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Frequently Asked Questions
Continuous Submission
Initial Posting: May 31, 2016
Last Revised: May 31, 2016


  A. FAQs on Continuous Submission

  1. Which applications qualify for the Continuous Submission program?

    Continuous Submission only applies to R01, R21, and R34 applications; applications using other mechanisms (e.g. R03, or R15) are NOT eligible for Continuous Submission. The application must be submitted under an FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement) that uses Standard Due Dates. Since RFA FOAs do not use Standard Due Dates, applications in response to an RFA are not eligible for Continuous Submission. At least one of the PD/PIs on the application must be eligible for Continuous Submission at the time of submission.

  2. Who is eligible for Continuous Submission?

    Appointed members of standing NIH study sections, NIH Boards of Scientific Counselors, NIH Advisory Boards or Councils, or NIH Program Advisory Committees are all eligible for Continuous Submission. Reviewers who have served on at least 6 qualifying NIH study sections during an 18-month period starting January 1 of one year and ending June 30 of the following year are also eligible for Continuous Submission under the Recent Substantial Service option.

  3. What is the definition of an appointed member of a study section?

    Appointed regular members of standing study sections generally have made a four- or six-year commitment to participate in three or two meetings a year. They are nominated by the Scientific Review Officer of the study section and appointed by the Director, NIH, or the Director, NCI (for NCI Study Sections). Appointed regular members are automatically eligible for Continuous Submission through the term of their appointment. To check on your eligibility status as a regular member, contact your Scientific Review Officer or check the list posted at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/continuous_submission.htm

  4. What is the definition of an appointed member of an NIH Board of Scientific Counselors, NIH Advisory Board or Council, or NIH Program Advisory Committee?

    Appointed regular members of these standing NIH committees generally have a four-year commitment involving two or three meetings a year. They are nominated by the Executive Secretary of the committee and appointed by the Director, NIH, the Director, NCI, or the Secretary, DHHS. Appointed regular members are automatically eligible for Continuous Submission through the term of their appointment. To check on your eligibility status as a regular member, contact your Executive Secretary or check the list posted at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/continuous_submission.htm.

  5. What is the definition of a temporary or ad hoc member of a study section?

    Temporary or ad hoc members of study sections have made a commitment to serve in one meeting of either a permanent study section or a Special Emphasis Panel. Temporary or ad hoc members are not appointed by the Director, NIH. Temporary or ad hoc members of a study section, NIH Board of Scientific Counselors, NIH Advisory Board or Council, or NIH Program Advisory Committee are NOT automatically eligible for Continuous Submission.

  6. What is the definition of Recent Substantial Service for Continuous Submission eligibility?

    Recent substantial service is defined as service as an appointed, temporary, or ad hoc reviewer on a qualifying NIH study section on at least six different dates in a specific 18 month period that starts January 1 of one year and ends June 30 of the following year.  Eligibility is calculated in July of the second year, and qualifying reviewers become eligible starting August 1st of that year through September 30th of the following year.  For example, reviewers who reviewed in six different NIH study section meetings between 1/1/2015 – 6/30/2016 are eligible for continuous submission between 8/16/2016 – 9/30/2017. The table below shows the present and upcoming 18-month windows.

    Fiscal Year

    18-Month window for qualifying meetings

    Term of Eligibility

    2017

    1/1/2015 – 6/30/2016

    8/1/2016 – 9/30/2017

    2018

    1/1/2016 – 6/30/2017

    8/1/2017 – 9/30/2018

    2019

    1/1/2017 – 6/30/2018

    8/1/2018 – 9/30/2019

    2020

    1/1/2018 – 6/30/2019

    8/1/2019 – 9/30/2020

  7. Which NIH “review” meetings count and which don’t count toward Recent Substantial Service?

    Not all “review” meetings count toward recent substantial service.  The vast majority of NIH study section meetings that review grants and/or contracts will qualify.  However, the following do not count towards eligibility based on the Recent Substantial Service option:

    a)    Workgroups that do not generate final scores on applications. 

    b)    Loan Repayment Program evaluation meetings. 

    c)    Meetings that are not documented through the NIH Committee Management system. 

    d)    Temporary or ad hoc service on an NIH Board of Scientific Counselors.

    e)    Temporary or ad hoc service on an NIH Advisory Board or Council.

    f)    Temporary or ad hoc service on an NIH Program Advisory Committee.

    g)    Review for other agencies or foundations.

    h)    There are a number of other NIH committees, such as DSMBs, that not Peer Review study section meetings, do not generate final scores on applications and therefore do not count.

    If you have a question about whether a specific review meeting qualifies, please contact your Scientific Review Officer, or email the CSR Continuous Submission Committee at: CSR.cont.sub.comm@csr.nih.gov.

  8. Do the different formats of NIH peer review meetings, including mail review, telephone review, Internet Assisted Meeting, Video Assisted Meeting, and face-to-face meetings, all count toward Recent Substantial Service?

    Yes, temporary service as an attending reviewer, telephone reviewer, Internet Assisted Meeting reviewer, Video Assisted Meeting reviewer, or mail reviewer on an NIH study section counts toward Recent Substantial Service.   

  9. Will I get credit for two meetings on the same day?

    In general, no - Multiple meetings that occur on the same day are generally related meetings with considerable overlap in reviewers and NIH review staff; these distinct meetings are set up as separate meetings to deal with specific conflict issues, or to allow the review of different funding mechanisms in separate meetings. However, if a reviewer participates in two unrelated meetings on the same day, credit may be given for both meetings.  For all reviews, including mail review, the effective date of service is the actual meeting date, not the date the critiques were submitted. If you have a question about whether two review meetings on the same date qualify, please contact the CSR Continuous Submission Committee at: CSR.cont.sub.comm@csr.nih.gov.

  10. How can I check my continuous submission eligibility status?

    You can check your continuous submission eligibility through your Commons account by following these instructions.

  11. How can I correct my review service record?

    Reviewers eligible for continuous submission based on Recent Substantial Service and appointed members are listed at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/continuous_submission.htm.  Details of the qualifying meetings are available through your Commons account (see these instructions). Individuals who are not on that list and who believe that they are eligible should contact the CSR Continuous Submission Committee at CSR.cont.sub.comm@csr.nih.gov.

  12. If I am eligible, how do I request that my application be accepted for continuous submission?

    In order to assist NIH in identifying these applications, a cover letter is required. Please clearly identify the study section, Council, Board, or other Advisory Group on which you serve and the period of your service, or clearly state that you are eligible for continuous submission based on Recent Substantial Service.

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  13. Does this opportunity apply to new applications only?

    No, Continuous Submission applies to new applications, resubmissions (A1), competing renewals (type 2), and revisions (type 3) for R01, R21, and R34 activity codes submitted in response to an FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement) that uses Standard Due Dates

  14. How are applications with multiple Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) handled?

    If an application has Multiple PD/PIs, and any of the PD/PIs is eligible for continuous submission, the application is eligible for continuous submission. Note: having a co-investigator or collaborator who is eligible for continuous submission does not make the application eligible for continuous submission; the eligible reviewer must be in a PD/PI position on the application.

  15. For R01, R21, and R34 collaborative applications (independent but related applications): are all of the applications required to have at least one continuous submission-eligible PD/PI to use continuous submission?

    Yes - each of the related applications must have at least one PD/PI who is eligible for continuous submission and all applications must be submitted at the same time in order for the applications to be eligible for continuous submission. If any of the related applications does not have a PD/PI who is eligible, then all the applications should be submitted for the due date for that FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement). 

  16. What about R01, R21, and R34 applications for Institute/Center review?

    This is an NIH-wide effort. Whether your application is in an area normally reviewed by a CSR study section or by an IC study section, your application can be submitted under the continuous submission policy if you are eligible.

  17. What is the last date I can submit and be considered for this continuous submission process?

    Your eligibility period is clearly indicated in your Commons Account information and on the list of eligible reviewers at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/continuous_submission.htm.

    If your eligibility results from an appointment to an NIH Study Section or other NIH Advisory Group, your continuous submission eligibility is extended by six weeks from the date your term expires; your application must be successfully submitted by that end date to be accepted as a continuous submission application.

    If your eligibility results from recent substantial service (having served as an NIH reviewer six times in the specified 18 month time period), you must successfully submit your application by September 30 of the following year.

    For example, if your appointment as a regular member of a study section ends on June 30, 2016, you must successfully submit your application by August 16, 2016, to be considered eligible for Continuous Submission.  Any applications submitted after August 16, 2016 must be submitted for the Standard Due Dates.

  18. What is the last date I can submit my continuous submission application and have it reviewed in a standing study section?

    According to the current NIH policy (NOT-OD-14-028), continuous submission-eligible applications may be reviewed in a standing study section if submitted:

    • by the standard due date or
    • within the window of consideration as a late application (see NOT-OD-15-039). 

    However, in either of those cases, no additional special consideration is afforded as a continuous submission application. Furthermore, any continuous submission-eligible application received more than two weeks late will most likely be assigned to a Special Emphasis Panel.

    Continuous submission-eligible PD/PIs who want to submit applications that are not eligible for Continuous Submission (NOT standard due date, or NOT, R01, R21, or R34) must submit within the two week late window of consideration per the late policy (NOT-OD-15-039).

  19. When will my Continuous Submission application be reviewed?

    If you have submitted your application more than two weeks after the due date, your application will likely be reviewed in a Special Emphasis Panel. According to current NIH Policy (see: NOT-OD-14-028), Continuous Submission applications will be assigned to an Advisory Council/Board round according to the following table:

    Application Receipt Period

    Assigned Council Round

    Non-AIDS applications

    AIDS applications

    May

    August 17 - December 16

    October 8 - February 7

    October

    December 17 - April 16

    February 8 - June 7 

    January

    April 17 - August 16

    June 8 - October 7 

    As an example, applications submitted for the October/November due dates go to the May Council Round. A continuous submission application successfully submitted by December 16 will also be reviewed in time for the May Council; applications submitted after December 16 will be assigned to the October Council Round. A continuous submission AIDS-related application successfully submitted by February 7 would also go to the May Council round.

  20. How can I extend my Continuous Submission eligibility?

    The most common mechanism for extending Continuous Submission eligibility is through the Recent Substantial Service policy. Taking the example of an appointed member of a standing study section who is set to retire on 6/30/2016, with continuous submission eligibility ending on 8/16/2016: If that reviewer has participated in all of the meetings for that study section for the past 18 months, the reviewer will have 5 qualifying meetings between 1/1/2015 - 6/30/2016. Serving as a temporary or ad hoc reviewer on one additional meeting in that 18-month window would satisfy the Recent Substantial Service requirement of at least 6 meetings, and that reviewer’s Continuous Submission eligibility would then be extended to 9/30/2017.

  21. I’m eligible for Continuous Submission. Am I also eligible for the two-week late window of consideration for submitting after the deadline?

    Yes. If you are eligible for Continuous Submission, you are also eligible for the two-week Late Window of Consideration even if you haven’t reviewed within two months of the due date (See NOT-OD-15-039 for more information about the Late Window of Consideration). You must include a cover letter stating that, while your application is late, you qualify for Continuous Submission and are requesting that your application still be accepted. For this, your application must be successfully submitted within two weeks of the Due Date. Note: the Late Window of Consideration applies to all FOAs (Funding Opportunity Announcements), unless the FOA specifically states that late applications will not be accepted.

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This page last updated on May 31, 2016 
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