Sandy affected my institution and as a result, I could not submit my application on time. May I submit it late?
NIH standard policy when an institution is closed due to natural disaster or other emergency situations is to allow delayed submissions not to exceed the time period the applicant organization is closed. NIH usually issues a Guide Notice reminding the community of this policy. The most recent Notice is NOT-OD-13-006. This information is also found on the NIH Extramural Response to Natural Disasters and Other Emergencies webpage.
The Federal Government was closed Oct. 29 & 30 because of the storm. Does that mean that the Nov. 5 submission deadline is extended to Nov. 7?
No. The standard due date still applies. However, submissions may be delayed in accordance with NOT-OD-13-006. See also the NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications described in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-11-035.
I was submitting my R21 (or U10) to a funding opportunity announcement that had a special receipt date of October 30. Has the deadline been extended?
Yes. Due to the closure of the Federal Government offices in the Washington D.C. area, the following Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) had their submission deadlines extended until Wednesday, October 31, 2012: RFA-GM-13-010 & RFA-HL-13-014. Please see NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD- 13-007.
My institution was not directly affected by Hurricane Sandy, but my consortia were. May I submit my grant application late?
It may depend upon whether the collaborating investigator(s) is (are) also a PD/PI(s). If the collaborating investigator is part of a Multiple PI Application then the regular late submission policy applies. See NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-11-035. If the collaborating investigator is NOT a PD/PI on a Multiple PI Application and the collaboration is significant, the same late policy MAY apply. A justification should be included in the cover letter.
I submitted my application on Nov. 5 but due to the storm I was not able to include my subaward budget. Is my application considered incomplete?
Yes, your application will likely be considered incomplete.
While our institution wasn’t directly affected by Hurricane Sandy, our PD/PI suffered significant personal losses. May we submit our application late and will it be considered for funding.
Generally, extending deadlines for application submissions is directly related to how long the applicant institution is shut down. However, if the impact caused by Hurricane Sandy was of a personal nature, the regular late policy would apply. See NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-11-035.
What types of assistance can I expect to receive from NIH following a natural disaster or emergency?
Assistance to the NIH community during natural disasters and other emergencies is handled on a case-by-case basis in a manner appropriate to the circumstances. In these cases, NIH, in coordination with HHS, OMB, FEMA, and other Federal agencies, will consider such issues as whether a Federal Disaster is declared; the severity of damage inflicted; the length of time an institution may be required to close or that is required for recovery; the impact on investigators, human research subjects, and animal subjects; and the overall impact on the community. Please note that these steps are not automatic but will be announced as appropriate on this web page and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.
Allowing a delay in grant application submissions equal to the time of institution closure or evacuation order.
Assisting with animal welfare issues.
Waiving certain prior approval requirements.
Providing extensions of time for financial and other reporting.
Other assistance as appropriate.
Where can I go for information on what NIH is doing to assist its applicants and grantees during natural disasters and emergencies?
NIH has published a Web site on the extramural response to natural disasters and other emergencies at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/natural_disasters.htm. It is intended to be a resource for the entire biomedical research community. Look here for NIH Guide Notices and other information of particular relevance to investigators and their institutions, links to web pages listing NIH’s response to certain major events (past and present); and links to similar web sites from other Federal agencies.
Who is the correct person at NIH to contact with questions regarding the effect of a natural disaster on the grant process?
For assistance from NIH regarding any general or grant administration issues arising from a natural disaster or other emergency, please e-mail NIHGHR@nih.gov or call the Division of Grants Policy at (301) 435-0949. You may also contact the Grants Management or Program Officers listed in the Notice of Award (NoA) for information concerning individual grants.
Is it necessary to obtain permission in advance for a delayed submission of my grant application due to a natural disaster or emergency?
The NIH is committed to trying to accommodate late applications from investigators directly affected by extraordinary natural disasters and other overwhelming emergencies (such as Hurricane Katrina). There are some constraints because reviewers must have sufficient time to consider the applications prior to the review meeting. There is, however, no specific time limit for submission of such late applications from an institution that has had to suspend operations or applications where investigators at closed institutions play a major role in the applications. Instead, each late application submission will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For this reason, late submitting applicants must submit a cover letter noting the specific reasons for the delay. For less severe disasters the normal windows of consideration apply and a consideration of the time the institution was closed/under an evacuation order.
There are time constraints imposed for submissions made electronically through Grants.gov. If difficulties are encountered in submission due to an expired Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), please contact NIHGHR@nih.gov.
How will applications pending peer review be evaluated, in particular the “Environment” section of an application?
Reviewers will be instructed to review the application as submitted. NIH Staff will address ‘environment' after the completion of peer review. This consideration is comparable to the evaluation of environment when an investigator changes institutions prior to award.
If a disaster strikes near the end of the fiscal year, will NIH fund pending competing applications to affected institutions? What about pending competing applications?
In regards to competing awards, a determination will be made by individual Institutes and Centers (ICs) on the appropriate manner to handle the award. There are numerous factors that NIH program and grants management staff will consider in determining the viability of the research at the present time. Possible scenarios include the following:
It is possible that some projects and research teams may be able to regroup and proceed. In the case of missing certifications (humans/animals) due to the temporary move, the awarding Institute or Center will apply a restriction on the associated funds.
An Institute or Center may decide that the project is not viable because of its dependency on a group of subjects which may or may not have significant numbers available in the near or the long term. In this case, the Institute or Center may elect to defer a funding decision until this issue can be addressed.
Large, complex projects that are dependent on skilled teams would also be a serious concern until the key personnel can be located and brought together.
For projects that are dependent on shared resources, an assessment of the availability of the resources may need to be made.
The NIH will keep applications under consideration until the end of the fiscal year in the hope that the situation will improve sufficiently and an appropriate determination can be made regarding funding this fiscal year. If an application is carried over into the next fiscal year, the Institute or Center will carefully reconsider funding the project as the institution begins to recover from the affects of the emergency.
If a disaster strikes near the end of the fiscal year, will NIH fund pending non-competing progress reports to affected institutions?
This will need to be evaluated by considering the circumstances of the award and the specific emergency. However, it is anticipated that the NIH awarding components will proceed with issuing the non-competing continuation awards (Type 5s) as planned.
What if there was significant damage to the hospital’s infrastructure which will result in losses or delays to the clinical research?
After a full assessment of the status and requirements for a project can be determined, investigators should contact their NIH program official to discuss the status of the project and what is needed to resume productive research (in accordance with the approved aims of the project.)
H. Reporting to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare
What should be done if there has been harm or death to laboratory animals during a natural disaster?
Assured institutions are responsible for notifying OLAW about conditions that jeopardize the health or well-being of animals, including natural disasters, accidents, and mechanical failures, resulting in actual harm or death to animals. Institutions are also expected to report proposed changes in the institutional animal care and use program, e.g. extended delay in semiannual program review, or relocation of animals to facilities not covered in the Assurance. Institutions should report when feasible and after they have had opportunity to fully determine the extent of losses, if any.
If no damage or impact to the program was sustained, reporting is not necessary.
For advice and guidance from the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare regarding any animal evacuation, animal health, animal housing, IACUC activities, or occupational health and safety concerns, please e-mail OLAW@od.nih.gov or call 301-496-7163.
A PI and his/her lab staff from an institution affected by a natural disaster will be hosted at my institution for an undetermined period of time to conduct research that involves animals. The PI’s home institution remains the awardee institution. What is our institution’s responsibility? Does the PI need a protocol with our institution? Does the PI need to participate in our animal user training and occupational health program?
In this unusual circumstance, and to ensure accountability and appropriate conduct under the host institution’s Animal Welfare Assurance, it is strongly recommended that the host institution require the PI to complete the host institution’s animal protocol form and obtain the approval of the host IACUC. It is further recommended that the host IACUC provide a copy of the approval to the awardee institution’s IACUC, and also keep the awardee institution informed of any subsequent significant changes in the protocol or issues that arise with respect to the protocol. For tracking purposes, the host IACUC should know the grant ID number.
It is important that the PI and his staff are appropriately integrated into the host institution's animal care and use program, including training (particularly of institutional policies or procedures that may be unique to the host institution) and occupational health programs. If the PI is able to provide documentation of training or occupational health information, the decision to accept such information rests with the host IACUC.
Requests by PIs to be added to an existing similar protocol at the host institution should be handled in the same manner that the institution handles modifications to existing protocols.
As a PI, what should I do if I cannot access my lab for a period of time or the lab is displaced? What about the costs?
Investigators need to contact their institutions to obtain approval for the provision of interim space and implement procedures for supporting the cost of such space. Once the lab is re-opened and research activity can resume or an interim location has been established, investigators may, in accordance with the policy of their institution, purchase replacement supplies and/or equipment with current funds. Unless restricted by term of award, unobligated balances may be used without prior approval. If specific funds are restricted, you should contact the Grants Management Officer listed on the NoA.
How will the indirect (F&A) costs be handled for investigators that must temporarily relocate due to a natural disaster or other emergency?
The NIH policy is to provide full indirect cost recovery as appropriate for the type of grant and the terms and conditions of the award. This policy applies to these temporary relocations. If a project is temporarily relocated and a consortium is developed between the two institutions, the host institution can receive their full F&A costs. If deemed necessary, administrative supplements may be requested to provide additional funds, but are subject to the availability of funds.
L. Research Training Grants and Fellowships (NRSA)
Who can I contact at NIH to discuss my National Research Service Award (NRSA) training situation impacted by a natural disaster?
Training grant program directors and individual NRSA fellowship recipients should contact the NIH program official and/or grants management specialists listed on the NoA. Trainees being supported on an institutional NRSA training grant should contact the training grant program director.
I currently have an active individual NRSA fellowship (F32) and due to a natural disaster I need to replace lost reagents necessary for my research. How can NIH help?
A supplemental Institutional Allowance can be requested to replace the lost supplies. Requests for supplemental funds will need to be processed through the appropriate administrative channels at the sponsoring institution. You should contact the awarding NIH component immediately to discuss the specifics of your situation.
I hold an active individual NRSA fellowship (F30, F31, F32). Due to an emergency, I’ve been forced to relocate to a temporary laboratory at another institution. How can NIH help?
A supplemental institutional allowance can be requested to accommodate special travel needs and temporary (no more than 6 months) off-site training expenses. You should contact the awarding NIH component immediately to discuss the specifics of your situation. Please note that relocations of more than 6 months will require NIH prior approval. Requests for supplemental funds will need to be processed through the appropriate administrative channels at the sponsoring institution.
I’m currently supported by an institutional NRSA training grant and have had to temporarily transfer to another institution. How can NIH Help?
Your training grant program director should contact the awarding NIH component immediately. The NIH program director can request supplemental trainee travel to accommodate special travel needs and temporary (no more than 6 months) off-site training expenses. Note: Relocations of more than 6 months will require NIH prior approval. If you are unable to locate the training grant program director, contact the NIH awarding component that funds the training grant for assistance. Requests for supplemental funds will need to be processed through the appropriate administrative channels at the grantee institution.
I am the program director of an institutional NRSA training grant. Can my institution request additional funds to help subsidize the replacement of supplies for NRSA-supported trainees?
Yes. Training grant program directors should contact the awarding NIH component immediately to discuss the specifics of the situation. Requests for supplemental funds will need to be processed through the appropriate administrative channels at the grantee institution.
I am an NRSA recipient (either institutional training grant or individual fellowship). As a result of a natural disaster, can I temporarily reduce my time and effort to the training program?
Trainees on institutional training grants should contact their training grant director who may approve the proposed reduction in effort, and who will submit the necessary documents to the NIH awarding Institute or Center. Fellows on individual fellowships should directly submit the request to reduce effort to the Grants Management Officer that signed the initial grant award. NRSA trainees and fellows should be aware that there will be a proportionate reduction in stipend support. For postdoctoral NRSA recipients this may impact the amount of payback obligation that may be incurred.
I have an active NRSA individual fellowship and as a result of a natural disaster, I wish to permanently transfer my fellowship to another institution. How can NIH help?
You should first discuss this situation with your current sponsor and sponsoring institution's business official. Then, you should contact the NIH Institute or Center (IC) that awarded the fellowship. The awarding component can accommodate a change of sponsoring institution and sponsor through standard administrative and programmatic review/approval procedures.
What if a shared resource, such as a large piece of research equipment, is damaged or lost due to a natural disaster?
The NIH will consider administrative supplements to provide for major shared resources not otherwise covered by insurance and which will not be replaced by another Federal agency such as FEMA. Alternatively, leasing may provide institutions with the ability to resume some core activities fairly quickly and delay more significant costs until sufficient funding can be secured.
N. Significant Losses of Unique Research Tools and Information
What should be done if there have been significant losses of unique resources, research tools, and/or repositories of information (i.e. databases)?
Where there have been significant losses to animals, unique research tools and/or repositories of information, investigators should work with their project officers to develop a plan to determine what must be restored in order for the research to continue. The focus should be on what needs to be replaced in order to resume approved research, even if this does not restore everything that was lost. If necessary, however, an administrative supplement may be considered to add funds and/or time.
If you have shared a resource in the past, it may be possible to make use of that avenue. For example it may be possible to restore a line of animals from a pair that were shared with another researcher or other research tools and data that has been shared and could now be regained. You may also have your investigators explore the links to the various scientific resources that are available from NIH Institute and Center home pages.
Can I request additional time to complete my project?
NIH grantee institutions have authority to unilaterally provide a no-cost extension for a period of up to one year for nearly all of their grants. Any further extensions of time require approval of the Grants Management Officer that signed the initial NoA. Be sure to discuss the impact of the natural disaster on the grant when requesting the second no-cost extension.
Can I request supplemental funds to complete my project?
In general there are no specific provisions for administrative supplements to address these needs. However, NIH will consider requests from grantees for additional funds on a case-by-case basis and subject to the availability of funds.
As soon as investigators and institutions are able to assess the damage to their NIH-supported research programs and communicate with NIH Program staff, NIH will consider administrative supplement requests for extensions in time that include personnel costs; and replacement of equipment, supplies and unique resources damaged or lost as a result of the storm.
Each supplement request should confirm that the requested support does not represent a duplication of benefits, e.g., from insurance or from other Federal agencies such as FEMA.
The e-mail request must be submitted by the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) to the funding Institute or Center’s NIH Grants Management Officer (GMO) who signed the grant’s NoA.
The request must reflect the complete grant number in the subject line; include the name of the grantee, the name of the initiating PI, the PI’s telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address; and comparable identifying information for the AOR.
Requests may also be submitted using the PHS-398 face page, budget page, and budget justification page, but in all cases requests should be sent to the GMO in the Institute or Center that made the award. Under no circumstances should requests be sent to the Center for Scientific Review.
Are there funds available to institutions damaged during a natural disaster for alterations and renovations (A&R) to repair the damage?
In cases where funds are needed for A&R, you may request such support in the form of an administrative supplement to the grant or grants requiring the A&R assistance. As with other administrative supplement requests for this recovery, the grantee institution should confirm in writing that the requested support does not represent a duplication of benefits, e.g. from insurance or from FEMA. Grantees should contact the NIH Grants Management Officer(s) responsible for the effected grants.
In addition, the grantee is allowed to rebudget up to $300,000 for A&R in a single budget period unless such rebudgeting would constitute a change in scope. Whether this constitutes a change in scope is best determined through discussion with the relevant project officer. Final charges for A&R must reflect offsets of all recoveries from other parties (insurance).
If the rebudgeting results in an A&R project exceeding $300,000, NIH will consider the rebudgeting to be a change in scope. The grantee must then submit the documentation specified in “Construction Grants” in the NIH Grants Policy Statement to the NIH Institute or Center. This Construction section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement may be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2010/nihgps_ch10.htm#construction_grants.
I have moved my work to another institution until my lab reopens. Do I need prior approval to add a consortium project if I have funds available?
The grantee institution has the authority under all activity codes supported by NIH to transfer substantive programmatic work to a 3rd party (by consortium agreement) without prior approval from NIH under the following conditions: 1) The consortium is not a foreign component, and 2) the addition of the consortium would not result in a change of scope. Accordingly, these actions must be coordinated with your institution.
If the action requires additional funds the grantee must contact the NIH Institute or Center with a prior approval request. As with any change in a project, if the grantee has any questions or concerns regarding an action, they are advised to contact their NIH Program Officer for scientific questions and the Grants Management Specialist for administrative issues. Prior approval information can be found in the Grants Policy Statement at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2010/nihgps_ch8.htm#_Toc271264922.