The Modular Grant concept establishes specific modules or increments in which direct costs must be requested, as well as a maximum level for requested budgets of $250,000 direct costs per year (excluding any consortium F&A costs). The Modular Grant application does not require a categorical breakdown of direct costs requested in the application; however, other requirements still apply. Application directions should be reviewed for specific modular instructions.
Yes. Applicants should follow the instructions provided in the applicable Funding Opportunity Announcement and utilize the SF424 R&R Application Guide for completing this electronic application. If an application meets the modular limit of $250K director costs or less per year, the applicant must submit using the modular budget.
No. According to the NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-06-096, all competing grant applications (new, competing continuation/renewal applications, amended/resubmission, and competing supplement/revision) from foreign (non-U.S.) institutions must include only detailed (non-modular) budgets.
The Modular application and award process is not a new grant program. Instead, it is a revised application and award process for R01 and other kinds of awards that do not exceed $250,000 direct costs per year.
Since all award mechanisms that utilize the modular format have transitioned to electronic submission, the SF 424 R&R application must be used (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm). Review all application instructions carefully for specific directions that apply to the modular budget.
The NIH has developed specific PHS398 components as part of the SF424 R&R application package. The Modular budget component requires direct and indirect cost information and provides a location to upload the budget justification for personnel, consortium, and other.
Note: Some applications will list both the modular and detailed budget components as “optional.” This is to allow the appropriate component to be chosen. If the application is $250K or less, the modular budget should be utilized and not the detailed budget. (Do not submit two types of budgets. If the application is applicable to the modular format, then do not submit categorical budget information as well.)
The NIH screens applications (paper and electronic submissions) for compliance with requirements, including appropriate budget submission. When applications are identified that are not in compliance, the investigators will be contacted and given a short period of time to correct the problem. If the application cannot be corrected in that time period, deferral to the next receipt and review cycle may be necessary. This spot-checking will not necessarily identify all applications with compliance problems. If reviewers or other NIH staff identify noncompliant applications later in the process, applications may be deferred or withdrawn at that time.
List ALL personnel including names, number of person months devoted to the project (indicate academic, calendar, and/or summer) and roles on the project. No individual salary information should be provided. This includes consultants, personnel on any Consortium/Contractual arrangements and any "to be appointed" positions. See NIH Guide: NIH Modular Grant Application Modification and Update http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-046.html.
No, the escalation policy for non-modular grant applications has not changed. Applications requesting more than $250,000 direct costs should submit budgets which include future year escalations.
Remember: The $250,000 cap on modular budgets is determined by the requested Direct Costs less Consortium F&A. See Guide Notice: NOT-OD-05-004: NIH Announces Revised Policy: Applications that Include Consortium/Contractual Facilities and Administrative Costs.
In calculating the $250,000 direct cost level, the applicant should not include the F&A costs associated with any consortium/contractual arrangements. Those costs may be requested above the normal $250,000 direct cost limit. Fields are provided to separately capture consortium F&A costs for each budget year.
Modular, With Consortium/Contractual Costs. On the Modular Budget Format Page, the Direct Costs less Consortium F&A, Consortium F&A, and Total Direct Costs requested for each year should be entered separately.
Remember: While only the direct cost for a consortium/contractual arrangement is factored into eligibility for using the modular budget format, the total consortium/contractual costs must be included in the overall requested modular direct cost amount.
F&A costs will be requested and awarded in the same manner as for grants with detailed categorical budgets. In the SF424 (R&R) F&A costs are requested as part of the Modular Budget component for each support year.
Costs are expected to be consistent from year-to-year?
Calculate the total direct costs you need over all the years, including one time costs (such as equipment) and escalation, and then divide by the number of years. Request the amount in modules of $25,000 closest to that dollar level.
Costs are expected to differ significantly from year- to-year?
In this situation, appropriate annual variations in the number of modules should be requested and requires sufficient justification. (For example, the purchase of equipment in year 1 may result in a request for a greater number of modules than in subsequent years.)
This matter is left to the discretion of the applicant institution. It may be necessary for institutions to require certain budgetary detail from principal investigators for purposes of determining exclusions from the base when calculating facilities and administrative (indirect) costs. In addition, institutions may need to ensure that adequate resources are being requested for the proposed research activity. However, any budgetary details required by the institution are for its internal use only and should not be submitted in the application.
Competitive supplement applications should be submitted in the same format as the parent application, regardless of the direct cost level requested. (For example, supplement requests for $250K or more should be submitted as modular if the parent application was submitted in modular.)
No. OMB Circular A-21 does not proscribe the categories to be used in estimating, accumulating, or reporting costs by educational institutions. A categorical budget for purposes of the modular application is defined as a direct cost and a facilities and administration (indirect) cost. Costs are estimated (application), accumulated, and reported (Financial Status Report) on this basis. Thus, we have confirmed with the Office of Audit Resolution and Cost Policy, HHS, the Office of Grants Management, HHS, the Office of Inspector General, HHS, and the Office of Naval Research that no additional categorical detail is required to satisfy OMB Circular A-21 cost consistency standards. However, as stated in the question above, institutions may require detailed categorical budgets to meet internal institutional needs.
Institutions are reminded that they must have a mechanism to accurately monitor and report institutional cost sharing. In addition, recipients are reminded that they must meet the standards for financial management systems in 45 CFR 74.21 which require, among other things, that actual outlays must be compared with budgeted amounts for each award. Such comparison will be made on the basis of the modular application budget categories of direct and F&A costs.
Institutions must be able to reasonably estimate the total (direct and facilities and administrative) cost of the consortium arrangement to the nearest $1,000. Applicant institutions may request from the consortium participants whatever information is necessary for making this estimate. Therefore, the level of detailed budget shared between the prime and the consortium grantee is negotiated between those parties.
Under the Modular Guidelines, subcontracts should be listed under the “Consortium” header with the following information for each:
Estimate of Total Costs (Direct plus F&A) rounded to the nearest $1,000.
For each key individual/organization listed, the role and percent effort should be provided.
Whether each collaborating Institution is foreign or domestic should be indicated
If an investigator's salary exceeds the current salary cap, should the applicant use the legislatively imposed salary cap or actual institutional base salary when estimating the number of modules requested?
Since the modules should be a reasonable estimate of costs allowable, allocable, and reasonable for the proposed project, applicants must use the current salary cap when estimating the number of modules. With the significant rebudgeting flexibility and the ability to carry forward unobligated balances, funds generally should be available to cover any modest change in the legislatively imposed salary cap.
How should compensation for graduate students be requested in a modular application?
The NIH will provide reasonable amounts for graduate compensation consistent with the requested budget for the position(s) and up to the currently effective NRSA zero postdoctoral stipend level at the time the application is submitted. This level should be included when estimating the number of modules. Compensation includes salary or wages, fringe benefits and tuition remission. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-017.html
The NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 34, September 23, 1994, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-276.html, discussed the treatment of administrative and clerical salaries. If you plan to use grant funds to pay for clerical salaries and/or other administrative costs that are covered in the examples provided, you will not need NIH approval to charge those costs to the project. NIH has already determined these are acceptable direct costs charges. If you wish to charge those costs to an NIH supported project and they are not one of the examples provided in the NIH GUIDE, you will need to contact NIH prior to obligating grant funds to ensure the costs are allocable as a direct cost to the project.
The academic year effort and the summer period effort should be shown separately in the form of person months. (See person months FAQs: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/person_months_faqs.htm). Be reminded, however, that information on person months is only provided in the budget justification for modular applications.
Follow the current application instructions. (i.e., in the budget justification, show the individual's level of effort at the applicant institution in the form of person months and indicate the role on the project.
No. The significant rebudgeting principle is based on rebudgeting from a categorical committed level. Modular applications are submitted and awarded without detailed budgets. Therefore this provision does not apply to modular grants.
Although this is not a requirement by the NIH, Institutions will have discretion in determining the need to establish categorical budgets once the NIH award is received. However, recipient institutions are still required to ensure that all costs charged to modular awards are in accordance with applicable costs principles, the NIH Grants Policy statement, and legislatively imposed restrictions.
Investigator initiated Modular Grant applications will be reviewed by existing study sections and Special Emphasis Panels. Modular Grant applications solicited through RFAs will be reviewed by committees established for the review of that RFA, a process identical to that currently used for non-modular RFA submissions.
Yes, the SRG may adjust the requested budgets. Any overall adjustments by the SRG must be made in modules. In addition, the reviewers may recommend specific budgetary changes that are described in the summary statement, but cannot be reflected in a modular reduction. In these cases, Institute staff will obtain the necessary cost information prior to any award. Also, the awarding institute may adjust the amount to be awarded based on identified overlap and/or a requirement to meet its current management objectives. Adjustments by the awarding institute need not be in modules.