Sneak Preview: Research Terms and Conditions Update Under Way

February 6, 2015 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) A working group of the National Science and Technology Council’s Research Business Models (RBM) subcommittee is taking steps to update the existing governmentwide research terms and conditions to incorporate the uniform grant guidance.

Research institutions were previously guided by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110. In 2008, the RBM subcommittee, seeking to establish protocols for federal agencies to manage research awards similarly and reduce administrative burden on research award recipients, partnered with 14 federal agencies and offices to implement a core set of research terms and conditions for research awards subject to OMB Circular A-110. Those research terms and conditions were based on a model of standard research terms and conditions developed in 2000 by the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP), a cooperative initiative among 10 federal agencies and 98 institutional recipients of research funds.

The agencies implemented the core set of research terms and conditions that applied to each of the participating agencies. They also developed three related appendices, in the form of matrices, that addressed national policies (e.g., human trafficking laws, drug-free workplace, lobbying, etc.), prior approvals and subaward requirements. These can be found at the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) website.

On Dec. 26, 2014, the OMB’s uniform grant guidance superseded OMB Circular A-110 and seven other OMB circulars as it became effective for nonfederal entity recipients for new awards and continuation of existing awards. Also, the 28 federal awarding agencies and offices implemented the uniform guidance into their regulations effective on that date. The RBM working group, therefore, was tasked to revise the outdated research terms and conditions. The working group, headed by NSF’s Jean Feldman and Michelle Bulls of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), aims to update the existing research terms and conditions to reflect the uniform guidance for awards made by federal awarding agencies to research institutions, mostly educational institutions and nonprofit organizations, as well as some research labs, hospitals and centers.

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