NIH Grants Policy Statement (10/12)
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Logo
NIH > Office of Extramural Research Logo
Home About Grants Funding Forms & Deadlines Grants Policy News & Events About OER NIH Home
Grants and Funding
Grants Policy
Policy & Guidance
Compliance & Oversight
Research Involving Human Subjects
Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW)
Animals in Research
Peer Review Policies & Practices
Intellectual Property Policy
Invention Reporting (iEdison)
NIH Public Access
Research Integrity

NIH Grants Policy Statement


Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards
Subpart A: General – File 4 of 6


The PMS is a centralized grants payment and cash management system, operated by HHS PSC, DPM. HHS grant payments may be made by one of several advance payment methods, including SMARTLINK II/ACH, cash request, or by cash request on a reimbursement basis, as specified in the NoA and as described in this chapter. Payments under NIH grants generally are made as advance payments. Except as indicated in this chapter, NIH grant payments are made by PMS, operated by PSC, DPM, in accordance with Department of the Treasury and OMB requirements, as implemented by 45 CFR parts 74.22 and 92.21. These requirements are intended to minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds from the Federal government and disbursement by a grantee. Therefore, although the grant may be financed by advance payments, the intent is that grantees draw funds on an as-needed basis – specifically, no more than 3 days before the funds are needed.

All Federal funds deposited by PMS in a grantee's bank account as an unrestricted advance payment should be fully disbursed (checks written, signed, and issued to the payees) by the close of business the next workday after receipt of the funds. The potential for excessive Federal cash on hand exists each time a grantee does not disburse Federal funds in this manner. The grantee is responsible for determining when the Federal funds have been deposited into its bank account for each drawdown, ensuring that the funds are fully disbursed by the close of business the next workday after they are received, and immediately returning all undisbursed Federal funds to PMS.

The Treasury and OMB policies also establish accountability for interest earned on advances of grant funds and provide for use of the reimbursement method if cash management requirements are not met. Advances made by grantees to consortium participants and contractors under grants must conform to substantially the same standards of timing and amount that govern advances to the grantee.

Operational guidance for recipients is provided through a training CD from PSC. Inquiries regarding drawdown requests, cash management rules, and the disbursement of funds through the Federal Financial Report (SF 425) should be directed to PSC/DPM (see Part III).

OFM makes payments under grants to foreign or international organizations issued prior to October 1, 2012, awards to individuals, and awards to agencies of the Federal government. Effective for awards issued October 1, 2012 and beyond, payments under grants to foreign or international organizations are administered through PMS in accordance with the information provided in this chapter.


The SMARTLINK II/ACH method of advance payment makes direct deposit of funds to a grantee's bank account and requires grantees to have Internet access to submit a request for funds to PMS. SMARTLINK II/ACH provides funds the day following the request with direct deposit using the Federal Reserve Bank's (Richmond, Virginia) ACH process.

6.2 Cash Request

Grantees not eligible for an unrestricted advance of funds by SMARTLINK II/ACH must submit a cash request, usually monthly. The cash request may be on either an advance or reimbursement basis, as specified by the NIH awarding IC. Cash requests are used when a grantee's cash management must be closely monitored (for example, grantees whose financial management systems do not meet the standards specified in 45 CFR part 74.21 or 92.20) or under programs where reimbursement financing is appropriate. A grantee also may be converted from an unrestricted advance payment method to a cash request basis if, during post-award administration, the GMO determines that a grantee is not complying with the cash management requirements or other requirements of the award, including the submission of complete and timely reports (see Administrative Requirements—Monitoring—Reporting and Administrative Requirements—Enforcement Actions—Modification of the Terms of Award).

If the cash request is for an advance payment, the grantee may request grant funds from PMS monthly on the basis of expected disbursements during the succeeding month and the amount of Federal funds already on hand. A request for reimbursement may be submitted more often, if authorized. For timely receipt of cash, a grantee must submit the request through the awarding IC early enough for it to be forwarded to PMS at least 2 weeks before the cash is needed. PMS makes payment to the grantee electronically through the ACH process upon receipt of the approved payment request from the awarding IC.

6.3 Interest Earned on Advances of Grant Funds

Except as provided in 45 CFR 74.22(k), any NIH grantee subject to the requirements of 45 CFR 74 that receives advance payments must maintain those advances in an interest-bearing account.

Grantees are expected to promptly return any funds not spent within three business days. However, any interest earned on advances of Federal funds must be handled as follows:

  • Nongovernmental Grantees. Any interest on Federal advances of grant funds that exceeds $250 per year in the aggregate must be remitted annually to PMS (as the government-wide agent for collection). Recipients with electronic funds transfer capability should use an electronic medium to remit interest.
  • Governmental Grantees Other Than States. Except as provided in 45 CFR 92.21(i), any interest in excess of $100 per year in the aggregate earned by local governments or Indian tribal governments on Federal advances of grant funds must be remitted promptly, and at least quarterly, to PMS.
  • State Governments. State governments operating under Treasury-State agreements are subject to the payment and receipt of interest as specified in their agreements. All other State grantees are expected to follow sound financial management practices that minimize the potential for excessive Federal cash on hand and to comply with the cash management requirements of 45 CFR parts 92.20 and 21.

This page last updated on September 19, 2012
Content Manager:
Technical Issues: E-mail OER Webmaster

Social Media Links