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Strategy for NIH Funding
Navigation for the Strategy for NIH Funding. Link to Part 1. Qualify for NIH Funding.Link to Part 2. Pick and Design a Project.Link to Part 3. Write Your Application.Link to Part 4. Submit Your Application.Link to Part 5. Assignment and Review.Link to Part 6. If Not Funded.Link to Part 7. Funding.

Previous page in Strategy.Getting a Grant Award   ·   Advice for Managing Your GrantNext page in Strategy.

How to Manage Your Grant

If you are working in a domestic institution, use this page to meet all requirements for managing your grant, including reports and new events that affect your grant, for example, a change in the scope of the research or a change of organization.

For advice on these topics, go to Advice for Managing Your Grant.

Note: foreign grantees and investigators should use our Grants Policy and Management Training for Foreign Investigators for information on negotiating and managing their grants.

Table of Contents

(This page has factual information only; for advice, see Advice for Managing Your Grant.)

Keep Up With Policy Changes

At any point during your grant, NIH can institute a new policy that affects you. Here's how to stay informed:


  • Read the notices posted weekly in the NIH Guide. Subscribe to the Guide Listserv to get a table of contents for each issue.
  • Sign up for the electronic submission listservs at Get Connected.


Grantees Can Take Many Actions Independently

Without NIAID's approval, most grantees can rebudget funds and carry over unobligated balances from one budget period to the next.

As a grantee, you have some flexibility to make changes in your project and budget without our approval.

These privileges stem from laws known as the expanded authorities, which give greater autonomy to grantees.

Without NIAID's approval, you can:

  • Extend a project period for up to 12 months without additional funds, with some exceptions—read the No-Cost Extension SOP for details.
  • Carry over unobligated balances from one budget period to the next (unless your award says prior approval is required). See the Carryover Requests SOP.
  • Transfer work to a third party through a consortium agreement, contract, or other means, as long as you retain a substantive role in the research. Go to the Subawards (Consortium Agreements) for Grants SOP for more information.
  • Make cost-related changes, including rebudgeting of funds, as long as the scope of the research remains the same. Read more at What Constitutes a Change in Scope? below.
  • Spend money up to 90 days before the grant's start date with your institution's permission—read Negotiate Your Level of Support in Part 7.

Some Actions Require Our Approval

Be sure to request approval from NIAID well in advance—at least 30 days—before your proposed change.

Certain changes always require our preapproval.

For a complete list of actions that need our prior approval and instructions for sending your request to NIAID, see the Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP.

In addition, there may be items specific to your grant, so check your Notice of Award to see whether any other actions are not allowed without preapproval.

Be sure to request approval from your grants management specialist well in advance—at least 30 days before your proposed change. To be safe, you may want to check with your grants management specialist about how much time you'll need for the type of prior approval you're seeking.

If you have questions, contact your grants management specialist or program officer listed in the Commons.

Changing the Grantee Organization

If you change institutions, your institution can relinquish the award to your new one, including to a foreign institution.

When negotiating with a new institution, keep added expenses in mind. We do not pay additional costs, such as salary changes, caused by a transfer, though we do pay your new institution for higher facilities and administrative costs.

As long as your institution agrees, you may take equipment paid with grant funds to the new site.

Your business office may request a change of institution by responding to the Change of Grantee Organization (Type 7 Parent) announcement.

If the proposed change involves moving an award from a domestic to a foreign institution or between foreign institutions, you should contact your program officer immediately. He or she must present your request to our advisory Council—at one of only three meetings each year—whose members must approve it. Only then can your program officer and grants management specialist proceed with their review, which hopefully will result in the approval of issuing the transfer award.

For more information, read:

If your institution does not agree to transfer your grant, it has to terminate the grant or nominate a PI to replace you. See the Change of Principal Investigator SOP for instructions.

Information for multiple PIs. Grants with multiple principal investigators have other actions that require prior approval.

  • When a PI wants to withdraw from a grant or change to a single PI award, we assess how the withdrawal would affect the entire project, especially its scope of work and Leadership Plan.
  • If the contact PI moves to a new institution but the grantee institution does not transfer the award, the remaining PIs must request a new contact PI at the grantee institution.

Get more information from your grants management specialist.

What Constitutes a Change in Scope?

Get your grants management specialist's approval before changing your Specific Aims or using a new technology.

Before changing the scope of your research, you need approval from your grants management specialist. Talk to him or her to discuss actions that may change the scope of your research, for example:

  • Changing the Specific Aims.
  • Shifting the research emphasis from one disease area to another.
  • Changing any aspects of research involving animals or human subjects.
  • Changing the principal investigator or other key personnel.
  • Having the principal investigator on a leave of absence for more than 90 days.
  • Using a new technology.
  • Purchasing equipment that costs more than $25,000.
  • Rebudgeting funds in or out of a budget category by more than 25 percent of the total costs of the award.
  • Rebudgeting funds so that an alterations and renovations project exceeds $500,000.

For a list of all actions that constitute a change in scope, see Section 8 of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pay Attention to How You Spend Your Money

Your expenditure rate is important, so don't depend on your institution to monitor it. When spending grant funds, ask yourself:

  • Am I pacing myself?
  • Am I spending all my money in the first month or two of the project?
  • Am I not spending the money fast enough?

We expect you to have reasonable monthly expenditures and will take your spending into account when considering whether to continue funding your project.

If it is authorized on the grant award, you may be able to use grant monies to pay for the costs of inventions, licensing, and patents for items such as licensing fees, attorney's fees for preparing or submitting patent applications, and fees paid to the U.S. Patent Office.

For a full review of cost considerations, read Section 7 of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Your Reporting Requirements

Though you do not submit the reports, it's good practice to keep abreast of your due dates.

As PI, you play a large role in preparing your reports, though you don't submit them. Instead, you give information to your business office so it can send the reports to us.

Still, it's good practice to keep abreast of your due dates. That way you'll know when your business office will need information from you and when to check that your business office has indeed sent it.

Once your project is underway, you and your institution have these ongoing required reports:

  • Financial reports.
  • Subaward reports.
  • Invention reports.
  • Progress reports.
  • Audit requirements.

In some cases, you may have additional requirements. For example:

  • If you're working with human subjects, you need institutional review board approval every year.
  • If you're working with animals, you need institutional animal care and use committee approval every three years.

Along with the items described above, your institutional business official needs to submit an Annual Report on Possible Research Misconduct to the Office of Research Integrity. ORI will impose a bar on your award if it does not receive this report.

Depending on its size, structure, tax status, and amount of federal funding, your institution may also have to report the total compensation of its five most highly-compensated executives for itself and subawardees receiving $25,000 or more during the grant period.

For the "who, what, when, and how" of your reporting requirements, go to our table at Standard Reports for NIH-Funded Grants.

Find more information online:

Know When to Submit Financial Reports

Some items go directly to HHS as a quarterly Cast Transaction Report.

As a term of award, your business office has to report expenditures. Make sure you know reporting schedules.

Federal Financial Report

Your business office submits financial data to NIH using the Federal Financial Report (FFR).

Timing of this report depends on your terms of award. Most grants require one FFR within 120 days after your grant's end date. Some grants require more frequent reporting.

Check your Notice of Award to make sure, and contact your grants management specialist with any questions.

For more information, go to the eRA Commons Federal Financial Report (FFR) page.

Cash Transaction Report

In addition to the FFR, your business office sends a quarterly Cash Transaction Report (CTR) directly to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

CTR includes items 10a, 10b, and 10c of the FFR, but your institution sends it separately using the Payment Management System, a secure non-NIH database.

Your CTR is due within 30 days after the end of each fiscal year quarter and within 90 days after the end of your project.

For due dates, use the following table, and contact your business office to find out your internal deadlines.

Quarter Begins Quarter Ends Cash Transaction Report Due
October 1 December 31 January 30
January 1 March 31 April 30
April 1 June 30 July 30
July 1 September 30 October 30

For more information, go to Grant Recipient Information from the HHS Division of Payment Management.

Keep Tabs on Subawardees

For each subawardee that receives more than $25,000 during your grant, your business office reports information to the FFATA Subaward Reporting System. Your institution is exempt from this requirement if it is a federal agency or has less than $300,000 in gross income for the previous tax year.

For more information, go to the following pages:

Invention Reporting Has Four Parts

iEdison for some of your invention reporting requirements.

You must report any inventions made during your grant.

For these three items, your business office sends the information through iEdison.

  1. Fully disclose an invention to us in writing within two months after you (the inventor) provide a written disclosure to your institutional official. Include the grant, inventor's name, and a complete technical description.
  2. When submitting a renewal or noncompeting application, include either:
    • A list of all inventions conceived or brought to practice during the preceding budget period.
    • Certification that no inventions were made during the period.
  3. Submit an annual utilization report when you've elected title to an invention or begin to receive royalties or licensing fees from inventions that are not patented.

For the fourth item, submit a final invention statement and certification, HHS 568, at the end of your project. Read more at File Your Final Reports at Award End below.

Learn more about invention reporting at NIH’s Intellectual Property Policy site.

Understand the Annual Progress Report

Make sure your business office turns in your progress reports on time or risk a late award.

To maintain support of your research each year, your business office submits a Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) to NIH before the beginning of each budget period.

Your program officer reviews this progress report to determine whether NIAID will continue funding your project, and your grants management specialist evaluates your grant's administrative and fiscal status.

You have several ways to find out when your progress report is due:

Make sure your business office turns in your progress reports on time—late or incomplete progress reports cause late awards.

To see the "who, what, when, and how" of your reporting requirements, go to our table at Standard Reports for NIH-Funded Grants.

Use the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR)

Access the RPPR through the eRA Commons. eRA automatically populates some information, but you should check for mistakes. 

Note that for a multiple PI grant, only the contact PI may edit the RPPR. 

For more information, go to the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) SOP.

Report How You Share Data and Organisms

If you created a new model organism, your program officer will assess how you have shared it, so include the number of requests you've received and fulfilled. For more information, see the following:

Describe data, research materials, and other information resulting from research and how they may be shared with other investigators. For more information, see the following:

Progress Reporting for Renewal Applications

If you're submitting a renewal application, do not submit a progress report.

When you apply, describe your progress in the Research Strategy as a section with the header "Progress Report" so your program officer can easily find it.

For more on renewals, read Apply for Renewal or Start Anew in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Meet Your Audit Requirements

Even if your institution is exempt, you still need to maintain your grant records in case NIH wants to review or audit them.

Your institution will be audited if it spends $750,000 or more a year of HHS award money.

Educational and other nonprofit institutions are subject to OMB Circular A-133.

For-profit organizations can satisfy audit requirements with either of the following:

Audits are required annually. Grantees usually have 30 days after the receipt of the auditor's report to respond to audit findings.

Your institution should submit audit reports using the Federal Audit Clearinghouse's Internet Data Entry System.

If your institution is exempt from an audit, you should still maintain your grant records in case NIH needs to review or audit them.

Find more information online:

File Your Final Reports at Award End

You have 120 days after the end of your grant to make sure we receive these forms and reports.

At the end of your grant, the institutional business official submits three closeout reports to NIAID:

  • Final Federal Financial Report (FFR).
  • Final Invention Statement and Certification (HHS 568).
  • Final progress report. Note:
    • If you apply for a renewal, you do not need to submit a final progress report since you documented the progress of the research in the renewal application.
    • You cannot use the RPPR mentioned above for final progress reports.
    • For instructions on how to fill out your Final Progress Report, visit the PHS Instructions.

The business official has 120 days after the end of the grant to send these final forms and reports to NIH.

Get your due dates in the eRA Commons or by searching Grants Pending Closeout.

If you fail to submit your final reports on time, it may affect future funding for your institution. If final reports are missing or inaccurate 180 days after your grant’s end date, NIAID will begin unilateral closeout of your grant. We may consider enforcement action such as reducing your award amount.

For more information, refer to NIH's Closeout.

Final Federal Financial Report (FFR)

Your final FFR should indicate the exact balance of unobligated funds. You must reconcile your FFR expenditure report with the cash transactions you reported in the Payment Management System.

Final Invention Statement and Certification (HHS 568)

Your HHS 568 should cover the period from the date your support began to the date your award expired. Send it even if you previously reported inventions or your funded project did not result in an invention.

Make sure you list all inventions that were conceived of or put into practice during the course of your project. If you had no inventions, put "None."

Before you submit your form, remember to have your institutional business official sign it.

Final Progress Report

Your final progress report helps NIAID staff evaluate your research and should include the following:

  • Complete heading with the grant number, PI, grantee institution, project title, and date of the entire period of the grant (include any authorized extension of the final budget period).
  • Statement of progress made toward your Specific Aims. List the results, positive or negative, direct or indirect, and those considered to be significant. When possible, tie these results to the report's publication list.
  • List of publications originating from the grant and those already in print, in press, or planned as a result of your grant.
    • Cite PubMed Central identification numbers (PMC ID) for each new publication.
    • Also be aware that you must submit to PubMed Central an electronic version of any final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication that resulted from the award.
    • For more information, see the Public Access of Publications SOP. The SOP covers submission and citation requirements, reimbursement of publication costs, and what to do if a PMC ID is not ready.
  • Sharing of research resources. If your application had a sharing plan, your program officer will assess how you followed your plan, so be sure to include the number of requests received and fulfilled. See Part 5. Compliance.
  • Description of data, research materials, and other information resulting from research and how they may be shared with other investigators. See the Data Sharing for Grants: Final Research Data SOP and Data Sharing for Grants: Genome-Wide Association Studies SOP, which include information on removing individual identifiers and when data sharing should begin.
  • For human subjects, report on the inclusion of gender and minority study subjects using the progress report's PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report, selecting "Cumulative (Active)" for enrollment type. If children were involved, indicate how the study was relevant for them.
  • For instructions on how to fill out your Final Progress Report, visit the PHS instructions.

Submit Final Reports

Submit final reports electronically through the Closeout screen of the eRA Commons. For instructions, read eRA's Closeout Status.

Keep Your Records Accessible

Keep records for three years after the grant ends.

You must keep your project records for three years after the grant ends.

If any issue arises, we need to be able to verify the records, which must include all data and fiscal information. For detailed information, read Retention and Access Requirements for Records, 45 CFR Part 74.53.

Know that through the Freedom of Information Act, other people can gain access to information concerning your grant.

If other scientists formally request non-proprietary information from your application, our FOIA office will provide it. See the Privacy, Conduct, Conflict of Interest, and Clinical Research Ethics Questions and Answers for more information.

Strategy for NIH Funding
Navigation for the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Previous page in Strategy.Getting a Grant Award   ·   Advice for Managing Your GrantNext page in Strategy.

See the other sections of
Part 7. Funding

Table of Contents for the Strategy

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Last Updated March 31, 2016

Last Reviewed April 08, 2015