Agencies supporting sponsored research, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation, require Other Support Reports, Current and Pending Support Reports, or a similar document as a part of their grant application process/packages. These reports must be generated for all key personnel participating on a proposed project and this process can be very time consuming.
Why Other Support Reports are needed and what needs to be in them
The purpose of these reports is to provide summary information about sponsored projects supporting key personnel involved in a proposed project. Sponsors require the report in a specific format, which is typically detailed in their grant application instructions (RFP, BAA, etc.). For NIH, and most funding entities, these reports typically include the following information for supporting projects:
- Funding agency project/award number
- Principal Investigator
- Primary funding agency
- Title of the project or subproject
- Period(s) of duration for the approved/proposed project
- Annual direct costs (or total project costs for some sponsors)
- Effort in person months
- Description of the major goals for the project
- A summary of the overlap for each individual
A sample of an NIH Other Support Report can be viewed here.
At research-intensive organizations, funding applications are prepared at the department or center level. As this task can be time consuming and resource intensive, a grant management system that generates Other Support Reports is critical. These systems track both grants housed within and outside of the home department. This becomes relevant when generating these reports as researchers can have effort on grants housed outside their department. For this reason, a grant management system is a perfect solution for this task.
How these reports can be created in a grants management system
Producing Other Support Reports with a grant management system usually involves two steps. The first is entering the grant and proposal information into the system. This data entry occurs at different points in the funding process depending on your organization and funding activities but is key to the process of managing your funding portfolio. The specific data entered varies by individual project, but should include the information required for producing the Other Support Report.
The second step is actually generating the Other Support Report, or similar report format, depending on the sponsor you are working with. This step happens on a just in time basis, and occurs as a component of a reporting process, allowing the administrator to choose the investigator name(s) and the specific format required.
Benefits of using a grants management system to create these reports
Because of the amount of information and the detail required, the process of creating Other Support Reports using word processing documents or through general reporting purposes can be very time-consuming, especially when more than one grant application is typically being submitted at a time and/or there are multiple persons listed on each application.
Just imagine having five proposals due simultaneously. Each proposal has three investigators, requiring fifteen Other Support/Current and Pending reports. These must be completed while juggling the other components of a sponsored project proposal and your normal position responsibilities. With just a word processor and your data set, this process would be very time consuming! Now imagine being able to make those same fifteen reports in just seconds…with the right grant management system. The latter can be a reality as these types of reports can be generated via a click of the mouse.
Using a grant management system to produce Other Support Reports, or other Current and Pending Reports, has many advantages; the aforementioned saving of time and automation of the report generation process for multiple investigators simultaneously.
Other benefits of using a grant management system that can produce these reports include:
- The report can be formatted to meet NIH, NSF, and other sponsor requirements
- The report is exportable to Word and PDF formats
- Effort can be listed in percentages, months, or both
- The report can be generated for an individual or for multiple personnel
Creating these reports does not have to be a time-consuming or difficult process. Using a grant management system can make it quick and easy and will free up time of both the Research Administrator and the researcher for other vital aspects of securing funding. Furthermore, once the information is in the proper grants management system, it can not only be used for these types of reports but also for various other reports that the system can generate. For more information on Other Support Reports or any of the many reports that can be generated when the right system is used to house your data, contact IT Works today.