As you work on your next interim- or final-Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR), remember that the Project Outcomes section will be visible to the general public through NIH RePORTER. Follow our tips to ensure your text is appropriate and likely to receive approval from NIH staff. Write your Outcomes with a public audience in mind:
- Use plain language. Spell out your acronyms and don't rely on expert-level jargon. For writing tips, see NIH's Communicating Research Intent and Value in NIH Applications.
- Aim for about a Grade 10 reading level. Test your text with Analyze My Writing, a readability checker.
- Do not include any proprietary information, trade secrets, or personally identifiable information.
Here's an Example Project Outcomes Section that NIH would accept.
Keep your summary to about half a page and provide the exact text you want to publish. After NIH staff review and approve your Outcomes, the section will appear in RePORTER with no edits.
If your program officer decides that your explanation is too technical, inadequate, or contains information that doesn't belong in the Outcomes section, you'll get a request to submit revised Project Outcomes using the Interim Progress Report Additional Materials (IRAM) or Final Progress Report Additional Materials (FRAM) section of the eRA Commons.
One important technical note about IRAM or FRAM: Don't submit your revised Outcomes as an attachment. Instead, include information in the text box labeled "Please provide Revised Outcomes here" and select Upload. Since our staff don't edit your text, avoid adding comments for them in that field. Respond to requests for any other additional materials using the Add Attachment button.
As background, NIH first announced the plan to publish Project Outcomes over a year ago, then finalized the implementation with a November 16, 2017 Guide notice. The public approach provides transparency, giving taxpayers concise summaries of findings from the projects they funded.
Speaking of final- or interim-RPPR, see the other article in this issue, "Clarifying Interim- and Final-RPPR Deadlines.”