Also known as “Other Support” or “Current and Pending Support”
Generally, sponsors request information on active (current/awarded) and pending support to evaluate potential scientific and/or commitment overlaps. In asking for identification of “other support” in a grant application, a funding agency’s interests include, but are not limited to, identifying and eliminating duplication of funding for specific budgetary items, understanding the investigator’s capacity to complete projects (e.g., effort available), protect national security or economic interests, and assess potential conflicts of interest.
Active and pending support includes all financial resources whether funded through the University or not such as Federal, non-Federal, commercial or organizational support, available in direct support of an individual’s research endeavors, including, but not limited to, research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, or organizational awards. This includes research support from foreign governments or entities. Other support does not include training awards, prizes, or gifts.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The intent of this notice is to remind the extramural community about the need to report foreign activities through documentation of other support, foreign components, and financial conflict of interest to prevent scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap. NIH has long required full transparency for all research activities both domestic and foreign and does not consider these clarifications to be changes in policy. The requirements referenced in this Notice, along with the other obligations in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS) and other terms and conditions of award, are instrumental to achieving the mutual goal of NIH and the extramural community, to protect the integrity of biomedical research.
NIH reminds applicants and recipients that other support includes all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant. This includes resource and/or financial support from all foreign and domestic entities, including but not limited to, financial support for laboratory personnel, and provision of high-value materials that are not freely available (e.g., biologics, chemical, model systems, technology, etc.).
NIH applicants must:
- List all positions and scientific appointments both domestic and foreign held by senior/key personnel that are relevant to an application including affiliations with foreign entities or governments. This includes titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).
- Report all resources and other support for all individuals designated in an application as senior/key personnel – including for the program director/principal investigator (PD/PI) and for other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not they request salaries or compensation. Information must be provided about all current support for ongoing projects, irrespective of whether such support is provided through the applicant organization, through another domestic or foreign organization, or is provided directly to an individual that supports the senior/key personnel’s research efforts.
- Report all current projects and activities that involve senior/key personnel, even if the support received is only in-kind (e.g. office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees). All research resources including, but not limited to, foreign financial support, research or laboratory personnel, lab space, scientific materials, selection to a foreign “talents” or similar-type program, or other foreign or domestic support must be reported.
- Provide the total award amount for the entire award period covered (including facilities and administrative costs), as well as the number of person-months (or partial person-months) per year to be devoted to the project by the senior/key personnel involved.
All pending support at the time of application submission and prior to award must be reported using “Just-in-Time Procedures” by providing all information indicated above. Applicants are responsible for promptly notifying NIH of any substantive changes to previously submitted Just-in-Time information up to the time of award, including “Other Support” changes that must be assessed for budgetary or scientific overlap. Further, if other support, as described as above, is obtained after the initial NIH award period, from any source either through the institution or directly to senior/key personnel, the details must be disclosed in the annual research performance progress report (RPPR). Post-award, recipients must address any substantive changes by submitting a prior approval request to NIH in accordance with the NIHGPS section on “Administrative Requirements—Changes in Project and Budget—NIH Standard Terms of Award.”
In a letter issued by Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health, the NIH asks institutions to “make sure that, in accordance with the NIH Grants Policy Statement, all applications and progress reports include all sources of research support, financial interests, and relevant affiliations.” The appropriate vehicle for such submission is the “Other Support” or “Active and Pending Support” sections of applications and reports. In providing this guidance, NIH specifically identified areas of concern, including:
- Failure by some researchers working at NIH-funded institutions in the U.S. to disclose substantial resources from other organizations, including foreign governments, which threatens to distort decisions about the appropriate use of NIH funds.
- Diversion of intellectual property in grant applications or produced by NIH-supported biomedical research to other entities, including other countries; and
- In some instances, sharing of confidential information by peer reviewers with others, including in some instances with foreign entities, or otherwise attempting to influence funding decisions.
These concerns reinforce the importance of accurately disclosing active and pending support during the proposal process. Such disclosure needs to be submitted for all key personnel and needs to include all financial resources, whether federal, non-federal, industrial, non-profit, other universities or research institutions, both foreign and domestic, and sub-contracts.
As a reminder, applicants are required to indicate whether a grant project includes a “foreign component” in the proposal and if yes to include a justification document. If after award, an applicant wishes to add a foreign component prior NIH approval is required. A foreign component is defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 1.2, as performance of any significant element or segment of the project outside the United States either by the recipient or by a researcher employed by or affiliated with a foreign organization, whether or not grant funds are expended.
See also Statement on Protecting the Integrity of U.S. Biomedical Research which concerns address the requirements to follow NIH Policy as it relates to other support, disclosure of foreign components and disclosure of financial interests.
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) expects that PIs and senior personnel will list any activity that provides funding to their work and/or a commitment of time by the individual in the same manner as described in the previous section for NIH using the Current and Pending section of proposals.
The National Science Foundation also requires that PIs submit information about collaborators and other affiliations for senior project personnel. This information is in addition to Current and Pending Support and may include advisor/advisee relations, coauthors, editorships, business or family relationships that are relevant to peer review. Templates for the tables in which these elements are reported are found in NSF’s Proposal & Awards Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).
On July 11, NSF’s Director, Dr. France Cordova, issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” which highlights renewed efforts to ensure that existing requirements to disclose current and pending support information are known, understood, and followed. The draft NSF Proposal and Awards Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG)published in May of this year includes clarifications for reporting requirements for both current and pending support:
- Information must be provided for all current and pending support irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or directly to the individual.
- Examples of current and pending support have been expanded to include non-profit organizations and consulting agreements.
- All projects and activities that require a time commitment must be reported (no minimum has been established), even if the support received is only in-kind.
- NSF does not consider these clarifications to be changes in policy.
- Clarification that for biographical sketches “appointments” should include any titled academic, professional, or institutional position whether or not remuneration is received.
As a reminder, applicants are required to indicate whether a grant project includes “international activity” in the proposal. If international activity is contemplated after award, NSF prior approval is required.
Links and Resources
National Institutes of Health
“NIH Grants Policy Statement.”
“Other Support” in Grants & Funding.
“Biosketch Format, Instructions and Samples.”
National Science Foundation
Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide
“Current and Pending Support”
“Collaborators and Other Affiliations Information” and link to “Frequently Asked Questions (bottom of page)