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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

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Awards Management Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I access my funding?

Funds are accessed through the Payment Management System (PMS) which is maintained by the Division of Payment Management. Instructions can be found for setting up your account and accessing your funds under the Standard Terms of your Notice of Award. Draw down requests and payments are then made electronically with requested funds deposited directly to your bank account. See Accessing Award Funds - Introduction.

  • What are the Terms and Conditions of Award?

Terms and conditions of award are the legal requirements imposed on an award by the Federal Government, whether by statute, regulation, or other terms in the award document. Each Notice of Award may include both standard and special provisions that are considered necessary to attain the objectives of the project,facilitate post award administration of the award, conserve funds, or otherwise protect the Federal Government’s interests. Recipients should carefully review all terms of award. The terms of award, either contained in or referenced by the award document, will be binding on both the recipient and the awarding agency until such time as they are modified by a revised award notice signed by the Grants Management Officer (GMO). A recipient indicates acceptance of the terms of award by requesting funds from the awards payment system. If the recipient cannot accept the terms, it should notify the GMO. See Notice of Award - Introduction.

  • What are the recipient's reporting requirements?

HRSA programs, in general, have requirements for both financial and programmatic performance reporting. Please refer to the Reporting Requirements section of your Notice of Award (NoA) for additional details. See Reports & Records; Notice of Award.

  • How do I get approval to make changes in my project once an award has been issued?

In general, the recipient may make minor changes in methodology, approach, or other aspects of the project objectives after an award has been issued.However, the recipient must obtain written prior approval from HRSA for changes in scope, direction, or other changes that constitute a significant change from the objectives or purposes of the approved project. Requests should be submitted through the EHB prior approval module. See Part B: Post-award changes – revision of budget and/or program items.

  • How do I request prior approval?

Prior approval must be requested in writing. The request must be submitted through the Electronic Handbooks (EHB) Prior Approval module. Official approval or denial of the request will be provided to the recipient by the HRSA grants management staff either through a Notice of Award or a notification of denial. HRSA program staff will be consulted as appropriate but may not directly provide official approval to the recipient, as program staff approval is not binding on the awarding agency. See Post-award changes – revision of budget and/or program items - continued.

  • Does a recipient need to seek prior approval from the awarding agency in order to change the Program Director of an award?

This is one of a number of actions that require awarding agency prior approval. The recipient must submit a request through the Electronic Handbook's(EHB) Prior Approval module to change the Program Director (PD) of an award. The request should include the effective date of the change, a justification for the change, qualifications of the proposed replacement PD, the curriculum vitae of the proposed replacement PD, level of effort to be committed by this individual, and budgetary changes resulting from the proposed change. See Most common actions requiring HRSA prior approval.

  • What are expanded authorities?

“Expanded authorities” refer to a limited number of actions that normally require awarding agency prior approval but for which HHS has waived its authority and given this authority to the recipient. The Notice of Award will indicate whether or not your award is under expanded authorities. See Expanded Authority.

  • Can I rebudget funds from one budget category to another after my award has been issued?

For post-award changes, the recipient institution is generally permitted to rebudget within and between budget categories in the approved total direct cost budget of the project to meet unanticipated requirements or to accomplish certain programmatic changes. This authority exists unless certain circumstances as described in the HHS Grants Policy Statement occur (e.g., restricted funds may not be rebudgeted without prior approval; significant rebudgeting [more than 25% of budget] that constitutes a change of scope may not be done without prior approval).

In using this authority, recipients must ensure that they exercise proper stewardship over Federal funds and that all costs charged to the awards are allowable, allocable, and reasonable. This rebudgeting flexibility applies to all awards regardless of whether or not they are under expanded authorities. See Post-award changes – revision of budget and/or program items.

  • What do I do if my institution has never negotiated an indirect cost rate?

In order to receive indirect costs under a federal award, a recipient organization must have a Federally-negotiated indirect cost rate agreement. Such an agreement is generally not negotiated until an organization is the direct recipient of an award.

  • With whom do I negotiate an indirect cost rate?

If the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is the cognizant Federal agency for your institution, you will negotiate your indirect cost rate with the HHS Division of Cost Allocation (DCA). Please refer to the DCA Web site at  http://rates.psc.gov for further information.

  • How do I request carry over of unexpended funds from one budget period to the next?

If your award is not under expanded authorities and you wish to utilize unobligated funds from one budget period during the next budget period you will need to submit a prior approval request through EHB. The request needs to include an explanation of why the funds remain unexpended, a statement of project activities to be accomplished if the carryover is approved, and a detailed budget page and budget justification. Approval will not generally be given until the appropriate FFR has been submitted and accepted and indicates the availability of funds. 

Carryover requests should be submitted as soon as possible after submission of the FFR and no later than 30 days after submission to maximize the amount of time in the next budget period in which funds canbe expended. Carryover funds should not be expended until prior approval is granted. See Most common actions requiring HRSA prior approval - continued.

  • How do I request a no-cost extension for my award?

Unless provided as an expanded authority, prior approval is required for any extension of up to 12 months. HRSA will not approve any extension request if the primary purpose of the proposed extension is to permit the use of unobligated balances of funds. The request made through the EHB prior approval module should include a statement of why the extension is needed, the duration of the extension (not to exceed 12 months), project objectives to be completed during the extension period, and a detailed budget page and budget justification for unobligated funds anticipated to remain at the end of the current budget period.

If your award is under expanded authorities, the recipient institution has the authority to automatically extend the final budget period and  project period one time for a period of up to 12 months. The recipient institution must notify HRSA of this decision at least 10 days before the scheduled project period end date.

No additional funds will be awarded for an extension. If the extension is approved, HRSA will issue a revised Notice of Award. All terms and conditions of the award apply during the extended period. See Most common actions requiring HRSA prior approval - continued.

  • When and where do I submit my Federal Financial Report (FFR)?

HRSA requires annual submission of the FFR (SF-425) and is submitted through the EHB FFR module the FFR reporting requirements on the NoA will include the due date. Although it is reported annually, it is a cumulative report for all expenditures over the document project period. See Financial Reporting.




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Payment Management Contacts

Contact your Project Officer or Grants Management Specialist with specific questions about the administration and management of your grant or cooperative agreement. Their contact information is on the last page of the Notice of Award.