NIFA, in collaboration with our Land-Grant University (LGU) partners, is building a new grants management and reporting system, integrating the Plan of Work and REEport applications into a unified system. Using leading industry technology, the NIFA Reporting System (NRS) creates an intuitive experience that streamlines reporting and reduces the burden on grantees.
Results Module Saves Time With Streamlined Approach
The NRS results module will create further efficiencies in the grants lifecycle by replacing the way progress, final, and annual reports are completed. This centralized system will enable organizations to track and share results and reduce time spent assembling reports across multiple applications.
Grantees will respond to four key questions about what has been accomplished during the fiscal year. The focus of these questions is to produce high quality narratives about the most significant accomplishments of the project. Many of the peripheral and administrative requests in previous progress reporting have been eliminated to allow for more thoughtful responses.
For this transition year, capacity-funded projects closing out in FY2021 will report one last time in REEport, while all continuing research projects will report their results in NRS. For those projects and programs that fall under the Plan of Work funding streams, reporting will focus on adding results that contribute to the broader Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results for the state’s Critical Issues, while the other capacity programs will follow a similar streamlined approach. More guidance regarding reporting activities will be made available through published guides and ongoing webinars. Competitive program reporting remains unchanged at this time.
NIFA Adds Other Capacity Research Initiations to the NIFA Reporting System
NIFA released the first version of the research initiation module for projects funded by Hatch (regular) and Hatch Multistate for 1862 institutions and Evans-Allen for 1890 institutions in May 2021. This release marked a significant milestone in bringing all capacity-funded research and extension programs together for the first time in a centralized reporting portal. NRS met another major milestone in October 2021, incorporating three other capacity programs into the application—Animal Health and Disease Research, McIntire-Stennis, and Renewable Resources Extension .
Land-grant Feedback Through Usability Testing
Members of the Working Groups and other land-grant volunteers have participated in usability testing of the Critical Issues, the Extension Program features, Research Project features, and annual progress reporting in the NRS. This is part of NIFA’s human-centered design approach to delivering intuitive, high-quality software. The response to the new features has been very positive. Most importantly, the testers provided constructive feedback that will be used to further improve the system. NIFA takes this approach very seriously and has implemented every recommendation. If you are interested in participating in future usability testing, send an email to email@example.com .
Working Groups and User Feedback
The NRS development team regularly collaborates with NIFA program experts and grantees from the LGU community. These sessions enable NIFA to gain direct feedback from their partner institutions and grantees on new features and identify areas for enhancement. This collaborative effort is used to create each module, which further improves the overall features available to end users.
As the system continues to develop, additional working groups will be identified and meet on a regular cadence. Working groups will collaborate on improving reporting, currently carried out in multiple systems and identify redundant and inefficient reporting processes. The goal is to streamline the process to reduce the overall burden. In the final stage, NIFA will address the financial reporting needs, civil rights, and competitive programs.
NIFA Reporting Portal, REEport, and Plan of Work Applications
All applications under NIFA Reporting Portal, including POW and REEport, will be retired as their features are built into the new system. NIFA is moving all POW reports and data to the REEIS site, LMD, and the Data Gateway. Following its data retention policy, NIFA will retire and archive POW's data according to Federal regulations. LMD features are being studied and share much in common with the Data Gateway already, which will serve any intervening needs when LMD is retired.
What to Expect Next
Plan of Work FY 2023 Submissions
Plan of Work submissions for FY 2023 will likely be completed in NRS. If time permits, NIFA may revise this guidance depending on progress made with the Annual Reports of Accomplishments and Results, which are part of the current phase of development for the new system. The due date for the Plan of Work FY 2023 will be adjusted to a date after the Annual Report deadline.
Annual Report of Accomplishments
NRS will pull together all results from FY2021 for active projects and allow users to build their annual report by highlighting the most important accomplishments from the year. This module will be rolled out fully by April. More details will be shared at upcoming webinars.
All Other Reporting
Please reference our Reporting Fact Sheet, which provides information on key date and reporting expectations here.
|FY 2021 Reporting||System||Rationale||Deadline|
|FINAL REPORTS for projects completed in FY 2021||REEport||For projects with an end date on or before September 30, 2021: Project Directors will complete final reports in REEport per usual.||March 1st|
|Reporting for Projects & Programs Active in FY 2022
||NRS||For projects and programs continuing into FY 2022: All reporting activities will be completed in NRS. All capacity-funded activities will report their results in NRS for the following funding sources:
|Financial Reporting||REEport||Projects that were active in REEport at any time in FY2021 will complete their financial reports in REEport. Templates downloaded from REEport will list all projects that were active in FY2021, including projects that were “migrated” to the NIFA Reporting System.||February 1st|
|Financial Reporting||NRS||Financial information on projects that were initiated in NRS AND approved to start in FY2021 will be collected manually using the same template as issued by REEport. A list will be provided to each institution in December 2021.||February 1st|
|Extension Program Reporting||NRS||All extension programs will submit results at the program or critical issue level.||April 15th|
|Extension Financial Reporting||By Email||At a minimum, NIFA will ask for dollars spent on youth programs||June 1st|
|Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results (POW)||NRS||The NRS’ streamlined format will allow top-line achievements to be entered for critical issues and incorporate highlights from all research projects and extension program results, eliminating redundant data calls and data entry.||May 15th|
|OGFM Supplemental||By Email||FY 2021 OGFM Supplemental forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The form is available here.||June 1st|
|Plan of Work (POW in the Institutional Profile)||TBD||The yearly update to the Plan of Work is still slated for completion in the Institutional Profile; however, guidance on how to update and maintain the Critical Issues will be forthcoming as we add features in NRS to manage them.||TBD|
NIFA Reporting System (NRS)
- Manage Roles Quick Guide
- eAuthentication Registration Guide
- NIFA Reporting System Guide
- NRS Reporting Fact Sheet
User Guides for the Plan of Work in the Institutional Profile (Under the Legacy Portal and REEport)
- Log In to Institutional Profile Quick Guide
- Institutional Profile Guide
- Manage User Roles for Institutional Profile Guide
Webinars: Plan of Work and REEport Integration
- FY 2022 Reviewer Assignments for AREERA reports
- 2015 Plan of Work Panel of Experts Report and NIFA Response
- Plan of Work (POW) and REEport Integration: Science Emphasis Area (SEA) and Knowledge Area (KA) Connection
- Capacity Grants
- NIFA-20-013 Capacity Award Specific Terms and Conditions November 2020