Confusing SBIR/STTR Reporting Procedures Take a Step toward Uniformity
Tags: federal funding, grants, SBIR, SBIR Grant Reporting, STTR
It seems fair that SBIR and STTR awardees should have to report to the government on the use of their grant and contract dollars. In the past, however, awardees – especially those with awards from multiple agencies – have been confronted with widely differing reporting requirements set by the 11 participating agencies. Each one has had its own reporting schedule, forms, and procedures. Things are looking up, though. In an effort to manage federal dollars in a more uniform manner, a new reporting system called the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) has been developed.
Timing of the RPPR implementation will be different for each agency (naturally!). The Dept. of Energy has already implemented RPPR. NIH expects to require its use for non-competing reporting starting in spring 2013, with full implementation in July 2013. NSF anticipates a January 2013 release, and DoD does not expect to release until 2014. All agency implementation plans are listed here.
For NIH recipients, the RPPR will eventually replace the current eSNAP procedure for filing annual or other interim performance reports. The reports will be integrated into the eCommons. More information on NIH implementation is at: grants.nih.gov/grants/rppr/#implementation.
Blissfully, each agency will be collecting the same information using their respective websites, which, at a minimum, will be:
1. Basic institutional and project identifying data
2. Accomplishments from past activity period and goals for the upcoming activity period
3. Outcomes or “products” from the activity such as technologies and publications
4. Participants, including all persons that have contributed significantly to the activity, the role, their activity and their funding support. This section also asks about collaborators, including foreign collaborators.
5. Impact of the project and major contributions: e.g. to the discipline, human resources (e.g. teaching, training), public knowledge, social conditions
6. Changes to the project: delay in plans, changes in approach, compliance (animal use, human subject involvement, biohazards), project expenditures
Other agency-specific information may also be requested. Taking some time to check it out now will help you understand what you will be required to report and save you from wasting effort later.
Kris Bergman consults with BBC clients on matters of grants and contracts management.