Ask DrugMonkey: JIT and Progress Reports

November 10, 2015

Two quick things:

Your NIH grant Progress Report goes to Program. Your PO. It does not go to any SRO or study section members, not even for your competing renewal application. It is for the consumption of the IC that funded your grant. It forms the non-competing application for your next interval of support that has already passed competitive review muster.

Second. The eRA commons automailbot sends out requests for your JIT (Just In Time; Other Support page, IRB/IACUC approvals) information within weeks of your grant receiving a score. The precise cutoff for this autobot request is unclear to me and it may vary by IC or by mechanism for all I know. The point is, that it is incredibly generous. Meaning that when you look at your score and think “that is a no-way-it-will-ever-fund score” and still get the JIT autobot request, this doesn’t mean you are wrong. It means the autobot was set to email you at a very generous threshold.

JIT information is also requested by the Grants Management Specialist when he/she is working on preparing your award, post-Council. DEFINITELY respond to this request.

The only advantage I see to the autobot request is that if you need to finalize anything with your IRB or IACUC this gives you time. By the time the GMS requests it, you are probably going to be delaying your award if you do not have IRB/IACUC approval in hand. If you submit your Other Support page with the autobot request, you are just going to have to update it anyway after Council.

15 Responses to “Ask DrugMonkey: JIT and Progress Reports”

  1. bacillus Says:

    @ “It means the autobot was set to email you at a very generous threshold.” Happened to my last two RFA submissions which got priority scores of 22, and 25 respectively. The JIT for the first one nearly had me cracking open the good champagne. The JIT for the second one just got a shrug of the shoulders washed down with a bottle of IPA.


  2. DJMH Says:

    Do you think the PO reads the RPPRs? I mean, if I got a lump of tens of those things (don’t know how many active grants a given PO handles) and that’s on top of everything else I have to do, and I’m not obligated to do anything with that information, gotta imagine that’s low priority for them. But maybe that’s just me.


  3. potnia theron Says:

    I’ve known PO’s who do read them. I’ve known PO’s who don’t. But if you ever need a PO to make a case for you when you’re on the margin, doing things to make their lives easier is a good thing. Thus, do it like you mean it.


  4. drugmonkey Says:

    Yes, I think the POs read the Progress Reports. In fact I know they do, at least on occasion. These don’t take a super huge amount of effort so I’m not sure why this would be a question. Just write them as if you take it seriously and everyone will probably be happy with it. It is not a ready-to-submit-manuscript level of report.


  5. Ola Says:

    @DJMH: Oh boy do the PO’s read them! If you’ve never received a PRAM request (progress report additional materials), lucky you!


  6. DJMH Says:

    See, from DM’s explanation I thought I could just slap together a couple of paragraphs and maybe a data graph if I had one handy, but now Ola is making me scared.


  7. Jo Says:

    JIT: impact score of 40 or less.


  8. jmz4gtu Says:

    ” It does not go to any SRO or study section members,”
    So there’s no point in putting in a big ol’ “FU” when you finish the experiment they called “overambitious” and “unlikely to reveal new insights”?


  9. Newbie PO Says:

    Just chipping in that POs most definitely read progress reports. As with everything else governmenty, we’re required to fill out paperwork on PRs, so even the most apathetic PO would need to read (or at least skim through) the report. Personally, I get super-excited when reading ones where the PI’s effort and enthusiasm about their progress comes through (common among newer investigators).

    And JIT requests are sent out automatically for scores<=40.


  10. clueless noob Says:

    My only PRAM was this one time when I underestimated the amount of time required to process a manuscript in NIHMS. The week before an RPPR is due is really not the best time to click the ‘add award’ button in NCBI…


  11. When I was a n00b, I spent hours crafting detailed progress reports with figures and shitte. Over the years, they’ve gotten shorter and less detailed. Now they’re just a couple paragraphs, and no figures at all. I have never received any complaints from any POs. What they really care about are publications, and i suspect don’t really give a flying fucke about any PI babbling in the progress report.


  12. KLF Says:

    Cut and pasted from the link in the JIT email I received 2 days ago from the autobot:

    “This is a standard notice and request for information from all principal investigators with grant applications receiving an impact score of 40 or less (regardless of the IC’s payline) which reflects NIH’s current tightened paylines and new Impact Scoring system. This notice is a request for Just-In-Time Information.”


  13. NotTheBear Says:

    I absolutely read RPPRs! I even like to think I read them pretty closely. Beyond the fact that it’s a requirement of my job, I like to know about the work that’s happening in my portfolio. And it’s also kind of a matter of fairness IMHO – if you have to spend time writing them, I should spend time reading them. Like Newbie PO, I also will get excited about the science, especially if it’s clearly communicated – as opposed to a wandering epistle I have to grit my teeth and slog through. Not that clearly communicated necessarily = “cured three diseases before breakfast and a shoe-in for next year’s Lasker”; interesting conundrums and negative results are good, too. Fastest way to get a request for additional information? Send me last year’s report with two sentences changed. Yes, I check.


  14. drugmonkey Says:

    People do that? And then when you check up does it turn out they have not done anything on the project all year?


  15. NotTheBear Says:

    DM: rare but nonzero occurrence. So far revisions have always been fine, though, suggesting work was being done, just didn’t think anybody was reading the reports.


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