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<< Part 6. Receiving and Spending Money · Training Index · Part 8. Other Reporting Requirements >>

Learning Points

  • Types of progress reports.
  • What NIAID looks for in a progress report.
  • How to prepare a progress report.
  • Sending a progress report.

Part 7. Annual Progress Report

This is Part 7 of the Grants Policy and Management Training for Foreign Investigators.

To continue funding each year, NIAID grantees must complete a progress report. For domestic grants, read Strategy for Your Grant in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

For more reporting requirements, see Part 8. Other Reporting Requirements.

Table of Contents

Send a Yearly Progress Report

Your initial award established the planned length of your grant and your first year of funding. Keep in mind that the approval of your initial award does not commit the U.S. to an additional award or dollar amount.

NIAID will fund the next year of the grant only after we approve your progress report. Be sure to send it on time and make sure it's complete.

Your progress report is the official request for funding. It explains the grant's progress, detailed budget, and any other changes such as key personnel. NIAID uses this report to decide whether to continue funding your grant and if so, at what level. Your progress report is just as important to your funding as was your original application.

If you need help with your progress report, contact your grants management specialist or program officer listed in the eRA Commons.

Be on Time

Progress reports are due 60 days before the start of the next budget period.

Progress reports are due 60 days before the start of the next year of the grant. For example, for a budget start date of April 1, your report is due to NIH on February 1.

Make sure you are fully aware of all of your due dates. You won't get warnings or reminders from us or NIH. We won't contact you about it until two weeks after your progress report was due.

It's a good idea for the principal investigator (PI) to keep track of the dates when he or she must send the institution's business office information and to check that the business office has sent it to us.

Find a list of your institution's due progress reports in the eRA Commons. First, find the Institutional Profile File (IPF) number using the IPF Number Search. Then use that number to run a Progress Report Search by IPF Number.

Remember that late progress reports result in late and possibly reduced awards.

And if we contact you about missing information, respond as quickly as possible. We won't fund your next award if we receive an incomplete progress report.

How NIAID Uses the Progress Report

Your program officer reviews the progress report to make sure you have made sufficient progress to justify our continued funding of the project. Grants management specialists perform an administrative and sometimes a fiscal evaluation of the progress report.

Here are some of the items they will consider:

  • Is progress satisfactory?
  • Have there been or do you propose changes in the scope, goals, or objectives of the project? See Importance of Scope of Research in Part 3. Actions You Can Take as the Project Leader.
  • Are there any changes in key personnel or their level of effort?
  • Is there evidence of scientific overlap?
  • For human subjects, is gender and minority information provided? Are human subject enrollment tables provided, if required?
  • Are there changes or concerns regarding human subjects research or research animal care and use?
  • Are there changes in other support?
  • Did you comply with NIH's public access requirements?

How to Complete a Progress Report

Foreign grants must send progress reports on paper.

As a foreign grantee, you must submit a full progress report on paper with a detailed budget.

Prepare the report by completing the PHS 2590 forms. Follow the official PHS 2590 instructions for paper reports with a detailed budget.

Subawards. If you have subawards, do the following:

  • Include a list of sites.
  • Fill out the forms with the same information as you are submitting for the grant. For example, fill out a separate budget page for each subaward on your grant.

Complete the Face Page

On the face page of the PHS 2590, provide the following information:

Items 1 to 5

  • Grant number. Find this on page 1 of the Notice of Award.
  • Total project period and requested budget period.
  • Project title. Enter in item 1.
  • PI contact information. Enter this in items 2a to 2d. For multiple PIs, list the contact PI on the PHS 2590 Face Page and additional PIs on Form Page 1 Continued.
  • Applicant organization contact information. Enter this in item 3.
  • Employer Identification Number (also called Entity Identification Number). Find this on page 2 of the Notice of Award and enter it in item 4 of this form.
  • Title and address of institutional business official. Enter in item 5.

Human Subjects, Item 6

An IRB or IEC, designated under your organization's Federalwide Assurance, must review and approve all human subjects research each year of the grant.
If the answer is yes for human subjects, provide the following:
  • Your organization's valid Federalwide Assurance (FWA) number. Remember that this number is valid for only three years, so be sure to renew it before it lapses.
  • An updated institutional review board or independent ethics committee approval date for this year.
    • An IRB or IEC, designated under the organization's Federalwide Assurance, must review and approve all human subjects research each year of the grant.
      • Get a new approval if the previous one will expire before the requested budget period would begin.
      • Without a current approval, NIAID cannot fund the next period of the grant.
    • Read more in the Human Subjects Certifications: IRB or IEC SOP.

For clinical research, you will have other reporting requirements.

Also note the following:

For more information on what to include for new key personnel in the progress report, go to Highlight New Key Personnel below.

Vertebrate Animals, Item 7

An animal welfare assurance is valid only for the duration of the project period (usually five years)—be sure to renew it before it lapses.

If the answer is yes for research animals, provide the organization's animal welfare assurance number.

  • Remember that for foreign grants, this number is valid only for the duration of the project period (usually five years) so be sure to renew it before it lapses.
  • Without a current approval, NIAID cannot fund the next period of the grant.

Costs Requested for Next Budget Period, Item 8

Read more on developing the detailed budget below.

  • For 8a., enter the direct costs from form page two.
  • For 8b., enter the sum total costs.

Inventions and Patents, Item 9

Provide this information to receive the next year's funds.

  • Check no if there were no inventions under this project.
  • Check yes if there were inventions, and ensure they have been reported to iEdison. For more information, read Invention Reporting Has Four Parts in Part 8. Other Reporting Requirements.

Performance Sites, Item 10

Indicate all work sites and the type of research conducted at each site. Use additional pages, if necessary.

For clinical trial units, put the name and address of each research site and other subawards conducting work (e.g., labs, pharmacies).

Contact Information, Items 11a to 11c

Provide telephone and fax numbers for the following:
  • Principal investigator (11a). For a multiple PI application, provide the contact PI's information here.
  • Institutional business official (11b).
  • Signing official (11c).

Applicant Organization Certification and Acceptance, Item 13

Your organization's signing official must sign and date the grant progress report. Without this signature, NIAID will not issue a Notice of Award.

The principal investigator does not sign the progress report. Instead, he or she signs and dates a signature assurance for each progress report. The institution files the assurance document in case we ask to see it. Find details about signature assurances in the April 7, 2006, NIH Guide notice.

For applications with multiple PIs, all PIs must file a signature assurance.

Complete the Detailed Budget

Justify items and amounts that significantly changed from what you proposed in your application.

For the budget part of the progress report, provide a detailed budget.

Include a justification for items and amounts that have significantly changed from what you proposed. Examples are rebudgeting more than 25 percent of funds within a category or a significant change in level of effort for the PI.

Also explain if an unobligated balance is likely to be more than 25 percent of the current year's total award.

You cannot request more for direct costs and total costs than the level shown on your most recent Notice of Award unless NIAID has contacted your institution with different funding information, as we do for clinical trial unit (CTU) awards.

Here are more details you need to provide:

  • Personnel—names, roles, effort, salary requested, and fringe benefits.
  • Consultant costs—each consultant's name and organizational affiliation as well as expected compensation, travel, per diem, and other related costs.
  • Equipment—each listed item separately with a justification.
  • Supplies—itemized in separate categories.
  • Travel—purpose of the travel.
  • Other expenses—itemized by categories, such as maintenance of animals or equipment, publication costs, computer charges, supplies, and rentals or leases.
  • Subaward or contractual costs—detailed budget and budget justification from each participating organization. Enter the total of subaward and contractual costs (direct and facilities and administrative costs) under your organization's direct cost budget.

Highlight New Key Personnel

Report on the key personnel listed in the Notice of Award. If you want to add new key personnel, provide your business office with the following:

  • A biosketch for each person.
  • Documentation of training in the protection of human subjects—for anyone involved in the design or conduct of human subjects research. See our sample letter.
  • Other support—update this information when there has been a significant change in effort (e.g., greater than 25 percent) for key personnel listed on the Notice of Award. Include the following as part of a short Progress Report Summary. See the next page.
    • Active support only.
    • Source.
    • Goals.
    • Dates.
    • Annual direct costs of the project.
    • Time commitment for each project—use calendar months.
    • Potential overlap.

Do not include information for other significant contributors unless their involvement has changed and they are now key personnel. Refer to the PHS 398 application instructions for definitions, policy, and format for other support.

Your business office sends the request for NIAID's approval through the grants management specialist listed in the eRA Commons.

Progress Report Summary

Describe the potential impact of your findings to science and public health.

The Progress Report Summary—form page 5—should describe in detail the research accomplishments during the reporting period.

The summary's maximum length is two pages, excluding the publication list and Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report. NIH limits the kinds of information that may be placed in an Appendix. For rules on including images, publications, and other content, read What to Add and Not to Add in an Appendix in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

In this section, explain significant changes to the project, e.g., other support for key personnel or level of effort for the PI or other personnel. Include the sections below in this order:

  • Specific Aims—if your Specific Aims differ from those in your original application, state the revised aims and the reason for the modification. If the aims have not been modified, state this.
  • Studies and results—describe the studies that support your Specific Aims as listed in your Notice of Award and the results you obtained.
  • Significance—describe the significance of your findings to the scientific field and their potential impact on public health.
  • Plans—summarize the plans to address the Specific Aims during the next year of support. If you have any changes to the following items, describe them in this section.
    • Item A—human subjects.
      • Include new studies, protocols, enrollment, and methods of collecting data.
      • Certify that new personnel and significant contributors have completed their mandatory education in protection of human subjects.
    • Item B—vertebrate animals.
    • Item C—select agent research.
    • Item D—multiple PI leadership plan.
    • Item E—human embryonic stem cell lines used.
  • Publications—in the Publications section, include My NCBI's official PDF list of publications for your grant. You can access this PDF from the eRA Commons—go to My Bibliography: Award Compliance Reports in PDF for eRA Commons Users for instructions.
  • 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 New NIH Policies Not in the Grants Policy Statement section in Part 5. Compliance.

If you have a multiple PI grant, you need to note any changes to the leadership plan by marking "change" on the Progress Report Summary. Describe changes to communication plans, procedures for resolving conflicts, and the administrative, technical, and scientific responsibilities for the PIs.

Read the Progress Report Summary section of the PHS 2590 instructions for more details. The PHS 2590 page includes examples for several sections.

Clinical Trial Units

Describe the following for each unit:

  • Problems or barriers encountered in meeting objectives and measures taken to overcome them.
  • Network performance standards that were not met and corrective actions.
  • Degree to which the required enrollment level was achieved during year one and plans for year two.
  • Strategies for recruiting women and minorities.
  • Involvement of Community Advisory Boards at the site.
  • Scientific contributions to the network; other successes.

Other Sections of the Progress Report

Here is a brief overview of the remaining sections of a progress report. Read the PHS 2590 instructions for more details.

  • Inclusion of changes to Innovation Potential
    • Grantees are asked, if applicable, to address any changes to the innovative potential of the project.
    • This information is now part of the Progress Report Summary, Section B. Studies and Results.
  • Biographical Sketch Format Page
    • Personal Statement. The statement is for the key personnel to address why their experience and qualifications make them particularly well-suited for their role on the project.
    • Instructions for the biographical sketch also encourage applicants to limit the list of publications to no more than 15. 
    • Reminder: A new biosketch is only required as part of the progress report for new senior/key personnel since the previous submission.
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs)
    • In the Progress Report Summary, under D. Plans, as Item E. Human Embryonic Stem Cell Line(s) Used, note if proposed research involving hESCs is different from that proposed in the previous submission, including use of a different cell line (Form Page 5).  
  • Checklist (form page 6)
    • If you do not anticipate program income, indicate "none." Also complete the F&A costs.
  • All Personnel Report (form page 7)
  • Planned Enrollment Report and Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report—required for clinical studies.

Where Does Your Organization Send Progress Reports?

Your organization's signing official signs the paper progress report. The PI does not sign; read more on signatures at Applicant Organization Certification and Acceptance, Item 13.

Then the business office mails it to the following address:

Division of Extramural Activities Support, OER
National Institutes of Health
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 2207, MSC 7987
Bethesda, MD 20892-7987 (Use this ZIP code for the U.S. Postal Service, including express mail.)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (Use this ZIP code for commercial carriers such as FedEx and UPS.)

<< Part 6. Receiving and Spending Money · Training Index · Part 8. Other Reporting Requirements >>

Last Updated October 01, 2014

Last Reviewed August 13, 2014