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Quick tips and reminders on changes to National Institutes of Health Other Support reporting

National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued new notices that describe changes to the Biosketch and Other Support format page templates required in all proposals and RPPRs due on or after January 25, 2022.

The Office of Sponsored Programs routinely hosts information sessions on the changes and has generated quick tips on frequently asked questions.

These quick tips and reminders are on changes to NIH Other Support reporting.

Topic Tip

Applicable personnel

  • The requirements apply to “Senior/key personnel.”
  • Senior/key personnel are the program director (PD), principal investigator (PI) and other individuals who contribute to the scientific development or execution of a project in a substantive, measurable way, whether or not salaries or compensation are requested.
  • "Zero percent" effort or "as needed" are not acceptable levels of involvement for those designated as senior/key personnel.

NIH view of Other Support

  • NIH view of Other Support remains the same, “all resources made available to the researcher in support of and/or related to all their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant.”
  • Changes to Other Support
    • Presentation of information (e.g. funded projects listed separate from in-kind resources)
    • Requirement for Principal Investigator and each Senior/Key personnel to sign Other Support page certifying the accuracy of the information being submitted
    • Requirement for copies of documentation regarding all foreign activities and resources that are reported in Other Support.
      • Copies of contracts/agreements supporting their foreign appointments and/or employment with a foreign institution (Provide English translation for contracts/agreements not in English, machine translations (e.g. Google Translate) are acceptable.)

Incomplete submission

  • If the institution finds that a submitted Other Support document was incomplete (e.g. omission of a funding source) Office of Sponsored Programs must provide a revised, certified document to the award Grants Management Specialist immediately upon discovery.

Foreign entity copies of agreements

  • Agreement is not required to be included when support provided by United States company or United States arm of a foreign company.
  • Agreement is required to be included, in English, when support is provided by foreign company.

All Other Support submissions format

  • JIT and RPPR submissions now use all the same Other Support format. 

Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) assistance

  • NIH provided clear guidance on how to complete the new Other Support document, including in the frequently updated FAQ document.
  • Contact Sponsored Programs Officer (SPO) with additional questions.
  • JIT and RPPRs Other Support review:
    • SPO’s check that the investigator’s effort does not exceed 12 calendar months.
    • Investigators must verify Other Support document is complete and accurate before certifying the document.

College grant office assistance

  • Local decision for each college on how to provide support.
  • Investigator is responsible for certifying the completeness of the document with a DocuSign signature before submission.

Reporting new grant, in-kind resource, or new support

  • If Other Support document was complete at time of submission, report new support on the next RPPR or a new JIT.
  • If Other Support was incomplete at submission and information was not disclosed, Sponsored Programs Office must notify NIH immediately.

Signing requirement

  • Only investigators know the full scope of activities, therefore it is the investigator’s responsibility to certify that the information being provided is complete and accurate.
  • Other Support submissions must have an electronic signature. “Wet or typed names are not accepted as signatures.”
  • Senior/key personnel should use DocuSign signature, Ohio State’s digital signature software.
  • Other Support document can be sent to OSP for review before signature.
  • Subaward institution is responsible for ensuring that its investigators’ Other Support documents are complete and electronically signed before submission to the prime institution.

Lifespan of signed Other Support document

  • NIH has not yet issued specific guidance on the lifespan of a signed Other Support document. However, with each submission instance they are requesting current support.
  • To avoid possible rejection, Other Support documents requested should have been signed within 30 days of submission.

Document file types

  • Documents must be submitted as a single flattened (non-editable) PDF.
    • For awards with multiple co-investigators or Sr/Key Personnel each must sign their own Other Support document. Once all have signed, the PI or admin combines all the Other Support documents into one flattened PDF.

List order of grants

  • NIH format lists Active Support, then Pending Support, followed by In-Kind Support and, finally, Overlap - all followed by the Sr/Key Personnel e-signature.

Listing person months by year

  • Always list the year in which the budget period ends for the report that is being prepared.

Can there be measurable effort without requesting salary

  • Person's salary could be paid by the university (effort is cost shared by the university) or person has fellowship award.

Personnel percentages

  • If a person is working on a project but paid by another source (e.g., a student supported by a university fellowship) that source must be included in the Investigator’s Other Support.

In-kind support

  • In-kind support is resources that are available to the investigator, but do not have a dollar value attached in the institution’s accounting system (e.g. exchange student whose stipend is provided by their home institution), investigator would report student as an in-kind resource and estimate the value of their stipend.
  • In-kind resources that do not have any associated effort (e.g., a donated cell line not generally available), can be entered as zero effort but must have an associated estimated dollar value.


  • NIH does not require gifts to be reported as Other Support, as a gift comes with no expectations of a specific time commitment or deliverables.
  • NIH encourages over-disclosure rather than under-disclosure, so there is no harm in including the information.

Internal research grants

  • Internal grants typically have expectations that include effort, reporting requirements, and specific research activities, which negates the ‘giftness.’ Therefore, would be included on Other Support.

Start-up funds

  • Start-up funds from inside institutions do not need to be include in Other Support.
  • Start-up funds from outside organizations, including foreign entities, must be included in Other Support.

Clinical trials

  • NIH requires that PI’s and Other Sr/Key Personnel show some level of effort on all active awards. For trials in which the PI effort is limited, it can be estimated based on the following: 1 hour/month = 0.5% effort = 0.075 calendar months. 
  • These minimal clinical trial efforts can be considered part of investigators’ ‘other’ activity, so payroll appointments are not necessary.

Consulting activities

  • Consulting activities that involve research and fall outside of an individual’s appointment, separate from institution’s agreement, must be disclosed as Other Support.
  • Investigators are permitted to engage in outside activities but should disclose them to the University and obtain proper approval. This includes activities related to your institutional role.

Unpaid volunteers

  • Unpaid volunteers need to be disclosed if the institution determines that the unpaid volunteer is a resource available in support of the individual’s research endeavors.
  • Applicants and recipients must consistently apply their policies in making these determinations. If unsure, include the volunteers as a resource.

Investigators unpaid positions at other institutions (domestic or foreign)

  • If any resources, such as lab space, materials, staff assistance, and travel and living expenses, are provided, the investigator must include the appointment and resources in the Other Support document.
  • If the appointment is honorary with no support provided, it does not constitute Other Support, but the appointment must be included in the investigator’s Biosketch.


  • Ensure disclosure of all outside engagements, financial interests and sponsored travel as required by the university on eCOI form, and approval from Chair and Dean via the external consulting approval form.
  • If something has been omitted, update form immediately.

Reporting Subprojects and Subawards

  • In reporting a subproject on an Ohio State multi-project award, the investigator should provide the award number and PD/PI name for the overall award. All other information, including total award amount and person months, are for the subproject only.
  • In reporting a subaward from another institution, the investigator should provide the award number and PD/PI name for the prime award. All other information, including the total award amount and person months, should be specific to the subaward.