Extended Guidance for Applicants Preparing Applications During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

November 4, 2020

Related Announcements

NOT-OD-21-122: Guidance for Applicants Preparing Applications for the Fall 2020 Due Dates During the COVID-19 Pandemic

NOT-OD-20-086: Flexibilities Available to Applicants and Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance Affected by COVID-19

Issued by

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


The NIH is committed to supporting the biomedical research enterprise as the nation implements the President's Guidelines for Re-Opening America Again. The purpose of this Notice is to extend the guidance below for applicants preparing applications during the COVID-19 pandemic (NOT-OD-21-122) until further notice.

NIH grant applications should NOT include contingency plans that would outline steps needed to recover from temporary, emergency situations, or institutional return-to-the-workplace plans, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contingency plans will not be considered in peer review but, if needed, COVID-19 contingency plans will be requested and carefully considered by NIH staff before funding.

Reviewers will continue to receive instruction to assume that temporary, emergency problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic will be resolved and complications related to COVID-19 should not affect their scores. Reviewers will be instructed to disregard situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, e.g., temporary declines in productivity, availability of key personnel, proposed patient populations, animal facility shutdowns, etc.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Sally A. Amero, Ph.D.
NIH Review Policy Officer

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices