Notice of Potential Delays to NIH Issuing Awards in May 2015

Notice Number: NOT-OD-15-088

Key Dates
Release Date:   April 9, 2015

Related Announcements
None    

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

This Notice is to inform NIH applicants and grantees that NIH's ability to issue competing and non-competing awards may be delayed for two weeks from May 19, 2015 until June 3, 2015. During this time, a series of software upgrades will be made to NIH accounting and business systems that have wide-reaching impacts across the NIH.  These also connect to NIH grant-making systems, and while every effort will be made to minimize the expected downtime, it may take up to two weeks to complete all the work.

Extramural research activities that will be impacted by the outage:

  • No new or revised Notices of Award will be issued, regardless of grant type (e.g., New Type 1 awards, Non-competing Type 5 awards, Type 7 Transfer awards, etc).
  • No establishment or changes of EINs (Employer Identification Numbers) used to pay awards will be made.
  • No processing of No-Cost Extensions of the final budget period.  Although eRA Commons will remain available for institutions submitting these requests, and the Payment Management System will remain available for drawing down funds, NIH records will not be updated during the downtime.
  • No processing of Fellowship Activations.  Although xTrain will remain available for institutions submitting activation forms, NIH records will not be updated during the downtime.

Extramural research activities that NIH does not expect to be impacted by the outage:

  • Draw down of funds on existing awards from the Payment Management System
  • Submission and review of new applications through Grants.gov

Additionally, eRA systems will be performing a software upgrade on May 23, 2015. During this eRA downtime expected to last up to 12 hours, the following functions will not be available, but they will return and remain available throughout the rest of the two-week upgrade period.

  • Submissions to eRA Commons (e.g., Submission of Research Performance Progress Reports, Federal Financial Reports, Just-in-Time documents, institutional registrations, and other items submitted through eRA Commons.
  • Submission of new applications through ASSIST.

The anticipated delay in making awards will not change the terms and conditions of any future or existing awards.  Grantees will retain the ability to incur pre-award obligations and expenditures up to 90 days before the budget period start date at their own risk throughout this period.  See the NIH Interim Grant General Conditions (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/NIH%20Interim%20Grant%20General%20Conditions.pdf) and the Grants Policy Statement for more details on this authority (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2013/nihgps_ch7.htm#preaward_preagreement_costs).

Additional information on this downtime will be published as it becomes available.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Office of Extramural Research (OER)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Telephone: 301-435-0949
Email: OPERAAll@mail.nih.gov (preferred method of contact)

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