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Top Policy Changes

Newest entries appear at the top of the list. For other NIH Guide policy notices, see Special Announcements.

NIH Expands Use of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR), April 10, 2014

NIH plans to require a Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) for all noncompeting awards starting in or around October 2014.

In advance of that transition, all institutions will have the option to submit RPPRs beginning April 25, 2014, except for final progress reporting and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Fast Track Phase II applications. Progress reporting deadlines will not change.

Read more in the March 4, 2014, Guide notice.

NIH Allows Chimpanzee Research Proposals, March 4, 2014

Researchers may propose work involving chimpanzees or biomaterials from chimpanzees. For research not funded by NIH, third parties may request permission to use NIH-owned or -supported chimpanzees.

After peer review, NIH requires investigators to complete a Chimpanzee Research Use Form unless their work is exempt. The form goes to NIH's Council of Councils for review and approval by a Chimpanzee Research Use Panel. Due to these additional steps, successful applicants should expect to wait at least a year for an award.

For more information, see the following:

NIH Implements Class B Dog Policy, December 17, 2013

Starting on October 1, 2014, NIH-supported research may not use NIH funds to procure or use dogs from Class B ("random source") dealers. Instead, researchers must use only approved legal sources, such as the following:

  • USDA Class A dealers.
  • Privately-owned colonies (e.g., colonies established by donations from breeders or owners.)
  • Client-owned animals (e.g., animals participating in veterinary clinical trials.)

For more information and background, see the December 17, 2013, Guide notice.

NIH Makes Several Changes Due to the U.S. Government Shutdown, October 29, 2013

NIH issued policy guidance for the following people affected by October's government shutdown:

  • Investigators applying to funding opportunities with October 2013 receipt dates.
  • Applicants with review meetings scheduled in October 2013.
  • Applicants whose applications' advisory Council reviews are being moved from January to May 2014.
  • Grantees with progress reports due in October 2013.
  • Grantees with awards scheduled to begin in November 2013.
  • Early-stage investigators (ESI).
  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) applicants.

For more information and links to relevant Guide notices, see NIH's Resuming Extramural Activities After the 2013 Government Shutdown.

NIH Revises Timeline for Transition to PMS Subaccounts for Domestic and Foreign Grants, September 30, 2013

NIH is delaying the transition to Payment Management System (PMS) subaccounts for domestic noncompeting continuation awards until FY 2015. All other domestic award types will transition to the PMS by the end of FY 2014 as planned.

Previously, NIH used pooled PMS accounts representing multiple grant awards. Under the new approach, grantees can draw down PMS funds only from a single grant subaccount and the available funds in that subaccount.

See the September 26, 2013, Guide notice for more details on the revised implementation timeline.

For more information, including how this affects carryover of funds, read the September 3, 2013, Guide notices:

NIH Implements Policy Related to Dual Use Research of Concern, August 30, 2013

NIH announced it is implementing the United States Government Policy for Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern, which requires federal agencies to continually monitor funded research for dual use research potential and in cases of DURC, work with institutions and investigators to develop an appropriate risk mitigation plan.

At NIH, that plan may be a term of award after an administrative review of awards to determine if they involve DURC.

NIH may also request that institutions conduct periodic reviews of projects for their DURC potential and share with their program officer any resulting manuscripts before submitting them to journals.

For complete details, read the August 28, 2013, Guide notice.

NIH to Require eRA Commons IDs for Graduate and Undergraduate Students, August 6, 2013

NIH is phasing in a new policy that requires graduate and undergraduate students working on NIH-funded projects to set up eRA Commons IDs.

The implementation will begin as follows:

  • August 15, 2013: Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to start establishing eRA Commons accounts.
  • October 18, 2013: The PHS 2590 and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) forms will start prompting for this information. Warnings will also appear in eRA Commons screens to alert students that they need to complete their IDs.
  • October 2014: RPPRs must have eRA Commons IDs for graduate and undergraduate students or the reports won't be accepted by NIH.

For more information, read the August 2, 2013, Guide notice and our September 4, 2013, article "Take Note of Notices Affecting Students and Postdocs."

NIH Ends SNAP Progress Reports, May 7, 2013

Grantees must use the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) for streamlined noncompeting award process (SNAP) reports due on or after May 15, 2013.

SNAP no longer exists as a process, though some documents and systems may still use the term to distinguish between applications that require RPPR and those that don’t. eRA Commons will soon remove the eSNAP option from its progress reporting module.

Go to NIH's Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) site for more information, including an instruction guide that explains how to submit RPPRs. ​​​

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Last Updated April 10, 2014

Last Reviewed April 10, 2014