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National Science Foundation


ARRA Acceleration Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for NSF Principal Investigators with awards funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

August 15, 2013
  1. Does OMB's Memo requiring acceleration of ARRA expenditures apply to my NSF ARRA award?

  2. What should I do now with my ARRA-funded project?

  3. What do you mean by responsible acceleration?

  4. I received notification that my award will be included in NSF's waiver request package to OMB. How should I proceed?

  5. I am a PI for a CAREER award. What should I do?

  6. I received notification that my award will not be included in NSF's waiver request package to OMB. What happens now?

  7. What if I expend funds on my award near the deadline of September 30, 2013, but they are not billed to NSF until afterwards?

  8. My award was included in the waiver request package, so a waiver to continue beyond Sepember 30, 2013 was granted. Does the original expiration date of my award still apply? Will I be able to extend my award?

  9. I am a PI and I am transferring to a different institution? Can my ARRA award be transferred to the new institution?

  10. To whom should I direct further questions?

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  1. Does OMB's Memo requiring acceleration of ARRA expenditures apply to my NSF ARRA award?

Yes. If you are a Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI with an active NSF ARRA award, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memo M-11-34 applies to your award. This memo specifically directs NSF to take steps to ensure that awardees complete ARRA projects by September 30, 2013.

  1. What should I do now with my ARRA-funded project?

You should be responsibly accelerating expenditures and acting in accordance with the e-mail notification that was sent to you and your Authorized Organizational Representative on September 20, 2012. This e-mail notification identified whether or not your award was on the waiver list submitted to OMB and provided important information on how to proceed. Subsequent e-mails sent in March and June 2013 served as reminders of which awards from your organization were or were not included in NSF’s waiver request to OMB. See Questions #4, #5, and #6 below for further information.

You must remember that, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award, all expenditures must be allowable pursuant to the applicable cost principles and that requested payments must be necessary to meet current needs.

You should also be coordinating with your sponsored projects office or authorized representative to ensure that any plans to accelerate expenditures are also consistent with your organization's policies.

  1. What do you mean by responsible acceleration?

In order to determine the appropriateness of accelerating any particular expenditure under your ARRA-funded award, you must consider your program plan, the terms and conditions of your award, and the facts and circumstances of your situation. You must be sure to communicate your proposed acceleration strategy with your sponsored project office because if expenditures are later determined to be unallowable, then your institution will be held responsible for such costs. You can also contact your NSF Program Officer about the programmatic feasibility of your proposed strategy.

  1. I received notification that my award was included in NSF's waiver request package to OMB. How should I proceed?

OMB has approved waivers for all awards included in NSF’s request. PIs should proceed with work in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award while continuing to responsibly accelerate when possible.

  1. I am a PI for a CAREER award. What should I do?

OMB has approved waivers for all ARRA-funded CAREER awards. PIs should proceed with work in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award while continuing to responsibly accelerate when possible.

  1. I received notification that my award was not be included in NSF's waiver request package to OMB. What happens now?

a) For projects that are set to expire on or before September 30, 2013:

These awards will not be extended beyond September 30, 2013. Project staff should proceed with work in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award while continuing to responsibly accelerate expenditures whenever possible. All expenditures must be allowable pursuant to the applicable cost principles, and all requested payments must be necessary to meet current needs. All project expenditures must be completed by September 30, 2013.

b) For projects set to expire past September 30, 2013:

NSF has amended award expiration dates so that these projects will not continue past September 30, 2013. Principal Investigators should work with NSF Program Officers as needed and proceed with an adjusted accelerated plan to reflect the revised award expiration date of September 30, 2013. Project expenditures must still fall within the terms and conditions of the award. All expenditures must be allowable pursuant to the applicable cost principles, and all requested payments must be necessary to meet current needs. All project expenditures must be completed by September 30, 2013. No extensions will be granted.

  1. My award was not included in NSF’s waiver request package to OMB. What if I expend funds on my award near the deadline of September 30, 2013, but they are not billed to NSF until afterwards?

As long as the expenditures are properly incurred on the award on or before September 30, 2013, the expenditures will be considered timely. Awardees will have time beyond the September 30, 2013, deadline to make final draw downs and administratively close their awards. For additional information on closing out ARRA awards, please refer to FAQs for Closeout of ARRA Awards.

  1. My award was included in the waiver request package, so a waiver to continue beyond Sepember 30, 2013 was granted. Does the original expiration date of my award still apply? Will I be able to extend my award?

Yes, because the waiver request was granted, the original expiration date of your award still applies. If an extension is necessary to complete the project, it can be done in accordance with normal post award policies and procedures and should be consistent with the terms of the award. However you are encouraged to responsibly accelerate expenditures when possible.

  1. I am a PI and I am transferring to a different institution? Can my ARRA award be transferred to the new institution?

If an ARRA award has been made and funds have been expended, award transfer is not permitted. However, it may be possible to utilize other options such as a subaward. Please contact the NSF Grants Officer designated for the award to discuss award options as soon as possible.

  1. To whom should I direct further questions?

If you have award-specific questions, please contact the NSF Program Officer designated for the award. General inquiries regarding NSF's implementation of Memo M-11-34 and ARRA recipient reporting may be directed to NSFARRAReviewer@nsf.gov.

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