Notice of Assistance Available to Institutions Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Notice Number: NOT-OD-17-111

Key Dates
Release Date:   September 11, 2017

Related Announcements
NOT-OD-17-106

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

The NIH is deeply concerned for the health and safety of people and animals, and about the biomedical enterprise in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Due to the exceptional impact of this storm, we want to assure our grantee community that NIH will be doing our part to help you continue your research. We issued a Guide notice reminding the community about our natural disaster policy, Reminder: NIH Natural Disaster Policy – Hurricane Harvey (NOT-OD-17-106). Our website on Extramural Response to Natural Disasters has a list of available resources, including guidance on animal welfare issues.

The guidance provided within NOT-OD-17-106 states that generally, applications submitted late due to a natural disaster should not be delayed longer than the time period the applicant organization was closed. Consistent with NIHGPS Chapter 2.3.9, NIH’s policy is to handle assistance to the NIH community during natural disasters on a case-by-case basis in a manner appropriate to the circumstances.

Late application submission
NIH will make an exception to this policy (NIHGPS Chapter 2.3.9) for institutions in the Harvey-affected areas as identified by FEMA as a “designated county” (https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4332).  NIH will accept most applications late for due dates starting with August 25, 2017 through midnight (institution local time) December 16, 2017.  For applications from those institutions, this exception supersedes language in Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) that have due dates in that time frame and specify that late applications will not be accepted.  Small business applications for the September 5, 2017 due date and AIDS applications for the September 7, 2017 due date must be received no later than October 7, 2017 because they are reviewed on expedited timelines for an earlier advisory council round.  Similarly, applications for FOAs with a special, one-time review meeting can be accommodated only if submitted no later than three weeks before the scheduled review meeting.  It is recommended that Harvey-affected applicants contact review staff to confirm timing of their submissions to these initiatives, as the review schedule may have changed.  Applicants may submit a one-page cover letter explanation for the reason for late submission but these letters are not required. Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Post-submission materials
Institutions in the affected area may submit post-submission grant application materials to revise information that was submitted in an application for a due date before August 25, 2017, or in an application submitted under this Notice’s exception.  Post-submission materials will be accepted from institutions in the affected areas until fourteen days before the start of the review meeting.  See “Frequently Asked Questions; Post-Submission Materials Policy” for details of the NIH post-submission materials policy.  A letter of explanation (maximum of one page) is required.

Salary Payments 
NIH understands that many researchers were unable to work during and as a result of the storm, and this unproductive time may last weeks or even months.  NIH reminds institutions that expenditure of award funds to continue paying salaries and fringe benefits to researchers during any period when no work is performed under the award is unallowable.  However, such salary expenses may be allowable and charged when emergency funding is available to assist in disaster recovery related to the award, as detailed in the terms and conditions of award.

Financial and Progress Reporting
Progress reports (Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR)) are typically required annually as part of the non-competing continuation award process.  Financial reports (Federal Financial Report expenditure data) are due either annually or at the end of a competitive segment, as indicated in the Notice of Award.  NIH understands that some reporting delays due to the storm are unavoidable.  Therefore, if recipients are unable to complete and submit an RPPR and/or FFR by the scheduled due date, they should promptly contact the assigned grants management and/or program official.  Although NIH will accept these late reports, grant awards will be delayed until the required reports are submitted and accepted by NIH. 

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
Office of Extramural Research
Telephone: 301-435-0949
NIHGHR@nih.gov
https://grants.nih.gov/grants/natural_disasters.htm