decorative image
Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
decorative image
Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

n/a Warning! This browser is not supported - Some features might not work. Try using a different browser such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari.

Early Stage Investigator Extensions

We understand that life happens. NIH considers requests for extensions of ESI eligibility from researchers who have lapses in their research or research training or have experienced periods of less than full-time effort.

NIH will consider requests to extend the ESI status period for reasons that can include:

  • Childbirth
  • Medical Concerns
  • Disability
  • Family care responsibilities
  • Natural Disasters
  • Active duty military service

Requests for extensions are reviewed by an ESI Extensions Committee composed of senior NIH extramural review and program staff. Determinations are made on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of NIH.

The NIH ESI Extension committee will consider requests:

  • For events that occur within the initial 10 years from receipt of terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later
  • For life events that occurred during the previously granted extension period that fall outside of the initial 10 year eligibility timeframe
  • For life events that happened concurrently (will be reviewed independently)

Requesting an Extension

Principal investigators can submit a request for an ESI extension via an ESI Extension Request link found in the Education section of the PI’s Personal Profile in eRA Commons.

For step-by-step instructions, see

Tips or Requesting Extensions

Receiving a Response

Investigators will receive an email response, usually within a few weeks, at the email address designated in their eRA Commons account. If approved, the ESI indicator in their eRA Commons account will change and the end date of their ESI status period will be modified to reflect the extension granted.

Questions about ESI Extensions?

Please direct questions to the mailbox for ESI inquiries at