Changes to Handling of Applications Submitted to Program Announcements with special Receipt, Referral, and/or Review Considerations (PAR) and Program Announcements with Set-Aside Funds (PAS)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

June 16, 2020

Related Announcements


Issued by

Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)


The purpose of this Notice is to inform the research community of changes in the handling of applications submitted in response to Program Announcements with special receipt, referral, and/or review considerations (PARs) and Program Announcements with set-aside funds (PASs).

Unlike Parent Announcements that are broad FOAs allowing applicants to submit an investigator-initiated application, PARs and PASs highlight areas of specific scientific interest by one or more Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICO). ICOs issuing PARs or PASs may now choose to describe within the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) criteria that would make an application non-responsive to the PAR/PAS.

Only applications to PARs and PASs that include non-responsive criteria will be evaluated by the ICOs upon receipt for non-responsiveness. These non-responsive criteria will be listed in the Funding Opportunity Description section (Part 2, Section 1). Those applications that are deemed non-responsive will be withdrawn from review.

Applicants to PARs and PASs with non-responsive criteria included are strongly encouraged to contact the applicable Program Official (i.e., Scientific Contact) listed on the FOA to discuss the proposed project and fit to the FOA as soon as possible.


Please direct all inquiries to the applicable Program Official (i.e., Scientific Contact) listed on the FOA of interest.

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