NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Administrative Supplements

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-056

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.701, 93.702

Key Dates
Release Date:  March 16, 2009
Receipt Date: OPEN (See Institute/Center Web sites for specific deadlines)
(NIH administrative supplements use paper PHS398 application forms.)

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces the opportunity for investigators and United States institutions/organizations with active NIH Research Grants to request administrative supplements for the purpose accelerating the tempo of scientific research on active grants. Support for these supplements will come from funds provided to NIH through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“Recovery Act” or “ARRA”), Public Law 111-5.  Consistent with the intent of the Recovery Act, the purpose of this program is to promote job creation and economic development along with accelerating the pace and achievement of scientific research. 

In addition, Recovery Act funds allocated to NIH specifically for comparative effectiveness research (CER) may be available to support supplements.  Projects receiving these funds will need to meet this definition of CER: “a rigorous evaluation of the impact of different options that are available for treating a given medical condition for a particular set of patients. Such a study may compare similar treatments, such as competing drugs, or it may analyze very different approaches, such as surgery and drug therapy.” Such research may include the development and use of clinical registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data that can be used to generate or obtain outcomes data as they apply to CER.

This announcement is one of three ARRA supplement/revision notices issued by NIH.  Approximately $1 billion of ARRA funds will be obligated by September 30, 2010 to support requests submitted in response to these notices or any reissuance of these notices.

This administrative supplement solicitation requests submissions in all scientific and programmatic areas funded by NIH.  Support may be requested for up to 2 years for qualified grants (see eligibility section below).


The Recovery Act was signed into law on February 17, 2009 with the purpose of stimulating the American economy through job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, and other means.  The Recovery Act provides NIH with up to $10.4 billion to be obligated over two years for a variety of biomedical research and research support activities.  This administrative supplement opportunity is one part of the overall NIH Recovery Act investment strategy, as described at


This announcement is for administrative supplements to active NIH Research Grants and Research Program and Center Grants (Ps), as well as Career Development Awards (Ks), Institutional Training Grants (Ts), Cooperative Agreements (Us) and Educational Development Awards.  Individual NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) have more detailed eligibility information on their own Web sites.  See
Potential applicants should review the instructions for Revision Applications issued by their funding IC (See before responding to this Notice.   Some ICs will consider administrative supplements only in target areas identified on their Web sites.

To be eligible, the parent grant must be active and the research/scientific activities proposed in the supplement must be accomplished within the current competitive segment.  The proposed supplement MUST be within the general scope of the peer-reviewed activities and aims approved within the parent grant, including projects on a no-cost extension; while supplemental funds may be awarded to grants during a no-cost extension, the period of support cannot extend beyond the award period for the additional time that was granted.  Note that while NIH recommends that a no-cost extension already be in place before an administrative supplement request is submitted, this is not a requirement for all administrative supplement requests.

There are no limits to the number of administrative supplement requests that may be submitted by an institution or Project Director/Principal Investigator although individual ICs may limit eligibility in accordance with the policies listed on their Web site.

NIH encourages the participation of individuals from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research, individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Applications from foreign institutions are not permitted.  Consistent with the goals of the Recovery Act to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery in the United States, applicant must be domestic (United States) institutions/organizations (i.e., located in the 50 states, territories and possessions of the United States, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or District of Columbia).  In addition, domestic U.S. institutions planning to submit supplement requests that include foreign components should be aware that requested funding for any foreign components should not exceed 10% of the total requested direct costs or $25,000 per year (per subcontract/subaward or in aggregate for multiple subcontracts/subawards), whichever is less.

IMPORTANT:  The funds requested by the NIH grantee in the supplement application must be within the general scope of the peer-reviewed activities and aims approved within the parent grant.  A request to support new research objectives and aims that are outside of the scope of the approved parent grant (e.g., inclusion of new human subjects or animal studies that were not part of the parent grant) are not appropriate under an administrative supplement and should be submitted as a competitive revision application (formerly called competitive supplements). To apply for a revision application under the Recovery Act, please see NOT-OD-09-058.

The funding method being used to support this program, administrative supplements, can be used to cover cost increases that are associated with increasing the tempo of scientific research funded under the parent grant and/or achieving certain new research objectives as long as they are within the scope of the parent project.  Some examples of the types of supplements that could be appropriate include, but are not limited to, hiring additional personnel or funding investments in equipment and technology to leverage the goals of the project or to enhance energy efficiency of the conduct of the project. Any cost increases need to result from making modifications to the parent project in order to take advantage of opportunities that would increase the value of the project consistent with its originally approved objectives and purposes or to accelerate the tempo of scientific research/scientific activities.  NIH will not consider requests which are solely to restore previously applied budget adjustments to a project nor to supplant institutional commitments supporting individuals and other costs previously committed to projects.  

Areas of Interest

In general, NIH intends to accept applications for supplements under this notice in all scientific areas, and is particularly interested in awarding administrative supplements with Recovery Act funds in the areas listed below.  However, please note that ICs may not have interest in issuing administrative supplements to research project grants in all scientific areas and may have their own specific areas of emphasis.  Please consult individual IC Web sites available at

Additionally, NIH is prepared to make awards with Recovery Act funding under other existing programs that provide administrative supplements (such as PA-08-190 Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research and PA-08-091 Research Supplements to Promote Re-Entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers).  See those specific notices for more information.

Preparing an Administrative Supplement Request

Requests under this notice should use the PHS 398 forms (rev. 11/2007; available at: and include the following elements in the request packet. Font size restrictions apply as designated within the PHS398 instructions.

1) Cover Letter - Citing this Notice (NOT-OD-09-056), specify a request for a Recovery Act Administrative Supplement, including the following information:

The cover letter must be signed by the authorized organizational representative.

2) PHS 398 Form Page 1 (Face page) MS Word  PDF

3) PHS 398 Form page 2 MS Word  PDF

Note: The project “summary” is that of the administrative supplement, not the parent grant.  All other information requested on Form Page 2 should be provided.

4) A brief proposal describing the project, including:

a) Scope of the overall project and the anticipated contribution of the requested supplement (not to exceed five pages). Summarize the activities that were included in the parent grant that encompass those proposed in the supplemental request.  This section should include a description of the supplement's purpose, including research design/proposed scientific activities and methods and data analysis.  Describe the relationship of the supplement request to the parent grant. 

b) The research project plan should discuss how the supplement will accelerate the tempo of scientific research and/or allow for job creation and retention.  In order to ensure that all expenditures in support of an administrative supplement advance the objectives of the Recovery Act, all applications must address Recovery Act justifications, including how the supplement is expected to stimulate the economy by:

            1) Enabling hiring of additional staff;
            2) Enabling increased hours of current part-time staff;
            3) Procuring additional needed equipment (costing under $100,000); and/or
            4) Recruiting for additional needed skills.       

c) Budget for the supplement with a justification that details the items requested, including Facilities and Administrative costs and a justification for all personnel and their role(s) in this project.  Note the budget should be appropriate for the work proposed in the supplement request. Applicants are encouraged to discuss budgets with their NIH Program Officer. To meet the various transparency, accountability, and reporting requirements of Recovery Act, all applications under this notice must include detailed budgets on the PHS 398 Form Pages 4 (MS Word PDF) and 5 (MS Word PDF).  Modular budget pages will not be accepted even when the parent grant was funded as a modular grant. See Budget and Funding Information below for additional information.  

d) Biographical Sketch for all new Senior/Key Personnel. There is no need to repeat information previously provided for other Senior/Key Personnel. MS Word PDF

e) Human Subjects/Vertebrate Animal documentation (if applicable). Include a current Human Subjects/IRB or Vertebrate Animals/IACUC approval letter, if applicable.  Otherwise, this letter will be required at time of funding.  All appropriate IRB and IACUC approvals must be in place prior to a supplement award being made.  

No significant changes in the approved use of human subjects or vertebrate animals will be considered for administrative supplements.  Instead, applicants proposing significant changes to the approved use of human subjects or vertebrate animals should consider applying for a competitive revision as described in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-09-058.

f) PHS 398 Checklist Form MS Word  PDF

Selection Factors

Administrative supplement requests will be reviewed administratively by NIH Program and Grants Management staff with expertise relevant to the supplement request.  Awards will be determined on the basis of the merit of the supplement request, its applicability to the goals of the Recovery Act, and the availability of funds. Awards will be determined by each IC according to the priorities listed on their Recovery Act supplements websites. Applicants will be notified regarding the review outcome.

Selection factors will include the following:

While geographic variation will be considered in awarding Recovery Act funding, a proposal’s scientific merit will always be the prevailing criterion.

Budget and Funding Information

Funding for administrative supplements to existing grants will be available from Recovery Act funds in FY2009 and FY2010.  Due to the limited nature of Recovery Act funds, applicants requesting multiple year funding in FY2009 may only request funding for FY 2009 and FY 2010, and it is anticipated that supplement funding will be awarded within a short period after receipt of the supplement request.  Requests selected for funding in FY2010 will be limited to one year for the budget and project period.

For supplements to Research Grants there is no maximum dollar limit on what may be requested in the budget; however, the requested budget must be in line with the work being proposed.  Please note that in general NIH expects to award supplements of not more than 50 percent of the amount of the parent grant. 

For supplements to Research Career Development Awards, requests will generally be limited to $50,000 for Research Development Support costs (individual IC policies may vary, see  for more information).  Requests for an additional year of support for Career Development Awards (K99 and K22) may also be submitted.

For supplements to Institutional Training awards, requests for support for additional trainees within the current Council-approved level will be considered.

In addition, domestic U.S. institutions planning to submit supplement requests that include foreign components should be aware that requested funding for any foreign components should not exceed 10% of the total requested direct costs or $25,000 per year (per subcontract/subaward or in aggregate for multiple subcontracts/subawards), whichever is less.

How to Apply

To be considered for an administrative supplement, submit a request in writing to the Institute/Center, not to the Division of Receipt and Referral, NIH Center for Scientific Review.  Applications must be signed by the authorized institutional official and submitted to the appropriate IC Grants Management Specialist (referenced in the “Inquiries” section below). Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications electronically as an e-mail attachment in PDF format; however the signature of the institutional official must be clearly visible.  Applicants may also submit applications in paper format to the appropriate IC Grants Management contact.

Submit one original, hard copy of the request packet (with original signatures of the authorized business official) to the addresses listed on the Web site of the funding IC:

Applications may be submitted throughout FY2009 and FY2010.  However, note that some NIH ICs may have specific deadlines for submission of administrative supplements as listed on their own Web sites:

Terms of Award

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the grantee organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official.

The terms of the NoA will reference the requirements of the Recovery Act.

In addition to the standard NIH terms of award, all funding provided under the Recovery Act will be subject to the HHS Standard Terms and Conditions for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act or ARRA).  The full text of these terms approved for NIH awards can be found in the following document: Standard Terms and Conditions for ARRA Awards.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

Administrative and National Policy Requirements

A Program Official from one or more of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers will be assigned to each funded application and will assume responsibility for normal stewardship of the awards.

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities.

In addition, recipients of Recovery Act funds are reminded that such funds must be separately tracked and monitored independently of any non-Recovery Act funding.


Awarded administrative supplements that include a commitment for funding in FY2010 will be required to submit a separate Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) and financial statement as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. This will be in addition to any annual progress report required for the parent grant.  The funded Recovery Act administrative supplement will also require separate closeout reports.

In addition, grantees must comply with the requirements set forth in the Recovery Act, including, but not limited to, the quarterly reporting requirements of Section 1512 of the Recovery Act as specified in HHS Standard Terms and Conditions for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  The full text of these terms approved for NIH awards can be found at the following document: Standard Terms and Conditions for AARA Awards.

Recovery Act-related reporting requirements will be incorporated as a special term of award.


Inquiries and discussion of plans for responding to this Notice are strongly encouraged.

For scientific or technical questions relating to research that would be supported by this solicitation, contact the Program Administrator assigned to the parent grant.  For administrative questions related to this solicitation, contact the Grants Management Specialist noted on the Notice of Award for the parent grant.

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