Post Award Issues for Foreign Grantees
Information for New Grantee Organizations (known as the NIH “Welcome Wagon” Letter) outlines basic policies and procedures for all NIH grantees. If you are the recipient of a grant from the NIH, there is a great deal of information that your organization will need in order to be a successful steward of federal funds.
When NIH awards a grant, it is formalizing its partnership with the grantee to ensure compliance with federal laws, regulations and policies. This protects the integrity of the overall scientific endeavor. Acceptance of a grant award from NIH carries with it the responsibility to be aware of and comply with the terms and conditions of the Notice of Award (NoA). By drawing funds from the appropriate payment system, the grantee agrees to the terms and conditions of an award.
Additional information on the post-award process is found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/managing_awards.htm#post. Further information about the topics covered in the “Welcome Wagon” Letter, specifically for foreign grantees, is described below.
The method of payment for foreign awards changed on October 1, 2012, and is, therefore, highlighted here.
For all new and continuing awards to foreign institutions issued after October 1, 2012 (FY 2013 funding and beyond), payment is made through the Payment Management System (PMS). PMS is a centralized grants payment and cash management system, operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Division of Payment Management (DPM). The PMS will establish sub-accounts using the (B) Account for each NIH foreign grant award made on or after October 1, 2012.
For foreign awards issued prior to FY 2013, payment is made by the NIH Office of Financial Management (OFM) on a predetermined quarterly advance basis. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement (10/2012) Chapter 6: Payment for further information. Additional resources for the transition include Changes to Continuing Foreign Awards in FY13 (PDF - 68 KB) and Carryover of Funds on Foreign Awards for FY13 (PDF - 97 KB).
When a foreign component participates in a consortium arrangement, the funding and payment information should be reflected in the formal written agreement. More information on consortium arrangements can be found at NIH Grants Policy Statement Chapter 15: Consortium Agreements
NIH has waived cost-related and other prior-approval requirements for many grantee activities and expenditures, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2012/nihgps_ch8.htm#_Toc271264922. Foreign grants are included in expanded authorities.
Activities and/or expenditures that require NIH prior approval are summarized in the NIH Grants Policy Statement at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2012/nihgps_ch8.htm#prior_approval_requirements. All requests for NIH awarding office prior approval must be made in writing (which includes submission by e-mail) to the Grants Management Officer (GMO) no later than 30 days before the proposed change. The request must be signed by both the PD/PI and the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR).
Change of Grantee Organization
Any change of grantee organization requires NIH prior approval. The transfer of a grant to a foreign organization or between foreign organizations requires the additional approval of the National Advisory Council/Board of the awarding NIH IC. Grantees adding or changing a foreign performance site within a funded grant award must obtain approval from the Grants Management Officer before work can be performed at the added or changed foreign site.
All grantees are required to submit annual progress reports in the form of a non-competing continuation application (Form PHS 2590). NIH has created an abbreviated progress report format called SNAP (Streamlined Non-competing Award Process). Inclusion in SNAP is at the discretion of the NIH awarding office, and will be specified on the NoA, but a grantee will not be disqualified from SNAP solely based on their international or foreign status. More information on the progress report process can be found in the Grants Policy Statement at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2012/nihgps_ch8.htm#_Toc271264968.
Also note this guidance on reporting race and ethnicity data in research involving a foreign population:
Financial Status Reports (FSRs)
Foreign grantees must submit annual FSRs electronically within 90 days after the end of the budget period through the eRA Commons (https://commons.era.nih.gov/commons/), whether or not they are included in SNAP. (See NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-07-078). This is due to the fact that foreign grantees are not paid through PMS and, therefore, do not submit the SF 272 (which NIH uses in lieu of the annual FSR for domestic awards under SNAP). FSRs must be submitted in U.S. dollars and in English. The currency rate in effect at the time the FSR is prepared should be used in preparing the report. For the final FSR, NIH requires grantees to reimburse the U.S. government for funds not spent. Mail reimbursement checks in U.S. dollars to the OFM at the address noted below. The OFM will process the final FSR along with the final reimbursement check.
National Institutes of Health
Office of Financial Management
Government Accounting Branch
Attention: Joyce Lee
2115 East Jefferson Street MSC 8500, Suite 4B432
Rockville, MD 20852 U.S.A.
Foreign grantees are subject to the same audit requirements as for-profit organizations specified in 45 CFR 74.26(d) regardless of whether they are a hospital, non-profit, or academic institution. A foreign organization is required to have a non-Federal audit if, during its fiscal year, it expended a total of $500,000 or more under one or more awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (as a direct grantee and/or under a consortium participant). Foreign organizations are provided with two options to satisfy the audit requirements: either (1) a financial-related audit of all HHS awards as defined in, and in accordance with, the Government Auditing Standards (commonly known as the Yellow Book); or (2) an audit that meets the requirements of OMB Circular A-133. Whether you choose to use the Government Accounting Standards (Yellow Book) form or the OMB Circular A-133 audit form, your audit will be done by an independent auditor. NIH does not perform the audits directly. The cost of hiring an independent auditor may be recovered as part of the 8% Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs.
Audit reports of foreign organizations should be submitted to:
National External Audit Review Center
HHS Office of Inspector General
HHS Office of Audit Services
1100 Walnut Street, Suite 850
Kansas City, Missouri 64106-2197 U.S.A.
It is imperative that grantees submit required audit within the specified time limits.
The National External Audit Review Center (NEARC) provides HHS with alerts called “NEAR listings” that contain information on HHS grantees with negative or potentially negative audit findings.
Program income is gross income earned by a grantee, a consortium participant, or a contractor under a grant that was directly generated by the grant-supported activity or earned as a result of the award. Program income includes, but is not limited to, income from fees for services performed, the use or rental of real or personal property acquired under the grant, the sale of commodities or items fabricated under an award, and license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights.
Accountability refers to whether NIH will specify how the income is to be used and whether the income needs to be reported to NIH and for what length of time. Unless otherwise specified in the terms and conditions of the award, NIH grantees are not accountable for program income accrued after the period of grant support.
Program income earned during the period of grant support (other than income earned as a result of copyrights, patents, or inventions or as a result of the sale of real property, equipment, or supplies) shall be retained by the grantee and may be used in one or a combination of the alternatives indicated below. Most foreign grantees will use the Addition Alternative (add the $ of program income to the amount awarded).
Addition Alternative - Added to funds committed to the project or program and used to further eligible project or program objectives.
Deduction Alternative - Deducted from total allowable costs of the project or program to determine the net allowable costs on which the Federal share of costs will be based.
Combination Alternative - Uses all program income up to (and including) $25,000 as specified under the addition alternative and any amount of program income exceeding $25,000 under the deduction alternative.
Intellectual Property / Inventions
NIH allows foreign grantees to have the same rights and obligations regarding invention ownership as U.S. grantees. NIH allows foreign entities to retain rights in intellectual property developed under NIH funding agreements (grants, cooperative agreements, contracts and subcontracts), consistent with current NIH policies and any other terms and conditions of the specific funding agreement awarded. NIH believes that the current policy protects the U.S. public's interest while not unduly compromising productive research and intellectual property relationships. (See NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-06-005).
All foreign grantees, contractors, consortium participants, and/or subcontractors are reminded that they must comply with Bayh-Dole invention reporting requirements. Information on reporting requirements and policy, as well as electronic systems to fulfill reporting requirements may be found at Interagency Edison http://www.iedison.gov, as well as at http://inventions.nih.gov.
NIH grantees must submit a Final Financial Status Report, a Final Progress Report, and a Final Invention Statement and Certification (where applicable) within 90 calendar days after the last day of the final budget period. Failure to submit timely and accurate final reports may adversely affect future funding for the organization and the investigator. (For more information on Closeout, see NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-08-061).
Financial Management Systems
In general, foreign grantees are subject to the same financial management system requirements as U.S. grantees. Information about the financial management systems requirement can be found here: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2012/nihgps_ch8.htm#_Toc271264956. The specific guidelines can be found at 2 CFR part 215.
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