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:
- Medical Concerns
- 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
- Requests for extension should be made in whole months (rounding up is permissible)
- PI may not delegate submission of the extension request
- Review standard example requests or table for more complex requests
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.