Last year NIH announced changes to the effort reporting section of RPPRs that enabled the inclusion of decimals in Section D (Participants). This update also allowed for the inclusion of any key personnel with effort of less than one calendar month. OSP recently received a number of questions regarding this policy change. Although the RPPR instructions still state that effort should be rounded to the nearest whole month, OSP has reached out to the Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA) and confirmed that NOT-OD-18-202 supersedes the currently published instructions, though updates to the guide are in process. Please be sure to include decimals (where appropriate) and key personnel with effort of less than one month in Section D. For questions or concerns, please contact OSP. Related post: Annual, Interim, and Final RPPR Update: Use of Delegations for RPPR Initiation and Changes in Decimal Allowances for Effort Reporting
As a reminder, the percent effort listed within Coeus’ Key Person tab should be calculated based on the appropriate person months category for the individual’s appointment type: calendar year (CY), academic year (AY), and/or summer term (SM). For example, while VUMC personnel’s effort is calculated using the calendar year (twelve months), external collaborators may use either academic year or summer term methodologies. OSP recommends verifying the listed values and conversions prior to routing in Coeus. To convert percent effort to person months, multiply the percentage of effort associated with the project by the number of months that correspond to the appointment type: 25% of a nine-month academic year appointment equals 2.25 (AY) person months (0.25 x 9 = 2.25) Conversely, to convert person months to percent effort, divide person months by the number of months that correspond to the appointment type: 2.25 person months of a nine-month academic year appointment equals 25% effort (2.25 / 9 = .25) Please note
As you may know, most mentored K-award programs require PIs to commit a minimum of 9-person-months/75% effort directly to the award’s research and career development activities. The remaining 25% effort can be allocated to additional research, teaching, clinical work, or other efforts conducive to the awardee’s career development. How a K-recipient’s overall FTE effort is utilized and where funding for this effort is paid from depends on a number of factors: Is the activity related to career development award (CDA) research? Is the K-recipient in the final two years of the K-award? Has the individual received federal funding as either a PD/PI on a peer-reviewed research grant or cooperative agreement or as a project leader on a competing multi-project award? The term concurrent support is used by NIH to describe the process by which a mentored CDA recipient reduces his or her level of effort below the requirement for the CDA within the final two years of his or her support
OSP often receives questions regarding personnel reporting in RPPRs—what is required, what may have changed, and what may not have changed. The following provides a number of friendly reminders: Calculating Effort Please note that, although VUMC tracks effort via percentages, eRA Commons requires conversion to person months for reporting. OSP recommends the use of an effort calculator, especially now that Commons allows for the inclusion of decimals in reporting. Although NIH now allows for reports of less than one calendar month on the RPPR, the effort must always be recordable and trackable. Please note that VUMC discourages assigning effort of less than one percent (i.e., no less than .12 or 1% for CY effort). Commons IDs The All Personnel Report assists NIH in understanding the workforce supported by NIH funding; as such, it requires the inclusion of all personnel, regardless of effort level, compensation, salary, affiliation, or Senior/Key status. Please include Commons IDs, especially for key personnel, post-docs, or graduate
Person months represent the effort or amount of time PIs, faculty, and other senior personnel dedicate to a specific project. Effort corresponds to the type of appointment: calendar year (CY), academic year (AY), and/or summer term (SM). While VUMC faculty utilize calendar year methodology, please note that collaborators may use either academic year or summer term methodologies. To convert percent effort to person months, multiply the percentage of effort associated with the project by the number of months. For example: 25% of a 9-month academic year appointment equals 2.25 (AY) person months (9 x 0.25 = 2.25) For SF424 (R&R) budgets for competing applications, applicants can include up to two decimal places to represent partial months. For Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs), investigators should list person months with whole numbers rounded to the nearest whole person month. NIH has compiled a frequently asked questions page for reference. For more general information, please visit NIH’s website. As always, please reach out to your
While the PD/PI and other senior and key personnel named in the notice of grant award must devote a measurable level of effort to a project, NIH no longer requires prior approval for the reduction of effort during no-cost extensions. Please review NOT-OD-16-017 (Chapter 8 of Grants Policy) for more information. Please note, however, that certain NIH grant programs (i.e., K-awards) have a specific minimum effort requirement. Please direct any questions to your OSP specialist.