Performance Improvement 2006. Modular Grants Application Process Outcome Evaluation


The program evaluated is the modular grant application process. This National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy was introduced on June 1, 1999. Designed to simplify the grant application process, the program was predicated on the belief that NIH provides research institutions with grant-in-aid for research endeavors, and therefore it is not necessary for NIH to have an accounting for all dollars spent, i.e. a detailed budget. By simplifying budgetary requests within an application, the initiative was designed to focus the attention of investigators, their institutions, peer reviewers and the NIH staff on the proposed research rather than on budgetary details. The modular program specifies that budget requests be made in modules that consist of $25,000 increments. In addition, long budgetary justifications are to be replaced with short descriptions of personnel needs. The modular grant program was developed as an extension of NIH’s streamlining and reinvention activities. The process is intended to provide an alternative to “cost analysis” by focusing review on scientific merit and disengaging from complex budgetary negotiations. It was designed to meet the following long-term goals: to focus the efforts of the investigators, institutional officials, and NIH staff on the science of the applications; to reduce administrative burden; to accommodate investigators’ need for flexibility; and to facilitate science and simplify administration. Through survey questionnaires of the various stakeholders, this evaluation assesses the effectiveness of the program in meeting these goals.

PIC ID: 8237; Agency Sponsor: NIH-OD, Office of the Director; Federal Contact: Schaffer, Walter, 301- 435-2770; Performer: Westat, Inc., Rockville, MD

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