NIH GUIDE, Volume 21, Number 22, June 12, 1992

P.T. 34


  Grants Administration/Policy+ 

National Institutes of Health

The purpose of this notice is to clarify questions raised by NIH staff

and the research community about modifications and changes in the

revised forms PHS 398 and PHS 2590 (rev. 9/91).

The application for continuation of a Public Health Service Grant, form

PHS 2590, is now available for use.  The last receipt date for the use

of previous forms PHS 398 (rev. 10/88) and 2590 (rev. 10/88) will be

October 1, 1992.


The NIH guidelines governing receipt dates for applications have not

changed and may be found on page 4-14 of the PHS Grants Policy

Statement (rev. 9/91).  Item 2 in the first full paragraph in the

instructions on page 8 of the revised PHS 398 application is applicable

to PHS agencies and programs that do not utilize the NIH Division of

Research Grants.

Receipt date guidelines are as follows:

"For grant applications processed through the NIH's Division of

Research Grants, the Division of Research Grants (DRG) system requires

that applications must be RECEIVED by the published application receipt

dates.  However, an application received after the deadline may be

acceptable if it carries a legible proof-of-mailing date assigned by

the carrier and the proof-of-mailing date is not later than 1 week

prior to the deadline date."


Some fonts designated by the manufacturer as 10-point fonts do not meet

the application requirement of 1/8 inch in height for capital letters.

Therefore, it is suggested that, when using a 10-point font, the height

should be measured with a standard device for measuring type size.  If

a particular font does not clearly meet the requirement, use of a

larger font is recommended.


The page limit for the Research Plan (exclusive of the  publications in

the Progress Report) has been increased from 20 to 25 pages.  There is

now a three-page limit on the Introduction and a six-page limit on

literature cited.  Please note that each literature citation must now

include TITLES as well as all authors, book or journal, volume number,

page numbers, and year of publication.

Items such as background graphs, diagrams, tables, and charts,

previously included in the Appendix, now must be incorporated in the

Research Plan.


There are important changes in the guidelines for Appendix material.

Page 24 of the PHS 398 (rev. 9/91) contains instructions regarding the


The Appendix may now contain 10 publications or manuscripts SUBMITTED

or accepted for publication.  Supplementary background graphs,

diagrams, tables, and charts directly pertinent to the application may

NOT be submitted as appendix material.

The Appendix is not to be used to circumvent the page limitations in

the Research Plan.  Only publications, manuscripts, questionnaires,

photographs of electron micrographs, gels, or other materials that do

not copy well should be included in the Appendix.  Because secondary

reviewers do not get copies of the Appendix, a photocopy of any

photographs in the Appendix, MUST also be included in the Research

Plan.  Photocopies must be large enough to be legible to reviewers.

Letters regarding consultants and collaborators must be included in

Section 7 of the application, not in the Appendix.  See page CC, Table

of Contents.






Facsimile copies of forms are acceptable provided they closely resemble

the original application.  Spacing on forms other than the face page

may differ slightly from the actual form.  Contact Dr. Patricia Straat,

Deputy Chief for Referral, DRG, telephone (301) 496-7447, to check

acceptability of facsimiles.

The Other Support and the Personnel sections are formats, not forms.

The information presented for these two formats does not have to look

like the format nor does the exact wording on the page have to be

included.  Thus, for example, all key personnel who have no other

support may be listed on a single page with Other Support as the

heading, their names typed in and "none" indicated after "active" and


DO NOT send in a separate page of Other Support on the format in the

application for each person listed for whom "none" is checked.


The information provided in the Description is sent to the National

Technical Information Service (NTIS) and is available to the public.

Therefore, proprietary information should not be included here as it

may affect potentially patentable inventions.


The NIH is interested in tracking individuals on research projects,

especially graduate students, to determine whether or not they

subsequently pursue careers in research.  Birth dates are needed to

track these individuals.  (The birth dates of key personnel were

previously requested on the Biographical Sketch page of the application


o  Which individuals should be listed at the bottom of Form Page 2

where it asks for "Personnel Engaged on Project?"

The instructions (page 16) for Form Page 2 state that those individuals

who will participate in the SCIENTIFIC EXECUTION of the project,

including collaborating investigators, individuals in training (who are

employees on the project), and support staff must be listed.  In most

instances, support staff need not be reported since they rarely

participate in the scientific execution of the project.  Thus,

dishwashers, secretaries, animal caretakers, and most technicians need

not be listed here, but should be included on the budget page.

o  Summary of Personnel Listings

Other Support Page - Key Personnel

Personnel Form Page 2 - Key Personnel plus individuals in research

training who are employees on the project

Budget Page - All personnel who are employees of the applicant


o  Are dates of birth required or optional?

For the reasons stated above, whenever possible, dates of birth should

be included for key personnel and graduate students.

o  In the Form PHS 2590, which individuals should be listed for

personnel in the progress report on Form Page 7?

The same categories of individuals listed on Form Page 2 of the PHS 398

application must be listed here.  Thus, current and planned key

personnel plus individuals in training who are employees on the project

must be listed.


o  What is the definition of a full-time appointment?

NIH staff recognize that full-time appointments may be different in

terms of actual months per year or days per week at the applicant

organization.  Therefore, the definition of a full-time appointment

must be in accordance with the institutional policy and used

consistently by each institution on all Federal grant applications.

Anything less than full-time, in accordance with the organization's

policy, should be identified with an asterisk.

In cases such as the Veterans Administration, where the type of

appointment cannot be identified by months, an asterisk should be

placed in the column and a full explanation provided under


o  What is institutional base salary?

The definition of institutional base salary on Page 17 has not changed

and is the annual compensation that the applicant organization pays for

the individual's appointment, whether that individual's time is spent

on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities.  For example,

a physician's clinical salary that is paid by the applicant

organization under its standard payroll system is considered part of

the institutional base salary.

o  Should actual or projected institutional base salary be used in

salary calculations?

The institution must list the salary in effect at the time of

submission.  However, if, for instance, a known state-wide or

institution-wide salary or other increase, such as promotion or merit

pay, has been approved or is projected, salaries based on that figure

may be requested provided the anticipated increase is explained in the

Justification section.

o  Should the institutional base salary be listed when it is greater

than $125,000?

When an institutional base salary exceeds the salary limitation, the

higher salary should be listed.  The salary limitation, currently

$125,000, is an annual requirement that is subject to change with each

appropriation.  The salary requested, however, cannot be awarded at a

rate in excess of $125,000 per year.

o  What should be listed in the institutional base salary category if,

for instance, a graduate student is paid hourly and does not have an

institutional base salary?

An asterisk must be placed in the column for base salary and an

explanation must be provided under "Justification" to explain the basis

for the salary requested.

o  Why is institutional base salary required for the continuation

application, form PHS 2590, and optional for the competing application,

form PHS 398?

Institutional base salary is optional because those applications are

available to outside reviewers.  However, institutional base salary

will be requested by the grants management staff if the application is


Since the information on the PHS 2590 is reviewed by NIH staff, not by

outside reviewers, and the information is needed by grants managers,

institutional base salary is required for the continuation application.


If the list of publications in the last three years exceeds two pages,

select the most pertinent publications.  DO NOT EXCEED TWO PAGES.


Other Support information is critical for determining effort and

resources available to the Principal Investigator for that project.

Overlapping support or over commitment of effort determinations are

part of the stewardship roles of NIH program and grants management


The format on form Page 7 was designed as a guide to ensure that all of

the pertinent information is included.  Other Support should not be

more than one page per key personnel per other support source.

Specific aims of the other projects, for example, should be condensed

into about five lines.

o  What is institutional support?

Institutional support includes funds or resources paid for or provided

by the institution for personnel, trainees, and/or equipment that has

not been reported elsewhere in the application.

o  What resources should be listed for Other Support?

All funds and resources, whether Federal, non-Federal or institutional,

available to the Principal Investigator/program director in direct

support of the research endeavors through research or training grants,

cooperative agreements, contracts, fellowships, and endowed chairs must

be listed on the Other Support page.  Research endeavors relate to an

investigator's entire program of research.  However, in the case of

prizes and gifts, only those that support the specific projects must be

reported in Other Support.

While most gifts are monetary, other non-monetary gifts, such as

equipment, must be reported when used in direct support of the project

and not reported elsewhere in the application.

o  What is meant by dates and costs of the entire project?

The dates of the entire project should reflect only the currently

active award for the Other Support, e.g., the current competitive

segment.  Both direct and indirect costs must be listed here as well as

for the Other Support for the current year.


For Misconduct in Science, new institutions must report the date of

Initial Assurance.  Institutions that have submitted Annual Reports

must list the date of the most recent submission.

The checklist must be the last page on ALL copies of the application.

Certification/assurance of a Drug-Free Workplace is applicable for new

or revised applications (Type 1).  It is NOT required in applications

for competing and noncompeting continuations (Type 2 and Type 5).

Applicants applying for a non-competing continuation must have filed

forms for Civil Rights, Handicapped Individuals, Sex Discrimination,

and Age Discrimination in order to have received a competing award.

Therefore, applicants should mark "FILED" for these assurances on the

checklist for the PHS 2590.


o  In form PHS 2590, the Application for Continuation, what information

should be included in the table for reporting subject data on form Page


Use the table on form Page 7 to provide the number of male and female

subjects within each category enrolled in the study to date, that is,

cumulatively since the most recent competitive award.


On page 9 of the form PHS 398, the page limitations chart describing

the Research Plan should read "Sections 1-4" instead of "Sections A-D."


Indirect costs under Institutional NRSAs, other than those awarded to

State and local government agencies, will be reimbursed according to

the PHS Grants Policy Statement (rev. 9/91), which states eight percent

of total allowable direct costs exclusive of tuition and related fees

and expenditures for equipment or AT THE ACTUAL INDIRECT COSTS RATE,


was inadvertently omitted from the new application forms.)


The Appendix material instructions should have reflected the new

guidelines for the Appendix for individual research grant applications.

Thus, no more than six publications and manuscripts submitted or

accepted for publication may be submitted with NEW applications.


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