Change in the NIH Continuous Submission Policy for Reviewers with Recent Substantial Service

Notice Number: NOT-OD-11-093

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

(For initial and previous notices see, NOT-OD-08-026, NOT-OD-09-114, NOT-OD-09-155, NOT-OD-10-090 and NOT-OD-11-035)

Key Dates
Release Date: July 8, 2011
Start Date: July 8, 2011

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


To recognize outstanding review and advisory service by members of the scientific community, and to minimize disincentives to such service, the National Institutes of Health provide an alternate plan for submission and review of research grant applications from appointed members of NIH review and advisory groups, and temporary members of NIH review groups with substantial, recent review service.  The alternative submission and review process is limited to NIH R01, R21, and R34 applications (including those that are AIDS-related) that would normally be received on standard submission dates ( Continuous submission is NOT available for applications submitted for special dates (RFAs, some PARs) or other activity codes.

This Notice announces the lengthening of the window of time during which peer reviewers who have served six times in 18 months (recent substantial service) can submit their applications under the NIH continuous submission policy: August 16th following the 18-month service window to September 30th of the next year.



The continuous submission process includes two groups:

Appointed members are those who are approved for service on the above groups by the Director of NIH or by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, typically for a four- or six-year term. Appointed regular members of NIH Advisory Groups may participate in the continuous submission option during their appointment and up to one and a half months after the date of retirement from regular service on the group. Thus, if retirement from the chartered Advisory Group occurs June 30, continuous submission is permissible until August 16 of that year. There is no change in the continuous submission policy for this group. 

Eligibility for peer reviewers with substantial, recent review service currently is being determined using service during   two time periods:

During the initial implementation of the continuous submission policy, individuals identified as having substantial, recent review service were able to participate in the continuous submission option from October 1 to September 30 of the following year.  With this Notice, this window will be adjusted to begin on August 16th and end on September 30th of the following year.

Period of Service                                            Time of Eligibility
January 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011                    August 16, 2011 through September 30, 2012.
January 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012                    August 16, 2012 through September 30, 2013. 

The list of individuals who are eligible to submit their applications under the continuous submission policy, either as an appointed member of an NIH Advisory Group or as a reviewer with substantial, recent service, is available on the NIH Peer Review Policy and Practices webpage:

Multi-principal investigator applications are eligible if one or more of the Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PI) are eligible for continuous submission.

Processing and Review Schedule

Applications submitted under the continuous submission option must include a cover letter that states the eligibility of a PD/PI for continuous submission.  This cover letter may also include a request for an institute/center assignment.  These applications will be reviewed no later than 120 days after receipt. Applications will be initially assigned to the most appropriate Council meeting following review. Applications may be moved to an earlier Council if timing permits.

Continuous submission does not apply in the following situations:


Frequently Asked Questions and answers have been prepared (see ).  Any remaining issues/appeals may be directed to a NIH Continuous Submission Committee by emailing

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