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Managing a Grant Questions and Answers

Table of Contents

General

Reporting Requirements

Prior Approval for Changes

General

Read the questions and answers below or see the Table of Contents above.

Whom should I contact with questions about managing my award?

If you have a question about your award, call your grants management specialist. Each award has its own characteristics.

If you have a general question, read Strategy for Your Grant in the Strategy for NIH Funding, which outlines the steps to take before we issue an award and what to do to maintain it.

Where can I find information on grant awards?

See our NIAID Grant Awards—General Information questions and answers and read the Strategy for NIH Funding.

How long does it take to get a grant after I apply?

See How long does it take to get an NIH grant? in our NIAID Grant Awards—General Information questions and answers.

When can I expect my Notice of Award?

Expect a Notice of Award within six to eight weeks after second-level review by our advisory Council, earlier if it underwent expedited second-level review. This could take longer if the study section had human or animal concerns or you have a complex grant type.

You may be able to start spending funds before getting your Notice of Award. Read Can I start spending funds before my approved start date? in NIAID Grant Awards—General Information, and find more details in Early Grant Awards questions and answers.

Do you know of a Web site that helps PIs and business offices understand the various parts of the Notice of Award?

These two resources may help:

Your assigned grants management specialist can also answer questions. He or she is listed in the Notice of Award and in the eRA Commons.

Are increased costs covered when I change grantee institutions?

NIAID does not approve additional costs, such as salary changes, caused by a transfer. However, we do pay for higher facilities and administrative costs, if we have the funds. When negotiating with a new institution, keep any added expenses in mind.

Can I use leftover funds from a previous project period?

Check your Notice of Award to see if you have automatic carryover. If not, your institutional business official should send a request to your grants management specialist. See the Carryover Requests SOP for detailed instructions.

Can I use some of my grant funds to pay part of a lab worker's fellowship with another institution?

No. Your grant funds cannot pay for any activities outside the grant. Since the fellowship is separate, you need to find another way to cover those costs.

Can grantees charge preaward costs to noncompeting grants?

Yes. Grantees may incur preaward costs before the beginning date of a noncompeting grant. However, there is risk involved since NIAID does not have to issue an award or increase the amount of the approved or committed budget.

What do I do if my grant has entered a new year and I haven't received additional funds?

If you haven't received funds within a week after your budget start date, contact your grants management specialist to see if there are issues or concerns that have delayed the award.

Can my salary increase each year?

Yes. See Can my salary increase each year? on Salaries and Stipends questions and answers.

If salary increases are built into my budget, does my institution have to give the salary increase?

The answer depends on the terms of your award and type of institution. Speak to your business office, then contact your grants management specialist about your situation.

Your institution doesn't have to give you a salary increase even if it was built into your budget. But for most grants, you can rebudget your grant money for another purpose as long as the unused dollars are less than 25 percent of total costs.

Depending on your award, you may need prior approval to do this. Read Grantees Can Take Many Actions Independently in the Strategy for NIH Funding and Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP for more information.

How do I negotiate facilities and administrative costs?

Your institution's business office does this through HHS's Division of Cost Allocation. Learn more at its Program Support Center.

Where do I find guidance on calculating facilities and administrative costs?

Seek guidance from your institution's business office.

In most cases, your grant support pays for direct costs plus facilities and administrative costs (previously known as indirect costs) negotiated for your institution. See Make Sure Your Institution Has Negotiated F&A Rates in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Foreign institutions may use an F&A rate of up to 8 percent of direct costs, excluding equipment. Read more at Facilities and Administrative Costs in our Grants Policy and Management Training for Foreign Investigators.

How do I find out what information to send just-in-time?

NIH or NIAID notifies you. Also read Prepare Your Just-In-Time Information and Prepare Your Other Support Submission in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

With whom do I negotiate my award?

Negotiate with an NIAID grants management officer or specialist. See NIAID Staff Roles questions and answers, and read Negotiation Determines Your Terms of Award in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

What is my role in the negotiation?

If NIAID approves everything in your application, give us any information we ask for and accept our funding.

Sometimes, a study section changes the scope, Specific Aims, budget, or duration of your award. Work with your grants management specialist and program officer to revise your project or restore the funds, years, or aims in your application.

Keep keep in mind that we try to fund all approved aims, but we might not have leeway to make the changes you need.

  • You have to follow all the rules for working with human subjects, research animals, and select agents.
  • If your budget was reduced by 25 percent or more due to a programmatic reduction (not peer review), you have to modify the scope, aims, timeline, and budget.
  • If we convert your award into a cooperative agreement, you have to negotiate new terms with your grants management specialist or decline the award. See the Conversion of Grants to Cooperative Agreements SOP.

For more information, see the Grants Negotiation SOP and Negotiation Determines Your Terms of Award in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Reporting Requirements

Read the questions and answers below or see the Table of Contents above.

What reports must I send NIAID each year to maintain my award?

We require reports on your project's scientific progress and financial status as well as any inventions you have produced to maintain your award. For details, read Your Reporting Requirements in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Where can I find information on progress reporting?

Go to Understand the Annual Progress Report in the Strategy for NIH Funding. Also see the following pages:

Visit the following sites for instructions on filling out a progress report:

For information on your final progress report, go to File Your Final Reports at Award End in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

How does my institution report financial information for my grant?

Your institution reports this information through the eRA Commons on a Federal Financial Report. Read more at Know When to Submit Financial Reports in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

When does my institution submit its Federal Financial Report?

If your award uses the streamlined noncompeting award process (SNAP), your institution sends one final Federal Financial Report within 90 days after your grant's end date.

For non-SNAP awards—mostly foreign grants, training grants, cooperative agreements, and small business awards—your institution submits this data annually within 90 days of the end of the calendar quarter in which your budget period ends, in addition to a final cumulative report.

Note: these are separate from quarterly reports on financial transactions. Those reports use the same form but go directly to the Department of Health and Human Services—NIH does not collect or review that information.

For more on financial reporting and a table that tells you when your institution must send its reports, go to Know When to Submit Financial Reports in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

As a PI, must I report my inventions to NIAID?

Yes. Grantees and contractors must report inventions resulting from NIH support. Read Invention Reporting Has Four Parts in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

What is the Annual Report on Possible Research Misconduct?

The Annual Report on Possible Research Misconduct is a form your institution must file with the Office of Research Integrity certifying that it has a process for responding to allegations of research misconduct.

The form must also include any reported allegations of misconduct over the past year. ORI will impose a bar to award if it does not receive this report.

For more information, see the Bars to Grant Awards—Research Misconduct SOP.

Prior Approval for Changes

Read the questions and answers below or see the Table of Contents above.

How do I know which actions I can take independently, and when I need permission?

Go to Grantees Can Take Many Actions Independently and Some Actions Require Our Approval in the Strategy for NIH Funding and read the Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP.

Can I change the Specific Aims of my grant without NIAID approval?

No. Changes in the Specific Aims approved at the time of award and other changes in scope require prior approval from NIAID. See What Constitutes a Change in Scope? in the Strategy for NIH Funding and the Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP.

Do grantees need prior approval to rebudget grant funds?

Not usually, but if rebudgeting results in a change of scope, our approval is necessary. See What Constitutes a Change in Scope? in the Strategy for NIH Funding and the Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP.

Do grantees need prior approval to change key personnel?

Yes. Seek our approval if any of the key personnel want to withdraw, take more than three months off at a time, or reduce the time devoted to a project by 25 percent or more.

How do I name a new PI for my grant?

Contact your grants management specialist to request prior approval from NIAID.

What happens to an award if the PI changes institutions?

When a PI moves to another institution, the original grantee institution can either release the award to the new institution, keep the award and nominate a new PI, or terminate the award.

Which application do I use for a change of grantee institution?

For paper or email requests, use the PHS 398. For electronic requests, follow the instructions in the Change of Grantee Organization (Type 7 parent) announcement.

How do I secure prior approval from NIAID?

Read the Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP. If you have questions, contact your grants management specialist or the program officer.

If I need additional time, can I extend a project period without permission from NIAID?

Yes. You can extend a project period for most grants once by up to 12 months without NIAID's approval—simply submit the request through the Commons or notify your grants management specialist of your plans. See the No-Cost Extension SOP for more information.

Can I increase the percent effort on my grant?

Yes, as long as you stay within the scope of your grant, you may increase your effort.

However, if any change might indicate a change in scope—for example, rebudgeting by more than 25 percent of the total costs of the award—you need to request prior approval from your grants management specialist. Read What Constitutes a Change in Scope? in our Strategy for NIH Funding.

What if my question wasn't answered here, or I'd like to suggest a question?

Email deaweb@niaid.nih.gov with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. We answer questions by email and post them here. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.

Last Updated May 07, 2013

Last Reviewed June 05, 2012