NHGRI implementation of NIH Policy on Acceptance for Review of Applications Requesting $500,000 or More in Direct Costs in a Single Year
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

August 31, 2022

Related Announcements


Issued by

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)



This Notice describes NHGRI’s implementation of the NIH policy on the acceptance for review of unsolicited applications that request $500,000 or more in direct costs in a single year.


According to the NIH policy, applicants must seek agreement to accept assignment from Institute/Center staff at least 6 weeks prior to the anticipated submission of any application requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year. This policy applies to all investigator-initiated new, renewal (competing continuation), resubmission (amended), or revision (competing supplement) applications. Consortium F&A costs do not count against the direct cost limit.

Prospective applicants should always refer to Section IV (Application and Submission Information) of the individual Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to which they are responding for detailed information about applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any project year. FOAs that do not have budgetary limits will contain language instructing applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any one year to contact Institute staff to seek agreement to accept assignment of the application.

The NIH policy does not apply to:

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications (R43 or R44).
  • Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant applications (R41 or R42).
  • Applications submitted in response to Requests for Applications (RFAs) or in response to other Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) that include specific budgetary limits. In these cases, applicants should follow the instructions given in the RFA or FOA.

This Notice describes the process applicants should follow to seek agreement from NHGRI to accept assignment for any application requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year.


To ensure adequate time for review and consideration of requests, NHGRI strongly encourages the request be sent to a NHGRI Program Director (https://www.genome.gov/research-funding/Division-and-Program-Directors) at least eight weeks prior to the anticipated submission date.

The e-mail requesting approval should include:

  • Name of PI/PD or Multiple PIs/PDs, as applicable
  • Title of Project
  • Name of InstitutionAnticipated submission date
  • Funding Opportunity Announcement Number
  • One to two pages about the proposed project, including:
    • Goals and specific aims
    • Summary of the project’s significance, innovation, and generalizability
    • Summary of the approaches to be used
    • Estimated direct and total costs for each year being requested.
    • For renewal applications, budgets of no more than 10% above the previously awarded budget (or a yearly average if the final year was awarded at significantly lower cost) are expected.
    • Other support pages for the PI (or Multiple PIs, as applicable)

Notification of NHGRI Decision

NHGRI aims to notify the applicant in writing about its decision to accept or reject an application for peer review within 10-20 business days of receipt of the letter of request. However, failure to supply adequate information will delay the processing of requests.

If your request is approved, the document acknowledging that NHGRI will accept this application should be submitted in a cover letter along with the application.

Applicants are forewarned that by accepting a request to submit an application requesting $500K or more in direct costs in any one budget year, the NHGRI does not guarantee that funds will be available for an award or that it will fund the application at the requested levels, regardless of the outcome of peer review.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Bettie J. Graham, Ph.D
National Human Genome Research Institute
Telephone: 301-496-7531
Email: bettie_graham@nih.gov