This Notice has been RESCINDED as of March 12, 2024. See NOT-OD-24-067 which replaces it.


RESCINDED - Interim Guidance for Videos Submitted as NIH Application Materials

Notice Number: NOT-OD-12-141

Key Dates
Release Date: September 27, 2012
Effective Date: Applications submitted to the NIH for the January 25, 2013 due date and thereafter

Related Notices
NOT-OD-20-174 : Reminder: NIH Policy on Use of Hypertext in NIH Grant Applications Notice Number:
NOT-OD-20-061 : Updated Guidance for Videos Submitted as NIH Application Materials
NOT-OD-17-066 : Additional Change to the NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Policy on Post-Submission Materials
NOT-OD-16-130 : Changes to the NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Policy on Post-Submission Materials for Applications Submitted for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2017
NOT-OD-13-030: Reminders and Updates: NIH Policy on Post-Submission Application Materials
NOT-OD-10-115 : Enhancing Peer Review: New NIH Policy on Post-Submission Application Materials

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants process strives to accommodate ever-changing technology used in biomedical and behavioral research, while maintaining fair standards for all applicants and compatibility with our information systems.

In certain situations, the use of video technology can be vital in conveying key aspects of a grant application. In order to facilitate such applications, this Notice provides policy and guidelines for investigators submitting videos and contemplating other non-traditional materials to accompany applications to the NIH. This Notice revises the related portion of the NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-10-115 on post-submission application materials.


Previous NIH policy (NOT-OD-10-115) allowed for submission of non-traditional application materials such as videos and devices after receipt of the application if they were considered to be essential for the review and generally accepted by the Institute/Center (IC) for that type of application. These materials were accepted at the discretion of the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) managing the review. This policy allowed that videos, devices, and other media generally accepted by an NIH IC for that type of application could be accepted after submission of the application.


Acceptable materials. When this guidance is implemented, the NIH will accept only videos as non-traditional application materials. No devices or other media will be accepted unless specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). However, videos may include demonstrations of devices and other items as listed below. These guidelines may be superseded by instructions in specific FOAs.

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.

  • 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, software or database demonstrations, educational materials or video games.
  • Examples of unacceptable content include virtual tours of laboratories, equipment in place, platform presentations, advertisements, commercials, or PowerPoint presentations [unless requested by the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) 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. The cover letter submitted with the application must include information about the intent to submit a video; if this is not done, a video will not be accepted. 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.

When human subjects or personally identifiable information is represented in a video, the applicant organization is responsible for ensuring that human subjects have been consented and 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 must not exceed 2 minutes for single-project applications and 5 minutes for multi-component applications1.

Post-submission videos must be embedded in .pdf files with a maximum file size of 25 MB. This material can be submitted on CD/DVD or via e-mail and it will be uploaded to the grant folder by the SRO. Currently popular, cross-platform, video formats include mp4, mov, avi, flv, and wmv.

Closed captioning is not required when narration is present. However, captioning is recommended as an optional component of the video to assist reviewers evaluating the application.

Limitations. Video files containing unacceptable content or exceeding the time or size limits will not be accepted. Applications submitted with hyperlinks to videos or with videos embedded in the research strategy will be considered in violation of page limits and the application will be withdrawn before review.

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

Video submission. If the submission requirements have been met (see above), videos will be accepted by the SRO managing the review. After the assignment of the application to a review group is visible in the eRA Commons, the applicant should contact the SRO for that review group to discuss logistics for submission of any videos.

As with all other post-submission materials (NOT-OD-10-115), 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. Although the video may originate from the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI), Contact PD/PI for multiple PD/PI applications, or organizational officials, 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.

Multicomponent applications will have multiple research plans.


Please direct all inquiries to:

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