Reminder: NIH Natural Disaster Policies
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

September 7, 2023

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NIH is deeply concerned for the health and safety of people and animals, and about the biomedical enterprise in the areas of the country affected by recent natural disasters and emergencies.

Due to the exceptional impact of natural disasters and emergencies, NIH wants to provide flexibility and support to the extramural community. Therefore, please visit our website on Extramural Response to Natural Disasters for a list of available resources, including guidance on animal welfare issues.  

The following flexibilities are available to NIH applicants and recipients impacted by natural disasters. 

Flexibility with application deadlines (NIHGPS 2.3.9)

  • NIH's general policy is to accept applications submitted late due to a natural disaster by no more than the number of days the applicant organization was officially closed. 

Extension of financial and other reporting

  • During the declared national disaster, if recipients are unable to complete and submit interim and/or final Research Performance Progress Reports, Federal Financial Reports, and/or Final Invention Statement reports by the scheduled due date, contact the assigned grants management and program official at the awarding NIH Institute or Center to let them know the reports will be late, even if by phone, and the NIH staff will document the file until the recipient is able to submit the request electronically. 
  • Although NIH will accept these late reports, we will delay issuing grant awards until the required reports are submitted and accepted by NIH. This does not prevent the institution from receiving disaster relief supplemental funding if those funds become available.
  • NIH will allow affected recipients to delay submission of any pending final financial, performance and other reports required by the terms and conditions of award for the closeout of expired projects, provided that the recipient provide the IC supporting documentation demonstrating the need for an extension as soon as feasible. 

Prior approval requirement waivers (NIHGPS

  • As a reminder, NIH recipients maintain rebudgeting authority under the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section Cost-Related Prior Approvals, which states that “NIH prior approval is not required to rebudget funds for any direct cost item that the applicable cost principles identify as requiring the Federal awarding agency’s prior approval, unless the incurrence of costs is associated with or is considered to be a change in scope.” 

Expenditure of award funds for salaries (NIHGPS 7.9.1)

  • As a reminder, in general, expenditure of award funds to continue paying salaries and fringe benefits to researchers during any period when no work is performed under the award is unallowable. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Division of Grants Policy 
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)