NIH Implementation of Final Research Performance Progress Reports (Final RPPR)

NIH Notice Number: NOT-OD-17-022

The National Institutes of Health intends to replace the Final Progress Report (FPR) with the Final Research Performance Progress Report (Final RPPR) through a new eRA Commons module effective January 2017.

NIH implemented the interim RPPR in 2012, based on a policy memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to the heads of executive departments and agencies establishing the uniform RPPR for use by agencies supporting research and research-related activities. The RPPR replaced previous interim performance reporting formats used by NIH and other agencies.

In order to keep its promise, the Research Business Models (RBM), an Interagency Working Group of the Social, Behavioral & Economic Research Subcommittee of the Committee on Science (CoS), charged NSF and NIH to serve as the co-chairs of an interagency workgroup tasked with developing a standard format for use in reporting final progress on Federally-funded research projects and research-related activities, taking into consideration the lessons learned from implementation of the interim RPPR. This interagency workgroup completed its task and on November 16, 2016, published a Federal Register notice announcing the updated standardized RPPR to be used for final performance progress reporting.

NIH Implementation

For NIH, the Final Research Performance Progress Report (F-RPPR) will replace the Final Progress Report (FPR) for closeout effective January 1, 2017. On or after that date, NIH will no longer accept FPRs. Generally, the format will be the same as the current interim/annual RPPR, making it easier for recipients to navigate through the F-RPPR based on familiarity with the existing format of the annual RPPR. However, a significant change with implementation of the F-RPPR, is that in order to maximize public transparency, NIH will not maintain the current Type 2 policy which in accordance with NIHGPS Chapter 8.6.2 states that “whether funded or not” the progress report contained in the Type 2 application may serve in lieu of a separate final progress report. It is important to note that the discontinuance of this longstanding policy aligns NIH’s final performance reporting requirement with the requirements imposed by other Federal research awarding agencies thus reducing the administrative burden associated with a unique NIH reporting requirement.

Therefore, as a standard policy, NIH will request that organizations submit an “Interim-RPPR” while their renewal application (Type 2) is under consideration. In the event that the Type 2 is funded, NIH will treat the Interim-RPPR as the annual performance report for the final year of the previous competitive segment. If the Type 2 is not funded, the Interim-RPPR will be treated by NIH staff as the institution’s Final-RPPR.

Also, in accordance with NIH’s implementation of the F-RPPR, recipients will be required to adhere to the new requirement to report on Project Outcomes. This section will be made publicly available, thus allowing recipients the opportunity to provide the general public with a concise summary of the cumulative outcome or findings of the project (analogous to the Project Summary/Abstract section of the competing application).

As mentioned, NIH is aligning its reporting requirement with other Federal research agencies and therefore will not be making any changes to the deadline for submitting the final report- i.e., the Final RPPR or Interim-RPPR must be submitted via eRA Commons no later than 120 calendar days from the period of performance end date. If a recipient fails to comply with this reporting requirement, NIH may take one or more enforcement actions, such as a decision not to make a non-competing continuation award, consistent with NIHGPS Chapter 8.5.2. NIH also plans to maintain the business rule in the RPPR module enabling institutional signing officials (SOs), at their discretion, to delegate submission of the Final RPPR or Interim-RPPR to the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI).

Note: Implementation of the Final RPPR for Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants will occur approximately 2 months after implementation for all other NIH grants due to unique final reporting requirements under the Small Business Administration’s SBIR/STTR Policy Directive.

FAQs and additional information pertaining to NIH’s implementation of the F-RPPR will be available on the NIH RPPR website.

Original post by NIH November 23, 2016