Washington Update

NIH Extends COVID Guidance and Exception for Grant Applications

By: Jacqueline Robinson-Hamm
Thursday, January 13, 2022

In late December, National Institutes of Health (NIH) published two notices clarifying grants guidance providing additional flexibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, prior guidance that instructs reviewers of grant applications to assume that the constraints arising from the COVID-19 pandemic will be resolved during the proposed project period has been extended through the August/October 2022 Council rounds. Reviewers also continue to be instructed that pandemic-related considerations should not affect scores. Therefore, NIH grant applicants should not include contingency or recovery plans for problems resulting from the pandemic. However, if desired, applicants may address effects due to the pandemic, such as delays in productivity, in the Personal Statement in the NIH Biosketch.

Second, the special exception for post-submission materials has been extended through the August/October 2022 Council rounds. This popular exception allows applicants to submit a one-page post-submission update with preliminary data up to 30 days prior to the study section meeting for those funding opportunity announcements that allow preliminary data in the application. 

Additional flexibilities for NIH applicants and grantees are available, including updated guidance and answers to frequently asked questions