Sponsors require progress/technical reports to document grantee accomplishments and compliance with terms of an award. They describe scientific progress, identify significant changes, report on personnel, and describe plans for the subsequent budget period or year. Many federal sponsors require annual progress/technical reports as well as final reports as part of the closeout of the grant or contract. All reporting requirements will be articulated in the award document and should include the required frequency for reporting as well as format and/or system to be used for reporting. Completing progress reports is the responsibility of the principal investigator.

Failure to meet reporting requirements as per the terms of the award may lead to audit findings, incremental award processing delays, or the withholding of funds for the principal investigators and co-principal investigators or for the entire university. Federal sponsors continue to implement changes to their reporting requirements.

Recent regulations have made the annual progress report an important tool for certain federal agencies to monitor foreign activity disclosure compliance.

Examples of foreign activity discloures:

  • National Institutes of Health requires the disclosure of all sources of research support, foreign components, and financial conflicts of interest for senior/key personnel on research awards on the annual research performance progress report.
  • National Science Foundation annual research performance progress report requires an updated current and pending documenting any new projects, in-kind contributions impacting time commitments, consulting activities and new foreign activities if there is any change since the proposal submission.

Several federal agencies have implemented consequences to delays in the submission of a progress/technical report.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA’s ezFed system does not allow Virginia Tech to submit claims for payment of our expenses if there is a past due progress/technical report. This impacts funding from following USDA agencies;

  • Agricultural Marketing Service
  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  • Foreign Agricultural Service
  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture – Capacity Grant
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Office of Public Partnerships and Public Engagement  

National Science Foundation

If Virginia Tech has a delinquent research performance progress report, the National Science Foundation will not act on prior approval requests such as no cost time extension, re-budget request, principal investigator change request, issuing of new subcontract, etc. in their division till the report is submitted. National Science Foundation will also not review a new proposal if any of the key personnel on the proposal has a delinquent research performance progress report.

Department of Energy

The Department of Energy requires progress/technical reports to be submitted as per the terms of the award or provide an explanation satisfactory to the department as to how the institution will become compliant within thirty (30) calendar days of the date of the delinquent notice. If reports are not in compliance with award terms, the Department of Energy reserves the right to withhold financial assistance funds or invoke any of the other remedies available as set forth in 2 CFR 200.339 as applicable.