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PSIAP FAQs for Awardees

1. Where can I find general information about post-award grant management?
The PSIAP Award Recipient Resource Center site offers general information about post-award grant management for award recipients.

PSIAP recipients can find a basic overview of PSIAP grant management procedures here, and are strongly encouraged to watch the PSIAP post-award webinar for award recipients here.

2. How do I know if my institution is engaged in research involving human subjects? What does NIST require from recipients that are conducting research involving human subjects?
NIST uses the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects, codified by the Department of Commerce at 15 C.F.R. Part 27, to define its criteria for research involving human subjects. Research involving human subjects cannot commence until a NIST Grants Officer issues an award that explicitly authorizes such research. If your award includes a special award condition (SAC) related to potential research involving human subjects, the NIST Human Subjects Protection Office (HSPO) must perform an administrative review of your proposal as described in the notice of funding opportunity. In order to perform this review, the HSPO will need to review the following materials, as appropriate:

  • Grant proposal
  • Funding award documentation
  • Description of the proposed human subjects research
  • Supporting documents such as consent forms, advertisements, etc.
  • Survey instruments or focus group questions
  • Approval from your Institutional Review Board (IRB) OR documentation from your IRB office that a review was not necessary

Generally, the NIST HSPO will complete the administrative review process within five days of receiving the required documents. If you have any questions, please contact: Anne Andrews, Director, NIST Human Subjects Protection Office Phone: (301) 975-5445, e-mail: anne.andrews [at] (subject: PSCR%20PSIAP%20-%20Human%20Subject%20Requirements) (anne[dot]andrews[at]nist[dot]gov). Please copy your Grants Officer, your Federal Program Officer, and hspo [at] (subject: PSCR%20PSIAP%20-%20Human%20Subjects%20Research%20Requirements) (HSPO[at]nist[dot]gov) on any e-mail correspondence concerning research involving human subjects.

3. When am I required to submit reports to PSCR?
See the PSIAP reporting requirements Quick Reference Guide.

4A. What are the requirements related to publications that reference my PSIAP award?
The Department of Commerce Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions are incorporated into every PSIAP award. Section G.05.j., “Publications, Videos, and Acknowledgement of Sponsorship” includes the following publication guidelines:

A. Recipients are encouraged to publish the research results of a NIST research grant/cooperative in open scientific literature in such a way as to be generally available to American Scientific Libraries;

B. The Recipient should contact the Federal Program Officer for assistance in coordinating appropriate publication/dissemination of information resulting from a NIST research grant/cooperative agreement.  For this purpose, The Journal of Research of NIST may be used as publication venue, but the Recipient may choose other publication/dissemination methods;

C. In any such publications, acknowledgement of NIST sponsorship must be made with a footnote or other appropriate notation reading, “This work was performed under the following financial assistance award [insert award number] from U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology,” or words to that effect;

D. The Recipient must submit a copy of any published work to their Federal Program Officer.

Please refer to the Special Award Conditions of your award document for specific guidelines regarding your organization’s publications. If you have additional questions about the publications requirements associated with your award, please contact your Federal Program Officer for guidance.

4B. What are the requirements related to press releases that reference my PSIAP award?
If your institution is planning to publish press releases that reference NIST, please send a draft copy to:
Jennifer Huergo, Director, Media Relations, e-mail: jennifer.huergo [at]

Please copy your Federal Program Officer on your correspondence. Notifying NIST is not required but it allows NIST to verify the agency is referenced appropriately.

5. How does NIST handle changes in scope to award projects?
The scope of a research project, as approved in the original award notice, cannot be changed or altered without prior written approval from the NIST Grants Officer. Changes in the scope of your institution’s research project require an official amendment (form CD-451, Amendment to Financial Assistance Award) to your institution’s award. Changes that require an award amendment include:

  • Adding or removing significant project features, functions, or outputs without following change control protocols outlined in the award agreement;
  • Adding or removing significant project resources;
  • Changes to program timelines that affect deliverables and deadlines.

If your institution would like to change the scope of an award, a request must be submitted in writing to your assigned Grant Specialist and Federal Program Officer for review.  No changes to the scope of your project may be implemented prior to receiving written approval from the NIST Grants Officer.

6. Does NIST award additional funds to recipients that intend to collaborate on their proposed projects?
No, additional funding cannot be added to competitively selected awards without further competition.

7. Can recipients visit NIST or utilize the facilities?
Awardees are welcome to visit our facilities. Please contact your Federal Program Officer if you would like to arrange a visit to NIST/PSCR.

8. What should I do if I need to make personnel changes to my project team?
Changes in key personnel of award projects require prior approval from NIST. Award recipient institutions must inform their Federal Program Officer about the position(s) and staff affected by the proposed change, the reason for the change, and the qualifications of the proposed replacement personnel. NIST will review the request to ensure that the proposed replacement personnel possess the technical skills required to complete the project and are not barred, suspended, or otherwise prohibited from participating in a federal award. If the personnel change is approved, the recipient will be notified in the form of an Administrative Change Letter from their NIST Grant Officer. If NIST identifies problems in the proposed personnel change, the Federal Program Officer will work with the recipient to develop an alternative solution.

9. What is NIST’s protocol regarding the use of subcontractors on award projects?
Award recipients are required to monitor and implement their own sub-contracts according to Subpart D of 2 CFR Part 200 —Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

Created December 13, 2018