Reminder: NIH Natural Disaster Policy – Hurricanes Fiona and Ian
Notice Number:
NOT-OD-22-221

Key Dates

Release Date:

October 3, 2022

Related Announcements

None

Issued by

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)

Purpose

NIH is deeply concerned for the health and safety of people and animals, and about the biomedical enterprise in the areas affected by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian. Due to the exceptional impact of these storms, NIH wants to assure our recipient community that we will be doing our part to help the extramural community continue its research. Our website onExtramural Response to Natural Disastershas a list of available resources, including guidance on animal welfare issues.

NIH has identified the following actions to relieve short-term administrative, financial management, and audit requirements under the Uniform Guidance at 2 CFR Part 200 – “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards” – which are implemented in HHS regulation at 45 CFR 75 – without compromise to accountability requirements. This guidance will be updated as appropriate once further guidance is received from HHS and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Specific policy exceptions are detailed below.

Flexibility with application deadlines (NIH GPS 2.3.9)

  • Although NIH's general policy is to accept applications submitted late due to a natural disaster by no more than the number of days the applicant organization was officially closed, due to the catastrophic damage caused by the Hurricanes, NIH recognizes the need to provide additional exceptions and guidance.
  • NIH will accept late applications from institutions that have been directly impacted by the aforementioned hurricanes. This late policy will apply to all funding opportunity announcements with due dates from the beginning of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, September 20, 2022, until such time as the PHE is rescinded by the Secretary, regardless of how many days the applicant organization was officially closed.
  • NIH encourages a cover letter explaining the reason for late submission, but these letters are not required.

Extension of financial and other reporting (NIH GPS 8.4.1)

  • During the declared public health emergency, if recipients are unable to complete and submit interim and/or final Research Performance Progress Reports, Federal Financial Reports, and/or Final Invention Statement reports by the scheduled due date, contact the assigned Grants Management and Program Official at the awarding NIH Institute or Center to let them know the reports will be late, even if by phone, and the NIH staff will document the file until the recipient is able to submit the request electronically.
  • Although NIH will accept these late reports, we will delay issuing grant awards until the required reports are submitted and accepted by NIH. This does not prevent the institution from receiving disaster relief supplemental funding if those funds become available.
  • See below for details related to Extension of Closeout Requirements.

Extension of final budget period of a previously approved project period (NIH GPS 8.1.1.3)

  • As a reminder, NIH recipients may extend the final budget period of the previously approved project period one time for a period of up to 12 months beyond the original completion date shown in the Notice of Award when certain conditions apply without prior approval.
  • Any additional extensions require prior approval. Recipients should contact the Program Official and Grants Management Specialist listed on the Notice of Award to discuss, as appropriate

Prior approval requirement waivers (NIH GPS 8.1.1.2)

  • As a reminder, NIH recipients maintain rebudgeting authority under the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 8.1.1.2 Cost-Related Prior Approvals, which states that “NIH prior approval is not required to rebudget funds for any direct cost item that the applicable cost principles identify as requiring the Federal awarding agency’s prior approval, unless the incurrence of costs is associated with or is considered to be a change in scope.”

Extension of currently approved Facilities and Administration (F&A/indirect cost) rates (NIH GPS 7.4)

  • For recipient institutions whose current Federally approved F&A rates are close to expiring (i.e., in the next several months, but less than a year from now), NIH will allow recipients in the affected areas to continue to use the current Federally approved indirect cost rates (predetermined, fixed, or provisional rates) to recover their F&A/indirect costs on Federal awards for one additional year without submission of an indirect cost proposal.
  • NIH will also approve recipient requests for an extension of the F&A/indirect cost rate proposal submission (for up to one year) to finalize the current rates and establish future rates.

Alternatives for record retention and cost documentation

  • NIH will allow recipients to submit paper copies in lieu of machine readable formats when necessary, as permitted under 45 CFR 75.363.

Expenditure of award funds for salaries (NIH GPS 7.9.1)

  • Remember that, in general, 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.

Extension of Closeout Requirements (NIH GPS 8.6)

  • As outlined under the Extension of Reports, NIH will allow affected recipients to delay submission of any pending final financial, performance and other reports required by the terms and conditions of award for the closeout of expired projects, provided that the recipient provide the IC with the notice as soon as feasible. This delay may not exceed one year without prior approval from the appropriate IC grants management staff.

Post-submission materials (NIH GPS 2.3.7.7)

  • 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 September 17, 2022, 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.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
GrantsPolicy@OD.NIH.gov