Application receipt information and deadlines, paper applications, electronically submitted applications, review and advisory group, recent substantial service, continuous submission, identical applications, similar applications, application non-conformity, submission requirements

2.3.9 Application Receipt Information and Deadlines

The NIH generally requires electronic submission of all competing and administrative supplement applications. Applicants should carefully read instructions in the NOFO and the application guide to determine submission requirements. The NOFO will either provide unique application deadlines or refer to NIH's standard due dates.

NIH expects all applications to be submitted on time. Permission is not granted in advance for submission of a late application. Late applications are accepted only in extenuating circumstances and limited to two weeks past the due date. If an application is submitted late, a cover letter explaining the reasons for the delay must be included with the signed, completed application. Late applications are evaluated on an individual basis considering the reasons provided. Only DRR, CSR has the authority to accept a late application; however, contacting DRR in advance will not influence the acceptance of a late application. The NIH policy on late applications is stated in the applicable application instructions. Also see Late Applications below. Electronic Submission Requirements

NIH requires electronic submission of:

• All competing (Type 1, Type 2) and administrative supplement (Type 3) applications;

• All Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs), including interim and final RPPRs (submitted electronically through the eRA Commons RPPR module);

• Change of recipient organization (Type 7) and successor-in-interest (Type 6) applications (may be submitted electronically via email).

All applications, regardless of the NOFO type, must be successfully submitted electronically to on or before 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant organization) on the appropriate date listed in the funding opportunity.

If an application due date falls on a weekend, it will be extended to the following Monday; any time the date falls on a Federal holiday, the due date will be extended to the following business day. The application will be on time if it is submitted on or before the following business day.

Questions about application forms and instructions may be directed to DGSI/OPERA, OER, NIH; see Part III for contact information. Late Applications

There is a two week window of consideration after the application due date, during which time NIH might consider accepting a late application (see details below). When the application due date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, and is extended to the next business day, the window of consideration for late submission of applications will be calculated from that business day. Acceptance of late applications will be made on a case-by-case basis, dependent upon the explanation provided in a cover letter submitted with the application.

Generally, when an applicant organization is closed due to natural disaster or other emergency situation, applications must include a cover letter indicating the reasons for the delay. In general, the delay should not exceed the time period that the applicant organization is closed, unless otherwise notified by the agency. Additional information can be found on the NIH Extramural Response to Natural Disasters and Other Emergencies webpage.

NIH will not consider accepting late applications under the following circumstances:

  • Submissions to RFAs that must be reviewed on a compressed time line and that have declared, in the Application Due Date field, "No late applications will be accepted for this Funding Opportunity".
  • Submissions to any NOFOs (RFAs, PAs, PARs, PASs) after the two-week window of consideration.

Please be aware that any reasons for late submission must be in relation to the individual(s) with the PD/PI role on the application. For multiple PD/PI (MPI) applications, the reasons may apply to any or all of the PD/PIs. This accommodation does not apply to co-Investigators, project leaders in a multi-component application, or other Key Persons listed in an application (unless they also have MPI status).

Examples of acceptable and unacceptable reasons for submission of a late application can be found in the NIH Submission Policies web page.

The windows of time for consideration of late applications have been carefully chosen so that the late applications can be processed with the cohort of on-time applications.

Late applications are evaluated on an individual basis considering the reasons provided. Contacting the Division of Receipt and Referral, Center for Scientific Review (CSR), NIH in advance will not influence the acceptance of a late application. Additional information on submission of electronic applications can be found in the applicable SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. Continuous Submission for Appointed Members of NIH Federal Advisory Committees

Continuous Submission allows eligible members of NIH Federal Advisory Committees to submit applications for certain grant activity codes after the standard due date, until last day of the receipt period for each Advisory Council Round.

PD/PI individuals serving as appointed members of the following categories of NIH Federal Advisory Committees are eligible:

  • Chartered NIHInitial/Integrated Review Groups (IRGs),
  • NIH Boards of Scientific Counselors,
  • NIH Advisory Boards or Councils,
  • NIH Program Advisory Committees.

Eligibility begins on the date the appointment becomes active and continues for six weeks after the official date of retirement from appointed committee service. Thus, if retirement from appointed service occurs on June 30, continuous submission is permitted until August 16th of that year.

Continuous submission eligibility can be viewed in the reviewer's eRA Commons Personal Profile, in the Reviewer Information section.

eRA Commons users with account administration roles (e.g., SO - Signing Official, AO - Administrative Official, AA - Account Administrator, BO - Business Official) can check an investigator's eligibility using the Advanced Search feature in the Admin module.

Under Continuous Submission, applications received after the Advisory Council Round continuous submission period end dates will be assigned to the next Advisory Council Round, as described on the NIH Continuous Submission website. Please direct any continuous submission issues, including rejection messages, to the eRA Service Desk.

See NIH Continuous Submission website for details and procedures.. Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications

Simultaneous submissions of identical applications to one or more components of the PHS are not allowed, and the NIH will not accept similar grant applications with essentially the same research focus from the same applicant organization for the same receipt date. This includes derivative or multiple applications that propose to develop a single product, process, or service that, with non-substantive modifications, can be applied to a variety of purposes. Likewise, identical or essentially identical grant applications submitted by different applicant organizations will not be accepted for the same receipt date. Applicant organizations should ascertain and assure that the materials they are submitting on behalf of the principal investigator are the original work of the principal investigator and have not been used elsewhere in the preparation and submission of a similar grant application. Applications to the NIH are grouped by scientific discipline for review by individual Scientific Review Groups and not by disease or disease state. The reviewers can thus easily identify multiple grant applications for essentially the same project. In these cases, application processing may be delayed, or the application(s) may not be reviewed.

Essentially identical applications will not be reviewed except for: 1) individuals submitting an application for an Independent Scientist Award (K02) proposing essentially identical research in an application for an individual research project; or 2) individuals submitting an individual research project identical to a subproject that is part of a program project or center grant application. Application Non-conformity

Applicants are reminded that non-conformity with application requirements can have serious consequences. NIH may withdraw any application identified during the receipt, referral and review process that does not conform with the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, the Notice of Funding Opportunity, and relevant NIH Guide Notices.

Some examples of how this policy is applied to NIH applications include but are not limited to:

  • Applications containing biosketches that do not conform to the required format may be withdrawn.
  • Applications that do not conform to the page limit requirements because inappropriate materials have been included in other parts of the application may be withdrawn.
  • Applications submitted as new but containing elements of a resubmission or renewal application that do not conform with the resubmission policy and may be withdrawn.
  • Applications submitted after 5 PM local (applicant organization) time on the application due date may be withdrawn.

It is important to remember that these are just examples, and that all requirements specified in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, the Notice of Funding Opportunity, and relevant NIH Guide Notices are to be followed. Questions about application requirements can be directed to NIH "Grants Info" or the Division of Receipt and Referral.

If an application is withdrawn because it does not conform to the application preparation and submission instructions, a letter will be placed in the eRA Commons Status page for that application. Natural Disasters and Other Emergencies

For major disasters impacting many organizations, NIH will coordinate with other HHS components and Federal agencies (such as FEMA and OMB), as well as with state, local, and institutional representatives, to develop any additional response. NIH will consider such issues as whether a Federal Disaster is declared; the severity of damage inflicted; the length of time an organization may be required to close or that is required for recovery; the impact on investigators, human research subjects, and animal subjects; and the overall impact on the community.

Late applications due to natural disasters or other emergency situations are subject to the late application policy found in NIHGPS Section

NIH responses to specific events will be issued in the form of an NIH Guide Notice published in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts.