NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications

Notice Number: NOT-OD-08-027 - (See Notice NOT-OD-08-111 This notice points out a change in text.)
(See Companion Notice NOT-OD-08-026)

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Key Dates
Release Date: January 4, 2008

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (


This notice is a companion to NOTICE OD-08-026 that announces a new plan for continuous submission of certain types of applications from appointed members of NIH Study Sections.  This notice consolidates information from previous notices (OD-07-026 and OD-06-086) into one document.

On Time Submission

NIH expects that grant applications will be submitted on time. Standard dates are listed at:

Late Applications

The long standing NIH policy on late applications is stated in the application instructions (SF 424 R&R, PHS 398, PHS 416).  

As noted in the schedule above, NIH utilizes a variety of submission dates for different grant mechanisms.  NIH will consider accepting late applications based on the acceptability of the explanation and the processing time required for two different kinds of submission/receipt dates. 

The windows of time for consideration of late applications have been carefully chosen so that the late applications can be processed with the cohort of on-time applications. In all cases, when the regular standard submission date or expedited submission date falls on a weekend or federal holiday and is extended to the next business day, the window of consideration for late applications will be calculated from that business day.  Note that the late window always ends in a receipt (not submission) date for both paper and electronic applications.    

Reasons for a Late Submission

NIH will consider all late applications received within the window of time specified above but will not automatically accept all of them. The reasons for the delay will be carefully considered by the Division of Receipt and Referral at the Center for Scientific Review and a decision made.  In unusual cases the reasons provided will be considered by senior staff of CSR; Institutes/Centers will be consulted for applications that are their review responsibility.  Applications submitted within the window with reasons that are not found to be acceptable will be not be assigned for review and funding consideration.

Late applications have been accepted for reasons such as: death of an immediate family member of the Principal Investigator, sudden acute severe illness of the Principal Investigator or immediate family member, temporary or ad hoc service on a NIH extramural peer review group, service on a NIH Board of Scientific Counselors or Advisory Board/Council, or large scale natural disasters.   For multiple PD/PI applications (OD-07-017) this would apply to any of the PD/PIs involved.  The late application policy applies to submissions other than R01, R21, and R34 by appointed members of CSR and other NIH Study Sections as PD/PI(s).  However, explanations are not additive – an application involving multiple PD/PIs with problems or multiple issues for a single PD/PI is still expected to be received within the appropriate window.  

Examples of reasons that have not led to the acceptance of a late application are: heavy teaching or administrative responsibilities, relocation of laboratory, ongoing or non-severe health problems, personal events, or review service for participants other than a PD/PI, participation in review activities for other Federal agencies or private organizations, attendance at scientific meetings, or having a very busy schedule.

It is important to emphasize that these various examples are just that, examples. No NIH staff member whether in the Center for Scientific Review or any of the other Institutes/Centers has the authority to give permission in advance for a late application. Contacting the Division of Receipt and Referral or any other component of the NIH will not lead to either permission to submit late or an evaluation of the acceptability of the reasons for a delay.


Inquiries may be addressed to

Division of Receipt and Referral
Center for Scientific Review
6701 Rockledge Drive MSC 7720
Bethesda, MD  20892-7720
Voice:  (301) 435-0715
Fax:  (301) 480-1987

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
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Bethesda, Maryland 20892
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