Application and Report Submission Flexibilities Available to Institutions Impacted by Hurricane Maria

Notice Number: NOT-OD-18-002

Key Dates
Release Date:   October 3, 2017

Related Announcements
None

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 Maria. 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. Our website on Extramural Response to Natural Disasters has a list of available resources, including guidance on animal welfare issues.

Although NIH's general policy is to accept applications submitted late due to a natural disaster by no more than the number of days applicant organization was officially closed, NIH deems it extremely necessary to provide additional exceptions and guidance are being provided due to the catastrophic damage caused by Maria. Specific policy exceptions are detailed below.

Late application submission

NIH will make an exception to the general policy mentioned above (NIHGPS Chapter 2.3.9) for institutions in the Maria-affected areas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. NIH will accept late applications for Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) with due dates from September 16, 2017 to December 16, 2017, from institutions in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. 

This exception supersedes language in FOAs that have due dates in that time frame, which specifies that late applications will not be accepted. Applications from institutions in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm (local applicant organization time) on December 16, 2017.

In the rare circumstance that an application due date and one-time meeting for review of those applications both fall within the date range noted above, it may be possible for applications to be reviewed if received no later than three weeks before the review meeting. However, the applicant must contact the Scientific Review Officer managing that meeting to confirm the meetings schedule, since the date may have changed.

A one-page cover letter explaining the reason for delay can be submitted, but is not required.  Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Note: An institution in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico can still apply to an FOA that has expired. The applicant institution should contact the eRA service desk at least 2 business days prior to your anticipated submission so they can coordinate any changes needed to allow systems to process your application.

Post-submission Materials

Institutions in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico may submit post-submission grant application materials to revise information that was submitted in an application for a due date before September 16, 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.

Post-award Reporting

Per NIH Grants Policy Statement sections 8.4.1 and 8.6, as well as the Notice of Award, NIH requires that recipients periodically submit financial and progress reports. NIH understands that some reporting delays due to the storm are unavoidable. Therefore, if recipients are unable to complete and submit a progress report ((Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR)), Financial reports (Federal Financial Report expenditure data), and/or invention report 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. 

Please see the Recent Natural Disaster Events FAQs for additional guidance.

NIH is continuing to monitor the situation closely, identifying ways we can help as outlined on this page, and will publish any additional information pertaining to Hurricane Maria response in the NIH Guide.

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

and

Division of Receipt and Referral
Center for Scientific Review
Telephone: 301-435-0715
Email: csrdrr@mail.nih.gov