Notice of Information: Modifications to the NIDCR Special Council Review Procedures
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Related Announcements

  • February 17, 2022 - Notice of Change to NIH’s Policy on Special Council Review of Research Applications.  See Notice NOT-OD-22-049.
  • August 20, 2012 - Notice of NIH Special Council Review of Research Applications from PDs/PIs with More than $1.0 Million Direct Costs in Annual NIH Support.  See Notice NOT-OD-12-140.

Issued by

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)


This Notice announces guidance from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) on procedures for conducting Special Council Review (SCR).  Special Council Review (SCR) pertains to well-funded Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) [PD(s)/PI(s)] submitting applications to NIDCR. The new procedure requires that additional consideration be applied to applications requiring special review by the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council (NADCRC).


In September 2012, NIH implemented the SCR policy (NOT-OD-12-140) to help manage resources, and required Advisory Councils to provide additional review of new and renewal applications from investigators already receiving $1 million or more in direct costs for NIH Research Project Grant (RPG) funding. The 2012 NIH policy allows for the development of institute-specific variation of the SCR policy in consultation with individual Councils. In February 2022, NIH updated the SCR policy (NOT-OD-22-049) to align with updated Other Support disclosure requirements and to increase the threshold from $1 million in direct costs per year to $2 million in total costs (inclusive of direct and indirect costs) per year.

In consultation with the NADCRC at its January 2024 meeting, NIDCR is modifying its SCR procedure with the goal of managing resources more effectively, allowing the Institute to fund a larger and more diverse group of investigators by reducing the concentration of funding, while simultaneously continuing to support unique opportunities for highly promising work.

Updated NIDCR Procedures

For applications under review at the May 2024 meeting of the NADCRC and beyond, NIDCR will implement additional considerations when reviewing applications from very well-funded investigators. NIDCR will define very well-funded investigators as investigators already receiving $2 million or more in total costs of NIH  support that includes awards that are active at least six months after the NADCRC Council meeting date, and the pending application with primary assignment to NIDCR that is subject to SCR. For the purposes of this policy, only research support for which the investigator is the PD/PI or Multi-PD/PI will be considered.  Multi-PD/PI projects will now be subject to the policy if any of the PDs/PIs meets or exceeds the funding threshold described above.  Awarded supplements to promote diversity will not contribute to the threshold.  There are no other modifications to the types of support that contribute to the threshold.

Applications with primary assignment to NIDCR from well-funded PD(s)/PI(s) (as defined above) flagged for SCR will be reviewed on an individual basis.  Factors that may contribute to a funding recommendation include whether the application represents a rare or unprecedented effort to address one or more NIDCR priorities as described in the NIDCR Strategic Plan.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Lynn King, Ph.D.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research