Update and Clarification: NIH Continuous Submission Policy

Notice Number: NOT-OD-17-042

Key Dates
Release Date:   March 2, 2017

Related Announcements
NOT-OD-08-026 Rescinded
NOT-OD-09-114 Rescinded
NOT-OD-09-155 Rescinded
NOT-OD-10-090 Rescinded
NOT-OD-11-093 Rescinded
NOT-OD-14-028 Rescinded
NOT-OD-16-121 Rescinded

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

This Notice serves to consolidate NIH policy on continuous submission that was provided in earlier Notices.  The policy has not changed. 

Policy

NIH’s continuous submission policy provides members of review and advisory groups and reviewers with recent substantial service the benefit of submitting R01, R21, and R34 applications at any time in response to active funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) that have standard due dates.

Eligibility:

Continuous submission eligibility covers:

  • Appointed members of chartered NIH Study Sections.
  • Appointed members of NIH Boards of Scientific Counselors.
  • Appointed members of NIH Advisory Boards or Councils.
  • Appointed members of NIH Program Advisory Committees.
  • Peer reviewers with Recent Substantial Service.

Appointed Members:

  • Appointed regular members of NIH committees are appointed by the Director, NIH (or the Director, NCI); the Secretary, DHHS; or the President of the United States.
  • For Appointed members, eligibility begins on the date the appointment becomes active and continues for six weeks after the official date of retirement from appointed committee service.  Thus, if retirement from appointed service occurs on June 30, continuous submission is permitted until August 16 of that year.

Recent Substantial Service:

  • Recent substantial service is defined as service as an appointed, temporary, or ad hoc reviewer on a qualifying NIH study section for at least six different meetings in an 18 month period that begins January 1 of one year and ends June 30 of the following year.
  • Service on the vast majority of NIH review meetings will count toward eligibility based on the Recent Substantial Service option.  Check the FAQs for a list of meeting/service types that do not qualify.  
  • All meeting formats (mail review, telephone review, internet assisted meeting, video assisted meeting, and face-to-face meetings) count toward Recent Substantial Service eligibility.
  • For all reviews, the effective date of service is the actual meeting date(s).  Multiple related meetings occurring on the same date are counted as a single review meeting for recent substantial service requirements.
  • For reviewers with Recent Substantial Service, eligibility begins August 1 and continues until September 30 of the following year.  For example:
    Period of Service Time of Eligibility
    January 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 August 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018
  • Accountable review service and continuous submission eligibility can be viewed in the reviewer's eRA Commons Personal Profile, in the Reviewer Information section. 
  • eRA Commons users with account administration roles (e.g., SO – Signing Official, AO – Administrative Official, AA – Account Administrator, BO – Business Official) can check an investigator’s eligibility using the Advanced Search feature in the Admin module.
  • The list of currently eligible reviewers can be found on the NIH Continuous Submission page.

Continuous Submission applies to NIH applications that satisfy both criteria:

  • Submitted with continuous submission eligible Principal Investigators/Program Directors (PD/PI) including applications where one or more of the Multiple PD/PIs (MPIs) is eligible for continuous submission, and
  • Submitted to R01, R21, and R34 FOAs with standard due dates, including standard AIDS due dates.  It is important to note that these applications must also be compliant with policy in effect on the standard due date for which the application is submitted.

Continuous Submission does not apply to:

  • Applications in which the only eligible personnel have a role other than PD/PI or MPI.
  • Applications from temporary or ad hoc reviewers who have not reached minimum participation to qualify via Recent Substantial Service.  Temporary or ad hoc reviewers who are not eligible for continuous submission may be eligible to use the late submission window as described in the NIH Late Policy.
  • Applications from individuals who serve as appointed advisors or ad hoc reviewers / advisors for other Federal agencies or for private organizations, or for NIH groups and committees other than those listed above.
  • Applications submitted in response to RFAs and PARs with non-standard receipt dates.
  • Applications for activity codes other than R01, R21, or R34.  These applications may be submitted on time or following the general NIH Late Policy.

How does Continuous Submission relate to the NIH Late Policy?

  • Continuous Submission applies to R01, R21, and R34 applications submitted by continuous submission eligible PD/PIs and MPIs to FOAs with standard due dates, including standard AIDS due dates. 
  • The NIH Late Policy applies to
    • All other types of applications submitted by continuous submission eligible PD/PIs and MPIs.
    • All applications submitted by all other PD/PIs and MPIs.

Processing and Review schedule:

  • Applications submitted under the continuous submission option must include a cover letter that states the eligibility of a PD/PI for continuous submission.
  • Applications for each council round are accepted no later than 5 PM local (applicant organization) time on the last day of the receipt period.
  • If the end of the application receipt period falls on a weekend or Federal Holiday, or during an official closure of Washington DC area Federal Offices, it automatically moves forward to the next business day.
  • No additional extensions of these Application Receipt Periods are possible.
  • Applications are required to comply with policy in effect on the standard due date for the council round in which applications are submitted.
  • Depending on the timing of the submission and the number of other similar applications received during the Application Receipt Period, NIH staff will decide if the application will be reviewed in a standing Study Section or in a Special Emphasis Panel (SEP).  
  • Applications submitted under this option will be reviewed no later than 30 days before the corresponding Advisory Council. 
  • To ensure timely second level (council) review, the following Advisory Council dates and rounds will apply:

Schedule For Assignment to Advisory Council Rounds Under Continuous Submission Option

 

Submitted For these Standard Due Dates

Application Receipt Period

Advisory Council Round

R01

R21, R34

Type

Dates


May

October 5
November 5

October 16
November 16

Non-AIDS Applications

August 17 – December 16

January 7

January 7

AIDS Applications

October 8 – February 7


October

February 5
March 5

February 16
March 16

Non-AIDS Applications

December 17 – April 16

May 7

May 7

AIDS Applications

February 8 – June 7


January

June 5
July 5

June 16
July 16

Non-AIDS Applications

April 17 – August 16

September 7

September 7

AIDS Applications

June 8 – October 7

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Frequently Asked Questions and answers have been prepared (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/faq_continuous_submission.htm ). Any remaining issues/appeals may be directed to a NIH Continuous Submission Committee by emailing CSR.cont.sub.comm@csr.nih.gov