AHRQ Policy on Post-Submission Grant Application Materials

Notice Number: NOT-HS-10-020

Key Dates
Release Date: September 23, 2010

Related Announcements
NOT-HS-16-017

Issued by
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), (http://www.ahrq.gov)

Effective Date
Applications submitted to AHRQ for the January 25, 2011 due date and thereafter

Purpose

This Notice serves to announce the AHRQ policy on post-submission grant application materials.  This policy will be effective for applications submitted for the January 25, 2011 receipt date and thereafter.   This policy does not modify the existing Just-In-Time requirements or any other requests for additional information after the initial peer review. 
This Notice on post-submission application materials parallels a similar notice recently published by NIH which articulates post-submission materials under the Enhanced Peer Review initiative (see June 23, 2010 - NOT-OD-10-115 Enhancing Peer Review:  New NIH Policy on Post-Submission Application Materials).
Policy

For most applications submitted for the January 25, 2011 receipt date and thereafter, the only post-submission grant application materials that AHRQ will accept are those resulting from unforeseen administrative issues.  Post-submission grant application materials are those submitted after submission of the grant application (post application receipt date) but prior to the initial peer review.  This option is only to be used when an unexpected event such as the departure of a participant, natural disaster, etc. has occurred, not to correct oversights/errors discovered after submission of the application.

Acceptable post-submission materials include:

  • Adjustments resulting from natural disasters 
  • Adjustments resulting from change of institution (e.g., PI/PD moves to another university)
  • Biographical sketches (e.g., change in senior/key personnel due to the hiring, replacement, or loss of an investigator)
  • Letters of support or collaboration resulting from a change in senior/key personnel due to the hiring, replacement, or loss of an investigator
  • Revised budget page(s) (e.g., Agency request for clarification; change in budget request due to new funding or unexpected change of senior/key personnel)

All post-submission materials must conform to PHS policy on font size, margins, and paper size as referenced in the applicable application instructions downloaded  from Grants.gov.   Additional form pages such as budget, biographical sketches, and other required forms must follow the standards as downloaded from Grants.gov.  

  • If post-submission material is not required on a form page, each explanation or letter is limited to one page (see Acceptable Late Materials above).  

Unacceptable post-submission materials (for all applications except those listed under Exceptions below) include:

  • Updated Specific Aims or Research Strategy pages
  • Late-breaking research findings
  • New letters of support or collaboration that do not result from a change in senior/key personnel due to the hiring, replacement, or loss of an investigator

Exceptions:

  • For applications submitted in response to Requests for Applications (RFAs): new letters of support or collaboration will be allowed.

Certain AHRQ Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) may allow specific other types of post-submission materials to facilitate the goals of the program.  Such stipulations must be specified in the FOA as published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (The NIH Guide).

Deadline

Post-submission materials must be received by the AHRQ Scientific Review Officer (SRO) no later than 45 calendar days) after the initial application due date. Post-submission materials will not be accepted after that date.   

Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) concurrence:

Concurrence from the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) of the applicant organization is required.  Although the content of post-submission materials may originate from the PD/PI or organizational officials, the AOR must send the materials directly to the SRO, or must send his/her concurrence to the PD/PI who will forward the materials and concurrence to the SRO.  A communication from the PD/PI only or with a “cc” to the AOR will not be accepted.

Instructions

  • Submission via email of post-submission materials as a PDF attachment is required.  AHRQ recommends producing the documents electronically using text or word-processing software and then converting the documents to PDF. This will allow the text to be searched electronically (i.e., do not scan files that have text as an image, scan as text file only).
  • The SRO is responsible for uploading acceptable materials into the official electronic grant file maintained in the eRA Commons. The PD/PI can check his/her application via the Commons to see these materials in the section titled “Additions for Review”. This allows the information to be available to reviewers in a secure manner. 

Inquiries

For general inquiries concerning this policy contact:  Gerald E. (Jerry) Calderone, Ph.D., AHRQ Referral Officer at Gerald.Calderone@ahrq.hhs.gov.   

For specific questions regarding process to submit specific additional materials to an application in question for review, contact the SRO in charge of the review meeting. 

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