Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) Overview

Quickcard Checklist: Preparing a Report Using the New RPPR Format [PDF]

What is the RPPR?

The RPPR is a federal-wide uniform progress report format for use by all federal agencies that provide sponsored funding. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a policy memorandum on April 21, 2010, mandating that federal agencies implement a federal-wide research performance progress report (RPPR) for submission of required annual or other interim performance reporting on research grant and cooperative agreement awards to standardize recipient reporting on federally-funded research projects.

Upon implementation, the RPPR will be used by agencies that support research and research-related activities for use in submission of interim progress reports. It is intended to replace other interim performance reporting formats currently in use by agencies so that information may be collected in a standardized format, facilitating analysis and information sharing across agencies.

How do I submit a progress report using the RPPR format?

Each agency has been given the flexibility to develop their own tools and templates for submission of the RPPR. Some agencies are adapting existing electronic submission tools to accept reports in the RPPR format, while others may continue to accept reports in PDF format. As with all new processes, there is a learning curve, so it is important for all PI’s to take some time to become familiar with the requirements for each agency they will report to. Please check with your agency for specific guidance.

Which agencies have changed their reporting requirements?

At this time, OSP has only received specific guidance on the implementation plans for NSF and NIH. Each federal agency has a different implementation timeline. Timeline updates are posted on the RPPR website hosted by NSF as they become available. 

When do I need to use the RPPR instead of the progress report format that I’m used to?

NSF
As of March 18, 2013, NSF requires that reports be filed through Research.gov, using existing NSF FastLane login information (last name, NSF ID, and password). The last date to submit using FastLane was February 1, 2013.

NIH
NIH will require submission for SNAP and Fellowship awards through the RPPR module in eRA Commons starting in May 2013; until that time, awardees have the choice between the eSNAP and RPPR modules. The RPPR module will be required for awards with start dates on or after July 1, 2013 (i.e., due dates on or after May 15, 2013, for SNAP awards and May 1, 2013, for Fellowships)

What kind of information does the RPPR collect?

The RPPR may ask for data and compliance information that you have not needed to provide previously at the interim report stage. The final approved format document available on the RPPR website provides detailed descriptions of the questions and fields included in the RPPR.

The RPPR structure and components are:

  1. COVER PAGE including basic institutional and project identifying data
  2. ACCOMPLISHMENTS from past activity period and goals for the upcoming activity period
  3. PRODUCTS or outcomes from the activity such as technologies and publications
  4. PARTICIPANTS including all persons that have contributed significantly to the activity, their role, their activity and their funding support. This section also asks about collaborators, including foreign collaborators
  5. IMPACT of the project and major contributions: e.g. to the discipline, human resources (e.g. teaching, training), public knowledge, social conditions
  6. CHANGES to the project: delay in plans, changes in approach, compliance (animal use, human subject involvement, biohazards), project expenditures
  7. SPECIAL REPORTING REQUIRMENTS that are specific to the agency or the contract
  8. BUDGET FORMS

Not all agencies will require all components. Only the Cover Page and the Accomplishments components are mandatory for all agencies. Each agency has the flexibility to choose what other components are relevant to their research; for each component, they may also select what information is required. Please contact your agency official if you are not sure which components you will be required to submit.

Who can submit a progress report using the RPPR format?

Because the electronic reporting tools being developed for the RPPR require secure login information, only PI and Co-PIs may submit progress reports.

Will I need to re-submit the same information every time I submit a report in RPPR format?

If you submit a progress report in RPPR format using electronic tools provided by the agency, most information will pre-populate in subsequent reports along with information and edits previously submitted to the agency through other sources (Grants.gov, MyNCBI, iEdison, etc.). Over time, report submission should require less time and effort.