NIH Grants Policy Statement
Revised November 2016. This document applies to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements for budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2016.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Previous Next

8.1 Changes in Project and Budget

In general, NIH recipients are allowed a certain degree of latitude to rebudget within and between budget categories to meet unanticipated needs and to make other types of post-award changes. Some changes may be made at the recipient's discretion as long as they are within the limits established by NIH. In other cases, NIH prior written approval may be required before a recipient makes certain budget modifications or undertakes particular activities. The recipient-initiated changes that may be made under the recipient's authority and the changes that require NIH approval are outlined below and, with respect to particular types of awards, activities, or recipients, in Subpart IIB. In addition, individual awards may restrict recipients' authorities to make budget and project changes without NIH prior approval. If NIH approval is required, it must be requested of, and obtained in writing from, the awarding IC GMO in advance of the change or obligation of funds as specified later in this chapter under Requests for Prior Approval.

Recipients shall immediately notify the Federal awarding agency of developments that have a significant impact on the award-supported activities. Also, notification shall be given in the case of problems, delays, or adverse conditions which materially impair the ability to meet the objectives of the award. This notification shall include a statement of the action taken or contemplated, and any assistance needed to resolve the situation.

Changes in project or budget resulting from NIH-initiated actions are discussed in other sections of this chapter.

8.1.1 NIH Standard Terms of Award

Federal administrative requirements allow agencies to waive certain cost-related and administrative prior approvals; these are known as expanded authorities. In 2001, NIH extended expanded authorities to all NIH awards except for the provision to automatically carry over unobligated balances. Certain award instruments, grant programs, and types of recipients are routinely excluded from the authority to automatically carry over unobligated balances. This includes centers (P50, P60, P30, and others); cooperative agreements (U); Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants (T); non-Fast Track Phase 1 SBIR and STTR awards (R43 and R41); clinical trials (regardless of activity code); and awards to individuals.

One or more of these authorities may be overridden by a special term or condition of the award. Recipients must review the NoA to determine if a particular authority is withheld for a specific grant.

Recipients must exercise proper stewardship over Federal funds and ensure that costs charged to awards are allowable, allocable, reasonable, necessary, and consistently applied regardless of the source of funds. NIH may disallow the costs if it determines, through audit or otherwise, that the costs do not meet the tests of allowability, allocability, reasonableness, necessity, and consistency.

Several authorities have specific deadlines for submission of reports or for timely notification to the NIH awarding IC. Recipients should be aware that any consistent pattern of failure to adhere to those deadlines for reporting or notification will be grounds for excluding that recipient from a specific authority.

Exhibit 6. Summary of NIH Standard Terms of Award

Recipient Authorities as NIH Standard Terms of Award Exceptions
Carryover of unobligated balances from one budget period to any subsequent period Centers (P50, P60, P30 and others), cooperative agreements (U), Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants (T), non-Fast Track Phase I SBIR and STTR awards (R43 and R41), clinical trials, and awards to individuals, or if the NoA indicates otherwise.
Cost-related prior approval changes, including research patient care costs and equipment The cost would result in a change of scope.
Extension of final budget period of a project period without additional NIH funds (no-cost extension) The recipient has already exercised its one-time authority to extend the award for up to 12 months; the NIH awarding IC has previously extended the project period; and/or a project is multi-year for 5 years (i.e., the entire 5-year project period is funded by a sinlge award).
Transfer of performance of substantive programmatic work to a third party (by consortium agreement) The transfer would be to a foreign component or it would result in a change in scope.
Direct charge the salaries of administrative and clerical staff if conditions in 45 CFR 75.413 are met and the charges also meet the criteria for allowable costs described in 45 CFR 75.403  
Direct charge payments of Incidental activities for which supplemental compensation is allowable under written institutional policy (at a rate not to exceed the institutional base salary) 45 CFR 75.430 (h)(ii). Such activities must be specifically provided for in the Federal award budget.  
Include charges for Intra-IHE faculty consulting on sponsored agreements that exceed a faculty member's base salary, but only in unusual cases where: (a) consultation is across departmental lines or involves a separate or remote operation; and (b) the consulting work is in addition to the faculty member's regular departmental load.  

8.1.1.1 Carryover of Unobligated Balances from One Budget Period to Any Subsequent Budget Period

Recipients should be aware that there is a difference between unliquidated obligations and unobligated balances. Unliquidated obligations are commitments of the recipient and are considered to be obligations and, therefore, should not be reported as unobligated balances.

The NoA will include a term and condition to indicate the disposition of unobligated balances. The term and condition will state whether the recipient has automatic carryover authority, or if prior approval is required by the NIH awarding IC. Note the authority to automatically carry over unobligated balances includes the authority to carryover from one competitive segment to another.

Automatic carryover of unobligated balances applies to all awards except centers (P50, P60, P30, other), cooperative agreements (U), Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants (T), non-Fast Track Phase I SBIR and STTR awards (R43 and R41), clinical trials (regardless of activity code), and awards to individuals. For these grants, carryover of unobligated balances requires NIH awarding IC prior approval unless otherwise noted in the NoA. Other awards may be excluded from this authority through a special term or condition in the NoA.

For awards under SNAP (see Administrative Requirements-Monitoring-Reporting-Streamlined Non-Competing Award Process for applicability), funds are automatically carried over to the subsequent budget period. However, the recipient will be required to indicate, as part of the grant's progress report, whether any estimated unobligated balance (including prior-year carryover) is expected to be greater than 25 percent of the current year's total approved budget. The total approved budget amount includes current year and any carryover from prior years of the project period. If the unobligated balance is greater than 25 percent of the total approved budget, the recipient must provide an explanation and indicate plans for expenditure of those funds within the current budget year.

For awards that require an annual FFR, the amount to be carried over must be specified under item 12, "Remarks."

For both SNAP and non-SNAP, when a recipient reports a balance of unobligated funds in excess of 25 percent of the total amount awarded for the budget period, plus any approved carryover of funds from a prior year(s), the GMO will review the circumstances resulting in the balance to ensure that these funds are necessary to complete the project, and may request additional information from the recipient, including a revised budget, as part of the review.

If the GMO determines that some or all of the unobligated funds are not necessary to complete the project, the GMO may restrict the recipient's authority to automatically carry over unobligated balances in the future, use the balance to reduce or offset NIH funding for a subsequent budget period, or use a combination of these actions. The GMO also may indicate whether the balance may be carried forward to a budget period other than the succeeding one. The GMO's decision about the disposition of the reported unobligated balance will be reflected in the terms and conditions of the NoA.

All Federal agencies are required by 31 U.S.C. §1552(a) to close fixed year appropriation accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30 of the fifth fiscal year after the year of availability. In order for the NIH to meet its obligation to close these accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30, recipients must report disbursements on the quarterly cash transaction report (using the FFR) no later than June 30 of the fifth fiscal year after the year of availability. At the end of five years, the funds are cancelled and returned to the Treasury. This provision may limit the availability of funds for carryover.

8.1.1.2 Cost-Related Prior Approvals

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.

8.1.1.3 Extension of Final Budget Period of a Previously Approved Project Period without Additional NIH Funds

The recipient 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 NoA if:

Such an action affirms that additional work remains to be completed on the project and that resources are available to continue to support the project, or that additional time is needed to provide for an orderly closeout. The fact that funds remain at the completion date of the grant is not, in itself, sufficient justification for an extension without additional funds.

With the exception of grant programs that have an effort requirement, or where terms and conditions prohibit such reductions, NIH will not require prior approval for the reduction in effort for Senior/Key personnel named in the NOA. The recipient is reminded that active awards must have a measureable level of effort.

Recipients must use the eRA Commons No-Cost Extension feature to electronically notify NIH that they are exercising their one-time authority to extend without funds the completion date of an award. This extension feature becomes available to the recipient 90 days before the project period end date. Extensions may be up to 12 months beyond the final budget period end date. In the eRA Commons, this notification can be made up to the last day of the current project end date. An e-mail notification is automatically sent to the GMO. No further action by the recipient is required.

Notifications may not be submitted via e-mail or fax. If a no-cost extension notification is submitted late, the eRA Commons No-Cost Extension feature cannot be used. Instead, the extension notification becomes a request and that requires the approval of the IC GMO. Recipients who miss the window (or opportunity) to extend the grant in eRA Commons must submit a written prior approval request to the NIH awarding IC for consideration. (See Administrative Requirements-Prior Approval Requirements for extension requiring additional funds.)

In extending the final budget period of the project period through this process, the recipient agrees to update all required certifications and assurances, including but not limited to those pertaining to human subjects and vertebrate animals, in accordance with applicable regulations and policies. Recipients are reminded that all terms and conditions of the award apply during the extension period.

Recipients may not extend project periods that were previously extended by the NIH awarding IC. Any additional project period extension requires NIH prior approval. (See Administrative Requirements-Prior Approval Requirements for extensions requiring additional funds.)

All Federal agencies are required by 31 U.S.C. §1552(a) to close fixed year appropriation accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30 of the fifth fiscal year after the year of availability. In order for the NIH to meet its obligation to close these accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30, recipients must report disbursements on the quarterly cash transaction report (using the FFR) no later than June 30 of the fifth fiscal year after the year of availability. At the end of five years, the funds are cancelled and returned to the Treasury. This provision may limit or eliminate this authority to extend the final budget period when an entire project period is funded by a single award.

The provisions in this subsection do not apply to fellowship awards.

8.1.1.4 Transfer of the Performance of Substantive Programmatic Work to a Third Party by Means of a Consortium Agreement

Prior approval by the NIH awarding IC is not required to transfer the performance of already peer reviewed programmatic work unless the activity constitutes a change in scope or results in the transfer of substantive programmatic work to a foreign component.

8.1.1.5 Direct Charging Salaries of Administrative and Clerical Staff

The salaries of administrative and clerical staff should normally be treated as indirect (F&A) costs. Direct charging of these costs may be appropriate only if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) Administrative or clerical services are integral to a project or activity;

(2) Individuals involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity;

(3) Such costs are explicitly included in the budget; and

(4) The costs are not also recovered as indirect costs.

Such charges must also meet the criteria for allowable costs described in 45 CFR 75.403.

8.1.1.6 Supplemental Compensation under Written Institutional Policy for IHEs

IHEs may direct charge payments of incidental activities for which supplemental compensation is allowable under written institutional policy (at a rate not to exceed the institutional base salary) and not include them in the records described in 45 CFR 75.430 (h)(ii). Such activities must be specifically provided for in the Federal award budget.

8.1.1.7 Intra-IHE Faculty Consulting that Exceed a Faculty Member's Base Salary, Under Certain Conditions.

IHEs may include charges for Intra-IHE faculty consulting on sponsored agreements that exceed a faculty member's base salary, but only in unusual cases where: (a) consultation is across departmental lines or involves a separate or remote operation; and (b) the consulting work is in addition to the faculty member's regular departmental load.

8.1.2 Prior Approval Requirements

This section describes the activities and/or expenditures that require NIH prior approval. NIH prior approval requirements are summarized in Exhibit 7, which is provided for guidance only. For the prior approval requirements specified in the exhibit, approval is required whether or not the change has a budgetary impact. The circumstances under which prior approval is required also are summarized in the exhibit.

Recipients also should consult Subpart IIB for prior approval requirements that apply to specific mechanisms, types of grants, and types of recipients.

Any question about the need for prior approval for an activity or cost under a specific NIH award should be directed to the GMO.

Exhibit 7. Summary of Actions Requiring NIH Prior Approval

NIH prior approval is required for Under the following circumstances
Additional no-cost extension, extension greater than 12 months, or late notification of initial no-cost extension (8.1.2.1) All instances.
A&R (8.1.2.2)

Rebudgeting into A&R costs that would exceed 25 percent of the total approved budget for a budget period.

If rebudgeting would not meet this threshold but would result in a change in scope.

Any single A&R project exceeding $500,000.

Capital expenditures (construction, land, or building acquisition) (8.1.2.3) All instances. Also, any proposals to convey, transfer, assign, mortgage, lease, or in any other manner encumber real property acquired with NIH grant funds.
Carryover of unobligated balances (8.1.2.4) If the NoA indicates that the recipient does not have the authority to automatically carry over unobligated balances.
Change in scope (8.1.2.5) All instances.
Change in status of the PD/PI or senior/key personnel named in the NoA (8.1.2.6) Withdrawal from the project; absence for any continuous period of 3 months or more; reduction of the level of effort devoted to project by 25 percent or more from what was approved in the initial competing year award.
Change of recipient organization (8.1.2.7) All instances.
Change of recipient organization status (8.1.2.8) All instances.
Deviation from award terms and conditions (8.1.2.9) All instances. Includes undertaking any activities disapproved or restricted as a condition of the award.
Foreign component added to a grant to a domestic or foreign organization (8.1.2.10) All instances.
Make subawards based on fixed amounts (8.1.2.11) All instances
Need for additional NIH funding (8.1.2.12 and 8.1.2.13) All instances, including extension of a final budget period of a project period with additional funds.
Pre-award costs (8.1.2.14) More than 90 days before effective date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award; always at the recipient's own risk.
Rebudgeting funds from trainee costs (8.1.2.15) All instances.
Rebudgeting of funds between construction and non-construction work (8.1.2.16) All instances.
Retention of research grant funds when CDA awarded (8.1.2.17) All instances.

8.1.2.1 Additional No-cost Extension or Extension Greater Than 12 Months or Late Notification of Initial No-Cost Extension

The NIH Standard Terms of Award provide the recipient the authority to extend the final budget period of a previously approved project period one time for a period of up to 12 months beyond the original completion date down in the NoA. Any additional project period extension beyond the initial extension of up to 12 months requires NIH prior approval. The request should include a description of the project activities that require support during the extension and a statement about the funds available to support the extension. Further any late notification of the initial no-cost extension provided by the NIH Standard Terms of Award also requires prior approval.

All Federal agencies are required by 31 U.S.C. §1552(a) to close fixed year appropriation accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30 of the fifth fiscal year after the year of availability. In order for the NIH to meet its obligation to close these accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30, recipients must report disbursements on the quarterly cash transaction report (using the FFR) no later than June 30 of the fifth fiscal year after the year of availability. At the end of five years, the funds are cancelled and returned to the Treasury. This provision may limit NIH's ability to further extend the final budget period.

8.1.2.2 Alterations and Renovations

NIH prior approval is required if a recipient wishes to rebudget more than 25 percent of the total approved budget for a budget period into A&R costs. NIH prior approval also is required for lesser rebudgeting into A &R costs if the rebudgeting would result in a change in scope. If rebudgeting results in an A&R project exceeding $500,000, NIH always will consider the rebudgeting to be a change in scope. (See the Construction Grants chapter in IIB for documentation requirements for A&R projects exceeding $500,000).

8.1.2.3 Capital Expenditures

Capital expenditures for land or buildings require NIH prior approval. In addition, real property acquired with NIH grant funds may not be conveyed, transferred, assigned, mortgaged, leased, or in any other manner encumbered by the recipient without the written prior approval of the NIH awarding IC or its successor organization.

8.1.2.4 Carryover of Unobligated Balances

The NoA will include a term and condition to indicate the disposition of unobligated balances. The term and condition will state whether the recipient has automatic carryover authority or if prior approval is required by the NIH awarding IC. When NIH prior approval is required, the AOR should submit a request to the GMO that includes at a minimum the following information:

8.1.2.5 Change in Scope

In general, the PD/PI may make changes in the methodology, approach, or other aspects of the project objectives. However, the recipient must obtain prior approval from the NIH awarding IC for a change in scope. A change in scope is a change in the direction, aims, objectives, purposes, or type of research training, identified in the approved project. The recipient must make the initial determination of the significance of a change and should consult with the GMO as necessary.

Potential indicators of a change in scope include, but are not limited to, the following:

8.1.2.6 Change in Status, Including Absence of PD/PI and Other Senior/Key Personnel Named in the NoA

The recipient is required to submit a prior approval request to the GMO if:

NIH must approve any alternate arrangement proposed by the recipient, including any replacement of the PD/PI or senior/key personnel named in the NoA, and the addition of any new PD/PIs.

The request for approval of any additional or substitute PD/PIs or Senior/Key Personnel named in the NoA, or change from a multiple PD/PI model to a single PD/PI model, must be accompanied by a strong scientific justification related to the scientific project, including any proposed changes in scope, the biographical sketch of any new individuals proposed and other sources of support, and any budget changes resulting from the proposed change. A new or revised Leadership Plan is required if the request is to change from a single PD/PI model to a multiple PD/PI model, or to change the number or makeup of the PD/PIs on a multiple PD/PI award. The Commons ID must be provided for any new PD/PIs.

If the arrangements proposed by the recipient, including the qualifications of any proposed replacement, are not acceptable to the NIH awarding IC, the grant may be suspended or terminated. If the recipient wishes to terminate the project because it cannot make suitable alternate arrangements, it must notify the GMO, in writing, of its wish to terminate, and NIH will forward closeout instructions.

The requirement to obtain NIH prior approval for a change in status pertains only to those personnel NIH designates in the NoA regardless of whether the applicant organization designates others as senior/key personnel for its own purposes.

8.1.2.7 Change of Recipient Organization

NIH prior approval is required for the transfer of the legal and administrative responsibility for a grant-supported project or activity from one legal entity to another before the completion date of the approved project period (competitive segment). A change of recipient organization may be accomplished under most NIH grants if any of the following conditions are met:

A change of recipient that involves the transfer of a grant to or between foreign organizations or international organizations also must be approved by the IC's Advisory Council or Board.

A grant to an individual may not be transferred.

A successor-in-interest or a name change is not considered a change of recipient (see Change in Recipient Organizational Status below).

A change of recipient organization may involve the transfer of equipment purchased with grant funds. The transfer may be accomplished as part of the original recipient's relinquishment of the grant; otherwise, NIH reserves the right to transfer title to equipment to the new organization as indicated in Administrative Requirements-Management Systems and Procedures-Property Management System Standards.

A change of recipient request normally will be permitted only when all of the permanent benefits attributable to the original grant can be transferred, including equipment purchased in whole or in part with grant funds. In reviewing a request to transfer a grant, NIH will consider whether there is a continued need for the grant-supported project or activity and the impact of any proposed changes in the scope of the project. NIH will also consider the length of time, the percentage of funds, and the amount of work remaining in the project period. A change may be made without peer review, provided the PD/PI plans no significant change in research objectives and the facilities and resources at the new organization will allow for successful performance of the project. If these conditions or other programmatic or administrative requirements are not met, the NIH awarding IC may require peer review or may disapprove the request and, if appropriate, terminate the award.

A change of recipient organization request must be made before the anticipated start date at the new organization and preferably several months in advance. Failure to provide timely notification may result in disapproval of the request or significant delays in processing. Recipients are encouraged to discuss any potential issues with the awarding IC(s) prior to submitting a change of recipient organization request. If requesting a transfer in the middle of a budget period or at the end of the Federal fiscal year, recipients should contact the awarding IC for IC-specific guidance on the timing and preparation of the change of institution application.

A request for a change of recipient organization must be submitted to the GMO. The original institution must include an Official Statement Relinquishing Interests and Rights in a Public Health Service Research Grant (PHS 3734) (relinquishing statement). The relinquishing statement may be submitted in paper or electronically via the eRA Commons. Final FFR Expenditure Data and a Final Invention Statement are due to NIH from the relinquishing organization no later than 120 days after the end of NIH support of the project. Final FFR Expenditure Data should not be submitted until the original institution has received a revised NoA for the relinquished grant.

The proposed new recipient institution must provide the GMO with a change of institution application which may be submitted using the PHS 398 or PHS 416-1 paper application forms, or electronically via Grants.gov using the Parent Funding Opportunity Announcement listed at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/parent_announcements.htm. If the original award was the result of a modular application and the recipient will submit a paper change of institution application, the modular procedures apply to the request for change of recipient. If the original award was the result of a modular application and the recipient will submit an electronic change of institution application, the recipient may submit a detailed budget or streamlined-detailed budget (as described in the FOA).

The paper application from the proposed new recipient institution should include, at a minimum, the following:

The electronic application from the proposed recipient institution should include, at a minimum, the following:

Updated biographical sketches for the PD/PI and existing senior/key personnel and biographical sketches for any proposed new senior/key personnel, and updated "other support" page(s) as necessary.

And, as applicable:

NIH may request additional information necessary to accomplish its review of the request. Acceptance of a relinquishing statement by NIH does not guarantee approval of a transfer application for the continued funding of a project.

NIH will accomplish a change of recipient organization by issuing a revised NoA to the original recipient reflecting the revised budget/project period end dates, deletion of any future-year support, and deobligation of remaining funds, if applicable. (A deobligation of funds will be based on the estimated grant expenditures through the relinquishment date, as determined from the relinquishing statement or the available balance in PMS, whichever is less.)

Concurrently, the new recipient will receive the NoA reflecting the direct cost balance reported on the relinquishing statement plus applicable F&A costs, if funds are available. If the change of recipient organization occurs on the anniversary date of the project, the NoA to the new recipient will reflect the previously committed direct cost level plus applicable F&A costs if funds are available. If the change of recipient organization occurs during the course of the budget period, the policy of the awarding IC will determine if the NoA to the new recipient will reflect the direct cost relinquished by the former recipient plus applicable F&A costs or the total costs relinquished by the former recipient. This amount is subject to change as a result of the closeout of the original grant and may be adjusted downward.

A recipient may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs before the beginning date of a transfer award. The recipient may do so only if those costs are necessary to conduct the project and would not require prior approval if incurred under an awarded grant. For the purposes of pre-award costs, transfers are treated like non-competing continuation awards. Therefore, the pre-award costs incurred are not limited to 90 days prior to the beginning date of the initial budget period of that transferred award to the new recipient organization.

8.1.2.8 Change in Recipient Organizational Status

Recipients must give NIH advance notice of the following types of change in organizational status (not a change of recipient organization as described above):

Advance notification is required to ensure that the recipient remains able to meet its legal and administrative obligations to NIH, and payments are not interrupted.

Recipients are encouraged to contact the GMO of the lead NIH awarding IC to explain the nature of the change in organizational status and receive guidance on whether it will be treated as a name change or SII. The lead awarding IC ordinarily will be the IC with which the organization has the most NIH grants. NIH reserves the right to review the material provided, seek clarification or additional information, and make an independent determination.

A recipient's formal request for a change in organizational status should be submitted to NIH as soon as possible so that NIH can determine whether the organization will continue to meet the grant program's eligibility requirements and take the necessary action to reflect the change in advance of the change in status.

For a SII, a letter signed by the AORs of the current recipient (transferor) and the successor-in-interest (transferee) must be sent to the lead NIH awarding IC, following consultation with the GMO of that awarding IC. The letter must include the following:

NIH is currently piloting the electronic submission of some of the items required for a successor-in-interest request. After discussions with the lead NIH awarding IC, recipients may choose to submit an electronic application for a successor-in-interest request to satisfy the requirement for the face page(s), confirmation of the transferee's EIN, verification of the transferee's compliance with applicable requirements (e.g., research misconduct assurance of compliance), and Relinquishing Statement. The electronic application is submitted via Grants.gov using the Parent Funding Opportunity Announcement at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/parent_announcements.htm.

In order to be recognized as the SII, the "new" (transferee) organization must meet each grant program's eligibility requirements; except for grants awarded under the SBIR/STTR programs. See Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs-Eligibility in IIB for additional guidance. Upon review and acceptance of this information, NIH will revise the NoA(s) to show the transferee as the recipient of record.

For name changes, the recipient's written notification to the lead NIH awarding IC must include the effective date of the change. Revised face pages are not required for name changes because name changes are reported and processed with the next award action (e.g., non-competing continuation award).

8.1.2.9 Deviation from Award Terms and Conditions, including Restrictions in the NoA

NIH prior approval is required for any deviation from terms or conditions stated or referenced in the NoA, including those in the NIHGPS. This includes undertaking any activities disapproved or restricted as a condition of the award.

8.1.2.10 Foreign Component Added to a Grant to a Domestic or Foreign Organization

Adding a foreign component under a grant to a domestic or foreign organization requires NIH prior approval.

8.1.2.11 Provide Subawards Based on Fixed Amounts

With NIH prior approval, a pass-through entity may provide subawards based on fixed amounts (as defined in 45 CFR Part 75.2), to which the following conditions apply:

(1) The Fixed amount subaward is negotiated using the cost principles (or other pricing information) as a guide. The pass-through entity may use fixed amount subawards if the project scope is specific and if adequate cost, historical, or unit pricing data is available to establish a fixed amount subaward based on a reasonable estimate of actual cost. Payments are based on meeting specific requirements of the subaward. Accountability is based on performance and results. Except in the case of termination before completion of the subaward, there is no governmental review of the actual costs incurred by the non-Federal entity in performance of the subaward. Some of the ways in which the fixed amount subaward may be paid include, but are not limited to:

(i) In several partial payments, the amount of each agreed upon in advance, and the "milestone" or event triggering the payment also agreed upon in advance, and set forth in the subaward;

(ii) On a unit price basis, for a defined unit or units, at a defined price or prices, agreed to in advance of performance of the subaward and set forth in the subaward; or,

(iii) In one payment at subaward completion.

(2) A fixed amount subaward cannot be used in programs which require mandatory cost sharing or match.

(3) The non-Federal entity must certify in writing to the pass-through entity at the end of the subaward that the project or activity was completed or the level of effort was expended. If the required level of activity or effort was not carried out, the amount of the subaward must be adjusted.

(4) Periodic reports may be established for each fixed amount subaward.

(5) Changes in principal investigator, project leader, project partner, or scope of effort must receive the prior written approval of the pass-through entity.

8.1.2.12 Need for Additional NIH Funding without Extension of Budget and Project Period

A request for additional funding for a current budget period to meet increased costs that are within the scope of the approved application, but that were unforeseen when the new or renewal application or grant progress report for non-competing continuation support was submitted, is a non-competing supplemental application. Such requests are submitted, in writing, directly to the GMO and are not required to compete with other applications for funding. Other recipient-initiated requests for supplemental funding during a current budget period are considered to change the scope of the approved project and may be required to compete for funding with other applications. When calculating the award for additional funds, NIH will 1) prorate funding if the requested budget is adjusted at the time of award, and 2) use the institution's current F&A rate; i.e., the rate in effect when the new funding is provided.

8.1.2.13 Need for Additional NIH Funding with Extension of the Final Budget Period of a Project Period

A request for a non-competing extension of the final budget period of a project period with a minimal amount of additional funds should be submitted to the GMO, in writing, at least 30 days before the project period is scheduled to expire. Such requests usually are for a period of up to 12 months and must be either for work that remains to be completed on the project or to permit orderly phase-out of project activities for which there will be no further NIH support. Resources must be available to continue to support the project. The request must specify the proposed revised ending date and must include justification for both the extension and the additional funds requested. Special justification will be required for an extension that would exceed 12 months. NIH will not approve such requests if the primary purpose of the proposed extension is to permit the use of unobligated balances of funds. All terms and conditions of the award apply during the extended period.

All Federal agencies are required by 31 U.S.C. §1552(a) to close fixed year appropriation accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30 of the fifth fiscal year after the year of availability. In order for the NIH to meet its obligation to close these accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30, recipients must report disbursements on the quarterly cash transaction report (using the FFR) no later than June 30 of the fifth fiscal year after the year of availability. At the end of five years, the funds are cancelled and returned to the Treasury. This provision may limit NIH's ability to further extend the final budget period with funding.

8.1.2.14 Pre-Award Costs

See Cost Considerations-Selected Items of Cost-Pre-Award (Pre-Agreement) Costs.

8.1.2.15 Rebudgeting of Funds from Trainee Costs

The rebudgeting of amounts previously awarded for trainee costs (stipends, tuition, and fees) to other categories of expense requires NIH prior approval. This excludes trainee travel, which NIH does not consider to be a trainee cost, and training-related expenses (see Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards-Institutional Research Training Grants-Rebudgeting of Funds in IIB).

8.1.2.16 Rebudgeting of Funds Between Construction and Non-construction Work

Under awards that provide for both construction and non-construction work, NIH prior approval is required to transfer funds between the two types of work.

8.1.2.17 Retention of Research Grant Funds When a Career Development Award is Issued

Funds budgeted under an NIH grant for an individual's salary and fringe benefits, but available as a result of receiving a K award for that individual, may not be used for any other purpose without NIH prior approval.

8.1.3 Requests for Prior Approval

All requests for NIH awarding IC prior approval must be made in writing (including submission by e-mail) to the GMO no later than 30 days before the proposed change, and signed by the AOR. If the request is e-mailed, it must provide evidence of the AOR's approval; a cc to the AOR is not acceptable. A request by a subrecipient for prior approval will be addressed in writing to the recipient. The recipient will promptly review such request and shall approve or disapprove the request in writing. A recipient will not approve any budget or project revision which is inconsistent with the purpose or terms and conditions of the Federal-award to the recipient. If the revision, requested by the subrecipient would result in a change to the recipient's approved project which requires Federal prior approval, the recipient will obtain the awarding IC's approval before approving the subrecipient's request. Failure to obtain required prior approval from the appropriate awarding IC may result in the disallowance of costs, termination of the award, or other enforcement action within NIH's authority. While the PD/PI signature is no longer required as part of the submission to NIH, the recipient must secure and retain such a signature for each prior approval request and make it available to NIH or other authorized DHHS or Federal officials upon request. When multiple PD/PIs are recognized for a particular grant, this requirement applies to all PD/PIs. (See Policies Affecting Applications-Program Director/Principal Investigator, Individual Fellowship and Sponsor Assurance).

E-mail requests must be clearly identified as prior approval requests, must reflect the complete grant number in the subject line, and should be sent by the AOR to the GMO that signed the NoA. Contact information is provided on each NoA and is also available in the eRA Commons. E-mail addresses for NIH staff can be also obtained from the NIH Enterprise Directory at: https://ned.nih.gov/search/. E-mail requests must include the name of the recipient, the name of the initiating PD/PI, the PD/PI's telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address, and comparable identifying information for the AOR.

The GMO will review the request and provide a response to the AOR indicating the final disposition of the request, with copies to the PD/PI and to the cognizant NIH PO. Only responses provided by the GMO are considered valid. Recipients that proceed on the basis of actions by unauthorized officials do so at their own risk, and NIH is not bound by such responses.

Whenever recipients contemplate rebudgeting or other post-award changes and are uncertain about the need for prior approval, they are strongly encouraged to consult, in advance, with the GMO.

Under a consortium agreement or contract, the prior approval authority usually is the prime recipient. However, the prime recipient may not approve any action or cost that is inconsistent with the purpose or terms and conditions of the NIH grant. If an action by a consortium participant will result in a change in the overall grant project or budget requiring NIH approval, the prime recipient must obtain that approval from NIH before giving its approval to the consortium participant.