Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR)…I Don’t Need Time, I Need a Deadline

A Research Performance Project Report (RPPR) is required at least annually as part of the NIH non-competing renewal (type 5) award process and it must be submitted via the eRA Commons.

NIH has recently published a new resource “RPPRs: Who Can Do What?” which provides a quick look at the Annual, Interim and Final RPPRs.  Only the PI or their delegate may initiate an RPPR in the eRA Commons. The RPPR must be received and approved by the Institute’s Program and grants management staff prior to funding for each subsequent budget period within a previously approved competing project period.

To find out which progress reports are due over the next 4 months, click on this NIH link to Pending Progress Reports  to obtain a list of progress reports for a selected grantee institution.  For Wayne State University, use 9110501.  Note any project that shows a “Yes” to SNAP is actually due on the 15th of the month instead of the 1st as shown in the query results. This query will not include progress reports for Multi-Year Funded (MYF) awards which are always due on or before the anniversary of the budget/project period start date of the award and are uploaded as a PDF through the eRA Commons (see for instructions).

If you have questions or you’ve been told something different, you can reach out to

Proper eProp for RPPR

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.


Some of us have been advised to submit an eProp for yearly NIH progress reports (RPPR), documenting the budget for the upcoming year and a screenshot of the RPPR submission.  Others of us have been advised not to do so.  Whatever is an admin to do with all of this conflicting information?  Never fear, it has been made clear (sort of)!  Straight from SPA:


NIH SNAP awards do not require an eProp when the RPPR is completed.
An eProp is required for all non-SNAP NIH awards.


So there you have it!  If you have questions or you’ve been told something different, the Senior Director of Administration or either Associate Director of Proposal and Grant Administration can set the record straight.  Happy reporting!

Back to the Future

September has officially settled in, which means resuming our monthly Tips & Tools meeting! We hope everyone had a wonderful summer and are gearing up for a very productive fall.


For those of you who may be unaware, our School of Medicine Research Administrative Services (RAS) team hosts a regular meeting (Tips & Tools) on the third Wednesday of each month. At these meetings, we highlight changes and information coming down both internally at Wayne, and from external agencies.  Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – these meetings serve as a forum for research administrators to ask and answer each other’s questions, trouble-shoot, and give/request input on processes. These meetings began for the administrators of the departments at the School of Medicine, but we have many administrators attending from outside the SOM as well! If you are interested in attending, please send us a quick note expressing your interest ( and we’ll give you the details of time and place.


This month’s meeting will take place in one week (September 17, 2014) and will feature special guests Dr. Stephen Lanier (our new Vice President for Research at Wayne State; check out his Crain’s Q&A!) and Ms. Gail Ryan (Wayne’s Assistant Vice President for Sponsored Program Administration).  Come with your questions; they’ll both have answers!  We look forward to seeing you there.

The Quick and the Deadlines

Grant submission is a team effort, and each member of the team has a stake in the outcome.  When an award comes in, the PI gets resources for important research, but there are also accountants who manage the flow of funds, managers who handle purchasing, specialists who ensure compliance, and the list goes on.  Lots of people put forth a lot of effort to ensure effective award management, and lots of people work at the front end as well to ensure the highest likelihood that the proposal for funds receives every consideration.  This is why there are internal deadlines for submission that predate the deadline for application imposed by the sponsor.  Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) at WSU is responsible for submitting all external requests for funding on behalf of the University, and therefore need time to review and make sure that outgoing proposals are compliant.  SPA requires that all outgoing proposals be submitted three (3) full business days before the agency deadline for proper review (SPA’s policy can be found here).  The WSU School of Medicine also enforces this policy, and requires that all proposals submitted from any School of Medicine department after this deadline be acknowledged by the department chair and recorded in the School of Medicine Office of Research.  For the School of Medicine Late Submission Form and Policy, please follow this link.

An internal deadline is not meant to be a cruel imposition on already time-constrained researchers.  Rather, applications submitted on or before internal deadlines are given earlier and more thorough administrative reviews.  When a GCO or administrator is not in a time crunch, their reviews will be more valuable rather than just glancing through the application to verify the compulsory elements. When time is available
to give meticulous component review (such as  human subjects statements, budget justifications, conflict of interest, etc) it increases the likelihood of a smooth review of the application by the sponsor’s scientific review
panel. Extra consideration beyond the departmental office only improves the quality of the proposal, and ensures the elimination of errors that can be chalked up to haste.

A cursory survey finds that most major research universities impose a standard five-day internal deadline; as stated above, for now, WSU requires three.  To read more about other university standards and how they promote deadlines, check out NCURA’s article in the December 2010 issue of their magazine (p 18).