Other Research Support – the how’s and why’s of reporting

By January 3, 2022 February 24th, 2024 No Comments
other research support being entered

Other research support information is typically requested for individuals designated in a funding application as senior/key personnel. There are also some exceptions for training personnel.1 And recently, the National Science Foundation (NSF) implemented changes to the Current & Pending Support form. The modifications include new sections for information on objectives and overlap with other projects.2

As it stands now, the new format looks a lot like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) updated Other Support form.3 In its revised state, investigators are now required to address potential scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap with proposed activities.

Other research support sources

Other research support should be reported for the project being proposed. Also, reporting should be done for ongoing projects, and for any projects or proposals currently under consideration by another source. These sources may include:

  • another Federal agency
  • State agency
  • local agency
  • foreign entity
  • public or private entity
  • non-profit organization
  • industrial and commercial organizations
  • source of internal funds

Types of support resources

Other research support should include all resources made available to a researcher that supports or is related to their research. This is true regardless of monetary value. Also, reporting must be done whether support is provided directly to an individual or directed through the institution.

Examples include:

  • Financial support from domestic or foreign entities such as financial support for laboratory personnel
  • Resources provided by domestic or foreign entities such as space and equipment
  • Consulting agreements in which senior personnel are conducting research as part of the consulting activities, including consulting activities that fall outside of an individual’s institutional appointment
  • In-kind contributions of space, equipment, supplies, or personnel not intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed

New changes to NIH and NSF documents

Investigators are responsible for including all sources of support consistent with the sponsor’s requirements. To aid in this requirement, the table below highlights changes to the NIH and NSF other research support documents and the information collected by each.

Other Support NIH NSF
  • New format separates funded projects from in-kind contributions
  • A signature block has been added for Program Director/Principal Investigator or Other Senior/Key Personnel
  • Copies of supporting documentation for Other Support that includes foreign activities and resources are now required (e.g., PDF copies of contracts, grants, agreements, and appointment letters)
  • New sections added for information on overall objectives and overlap with other projects
  • Required use of the NSF pdf template or SciENcv to generate the Current & Pending Support document
  • Required use of new format when there is a Change of PI request or an Add/Change Co-PI request via NSF FastLane
Key Information
  • Source of support; Primary place of performance; Contributed effort (in person-months) in each budget period; amount of support or summary of contribution; duration of support.
  • Any potential overlap of Other Support listed with the active or pending projects and activities, other affiliations, and resources.
  • Source of support; Primary place of performance; Contributed effort (in person-months) per project year; amount of support; duration of support required for all projects, including the project being proposed.
  • Overall objectives and statement of potential overlap.

How Other Support information is used

Other Support information is used by reviewers to assess the capacity of an individual to carry out the activities proposed.  Also, the information is also evaluated by the agency to assess any potential overlap or duplication of activities with the project being proposed. As such, NIH and NSF Agency staff review other support information to ensure:

  • Senior/Key personnel have sufficient levels of effort committed to the project
  • There is no scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap between sources of support and the proposed project
  • All resources, both domestic and foreign, that directly support an individual’s research have been reported
  • Any foreign resources that meet the definition of any agency’s ‘foreign component’ have received prior approval

Why it’s important to report Other Support information

As you likely know, there is growing concern among U.S. Federal-awarding agencies regarding activities between U.S.-researchers and various foreign entities. Because of this, the information provided in the Other Support document is scrutinized for potential conflicts of interest. As such, investigators should consider and identify all relationships, existing and potential, that may impact research integrity. If in doubt, NIH suggests that “…recipients err on the side of disclosure.4

Failure to report other sources of research support can lead to a loss of funding. This is true whether internal or extramural, domestic, or foreign. In some instances, there can even be prosecution by the sponsoring agency. To be on the safe side, best practices in disclosures to sponsors include:

  • Report all sources of support consistent with the funding agency’s requirements
  • Be thorough and complete in accounting for all forms of research support, whether financial, in-kind, or other sources of support
  • Update disclosures annually or when new reportable support is obtained


  1. NIH Other Support
  2. NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)
  3. NIH Upcoming Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page for Due Dates on or after May 25, 2021
  4. NIH Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Other Support and Foreign Components