General Terms and Conditions for Awards to Organizations (for grants and cooperative agreements issued December 26, 2014 or later)

INTRODUCTION

The General Terms and Conditions for Awards to Organizations apply to grants and cooperative agreements that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) issues to

  • private nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and state, local, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments; and
  • subawards that are made by NEH award recipients to the types of organizations listed above.

NEH awards are subject to the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-209, as amended; 20 USC §956 et seq.), 2 CFR Part 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, the General Terms and Conditions for Awards and the specific terms and conditions in the notice of award. Should there be any inconsistency between the specific terms and conditions of an award and the General Terms and Conditions for Awards to Organizations, the specific terms and conditions will govern.

Note: The general support grants to state humanities councils are subject to the General Terms and Conditions for General Support Grants to State Humanities Councils.

In accepting an award, the recipient assumes the legal responsibility of administering the award in accordance with these requirements and of maintaining documentation, which is subject to audit, of all actions and expenditures affecting the award. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in suspension or termination of the award.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Glossary of Terms

Please see 2 CFR 200, Subpart A for a full list of definitions. In addition, please note the following:

Award A gr​ant or cooperative agreement.
Period of Performance The span of time during which the recipient may incur new obligations to carry out the work under the NEH award. Award periods begin on the first day of the month and end on the last day of the month.
Cash Contributions The recipient's cash outlay for budgeted project activities, including the outlay of money contributed to the recipient by third parties.
Debarment The ineligibility of an individual or an entity to receive any assistance or benefits from the Federal Government, either indefinitely or for a specified period of time, based on legal proceedings taken pursuant to regulations contained at 2 CFR Parts 180 – OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and 3369 – NEH Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension.
eGMS Reach

NEH’s online electronic grant management system located at https://securegrants.neh.gov/egms-reach/Login.aspx. All project directors and institutional grants administrators (IGAs) are assigned eGMS Reach accounts, and the user names are shown next to their names (in parentheses) on the Official Notice of Action - Award.

When accessing eGMS Reach for the first time, go to https://securegrants.neh.gov/eGMS-Reach/Login.aspx, click the “Sign In Help” link, and follow the on screen instructions. An e-mail message will be sent to you with a link to select a password. All award recipients are required to submit prior approval requests, reports and all correspondence with NEH via eGMS Reach.

In-Kind Contributions The value of non-cash contributions provided by third parties. In-kind contributions may be in the form of charges for real property and equipment or the value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the funded project.
Project Funds Both the federal and non-federal funds that are used to cover the cost of budgeted project activities.
State Any of the several states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.
Suspension

The suspension of an award is the temporary withdrawal of federal sponsorship. This includes the withdrawal of authority to incur expenditures against award funds, pending corrective action or a decision to terminate the award.

The suspension of an individual or organization causes that party to be temporarily ineligible to receive any assistance and benefits from the federal government pending completion of investigation and legal proceedings as prescribed under regulations contained at 2 CFR Parts 180 and 3369. Such actions may lead to debarment of the recipient.
Unrecovered Indirect The difference between the amount charged to the federal award and the amount which could be charged to the federal award under the non-federal entity's approved negotiated indirect cost rate.

 

  1. Recipient Responsibilities and Liability

Roles and Responsibilities

The NEH, as a federal agency issuing grants and cooperative agreements (awards), is responsible to Congress and the U.S. taxpayer for carrying out its mission cost-effectively and in compliance with applicable requirements set forth in legislation, regulation, and policy. NEH seeks to ensure integrity and accountability in award issuance and administration by relying on a system of checks and balances and separation of responsibilities within its own staff and by establishing a similar set of expectations for recipient organizations. The NEH roles and responsibilities are as follows:

  • The NEH Office of Grant Management is responsible for overseeing compliance with the administrative requirements, cost principles, audit requirements, and other non-programmatic aspects of the award. Activities include, but are not limited to, evaluating applications for administrative content and compliance with statutes, regulations, and guidelines; negotiating awards; providing consultation and technical assistance to applicants and recipients, including interpretation of federal award administration policies and provisions; post-award monitoring and compliance, including reviewing financial reports and closing out awards. The NEH Office of Grant Management is the focal point for receiving and acting on requests for prior approval or for changes in the terms and conditions of award. The NEH Office of Grant Management is the only office authorized to issue the notice of award that obligates the NEH to the expenditure of federal funds or to change the funding, duration, or other terms and conditions of an award.
  • NEH program officers are responsible for the programmatic aspects of assigned applications, grants and cooperative agreements. The NEH programs' responsibilities include, but are not limited to, development of programs to meet the NEH mission; preparation of funding opportunity announcements; provision of programmatic technical assistance; post-award monitoring of project/program performance, including review of progress reports and making site visits; and other activities complementary to those of the NEH Office of Grant Management.

 

  • The NEH Office of Accounting collects and confirms information submitted via the SF 3881 Automated Clearing House (ACH) form. The office also reviews payment requests and issues payments to grant and cooperative agreement recipients.
  • The NEH Office of Inspector General is responsible for (1) conducting audits and investigations; (2) reviewing legislation; (3) recommending policies to promote efficiency and effectiveness; and (4) preventing and detecting fraud, waste, and abuse in the operations of the agency. Help NEH eliminate fraud and improve management by providing information about allegations or suspicions of waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, research misconduct (fabrication, falsification, plagiarism), or unnecessary government expenditures during the period of performance, to the NEH Office of the Inspector General. Recipients can find details on how to report such allegations and suspicions here.

The recipient has full responsibility for conducting project activities under the NEH award, adhering to the award conditions, and informing the NEH during the course of the award of any significant programmatic, administrative, or financial problems that have arisen. The roles and responsibilities of designated individuals at recipient organizations, who serve as agents of the recipient, are as follows:

  • Institutional Grant Administrator. This individual is the designated representative of the applicant/recipient organization with authority to act on the organization’s behalf in matters related to the administration of NEH awards. Responsibilities include accountability both for the appropriate use of funds awarded and the performance of the NEH-supported project or activities as specified in the approved application and in compliance with 2 CFR Part 200 and the terms and conditions of the award. The institutional grant administrator is the individual responsible for submitting requests for prior approval through eGMS Reach. The institutional grant administrator is authorized to exercise expanded authorities delegated by NEH, and is responsible for notifying the NEH Office of Grant Management if such actions are taken. Recipient organizations are required to promptly notify the NEH (by submitting a Participant Change Request via eGMS Reach [4]) when there has been a change in the institutional grant administrator. The institutional grant administrator is responsible for notifying the NEH about any allegation of research misconduct if the allegation involves NEH-funded research (or an application for NEH funding) and if the recipient's inquiry into the allegation determines that there is sufficient evidence to proceed to an investigation in accordance with the NEH Research Misconduct Policy [5] (see Article 38).
  • Project Director. The project director is the individual designated by the recipient that is responsible for the programmatic aspects of the award and for day-to-day management of the project or program. This individual works closely with the institutional grant administrator to create and maintain necessary documentation, including both performance and administrative reports; prepare justifications; appropriately acknowledge NEH support in publications, announcements, news programs, and other media; and ensure compliance with other federal and organizational requirements. (The project director may not also serve as the institutional grant administrator.) The project director is encouraged to maintain contact with the NEH program officer with respect to the programmatic aspects of the project or program. The project director generally is an employee of the recipient. If the project director is not an employee of the recipient organization, the recipient must have a formal written agreement with the project director that specifies an official relationship between the parties even if the relationship does not involve a salary or other form of remuneration. Because the project director’s involvement in the project is critical to its success, the replacement of the project director or the co-director or a substantial reduction in the level of their effort requires prior written approval from NEH. Recipient organizations are required to promptly request project director changes to NEH by submitting a Participant Change Request via eGMS Reach.

NEH cannot assume any liability for accidents, illnesses or claims arising out of any work supported by an award or for unauthorized use of patented or copyrighted materials. The recipient is advised to take such steps as may be deemed necessary to insure or protect itself, its employees, and its property.

 

  1. Prior Approval Requirements (2 CFR §200.308)

Recipients are required to report deviations from budget or project scope or objective, and request prior approvals from federal awarding agencies for budget and program plan revisions.

For non-construction awards, recipients must request prior approvals from NEH for one or more of the following program or budget-related reasons:

(1) Change in the scope or the objective of the project or program (even if there is no associated budget revision requiring prior written approval).

(2) Change in a key person specified in the application or the notice of award.

(3) The disengagement from the project for more than three months, or a 25 percent reduction in time devoted to the project, by the approved project director or principal investigator.

(4) The inclusion of costs that require prior approval in accordance with §200.407.

(5) The transfer of funds budgeted for participant support costs as defined in §200.75 Participant support costs to other categories of expense.

(6) Unless described in the application and funded in the approved award, the subawarding, transferring or contracting out of any work under a NEH award, including fixed amount subawards as described in §200.332 Fixed amount subawards. This provision does not apply to the acquisition of supplies, material, equipment or general support services.

(7) Changes in the approved cost-sharing or matching provided by the recipient.

(8) The need arises for additional NEH funds to complete the project.

(9) An extension of the period of performance for more than a 12-month period (Article 12).

(10) Incurring project costs more than 90 days prior to the project period start date (Article 6).

In addition, the following rebudgeting actions require NEH prior approval:

  • revisions resulting from changes in the scope or objectives of the project (see Article 14);
  • changes in the approved cost-sharing or matching provided by the recipient;

  • cumulative changes that exceed the lesser of 25% of total project costs or $150,000; or

  • the addition of costs that are specifically disallowed by the terms and conditions of the award.

All requests for prior approval must be submitted electronically through eGMS Reach by the recipient’s institutional grant administrator to the grant administrator in the NEH Office of Grant Management. Within 30 calendar days from the date of receipt of the prior approval request, the NEH will review the request and notify the recipient whether or not it has been approved. If the requested revision is still under consideration at the end of 30 calendar days, the NEH will inform the recipient in writing of the date by which the recipient may expect a decision.

 

Note: NEH has waived prior approval requirements for items noted in 2 CFR §200.308 (d)(1) 90-day pre-award costs and (2) up to a 12-month extension to the period of performance; however recipients must provide written notification to NEH if such actions are taken in order for NEH to update related award records and reporting schedules, as appropriate. All notifications of post award changes must be submitted electronically through eGMS Reach by the recipient’s institutional grant administrator to the grant administrator in the NEH Office of Grant Management.

The NEH Office of Grant Management has produced aSample Prior Approval Form (2-page PDF), which is included in Appendix 1.

  1. Acknowledgment of Support and Disclaimer

Unless advised to the contrary, all materials publicizing or resulting from award activities shall contain an acknowledgment of NEH support. The acknowledgment shall also include the following statement: "Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this (publication) (program) (exhibition) (website) do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities."

Recipients are to consult the Acknowledgment and Publicity Requirements for NEH Awards and Publicizing Your Project pages on the NEH website for guidance on credits and promotion.

  1. Payments, Interest, and Refunds (2 CFR §200.305)

For most awards, a detailed explanation of payment procedures will be found in the Financial Reporting Requirements. For some awards, the payment procedures will be stated in the specific terms and conditions of the award.

Recipients will be paid on an advance basis, unless otherwise specified in the award, and payment will be effected through electronic funds transfer. Advance payments must be limited to the immediate cash requirements of the recipient in carrying out the purpose of the approved program or project. The recipient must make timely payment to contractors in accordance with the contract provisions. Whenever possible, advances should be consolidated to cover the anticipated cash needs for all NEH awards to the recipient and should be deposited and maintained in insured accounts.

To the extent available, the recipient must disburse funds available from program income (including repayments to a revolving fund), rebates, refunds, contract settlements, audit recoveries, and interest earned on such funds before requesting additional cash payments.

All recipients are required to maintain advances of federal funds in interest-bearing accounts unless one of the following conditions pertains: a) the recipient receives less than $120,000 in federal awards per year; b) the most reasonably available interest-bearing account would not earn more than $500 per year on the federal cash balance; or c) placing the money in such an account would entail bank service charges in excess of the interest earned.

Per 2 CFR §200.305 (9), up to $500 per year in interest that is earned on advanced payments may be retained by the recipient for administrative expenses. Interest earned in excess of $500 a year shall be remitted annually to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). If possible, interest should be remitted through an electronic medium using either Automated Clearing House (ACH) network or a FEDWIRE Funds Service payment. Recipients that do not have this capability should make payment by check and mail it to the DHHS Program Support Center, P.O. Box 530231, Atlanta, GA 30353-0231.

  1. Allowable Costs

The allowability, allocability, and reasonableness of costs under an NEH award shall be determined in accordance with 2 CFR 200 Subpart E – Cost Principles and the terms and conditions of the award.

  1. Pre-Award Costs (2 CFR §§200.209, 308, and 458)

NEH has waived prior approval requirements for 90-day pre-award costs noted in 2 CFR §200.308 (d)(1). Recipients may approve project costs incurred within the 90 calendar day period immediately preceding the beginning date of the period of performance. NEH prior approval is required for pre-award costs for periods exceeding 90 calendar days. Such requests must be submitted by the institutional grant administrator via eGMS Reach to the NEH Office of Grant Management for review and approval. Pre-award expenditures are made at the recipient's risk and the recipient's authority to approve such costs does not impose an obligation on the NEH in the event an award is not made or is made for an amount that is less than the recipient anticipated.

  1. Equipment (2 CFR §200.313)

Equipment is defined as tangible, nonexpendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. The recipient must seek NEH prior approval to purchase equipment not included in the approved project budget. The recipient must document that the purchase is necessary to carry out project activities.

In addition, recipients must report all equipment purchased with NEH funds on the Tangible Personal Property Report (SF-428) within 90 calendar days of the end date of the period of performance.

Recipients and subrecipients are encouraged to comply with the Buy American Act, 41 USC 8301 – 8305, when purchasing equipment and other products.

  1. Supplies (2 CFR §200.314)

Title to supplies and other expendable property belongs to the recipient upon acquisition. If there is a residual inventory of unused supplies exceeding $5,000 in total aggregate value upon termination or completion of the project and the supplies are not needed for any other federally-sponsored project or program, the recipient shall retain the supplies for use on non-federal sponsored activities or sell them, but shall in either case compensate the Federal Government for its share.

  1. Travel Costs (2 CFR §200.474)

Travel costs are the expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items incurred by those who are on official business attributable to work under an award.

Such costs may be charged on an actual basis, on a per diem or mileage basis in lieu of actual costs, or on a combination of the two, provided the method used is applied to an entire trip and not to selected days of the trip, and results in charges consistent with those normally allowed in like circumstances in the non-federal entity's non-federally-funded activities and in accordance with the non-federal entity's written travel reimbursement policies. Please note: if incidental food items and/or meals are provided at no charge during meetings, conferences, training, or other events attended while on travel, the per diem charged to the award must be reduced accordingly. Alcoholic beverages are unallowable and may not be charged to the award.

Airfare costs in excess of the customary standard commercial airfare (coach or equivalent), federal government contract airfare (where authorized and available), or the lowest commercial discount airfare are unallowable except when such accommodations would: (a) require circuitous routing; (b) require travel during unreasonable hours; (c) excessively prolong travel; (d) result in additional costs that would offset the transportation savings; or (e) offer accommodations not reasonably adequate for the traveler's medical needs. All air travel that is paid in whole or in part with NEH funds must be undertaken on U.S. flag air carriers, unless one or more of the situations described under foreign travel (Article 9) apply.

  1. Foreign Travel

For the purposes of these provisions, foreign travel is defined as any travel outside the United States and its territories and possessions.

Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, the NEH's approval of a project budget includes approval of all foreign travel contained therein. Foreign travel that is not included in the approved budget requires NEH prior approval.

United States Flag Air Carriers

In accordance with the Fly America Act (49 USC 40118), all air transportation of persons or property that is paid in whole or in part with NEH funds must be performed on a U.S. flag air carrier. The regulations regarding the Fly America Act are available at 41 CFR 301-10.131-143. In the following circumstance, the use of a foreign air carrier would be permissible:

A. Airline "Open Skies" Agreement:

A foreign flag air carrier may be used if the transportation is provided under an air transportation agreement between the United States and a foreign government, which the Department of Transportation has determined meets the requirements of the Fly America Act. For information on "open skies" agreements in which the United States has entered, please refer to the GSA website at: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/103191.

Note on U.S./European Union Open Skies Agreement

In 2007, the US entered into an "Open Skies" Agreement with the European Union (E.U.). This agreement was modified in June 2010. The current Agreement gives European Community airlines (airlines of Member States) the right to transport passengers and cargo on flights funded by the U.S. government, when the transportation is between: (1) any two points outside the United States; or (2) a point in the United States and any point outside the United States that the E.U. airline is authorized to serve under the "Open Skies" Agreement.

In 2011, two significant changes were made to the U.S./E.U. Open Skies Agreement. First, E.U. airlines are now granted the right to transport civilian agency-funded passengers who are NOT eligible to travel on GSA Airline City Pair Contract fares (e.g., grant recipients) between a point in the United States and a point outside the United States even if there is a GSA Airline City Pair Contract fare in effect between the origin and destination points. An individual, however, who is traveling on a route for which there is a City Pair Contract fare in effect, and who is eligible for such a fare (e.g., federal employee), are be required to fly on a U.S. carrier, absent another applicable exception. Second, under the amended Agreement, E.U. airlines are now authorized to transport passengers between points in the United States and points outside the E.U. if the E.U. airline is authorized to serve the route under the Agreement. This includes flights that originate, arrive, or stop in the E.U. Prior to this change, E.U. airlines were limited to flying passengers between points in the U.S. and points in the E.U.

B. Involuntary Rerouting

Travel on a foreign-flag carrier is permitted if a U.S.-flag air carrier involuntarily reroutes the traveler via a foreign-flag air carrier, notwithstanding the availability of alternative U.S.-flag air carrier service.

C. Travel To and From the U.S. on non-European Community Airlines

Use of a non-European Community foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if the airport abroad is:

1) the traveler's origin or destination airport, and use of U.S.-flag air carrier service would extend the time in a travel status by at least 24 hours more than travel by a foreign-flag air carrier; or

2) an interchange point, and use of U.S.-flag air carrier service would increase the number of aircraft changes the traveler must make outside of the U.S. by two or more, would require the traveler to wait four hours or more to make connections at that point, or would extend the time in a travel status by at least six hours more than travel by a foreign-flag air carrier.

D. Travel Between Points Outside the U.S. on non-European Community Airlines

Use of a non-European Community foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if:

1) travel by a foreign-flag air carrier would eliminate two or more aircraft changes en route;

2) travel by a U.S.-flag air carrier would require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point; or

3) the travel is not part of the trip to or from the U.S., and use of a U.S.-flag air carrier would extend the time in a travel status by at least six hours more than travel by a foreign-flag air carrier.

E. Short Distance Travel

For all short distance travel, regardless of origin and destination, use of a foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if the elapsed travel time on a scheduled flight from origin to destination airport by a foreign-flag air carrier is three hours or less and service by a U.S.-flag air carrier would double the travel time.

Lower cost, convenience, or traveler preferences are NOT acceptable reasons for using a foreign air carrier.

  1. Budget Revisions

The project budget is the financial plan for the project or program that is approved by the NEH at the time of award or through susequent amendments. When recipients or third parties support a portion of the project costs, the project budget includes the non-federal as well as the federal share of project expenses.

The NEH delegates to the recipient the authority to approve ALL budget revisions EXCEPT for the following, which require prior written approval from the NEH:

A. revisions resulting from changes in the scope or objectives of the project (see Article 14);

B. the inclusion of costs that require prior approval in accordance with §200.407;

C. the transfer of funds from participant support costs as defined in §200.75 to other budget categories;

D. the transfer to a third party (by subawarding, contracting, or other means) of any work under an award (NEH approval is not required for third-party transfers that were described in the approved project plan, or for the purchase of supplies, materials, or general support services);

E. changes in the approved cost-sharing or matching provided by the recipient;

F. cumulative changes that exceed the lesser of 25% of total project costs or $150,000; or

G. the addition of costs that are specifically disallowed by the terms and conditions of the award.

Reminder regarding budget revisions that include reimbursement for indirect costs: NEH’s Office of Grant Management will carefully review your institution’s negotiated indirect cost rate(s) to make sure you are using the most appropriate rate. Many institutions negotiate multiple rates—for example, “Research,” “Instruction,” and “Other Sponsored Activities.” With rare exceptions, your institution’s “Research” rate will not be the appropriate rate for inclusion in your NEH project budget, as the use of this rate is reserved for projects involving scientific research, not scholarly inquiry of the type most often supported by NEH.

Except as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of 2 CFR §200.414 Indirect (F&A) costs, the NEH will use the negotiated rates in effect at the time of the initial award throughout the entire period of performance. Award levels may not be adjusted in future years as a result of changes in negotiated rates. “Negotiated rates” per the rate agreement include final, fixed, and predetermined rates and exclude provisional rates. If negotiated rate agreements do not extend through the life of the NEH award at the time of the initial award, then the final, fixed, or predetermined negotiated rate for the last year of the NEH award will be extended through the end of the period of performance.

Except as provided in 2 CFR §200.414 Indirect (F&A) costs, when an institution of higher education does not have a negotiated rate with the Federal Government at the time of an award (because the educational institution is a new recipient or the parties cannot reach agreement on a rate), the provisional rate used at the time of the award must be adjusted once a rate is negotiated and approved by the cognizant agency for indirect costs. NEH does not anticipate an increase in the award to cover additional costs resulting from the negotiation of an indirect cost rate greater than the rate proposed in the budget; however, the negotiation of a lower rate may result in a reduction of the award.

  1. Period of Performance and Extensions

The period of performance is the span of time designated in the notice of action –award (or amendment), during which the recipient has the authority to incur new obligations to carry out the work under the NEH award. Periods of performance begin on the first day of the month and end on the last day of the month. However, when the recipient determines that it is necessary, project costs may be incurred in the 90-day period prior to the beginning date of the period of performance (see Article 5).

The NEH has delegated to recipients the authority to approve a one-time extension of the end date of the period of performance established in the initial award if additional time is required to complete the original scope of the project with the funds already made available. A single extension that shall not exceed 12 months may be made for this purpose, provided it is made prior to the original expiration date. The institutional grant administrator must notify the NEH Office of Grant Management in writing via eGMS Reach of the new expiration date at least 30 calendar days before the end of the original period of performance and must provide justification for the extension period. The recipient's authority to extend an award may not be exercised merely for using the unliquidated balance of project funds.

If a recipient wishes to extend an award for more than a 12-month period or determines that a second extension is necessary, a written prior approval request for such an extension must be submitted to the NEH Office of Grant Management via eGMS Reach at least 30 calendar days prior to the end of the current period of performance. The request must be submitted by the institutional grant administrator and include a detailed justification for the extension, an estimate of the unexpended award funds, and a plan of work for the activities that will be undertaken during the requested extension period.

Recipients that have been offered federal matching funds by the NEH should note that authority to extend offers of NEH funding is not delegated to the recipient. Requests for offer extensions must be submitted in writing via eGMS Reach to the NEH Office of Grant Management for review and approval.

  1. Changes in Key Project Personnel

The replacement of the project director or the co-director or a substantial reduction in the level of that individual's effort, for example, an unanticipated absence for more than three months, or a 25 percent reduction in the time devoted to the project, requires prior written approval from the NEH Office of Grant Management. When it is required in the specific terms and conditions of an award, written approval will also be needed for the replacement of other personnel whose work is deemed by the NEH to be critical to the project's successful completion, or the substantial reduction in their level of effort.

All requests for approval of changes in key project personnel must be submitted by the institutional grant administrator via eGMS Reach to the NEH Office of Grant Management. Evidence of the qualifications for replacement personnel (such as a résumé) shall be included.

Recipient organizations are required to promptly notify the NEH Office of Grant Management via eGMS Reach [4] when there has been a change in the institutional grant administrator.

  1. Changes in Project Scope

Any project that is carried out under an award must be consistent with the scope of the proposal that is approved for funding by the NEH. The scope of a project encompasses the purpose for which the award is undertaken, the subject matter, the treatment of the subject matter, the historical time frame of the project, the volume of material that will be studied/treated, and the products that are expected to result from award activities. No changes may be made in the scope of a project without written approval from the NEH.

All requests for a change in the scope of an award shall be submitted by the institutional grant administrator via eGMS Reach to the NEH Office of Grant Management.

 

  1. Reporting Requirements and Award Closeout (2 CFR §§200.327 – 329 and 343 - 345)

The due dates for the required financial and performance reports are located in eGMS Reach. The link for eGMS Reach is https://securegrants.neh.gov/eGMS-Reach/Login.aspx. The “Report Schedule” document is located in the Documents tab. All reports must be submitted electronically via eGMS Reach.

A final performance report and a final Federal Financial Report, SF 425 (FFR) [13], shall be submitted to the NEH Office of Grant Management within 90 calendar days after the completion date of the period of performance. Before submitting an FFR, the recipient must ensure that the information submitted is accurate, complete, and consistent with their accounting records.

Upon receipt and approval of all required final reports, the NEH will close out an award. This includes the deobligation of any unused funds as reported on the final FFR. Closeout of an award does not cancel any requirements for property accountability, record retention, or financial accountability. Following closeout, the recipient remains obligated to return funds due as a result of later refunds, corrections, or other transactions, and the Federal Government may recover amounts based on the results of an audit covering any part of the period of period of performance.

In some cases, the recipient may have to revise or amend a previously submitted FFR. When the revision results in a balance due to NEH, the recipient must submit a revised FFR whenever the overcharge is discovered, no matter how much time has lapsed since the original due date of the report. (See OMB Circular A-129 and 2 CFR §200.345 Collection of amounts due, for requirements regarding unreturned amounts that become delinquent debts.) Revised expenditure reports representing additional expenditures by the recipient that were not reported to NEH within the 90-day time frame may be submitted to with an explanation for the revision. The explanation also should indicate why the revision is necessary and describe what action is being taken by the recipient to preclude similar situations in the future. If an adjustment is to be made, the NEH will advise the recipient of actions it will take to reflect the adjustment.

Failure to submit reports on a timely basis may result in delayed payments and may also lead to the suspension of action on pending applications from the recipient. Detailed information on the financial and performance reporting requirements will be found in the publications entitled Financial Reporting Requirements [9] and Performance Reporting Requirements [14].

  1. Program Income (2 CFR §200.307)

Program income is gross income earned by a recipient or a subrecipient that is directly generated by NEH-funded activities or earned as a result of the NEH award. It includes, but is not limited to, income from fees for services performed and from the sale of items produced under an award; usage or rental fees for equipment or property acquired under an award; admission fees; broadcast or distribution rights; and license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights. Costs incidental to the generation of program income may be deducted from gross income to determine program income, provided these costs have not been charged to the federal award. The federal (NEH) share of program income is determined by the percentage of total project costs that are supported by the NEH.

A. Income Earned During the Period of Performance

Your Official Notice of Action will specify one of the following approaches for the disposition of program income directly generated by or earned as a result of the NEH award (see 2 CFR 200.301 (e)):

1) Addition: program income may be added to the existing project funding to cover otherwise allowable costs of the project or it may be used to support other projects in the humanities:

2) Cost sharing or matching: program income may be used to meet the cost sharing or matching requirement of the NEH award; or

3) Deduction: program income must be used to finance the federal share of the project costs, which would result in an equivalent reduction in the amount of the NEH award.

B. Income Earned After the Period of Performance

When the NEH's funding of a project amounts to $50,000 or more and the total program income earned after the period of performance exceeds $50,000, the NEH reserves the right to make a claim to or restrict the use of the federal share of income earned during the seven years following the period of performance. Due dates for the submission of program income reports may be listed in the award document. However, even if the NEH does not specifically require the submission of program income reports after the period of performance, it is the recipient's responsibility to submit a report as soon as the cumulative amount of program income earned during the seven years after the period of performance exceeds $50,000.

In reporting program income earned after the period of performance, the recipient shall indicate the amount and sources of the gross income it has earned and the percentage of funding provided to the project by the NEH. The federal share of program income will be determined by (1) deducting the first $50,000 in gross income from total gross income, (2) deducting 5 percent of the balance of gross income to cover possible recipient costs, and (3) multiplying the balance of gross income by half the percentage of funding provided to the project by the NEH. For example, if the NEH's award of $250,000 covered 60 percent of a project's costs and the project earned $200,000 in program income during the seven-year reporting period, the federal share of that income would be $42,750 ($200,000 minus $50,000 minus 5% x 30%). Once the federal share of income equals the amount of funding provided by the NEH, the NEH's claim to additional income will be reduced by half.

If income is to be returned to the NEH, a check made payable to the National Endowment for the Humanities and identified as program income must be submitted to the NEH Accounting Office.

  1. Financial Management Standards (2 CFR §200.302)

The financial management systems of recipients and their subrecipients must meet the requirements set forth in 2 CFR §200.302 Financial management.

Recipients must ensure that all award funds are obligated during the period of performance and all obligations paid (liquidated) no later than 90 calendar days after the end of the period of performance.

  1. Cost Sharing and Cost-Sharing Records (2 CFR §203.306)

Recipients are expected to share the costs of project expenses at the level indicated in the approved project budget. They must also meet the requirements set forth in §200.306 Cost sharing or matching. Note: the NEH does not recognize unrecovered indirect as an eligible source of required cost share.

  1. Procurement Standards (2 CFR §§200.317– 326)

Recipients and subrecipients are subject to the procurement standards set forth in 2 CFR §§200.317 – 326.

Per 2 CFR §200.67, the micro-purchase threshold is set by 48 CFR. Subpart 2.1 (Definitions) and was raised to $3,500 on October 1, 2015 (80 FR 28293). Effective December 23, 2016, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2017 (Public Law 114-328) raised it to $10,000 for procurements under grants and cooperative agreements to institutions of higher education, independent research institutes, and nonprofit research organizations.

Section 805 of the NDAA for 2018 (Public Law 115-91) raised the simplified acquisition threshold from $150,000 to $250,000 and Section 806 raised the micro-purchase threshold from $3,500 to $10,000 for all recipients.

Also see Appendix II to 2 CFR Part 200—Contract Provisions for Non-Federal Entity Contracts Under Federal Awards.

NOTE: These standards do not relieve the recipient of the responsibilities arising under its contracts. The recipient is the responsible authority, without recourse to the NEH, regarding the settlement and satisfaction of all contractual and administrative issues arising out of procurements entered into in support of an award or other agreement. Matters concerning the violation of a statute are to be referred to such federal, state, or local authority as may have proper jurisdiction.

  1. Audit Requirements (2 CFR 200, Subpart F)

NEH recipients and subrecipients shall have audits performed that meet the requirements of the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 USC 7501-7507) as implemented by 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements. Recipients and subrecipients that expend more than $750,000 in federal funds from all sources during their fiscal year are subject to the single audit (formerly known as the A-133 audit).

The single audit includes the entity’s financial statements and federal awards. Federal awards included in the required “schedule of expenditure of federal awards” are identified by their federal Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number. With each notification of funding, NEH provides the relevant CFDA number to the recipient. This number appears in the "Federal Award Information" section of the "Official Notice of Action" for each new award or amendment.

  1. Record Retention (2 CFR §§200.333 – 335)

Financial records, supporting documentation, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to the NEH award must be retained for three years from the date of submission of the final FFR. When the conditions of an award require the recipient to report program income, records relating to program income shall be retained for three years from the date of submission of the last required income report. Records for real property and equipment acquired with NEH funds must be retained for three years after final disposition.

If the three-year retention period is extended because of audits, appeals, litigation, or the settlement of claims arising out of the performance of the project, the records shall be retained until such audits, appeals, litigation, or claims are resolved and final action has been taken.

The NEH, the Comptroller General of the United States, and any of their duly authorized representatives shall have access to any documents, papers, or other records of the recipient and its subrecipients pertinent to the NEH award to make audits, examinations, excerpts, and transcripts. See 2 CFR §§200.336 – 337 for additional information.

  1. CFDA Numbers (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance)

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) profiles all federal award programs, projects, services, and activities which provide assistance or benefits to the American public and assigns each a specific number. The CFDA number is important for tracking purposes and is also used by recipients, subrecipients and their auditors to identify the sources of federal awards covered by a single audit. With each notification of funding, the NEH provides the relevant CFDA number to the recipient. The number appears in the "Federal Award Information" section of the "Official Notice of Action" for each new award or amendment.

  1. Intangible Property (2 CFR §200.315)

Title to intangible property acquired by a recipient or subrecipient under a NEH award belongs to the recipient or subrecipient. The recipient shall use that property for the originally authorized purpose and shall not encumber the property without the NEH's approval. The NEH reserves the right to determine the disposition of the intangible property when it is no longer needed for the originally authorized purpose.

Consistent with 2 CFR §200.315 (b), the recipient may copyright any work that is subject to copyright and was developed, or for which ownership was acquired, under the NEH award. The NEH reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work for federal purposes, and to authorize others to do so.

  1. Title to Equipment and Real Property (2 CFR §§200.311, 313, 316)

Conditional title to equipment acquired with NEH funds belongs to the recipient or subrecipient. See 2 CFR §200.313 for additional information regarding the title, use, management requirements, and disposition of equipment purchased with NEH funds.

  1. Uniform Administrative Requirements (2 CFR Part 200, Subpart D)

NEH awards are subject to 2 CFR 200, Subpart D – Post Federal Award Requirements.

This award is also subject to the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-282, as amended by section 6202(a) of Public Law 110-252 (31 U.S.C. 6101)), which includes requirements set forth in 2 CFR part 25 Financial Assistance Use of Universal Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) and 2 CFR part 170 Reporting Subaward and Executive Compensation Information. (Required reports must be submitted through https://www.fsrs.gov/.)

Per 2 CFR 25, recipients and subrecipients must maintain active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a federal agency. You must therefore review and update your information at least annually after the initial registration, and more frequently if required by changes in information. You can review your organization’s SAM registration here.

  1. Nondiscrimination and Environmental National Policy Requirements

Recipients and subrecipients must execute projects, productions, workshops, and programs in accordance with the following laws, where applicable.

A. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, provides that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance (42 U.S.C. 2000d, et seq.). Title VI also extends protection to persons with limited English proficiency. Please note that NEH has issued policy guidance for recipients and subrecipients on “Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination As It Affects Persons With Limited English Proficiency [22].”

B. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. (20 U.S.C. 1681, et seq.)

C. The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 provides that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of age, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. (42 U.S.C. 6101, et seq.)

D. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. (29 U.S.C. 794)

E. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment (Title I), state and local government services (Title II), places of public accommodation and commercial facilities (Title III). (42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq.)

Projects that include major alterations and renovations, and construction must also adhere to the following:

F. Executive Order 11246 [3 CFR, 1964-1965 Comp., p. 339], as implemented by Department of Labor regulations at 41 CFR Part 60 prohibit discriminating in employment decisions on federally assisted construction projects on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

G. The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4151, et seq.)

H. Applicable provisions of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.) and Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251, et seq.), as implemented by Executive Order 11738 [3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 799]

I. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA, at 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.) Recipients must identify the impact this award may have on the quality of the human environment and assist the NEH in complying with NEPA and to prepare Environmental Impact Statements or other required environmental documentation. In such cases, the recipient agrees to take no action that will have an adverse environmental impact (e.g., physical disturbance of a site such as breaking of ground) until the agency provides written notification of compliance with the environmental impact analysis process.

J. National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 and Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4001, et seq.), which require flood insurance, when available, for NEH-funded construction or acquisition in flood-prone areas.

K. Coastal Barriers Resource Act (16 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) concerning preservation of barrier resources.

L. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 (16 U.S.C. 1271, et seq.).

M. Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300h-3) protecting underground sources of drinking water in areas that have an aquifer that is the sole or principal drinking water source.

  1. Lobbying Activities (2 CFR §200.450)

Recipients are prohibited by The Byrd Anti-Lobbying Amendment (31 U.S.C. 1352), “Limitation on use of appropriated funds to influence certain federal contracting and financial transactions,” from using appropriated NEH funds to pay any person for influencing or attempting to influence any officer or employee of an agency, a member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a member of Congress with respect to the award, extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any of these instruments. While non-federal funds may be used for such activities, they may not be included in your project budget, and their use must be disclosed to the awarding federal agency (NEH). These requirements are implemented by NEH in 45 CFR part 1168. Also see 2 CFR §200.450 Lobbying, that provides additional information regarding the lobbying prohibitions and describes types of activities, such as legislative liaison activities and professional and technical services that are not subject to this prohibition.

For awards greater than $100,000, funds will not be released until the NEH has received the signed Certification Regarding Lobbying.

The NEH is required by the provisions of its appropriations act to include the text of 18 U.S.C. 1913 in all of its award, cooperative agreement, and contract documents.

Text of 18 U.S.C. 1913:

No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation, whether before or after the introduction of any bill, measure, or resolution proposing such legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation; but this shall not prevent officers or employees of the United States or of its departments or agencies from communicating to any such Member or official, at his request, or to Congress or such official, through the proper official channels, requests for any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriations which they deem necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business, or from making any communication whose prohibition by this section might, in the opinion of the Attorney General, violate the Constitution or interfere with the conduct of foreign policy, counter-intelligence, intelligence, or national security activities. Violations of this section shall constitute violations of section 1352(a) of title 31.
  1. Drug-Free Workplace Requirements

Recipients are required to maintain a drug-free workplace in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, 41 U.S.C. 701. Recipients must comply with the drug-free workplace requirements contained at 2 CFR Part 182 [24]and the NEH regulations at 2 CFR Part 3373, "Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)." [25] These regulations require recipients to

  • have an on-going drug-free awareness program;
  • publish a drug-free workplace statement notifying employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the recipient's workplace;
  • maintain evidence that this statement was given to each employee engaged in the performance of the award;

  • take actions concerning employees who are convicted of violating drug statutes in the workplace; and

  • identify in documents kept on file in its office all known workplace(s) where award activities will be carried out.
  1. Debarment and Suspension (2 CFR §200.213, 338, 340 - 342)

Federal agencies and recipients are prohibited from doing business with any organization or person (as a recipient, subrecipient, contractor, or key employee) if they have been debarred or suspended by any federal department or agency.

The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) contained in 2 CFR Parts 180 [26] and 3369 [27] apply to this award. The recipient must comply, and must require subrecipients, contractors, fellows, and seminar participants, to comply with the requirements in Subpart C of these regulations.

Recipients are required to ensure subrecipient and contractor compliance by checking the Exclusions area within the Performance Information functional area of SAM.gov (formerly the Excluded Parties List System of EPLS), and including a term or condition in the subaward or contract that requires compliance with Subpart C of these regulations. Recipients are also responsible for further requiring the inclusion of a similar term or condition in any subsequent lower-tier covered transaction.

  1. Labor Standards

A. Employment of Professional Performers

Recipients that employ professional performers and related or supporting professional personnel under an award (including but not limited to scriptwriters, actors, extras, musicians, stage hands, scenery designers, technicians, electricians, and cinematographers) are subject to the labor standards set forth in 29 CFR Part 505 [29], "Labor Standards on Projects or Productions Assisted by Awards from the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities." Recipients are required to provide written assurance that:

  • these employees will be paid, without subsequent deduction or rebate on any account, not less than the minimum compensation as determined in accordance with 29 CFR 505.3 to be the prevailing minimum compensation for persons employed to perform similar activities (for example, union or guild rates), and
  • no part of any project or production which is financed in whole or in part under an award will be performed or engaged in under working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to the health and safety of the employee engaged in such project or production

These regulations apply to faculty and staff employed by educational institutions only if such employees are hired primarily to engage in or to assist in performance activities. Regular faculty or staff hired primarily to teach are excluded even though their teaching activities may include performing or assisting in a performance.

Award funds will not be released until the NEH has received the signed form ESA-38, Assurances as to Labor Standards [30].

B. Employment of Laborers and Mechanics under Construction Contracts

Construction or renovation projects funded by federal funds, in whole or in part, are subject in their entirety to the Davis-Bacon Act as amended (40 USC 276a through 276a-5). Award recipients are required by law to furnish assurances to the Secretary of Labor that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors or subcontractors on NEH-supported construction projects shall be paid wages at rates that are not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality, as determined by the Secretary of Labor.

Additional information is available by contacting the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Division of Contract Standards and Operations, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20210, or from the "Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Home Page [31]."

  1. Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (25 U.S.C. 3001 et seq., and 43 CFR Part 10)

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA) provides protection of Native American graves and items, that is, human remains, funerary objects, and sacred objects. NAGPRA applies to any organization which controls or possesses Native American human remains and associated funerary objects and which receives federal funding, even for a purpose unrelated to the Act. More information may be found on the National Park Service website [32].

  1. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.)

All NEH-funded projects involving construction, renovation, repair, rehabilitation, or ground or visual disturbances must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, 16 U.S.C. §470f, and its implementing regulations, 36 CFR Part 800. Section 106 requires NEH to consider the effects of projects offered or awarded NEH funding on historic properties and, when applicable, to provide the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation an opportunity to comment on such projects.

Recipients and subrecipients are required to obtain a written determination from their State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) as to whether there are any historic properties in or near the project site; how the NEH-funded project would affect any historic properties; and how any adverse effects might be avoided, minimized, or mitigated. Recipients and subrecipients must also submit this determination to NEH, as well as any other materials NEH needs to successfully complete its Section 106 review of a project.

NEH cannot release any federal funds and recipients and subrecipients cannot begin any work involving construction, renovation, repair, rehabilitation, or ground or visual disturbance until NEH concludes its Section 106 review. For additional information about the Section 106 review process, you may wish to visit the following webpages: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act [33] and Frequently Asked Questions about Section 106 [34].

  1. U. S. Constitution Day Education Program (Public Law 108-447, Div. J. Sec. 111(b))

Recipients and subrecipients must comply with Public Law 108-447, Div. J, Title I, Sec. 111 (36 U.S.C. 106 note), which requires each educational institution receiving federal funds in a federal fiscal year to hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 during that year for the students served by the educational institution. For more information on how to implement this requirement and suggested resources, see here [35].

  1. Coordination of Geographic Information and Related Spatial Data (OMB Circular A-16 [36] and Executive Order 12906 [37])

If you are requesting complete or partial funding for the development, acquisition, preservation, or enhancement of geospatial data, products, or services, you must conduct a due diligence search at the Data.gov list of datasets [38] to discover whether the needed geospatial-related data, products, or services already exist. If not, you must produce the proposed geospatial data, products, or services in compliance with applicable proposed guidance posted at www.fgdc.gov [39].

  1. Dissemination of Project Results

Recipients are expected to publish or otherwise make publicly available the results of work conducted under an award. Unless otherwise specified in the award documents, two copies of any published material resulting from award activities should be forwarded to the appropriate NEH program officer as soon as it becomes available. This material should be labeled with the identifying NEH award ID number.

All publication and distribution agreements shall include provisions giving the government a royalty-free, nonexclusive and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the material for federal purposes and requiring the acknowledgment of NEH support. The publication shall also include the disclaimer contained in Article 3 of these General Terms and Conditions for Awards.

  1. Activities Outside the United States

Prior to undertaking activities outside the United States, recipients shall ensure that all project staff secure the necessary passports, visas, or other required documents for entry into foreign countries. Recipients shall also obtain the appropriate licenses, permits, or approvals. The recipient must notify the NEH if a permit is denied or revoked after an award has been issued, or if an unforeseen circumstance, such as a natural disaster or political turmoil, prevents or threatens to prevent the recipient from carrying out project activities. These situations are considered on a case by case basis to determine whether the award should be suspended or if a revised plan of work is feasible.

Arrangements for liability and medical insurance for staff and foreign workers engaged on project activities are the responsibility of the recipient.

The NEH does not assume responsibility for recipient compliance with the laws and regulations of the country in which work is to be conducted.

NEH encourages its recipients to register with the State Department’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program [40]. Recipients registering with the State Department's Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) receive the most current information and travel alerts from the U.S. embassy in the country in which they are traveling, and registration makes it easier for the Embassy to know how to contact travelers in an emergency. In addition, recipients can get travel advisories and warnings on the State Department's website [41], by fax service at 202-647-3000; by telephone at (888) 407-4747 from within the United States, or, from overseas, (202) 501-4444. For specific questions regarding an emergency involving an American citizen overseas, recipients should contact the Office of Overseas Citizens Services [42], at (202) 647-5225.

  1. Data Collection

Data collection activities performed under an award are the responsibility of the recipient, and NEH support of the project does not constitute approval of the survey design, questionnaire content, or data collection procedures. The recipient shall not represent to respondents that such data are being collected for, or in association with, the NEH or any other government agency without the specific written approval of the data collection plan or device by the NEH. However, this requirement is not intended to preclude mention of NEH support of the project in response to an inquiry or the acknowledgment of such support in any publication of this data.

The federal government has the right to obtain, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the data first produced under an award and authorize others to do so for government purposes.

  1. Research Misconduct

The NEH will take appropriate action against individuals or organizations upon a determination that misconduct has occurred in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting results from research activities funded by the NEH in accordance with the NEH Research Misconduct Policy [43]. The NEH may also take interim action during an investigation.

Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results.

The recipient bears primary responsibility for prevention and detection of research misconduct and for the inquiry, investigation, and adjudication of research misconduct alleged to have occurred in association with its own institution.

The NEH Inspector General in most cases will refer an allegation of research misconduct made directly to the NEH to the appropriate recipient and will rely on the recipient to make the initial response. Circumstances in which the NEH may elect not to defer to the recipient include, but are not limited to, the following: the agency determines that the recipient is not prepared to handle the allegation in a manner consistent with this policy; agency involvement is needed to protect the public interest; or the allegation involves an entity of sufficiently small size that it cannot reasonably conduct the investigation itself. At any time, however, the NEH may proceed with its own inquiry or investigation. If the allegation of research misconduct is first made to the recipient, the recipient will notify the NEH if the allegation meets the definition of research misconduct given above, and if the recipient's inquiry into the allegation determines that there is sufficient evidence to proceed to an investigation.

At any time during an inquiry or investigation, the recipient will immediately notify the NEH if NEH resources or interests are threatened; if public health or safety is at risk; if research activities should be suspended; if there is reasonable indication of possible violations of civil or criminal law; if federal action is required to protect the interests of those involved in the investigation; if the recipient believes the inquiry or investigation may be made public prematurely so that appropriate steps can be taken to safeguard evidence and protect the rights of those involved; or if the research community or public should be informed.

The NEH will make a finding of misconduct or take action on such a finding only after careful inquiry and investigation by a recipient, another federal agency or the NEH. In the event of a finding of research misconduct, the NEH will determine what administrative actions are appropriate.

Administrative actions available include, but are not limited to, appropriate steps to correct the research record; letters of reprimand; the imposition of special certification or assurance requirements to ensure compliance with applicable regulations or terms of an award; suspension or termination of an active award; or suspension and debarment in accordance with applicable NEH and government-wide rules on suspension and debarment. In the event of suspension or debarment, the information is made publicly available through the Excluded Parties List System [28], maintained by the U.S. General Services Administration. If the NEH Inspector General believes that criminal or civil fraud violations may have occurred, the Inspector General shall promptly inform the Department of Justice.

The text of the NEH Research Misconduct Policy [43] is available online. Possible misconduct in activities funded by the NEH should be reported to the NEH Office of the Inspector General, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20506, 202-606-8350, or 1-877-786-7598, OIG@neh.gov [44].

  1. Code of Ethics for Projects Related to Native Americans

Recipients have the responsibility of ensuring that researchers and scholars working on NEH-sponsored projects related to Native Americans, Aleut, Eskimo, or Native Hawaiian peoples will adhere to certain provisions protecting the rights of native communities and peoples as detailed in the Code of Ethics for Projects Related to Native Americans [45].

  1. Political and Social Advocacy

Recipients and subrecipients may not use funds made available under an NEH award to:

  • Promote a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view;

  • Advocate for a particular program of social or political action; or

  • Support specific public policies or legislation.

     

  1. Suspension and Termination

Awards may be terminated in whole or in part

A. by the NEH, if a recipient materially fails to comply with the terms and conditions of an award;

B. by the NEH, when the NEH has other reasonable cause;

C. by the NEH, when ordered under the NEH Research Misconduct Policy;

D. by the NEH, when the recipient or a subrecipient is determined to be in violation of the requirement in paragraph (g) of Section 106 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) as amended (22 U.S.C. 7104(g)). Termination may occur as described in 2 CFR Part 175 [46], Award Term for Trafficking in Persons.

E. by the NEH with the consent of the recipient, in which case the two parties shall agree upon the termination conditions, including the effective date and, in the case of partial termination, the portion of the project to be terminated; or

F. by the recipient upon sending to the NEH written notification setting forth the reasons for such termination, the effective date, and, in the case of partial termination, the portion of the project to be terminated. However, if the NEH determines that the reduced or modified portion of the award will not accomplish the purposes for which the award was made, it may terminate the award in its entirety either unilaterally or with the consent of the recipient.

Awards may be terminated in whole or in part when the NEH determines that a recipient has failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the award, the NEH may suspend or terminate the award for cause. Normally, this action will be taken only after the recipient has been notified of the deficiency and given sufficient time to correct it, but this does not preclude immediate suspension or termination when such action is required to protect the interests of the government.

In the event that an award is suspended and corrective action is not taken within 90 days of the effective date, the NEH may issue a notice of termination. No costs that are incurred during the suspension period or after the effective date of termination will be allowable, except those that are specifically authorized by the suspension or termination notice or those that, in the opinion of the NEH, could not have been reasonably avoided.

Within 30 calendar days of the termination date, the recipient shall furnish to the NEH a summary of progress achieved under the award, an itemized accounting of charges incurred against award funds and cost sharing prior to the effective date of the suspension or termination, and a separate accounting and justification for any costs that may have been incurred after this date.

  1. Termination Review Procedures

A recipient who has received a notice of termination may request the NEH's review of the termination action. The request must be submitted by the institutional grant administrator through eGMS Reach no later than 30 calendar days after the date of the termination notice and should be addressed to the Deputy Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20506.

The request for review must contain a full statement of the recipient's position and the pertinent facts and reasons that support such a position. The Office of Grant Management will promptly acknowledge the request for review and the NEH Deputy Chairman shall appoint a review committee of at least three staff members. Pending the resolution of the review, the notice of termination will remain in effect.

None of the review committee members may be from the NEH program or the section of the Office of Grant Management that recommended termination or was responsible for monitoring the programmatic or administrative aspects of the award. The committee will have full access to all relevant NEH background materials. The committee may also request the submission of additional information from the recipient or the NEH staff and, at its discretion, may meet with representatives of both groups to discuss the pertinent issues. All review activities will be fully documented by the committee. Based on its review, the committee will present its written recommendation to the Deputy Chairman, who will advise the parties concerned of the final decision.

APPENDICES

Sample Prior Approval Form

Sample Activity Report

Prohibition on Use of Funds to ACORN and its subsidiaries

In accordance with Public Law 111-88 Sec. 427, none of the funds made available under an NEH award may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries.