NIH Funding Policies
NIH funding policies govern all applications and issues related to NIA funding, including those related to the well-being of individuals in clinical studies. All relevant extramural funding policies can be found in the NIH Office of Extramural Research's Grants Policy and Guidelines web site. Officials from institutions that may be first-time receivers of NIH grant support should read the NIH Welcome Wagon Letter. Materials include comprehensive descriptions of NIH Grants Policies and contact information (addresses and phone numbers) for the NIH offices responsible for managing these policies.
Frequently, NIH revises or introduces new policies. These changes are announced in the NIH Guide and added to the Office of Extramural Research's Grants Policy and Guidelines web site. Every several years, policy revisions are incorporated into the NIH Grants Policy Statement.
Recent Changes in NIH Policy (NIH Guide Publication System for FOAs and Notices)
- Required Use of the xTRACT System to Prepare Data Tables for Training Grant Research Performance Progress Reports in FY 2020 (05/21/2019)
- Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products (03/24/2017)
- NIH Implementation of Final Research Performance Progress Reports (Final RPPR) (11/23/2016)
- Reminder: All Subject Inventions Must Be Reported on the HHS 568 - Final Invention Statement and Certification (For Grant or Award) and in iEdison (02/17/2016)
- Reporting Instructions for Publications Supported by Shared Resources in Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) and Renewal Applications (03/24/2016)
- NIH Research Involving Chimpanzees (05/26/2016)
- ASSIST Now an Option for All NIH Competing Grant Applications and Some Post-award Administrative Actions (12/22/2015)
- Updates to NIH & AHRQ Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) to Address Rigor and Transparency (12/15/2015)
- OMB Approval for Form Changes Underway - Continue to Use Current Forms Until Further Notice (08/28/2015)
- NIH Offers Assistance to Phase II HHS SBIR and STTR Awardees through the NIH Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP) (08/14/2015)
- Changes to the NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Policy on Post-Submission Materials for Applications Submitted for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2017. No Additional Materials are Accepted for Applications Responding to RFAs to be Reviewed in NIA (08-12-2016)
- Prior NIH Approval of Human Subjects Research in Active Awards Initially Submitted without Definitive Plans for Human Subjects Involvement (Delayed Onset Awards): Updated Notice (07-30-2015)
- Guidance on Changes That Involve Human Subjects in Active Awards and That Will Require Prior NIH Approval: Updated Notice (07-30-2015)
- Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-funded Research (06/09/2015)
- Notice for Use of Cloud Computing Services for Storage and Analysis of Controlled-Access Data Subject to the NIH Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy (03/27/2015)
- Reminder: NIH Grant Applications and the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (03/20/2015)
- Use of Updated Inclusion Enrollment Format Now Required for Successful Submission of RPPR (03/12/2015)
- Simplifying the NIH Policy for Late Application Submission (12/17/2014)
- Update: New Biographical Sketch Format Required for NIH and AHRQ Grant Applications Submitted for Due Dates on or After May 25, 2015 (12/05/2014)
- NIH and AHRQ Announce Updated Policy for Application Submission (04/17/2014)
- NIH Policy for Managing Conflict of Interest in the Peer Review of Concepts and Proposals for Research and Development Contract Projects (03/20/2014)
- Change in the NIH Continuous Submission Policy (12/04/2013)
- PHS 398 Application Forms and Instructions for Application Due Dates and Updated Application Guides for Electronic Application Forms (07/26/2013)
- Notice of NIH Special Council Review of Research Applications from PDs/PIs with More than $1.0 Million Direct Costs in Annual NIH Support (08/20/2012)
- NIH Announces Changes to the eRA Commons Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Module to Accommodate Additional Reporting Requirements Required by the 2011 Revised FCOI Regulation (06/25/2012)
- New NIH Policy on Efficient Spending Related to Grants Supporting Conferences and Meetings (01/27/2012)
Changes in the NIH Application Submission Process
NIH has participated in a government-wide initiative to submit applications to a single federal site and use a single federal form (the SF 424, Research and Related (R&R)). Also, NIH has switched application submission from paper to an electronic, web-based format for most of the mechanisms. You can check the transition dates (PDF, 209K) of remaining mechanisms that are planned for electronic submission online.
A federal-wide site explains the initiative on submitting grant applications to a central site and with a single form and provides instructions on how to register through that site.
The NIH site that allows access to current competing and noncompeting application forms also provides access to recent Notices announcing changes in how, what, or where applicants should submit. This site is an important one to check regularly if you either are an investigator intending to submit an application or a university research administrator who assists investigators with their applications.
These NIH sites explain how to submit an application electronically and the timetable for transitioning to electronic submission (PDF, 209K) of applications.
NIH has also made information about the current status of submitted applications available to investigators electronically through the NIH Commons. If you are not yet registered for the Commons and intend to submit an application, work within your institution to make sure it is registered and that you have access to this site.