Announcing New Business Processes and Confirming the Transition of Individual National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship ( F ) Applications to Electronic Submission

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-106

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

  • August 27, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-09-144 Two Critical Issues for Recent Submissions of Applications.

Key Dates
Release Date: June 12, 2009

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

Effective with the August 8, 2009 submission date, all grant applications for the Individual National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowships (F-series) will require electronic submission through to eRA Commons. Paper applications will not be accepted for submissions on or after the August 8 transition. Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for F-series programs have been updated and will also be announced in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. For a complete listing of Fellowship FOAs, see the F-Kiosk:
Several new business processes are being implemented concurrent with the transition to electronic submission:

1. Reference Letters: The electronic submission of reference letters is separate from the electronic submission of applications.Reference letters are submitted directly through the eRA Commons and do not use Therefore, fellowship applicants must follow the Reference Letter Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Individual Fellowship Application Guide for specific directions (Part 1, Section 5.4). Letters of reference are an important component of the application for fellowship support. Applicants must arrange to have at least three (but no more than five) letters of reference submitted on their behalf to the eRA Commons Web site at:

2. Resubmissions: Applicants may submit a resubmission application, but such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous peer review critique (Summary Statement). See new NIH policy on resubmission (amended) applications (NOT-OD-09-003, NOT-OD-09-016). Please note that when resubmitting an application electronically via, applicants must also resubmit their letters of reference through the eRA Commons as described above.

3. Review Criteria: Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score, and will consider each of the five criteria below in determining scientific and technical merit and will give a separate score for each:

  • Fellowship Applicant
  • Sponsor(s), Collaborator(s), and Consultant(s)
  • Research Training Plan
  • Training Potential
  • Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training


Questions concerning this notice should be directed to:

Office of Extramural Programs
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Phone: 301-451-4225