budget Justification of the parent budget. Reminder, the sum of all subaward budgets; e.g., those attached separately and those provided as part of the budget justification, must be included in Line F.5 Subawards/Consortium/Contractual Costs of the parent budget.
Any individual with a PD/PI role or a postdoctoral role must have a Commons ID. The RPPR validates the Commons ID requirement based on role. Currently, the RPPR checks for Commons IDs for any individual with a PD/PI , postdoctoral, graduate student or undergraduate roles. Individuals with graduate or undergraduate student roles are not required to have a Commons ID. The RPPR will only provide a warning for those individuals NIH expects to require Commons IDS for graduate or undergraduate students in October 2014.
E. Reporting Publications
You must report any publication, or manuscript accepted for publication in a journal or other publication during the reporting period resulting directly from the award, even if it is not covered by the Public Access Policy.
All publications arising from an award during the reporting period must be reported regardless of the public access status of the publication. Information in the RPPR must be complete and accurate.
The system will allow the RPPR to be submitted with non-compliant publications. However, the system will provide a Warning message, and following submission to the agency the PD/PI will receive an automated email requiring verification that all publications are in compliance with the Public Access Policy no later than two weeks prior to the start date of the next budget period. The AO and SO indicated on the Cover Page of the RPPR will receive copies of this email. The deadline of two weeks prior to the start date of the next budget period should provide sufficient time to bring the publication(s) into compliance and report that to NIH. The SO may respond either by using the new PRAM link on the eRA Commons Status page (see PRAM below), or in an email to the Grants Management Specialist .
You are only required to report a publication one time per award.
All publications must be entered into the PD/PI’s My NCBI account using the bibliography management tool My Bibliography. The publications will then automatically appear in the RPPR under C.1. It is not possible to manually add publications in C.1. Publications listed in other parts of the progress report are not captured electronically and will not be listed as resulting from the award in RePORT. To manually add citations in a My NCBI account see the response to the next question.
You may add the citation manually to My NCBI by clicking the Add Citation button in My Bibliography, and selecting “manual citation’. Enter the details, including the journal, and specify the paper as ‘in press’. This will make the paper available in the RPPR selection window.
My NCBI will continually look for the paper in PubMed, and seek your permission to update the “in press” record with the publication details once the paper is published.
Please note papers in press still need to deposited to PubMed Central, or be published in a journal that will automatically deposit the final published article. See http://publicaccess.nih.gov/citation_methods.htm for more details.
You may put citations into the “Other Citations” collection in My NCBI. The RPPR will display all publications from the My Bibliography and the Other Citations collections. The Other Citations collection was created expressly to allow the PI to maintain additional lists of publications (e.g., the results of a search on a specific topic, publications by other authors, etc.).
Please see http://publicaccess.nih.gov/communications.htm.
F. Participant Data
Rounding effort to the nearest whole person month is the new federal standard promulgated for interim progress reports by OMB in the RPPR Final Format. In competing applications grantees will continue to identify person months using a decimal for the purpose of determining salary requests and identifying overlap, and also will need to continue to maintain separate institutional systems for effort reporting and payroll purposes as required by applicable cost principles. However, for interim reporting purposes the new standard allows a reasonable variance of 0.5 and is expected to generate less confusion than requiring the level of granularity provided by the 10th or 100th decimal.Although by NIH definition PD/PI effort must be greater than zero, in rare instances where the PD/PI has 0.4 person month or less, the grantee will need to report zero person month in the RPPR.
No. The first question to ask when determining who should be reported under D.1. is “are they either the PD/PI or have they worked at least one person month during the reporting period?” If an individual meets one of those criteria, include the individual in D.1 and THEN round their effort to the nearest whole person month. Someone who worked 0.8 person month did not work at least one person month so should not be reported.
Under D.2.a, the agency explicitly asks whether there will be, in the next budget period, a reduction of 25% or more in the level of effort from what was approved by the agency for the PD/PI or other senior/key personnel designated in the Notice or Award, or a reduction in level of effort below the minimum amount of effort required by the Notice of Award. Note that reporting personnel under D.1 is primarily retrospective – it covers personnel who worked on the project during the reporting period. A reduction in level of effort of 25% or more for the PD/PI and other personnel named on the Notice of Award requires prospective prior approval of the agency. Answering “yes” to the D.2.a level of effort question constitutes a prior approval request to the agency to reduce level of effort by 25% or more in the next budget period.
When preparing other support for the RPPR include the effort for the next year of the current grant. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590othersupport.doc . The effort listed in the RPPR for personnel (D.1) is retrospective. Effort included in the other support should be prospective. For awards issued under SNAP, this is the only means to indicate actual effort for the next budget period. Including the effort for the next budget period of the current award enables NIH staff to review and calculate total support for the individual. Effort reductions of 25% or greater must be included in the response to question D.2.a. These instructions do not change the composition of other support submitted in response to Just-in-Time (JIT) requests for competing applications; other support for competing application does not include the effort requested on the application for which the JIT is being submitted.
G. Reporting Foreign Collaborations, Personnel, and Dollars
Global health research is a high priority for NIH. NIH maintains information on grants and R&D contracts awarded directly to foreign institutions; however, it is difficult to identify NIH collaborations with foreign researchers and investments under subawards to foreign organizations. Therefore, NIH is asking grantees to provide in the RPPR information about foreign collaborations and personnel, and dollars spent in foreign countries, to enhance our data regarding NIH investment in research conducted in foreign countries.
The response to question D.1 will be determined by the individual’s primary affiliation. If the primary affiliation is with a foreign organization, check yes unless the individual is working on the project solely while in the US. If the individual’s primary affiliation is with a domestic organization, check no.
The amount reflected in the response to E.4, should be the amount obligated for subawards. Costs for foreign travel or for purchasing materials, equipment, and service agreements should only be included in the response to E.4 if those costs are part of the first-tier subaward to a foreign organization.
If you are a foreign grantee, the amount reflected in E.4 for your country should be the award amount less subawards to organizations in any other country. Subawards to non-US organizations outside of your country will be reported by country under E.4. If you have more than one subaward to an organization in another country, report the aggregate amount for subawards to organizations in that country. Subawards to US organizations should not be reported under E.4.
The amount reflected in the response to E.4 should be the amount obligated during the reporting period.
See definition of foreign component in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Each foreign component should be described separately, and briefly, in response to question G.9.
H. Progress Report Additional Materials (PRAM)
The PRAM feature allows the grantee to enter, review, and submit information in response to a specific NIH request for additional information or materials, following the submission of an RPPR. At this time PRAM may only be used for responding to automated eNotifications about noncompliant publications; in the future PRAM functionality will be expanded to include NIH IC requests for other additional information.
The PRAM link is automatically opened when the grantee submits a RPPR with non-compliant publications. The link will appear under “Action” on the “Status” page. Clicking the PRAM link will display the PRAM screen, and the grantee may provide verification that publications are in compliance with the Public Access Policy. The user may then Route the PRAM to a reviewer, the same way a RPPR may be routed to a reviewer. See the RPPR Instruction Guide, Section 5.10 for screen shots and additional information. Once Public Access PRAM has been submitted the PRAM link will close.
The SO, AO, and PD/PI may edit, save, view and route the PRAM. Only the SO or PD/PI with Progress Report Authority may submit the PRAM to the agency. At this time a Commons Delegate may not enter PRAM information for the PD/PI.
Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.