Skip Navigation
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Logo
HHS URL Link
OER Logo   OER Public Websites Archive   Archive  
This website contains archived materials provided for historical reference purposes only.
The content and links are no longer maintained and may be outdated.
Archive Home
About Grants
Grants Process
Electronic Grants
Funding
Funding Opportunities
NIH-Wide Initiatives
Forms & Deadlines
Grants Policy
News & Events
About OER

Related Archives         
ARCHIVED - NIH Grants Policy Statement (10/98)

Part III: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities-Part 5 of 6

[ Search Policy Statement ]    [ Table of Contents ]    [ Previous Document ]    [ Next Document ]


NIH supports scientific meetings, conferences, and workshops (hereafter "conferences") that are relevant to its scientific mission and to public health under the R13 and U13 activity codes. NIH's support of conferences is contingent on the interests and priorities of the individual ICs. Some ICs do not provide conference support. For those that do, the preaward process and budget guidelines may vary. For example, some ICs require submission of a letter of intent prior to submission of the application. Therefore, potential applicants are encouraged to contact the funding IC for specific information as well as to ensure compliance with presubmission requirements. All applications for conference support must be submitted at least 6 months prior to the scheduled start of the conference. Furthermore, awards must be issued prior to the start date of the conference.

This section applies to domestic and international conferences. Some of the following policies differ from the coverage in Part II of this policy statement, while others are in addition to that coverage. The following subsections will indicate how they relate to Part II. If an area is not addressed in this section, the Part II coverage applies; e.g., program income.

Questions concerning the allowability of conference activity under research grants should be directed to the IC GMO.

Scientific Meeting (Conference): A gathering, symposium, seminar, workshop, or any other organized, formal event where persons assemble to coordinate, exchange and disseminate information or to explore or clarify a defined subject, problem, or area of knowledge.

International Conference: A scientific meeting so designated by its sponsor or one to which open invitations are issued on an equal basis to potential participants in two or more countries other than the U.S. or Canada. The meeting may be held in any country, including the U.S.

Domestic Conference: A scientific meeting held in the U.S. or Canada primarily for U.S. or U.S.-Canadian participation (even if foreign speakers are invited).

Any domestic organization eligible to receive grants from NIH, including scientific or professional societies, is eligible for a conference grant. Both domestic and international conferences may be supported; however, an international conference can be supported only through the U.S. representative organization of an established international scientific or professional society. In exceptional cases, when there is no U.S. representative organization, a grant to support a specific aspect of an international conference may be awarded directly to a foreign institution or international organization. An individual is not eligible to receive a grant in support of a conference.

The PHS-398 is to be completed by an organization seeking NIH conference support. Supplemental instructions are available in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts notice on support of scientific meetings (Vol. 26, No. 15, May 9, 1997).

In addition to any applicable public policy requirements and objectives specified in Part II, conference grant applicants must comply with the "Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in NIH-Sponsored and/or-Supported Intramural and Extramural Meetings and Conferences" (available through the NIH/OER Home Page at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/oer.htm). Appropriate representation of women, individuals who are members of racial/ethnic minority groups, persons with disabilities, and other individuals who have been traditionally underrepresented in science must be included in all aspects of planning, organization, and implementation of NIH-sponsored or -supported meetings. "Appropriate representation" is that based on the availability of scientists from these groups known to be working in a particular field of biomedical or behavioral research. If appropriate representation is not apparent, NIH will not make an award until the applicant has submitted acceptable documentation regarding its compliance.

Applications will be reviewed for programmatic relevance and for merit using the following criteria:

  • The need for, and timeliness of, the conference;
  • Its format and agenda;
  • Qualifications of the organizers and proposed participants;
  • Past performance, where applicable;
  • Appropriateness of the meeting site;
  • Plans for the appropriate involvement of women, individuals who are members of racial/ethnic minority groups, and persons with disabilities, in the planning and implementation of the proposed conference (see" Public Policy Requirements and Objectives" in this section); and
  • Appropriateness of the proposed budget, in accordance with IC guidelines.

Depending on IC policy, applications for conference grants may also be reviewed by the IC's National Advisory Council or Board.

Grants or cooperative agreements may be used to provide conference support. A cooperative agreement may be awarded if the IC determines that it needs to have substantial involvement in the planning and conduct of a conference. Awards in support of a single conference will be made for a project period commensurate with the time involved in planning and conducting the conference and post-conference follow-up, usually 1 year. A conference grant made to a permanently sponsoring organization for conferences held annually or biennially on a recurring topic may be awarded for up to 5 years in total and will be funded annually. Continued funding beyond the first year will be contingent on a satisfactory progress report submitted as part of a streamlined noncompeting award process. A shift in conference focus after the first year requires IC prior approval.

The following specifies the types of costs that are generally allowable under conference grants. Although some of these reiterate coverage in Part II of this policy statement, no costs other than those specified below are allowable under conference grants. The following also highlights certain unallowable costs.

General Support: Grant funds may not be used to provide general support for international conferences held in the U.S. or Canada. In those cases, grant funds may be awarded to support only specific aspects of a conference. An example would be a selected symposium, panel, or workshop, including the costs of planning and travel of U.S. participants.

Alterations and Renovations: Grant funds may not be used to support A&R of any kind.

Conference Services: Grant funds may be used for necessary recording of proceedings, simultaneous translation, etc., and subsequent transcriptions.

Consultant Services: Grant funds may be used to pay consultant fees, including travel and supporting costs (per diem or, where applicable, subsistence).

Entertainment and Personal Expenses: Costs of amusement, diversion, social activities, ceremonials, and related incidental costs, such as bar charges, tips, personal telephone calls, and laundry charges of participants or guests, are unallowable. (Also see"Meals" immediately below.)

Equipment: Grant funds may be used for the rental of necessary equipment but may not be used for the purchase of equipment.

Facilities and Administrative Costs: F&A costs will not be allowed on grants in support of conferences.

Federal Employees: See "Grants to Federal Institutions and Payments to (or on Behalf of) Federal Employees under Grants" in this Part.

Honoraria: Honoraria or other payments given for the purpose of conferring distinction or to symbolize respect, esteem, or administration may not be paid from grant funds. However, speakers fees for services rendered are allowable.

Meals: When certain meals are an integral and necessary part of a conference (i.e., a working meal where business is transacted), grant funds may be used for such meals, as qualified under "Travel" immediately below.

Membership Dues: Not allowable.

Publication Costs: When grant funds are awarded to pay for either the entire or partial cost of publication of proceedings or a book or pamphlet, these costs are considered to cover special plates, charts, diagrams, printing, distribution, mailing, postage, and general handling, unless otherwise specified at the time the grant is awarded.

Registration Fees: Registration fees, when paid by the grantee to other organizations on behalf of attendees, may be paid from grant funds, provided such fees cover only those allowable costs properly chargeable to the grant.

Research Patient Care: Not allowable.

Salaries: In accordance with the policy of the grantee organization, grant funds may be used for salaries, in whole or in part, of professional personnel, clerical assistants, editorial assistants, and other nonprofessional staff in proportion to the time or effort spent directly related to the conference.

Supplies: Grant funds may be used for the purchase of supplies for the conference, provided the supplies are received and used during the budget period

Travel: Funds may be used for the travel of staff, speakers, participants, and attendees if identified in the application and approved at the time of award. Travel expenses for employees of the grantee organization are governed by the grantee's travel policies, consistently applied regardless of the source of funds.

Any U.S. foreign travel restrictions that are in effect at the time of the award will be followed, such as:

  • Limitations or restrictions on countries to which travel will be supported.
  • Budgetary or other limitations on availability of funds for foreign travel.

Proposed per diem or subsistence allowances must be reasonable and limited to the days of attendance at the conference plus the actual travel time to reach the conference location by the most direct route. Where meals and/or lodgings are furnished without charge or at a nominal cost (e.g., as part of the registration fee), the proposed per diem or subsistence allowance must take this into consideration.

Transportation costs for attendees and participants at the conference may not exceed coach class fares. In all cases, U.S. flag carriers will be used where possible.

Grant funds may not be used to pay per diem or expenses other than local mileage for local participants in the conference.

Costs associated with obtaining visas and passports are not allowable charges to the grant.

If the grantee organization wishes to publish material for which support has been provided in whole or in part with NIH funds, the material may be distributed free of charge. If the grantee organization charges for the material, the sales proceeds are considered program income, and must be accounted for as specified in the NGA and reported on the Financial Status Report (see "Reporting and Record Retention" in this section).

Unless otherwise provided in the terms and conditions of the award, the grantee is free to arrange for copyright of any publication resulting from an NIH-supported conference. However, any such copyrighted publication shall be subject to a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the Government to reproduce, translate, publish, and dispose of the material and to authorize others to use the work for Government purposes. Copyright does not extend to any materials prepared by Federal employees as part of their official duties.

Grantees are responsible for submitting the following reports to the IC upon completion or termination of a grant in support of a conference:

For single conferences, a final report of the conference must be submitted to the awarding IC within 90 days after the conference. The report should include the following:

  • Grant number;
  • Title, date, and place of the conference;
  • Name of the person shown on the application as the conference director, principal investigator, or program director;
  • Name of the organization that conducted the conference;
  • A list of the individuals, and their institutional affiliations, who participated as speakers or discussants in the formally planned sessions of the meeting; and
  • A summary of topics discussed/conclusions.

With the approval of the IC, copies of proceedings or publications resulting from the conference(s) may be substituted for the final report, provided that they contain the information specified above.

A Financial Status Report is required from the grantee within 90 days after the completion of the project period. Records of expenditures must be maintained in accordance with the provisions of 45 CFR 74.53 or 92.42 (see "Administrative Requirements     Monitoring     Record Retention and Access").

The grantee, as the direct and primary recipient of NIH grant funds, is accountable to NIH for the performance of the project, the appropriate expenditure of grant funds by all parties, and all other obligations of the grantee, as specified in this policy statement. This section includes the requirements for an applicant/grantee under "consortium agreements" in which the grantee collaborates with one or more other organizations in carrying out the grant-supported research. In general, the requirements that apply to the grantee also apply to the consortium participant(s) with the exceptions noted below. Recipients of Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants should follow the specific requirements for research collaboration established for that program (see " Grants to For-Profit Organizations").

Under consortium agreements:

  • The award will be made to a single grantee with a single PI, even though one or more organizations other than the grantee will carry out portions of the planned programmatic activity.
  • The grantee must perform a substantive role in the conduct of the planned research and not merely serve as a conduit of funds to another party or parties.

Applicants are expected to detail their proposed collaborations as part of the grant application. If the application is approved as submitted, no further approval is required unless, during performance, the grantee plans to undertake additional or alternative collaborations that would constitute a change in the scope or objectives of the approved project (see " Administrative Requirements     Changes in Project and Budget" in Part II).

Whether proposed at the application stage or subsequent to award, the following information must be provided to NIH for review and approval:

  • A list of all proposed performance sites both at the applicant/grantee organization and at the consortium participant(s);
  • Complete application budget pages (for the first year and each future year of support requested) for each consortium participant; and
  • The following statement, accompanied by the signatures of the authorized institutional officials (or equivalent) of the applicant and consortium participants:

"The appropriate programmatic and administrative personnel of each organization involved in this grant application are aware of the NIH consortium agreement policy and are prepared to establish the necessary inter-institutional agreement(s) consistent with that policy."

NIH may request additional information prior to award and may place a special condition(s) on the award.

The following highlights several areas within the consortium relationship that the grantee needs to address with the consortium participant to ensure compliance with NIH requirements. The requirement for a written agreement addressing these and other areas is specified below.

The grantee is responsible for determining whether a consortium participant has filed assurances with NIH that would cover its activities within the consortium and, if not, for ensuring that any required assurances or certifications are submitted to NIH. See "Public Policy Requirements and Objectives" in Part II for the full statement of these requirements and their applicability to consortium participants.

The cost policies that apply to research grants as described in the "Cost Considerations" and "Allowability of Costs/Activities" sections of Part II apply, in general, to consortium agreements.

The grantee is responsible for obtaining NIH approval for any actions to be undertaken by consortium participants that require NIH prior approval. Grantees may establish requirements for review of consortium participants' activities consistent with those requirements and with any authorities provided to the grantee; however, a grantee may not provide any authority to a consortium participant that the grantee has not been provided under its NIH award.

If the grantee provides exempt property or authorizes a consortium participant to purchase property that would be considered exempt if acquired by the grantee, the grantee may vest title in the consortium participant or may reserve the right to do so at a later time. The grantee may also establish its own disposition and accountability requirements, provided they are consistent with the transfer rights of NIH (see "Administrative Requirements     Management Systems and Procedures     Property Management System Standards     Equipment and Supplies").

If the grantee provides nonexempt property or authorizes a consortium participant to purchase property that would be considered nonexempt if purchased by the grantee, title to such property must remain with the grantee or be vested in the grantee upon acquisition of the property. The grantee may establish use, accountability, and disposition requirements for the property, provided they are consistent with, and do not impair, the grantee's ability to comply with the requirements of 45 CFR 74 or 92, as appropriate.

See "Administrative Requirements     Availability of Research Results: Publications and Intellectual Property Rights, Including Unique Research Resources," and 37 CFR 401 for policies governing consortium agreements and the rights of grantees and consortium participants.

Consortium participants are expected to comply with NIH requirements for program income reporting and disposition, consistent with the terms of the grant award from NIH.

The grantee must require consortium participants to comply with the requirements of OMB Circular A-133 or 45 CFR 74.26(d), as applicable, for audit of NIH grant funds expended by consortium participants. A consortium participant may be a direct NIH grantee or contractor or may be receiving funds only under the consortium. Regardless, if a consortium participant meets the OMB Circular A-133 threshold criterion of expenditures exceeding $300,000 under applicable Federal awards, the grantee must receive a copy of that organization's A-133 audit and take appropriate action based on any findings that relate to the consortium agreement. If a consortium participant will not reach that threshold, the grantee is responsible for monitoring the organization's activities to ensure compliance with NIH requirements. The grantee may not require a consortium participant to have an audit and charge the audit costs to NIH grant funds unless required or authorized by OMB Circular A-133 or 45 CFR 74.26(d).

The grantee must enter into a formal written agreement with consortium participant that includes the negotiated arrangements for meeting the scientific, administrative, financial, and reporting requirements of the grant, including those necessary to ensure compliance with all applicable Federal regulations and policies and facilitate a smoothly functioning collaborative venture. At a minimum, this agreement must include:

  • Identification of the PI and individuals responsible for the research activity at each consortium participant along with their roles and responsibilities;
  • Procedures for directing and monitoring the research effort;
  • Procedures to be followed in reimbursing each consortium participant for its effort, including dollar ceiling, method and schedule of reimbursement, type of supporting documentation required, and procedures for review and approval of expenditures of grant funds at each organization;
  • If different from those of the grantee, a determination of policies to be followed in such areas as travel reimbursement and salaries and fringe benefits. The policies of the consortium participant may be used as long as they meet NIH requirements;
  • Incorporation of those generally applicable requirements included in Part II of this policy statement and provisions indicating the intent of each consortium participant to comply, including submission of applicable assurances (see "Public Policy Requirements and Objectives").
  • A provision addressing ownership and disposition of data produced under the consortium agreement;
  • A provision making the inventions and patent policy (see "Administrative Requirements     Availability of Research Results: Publications and Intellectual Property Rights, Including Unique Research Resources") applicable to each consortium participant and its employees in order to ensure that the rights of the parties to the consortium agreement are protected and that the grantee can fulfill its responsibilities to NIH. The grantee should also obtain appropriate patent agreements from all persons who perform any part of the work under the grant and may be reasonably expected to make inventions, and agreements to govern disposition of rights to inventions resulting from screening compounds synthesized under the grant; and
  • As appropriate, provisions regarding property, program income, publications, reporting, and audit necessary for the grantee to fulfill its obligations to NIH.

Most of the policies contained in Part II of this policy statement apply to NIH grants made to foreign institutions and international organizations (hereafter "foreign grants"), including the requirements of 45 CFR Part 74 or 92 and the cost principles. If an applicant/grantee would be unable to comply with these requirements, the authorized organizational official should contact the GMO. Specific exceptions and modifications of requirements for foreign grants, as well as certain highlighted policies, are set forth below. This section also includes policies that apply to domestic grants with a substantial foreign component. It does not apply to agreements under the U.S. Special Foreign Currency Program.

In general, foreign institutions and international organizations, including public or private non-profit or for-profit organizations, are eligible to receive research project grants. Foreign institutions and international organizations are not eligible to receive Institutional National Research Service Awards, program project grants, center grants, resource grants, SBIR/STTR grants, or construction grants. However, some mechanisms, such as research project grants (R01s), may support projects awarded to a domestic institution with a substantial foreign component. For purposes of this policy, a "substantial foreign component" is defined as performance of any significant element or segment of the project outside the U.S. either by the grantee or by a researcher employed by a foreign institution, whether or not grant funds are expended. Activities that would meet this definition include:

  • The involvement of human subjects/or animals.
  • Extensive foreign travel by grantee project staff for the purpose of data collection, surveying, sampling, and similar activities.
  • Any activity that may impact on U.S. foreign policy through the involvement of grantee project staff in the affairs or environment of the foreign country.

Foreign travel for consultation is not considered a "substantial foreign component."

See "Support of Scientific Meetings (Conference Grants)" in this Part for NIH policy on support of international conferences.

Grants may not be made to individuals in a foreign location (i.e., outside of the U.S. and its territorial possessions). Occasionally, a fellowship award is made to an American citizen or a non-citizen national to study in a foreign institution. (A "non-citizen national" is a person who although not a citizen of the U.S. owes permanent allegiance to the U.S., such as a resident of American Samoa.)

Applications from foreign institutions will be evaluated and scored during the initial review process using the standard review criteria. In addition, the following will be assessed as part of the review process and award decision:

  • Whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions in other countries that are not readily available in the U.S. or that augment existing U.S. resources.
  • Whether the proposed project has specific relevance to the mission and objectives of the awarding IC and has the potential for significantly advancing the health sciences in the U.S.

Research grant applications from foreign or international organizations may not be funded unless approved by the IC Advisory Council/Board.

Several of the public policy requirements and objectives are highlighted below. A complete listing of public policy requirements and objectives and their applicability to foreign grants is contained in Table 2 in Part II.

Misconduct in Science. This public policy requirement, including its requirement for an assurance, applies to foreign grants.

Animal Welfare. The animal welfare requirements contained in "Public Policy Requirements and Objectives     Animal Welfare" apply to foreign grants.

Human Subjects. The human subjects requirements contained in "Public Policy Requirements and Objectives-Requirements Affecting the Rights and Welfare of Individuals as Research Subjects, Patients, or Recipients of Services     Human Subjects," including the requirement for an Assurance of Compliance pursuant to 45 CFR part 46, apply to foreign grants. Foreign grantee organizations and foreign consortium participants under domestic or foreign grants must submit an Assurance of Compliance if human subjects are involved.

Inclusiveness in Research Design. Foreign grants are subject to the requirements for inclusion of both genders, members of minority groups, and children in research design as specified in " Public Policy Requirements and Objectives     Requirements for Inclusiveness in Research Design".

Civil Rights. None of the civil rights requirements specified in "Public Policy Requirements and Objectives     Civil Rights" apply to foreign grants.

Lobbying. The requirements of "Public Policy Requirements and Objectives     Ethical and Safe Conduct in Science and Organizational Operations     Lobbying", including disclosure reporting, apply to foreign grants.

Debt. Foreign applicants are required to provide a certification of non-delinquency on debts owed to the United States as specified in "Public Policy Requirements and Objectives     Ethical and Safe Conduct in Science and Organizational Operations     Nondelinquency on Federal Debt".

Debarment and Suspension. Applicants/grantees that are foreign governments or governmental entities, public international organizations, or foreign-government-owned or -controlled (in whole or in part) entities are not required to submit the certification concerning suspension or debarment and are not subject to suspension or debarment under 45 CFR Part 76. All other foreign institutions and international organizations are subject to these requirements.

Drug-Free Workplace. Foreign applicants/grantees may be exempted from the drug-free workplace requirements of 45 CFR Part 76 based on a documented finding by the Director, NIH, or designee that application of those requirements is inconsistent with U.S. international obligations or the laws and regulations of a foreign government.

The initial project period and any subsequent competitive segment may not be authorized for more than 5 years each.

The application budget, requests for funds, and financial reports (see "Reporting and Record Retention" in this section) shall be stated in U.S. dollars. Once an award is made, NIH will not compensate foreign grantees for currency exchange fluctuations through the issuance of supplemental awards.

Awards to foreign institutions and international organizations are not paid through the HHS Payment Management System (PMS). These grants will normally be paid by U.S. Treasury check by the NIH Office of Financial Management (OFM) on a predetermined quarterly advance basis, usually in four equal installments. If the amount advanced to an organization based on the predetermined quarterly advance is insufficient to meet the grant's cash requirements, the grantee must make a written request to the IC GMO for any additional funds needed. All payments will be in U.S. dollars. Foreign grantees are strongly encouraged to use U.S. banks to ensure that payments arrive on time.

Any questions regarding payments to foreign grantees may be addressed to OFM (see Part IV for address and telephone and fax numbers).

The costs that are generally allowable under grants to domestic organizations are also allowable under foreign grants, with the following exceptions:

Alterations and Renovations: Unallowable.

Customs and Import Duties: Unallowable. This includes consular fees, customs surtax, value-added taxes, and other related charges.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs: With the exception of the American University, Beirut, and the World Health Organization, F&A costs will not be paid (either directly, under a consortium agreement, or through a contract under a grant) to an organization located outside the territorial limits of the U.S. or an international organization regardless of location.

Foreign grants are included in expanded authorities. Inclusion in the Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process (SNAP) is at the discretion of the IC and will be specified on the NGA.

A change in the performance site within a foreign country or performance in a country other than that specified in the approved application is considered a change in project scope or objectives and requires NIH prior approval. The proposed addition or elimination of a substantial foreign component under a grant to a domestic institution is considered a change in scope or objectives requiring NIH prior approval.

A change of grantee that involves the transfer of a grant to or between foreign institutions or international organizations requires competitive review and approval of the IC Advisory Council/Board. Transfer of a grant from a foreign organization to a domestic organization requires the approval of the GMO.

Foreign grantees have the same options (specified in 45 CFR 74.26(d) and in "Grants to For-Profit Organizations" in this Part) as for-profit organizations concerning audit.

Foreign grantees must submit annual FSRs (SF-269) in U.S. dollars. The currency rate in existence at the time the FSR is prepared should be used in preparing the report. Record retention requirements are the same as those for domestic grantees.

NIH may award grants to Federal entities. Although the activity under these grants will take place in a research environment, certain terms and conditions vary from those included in Part II of this policy statement due to the recipient's status as a Federal institution. This section specifies those differences as well as differences in treatment among different Federal institutions. In addition, this section addresses the policies that apply to payments to (or on behalf of) Federal employees under grants, including grants awarded to organizations other than Federal institutions.

Federal institutions are, in general, eligible to receive NIH grants, including research project grants and training grants. Federal institutions must also meet the eligibility requirements of the grant program from which support is sought. PHS organizational segments, other than PHS hospitals, may receive NIH grant support under exceptional circumstances only. Such circumstances may include situations where a project cannot be supported within the mission of the applicant PHS agency or organizational segment, the activity cannot be performed elsewhere, its non-pursuit would have an adverse or potentially important impact on the NIH mission, and a grant is determined to be the appropriate means of carrying out the activity. However, NIH may not award a grant to an NIH component.

Although the performance site may be at a level lower than the agency or department level of the Federal institution, when an award is made to an eligible Federal institution, the Federal agency or department will be the designated grantee and must assume responsibility for the project. A Federal institution must also ensure that its own authorizing legislation will allow it to receive NIH grants and to be able to comply with the award terms and conditions.

A document certifying both the assumption of responsibility and authority to receive a grant must accompany each new and competing continuation application. The certification must be signed by the head of the responsible Federal department or independent agency or a designee who reports directly to the department or agency head. (In the case of the Department of Defense, the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force shall be considered the Federal department; and their Secretaries, the responsible Department head.) This certification is in addition to any certifications that are made by the authorized institutional official's signature on the face page of the application. The certification requirement does not apply to Department of Veterans Affairs' Medical Centers (VAMC), Bureau of Prisons' (Department of Justice) hospitals, PHS hospitals (including Indian Health Service hospitals), or other PHS organizational segments.

Investigators with joint appointments at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and an affiliated university must have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that specifies the title of the PI's appointment, the responsibilities (at both the university and the VA) of the proposed PI, and the percentage of effort available for research. The MOU must be signed by the appropriate officials of the grantee organization and the VAMC and must be updated at least annually. Under this model, there is no involvement of a VA-affiliated non-profit research corporation (VANPC). The joint VA/university appointment of the investigator constitutes 100 percent of his or her total professional responsibilities.

Under NIH grants, the Department of Defense will normally be paid by U.S. Treasury check after submission of the appropriate interagency form to the Office of Financial Management, NIH. Payments to all other Federal departments and agencies will generally be accomplished by transfers of funds between appropriations.

The allowability of costs under grants to Federal institutions shall be determined by the established policies of the institution consistently applied to both its own activities and to grant-supported activities and the following. In the absence of a governing institutional policy, the cost principles for State, local, and Indian tribal governments (OMB Circular A-87) will apply.

Salaries: See "Federal (U.S. Government) Employees" immediately below.

Institutional Allowances under Fellowships: Institutional allowances may be requested by Federal institutions sponsoring a predoctoral or postdoctoral fellow unless otherwise restricted by law or regulation.

Facilities and Administrative Costs: F&A costs will not be provided to Federal institutions.

Federal (U.S. Government) Employees: Whether or not costs will be charged to the grant, when a Federal employee will be involved in an NIH grant-supported activity in any capacity other than as an employee working on a grant to a Federal institution, an outpatient, or a study subject, special conditions apply as provided in this subsection. The limitations in this subsection do not apply to individuals that are part-time Federal employees because of service on advisory groups or a formal consulting arrangement with a Federal agency. (See the HHS Standards of Conduct at 45 CFR 73, Subpart J for additional guidance.)

The following four specified types of costs are the only ones that can be charged to NIH grants on behalf of Federal employees, and only under the conditions specified. Applicants/recipients should advise any Federal employees with whom these types of arrangements may be made to consult with their employing agency concerning their ability to meet the required conditions. The applicant organization must submit, as part of the grant application, any letters or documentation specified below, and that documentation must be deemed acceptable by the awarding office GMO prior to the Federal employee's involvement in the project.

Consultant fees are allowable only for medical personnel of the Uniformed Services of the United States (excluding PHS Commissioned Officers) and when all of the following conditions are present:

  • The employees are providing the kind and extent of medical services approved in the grant award;
  • Adequate numbers of qualified civilian personnel are not available to provide these services, and eligible Federal medical personnel are hired only in addition to those qualified civilian medical personnel, if any, who are available; and
  • The applicant organization provides prior written authorization from the proposed consultant's commanding officer that he or she is authorized to work on the grant-supported activity during non-duty hours or while on authorized leave, and can be paid for his or her efforts.

Outpatient or subject costs are allowable when the employee is an outpatient or subject under study in connection with grant-supported activities.

Salary or Fringe Benefits

Except as provided below, under a grant to a Federal institution, no salary or fringe benefit payments may be made from NIH grant funds to career, career-conditional, or other Federal employees (civilian or uniformed services) with permanent appointments provided for under existing position ceilings of a given Federal component. While the level of effort required for the research project must be allowed by the employing agency as part of the individuals' official duties, under a grant to a Federal institution, salary costs associated with an individual participating in an official capacity as a Federal employee are not allowable costs under the NIH grant. Payments to temporary employees specifically hired to assist in the performance of an NIH grant are allowable.

Under grants to VANPCs, if the PI is a part-time VA employee, NIH grant funds may be used to pay the differential between the individual's VA part-time salary and the salary level for a full-time VANPC commitment, in accordance with the established policies and salary structure of the VANPC.

Salary payments may be made from NIH grant funds to career, career-conditional, or other Federal employees (civilian or uniformed services) with permanent appointments provided under existing position ceilings of a Federal component only if prior approval is obtained from an authorized official of the employee's agency and the employee is:

1. A PHS Commissioned Officer or a civil service employee carrying out duties for which specific legislative authorization exists permitting direct Federal assistance in lieu of cash under the grant or where the Government is reimbursed for services rendered subject to restrictions applicable to such personnel, including the applicable Federal standards of conduct (for HHS, 45 CFR Part 73).

2. A PHS Commissioned Officer on leave-without-pay (LWOP) if

a. The grantee has obtained written prior approval from the NIH awarding office;

b. The total amount of salary paid from NIH grant funds is proportional to the time devoted to the project and does not exceed the total annual amount of pay and allowances the individual would have received if not in LWOP status; and

c. The parties concerned have made a prior determination that there is no possibility of dual compensation and there is no actual or apparent conflict of interest other violations of the applicable standards of conduct.

3. A civil service employee participating in a grant to a non-Federal organization and the following conditions are met:

a. The individual is participating as part of an approved Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment in a role other than as PI. IPA assignments generally do not exceed 2 years and may not exceed 4 years of continuous duration (5 U.S.C. 3372). Based on this statutory time limitation, the involvement of the civil service employee should be limited in scope. Therefore, the proposed PI and other key personnel, as determined by the NIH awarding office, are not permitted to participate in NIH grant activities while serving under an IPA.

b. Prior to making any payment from NIH grant funds to such an employee, the grantee must certify that the employee(s) is on an IPA assignment and must provide adequate documentation, as determined by NIH, of the IPA assignment and information about its nature and duration.

c. The level of effort required for the research project must be allowed by the employing agency as part of the individuals' official duties. Salary payments from NIH grant funds must be proportional to the time an individual devotes to the grant-supported project. The total salary support may not exceed the normal level of compensation of Federal salary if the individual was not participating in the grant.

d. The parties concerned have made a prior determination that there is no possibility of dual compensation and no actual or apparent conflict of interest or other violation of the applicable standards of conduct.

Travel costs are allowable if the employee is:

  • Working under a grant to a Federal institution;
  • Performing allowable reimbursable services as specified under 1., 2. or 3. immediately above; or
  • Attending an NIH grant-supported conference during non-duty hours; while in a pre-existing LWOP status or one that continues beyond the conference; or on detail to a State or local government, educational institution, or other non-profit organization, provided such payments are made in accordance with established institutional policy, consistently applied regardless of the source of funds, and the parties concerned have taken reasonable steps to ensure that there is no actual or apparent conflict of interest.

NIH will consider all property acquired under a grant awarded to a Federal institution as exempt (see 45 CFR 74.33) for purposes of determining the accountability requirements of 45 CFR 74.34. However, for items of equipment having a unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more, NIH has the right to require transfer of the equipment, including title, to NIH or to an eligible third party named by the IC under the conditions specified in 45 CFR 74.34.

Procurement under grants to Federal institutions is governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the recipient agency's FAR supplement.

Inventions resulting from grants supporting the activities of Federal employees under grants to Federal institutions shall be reported simultaneously to NIH pursuant to the terms of the award and to the employing agency under the terms of Executive Order 10096, as amended, and are subject to the licensing requirements of 37 CFR Part 501.


[ Search Policy Statement ]    [ Table of Contents ]    [ Previous Document ]    [ Next Document ]


Archive web This web page is archived and provided for historical reference purposes only. The content and links are no longer maintained and may be outdated. See the Archive Home Page for more details about archived files.