Use this page to explore important documents and details regarding signing up for STAR METRICS® and submitting data for Level I. If you are familiar with the data submission process and want to upload your data immediately, go to the Upload page.

If you have questions or feedback you would like to provide, please contact:

William Duval, Ph.D.
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health

Level I Process Guide

The STAR METRICS® Level I Process Guide ( Word | PDF ) and Level I Entity Relationship Model ( PDF ) provides an overview of the data, structure, methods, and process underlying the Level I activities.

Data Submission

The Data Dictionary (pdf) provides an overview of the data elements required for each of the five submission types. Four are XML or CSV data files which are submitted quarterly, and one is the annually-submitted Indirect Cost or Overhead Ratio.

Job Classification Guidance

The Job Classification Guideline (pdf) provides an overview for placement of individuals into the eight STAR METRICS® job classification categories.

Four Files Uploaded Quarterly

The Technical Specifications (pdf) document describes the structure of the XML and CSV data submission files and the required characteristics for each data element within these files. It also provides information on the data upload process.

  • Awards   ( xml | csv ) - Information on Awards
  • Employee   ( xml | csv ) - Information on Employees
  • Vendor   ( xml | csv ) - Payments to Vendors
  • Sub Awards   ( xml | csv ) - Payments to Subcontractors and Subawards

The XML files conform to this XSD:

Indirect Cost Proposal Ratio Explanation

Information on overhead comes from your Indirect Cost Proposal. This requires the calculation of one number that should be provided initially and updated when there is a change. A subset of the STAR METRICS® FDP working group has determined that the least burdensome approach is as follows:

Retrieve your adjusted cost by cost pool. Then, calculate the total salaries and fringe benefits, as well as the total non-labor costs.  Sum each across cost pools, and calculate the proportion as (salaries and fringe benefits)/(salaries and fringe benefits plus non labor costs).

This number should be provided to the STAR METRICS® team during the initial data submission process using the Submit Indirect Cost Proposal page. While the team only needs this calculated ratio, you may provide the entire Indirect Cost Proposal or Indirect Cost Proposal Spreadsheet if that is easier.

Note that these are intended to produce estimates of jobs in a statistical context, not an accounting context.  So, you can also provide us with a range of proportions, and we will generate separate estimates for each proportion you provide.

Other Resources

Log On Help: Information about what to do if you have trouble logging on to the website.

Participation Guide: A guide that provides an overview of STAR METRICS® and outlines how research institutions can get involved with the project. Also available as a pdf.

Most Common Data Challenges: A "tips" sheet ( pdf | doc ) that contains frequent challenges faced when preparing data for submission for Level I.

Other Funding Source (OFS) Codes : A list of codes ( pdf | xls ) that may be used in data submissions in lieu of CFDA numbers to indicate funding sources that are non-federal or federal but lack a CFDA number.

Employment Calculations: Explanation of the calculations used to derive the jobs created. These are consistent with ARRA reporting requirements in Section 1512.

Secure Email Upload: Data can be submitted through this website or by using the Secure Email Upload method. The steps for email upload are outlined.

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