Sneak Preview: Comments Sought on Draft Research Terms and Conditions

November 13, 2015 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) An interagency working group is seeking public comments on a draft set of research terms and conditions that implements the provisions of Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB’s) uniform grant guidance, with specific clarifications and additions applicable to research awards.

Comments are due by Dec. 14 and can be emailed to Suzanne Plimpton at the National Science Foundation (NSF) at, with “Research Terms and Conditions” in the subject line.

The original research terms and conditions were developed in 2005 by the Research Business Models (RBM) Interagency Working Group under the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Science to create greater consistency in the administration of federal research awards. In 2008, fourteen federal agencies and offices implemented the research terms and conditions, which were based on the prior OMB circulars, particularly Circular A-110, and were most recently updated in 2011.

The research terms and conditions include with three appendices: (1) a prior approval matrix that denotes circumstances in which prior approval is required or waived by the participating agencies; (2) a subaward requirements matrix that shows which governmentwide and agency-specific requirements apply to subrecipients for each participating agency; and (3) a national policy matrix that shows which federal laws and governmentwide policy apply to different types of awards and recipients in specific situations.

In June 2014, the working group began developing a revised set of research terms and conditions aligned with the uniform guidance. These terms and conditions would apply to research and research-related grants made to institutions of higher education and nonprofit organization by the participating agencies, for awards dated Dec. 26, 2014, and beyond.

The following federal awarding agencies are participating in the revision of the research terms and conditions: Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture; Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Institute of Standards and Technology; Department of Energy; Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health; Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration; Department of Homeland Security; Environmental Protection Agency; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; National Science Foundation.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site).


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