Notice of Special Interest: Administrative Supplements for COVID-19 Impacted NIMH Research
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

December 23, 2020

First Available Due Date:
January 05, 2021
Expiration Date:
June 02, 2023

Related Announcements

PA-20-272 -  Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

Issued by

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)



The purpose of this Notice is to outline priorities for providing supplemental funding to investigators and institutions with active National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) awards that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the U.S. and other countries worldwide, resulting in psychological, socioeconomic, and health impacts. COVID-19 mitigation efforts have also impacted research and training efforts immeasurably. The NIMH recognizes that investigators have experienced significant research project delays and interruptions, which has limited the ability to progress in training programs or research studies.

The focus of this NOSI is to inform the research community that the NIMH is supporting administrative supplements (in scope of parent award) to cover unanticipated costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or related mitigation efforts that could not be covered by rebudgeting existing funds. Unfortunately, available resources for such supplements are significantly limited in FY2021, and the NIMH acknowledges that we will not be able to fund all requests. To stretch these resources, the NIMH asks that non-monetary solutions be considered and exhausted before requesting additional funds and that investigators apply only in cases of significant need. In addition, to distribute the costs of these supplements over the next few years, the NIMH encourages the submission of administrative supplements only in the last year of award, although special consideration may be given in unusual circumstances. Supplement applications for funding consideration during the first year of the parent award (new and competing renewals) will not be considered responsive to this NOSI. Finally, it is likely that NIMH will need to prioritize requests and will do so based on the program priorities listed below. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Program Officer of the parent award before submitting a supplement application.

This NOSI is not intended to support COVID-related research. Applicants requesting support for COVID-related research should submit a supplement in response to NOT-MH-20-047 “Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) regarding the Availability of Administrative Supplements and Urgent Competitive Revisions for Mental Health Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus”.

Program Priorities

In concert with the NIH priorities, the NIMH aims to prioritize supplement requests in the following order:

  • Trainees with F32, K01, K08, and K23 awards that are in the last year of the award
  • Projects where the entire investment is at-risk including
    • Human subjects studies in which completion of enrollment and follow-up are critical for project success
    • Longitudinal cohort studies
  • Principal investigators whose grants are ending with no additional funding
  • Projects where substantial components of the investment are at risk
  • Resources that support multiple projects/institutions

Other requests may be considered but will be regarded as a lower priority. Investigators planning to submit supplement applications are strongly encouraged to discuss the proposed project with the relevant NIMH scientific/programmatic contacts before applying to determine eligibility and alignment with the NIMH priorities listed above.

PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional) is intended to provide funds for NIH grantees where the work proposed in the supplement is fully within the scope of the ongoing grant.

Application and Submission Information

This notice applies to due dates on or after January 5, 2021 with rolling receipt through June 1, 2023. 

Submit applications for this initiative using the following funding opportunity announcement (FOA) or any reissue of this announcement through the expiration date of this notice.

  • PA-20-272 Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:

  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-MH-21-120" (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative
  • The Research Strategy section of the application is limited to 6 pages
  • The supplement application should address (where relevant):
    • Status of vertebrate animal research – availability of research organisms, description of housing facility, status of that facility, timeline for facility re-opening (if applicable), status of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval of facility and research protocol
    • Status of human subjects research – availability of subject population, feasibility of achieving recruitment goals, status of IRB approval of the project, and changes implemented to address the impact of COVID-19 on human subject protection plans
    • Personnel – list of key personnel on project, justification for changes in key personnel from previous grant period, status/availability of key personnel
    • Research progress – progress on the originally approved research
    • Resources and Environment – list any changes from the original application and discuss the impact on proposed research
    • Milestones – include specific milestones that could be used for judging progress in the extended project period
    • A current estimate of the unobligated balance for the project
  • For trainee mechanisms requests, the application should also address:
    • Evidence that time away from the lab due to COVID mitigation efforts has significantly impacted progress as described in the approved aims of the awarded project
    • The feasibility of the proposed research, training and career development given the current/foreseeable limitations on research/training activities
    • The institutional commitment to support the continuity of the individual’s research and training
  • Budget
    • Supplement budget requests should reflect the actual needs to complete the awarded project
    • Trainee mechanism budgets are limited to the time and effort the awardee is devoting to completing the aims of their NIMH-funded project. The period of support for the supplement may be up to 5 months or for the duration of time that awardee was prevented from working on the aims of their project, whichever is shorter. Compensation must be in accordance with organizational policies applied to both federally and non-federally supported activities and must be supported by acceptable accounting records that reflect the employer-employee relationship. The request should also be in accordance with NIMH salary limitations for the mechanism.
  • Applications for supplements must be submitted and received before the original project end date or have entered into a no-cost extension due to effects of COVID. NIMH recommends applicants submit as early as possible during the last year of the grant
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through June 1, 2023 5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization for consideration within that funding year. Applications received after June 1 will be considered for funding in the next fiscal year
  • For funding consideration, all applicants must designate “NOT-MH-21-120” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (Box 4b) of the SF424 (R&R) Form. Applications without this information in Box 4b will not be considered for this initiative

Evaluation Process

  • Administrative supplement applications will be evaluated by internal programmatic and administrative staff on the status of the research, progress toward the specific aims of the grant, demonstrated need for the supplement, and the program priorities listed above.
  • Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered high priority for the NOSI initiative.


Applicants should direct their inquiries to the program officer of the parent award.

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