Advanced Notice of Change in Policy on the Submission of Letters of Reference for Kirschstein-NRSA Fellowship (F) and Career Development (K) Applications

Notice Number: NOT-OD-11-036

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

  • May 26, 2011 - See Notice NOT-OD-11-079 Notice of Change in Policy on the Submission of Letters of Reference for Career Development (K) Applications.
  • February 24, 2011 - See Notice NOT-OD-11-047 Notice of Change in Policy on the Submission of Reference Forms (Letters of Reference) for Kirschstein-NRSA Fellowship (F) Applications.
Key Dates

Release Date: January 20, 2011

Issued by

National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The following change in policy is effective for Individual Fellowship (F) applications intended for April 8, 2011 and subsequent due dates, and for Individual Career Development Award (K) applications intended for June 12, 2011 and subsequent due dates.

This Notice informs prospective applicants for the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowships and Individual Career Development awards that the Letters of Reference are due by the application receipt deadline date. Prior to this policy change, there was a 5 business days grace period for the receipt of letters of reference after the application receipt due date. The new policy eliminates the grace period.

Letters of reference may be submitted any time after the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) opens and not later than the application due date. Reference Letters can be submitted before the grant application submission. Such letters will be held and later linked to the appropriate application once they are received at NIH. See Reference Letter FAQs for additional information.

As always, Fellowship and Career Award applicants are encouraged to request letters of reference only from individuals who will be able to submit them in time. Consider any factor (e.g., illness or extended vacation) that might cause an inordinate delay and be sure to discuss these requirements with your referees well in advance of the application submission date.

For a list of Fellowship FOAs, see the F Kiosk, and for a list of Career Award FOAs, see the K Kiosk.


Please direct all inquiries to:

NIH Research Training Officer