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Modular Grants: Hints, Tips and Reminders

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Before funds are awarded, the principal investigator will be asked by NIH staff to prepare and submit a letter describing the education in human subject protection completed by each person listed as "key personnel" in the proposal. The following statement must be included in the letter "All key personnel who are involved in the human subjects portion of the project [list names here] have successfully completed the NIH on-line tutorial entitled Protection of Human Research Subjects Computer Based Training for Researchers." Institutional endorsement is required on the letters so they must be sent to OSR for review and counter signature.

The NU/NIH Modular Grant Budget Justification must include all project personnel

Budget must be in $25,000 modules up to $250,000 per year.

The Abstract page must list all key personnel as defined on page 11 of the 398 application kit.

Key personnel may not be shown as 0% effort on a project.

The percentage of time shown on the NU/NIH Modular Grant Budget Justification form should be equivalent to the percentage of salary charged to the grant. Reminder: NU does not voluntarily cost-share academic year time on a grant - any effort expended on a project should be included when determining the number of direct cost modules and should be directly charged to the sponsored project account. If cost-sharing is desired, documentation must be provided by the department to OSR (e.g., a memo signed by the department chair) indicating their willingness to allocate NU-funded salary as a cost-share. This becomes an official part of the budget and should be documented on the NU/NIH budget justification page. Records confirming the actual performance of this cost-shared effort must be retained by the department for documentation to the agency.

The percentage of effort shown on the Modular Grant Budget Justification page for all key personnel should distinguish between academic year and summer effort (for faculty with 9-month appointments).

For personnel whose salaries exceed the NIH salary cap, the cap should be used when calculating the number of modules needed.  Increase the cap amount by 3% for out-year calculation.

The Scientific Review Group (SRG) may adjust the requested budgets. Any overall adjustments by the SRG must be made in modules. In addition, the reviewers may recommend specific budgetary changes that are described in the summary statement, but cannot be reflected in a modular reduction. In these cases, Institute staff will obtain the necessary cost information prior to any award.

The awarding Institute may adjust the amount to be awarded based on identified overlap and/or a requirement to meet its current management objectives.

Awarding Institute staff may request a detail budget if they believe it will help in their review.

NIH will consider an application NON-COMPLIANT if:

The requested direct costs budget is not requested in modules of $25,000 up to the ceiling amount of $250,000 direct cost per year.
A detailed itemized categorical budget is provided (form DD or EE)
The Budget Narrative Justification page includes an itemized justification for one or more of the following: equipment, supplies, travel, other expenses, etc. but the information is not intended to explain the request for a different number of modules in one or more years.
Other support pages are supplied in addition to or in the absence of the section in the Biographical Sketch identifying "Research Projects Ongoing or Completed During the last Three Years."
The Biographical Sketch lists "Current and Pending Support" instead of or in addition to the required information.

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