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Administrative Supplements

An administrative supplement is a noncompeting award that provides additional funding to a currently funded grant to meet increased costs that are within the scope of the approved project, but that were unforeseen when the new or competing renewal application was awarded.

Requirements for Submitting Requests for Administrative Supplements

  • Submit a request for supplemental funding before the awarded grant expires.
  • Consult with the NIH grants management officer and program official assigned to your award before submitting a request for an administrative supplement.
  • Review the awarding institute and center's (IC) web site to determine any IC-specific submission deadlines or eligibility criteria before submitting an administrative supplement request.
  • Identify an appropriate funding opportunity announcement (FOA) by searching the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts. Using the advanced search feature, use the activity code field and select "Admin Supp". NIH offers:  
    • Administrative supplement FOAs for specific programs (such as the Research Supplements to Promote Diversity)
    • A parent administrative supplement FOA for requests that do not fall under a specific program.
    • Notices of Special Interest that identify an administrative supplement FOA for application submission (remember to check the Related Notices section of the administrative supplement FOAs.) 
  • Find the application package linked from the FOA.
  • Submit administrative supplement requests in one of three ways:  directly to the eRA Commons, through (ASSIST, system-to-system solution, Workspace), or on paper. Multi-project applications must be submitted on paper. (Note: per NOT-OD-18-111 NIH is requiring all applications for diversity supplements to be submitted electronically as of January 25, 2018.)

    Electronic requests submitted through the eRA Commons

    • Login to the eRA Commons
    • Identify the parent award for which you are submitting a supplement
    • The system will pre-populate as much of the request as possible from information from the initial award.  Applicants only need to provide information justifying the supplement.
    • Principal investigators or delegates can initiate the request in the Commons, a Signing Official must submit.

    Electronic requests submitted through using ASSIST, Workspace, or System-to-system Solution

    • Applicants choosing this method will need to complete all required fields in the application package and provide additional information justifying the supplemental dollars as described in the FOA.
    • You may not submit a cover letter attachment in applications for administrative supplements. Attempting to include a cover letter will generate an error message and block your application from successful submission.

    Paper-based applications

    • Send written requests for administrative supplement to the grants management official of the IC that awarded the original funded grant.
    • Describe the need for additional funding and include the categorical costs.
    • The authorized business official must sign the request.
    • The justification should state what ‘research activities’ will not be accomplished if the request is denied.
  • All page limitations applicable to the parent award as described in the Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.
  • Utilize the instructions from the funding opportunity for instructions on what to include in your supplement.

Admin supplements are available for almost all activity codes. See the parent FOA for Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements. Administrative supplements are generally not available for individual fellowship applications. 

This page last updated on March 2, 2016
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