National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The following National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines are helpful in preparing proposals or administering awards.
The NIH released notice NOT-OD-15-095 as a reminder that they need to consistently apply policy standards for application compliance. As a result, the NIH may withdraw any application identified during the receipt, referral and review process that is not compliant with the instructions in the SF424 (R &R) Application Guide, the Funding Opportunity Announcement and relevant NIH Guide Notices.
Some examples of how this policy is applied to NIH applications include but are not limited to:
1. Applications containing one or more biosketches that do not conform to the required format may be withdrawn (NOT-OD-15-032).
New Biosketch format is required for all applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015
2. Applications that do not conform to the page limit requirements because inappropriate materials have been included in other parts of the application may be withdrawn (NOT-OD-11-080). NIH staff and reviewers have been finding applications that include inappropriate material in sections of the application without page limits, or circumvent the page limits by adding unallowable material in the Appendix. In these cases review staff may include an Administrative Note in the summary statements to alert applicants to the problem. NIH expects applicants to heed these notes and submit future applications that comply with the application instructions.
NIH may withdraw applications from review and funding consideration for egregious cases in which inappropriate material has been placed in a section of sections of an application without page limits, or in the Appendix.
3. Applications submitted as new but containing elements of a resubmission or renewal application are noncompliant with the resubmission policy and may be withdrawn (NOT-OD-15-059).
Investigators may submit a new application, following an unsuccessful application, without concern for scientific overlap with previously reviewed applications. Content not permitted anywhere in a new application includes, but is not limited to:
pages to respond to critiques
mention of previous scores or percentiles
responses to a prior review
progress reports or progress publication lists
4. Applications submitted after 5 PM local (applicant organization) time on the application due date may be withdrawn (NOT-OD-15-039).
The NIH has a two week window of consideration after the application due date during which they might consider accepting a late application. Acceptance will be on a case by case basis, dependent upon the explanation provided in a cover letter submitted with the application. Some examples that the NIH WILL NOT consider late applications for include:
RFA's on a compressed timeline
New investigator R01 applications resubmitted on special due dates
Heavy teaching or administrative responsibilities, relocation of a laboratory or other personal events
Problems with applicant computer systems, including system to system services
Correction of errors or addressing of warnings after 5 pm local time
NO ADVANCE PERMISSION WILL BE GIVEN FOR LATE APPLICATIONS
It is important to remember that these are just examples, and that all requirements specified in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, the Funding Opportunity Announcement, and relevant NIH Guide Notices are to be followed. When in doubt about compliance policy, contact NIH "Grants Info" or the Division of Receipt and Referral as listed below.
If an application is withdrawn because it does not conform to the application preparation and submission instructions, a letter will be placed in the eRA Commons Status page for that application. The PD/PI and the AOR from the applicant organization will be notified by eRA Commons to access their account and view the explanatory letter.