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)
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).
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)