REVISED OCTOBER 2018. This document applies to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements for budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2018

Consortium agreements, consortium site

15.1 General

This chapter includes the requirements for an applicant/recipient under consortium agreements in which the recipient collaborates with one or more other organizations in carrying out the grant-supported research. The recipient, as the direct and primary recipient of NIH grant funds, is accountable to NIH for the performance of the project, the appropriate expenditure of grant funds by all parties, applicable reporting requirements, and all other obligations of the recipient, as specified in the NIHGPS. In general, the requirements that apply to the recipient, including the intellectual property requirements in IIA and the program income requirements of the award, also apply to consortium participant(s). Exceptions are noted in this chapter. The recipient is responsible for including the applicable requirements of the NIHGPS in its agreements with collaborating organizations (see Written Agreement in this chapter).

Under grants that include consortium agreements:

  • The award will be made to a single recipient with a single PD/PI even though one or more organizations other than the recipient will carry out portions of the planned programmatic activity. When the multiple PD/PI model is used, all PD/PIs are listed on the award regardless of organization affiliation, with the Contact PD/PI so noted.
  • The prime recipient must perform a substantive role in the conduct of the planned research and not merely serve as a conduit of funds to another party or parties. This includes being able to provide appropriate oversight of all scientific, programmatic, financial, and administrative matters related to the grant.

Applicants are expected to detail their proposed collaborations as part of the grant application. If the application is approved as submitted, no further approval is required unless, during performance, the recipient plans to undertake additional or alternative collaborations that would constitute a change in the scope of the approved project (see Administrative Requirements-Changes in Project and Budget in IIA). Applicants for STTR grants should follow the specific requirements for research collaboration established for that program (see Grants to For-Profit Organizations chapter).

The following information must be provided to NIH as part of a competing application that proposes consortium arrangements:

For the consortium site, it is appropriate and expected that someone will be designated as the consortium lead investigator responsible for ensuring proper conduct of the project or program at the consortium site. However, this individual must only be assigned the PD/PI role when a multiple PD/PI application is being submitted. Otherwise, this individual should be assigned some other project role in the Senior/Key PersonnelThe PD/PI and other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they receive salaries or compensation under the grant. Typically these individuals have doctoral or other professional degrees, although individuals at the masters or baccalaureate level may be considered senior/key personnel if their involvement meets this definition. Consultants and those with a postdoctoral role also may be considered senior/key personnel if they meet this definition. Senior/key personnel must devote measurable effort to the project whether or not salaries or compensation are requested. "Zero percent" effort or "as needed" are not acceptable levels of involvement for those designated as Senior/Key Personnel. section of the application.

The signature (or electronic equivalent) of the AOR/SO on the application signifies that the applicant organization and all proposed consortium participants understand and agree with the following statement:

"The appropriate programmatic and administrative personnel of each organization involved in this grant application are aware of the NIH consortium agreementA formalized agreement whereby a research project is carried out by the recipient and one or more other organizations that are separate legal entities. Under the agreement, the recipient must perform a substantive role in the conduct of the planned research and not merely serve as a conduit of funds to another party or parties. These agreements typically involve a specific level of effort from the consortium organization's PD/PI and a categorical breakdown of costs, such as personnel, supplies, and other allowable expenses, including F&A costs. The relationship between the recipient and the collaborating organizations is considered a subaward relationship. (See Consortium Agreements chapter in IIB). policy and are prepared to establish the necessary inter-organizational agreement(s) consistent with that policy."

NIH may request additional information before award and may place a special condition(s) on the award.