It's That Time of Year: NIH Progress Reports

It's that time of year again for many of you. Your NIH Progress Report, or RPPR (Research Performance Progress Report), is due. Progress reports are required annually to document grant recipient accomplishments and compliance with the terms of the award. Investigators are required to describe scientific progress, identify significant changes, report on personnel, and describe plans for the subsequent budget period. Because many of our NIH grants are on a similar reporting period, May is a particularly busy month for submissions. 

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started:

  1. What was accomplished during the budget period under your major goals and aims? What do you plan to do during your next reporting period to accomplish the goals and objectives? 
  2. Do you anticipate needing to carry forward more than 25% of the current year's total approved budget? Please contact us if so for help in determining a strategy with your business manager and crafting discussion points for your report to NIH. 
  3. Who worked on your project during the budget period for 1 calendar month or more? Please note: undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who participate in NIH-funded projects for one calendar month or more are now required to have Commons IDs, which should be listed on the All Personnel Report. Our office can create or search for Commons IDs for your personnel as needed. 
  4. What opportunities for training and professional development did the project provide? Effective October 2014 for any grant which supports a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher associated with your award, NIH now requires a description of progress in meeting their individual development plans (IDPs) to support their career development goals. This can be described briefly in Section B. Accomplishments, Question B.4. Call us if you have additional questions about IDPs. 
  5. How were results disseminated? Are there any publications to report? Are your publications compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy? eRA Commons now runs a validation check with every RPPR submission, and publications that do not have a PMCID from PubMed Central or which have not been deposited to the NIH Manuscript Submission System can delay NIH's processing of your next year's award. We can help with publication compliance. 
  6. Have there been any other changes which were not yet reported to NIH? Key personnel changes are a common situation. NIH recently clarified that only key personnel named in the Notice of Grant Award require prior approval. Other changes to consider are any IRB or IACUC amendments you may have gotten approved, and whether those affect your specific aims or scope of the project. 

This is just a sample list of some of the things to consider when working on your RPPR. Our office is here to help! Danielle Gartner, our Post-Award Research Administrator, can assist you through the entire RPPR process from assistance with uploading attachments to review of your unobligated balance. Contact her at or (520) 626-4180 if you have any questions or would like assistance. 

Originally Posted: 
Monday, May 30, 2016 - 8:15pm