Procedures for NIH Modular Grant Applications

Page Updated: September 24, 2021

National Institutes of Health research grant applications requesting up to $250,000 direct costs per year must be submitted using the modular grant application process. Consortium indirect costs are not factored into the $250,000 cap. They may be requested in addition to the $250,000.

NIH has provided Features at a Glance, Frequently Asked Questions and samples of Budget Justification Pages for Modular Research Grant Proposals at: http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm. For complete instructions, please review the Modular Budget Instructions in the PHS SF424 Application Instructions at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm

NIH policies for Modular Grants include:

  • Personnel. List all personnel, including names, percent of effort and roles on the project. No individual salary information should be provided. Use the current legislatively imposed salary limitation when estimating the number of modules. Include consultants and any “to be appointed” positions. Biosketches should be submitted for KEY personnel, other significant contributors and consultants. Do NOT include Other Support documentation as it will be requested by NIH just prior to award.
  • Direct Costs. (includes UW direct costs and any consortium direct but not F&A) Enter separately the Direct Costs less Consortium F&A, Consortium F&A, and Total Direct Costs requested for each year. The budget figures from the "DC less Consortium F&A" row are used for Face Page Items 7a. and 8a. If your budget does not include consortium/contractual costs complete only the "Total Direct Costs" row.
  • Consortium/contractual costs. Provide an estimate of total costs (direct plus F&A) for each year, rounded to the nearest $1,000. List the individuals/ organizations with whom consortium arrangements have been made. List all personnel, including percent of effort and roles on the project. No individual salary information should be provided. Indicate whether the collaborating institution is foreign or domestic. While only the direct cost for a consortium arrangement is factored into eligibility for using the modular budget format, the total consortium/contractual costs must be included in the requested direct cost amount. Include a letter of commitment or intent from the consortium participant.
  • Request total direct costs in modules of $25,000. There will be no future year escalations. A typical modular grant application will request the same number of modules in each year. Provide an additional narrative budget justification for ANY variation in the number of modules requested.
  • Checklist: Applicant institutions should calculate the Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs using the current negotiated F&A rate, less exclusions, for each budget period. It is not necessary to list the exclusions on the Checklist nor anywhere in the application.
  • Applications not in compliance with the modular application instructions will be returned to the applicant institution by the Center for Scientific Review. Applications revised and resubmitted to NIH in a timely manner may remain in the intended review cycle.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS:

Although NIH is no longer requiring detailed budget information, any individual unit may require more detailed information to verify that we are following cost accounting standards by only requesting funds for items that are allowable, reasonable and allocable. Please contact your Dean’s or Director’s office in advance of your application submission to determine the appropriate level of detail that will be required.

To determine the budget request to be sent to NIH, calculate the total direct costs you need over all years, including one time costs (such as equipment) and escalation for inflation. Next, divide by the number of years. The amount in increments of $25,000 closest to that dollar level would be the amount requested for each year.

NIH Modular Spreadsheet