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Changes Coming to NIH Applications and Peer Review in 2025

This page serves as a central location where you can learn more about multiple changes coming in 2025 that will affect the submission and review of NIH grant applications.

These changes include updates to the peer review and submission of most research project grants, fellowships, and training grants; Common Forms for NIH biographical sketch and Current and Pending (Other) Support; updated instructions for reference letters; and the transition to FORMS-I application instructions. Although each of these initiatives has specific goals, they are all meant to simplify, clarify, and/or promote greater fairness towards a level playing field for applicants throughout the application and review processes.

Upcoming Webinars

Learn more and have the opportunity to ask questions at the following upcoming webinars:

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Simplified Review Framework for Most Research Project Grants (RPGs) 

NIH is implementing a simplified framework for the peer review of the majority of competing research project grant (RPG) applications, beginning with submissions with due dates on or after January 25, 2025.

Orange colored box with a black letter F or fellowship

Revisions to the NIH Fellowship Application and Review Process 

NIH is revising the fellowship review criteria used to evaluate fellowship applications and modifying the PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form to align with the restructured review criteria beginning with submissions with due dates on or after January 25, 2025.

Blue colored box with a black letter T for training

Updates to Training Grant Applications

The NIH Training Program applications are undergoing changes that take effect for submissions with due dates on or after January 25, 2025.   

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Updates to Reference Letter Instructions for Referees

NIH is updating the instructions for reference letters submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2025 to provide more structure so letters will better assist reviewers in understanding the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential to pursue a productive career in biomedical science. Updated instructions will be posted on the NIH Grants page for Reference Letters as soon as they are available (later in 2024).

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Updated Application Forms and Instructions (FORMS-I)

NIH is updating application forms to support many of the changes coming in 2025. These new forms will provide the needed form fields to efficiently implement policy updates and align form instructions and field labels with current terminology. Updated application forms will be posted with active funding opportunities in the Fall of 2024, and updated instructions will be available on the How to Apply - Application Guide at that time.

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NIH is adopting the Biographical Sketch Common Form and the Current and Pending (Other) Support Common Form in 2025. Information on the timing and details of implementation are expected in the coming months.



NIH will provide applicants with plenty of training and resources throughout 2024. The below resources discuss the collective changes coming in January 2025. Additional resources for each initiative can be found on their respective pages.