2015 - NIH News and Updated Guidance

Read this guidance before proceeding!

OSP would like to share some NIH information which may affect NIH submissions and/or management of projects:

Latest NIH information which may affect NIH submissions and/or management of projects:

January 2015:

NIH Policy Notice Updates

NIH has updated policy notices, and those changes may affect your review and management of awards:

  • The Executive Level II salary will increase to $185,100 effective January 10, 2016. As we did last year, the new cap can be utilized starting with the first pay period after implementation which is February 1, 2016.  If you do adjust your salaries, please keep in mind:
    • The associated EB and F&A charges will also increase relative to the increase salary costs.
    • You should also review your cost sharing templates and make updates as needed.
  • NIH has some new forms and policy changes, (please see NOT-OD-16-004 for details). In addition, they have updated application guides, which guide to use depends of the due date of the application:
    • We currently have two sets of application guides posted 
      1. Application guides for due dates on or before January 24, 2016
      2. Application guides for due dates on and between January 25 and May 24, 2016 that include guidance in support of announced changes in rigor and transparency, vertebrate animals, definition of child and research training (NOT-OD-16-029)

Below are the notices which give more information. Please contact your Contract Administrator should you need further information.



NIH Salary Cap

For the past several years, the annual Congressional appropriation for the Health and Human Services (NIH) budget has restricted the amount of direct salary of an individual on a grant, cooperative agreement or contract to a designated salary rate. The caps apply to awards issued during the Federal fiscal year for which the appropriation was made. Awards made during different Federal fiscal years are subject to different  salary rate caps.

A summary of salary caps to date can be found at the NIH Office of Extramural Research website.

NSF Salary Policy for PIs and Co-PIs

The National Science Foundation announced a new Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) NSF 09-01 that is effective January 2009. The new policy limits faculty to two months of salary per year from all NSF sources unless specifically budgeted and approved by the NSF. It has removed the current requirement that faculty salary must be taken in the summer months.
NSF Salary Policy

Current NSF Consultant Rate

The annual Congressional appropriation for the National Science Foundation budget sets the maximum daily rate that may be paid to consultants on NSF awards at an amount equal to the current Executive Schedule Level IV for Federal employees.

The current year’s maximum is available at the NSF Division of Grants and Agreements Policy Office website.

September 2014:
Reminder: eRA Commons User IDs Needed for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Beginning in October 2014 eRA Commons IDs will be REQUIRED for graduate and undergraduate students who participate in NIH funded projects for a least one person month. Since last year a warning has been generated when an RPPR is submitted that lists individuals in a graduate or undergraduate student role who have not established an eRA Commons ID; however, beginning next month, reports will not be accepted by NIH without this information.

If you need to set up any eRA Commons User IDs, please contact NIH-help@mit.edu.


September 2014:
Individual Development Plans for Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Researchers

NIH annual progress reports received on/after October 1, 2014 must include a section to describe how Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are used to identify and promote the career goals of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers associated with the award.


September 2014:
NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy

NIH has issued some guidance regarding the Genomic Data Sharing policy which becomes effective with NIH grant applications submitted for the January 25, 2015 deadline and thereafter.


September 2014:
NIH Loan Repayment Program

NIH has announced the next application cycle for their Extramural Loan Repayment Program.


Please contact your Contract Administrator if you need any further information.

Scheduled eRA and ASSIST Downtime

May 20, 2014
Over Memorial Day weekend, all eRA services will be completely shut down (both eRA Commons and ASSIST). The systems will be brought down at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 23 and are expected to be restored to service by Tuesday, May 27 at 7 a.m. This downtime is to complete the upgrade of all eRA systems so they are Unicode capable. Read more...

Change in NIH Resubmission Policy

May 1, 2014
Effective immediately, for application due dates after April 16, 2014, following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application, applicants may submit the same idea as a new (A0) application for the next appropriate due date. The NIH and AHRQ will not assess the similarity of the science in the new (A0) application to any previously reviewed submission when accepting an application for review. Although a new (A0) application does not allow an introduction or responses to the previous reviews, the NIH and AHRQ encourage applicants to refine and strengthen all application submissions.
Please see the following links for additional information:



Change in Salary Cap

May 1, 2014
Executive Level II salary has increased to $181,500 effective January 12, 2014. Below is a link to the information and some FAQs regarding the salary cap. NIH has the following guidance regarding budget development:

Salary Caps: NIH will not pay requested salary above the annual salary cap, which can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/salcap_summary.htm. If salary is requested above the salary cap, NIH will reduce that line item to the salary cap, resulting in a reduced total award amount. In future years, if the salary cap increases, grantees may rebudget to pay investigator salaries up to the new salary cap, but NIH will not increase the total award amount. If you are preparing a detailed budget, you are instructed to base your request on actual institutional base salaries (not the cap) so that NIH staff has the most current information in hand at the time of award and can apply the appropriate salary cap at that time.



Requesting eRA Commons User IDs

May 1, 2014
Due to NIH’s move to require the reporting of eRA Commons ID’s for graduate and undergraduate students who participate in NIH funded projects for a least one person month, NIH-help@mit.edu has received many requests for new IDs. We ask DLC Administrators to coordinate with students in their area and send one list to NIH-help@mit.edu. Based upon the number of requests received, it may take several days to process, so plan accordingly.

Note: Right now when an eRA Commons ID does not exist for a graduate or undergraduate student included on an RPPR a warning is generated. Beginning in October 2014 eRA Commons IDs for Graduate and Undergraduate students will be REQUIRED and the RPPR report will not be accepted without this information provided. Please remember that eRA Commons IDs are already required for postdoctoral researchers included on RPPRs.


Thank you and please contact your Contract Administrator if you need any further information.

NIH Updated Policy Notices

February 10, 2014

NIH issued two updated policy notices which may affect your review and management of awards:

NIH SF424 application package (Form-C)

January 30, 2014

As of January 25, 2014 the new version of the SF424 application package (Form-C) should now be used for the following programs:

  • Individual National Research Service Awards (Fs)
  • Individual Research Career Development Award Programs (Ks)
  • Institutional Training and Career Development  Programs (Ts) and Other Training Grants (Ds)