SF424 (R&R) - Forms Version E
Released: September 25, 2017
Revised: December 7, 2018
G.600 - PHS Assignment Request Form
The PHS Assignment Request Form may be used to communicate specific application assignment and review requests to the Division of Receipt and Referral (DRR) and to Scientific Review Officers (SROs).
This information will not be part of your assembled application, and it will neither be made available to program staff nor provided to reviewers. It is used specifically to convey additional, optional information about your preference(s) for assignment and review of your application to DRR and SROs.
This information was previously collected in the Cover Letter Attachment, but must now be provided in the PHS Assignment Request Form.
Completing the PHS Assignment Request Form:
This form is optional. Use it only if you wish to communicate specific awarding component assignments or review preferences. There is no requirement that all fields or all sections be completed. You have the flexibility to make a single entry or to provide extensive information using this form.
Note on Application Assignments: The Division of Receipt and Referral (DRR), Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is responsible for assigning applications to awarding components such as NIH Institutes/Centers (ICs) and other PHS agencies for funding consideration. DRR also assigns applications to NIH Scientific Review Groups (SRGs) and Special Emphasis Panels (SEPs).
Awarding Component Assignment Request (optional)
To facilitate accurate communication of any assignment preferences to NIH referral and review staff, use the short abbreviation (e.g., NCI for the National Cancer Institute).
NIH staff will consider all assignment preferences, although in some cases, the awarding component is pre-determined and assignment preferences cannot be accommodated. Applications are assigned based on relevance of your application to an individual awarding component mission and scientific interests in addition to administrative requirements such as IC participation in the funding opportunity announcement used to submit your application.
Descriptions of the scientific areas covered by all NIH ICs and links to other PHS agency information can be found on the PHS Assignment Information website.
You do not need to make entries in all six boxes of the "Awarding Component Assignment Request" section.
Assign to Awarding Component:
You may enter up to three preferences for primary assignment in the boxes in the "Assign to Awarding Component" row. Use the column labeled "First Choice" to enter your first choice. Note: Your application will be assigned based on the most appropriate match between it, the terms of the FOA, and the mission of each possible awarding component, with your preference(s) taken into consideration when possible.
Do Not Assign to Awarding Component:
You may enter up to three preferences of NIH IC to which you do not want your application assigned. Enter your preferences in the boxes in the "Do Not Assign to Awarding Component" row. Use the column labeled "First Choice" to enter your first choice. Applications must be appropriately matched based on scientific area to an awarding component. This means that your assignment preference(s) will be taken into consideration, but NIH may still assign your application to these NIH ICs if they are determined to be the best fit.
Study Section Assignment Request (optional)
To facilitate accurate communication of any review assignment preferences to NIH referral and review staff, use the short abbreviation of the SRG/SEP you would prefer. For example, enter "CAMP" for the Cancer Molecular Pathobiology study section or enter text formatted like "ZRG1 HDM-R (11) B" for an SBIR/STTR panel. Be careful to accurately capture all formatting (e.g., spaces, hyphens) when you type in the request. All parts of the short abbreviation are important for accuracy. Freeform text (such as "special emphasis panel" or "member conflict SEP") should not be entered.
More information about how to identify CSR and NIH SRGs and SEPs, including their short abbreviations, can be found on CSR Study Sections and Special Emphasis Panel. A list of all NIH SRGs and SEPs is also available.
While the majority of NIH research grant and fellowship applications are reviewed by CSR, some are assigned to individual IC review groups and some are clustered for review in SRGs/SEPs, depending on existing locus of review agreements within NIH and other PHS agencies. This limits flexibility for honoring assignment preference requests.
You do not need to make an entry in all six boxes of the "Study Section Assignment Request" section.
Assign to Study Section:
You may enter up to three preferences for SRGs/SEPs in the boxes in the "Assign to Study Section" row. Use one box per individual SRG/SEP preference request. Use the column labeled "First Choice" to enter your first choice. All review preferences will be considered. Note: your application will be assigned based on the most appropriate match between it, the terms of the FOA, and the guidelines for each SRG/SEP, with your preference(s) taken into consideration when possible.
Note: this information is not applicable if you are submitting an application to an RFA.
Do Not Assign to Study Section:
You may enter up to three preferences for SRGs/SEPs to which you do not want your application assigned. Enter your preferences in the boxes in the "Do Not Assign to Study Section" row. Use the column labeled "First Choice" to enter your first choice. While NIH will endeavor not to assign your application to these SRGs/SEPs, your application will be appropriately matched based on scientific area to an appropriate review group.
List individuals who should not review your application and why (optional)
You may list specific individuals, if any, who should not review your application and why they should not review your application. Provide sufficient information (e.g., name, organizational affiliation) so that the SRO can correctly identify the individual. Be prepared to provide additional information to the SRO if needed. Simply stating "Dr. John Smith is in conflict with my application" is not helpful.
Your answer can have a maximum of 1000 characters.
Identify scientific areas of expertise needed to review your application (optional)
You may list up to five general or specific types of expertise needed for the review of your application. Limit your answers to areas of expertise - do not enter names of individuals you would like to review your application.
Each field can have a maximum of 40 characters.