NIH Modular Grant Application Guidance

To assure appropriate federal regulations and NC State policies are followed in estimating the number of modules proposed and that the related indirect costs (aka facilities and administrative, or F&A, costs) are properly calculated, investigators must submit certain high-level budget information for SPARCS and college- or unit-level research administrators to review and include in the internal documents of the proposal file. This internal information is not submitted to the National Institutes of Health.

Principal Investigator (PI) Responsibilities

As with all proposal cost estimates, it’s the principal investigator’s responsibility to make sure that only allowable and allocable costs are incurred. The following high-level information necessary on NIH Modular Grant Applications must be submitted for internal purposes:

  • Tuition Costs
  • Equipment Acquisition Costs
  • The value of each subaward in excess of $25,000
  • Rental Costs
  • Renovation Costs
  • All Other Direct Costs (e.g., salaries, fringes, animal-care costs, supplies) [1]
  • Total Direct Costs [2]
  • [1] Same as Modified Total Direct Costs
  • [2] Total Direct Costs must add to a precise multiple of $25,000. Adjust the amount for Other Direct Costs upward to accommodate this NIH requirement.

Fiscal Compliance

The following reasons are just part of why it’s important to submit the information discussed above:

  • Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) requires that an institution consistently estimates, accumulates and reports costs. The NIH Modular Grants process — absent an internal budget — would violate this federal regulation.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services requires that indirect costs (aka facilities and administrative F&A costs) be calculated in accordance with our Federal Rate Agreement. The NIH Modular Grants process — absent the internal information described above — would violate this requirement.
  • The NC State accounting system must track, at a minimum, direct versus indirect expenditures in accordance with CAS. The PI or unit has the option to provide a detailed budget to Contracts and Grants via SPARCS for loading into the accounting system. This option is available to allow the PI or unit to better monitor a project’s fiscal matters but will not restrict transactions to the line items outlined in the optional detailed budget — except to the extent budget adjustments violate basic principles outlined in Uniform Guidance (UG).