REVISED NIH POLICY ON SUBMISSION OF A REVISED (AMENDED) APPLICATION

RELEASE DATE:  May 7, 2003

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-03-041 

August 1, 2012  - See Notice NOT-OD-12-128. Clarification: Time Limit on NIH Resubmission Applications.

October 1, 2010 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-140 This Notice announces the implementation 
of a new time limit between the submission of a New, Renewal,
 or Revision1 application and a Resubmission (A1 version) of 
that application to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

(Also see NOT-OD-03-065)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

On June 27, 1997 the NIH issued a notice in the NIH Guide for Grants 
and Contracts (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/
not97-011.html) that limited the number of revised or amended 
applications permitted as well as the time window during which those 
amended applications would be received.  This announcement reiterates 
the NIH policy on the number of amended applications permitted but 
eliminates the two-year restriction on the receipt of those 
applications.

Accordingly, the NIH will not consider any A3 or higher amendment to an 
application for extramural support.  But, beginning on the date of this 
announcement, there is no longer a time limit for the submission of the 
first and second revisions (A1 and A2).  This policy applies to all NIH 
extramural funding mechanisms.  

In submitting a revised application, it is worth noting that, a lengthy 
hiatus after the initial submission may be marked by significant 
advances in the scientific field and the comments of the reviewers may 
no longer be relevant.  Principal investigators and their institutions 
need to exercise their best judgment in determining the advisability of 
submitting a revised application after several years have elapsed.   

The policy limiting the number of revisions was established following 
analysis of data indicating that investigators who receive initial 
funding for an amended application have a lower success rate in 
obtaining support for a follow-on competing application.  The 
likelihood of subsequent success decreased with an increasing number of 
amendments.  After three reviews, it was felt that it was time for 
investigators to take a fresh approach to their research proposals. 

Investigators who have submitted three versions of an application and 
have not been successful often ask NIH staff how different the next 
application submitted has to be to be considered a new application.  It 
is recognized that investigators are trained in a particular field of 
science and are not likely to make drastic changes in their research 
interests, however, a new application following three reviews is 
expected to be substantially different in content and scope with more 
significant differences than are normally encountered in a revised 
application.  Simply rewording the title and Specific Aims or 
incorporating minor changes in response to comments in the previous 
Summary Statement does not constitute a substantial change in scope or 
content.  Changes to the Research Plan should produce a significant 
change in direction and approach for the research project.  Thus, a new 
application would include substantial changes in all sections of the 
Research Plan, particularly the Specific Aims and the Research Design 
and Methods sections.   

In the referral process, NIH staff look at all aspects of the 
application, not just the title and abstract.  Requesting review by a 
different review committee does not affect the implementation of this 
policy.  When necessary, previous applications are analyzed for 
similarities to the present one.  Thus, identical applications or those 
with only minor changes will not be accepted for review.  

Inquiries:

Office of Extramural Programs
Office of the Director
Phone 301-435-2768

Division of Receipt and Referral
Center for Scientific Review
Phone 301-435-0715


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


H H S Department of Health
and Human Services

 
  N I H National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892