Research Grantees Should Be Prepared for Revised RPPR

November 30, 2016 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

nsf1Sometimes it seems that it’s the little things may actually turn out to be of significant importance. Earlier this month, the National Science Foundation, in a one-page notice in the Federal Register, announced that a revised Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) is now available for use by federal agencies making research awards. There are some noteworthy changes in the revised RPPR that are of interest to recipients of research grants and cooperative agreements.

The revised version addresses lessons learned from the initial implementation of the RPPR, which has been in existence since 2010 and has been implemented by 10 federal agencies. Research grantees should note that while the previous RPPR provided a format only for interim performance progress reports, the revised version includes a format for both interim and final performance progress reports.

Another key change to the revised RPPR is the addition of a new optional reporting category called “Project Outcomes,” in which recipients would provide information on the outcomes of the award. Because federal agencies would be able to make this information available to the public, the recipient should provide sufficient details that “provide insight into the outcomes of federally-funded research, education and other activities.”

Awarding agencies will direct recipients to report on the one mandatory component — “Accomplishments” — and also may direct them to report on optional sections, as appropriate. Within a particular section, agencies may direct recipients to complete only specific questions, as not all questions within a given section may be relevant. There are other various changes in these optional sections that awarding agencies may require research awardees to complete. In the “Products section,” there are new examples of “other products”; in the “Participants Section,” there is a new question on changes in active other support; and in the “Impact Section,” there is a new question on the impact on teaching and educational experiences.

Recipients of research awards may want to take a look at the new RPPR and make plans for potential changes down the line, especially if their awarding agency wants more information on project outcomes. As the Boy Scout motto states: Be Prepared!

Let us know what you think about the new RPPR. We’d love to hear from you.

 

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