NIH Grants Policy Statement
Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards
NIH may award grants to Federal entities. Although the activity under these grants will take place in a research environment, certain terms and conditions vary from those included in IIA due to the recipient's status as a Federal institution. This chapter specifies those differences as well as differences in treatment among different Federal institutions. This chapter does not apply to Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (also known as Government Owned Contract Operated facilities) since the grantee institution is the institution operating the facility. In addition, this chapter addresses the policies that apply to payments to (or on behalf of) Federal employees under grants, including grants awarded to organizations other than Federal institutions.
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 grantee 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.
Investigators with joint appointments at a VAMC (VA hospital) and an affiliated university must have a valid MOU that specifies (at both the university and the VAMC) the title of the investigator's appointment, distribution of compensation, the responsibilities of the proposed investigator, and the percentage of effort available for research at each institution. The MOU must be signed by the appropriate officials of the grantee and the VAMC, and must be updated with each significant change of the investigator's responsibilities or distribution of effort and, without a significant change, not less than annually. The joint VA/university appointment of the investigator constitutes 100 percent of his or her total professional responsibilities. However, NIH will recognize such a joint appointment only when a university and an affiliated VA hospital are the parties involved.
A grant application from a university may request the university's share of an investigator's salary in proportion to the effort devoted to the research project. The institutional base salary as contained in the individual's university appointment determines the base for computing that request.
The signature of the AOR of the submitting university on an application to NIH that includes such an arrangement certifies that
Under the above-described arrangement, there is no involvement of a VA-affiliated non-profit research corporation, which is eligible to apply for and receive NIH grants in its own right as a non-profit organization. The limitations on the payment of Federal salaries apply (see Allowable and Unallowable Costs in this chapter).
The requirements concerning disclosure of financial conflicts of interest (see Public Policy Requirements, Objectives, and Other Appropriation Mandates—Financial Conflict of Interest in IIA) do not apply to Federal employees and/or Federal agencies. All other Public Policy Requirements described in IIA apply to Federal grantees.
NIH grants to DoD normally will be paid by U.S. Treasury check after submission of the appropriate interagency form to OFM, NIH. Payments to all other Federal departments and agencies generally will be accomplished by interagency agreements between agencies .
Allowable and unallowable costs under grants to Federal institutions will be determined by the established policies of the institution, consistently applied to both its own activities and to grant-supported activities, and the requirements of this subsection. In the absence of a governing organizational policy, the cost principles for State, local, and Indian tribal governments (OMB Circular A-87) will apply.
Salaries. See Federal (U.S. Government) Employees below.
Institutional Allowances Under Kirschstein-NRSA Individual Fellowships. Institutional allowances may be requested by Federal institutions sponsoring a predoctoral or postdoctoral fellow.
F&A Costs. F&A costs will not be provided to Federal institutions.
Federal (U.S. Government) Employees. Whether or not costs will be charged to the grant, when a Federal employee will be involved in an NIH grant-supported activity in any capacity other than as an employee working on a grant to a Federal institution, or a study subject, special conditions apply as provided in this subsection. The limitations in this subsection do not apply to individuals that are classified as special government employees because of service on advisory groups or as a result of a formal consulting arrangement with a Federal agency. (See the HHS Standards of Conduct at 45 CFR 73, Subpart J for additional guidance.) The Federal employee should consult with their agency ethics officials to determine whether outside activity approval is required by their employing agency.
Only four types of costs—consultant fees, subject costs, salary or fringe benefits, and travel costs—can be charged to NIH grants on behalf of Federal employees, whether by a grantee or a consortium participant, and under the conditions specified only. Applicants/grantees should advise any Federal employee with whom these types of arrangements may be made to consult with their employing agency concerning their ability to participate and to meet the required conditions for payment. The applicant organization must submit, as part of the grant application, any letters or documentation specified below, and that documentation must be deemed acceptable by the GMO before the Federal employee's involvement in the project.
Consultant Fees. Consultant fees are allowable only for medical personnel of the Uniformed Services of the United States (excluding PHS Commissioned Officers) and when all of the following conditions are present:
Outpatient or Subject Costs. These costs are allowable when the federal employee is an outpatient or subject under study in connection with grant-supported activities.
Salary or Fringe Benefits. In most circumstances no salary or fringe benefit payments may be made from NIH grant funds to support Federal employees. While the level of effort required for the research project must be allowed by the employing agency as part of the individuals' official duties, salary and fringe benefit costs associated with an individual participating in an official capacity as a career, career-conditional, or other Federal employees (civilian or uniformed services) are not allowable. Salary and fringe benefits payments may only be made when prior approval is obtained from an authorized official of the employee's agency and the employee is one of the following:
Travel Costs. Travel costs are allowable if the employee is
Such payments must be made in accordance with established organizational policy and consistently applied regardless of the source of funds, and the parties concerned must take reasonable steps to ensure that there is no actual or apparent conflict of interest.
NIH will consider all nonexpendable personal property acquired under a grant awarded to a Federal institution as exempt (see 45 CFR 74.33) for purposes of determining the accountability requirements of 45 CFR 74.34. However, NIH has the right to require transfer of equipment, including title, to NIH or an eligible third party named by the NIH awarding IC under the conditions specified in 45 CFR 74.34.
Procurement under grants to Federal institutions is governed by the FAR and the recipient agency's FAR supplement.
Inventions resulting from grants supporting the activities of Federal employees under grants to Federal institutions must be reported simultaneously to NIH and to the employing agency under the terms of EO 10096, as amended, and are subject to the government assignment of rights in invention of government employee requirements of 37 CFR 401. (See http://iEdison.gov for reporting requirements.) Any resulting patent applications and patents must identify the NIH award, consistent with the language of 37 CFR 401.14(f)(4). In cases where the VA is involved with the invention but is not the grant recipient, and the recipient institution chooses not to elect title or pursue practical application of an invention, the recipient must note VA's involvement on its notice to NIH and provide a courtesy copy of the NIH notification to the appropriate VA office. NIH will notify the recipient and the VA whether NIH has an interest in taking title and/or continuing the pursuit of practical application of the invention.
Federal institutions must electronically submit annual FFRs regardless of whether the award is subject to SNAP. Since these grants are paid directly by OFM, NIH rather than through PMS; a quarterly cash transaction report is not submitted, thus is not available for NIH IC staff to use as an alternative for financial monitoring.