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In general, Federal institutions are eligible to apply for NIH grants, including research project grants. Specific eligibility will be stated in each FOA. Federal institutions also must meet the eligibility requirements of the grant program from which support is sought. PHS organizational segments, other than IHS hospitals, may receive NIH grant support under exceptional circumstances only. Such circumstances may include situations where a project cannot be supported within the mission of the applicant PHS agency or organizational segment, the activity cannot be performed elsewhere, or its nonpursuit would have an adverse impact or potentially important effect on the NIH mission, and NIH determines a grant is the appropriate means of carrying out the activity. However, NIH may not award a grant to an NIH component.
Although the performance site may be at a level lower than the agency or department level of the Federal institution, when an award is made to an eligible Federal institution, the Federal agency or department will be the recipient of record and must assume responsibility for the project. A Federal institution also must ensure that its own authorizing legislation will allow it to receive NIH grants and to be able to comply with the award terms and conditions.
A document that assures both the assumption of responsibility and authority to receive a grant must accompany each new and competing continuation application. The assurance must be signed by the head of the responsible Federal department or independent agency or a designee who reports directly to the department or agency head. (In the case of the DoD, the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force are considered the Federal department, and their Secretaries the responsible Department head.) This assurance is in addition to those made by the AOR's signature on the face page of the application. The assurance requirement does not apply to VAMCs, Bureau of Prisons' (Department of Justice) hospitals, IHS hospitals, or other PHS organizational segments.