The More You Know: PIs or PI Delegates Can Now View Prior Approval No-Cost Extension Requests in eRA Commons

This past October NIH made updates to Commons. These updates now allow principal investigators, as well as their delegates, to view submitted requests for no-cost extensions (i.e., prior approval NCEs). Previously only the signing official (SO) could view the PDF version of this request. To access the request, please select the relevant document from the “Status Information” screen under the “Other Relevant Documents” section. Please note, however, that, as before, only signing officials can initiate, edit, and submit requests for prior approval no-cost extensions. As a reminder, no-cost extension requests should be made no earlier than 90 days before the end of the project period and no later than the project’s end date. For instructions on requesting either a grantee-approved or prior approval NIH no-cost extension, as well as related information on the PI delegation process, please visit OSP’s previous blog posts: No-Cost Extension Requests NIH eRA Commons Account Delegations For any questions or concerns, please contact your OSP specialist.

The More You Know: Prior Approval Through eRA Commons

Did you know that certain prior approval requests can be electronically routed through eRA Commons? Once the PI submits the request via eRACommons, it will be forwarded to the relevant OSP specialist, who will then review and submit to the agency. Applicable requests may include: Withdrawal requests No-Cost extensions (not including first no-cost extensions) Change of PI requests Carryover requests Requests for direct costs over 500k For questions or concerns please contact your OSP specialist.  

User-Submitted Question: What Are the Reporting Requirements for Those Awards Entering a No-Cost Extension?

For those awards that have been granted a no-cost extension, no annual reporting documents are required at the end of the original project period. The PI will instead submit closeout documents at the end of the modified project period/end of no-cost extension. Please note that Section D of the F-RPPR should include the individuals who worked on the project during the last budget period (i.e., excluding the no-cost extension).

Requesting Items That Require OSP Assistance or Approval

As a friendly reminder, please be sure to utilize the OSP box for any central office correspondence. This list includes but is not limited to the following items: JITs Second No-Cost Extensions Reps and Certs Re-budget Requests Revised LOIs Other items as required Upon receipt of the email, the request will be assigned to the designated specialist (or an alternate in the event of an absence). Your cooperation ensures that all requests are handled in a timely manner. Please note that the OSP mailbox is monitored between the hours of 7:30-5:30 CST, Monday through Friday. For any questions or concerns, please email OSP.

User-Submitted Question: Do PIs Need to Submit a “Progress Report” During a No-Cost Extension?

Since the no-cost extension lengthens the final project period, PIs do not need to file an annual progress report at the original one-year mark. This also applies to those projects entering a second no-cost extension. Instead, only file a final progress report within the 120 days following the end of the final no-cost extension. Please remember that, during a no-cost extension, VUMC must ensure all required certifications and assurances are up-to-date, including approvals for human subjects assurances and animal welfare assurance. Please note that a technical report update should be provided upon requesting a second no-cost extension through NIH prior approval. Please consult the following OSP resource pages for more information: No-Cost Extension Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Final RPPR Submission (Closeouts) For questions or concerns regarding either no-cost extensions or closeouts, please consult your OSP specialist.

The More You Know: Requesting a Second NIH No-Cost Extension

As you many know, while VUMC has expanded authority for first no-cost extensions, a second no-cost extension requires a more detailed justification to and review by the sponsor. In March 2017 NIH instituted a change to eRA Commons whereby Signing Officials (SOs) could electronically request a second no-cost extension for eligible grants. While specific requirements may vary according to institute, standard requirements are as follows: Number of Months Amount of Unobligated Balance Determination of PI’s Measurable Effort (Yes or No) Progress Report Upload Detailed Budget Upload Justification Document OSP recommends that all requests for second no-cost extensions be submitted to our office no later than ninety (90) days before the project period end date. For questions or concerns, please contact your OSP specialist.

Reduction of Effort During No-Cost Extension

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.

No-Cost Extension Requests

Do you have an active award that’s nearing its project end date? Do you need a no-cost extension? OSP has information and guidance regarding no-cost extension requests on its website. Please note the importance of requesting a NCE prior to the project end date. If a NCE is not needed and/or one is not requested, the award will automatically progress into NIH’s formal closeout phase. For questions regarding no-cost extensions and closeouts, please contact your OSP representative.