Clearing Up Confusion about Supplement Length and Budget Limits

Recovery.gov - NIGMS InformationI’d like to address several questions about supplement length and budget limits that were submitted after my last post on requesting Recovery Act administrative supplements.

Supplement Length

You can request a Recovery Act administrative supplement for the remaining active period of a current award. The supplement should not exceed two years if you have more than two years remaining on your award.

Please note that after July 15, 2009, NIGMS will only consider requests for one-year supplements. Also note that you can invoke a no-cost extension (NCE) of your grant through the Commons when your grant is within 90 days of its end date. This applies only to the first request; subsequent ones must be reviewed by NIGMS.

Let’s look at two scenarios:

Situation Approaches
Your award is within 90 days of its end date in Fiscal Year 2009 You may invoke a one-year NCE through the Commons and then submit an administrative supplement request with the same end date as the NCE
Your award end date is in FY 2010 If your grant is already in an extension, you should request support not to exceed the current end date. If you think you need additional time as you approach the 2010 end date, you can request another extension and another administrative supplement.If your grant is active but not in an extension, you can in your supplement request state your intent to invoke an extension and request support through the projected end date.

NOTE: Your institution is responsible for processing the NCE at the appropriate time.

Budget Limits

Formally, you may request any amount for an administrative supplement that fits within the scope of the parent grant and can be justified accordingly. In practice, this means that supplement awards are almost always much less than annual budgets.

As for equipment, $100,000 is a longstanding threshold. But in today’s world, there are many examples of equipment used by a single lab that cost north of that amount, and we will carefully consider such requests. We look at the total amount requested, whether it’s for one piece of equipment or several.

18 comments on “Clearing Up Confusion about Supplement Length and Budget Limits

  1. Hello. For a multi-PI grant with a sub-contract to the other institution…do we need to keep our budget for the supplement at the same ratio (contact PI award: multi-PI) as the parent grant or with a well-justified budget can we adjust this? Thanks in advance for you assistance.

    • For a multi-PI grant with a sub-contract to the other institution…do we need to keep our budget for the supplement at the same ratio (contact PI award: multi-PI) as the parent grant or with a well-justified budget can we adjust this?

      The parent grant does not impose any budget structure on the supplement, which means that the budget ratio can be different–but it still must be well-justified.

  2. Can a supplement request include funds for personnel and for equipment (less than $100k) that the hired personnel would use?

    • Can a supplement request include funds for personnel and for equipment (less than $100k) that the hired personnel would use?

      Yes, the supplement can request anything, including personnel and equipment, as long as it is within the scope of the aims of the parent award.

  3. If the parent grant was submitted to NIGMS via SCORE (SC2) but the funding for the project was ultimately from a different institute, what institute do I request funding for the supplement?

    • If the parent grant was submitted to NIGMS via SCORE (SC2) but the funding for the project was ultimately from a different institute, what institute do I request funding for the supplement?

      The administrative supplement request should be submitted to the awarding institute, and it will be considered with respect to that institute’s policies and procedures–different NIH institutes have very different policies on deadlines, allowable requests, etc.

  4. I’d like to request supplemental funds to hire personnel for a 2-year time frame (I’ll be able to submit this request before June 15). My question: how far into the future can I indicate the start of the 2-year time frame? If supplemental funds are awarded, I would need to search for candidates to hire.

  5. I’d like to request supplemental funds to hire personnel for a 2-year time frame (I’ll be able to submit this request before June 15). My question: how far into the future can I indicate the start of the 2-year time frame? If supplemental funds are awarded, I would need to search for candidates to hire.

    In order to be eligible for two years of support, a supplement award must begin in Fiscal Year 2009. Your start date must therefore be on or before September 30, 2009.

  6. My R01 budget does not allow me to maintain the current size of my lab. Is it appropriate to request support to retain a postdoctoral scholar (as opposed to hiring a new one)?

    • My R01 budget does not allow me to maintain the current size of my lab. Is it appropriate to request support to retain a postdoctoral scholar (as opposed to hiring a new one)?

      The Recovery Act applies to retaining jobs as well as creating jobs. Thus keeping a postdoc in your lab (as opposed to hiring a new one) would be entirely appropriate. Please note that this would be true whether the supplement is for new activities within the scope of the original specific aims (administrative) or new aims (revision).

  7. I submitted an administrative supplement request before the requirement for the 25-word summary and the clarification on the budget were published. I requested for 2 years although my grant has been extended for only one year. Do I need to submit a revised request or an addendum?

    • I submitted an administrative supplement request before the requirement for the 25-word summary and the clarification on the budget were published. I requested for 2 years although my grant has been extended for only one year. Do I need to submit a revised request or an addendum?

      At this point, you do not need to submit any further information. We will be sure to contact you if any more information is needed.

  8. I cannot figure out whether to submit a detailed or modular budget for an administrative supplement request (NOT-OD-09-056). There is a clarification on budgets called NOT-OD-09-079, but it only discusses competitive revisions only, not administrative supplements.

    • Strictly speaking, a supplement budget should match the parent grant budget (i.e., it should use a modular budget if the parent award uses a modular budget, and it should use a categorical budget if the parent award uses a categorical budget).

      However, because of the anticipated reporting requirements for ARRA awards, we have been requesting detailed budgets for all supplement awards (so as to be able to report on the number of jobs created, etc.). For those who submitted categorical budgets, this is no problem, but for those who submitted modular ones, there is more work involved.

      Thus, if the parent award used a modular budget, the supplement application can use either format. However, since a detailed budget ultimately will have to be submitted, I recommend that you go with that format from the outset.

  9. The last competitive renewal of my NIGMS grant had two specific aims. Over the course of the subsequent two years, exciting results led us to add a 3rd aim, with the reasoning and science described in one of the noncompetitive renewal applications. Studies under this (and the original) aims are continuing and progress on all 3 aims was part of the most recent non-competitive renewal application.
    Should the science proposed in an administrative supplement request be limited to the original first two aims, or is the third aim added two years ago now considered to be part of the aims of the original project?

    • I am sorry to say that we can’t consider an administrative supplement request for work that you’ve already stated your intention and resources to perform in the non-competitive application.

  10. I have read that the “Project Summary” on Form Page 2 is NOT the same as that of the parent grant, but should be specific to the supplement request. I assume the Project Summary is exclusively for scientific content. So if the aims and scope have not changed and I am requesting funds for equipment and personnel, what should go into the “Project Summary”?

    • There is indeed a bit of finesse required. On the one hand, the supplement request has to be for a new activity, but on the other hand, that activity has to be within the scope of the award.

      So, for instance, one might say:

      “Recent findings of ABC have changed our understanding of DEF, leading to novel hypothesis GHI. We propose to test this hypothesis by JKL.”

      or

      “The recent development of MNO technology allows us to ask questions about PQR that were heretofore impossible to address. We will use this approach to determine STU.”

      I hope this helps.

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