Now Available: Restructured Application Forms and Instructions for Application Due Dates on or after January 25, 2010

Notice Number: NOT-OD-10-016

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

  • May 27, 2011 - See Notice NOT-OD-11-080 This Notice serves to remind investigators and institutions that the NIH has the authority to withdraw an application from review and funding consideration for egregious cases in which the Appendix or certain sections of the applications are used to circumvent page limits or include inappropriate material in the application.
  • October 1, 2010 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-140 This Notice announces the implementation of a new time limit between the submission of a New, Renewal, or Revision1 application and a Resubmission (A1 version) of that application to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • January 21, 2010 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-050 Clarification on the Extended Error Correction Window and Format of the Research Strategy Section for Restructured Applications Intended for Due Dates on or After January 25, 2010.
  • January 8, 2010 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-042 Error-Correction Window Extended for Electronic Applications Intended for Submission Deadlines On and Between January 25 and May 7, 2010.
  • December 17, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-031 Availability of Reissued Parent Announcements for Due Dates on or after January 25, 2010.

Key Dates
Release Date: November 23, 2009

Related Notices
  • October 26, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-008 Announcing the Transition of Institutional Training and Institutional Career Development Programs to Electronic Submission for due dates on/after January 25, 2010.
  • October 8, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-002 Clarification on Timing and Page Limits for Restructured Application Forms and Instructions that are required for Due Dates on or after January 25, 2010.
  • September 16, 2009 See Notice NOT-OD-09-149 Restructured Application Forms and Instructions for Submissions for FY2011 Funding.

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (


This notice announces the availability of new application instructions and forms for both paper-based PHS 398 applications ( and electronic SF 424 (R&R) applications ( The new application instructions and forms must be used for applications intended for due dates on or after January 25, 2010.

Summary of Changes
  • Changes to Implement the Enhancing Peer Review Initiative: These new application guides (paper and electronic) implement the goals of the NIH Enhancing Peer Review Initiative ( and include the following changes:

    • The Research Plan is restructured and aligned with peer review criteria.
    • Shorter page limits are adopted.
    • The Biographical Sketch now requires a Personal Statement, and encourages applicants to limit the number of publications to 15.
    • Instructions for describing Resources are modified to address the scientific environment and the institutional investment in Early Stage Investigators.

  • Removal of New Investigator Checkbox: In the PHS398 paper forms and in the PHS398 Cover Page Supplement component used in electronic application packages, the checkbox for new investigator has been eliminated. This information is now collected electronically in the eRA Commons Personal Profile.

  • Personal Data Form: In the PHS398 paper application, the Personal Data Form page is eliminated. This information is now collected electronically in the eRA Commons Personal Profile.

  • New and Early Stage Investigator Policies Implemented: The PHS 398 and SF 424 (R&R) application instructions describe new and early stage investigator policies in Part III, 1.15.

  • New Assurance for Institutions Receiving Awards for Training of Graduate Students for Doctoral Degrees: The new assurance for institutions receiving awards for training of graduate students for doctoral degrees is required, as applicable (see Part III, 2.16 for details), and the training table 12A, required for institutional research training applications, is modified accordingly. Training tables 7a and 7b are modified to no longer require applicants to submit pre-enrollment data on individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds in accord with NIH Guide Notice OD-09-153. The training tables are also reformatted to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Note these changes to the training tables are incorporated only in the versions now available on the SF 424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission website for use with submissions due on/after January 25, 2010.

  • Instructions Relocated to Accommodate Electronic Submission: Career Development Award instructions are now included in Part 1, Section 7 of the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies, and instructions for Institutional Research Training Applications Including Ruth L. Kirschstein - NRSA Applications are now included in Part 1.Section 8 of the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide, to reflect the transitions of these applications to electronic submission.

  • Other changes: Other policy changes that have been published in the NIH Guide since the 11/07 version of the PHS 398 and the Adobe-Forms-A version of the SF 424 (R&R) are also incorporated.
Applicant Instructions

SF 424 (R&R) Applicants:

  • Although the application instructions are now available for viewing, Applicants MUST return to the FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT (FOA), or the reissued Parent Announcement, to download the new application forms for due dates on or after January 25, 2010.

  • Updated FOAs with new language and links to the new, restructured application forms are currently being posted. Parent Announcements and FOAs with due dates of January 25, 2010 will be reposted in early December; and FOAs with later due dates will be reposted by early 2010 (reposted FOAs will be made available 1-2 months before the due date).

  • For a period of time between now and early February, applicants must carefully select which version of the FOA and application package (forms and instructions) they should be using. Anyone submitting an application intended for due dates before January 25, 2010 (or before February 7, 2010 for those eligible for continuous submission on AIDS R01, R21, and R34 applications) must use the archived version of the FOA and SF 424 (R&R) ADOBE-FORMS-A application forms and instructions. Anyone eligible for continuous submission who is submitting a non-AIDS application should use the archived version of the FOA and SF 424 (R&R) ADOBE-FORMS-A through January 24, 2010, and use the updated version of the FOA and SF 424 (R&R) ADOBE-FORMS-B application forms and instructions provided with the updated version of the FOA on or after January 25, 2010. Applicants can access the archived version of the FOA via a link in the updated version, and vice versa.

  • Because institutional research training awards will be transitioning to an electronic application process, these FOAs will be reissued with new announcement numbers rather than being updated. Beginning with submissions intended for the January 25, 2010 receipt date, applicants must use the SF 424 (R&R) application instructions and forms. Institutional research training applications with due dates prior to January 25, 2010 must use the paper 11/07 version of the PHS398 forms and instructions.

PHS 398 Applicants:

  • All PHS 398 paper application submissions intended for due dates on or after January 25, 2010, must use the 06/09 version of the PHS 398 instructions and forms ( The 11/07 version of the form remains available at this time for use in responding to Request for Applications (RFAs) that have due dates prior to January 25, 2010.
Important Notes

Any application submitted using incorrect application forms (including applications that have an incorrect mix of old and new forms) will be delayed and may not be reviewed.
Application instructions for the following activity codes will be available in early 2010, since due dates occur later in the review cycle:

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR [R43/R44])/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR [R41/R42]) applications
  • Individual Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship applications (F30, F31, F32, and F33)

Additionally, FOAs and application packages for Conference Grants (R13/U13) are expected in early 2010.


Questions should be directed to

For more information on NIH’s Enhancing Peer Review effort, visit