uses the results of grantees’ research. Conclusions are presented at the end of each section; the first section also includes recommendations to improve the grant management process.
GRANT MANAGEMENT PROCESSES
To address the planning and budgetary processes used by grantees, it is necessary to examine these grantee-level processes and associated requirements in the larger context of the structure and processes that support grant management at NIDRR and to obtain the perspectives of both NIDRR grantees and NIDRR staff. To these ends, the committee reviewed existing documentation on NIDRR’s grant management and monitoring processes, interviewed NIDRR management to gather additional information about the processes,1 collected information from principal investigators about the processes they use for managing grants, and interviewed NIDRR staff to obtain their perspectives on how grant monitoring facilitates grantees’ efforts to manage their grants for successful results.
NIDRR’s Grant Management Structure and Processes
NIDRR uses both the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and its own postaward grant management procedures and practices (U.S. Department of Education, 2009) to establish working partnerships with grantees and to monitor projects for performance and financial compliance. Grant management activities are supported by ED’s web-based grant management system, called G5; by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ (OSERS’) web-based records management system, called TRIM; and by NIDRR’s Annual Performance Report (APR) system. A postaward conference sets the stage for managing individual grants with regard to needs and expectations, and NIDRR uses various strategies to monitor grantee progress.
Setting the Stage for Individual Grant Management
The planning and budgetary processes used by grantees evolve directly from NIDRR procedures concerning grant selection, the peer review process, and negotiated postaward grant management activities (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, 2010). The evaluation of grant proposals includes rating such elements as plans for operation and evaluation, as well as the adequacy and reasonableness of the budget
1 The committee conducted interviews with NIDRR and ED management in four sessions during summer 2010 and one session in spring 2011.