NIH Progress Reports (RPPRs)

Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) or Award Continuation

Definition

National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires recipients to submit a variety of reports which are due at specific times during the life cycle of a grant award. All reports must be accurate, complete, and submitted on time. NIH requires recipients to submit Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) through the eRA Commons at least annually as part of the non-competing continuation award process. The progress report must be approved by NIH to non-competitively fund each budget period within an approved project period. The RPPR asks recipients about accomplishments towards the goal of the project, plans for the next year of the project, manuscripts and publications produced, personnel who have worked on the project, changes to level of effort of key personnel on the project, actual or planned challenges or delays in the projects and plans for resolving them, significant changes regarding human or animal subjects, inclusion enrollment reports for clinical studies, and more. The terms and conditions of the award, which can be found by logging into the NIH eRA Commons, will specify what type of reports are required and specify due dates. Learn more about RPPRs


UNIVERSITY PROCEDURE FOR NIH RPPRs

NIH requires that Progress Reports be submitted by an Authorized Organization Representative therefore, the Progress Report has to be submitted through OPAS by the “Signing Official.” See the listed NIH contact at the bottom of this page for the usual signing official for your area of campus. The University's procedure for submitting NIH RPPRs is similar to the process for submitting a grant proposal: a Kuali Proposal Development record must be completed and routed for internal approvals, and the documents must be uploaded to the sponsor's portal. The sponsor's portal in this case is NIH eRA Commons.​ 

Kuali Process - For instructions on developing a RPPR in Kuali, please see our guide. RPPRs will not be logged in for review until the RPPR has been routed to the appropriate OPAS reviewer (see Points of Contact below) in the Commons and a Kuali record has been completed and approved in Kuali by PI/PD, Co-Investigators, Department Chairs, and Deans. Please note that the Kuali routing map (list of internal approvers) should match that of the original proposal. Refer to the original proposal’s routing map and include any individuals or centers included on the original routing map. 

NIH eRA Commons Process - For instructions on completing the RPPR in ERA Commons, please see NIH’s instructions. The NIH requires the use of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) module for the submission of the annual progress report.The report in Commons consists of separate screens for each of the sections listed below:

  • A Cover Page
  • B Accomplishments
  • C Products
  • D Participants
  • E Impact
  • F Changes
  • G Special Reporting Requirements
  • H Budget
  • I Outcomes

Please submit your RPPR in Kuali and the Commons to Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS) at least five business days prior to the deadline noted below.

Annual RPPR Due Dates:

  • Streamlined Non-Competing Award Process (SNAP) RPPRs are due approximately 45 days before the next budget period start date.
  • Non-SNAP RPPRs are due approximately 60 days before the next budget period start date.
  • Multi-year funded (MYF) RPPRs are due annually on or before the anniversary of the budget/project period start date of the award.
  • The exact start date for a specific award may be found in grants status in eRA Commons.

Interim and Final RPPR Dues Dates:

  • 120 days from period of performance end date for the competitive segment

Advance Notice of Upcoming Due Dates

  • NIH will send out an automated email notifying the PI of an upcoming RPPR due date.
  • OPAS will send a customized email that includes Grant Number, Award Amount and Year (Direct and Indirect Costs) and RPPR Due Date, and detailed instructions. 
  • Please reach out to your departmental support staff to begin work on RPPR development six to eight weeks prior to the due date. Coordination with subrecipients may require more time, so plan accordingly.

ERA Commons IDs – Please be advised that all individuals with faculty, postdoc, undergraduate, or graduate roles participating in NIH-funded projects for at least one person month (160 hours) are required to have an eRA Commons ID and be listed in the participants section of the RPPR. Additionally, these individuals will be responsible for entering required data in the Commons Personal Profile, e.g., Birth date, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, U.S. Citizenship Status, etc. (View video guidance on filling out the Personal Profile here.)  Note that questions on gender, disabilities, race and ethnicity must be completed, but one of the acceptable responses is: “Do Not Wish to Provide.” Please also note that our office will not be able to submit the NIH Progress Reports if participating Graduate or Undergraduate students do not have NIH Commons IDs and if their Commons profiles are incomplete. To request an eRA Commons ID, contact the R&E Help Desk with the information below:

  1. First Name:
  2. Last Name:
  3. UMass Amherst Email:
  4. Type of account needed (i.e., PI, Postdoc, Graduate Student, Assist):

After your account is created, you will receive an automated “Account Created” notification email from NIH containing the username and a randomly generated password. Please activate your account and populate your profile as soon as possible.

If the individual is no longer at UMass Amherst, please provide a current forwarding email address. This is required for the registration process.


Required Documents  (Failure to include the required documents in eRA Commons and/or Kuali may result in delays of RPPR review and submission.)

Other Support – Please note that NIH has recently updated its Other Support format and instructions. Please be sure to review the new format and instructions. Please ensure that any required Other Support documents have been signed electronically using a program like Adobe or Docusign. Failure to follow the new guidelines will result in delays after RPPR submission. Other Support is required for Senior/Key Personnel only when there are changes from the prior reporting period.

IACUC Approval – Please note that NIH does not accept RPPRs with IACUC approval pending.  Approval must be obtained prior to submission of your RPPR to OPAS for review.  

IRB Approval – Please note that NIH does not accept RPPRs with IRB approval pending. Approval must be obtained prior to submission of your RPPR to OPAS for review. 

Human Subjects System – Complete the Inclusion Enrollment Report (IER) form via the Human Subjects System (HSS) link in the RPPR module in ERA Commons, and, if there are changes to the Targeted/Planned Enrollment plan originally approved for funding, submit a revised Targeted/Planned Enrollment form. Please note that the NIH now requires grantees to update their IERs via HSS. Please see the NIH HSS user guide for detailed instructions. 

Subcontracts – Projects including subcontracts must have the following items signed off by the subcontractor’s Authorized Organization Representative or Sponsored Programs Office (OPAS counterpart). RPPRs will not be submitted or processed for automatic carry forward of spending authority ("Auto-OPAS") without the necessary subcontract documentation.

1.  Form Page 1: Face Page

2.  Form Page 5: Progress Report Summary

3.  Form Page 7: All Personnel Report

4.  RPPR Questionnaire responses, including any necessary documentation

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Missing documents may result in delays in processing the grant continuation and result in loss of access to spending funds.  Reach out to OPAS staff with any questions well in advance of the internal routing requirement to prevent delays in grant processing.


Budget and Effort

Unobligated Balances – Please reach out to Keith Parenteau in Research Accounting to confirm the unobligated balance amount. Please work with your bookkeeper to complete the unobligated balance calculator and forward it to Keith well before the RPPR due date.

Financial Conflict of Interest – Disclosures are submitted through the Kuali COI module. This is an electronic disclosure form that combines a range of existing COI policies and regulations (COI, COC, OA) into a single process and is fully integrated into Kuali. Questions regarding Kuali COI can be directed to Melinda LeLacheur, Office of Research Compliance, at (413) 545-5283 or rescomp@research.umass.edu

NIH Salary Cap/Cost Shared Effort – If the original proposal included contributed effort or cost share due to the NIH Salary, be sure to track this by showing the dollar amount of the cost shared effort and provide the account number from which the shared salary is paid in the Institutional Commitments section of the budget in Kuali. This process is detailed in our RPPR guide. Please also see the NIH Salary Cap guide.

Effort Reporting – Please note that the effort reported in the Progress Report is for the current year and must be consistent with your effort certification in E-CERT and consistent with the effort committed in the original proposal. In most cases, effort reported should be in line with what was charged to the grant. If you expect to report an effort reduction in excess of 25 percent, please reach out to OPAM to request prior approval for the reduction. Additionally, NIH no longer requires that effort be rounded to the nearest whole person month, so effort should be reported as accurately as possible with decimals if necessary. 


Additional Resources

UMass Roles and Responsiblities for RPPR Preparation and Submission (pdf)

UMass RPPR Checklist (pdf)

Kuali RPPR Guide (pdf)

NIH RPPR Guidance

NIH Salary Cap Guide (pdf)

eRA Commons RPPR resources (external link)

Unobligated Balance Calculator (Excel )

 

NIH Contacts for Questions
Sara Santos  School of Public Health and Health Sciences and other schools and colleges
Rebecca Shafer College of Natural Sciences