Changes to 2019 Competitive RFAs and New Awards
You may notice changes to open RFAs and future RFAs and to new competitive awards to adjust the language regarding indirect cost rate limitations and matching requirements. This is due to new provisions in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill).
Section 7614 of the 2018 Farm Bill removed the matching requirements on NIFA competitive grants imposed under the 2014 Farm Bill. Therefore, there are changes to the matching requirements on many competitive grants awarded in 2019. For programs that were in existence prior to Oct. 1, 2014, with the removal of the 2014 Farm Bill’s matching requirement, they revert to earlier legislative matching requirements. As a result, some programs will have no matching requirement, while others may have a 100 percent match requirement for all grantees, since previously exempted entities are no longer exempt, that cannot be waived by NIFA. To clearly convey the current matching requirements for NIFA’s competitive programs, including programs first-authorized or first-funded after Oct. 1, 2014, the table detailing matching requirements by program that is posted on the NIFA website has been updated and may be referred to for information on specific matching requirements.
All RFAs published after Dec. 20, 2018, contained the applicable 2018 Farm Bill match requirements.
Indirect Cost Rate Limitation
Section 7125 of the 2018 Farm Bill modified Section 1462 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 resulting in a different indirect cost limitation for new competitive awards under many of NIFA’s program. As applicable, under the Section 7125 amendment, indirect costs are limited to 30 percent of the total Federal funds provided under the award and the limitation on indirect costs applies to both the initial grant award and to any subgrants, so that the total of all indirect costs charged against the total Federal funds awarded does not exceed the 30 percent limitation. NIFA has updated the indirect cost recovery table on the NIFA website to list the new indirect cost rate requirements by program. Additionally, we have developed guidance for calculation of indirect costs under the new requirements.
For applicable programs, this requirement is effective for new awards issued after Dec. 20, 2018, regardless of whether grants are Fiscal Year 2018 or 2019 funds. Where grants were awarded after Dec. 20, 2018, grantees will be contacted by the Awards Management Division regarding application of the new indirect cost provisions. For impacted RFAs that have closed, NIFA will work with entities recommended for funding, prior to award, to make any necessary changes to comply with the new provision. All impacted open RFAs have been modified to include the new provision. Future RFAs will include the new provision, as applicable.
Questions on either the changes to matching requirements or indirect cost recovery may be directed to the program contact listed in the RFA, or the grant contact included on the Notice of Award. Additional information is available on the NIFA webpages: Match Requirement and Indirect Costs.