NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 25, August 1, 1997
P.T. 34

  Grants Administration/Policy+ 
National Institutes of Health
In the context of reinvention and Electronic Research Administration
(ERA), NIH has begun the transition from paper to electronic exchange
of information.  The Notice of Grant Award (NGA) has been identified
as one such paper document that, if reformatted, can be easily
transmitted using electronic mail (E-mail).
As a first step in the transition from paper to electronic exchange
of information, NIH must reformat the current NGA form.  Therefore,
effective October 1, 1997, all NIH grant, cooperative agreement, and
fellowship awards will be issued in a letter format.  As NIH begins
pilot implementation of the award letter format, some grantee
institutions will receive selected grant awards in the letter format
beginning in July 1997.  All information currently provided on the
NGA form will continue to be provided in the new award letter format.
The only change is that the letter-format NGA will no longer provide
a cumulative record of all transactions affecting the particular
budget period.  For example, a supplemental award will only reflect
the amount of the supplemental action, not the cumulative support for
that budget period.
Later this summer, NIH will begin pilot testing the electronic NGA
with a small group of grantee institutions.  These institutions have
provided NIH with a generic E-mail address established for this
purpose.  We recognize that not all grant recipients will have the
capability to receive electronic NGAs.  Therefore, we will maintain a
system whereby receiving NGAs electronically will be elective.  NIH
recommends that any grant recipients wishing to receive electronic
NGAs establish a generic and stable E-mail address specifically for
this purpose.  Similar to the current paper process, the NGA will be
sent to this central E-mail address and the institution will be
responsible for distributing the NGA, along with any special terms
and conditions, to the principal investigator and other appropriate
officials within the recipient organization.  To facilitate NIH's
process for collecting grantee institution E-mail addresses,
instructions for the PHS 398 grant application kit are being revised
to request that applicants provide the generic E-mail address in Item
13 of the face page (Form Page AA).
NIH anticipates that electronic NGAs will be transmitted routinely to
all grant recipients capable of receiving electronic notices by the
end of calendar year 1998.  At that time, in addition to the NGA
being transmitted via E-mail, a copy of the notice and related terms
and conditions will be accessible on the NIH Commons by those
individuals granted access to this information by each grantee
institution.  (The NIH Commons is a World Wide Web-based interface
currently under development for support of electronic research
administration.  The Commons interface will support secure,
confidential transactions, as well as serve as the primary resource
for public information about NIH extramural programs.)  This second
means of presentation of the NGA will ensure that grantee
organizations have alternatives for receipt of award notices.
Eventually, NIH plans to implement a system that will transmit the
content of the NGA as a data stream in order to allow recipients the
opportunity to electronically receive and process award data directly
into the organizational accounting system.
Should you have any questions concerning this notice, please contact
the grants management official identified on your NGA.

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