RELEASE DATE:  January 16, 2003

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-03-019

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE:  The majority of grant applications submitted 
to NIH each year are investigator-initiated.  However, the Institutes 
and Centers of NIH also solicit grant applications on specific topics 
through the use of Requests for Applications (RFAs).  With this notice 
the NIH is changing its practice regarding resubmissions of three 
categories of grant applications.  Those categories include:   

1.  Applications that were originally submitted in response to an RFA 
and then resubmitted as an investigator-initiated application.

2.  Applications that were originally submitted as investigator-
initiated applications and subsequently resubmitted in response 
to an RFA.  

3.  Applications that were originally submitted using one grant 
mechanism and subsequently resubmitted using a different grant 
mechanism (for example, an application that was originally an R01 
and then is resubmitted as an R21). 

Since an RFA often has special considerations of eligibility, 
scientific scope, and review criteria, it is felt that most unfunded 
applications should be resubmitted as NEW applications.  Similarly, a 
change of grant mechanism (from an R01 to an R21 or from an R03 to R01, 
for example) usually involves a change of eligibility criteria, 
application characteristics, dollar limits, time limits, or review 
criteria.  This also suggests that consideration as a new application 
is the most appropriate course.  Because the application will be new, 
it will be easier to conform to the new application requirements, which 
should advantage the applicant in the review process.  Additionally, 
submission of a new application will allow the applicant to fully 
benefit from the NIH policy that allows an applicant to submit two 
revisions within two years (see   

NEW APPLICATIONS:  The new application must be submitted on the 
scheduled due dates for new applications (see  It must 
not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements 
made; and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes.  While 
the investigator may still benefit from the previous review, the 
application is not to not state explicitly how.  The reviewers will not 
be provided with the previous summary statement.  The investigator will 
be allowed to submit the new application and up to two revised versions 
of this application, should that be necessary.  

POLICY:  This general policy on application resubmission, stated below, 
applies to all grant mechanisms that might be solicited via an RFA and 
to instances where there is a change in mechanism.  There may, however, 
be exceptions to this policy, which will be clearly identified in the 
original RFA or in a follow-up RFA.  

1.  When an application that was submitted in response to an RFA is 
not funded and the investigator wishes to resubmit an application 
on this topic as an investigator-initiated application, it is to 
be submitted as a NEW application, unless provisions for 
submission of a revised application are clearly delineated in the 
RFA.  In addition, if a subsequent RFA specifically solicits 
revisions of unfunded applications from a previous RFA, the 
instructions in the second RFA should be followed.  In all other 
cases, applications submitted in response to an RFA and then 
resubmitted as an investigator-initiated application must be 
submitted as a NEW application.

2.  When a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as 
an investigator-initiated application is to be submitted in 
response to an RFA, it is to be prepared as a NEW application.  

3.  When an unfunded application that was reviewed for a particular 
research grant mechanism (for example, R01) is to be submitted 
for a different grant mechanism (for example, R03), it is to be 
prepared as a NEW application.  

This change in policy is effective for applications submitted on or 
after May 10, 2003 so it includes all applications going to January 
2004 councils.  

For further information please contact:

1) GrantsInfo
Office of Extramural Research
301- 480-0525 (fax)

2) Division of Receipt and Referral
Center for Scientific Review
301-480-1987 (fax)
6701 Rockledge Drive
Room 2030, MSC 7720
Bethesda, MD  20892-7720 (20817 for courier delivery)

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