FAQs for Award Recipients



Q: Who do I contact with questions about the face page or standard terms in the Notice of Award (NOA), the Federal Financial Report (FFR) and/or the Tangible Personal Property reporting requirements?

A: Contact your Grants Management Specialist (GMS). You can find their contact information in the contacts section in the Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) or on the last page of your Notice of Award (NOA).


Q: Who do I contact with questions about programmatic issues, program terms or conditions on the Notice of Award (NOA), or Performance, Progress, or Program Specific Reports (not including the FFR)?

A: Contact your Project Officer. Their contact information can be found in the contacts section of the EHB, or on the last page of your Notice of Award (NoA). You can also find your Project Officer on bureau/program specific pages. Start here at HRSA.gov.


Q: When must I update my System for Award Management (SAM) records?

A: Your institution must update your registration within SAM.gov annually. Your renewal can take five days or longer.

You will not be able to submit an application without a completed SAM registration. Register at System for Award Management (SAM).


Q: Who do I contact if I am locked out of the Electronic Handbooks (EHBs)?

A: The EHBs allows you to retrieve or reset your password – follow these instructions. If you have forgotten your username, contact us.


Q: What is a Prior Approval Request? Why would I use it?

A: You would submit a written request for prior approval if you wish to make adjustments to the budget, and/or program plans on the objectives or purpose of the approved project. You must submit this request through the EHBs.


Q: How do I create, edit or find a prior approval request?

A: Follow our instructions within the EHBs to create, edit, or find a prior approval request.


Q: I need to return funds. How do I do it?

A: Find information and instructions on the Program Support Center’s Payment Management System (PMS).


Q: Do you always require that I submit an Annual Performance Report? 

A: Every grant award requires an annual performance report. Review your Notice of Award (NoA) for any specific requirements. Contact your PO with any questions.


Q: Where can I find more information on Cost Principles?

A: Please refer to 45 CFR Part 75 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards, Subpart E – Cost Principles.


Q: How do you define an allowable cost, an allocable cost, and a reasonable cost?

A: An allowable cost is a cost that is charged to the grant that complies with the terms, conditions and approved activities of the grant, as well as the Cost Principles for Federal awards.

An allocable cost is a cost that is for multiple activities where a portion is allocated to the grant that is in relation to the benefit received (like rent or utilities).

A reasonable cost is a cost that a reasonable person would approve of charging to the grant that is appropriate for the activity.


Q: How can I avoid having Unallowable Costs?

A: Check our tip sheet: Developing Effective Financial Management Practices (PDF – 210 KB).


Q: How do I remove a duplicate Federal Financial Report (FFR)?

A: Contact us for assistance on removing a duplicate FFR.


Q: Our Federal Financial Report (FFR) has a delinquent status, how do I request a deadline extension?

A: Please view request an extension for more information.  


Q: When the Grants Management Specialist (GMS) returns my Federal Financial Report (FFR), what do I do?

A: Review the comments and make the required changes, or contact the individual who sent the FFR back with any questions.


Q:I have started my next Federal Financial Report (FFR), but I need to go back and make changes to a previously submitted FFR. How can I do that?

A: If the FFR has the same document number as the previously submitted FFR, you can make edits in the previously reported column.

If it does not have the same document number, you cannot edit it.

For more assistance, follow instructions on the FFR – Notification Page.


Q: Can I revise a previously submitted Federal Financial Report (FFR)?

A: You can revise a previously submitted FFR if you have not started the "next" FFR for the same document number and we are not currently reviewing the previous FFR.

For more assistance, follow instructions on the FFR – Notification Page.


Q:How can I locate previous copies of the Federal Financial Report (FFR)?

A: Contact us, so that we can help you locate a previous FFR.


Q: How long after my grant ends do I have to drawdown funds from PMS?

A: A non-federal entity must liquidate all obligations incurred under the award no later than 90 days after the end of the funding period.

We may extend this deadline, but you must first have prior written approval from the HRSA Grants Management Specialist listed on the last page of the Notice of Award.

Refer to 45 CFR 75.309 - Period of performance and availability of funds.


Q: Does an application receive a perfect score if there are no weakness comments in the summary statements?
A: The absence of a weakness comment does not indicate a perfect score. Not all strengths and weakness comments carry the same weight; therefore, the quantity of weakness comments does not affect the score.

Summary statement comments produced from the panel discussion reflect the considerations and judgments of the expert reviewers within the panel.

We provide reviewers with a “Scoring Rubric” that aligns descriptive ranges to precise scoring guidelines for each criterion and overall score.


Q: Can I appeal the Objective Review Committee (ORC) decision?

A: Award decisions are discretionary and are not subject to appeal to any HRSA or HHS official or board.

However, the appropriate contact identified on your notification letter can provide further clarification surrounding the summary statement and the objective review process.

Date Last Reviewed:  March 2019