NIH Grants Policy Statement
Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards
Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities – File 5 of 11
13 MODULAR APPLICATIONS AND AWARDS
Modular applications and awards employ a simplified process
for developing and reviewing application budgets, documenting approved budgets,
and making post-award budgetary changes.
Modular procedures are required to be used for new, renewal,
and resubmission applications as well as for revisions for the following grants and
their cooperative agreement equivalents that request up to a total of $250,000 of direct costs per year (excluding
consortium F&A costs), regardless of whether the application is an
investigator-initiated application or is one submitted in response to a PA/RFA:
Research Project Grants Program (R01/U01), Small Grant Program (R03), Exploratory/Development
Research Grant Award (R21/UH2), Clinical Trial Planning Grant Program (R34/U34) and Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15/UA5).
Modular procedures do not apply to SBIR and STTR Phase I grants (R43 and R41),
and do not apply to foreign (non-U.S.) organizations.
Instructions for specific grant mechanisms other than the
R01 and guidelines for IC programs may indicate a particular number or range of
Modular applications and awards may also be subject to other
simplified procedures, specifically Just-in-Time requirements and SNAP.
13.3 Application Requirements
Modular applications must be submitted on the SF424
(R&R) forms. Paper-based applications that include modular budgets will no
longer be accepted.
Modular applications request direct cost funding in modules
of $25,000, for up to $250,000 each year for covered activity codes. F&A
costs for subcontracts are not included in determining the direct cost modular
amount or the total cost amount requested. The modules should be a reasonable
estimate of allowable, allocable, and reasonable costs for the proposed project.
In addition, F&A costs at the negotiated rate for the applicant institution
are also allowable.
Since only limited budget information is required for
submission of a modular application, the PHS 398 Modular Budget Component,
which is included as part of the electronic SF424 (R&R) form set, must be
submitted to NIH through Grants.gov. Sample modular application budget pages
are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.
The standard SF 424 Research and Related Budget Component is not used for
application using modular budgets.
The PHS 398 Modular Budget Component includes information on
direct costs modules as well as F&A costs; budget justifications for all
personnel by position, role, and level of effort (measured in person months); consultants;
and 'to be appointed' positions. No individual salary information should be
provided. Applicants must use the current legislatively imposed salary limitation when determining
the number of modules to request (see Cost
Considerations—Allowability of Costs/Activities—Selected
Items of Cost—Salaries and Wages in IIA). Given the authority to rebudget and carry forward unobligated balances, funds
generally should be available to cover modest increases in any statutorily
imposed salary cap. NIH also limits the compensation for graduate students.
Compensation includes salary or wages, fringe benefits, and tuition remission.
These limits should be used when estimating the number of modules. See Cost Considerations—Allowability of Costs/Activities—Selected Items of Cost—Salaries and Wages in IIA for
more information on compensation of graduate students.
When applicable, a separate budget justification must
address consortium/contractual costs (including applicable F&A costs)
rounded to the nearest $1,000. The narrative should list the individuals and
organizations with whom consortium or contractual arrangements have been (or
will be) made, the level of effort of senior/key personnel (measured in person months)
and their role on the project, and indicate whether the collaborating
organization is foreign or domestic.
A typical modular application will request the same number
of modules for each year. However, well-justified modular increments (up to the
$250,000 modular ceiling) or decrements in the total direct costs for any year
of the project that reflect substantial changes in expected future activities
may be requested at the outset. For example, a major equipment purchase in the
first year may justify a higher overall budget in that year, but not
necessarily in succeeding years. There is no provision for escalation in future
years. NIH requires additional narrative budget justification if there is a
variation in the number of modules requested from year to year. Further, when the pre-award
review warrants such a request, NIH ICs may request a detailed budget as part of the Just-in-Time process.
13.4 Application Review and Award
SRGs evaluate the budget on the basis of a general, expert
estimate of the total effort and resources required to carry out the proposed
research. If the SRG recommends an adjustment in the project budget, the
recommended adjustment will be in terms of an entire module.
Following peer review, for applications being considered for
award, the IC will request information about "Other Support" and, as
applicable, the use of human subjects or vertebrate animals, and education in the
protection of human research participants. Additional budget information will
be requested before award only under special circumstances.
NIH will attempt to make awards at or close to the level of
total direct costs recommended by the SRG, taking other support into account.
An IC may need to reduce the award amount to accommodate the IC's cost
The award budget will be a noncategorical budget specifying approved total direct costs and F&A costs, if applicable.
13.5 Post-Award Administration
Grantees have discretion in determining how to allocate and
account for costs related to modular awards within their organizational
accounting system. However, institutions are still required to ensure that all
costs charged to modular awards are in accordance with applicable costs
principles, the NIH GPS, and any legislatively imposed restrictions.
Modular awards are subject to the standard NIH Terms of
Award and may be awarded under the SNAP authorities. However, since the award is
issued without direct cost budget categories, the significant
rebudgeting provision described as a potential change of scope indicator does not apply
to modular grants.
Grantees may submit requests for administrative supplements to
the CGMO of the NIH awarding IC, but must provide a detailed (non-modular)
Competing Revisions should be submitted to the NIH using the
modular budget component.