NIH Announces New Centralized Processing Center for Receipt of Grant Closeout Documents and Reminds Grantees of Required Closeout Reports for NIH Assistance Awards

Notice Number: NOT-OD-08-061

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Key Dates
Release Date: April 2, 2008

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov/)

This Guide Notice announces a new business process and the creation of a centralized processing center for receiving closeout documents submitted for all NIH grants and cooperative agreements.  This centralized office currently receives and processes reports submitted by regular U.S. mail, courier and overnight services, as well as by e-mail and fax. They also process information submitted electronically through the Closeout feature in the eRA Commons. NIH expects that this new centralized business process will improve efficiency and service to the grantee community.

Effective immediately, all non-financial closeout documents (such as the final progress report and HHS 568 Final Invention Statement and Certification) not submitted through the eRA Commons will be required to be submitted to the following address:

NIH Centralized Processing Center
6705 Rockledge Drive
RM 2207, MSC 7987
Bethesda, MD 20892 (for regular or US Postal Service Express mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for other courier/express deliveries only)
E-mail: DeasCentralized@od.nih.gov
Fax: (301) 480-2304

Note that this does not include submission of the SF269 Financial Status Report which will continue to require electronic, online submission through the eRA Commons.  See NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-07-078 for more information on this requirement. 

NIH continues to strongly encourage use of the eRA Commons for online, electronic submission of all closeout documents and is committed to improving the eRA Commons Closeout feature with the ultimate plan to move towards eliminating paper submissions.   When NIH is ready to take that step, it will be announced to the community through a separate Guide Notice.  In the meantime, if grantees attempt to use the Commons Closeout feature and find the record has not been entered into a Closeout status yet by NIH, the centralized office noted above should be contacted.   See NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-05-051 for more information on electronic submission of required closeout documents.

Policy Reminder:

NIH recipients shall submit within 90 calendar days after the last day of the final budget period a Final Financial Status Report, a Final Progress Report, and a Final Invention Statement and Certification (as applicable).  It is important to note that unless the Grants Management Officer (GMO) of the respective awarding agency approves an extension of this 90-day reporting window in writing, grantees must submit the final reports within the prescribed timeframe.

1. The Financial Status Report (FSR) – (Standard Form 269 or 269A, whichever is applicable)

Grantees are required to submit an electronic final FSR through the eRA Commons. The final FSR must indicate the exact balance of unobligated funds and may not reflect any unliquidated obligations. There must be no discrepancies between the final FSR and the Payment Management System's Federal Cash Transaction Report (SF-272). It is not acceptable to submit an inaccurate FSR in order to meet the reporting deadline and then submit a revised FSR to correct it. FSRs should be timely and accurate at the time of submission.

NIH's web-based FSR system allows participants to view currently due and late FSRs, as well as to submit FSRs electronically. Registrations to use this system are processed directly through the NIH Commons web site (http://commons.era.nih.gov/). To register or for questions on how to use the FSR module, please contact the eRA Commons Help Desk at:

NIH Commons User Support Branch Help Desk
http://IThelpdesk.nih.gov/era
(866)504-9552 (Toll Free)
(301)402-7469 (Voice)
(301)451-5675 (Fax)
(301)451-5939 (TTY)
commons@od.nih.gov

2. The Final Invention Statement and Certification

The grantee must submit an HHS 568 form whether or not the funded project results in any subject inventions, and whether or not inventions were previously reported. The HHS 568 must list all inventions that were conceived or first actually reduced to practice during the course of work under the project, and it must be signed by an authorized institutional official. The completed form should cover the period from the original effective date of support through the date of expiration or termination or the award.

To expedite the process, electronic submission through the eRA Commons is preferred; however, faxes or emails of a hard copy are also accepted. If there were no inventions, the form should indicate “None.” Copies of the HHS 568 form are available on the Edison website at https://s-edison.info.nih.gov/iEdison/ nihprocs.jsp or at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

For certain mechanisms (C06, R13, R25, S15, Ts, and Fs), the Final Invention Statement is not currently required. In general, training, construction and educational mechanisms do not require invention reporting. For questions, the grantee should contact NIH awarding Institute or Center and follow their instructions.

When invention reporting is required, the HHS 568 does not relieve the responsible party of the obligation to assure that all inventions are promptly and fully reported directly to the National Institutes of Health, as required by terms of the grant or award. Additional information on invention reporting can be obtained from the office below.

Extramural Inventions and Technology Resources Branch
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Admin., OER, NIH
6705 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7980
Bethesda, MD 20892-7980
TEL: (301) 435-1986
E-mail: Edison@od.nih.gov

3. The Final Progress Report

The final progress report should be prepared in accordance with requirements in the PHS 2590 instructions and any specific requirements set forth in the terms and conditions of the award.  At a minimum, the report should include a statement of progress made toward the achievement of originally stated aims, a list of significant results (positive or negative), and a list of publications. The final progress report also should address the following:

If a competitive renewal (Type 2) has been submitted, whether funded or not, the progress report contained in that application may serve in lieu of a separate final progress report. 

Compliance Reminder:

As NIH continues to improve its systems for processing closeout reports and identifying grantee institutions that consistently submit late closeout reports, it is important to understand the significance of noncompliance with these requirements.

Failure to submit timely and accurate final reports may adversely affect future funding to the organization and/or awards with the same Principal Investigator (PI).  Accordingly, NIH may impose sanctions on institutions that fail to correct recurring reporting problems.  Such sanctions may include, but are not limited to, corrective actions, removal of authorities, and/or delay or withholding of further awards to the project or program.

Late closeout may also extend the time period for retention of records by the grantee because the 3-year record retention period begins with the submission of the final FSR.  See 45 CFR Part 74.53 and 45 CFR Part 92.42 – Retention and access requirements for records.

Inquiries

A more detailed discussion of reporting obligations can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement discussion on monitoring and reporting, located at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part8.htm#_Toc54600141

For more information on the NIH closeout processing center, please contact the center directly at DeasCentralized@od.nih.gov or at (301) 594-6584.  For more information on grants policy and closeout requirements, please visit: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm or e-mail GrantsPolicy@mail.nih.gov 


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