Noncompeting Application Requirements

Grant applications selected for funding by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) are funded in annual increments known as "budget periods" based on the needs articulated in the competing application and as approved by the Agency. A small number of AHRQ grants are multi-year funded (MYF) awards (awards in which the budget period and project period are the same and are longer than 12 months). For all AHRQ awards, continued support after the first twelve months requires the annual submission of a financial assistance request in the form of a progress report or noncompeting continuation application.

Contents

Forms
Application Contents
Date of Submission
Where to Send the Application
Inquiries

Forms

All AHRQ grantees, except recipients of multi-year funded (MYF) awards (awards in which the budget period and project period are the same and are longer than 12 months), must use the Research Performance Project Report (RPPR) for progress reports submitted January 1, 2015 and beyond. Prior to January 1, 2015, the paper PHS 2590 will continue to be accepted. Recipients of MYF awards will continue to submit paper PHS 2590 Non-Competing Continuation Progress Reports, rather than RPPRs, until instructed otherwise.

The RPPR is a module in the eRA Commons system. Grantees may access the RPPR by using the Status page in eRA Commons, and selecting the Tab "List of Applications/Grants." The far right column entitled "Action" on the resulting table will include an RPPR link. Select the RPPR or look at the grant info page to see the due date. The SO/AO may select "Pending Progress Report" from the Status page to determine progress report due dates. The RPPR Instruction Guide (PDF File, 4 MB) is available on the NIH RPPR Web page under Resources. Most AHRQ RPPR instructions that differ from those of NIH are noted in the instructions and on this page.

Recipients of MYF awards must submit a complete PHS 2590 Non-competing Continuation Progress Report for each 12 month funding period using the instructions under Application Contents below.

AHRQ does NOT utilize the NIH Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process (SNAP).

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Application Contents

RPPR: Grantees completing the electronic RPPR are to follow the NIH and Other PHS Agency Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) Instruction Guide (PDF File, 4 MB). Most AHRQ requirements that differ from NIH requirements are specified in the RPPR Instruction Guide and below:

  1. Total costs (direct and indirect) should not exceed the committed level listed on the current Notice of Award for the upcoming budget period. A detailed budget is required because AHRQ does not utilize the NIH SNAP process. If consortia are involved, include a detailed budget for each.
  2. For To-Be-Named (TBN) position(s) in the upcoming budget period that were also To-Be-Named in the application for the current budget period, provide the following information in the budget justification:
    • The reason the position remains unfilled.
    • The impact on the project of the continued vacancy.
    • The anticipated date the position will be filled.

    AHRQ may adjust the level of funding if a TBN position remains unfilled.

  3. Information concerning the level of unexpended funds is critical to the review of the continuation application and funding decision. The response to question G.10.a. regarding an estimated unobligated balance should always be "yes" (regardless of the amount of the balance) and the grantee must provide the estimated cumulative total cost dollar amount of the unobligated balance regardless of whether the anticipated percentage of unexpended funds is over or under 25 percent. A brief explanation is to be provided in G.10.b. Consider this issue carefully in consultation with your accounting office. Statements in the application about the estimated unobligated balance should not differ significantly from actual expenditures shown on the Federal Financial Report submitted after the end of the current budget period.
  4. Grantees submitting an RPPR for a T32 should consult their AHRQ Program Official for additional requirements.

PHS 2590: Grantees with MYF awards (awards in which the budget period and project period are the same and are longer than 12 months) must submit a complete PHS 2590 Non-competing Continuation Progress Report, following the instructions at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm, including:

  1. Budget, as described in Section 2.2, including separate budget pages (form page 2) for any 3rd parties, such as participating consortium/contractual organizations.
  2. Budget justification, as appropriate, on form page 3 (see item 2 below).
  3. Other support for key personnel.
  4. Progress report summary (form page 5).
  5. Checklist (form page 6).

Also, note that:

  1. The total costs (direct and indirect) should not exceed the committed level listed on the current Notice of Award for the upcoming funding period. Follow the PHS 2590 instructions when preparing the budget.
  2. For To-Be-Named (TBN) position(s) in the upcoming budget period that were also To-Be-Named in the application for the current budget period, provide the following information in the budget justification:
    • The reason the position remains unfilled.
    • The impact on the project of the continued vacancy.
    • The anticipated date the position will be filled.

    AHRQ may adjust the level of funding if a TBN position remains unfilled.

  3. Information concerning the level of unexpended funds is critical to the review of the continuation application and funding decision. Include an estimated cumulative total cost dollar amount of the unobligated balance regardless of whether the anticipated percentage of unexpended funds is over or under 25 percent. Consider this issue carefully in consultation with your accounting office. Statements in the application about the estimated unobligated balance should not differ significantly from actual expenditures shown on the Federal Financial Report submitted after the end of the current budget period.
  4. At the time of application, make every attempt to include IRB certification that is within 12 months of the upcoming budget period start date. This may require rescheduling IRB review, but it is important in order that the award is not delayed.
  5. Follow the PHS 2590 instructions (disregard the two page limit) in preparing the progress report. Consult with your program official if there are any questions about what should be included in the progress report.
  6. If the current grant is based upon a competing application that was submitted on or after October 1, 2003, it is required that the progress report include information regarding progress related to the inclusion of AHRQ priority populations (go to http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-03-010.html for AHRQ's Policy on the Inclusion of Priority Populations in Research). AHRQ program staff will monitor inclusion of priority populations in the project, including the extent to which actual recruitment and retention of subjects is consistent with the recruitment plan proposed in the initial grant application. If recruitment is lower than expected, discuss steps to be taken to reach the anticipated recruitment levels. There is no pre-specified format for this report, though a narrative accompanied by a table showing anticipated vs. actual recruitment may be appropriate. Please clearly label this section of the progress report.

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Date of Submission

To ensure a timely award, the RPPR or PHS 2590 continuation application is to be submitted to AHRQ three (3) months before the anniversary of the award. For example, for a non-MYF FY2014 award with a start date of 2/1/14, the annual progress report is due 11/1/14 (i.e., three months before the FY2015 budget period start date (i.e., anniversary date) of 2/1/15. For a MYF FY2014 award with a start date of 2/1/14, the PHS 2590 is due 11/1/14 (i.e. three months before the start of the next 12 month funding period, which begins 2/1/15).Late applications will jeopardize continued funding, especially if late applications are submitted after July 1. For non-MYF awards, non-competing awards must be made from consecutive Fiscal Year appropriations, otherwise funding will end.

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Where to Send the Application

RPPRs are submitted electronically using the eRA RPPR module. 

PHS 2590 Noncompeting Continuation Progress Reports (an original and two copies of the completed and signed application and supporting materials) are to be submitted to:

Chief Grants Management Officer
OMS/Division of Grants Management
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: (301) 427-1447

DO NOT SEND PHS 2590s for AHRQ grants to the NIH Division of Central Grants Processing in Bethesda, MD. This will substantially delay processing of the application.

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Inquiries

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to telephone the Grants Management Specialist or the Project Officer assigned to your grant as listed on the current Notice of Award.

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Page last reviewed January 2015
Internet Citation: Noncompeting Application Requirements. January 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/grant-mgmt/noncomp.html