In the post-award phase of the grant process, awardees work in partnership with NIFA to ensure proper stewardship of federal funds.
This includes monitoring project activities for compliance with program requirements. Project Directors for competitive, non-competitive, and capacity projects are all responsible for timely submission of program data to NIFA through the REEport (Research, Extension, and Education online project reporting tool) system.
NIFA and the recipient institution are responsible for working together to monitor grant activities and ensure compliance with program requirements and federal regulations. The award recipient is accountable for the technical performance of the project or program. They must also ensure appropriate expenditure of funds under the award by all parties (co-project directors and sub-awardees) and that all other obligations cited in the grant’s Award Face Sheet are met. NIFA is responsible for identifying potential areas where technical assistance might be needed by the awardee and for providing guidance or resources for such assistance.
The monitoring phase takes place over the life cycle of a grant. Both NIFA and the recipient institution must ensure that:
- Funds are being used properly for implementation of the program
- The program stays within the award’s scope of work and makes progress toward performance objectives
- Appropriate technical data and accomplishments are reported to NIFA (see below Reporting)
- Notifications of changes to project scope, key personnel, timeline, expenses, or location are sent to NIFA via the proper mechanisms:
- Competitive and non-competitive awardees should contact the Administrative Contact listed in block 14 of their Award Face Sheet
- Capacity Project Directors should submit Project Change requests through REEport NIFA Reporting Portal
NIFA conducts post award compliance reviews to meet its responsibility under the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA).
The reporting step of the grant life cycle supports the activities described above in the monitoring step. Awardees must submit periodic technical and financial reports to NIFA that help ensure proper stewardship of federal funds. The authoritative documents for reporting requirements for any NIFA grant are described in the current Terms and Conditions for that type of award.
The types of reports submitted by awardees fall into four categories: Initiation, Progress, Final Technical, and Financial. Failure to submit any of the reports described below may impact the availability of future grant funds or the approval of post-award actions.
Awardees are responsible for submitting a Project Initiation form through REEport before they may draw down funds and begin work on their research, extension, or education activities. The project initiation is the awardee’s opportunity to describe the objectives and expected outcomes of their work, in both technical and non-technical terms. Technical data submitted in the Project initiation is made publicly available in the Current Research Information System (CRIS) and is used by NIFA to track research, extension and education activities.
- Land-Grant institutions, schools of forestry and schools of veterinary medicine: before directing Project Directors (faculty) to submit project initiations through REEport, the Authorized Representative (AR) must ensure the institution has a NIFA approved Plan of Work or Program of Research, or both, in place. Visit Capacity Funds for more information on Plan of Work and Program of Research requirements.
- Project Directors who submit project initiations through REEport in order to use capacity funds must wait until the project is approved by NIFA before they may begin work on the project. REEport sends a notification to the Project Director when the project initiation is approved.
All awardees are required to submit annual technical progress reports through REEPort. Progress reports must cover only the most recent period of performance and should adequately describe the grant project’s progress toward performance objectives and clearly highlight the major accomplishments achieved during the reporting period.
- For competitive and non-competitive projects, the period of performance is a 12-month period beginning with the start date or anniversary date of the project; annual progress reports for these are due no later than 90 days after the award anniversary date.
- For capacity projects, the period of performance follows the federal fiscal year; annual progress reports for these are always due on March 1 of the next fiscal year.
NIFA National Program Leaders (NPLs) are responsible for determining whether the technical accomplishments and impacts described in the progress report are satisfactory. NPLs may return the report to the Project Director for corrections or additions if they deem necessary.
Final technical reports must be submitted for all grant projects through REEport. The final reports for competitive, non-competitive, and capacity projects are all required to cover the duration of the project, from start to end date. Reports should adequately describe how performance objectives were achieved and highlight the major accomplishments and non-technical impacts of the research, extension, or educations activities performed.
- Competitive and non-competitive final reports are due no later than 120 days after the project end date (grant termination date).
- Capacity final reports are due by March 1 of the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the project ended.
NIFA NPLs are responsible for determining whether the technical accomplishments and impacts described in the final technical report are satisfactory. NPLs may return the report to the Project Director for corrections or additions if they deem necessary.
There are two types of financial reports due on an annual basis to NIFA: the Federal Financial Report (SF-425) and the REEport Project Financial Report.
- Federal Financial Report: Awardees are required to submit an SF-425, Federal Financial Report annually no later than 90 days after the award anniversary date. The final SF-425 is due no later than 120 days after the termination date of the grant. For competitive and non-competitive grants the form should be emailed as a PDF attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. For Capacity grants the form should be emailed as a PDF attachment to email@example.com. Guidance on completing the SF-425 is available at NIFA Terms and Conditions. All questions relating to the SF-425 reports should be directed to the Administrative Contact listed in block 14 of the Award Face Sheet.
- REEport Project Financial Report: A Project Financial Report must be submitted through REEport on an annual basis.
- Competitive and non-competitive grants must all have one related project documented in REEport and will have a Project Financial Report due annually while the grant is active.
- Capacity grants have multiple related projects documented in REEport and must submit an equivalent number of Project Financial Reports by February 1 each year. Project Financial Reports for capacity projects may be submitted by an institution collectively at one time. The final REEport Project Financial Report covers only the last, most recent period of performance of the project; unlike the Final Technical Report in REEport, it does not cover the life of the project from start to end date.
Assistance for submitting online forms through REEport should be directed to REEport Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-690-0009. Questions regarding report content should be directed to the Programmatic Contact listed in Block 14 of the Award Face Sheet.
For additional information, link to frequently asked questions about managing a grant.