Sneak Preview: NIH Sets Standard Late Application Window

February 20, 2015 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) Applicants vying for grants and cooperative agreements from the National Institutes of Health should be aware that NIH has simplified its policy for reviewing applications that are submitted late. The agency has adopted a standard two-week window of consideration after the application due date for all award announcements, during which time NIH might consider accepting a late application depending on the reason. The new late application policy is one of several new NIH policy updates that took effect Jan. 25.

Previously, NIH tied differing late windows of consideration to differing types of applications, and would not consider any late applications for program announcements with special application due dates. The new policy, effective Jan. 25, states that acceptance of late applications will be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the explanation provided in a cover letter submitted in the application.

Possible reasons why a late applications may be accepted include:

  • death of an immediate family member of the program director/principal investigator (PD/PI);
  • sudden acute severe illness of the PD/PI or immediate family member;
  • temporary service by a PD/PI on an NIH advisory group during the two months preceding or the two months following the application due date; or
  • delays due to weather, natural disasters, or other emergency situations, not to exceed the time the applicant organization is closed.

Examples of reasons that late applications would not be accepted include:

  • heavy teaching or administrative responsibilities, personal events or a very busy schedule;
  • acute health issues or death in the family of a participant other than a PD/PI;
  • problems with computer systems at the applicant organization; or
  • failure to follow instructions in the application guide or funding opportunity announcement.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site).

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