NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 41, November 29, 1996


P.T. 34


  Behavioral/Social Studies/Service 

  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

  Grants Administration/Policy+ 


National Institutes of Health


As a part of ongoing efforts to reduce the administrative costs and

burden on applicants and grantees, the NIH has reviewed its policy

regarding the receipt date of competing applications (PHS 398).  In

the past, the NIH required that grant, fellowship, and cooperative

agreement applications be received on specific published "receipt

dates."  A consequence of this policy has been that many applicants

felt compelled to submit applications via express shipping or courier

service.  To simplify and minimize the cost associated with

application submission, the NIH is making the following policy



Unsolicited Applications:  Effective January 2, 1997, an application

will be considered on time if it is received by or mailed on or

before the published receipt date and a proof of mailing is provided.

Proof of timely mailing consists of one of the following: a legibly

dated U.S. Postal Service postmark; or a dated receipt from a

commercial carrier or the U.S. Postal Service.  Private metered

postmarks are not acceptable.  The receipt dates for unsolicited

investigator-initiated applications as published in the competing

application kit (PHS 398) remain unchanged.  It is hoped that this

will lead to delivery methods that are timely but more economical in



Solicited Applications and Proposals:  Solicited applications and

proposals continue under the previous policy.  Applications must be

received by the specified dates.  However, an application received

after the deadline may be acceptable if it carries a legible proof-

of-mailing date assigned by the carrier and the proof-of-mailing is

not later than one week prior to the deadline date.  These include

Request for Applications (RFAs);  Program Announcements (PAs) with

specified receipt dates, such as Academic Research Enhancement Awards

(AREAs), Small Business Innovation Research applications (SBIRs), and

Small Business Technology Transfer applications (STTRs); and Request

for Proposals (RFPs).


Noncompeting Applications:  This new policy also applies to the

noncompeting continuation application (PHS 2590).  The receipt

submission dates identified in the noncompeting continuation

application remain unchanged.  Grantees are reminded that

noncompeting applications should be received in time for orderly

processing of noncompeting awards.  This is particularly critical

during peak workload times at Institute or Center grants management



This policy announcement supersedes the PHS Grants Policy Statement

(rev. 5/95), section 4-14, and the competing application kit (PHS

398), page 22.




Questions regarding the receipt of competing applications procedures

may be directed to:


Referral Office

Division of Research Grants

Telephone:  (301) 435-0715


For issues relating to noncompeting applications, Institute or Center

grants management offices should be contacted.



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