Washington Update

NIH and NSF Provide Updates for Grant Management

By: Nabila Riaz
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
To assist the research community in preparing for grant management and policy updates, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently conducted individual webinars. These sessions aimed to clarify agency expectations and provide updates on programs and policies.

On January 31, compliance and system policy experts from the NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA) delivered the latest policy updates and discussed potential impacts on researchers' institutions. OPERA officers offered guidance on grants process requirements, application deadlines and forms, covering various initiatives such as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Extension Act of 2022, as well as the NIH Peer Review – Simplified Review Framework. They shared resources on application submission, eRA Commons ID, Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) and grant closeout requirements. Participants also had the opportunity to ask questions about new and existing policies during the live Q&A session. For further insights, the recorded webinar is available on YouTube, along with presentation slides, providing a deeper understanding of NIH's research priorities, funding opportunities, and the grant application process.

The Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) at NSF hosted a virtual office hour on February 14 focusing on grant management, specifically on Working with an NSF Program Director (Before, During, and After Award. Program directors (PDs) play a crucial role in maintaining an effective proposal merit review process and serve as advisors to applicants and awardees, streamlining NSF program objectives, priorities, and requirements. During the presentation, PDs provided guidance on when to connect with them and considerations before contacting a PD regarding NSF review criteria and processes. They offered detailed instructions on an email template for queries and how to craft an effective one-page project summary, outlining research ideas and broader impact interests, along with pointers to avoid. The session also covered post-award procedures, including possible budget revisions, annual reporting, and sharing publications. FAQs addressed definitions of Categories of Personnel, Accomplishment-Based Renewal and information on CAREER grant. The recording and slides will soon be posted here for access. For alerts on future virtual office hours, interested individuals can subscribe to the MCB Blog