Guidance for Videos Submitted as NIH Application Materials
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

March 12, 2024

Related Announcements

  • February 3, 2020 - Updated Guidance for Videos Submitted as NIH Application Materials. See NOT-OD-20-061. (RESCINDED)   
  • February 15, 2019 - Update to the NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Policy on Post-Submission Materials. See NOT-OD-19-083.
  • September 27, 2012 - Interim Guidance for Videos Submitted as NIH Application Materials. See NOT-OD-12-141. (RESCINDED)

Issued by



The National Institutes of Health (NIH) expects grant applications togenerally describe all proposed methods and present all preliminary data within the scientific narrative in the form of text, tables, and figures. However, NIH understands that, in certain situations, the use of video technology can be critical in conveying key aspects of a grant application. The purpose of this Notice is to provide policy and guidelines for investigators submitting videos to accompany their NIH applications.

This Notice replaces the Video formats instructions in NIH Guide Notices NOT-OD-12-141 and NOT-OD-20-061, and referenced in NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.3.7, and revises the related portion of the NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-19-083 on post-submission application materials.


Previous NIH policy Notices NOT-OD-12-141 and NOT-OD-20-061 allowed the option of submitting videos to NIH staff as post-submission material via CD/DVD. Due to the now limited use of CD/DVD as an electronic format for sharing materials, effective immediately this format is no longer allowed as an option for submitting video materials. Videos will now only be accepted as digital files submitted via email. Note that the same instructions apply to the submission of audio files.


Acceptable video content

The only acceptable content for videos is demonstrations of devices and experimental data with a temporal element, which refers to the need to show how something functions or occurs over time, or demonstrates movement or change. No demonstrations of data that could be feasibly presented in figures or tables will be accepted.

  • Examples of acceptable content include: unusual interventions or surgical procedures; prototype model use; visualization of 3-D structures or structural changes in molecules or cells; temporal changes in cell migration or interactions; demonstrations of interventions on animal behavior or kinetic physiopathology; software, database, or mobile app demonstrations; educational materials; video games.
  • Examples of unacceptable content include: virtual tours of laboratories; equipment in place; platform presentations; testimonials; advertisements or commercials; research or outreach presentations [unless requested by the Scientific Review Officer (SRO), e.g., in lieu of a site visit].

Application requirements 

The application must be structured at the time of submission to indicate that a video will be submitted subsequently as post-submission materials. Key images/“stills” and a brief description of each video must be included within the page limits of the research strategy. Sufficient descriptive information must be provided within the research strategy to understand the information presented in the video, as not all reviewers may be able to access the video, depending on technological constraints. 

A cover letter that includes information about the intent to submit a video should also be submitted with the application.

When human subjects or personal identifiable information is represented in a video, the applicant organization is responsible for ensuring that human subjects have consented and are protected appropriately. Submission through the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) certifies acceptance of this responsibility.

Video formats

Multiple videos may be submitted per application, but their aggregate length (at normal speed) must not exceed two minutes for single-project applications and five minutes for multi-component applications. The maximum file size for all videos combined is 35 MB.

Closed captioning is recommended as an optional component of the video to assist reviewers evaluating the application.   

Note: due to technological constraints, the NIH cannot guarantee that reviewers will be able to view videos.

Video submission

Post-submission video files should be sent via email as a digital file for upload to the application grant folder by the SRO. Acceptable digital formats are WMV, AVI, MOV, and MP4. To avoid technical issues, digital files should not be embedded in another file format, e.g., PDF. 

As with all other post-submission materials (NOT-OD-19-083):

  • Videos must be received by the SRO one month (30 calendar days) prior to the peer review meeting. Videos will not be accepted if fewer than 30 calendar days remain before the peer review meeting. 
  • Concurrence from the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) of the applicant organization is required. The AOR must send the materials directly to the SRO or must send his/her concurrence to the PD/PI who will forward the materials and concurrence to the SRO. A communication from the PD/PI only or with a “cc” to the AOR will not be accepted. 

Video files containing unacceptable content or exceeding the time or size limits will not be accepted. Applications submitted with hypertext (e.g., hyperlinks and URLs) to videos or with videos embedded in the research strategy will be considered in violation of page limits and may be withdrawn before review.



Please direct all inquiries to:

NIH Review Policy Officer

Office of Extramural Activities (OER)