NIH Paylines & Resources

I update this page as ICs revise their funding strategies. I’ve also included links to “cleared concepts” (i.e., potential funding initiatives approved by the IC’s Advisory Council for future development into PAs or RFAs) and to IC program contacts (program officers). Those ICs that traditionally do not publish payline or percentile guidance are indicated by “no payline data available” (& none probably ever will be). You can find details on the scoring procedure and interpretation as well as reviewer guidelines by mechanism.
Last updated: 6 July 2017

NIH Institutes & Centers
(descending order of budget, percentiles for established/new PIs)

NCI ($5.21B): FY16: 10th percentile for R01s (12th percentile for ESI only), 7th percentile for R21s (applications at higher percentiles considered on a case-by-case basis to fill gaps & address high priority needs, with special consideration to new/ESI applications); priority score of 25 for R03s & R15 likely funded (higher scores may be selected for funding on a case-by-case basis)
NCI cleared concepts
NCI program contacts

NIAID ($4.71B): FY17 : 11th/18th percentile for established/new-ESI PIs for R01; impact score of 28 for R21 & R03, 22 (interim) for R15, 26 for R41/R42, 32 for R43/R44, 17 for T32/T35; interim impact score of 15 for F30, 17 for F31, 19 for F32, 18 for K (except K99)

NIAID cleared concepts
NIAID program contacts
NIAID Paylines (historic data by year and mechanism)

NHLBI ($3.11B): FY17 interim: 15th/25th percentile for established/ESI PI R01, 36th percentile for F31, F32, F33; impact score of 24 for R15, 20 for F30, 32 for Ks [FY16: 14th percentile for established PI/24th percentile for ESI PI R01s (summary statement concerns resolved for 19-24th percentile); 36th percentile for F31, F32, F33; impact score of 20 for F30, 30 for Ks, 25 for R15s, 29 for R43, 19 for R44; Zone of Consideration impact scores of 10-33 for R21 & P01, of 10-40 for T32, T35, & R41/R42]
Translating NIH Peer Review Changes into Funding Policies
NHLBI cleared concepts (click on most recent Council minutes, see proposed initiatives)
NHLBI program contacts
New Investigator Policy Change: “The applications from New investigators (NI) who do not qualify as early stage investigators (ESI) are no longer considered for special funding as of FY 2010. This policy continues into FY2011.”
Duration of RPGs: “Beginning in FY 2014, it is anticipated that NHLBI policy will be to fund investigator-initiated R01 competing applications, regardless of percentile or priority score, for a period of 4 years [see policy for exceptions … [therefore] researchers are encouraged to submit for review only applications with a project period of 4 years or less.”

NIGMS ($2.51B): No specific payline – explanation of how funding decisions are made by Program Staff and Council
NIGMS cleared concepts (click on most recent Council minutes)
NIGMS program contacts

NIDDK ($1.97B): FY16: 13th percentile for established and new investigators (8th percentile for annual DC of $500K or more), 18th percentile for ESI applicants, 15th percentile for first renewal of ESI R01s
NIDDK cleared concepts (click on most recent Council minutes)
NIDDK program contacts

NINDS ($1.695B): FY15: up to the 14th percentile 
NINDS cleared concepts
(click on most recent Council minutes)
NINDS program contacts

NIMH ($1.52B): FY15: most applications to the 10th percentile, case-by-case up to the 20th percentile
NIMH cleared concepts
NIMH program contacts

NICHD ($1.34B): FY15: 9th/12th for established/new-ESI PIs, AIDS at 5th percentile; 9th percentile for R03s & R21s; 8th percentile for P01s; 11th percentile for F30 & F31 parent applications, 18th percentile for F31 diversity applications, 20th percentile for F32s; priority score of 23 for R15s, SBIRs, STTRs, & K99s; priority score of 16 for other Ks, 18 for Type 2 T32s, 20 for Type 1 T32s, and 30 for R13/U13s.
NICHD cleared concepts
NICHD program contacts

NIA ($1.6B): FY16: up to 11th percentile for RPGs below $500K, with new investigator applications considered up to the 19th percentile and ESI to the 21st percentile; R01s above $500K at the 7th percentile, with new investigator applications considered up to the 16th percentile and ESI up to the 18th percentile; priority score of 20 for Ks (33 for Alzheimers), 30 for Fs (40 for Alzheimer’s), & 34 for SBIRs/21 for STTRs; Alzheimer’s disease: R01s at the 22nd, 25th, & 27th percentile below $500K and at the 19th, 22nd, & 24th percentile above $500K (established, new, ESI, respectively).

NIA program contacts and priorities (click through most relevant division)

NIDA ($1.05B): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIDA program contacts (click on relevant Division)
NIDA cleared concepts (click on latest Council minutes)
Funding priorities & policies

NIEHS ($771M): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIEHS cleared concepts (click on latest Council minutes)
NIEHS program contacts

NEI ($708M): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NEI cleared concepts (click on latest Council minutes)
NEI program contacts

NCATS ($685M): Fiscal policy but no paylines

NCATS cleared concepts (click on latest Council minutes)
NCATS program contacts

NIAMS ($542M): FY15: 12th/17th percentile for established/new PI R01s, 12th percentile for R21s, 6th percentile for R15s, 5th percentile for F30s; priority score of 20 for R03s, of 30/22 for SBIR/STTR, 30 for K23/K24, 14 for K99, 19 for F31/F32/F33, 20 for T32 [FY14: 14th/19th percentile for established/new PI R01s, 14th percentile for R21s, impact score of 20 for R03s & R15s, 30 for SBIR, 23 for STTR, 22 for F31/F32/F33, 24 for F30, 20 for T32, 24 for K99, 30 for K01/K08/K25, 33 for K23/K24]

NIAMS cleared concepts (click on latest Council minutes)
NIAMS program contacts (click on relevant scientific area)

NHGRI ($513M): Fiscal policy but no paylines (funding priorities listed)
NHGRI cleared concepts (click on most recent meeting agenda & documents)
NHGRI program contacts (click on relevant program)

NIAAA ($467M): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIAAA cleared concepts (click on most recent Council minutes)
Training & Career Development Contacts
Division Contacts (check organizational chart as well)

NIDCD ($423M): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIDCD cleared concepts
NIDCD program contacts

NIDCR ($413M): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIDCR cleared concepts
NIDCR program contacts

NLM ($396M): FY15: For experienced investigators, applications with scores 30 or better are the most likely to be funded. For Early Stage Investigators and New Investigators seeking their first R01 research grant, and for K award applicants, applications with scores of 35 or better will be considered for funding
NLM cleared concepts
NLM program contacts

NIBIB ($344M): FY15 payline at 12th/17th percentile for established/new investigator R01s (except BRP); 12th percentile for R21s; impact score at 26 for R03s &amp R15s; 12th percentile for U01s; impact score of 24 for SBIR.

NIBIB cleared concepts (click on most recent minutes)
NIBIB program contacts

NIMHD ($281M): Fiscal policy but no paylines

NINR ($146M): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NINR program contacts

NCCAM ($130M): Fiscal policy but no payline data
NCCAM cleared concepts
NCCAM program contacts

FIC ($70M): No payline data provided
FIC program contacts

Other Resources

NIH Advisory Council Meeting Dates (all ICs)
NIH Funding Strategies
NIH Paylines & Percentiles explained
NIH Success Rates
NIH Budget Allocation by Disease/Disorder
IC Strategic Plans (priorities)
Einstein College of Medicine Paylines-Success Rates Page

Please note that because this page attracts so many comments (and becomes very slow to load/refresh as a result), I am moving comments by calendar year onto archived pages, which has the added benefit of making them searchable.


  1. LNS said

    I have a question about ESI/NI status. Let’s say I submit 2 separate R01s as an ESI/NI. R01#1 gets funded while R01#2 is still under review. Does my ESI/NI status remain intact for R01#2? (I know that I have seen a thread related to this somewhere on this site, but I have searched and searched and haven’t found it. Sorry!)
    Thank you so much!

    • writedit said

      I have checked, and there is no way for me to tag comments to make it easier to search – it’s very frustrating to me to have this huge wealth of experience presented in sequence without any means of organizing it to be more useful. Thanks for your patience and effort in searching first. Your status at the time of application is what is considered. If the same IC would be making both awards and does not have a hard payline for ESI/NI, they might use some of their programmatic discretionary leeway in deciding on the second, but if both applications are distinct and of scientific interest to them, there is no reason they would not make both awards. And yes, someone asked on the blog about a year ago about receiving 2 ESI/NI awards, but they were reviewed (and awarded, as I recall) in the same cycle. You can check with the PO for your funded R01, but to the best of my knowledge, the applicant status policy carries through to the award decision in your case, too.

      • LNS said

        Thanks so much for the quick and very helpful reply!

      • alessaycy said

        I have a related question. What are the pros and cons of submitting two R01s to the same study section during the same cycle? I have two projects related to the same disease. One focuses on novel mechanisms of a known disease-causing gene and the other is about a complete novel gene. It is hard to combine the two projects in one R01 application. Thank you.

      • writedit said

        Reviewers are instructed to evaluate each application on its own merits. You would have different reviewers assigned for the two applications, and if both were scored and discussed, the SRO would ensure that no mention of the second application came up in either discussion. This would also be true if you submitted two applications with different activity codes (e.g., R01 and R21). PIs can and do have 2 R01s funded in the same cycle, but you might want to check with your PO about your two projects, to ensure both would be enthusiastically supported by your IC at the R01 level. If so, and if you can make a compelling scientific case, it is possible for you to obtain the two R01s.

  2. Richard said

    I have a 48% unobligated balance for my RO1 this year because there was a significant delay in recruiting qualified postdocs. Any negative impact on my next year’s funding? As noticed in the NOA, the grantee can automatically carry over the unobligated balance.

    • writedit said

      It won’t affect your overall award, but with that much carryover (>25%), you’ll need to explain what happened in your progress report and that you need the $ to complete the project.

      • Richard said

        Thank you for your prompt response. I have recently added three new postdocs to my lab. Is it sufficient to justify that I need the $ to complete the project?

      • writedit said

        Yes, just saying there was a delay in hiring will be sufficient. The GMS makes the judgment that the spending is delayed (vs unnecessary) based on the reason for the carryover (post doc hired later than planned).

  3. Psyance said

    It’s been a long road, but I received my NGA today! Below is my timeline. My start date was not until 6/1/14, which is why (I’m told) it took so long to get the NGA. It seems applications are prioritized by start date, which makes sense. Still the time from pending to awarded seemed like a long three months. Best of luck to others!

    05/07/2014 Application awarded
    05/01/2014 Award prepared
    02/05/2014 Pending administrative review
    01/24/2014 Request for JIT from GMS
    12/10/2013 Scientific Review Group review completed
    07/18/2013 Scientific Review Group review pending
    07/15/2013 Application entered into system (submitted)

    • Daniel Goldstein said

      Thanks v much. I have a grant that is 2% above payline and I noticed that the status changed 2 days ago to “pending administrative review”- it was reviewed back last Summer so the start date was already. I contacted the PO who did know about this. In my prior grants, “pending administrative review” usually = to be paid. Im confused given the lack of insight from the PO. Any insights from your experience?

  4. newbie said

    Dear Writedit,

    Am I allowed to directly contact the SRO of a study section, even before submitting an application, to ask if my research fits their study section?

    • writedit said

      Absolutely. You don’t want to request a specific SRG on your cover letter only to have the application sent elsewhere, and whether your aims are scientifically appropriate for the study section is an acceptable question for the SRO.

  5. jrresearcher said

    I recently submitted a K23 which is still pending. I have been asked to be a co-investigator on an R01. 1) Is it okay for me to participate as an R01 co-investigator (not PI)? 2) If I did not request salary support, would that make a difference?

    Many thanks!

    • writedit said

      If you only requested 75% time on the K23, the remaining 25% effort can include time on an R01, though I assume, this being a K23, that you will have clinical obligations that take a good chunk of this remaining effort. You should probably talk with your mentor about this, in terms of whether it is even a good idea to get involved in another project, if you should instead be concentrating on getting your own research program going. And no, effort is effort, whether salary is requested or not.

  6. Julie said

    Hi, All, I resubmitted my F31 to NIDA [Impact score 26, percentile 25] and recently noticed that my eRA Commons status changed from ‘Pending Admin Review’ to ‘Award Prepared’ post Council meeting and I’m wondering if anyone could help clarify what this means? Does this mean the F31 will be funded/not funded or is this part of the process as it moved through administrative review? I’m so nervous about lack of funding for another year! I know that the F series is different than standard grants and I’m not sure how the process works.
    Thank you!

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and best wishes for success with your training and your career in academic research! You are definitely receiving an award and should have a notice any day now.

      • Julie said

        Thank you and I truly hope it’s a done deal. I emailed the grant specialist today and she said the grant is still in administrative processes and couldn’t give any additional information at this time. Should I be concerned with this response? Do grants that don’t end up getting funded also receive this change in status?

        I can’t thank you enough for this blog and how much I’ve learned about the process from you. Thank you so much for helping us decipher this complicated process. 🙂

      • writedit said

        If your eRA status says Award prepared, you’ve made it through the administrative review and now just need to wait for the bureaucratic process to unfold. Don’t worry about the GMS comments – she is being conservative and probably really doesn’t know when your award will be issued.

  7. talaci said

    Dear Writedit, is the published payline inclusive of the payline value itself? My NIAID K award impact score is right the payline value itself (JIT request from the GMS was just responded too). Also, if I can be awarded, can I take it to another institution that does not have the mentoring resources (maybe some) like my current place but geographically not too far away (3hrs driving though)?
    Thank you very much for all your helpful comments!

    • writedit said

      Scoring at the payline means you will receive an award (payline is ≤ # percentile), which is why you received a JIT request from your GMS. You can take the award with you so long as the new institution has the proper resources and a qualified mentor (your current mentor would remain part of your mentoring team no matter how far you went). Now, I assume this is not a K99/R00 – you must stay the full year for the K99 portion. For other Ks, you are free to move, but you want to talk with your PO as soon as you know whether/when you will be moving. He/she has to help with this and won’t have a problem with your moving, again, so long as the research can be done at the new institution.

  8. newbie said

    Dear Writedit, if I get scored (but not funded) for a PAR, but the PAR expires before the next NIH resubmission date, will I be allowed to resubmit, or am I SOL? Given the high likelihood of a resubmission these days, I am wondering whether to even apply for this about-to-expire PAR.

    • writedit said

      You need to download the electronic application for the PAR, so if it expires before the next submission, you won’t be able to apply again (as an A1 or an A0). However, you can check with the PO to see if they plan to reissue the PAR and, if not, whether he/she knows of any other current or planned FOAs that would be appropriate for your application. You can always submit the proposal to a parent announcement, though with no mention of the prior review (so you would be starting from scratch).

  9. HopefulePI said

    I received a 10% at NIDDK for R01 (below the payline). What is soonest I should look for NOA, council met today.

    • SGS said

      Hi, HopefulPI

      Did you receive JIT or not?



      • HopefulePI said


      • writedit said

        Within the next 6-8 weeks, hopefully sooner, since they should be about caught up on backlogged awards by now. You can watch your eRA Commons status change as the award processing progresses. They will contact you if there is any administrative problem that needs to be addressed. If you need to start spending now, you can confirm with the PO that you are within 90 days of award and let your grants administrator know. Congratulations and best wishes for success with the research.

  10. SGS said

    Hi, Writeedit

    My eRA commons status is Council Review Completed on May 7 (NIDDK). My Percentile is within the payline. Do you know what it means? In addition, I still did not receive JIT.



    • writedit said

      Council review completed is the status of any application that has gone before Council for consideration and has been judged acceptable for funding (within the NIDDK mission, no administrative bars, not a PI with too much money, etc.). If your application is within the payline, the JIT request should come soon (it is okay that it comes after Council). You can check with the PO or GMS about JIT, especially if you need to know for planning purposes. If you have not communicated with the PO recently, you would certainly be okay to ask about the status of the application.

  11. Julie said

    Thank you Writedit for all your help. I wanted to give an update that I just received my FoA this morning after my eRA status changed from “Pending. Award Prepared” last Friday.

    If at all helpful for others, my timeline for my F31 was:

    12/09/13: Application Submitted (resubmission)
    3/11/14: Scientific Review Group Meeting
    4/21/14: Pending Admin Review
    5/6/14: Council Mtg (although I don’t think they review F’s at the council, unsure)
    5/9/14: eRA status changed to “Award Prepared: refer questions to GMS”
    5/15/14: Notice of Award

    Thank you again for this wonderful blog, and good luck to all.
    Happy researching,
    Julie 🙂

    • writedit said

      Congratulations again – glad you can relax with the award in hand now. And yes, you are correct that F applications are not reviewed by Council (second level of review is within the IC). Happy researching indeed!

  12. Richard said

    I am a PI for a NIH RO1 subcontract. We are now preparing progress report for this grant and was requested to send information to primary institution. I cannot find any NIH guideline for progress report related to subcontract PI and don’t know what information I should send to the PI. Please help.

    • writedit said

      You should send the same information as is requested for the PI in terms of accomplishments, changes, etc. specific to the Aim(s) or component(s) of the study for which you are responsible, and the overall PI will incorporate your material in the RPPR. You can see what is requested on the RPPR here: It’s really not much of a burden. Was it due today?

  13. comprenew said

    Hi writedit — another couple of questions re: a competitive renewal application.
    (1) NHLBI is granting a 5% benefit for the first competitive renewals of those who were ESI at the original submission time.I was an ESI at the time I received this award (picked up by NHLBI). Should I send the renewal application to the same study section where I was funded? I have mixed feelings about this — the application might be a better fit for the profile of another study section, but I anticipate the “old” study section (that funded me) would like to see how I did. At the same time, the “new” study section has funded many grants that were picked up by NIDDK. If my proposal is selected by NIDDK, I lose the 5% benefit that (only) the NHLBI would grant me. The direction of my proposal is roughly a 50-50 split between the two institutes missions. What do you advise?
    (2) Does the title of a renewal R01 application have to stay the same as in the original one?

    • writedit said

      Your competing renewal will be referred back to NHLBI. Another IC won’t pick it up, as in take it away, from NHLBI. You can avoid any mystery in which IC will consider your future applications for funding by writing a cover letter that request assignment to a specific institute (and you presumably would have been talking with a PO there in advance, who would also be named in the letter). If you want to change study sections, you need to include a cover letter (just request reassignment to NHLBI) in which you state the SRG you would like to have review your application and a brief sentence giving rationale for that selection. The study section has nothing to do with the IC assignment (this is made at the same time as the study section assignment and independent of it). Now, the original study section will have completely new members by now, so check the roster to see if they are the right reviewers. If not, and if this new study section looks more appropriate, that’s fine – just ask for the study section you want by name (and abbreviation). I would suggest you talk with your PO at NHLBI about study section selection, as he or she probably knows all the SRGs you might consider. If NIDDK has not co-funded the application thus far, they probably won’t be involved in the renewal, but you could ask your PO whether to request them in the cover letter for secondary assignment.

      The title of the competing renewal does not need to be the same as the original application (the grant number stays the same, which is how the link is kept, not the title). You will have new aims for the renewal, and the title should reflect the new aims and how your science has progressed.

      • comprenew said

        This is extremely helpful, writedit —- many thanks!

  14. tcgal said

    Did NCI’s May council meet yet? trying to get a sense of when we might see an award coming for my mentee’s K01

    • writedit said

      If you know for certain that your mentee is receiving the K01 award, it could take up to 6-8 weeks after Council for the award to be processed. If your mentee needs to start spending sooner, he/she can ask the PO for confirmation that the application is within 90 days of a notice of award (to allow pre-spending). However, NCAB is scheduled to meet June 22-24 (eRA Commons lists a generic May Council meeting date, not specific to the assigned IC), so don’t look for the eRA status to change any time soon.

  15. judy2014 said

    First, writedit, thanks so much for your great contribution here. I have a question about my NCI/K99 application. My application was submitted in Nov, 2013 and I got the impact score of 12 in March 2014. At the end of April, the PO asked me to submit the JIT and then I did it. In the eRA system, it is said the council meeting will be held in May 2014. I am wondering when I can receive the final notice of the decision. Now I looked at the eRA system everyday and found the status unchanged (pending council meeting). I appreciate your answer.

    • writedit said

      Okay – this is easy. eRA Commons uses a generic Council date (in this case, May 2014 for all IC spring Council meetings). The NCAB doesn’t meet until June 22-24, so you would be refreshing your status for a long time before any changes occurred. If your PO asked for JIT, you can be cautiously optimistic about your award – especially if the PO also used those terms. If you need to know the likely award date for spending purposes (probably the July 1 start date, but maybe later, depending on the award processing queue), you can ask the PO when you will be within 90 days of the notice (and whether he/she advises pre-spending), so you can set up an account at your institution.

      • judy2014 said

        Your answer is really helpful. I don’t need to refresh the page everyday. Thanks, writedit.

  16. Emily said

    Dear Writedit,
    I enjoy reading your blod very much and want to thank you for these very helpful insights!
    I recently received a KO8 from NIHLBI, and I was wondering if it is allowed to rebudget especially the salary portion, e.g. can I use that part of the fund to pay a technician, postdoc, or supply?
    Thanks again and best regards..

    • writedit said

      With the K08, you need to maintain a minimum percent effort (75%), so you can’t rebudget below that certainly. I would be surprised if your department wanted you to give up salary, either (they’re usually happy to have the NIH pay your way). I realize the Ks don’t give much in the way of research support, but this is supposed to be a time of mentored training, not a mini-R01. If your K08 is covering more than 75% of your salary, you could ask the GMS about rebudgeting, but I am guessing they would not like to see you give up effort (except later in your K, when you are allowed to apply for an R01), and I don’t expect there would be a lot of $ to rebudget even if you were allowed.

  17. goggu said

    Dear Writedit,

    I am in 2nd year of the K99 phase. My mentor asked me to write an NIH research grant. Am I eligible for R21 or R01 ? He (my mentor) told me I can bring it with me when I get a job.

    • writedit said

      Hmm. You can hold another NIH award during your R00 phase. You must devote at least 75% of your time to research, but it doesn’t need to all be paid by the R00. So, if you were 100% research (no clinical), you could be 70-75% effort on the R00 and 25-30% effort on another RPG award (R21 or R01) – or, if you could only commit 75% effort, then say 50% on the R00 and 25% on the other RPG (or another breakdown to ensure the aims could all get done). You will need to have a faculty position secured to activate the R00, so you want to be sure you have enough time for your applications and interviews, if you don’t have anything lined up yet. Of course, getting a second award would make even more marketable. And, here I am assuming your mentor means for you to be the PI – not to write it for him as PI (with a piece of the budget for you).

      • goggu said

        It seems that R21 or R01 can be awarded to someone with K99 then. Thank you so much.

      • writedit said

        It can be awarded during the R00 phase. If you are just applying now, you won’t have an award until after your K99 ends though.

  18. jojik said

    My score is beyond the NIA K01 payline, however I found that my status is “council review completed” what does this mean…?

    • writedit said

      It just means your application went to Council. The status will never change again if you aren’t funded (and you will not receive formal notice that you are not receiving funding).

      • jojik said

        Thanks for the quick reply – a few more curiosities I would like to ask:

        1. Are our impact scores normally distributed…?

        2. After finding the summary statement, I tried to contact PO (contacted 2 times so far to further discuss the statement) however no reply so far .. I understand that he does not quickly reply to everyone. However not this long, Any suggestion in this kind of situation…?

        3. I am a bit embarrassed to share this however the summary statement (13 pages) largely is about my lower productivity/publications (quoted) as a K01 candidate. Actually, the review score on the candidate part is poorer than any other sections…. I am not sure whether this means that I just need to present more publications when to resubmit, OR due to this lower publications (quoted), they did not mention about much weaknesses of my research plans. Please share…
        (note : all they mentioned about my plans are about “more detailed explanations are needed”)..

      • writedit said

        1. I don’t have data for impact scores by study section, so it is hard to say whether they are evenly distributed (at least the preliminary scores – the final scores, for those applications that are discussed, might still skew to the lower end of the scale, despite SRO efforts to get reviewers to spread the scores – but I don’t have data on this, just a guess). In theory – in a perfect review world – they would be (both preliminary and final).

        2. I assume you are communicating with the K-assigned PO. You can see if other POs are assigned to other K mechanisms and ask if they can offer help or a referral to someone who can. If you know the PO at your IC who would be closest in terms of science (and if not, track one down), you could contact this person for advice. Alternatively, your mentor could contact his/her PO at the IC to check into why this PO hasn’t been responsive.

        3. Many K applications forget that this is a career development award rather than a mini R01 so give short shrift to the candidate/career development plan section, so your mentoring/training/development plan might need work, too. However, K01 applicants are increasingly competitive – you essentially need a facutly position (vs postdoc with promise of job if awarded) and good publication record to be taken seriously. If you were cited specifically for lack of productivity/publications, then you do need to publish more before you resubmit. Of course, now you have as many chances as you need to reapply, but you don’t want to waste their time if you have not become a more competitive candidate in the meantime. You don’t mention whether the research or career plans need more details, but you would want to attend to this criticism as well before resubmitting. They want milestones and shifting effort distribution over the years (training, research, RCR, grants/manuscripts prepared/submitted, teaching, etc.) that clearly point to your ending up well positioned to launch your independent research program at the end.

  19. LNS said

    My PO told me that she has defended my proposal for funding by exception at several levels. Now, she said the Division Director has to present it to NCI Leadership. Will that step be what is referred to as “council?” Many thanks, as always, for your help!

    • writedit said

      No, she is talking about the SPLs (Scientific Program Leadership), which I guess could best be described as a program-level study section. They review individual applications that score above the payline (9th percentile last year – no update in over a year) and have been selectively put forward by individual POs, who in turn need to justify (defend) each application above the payline that they nominate for funding. The SPLs give Harold Varmus their recommendations on which applications scoring in the 9-15th percentile range (or whatever range they use this year – I don’t know) should receive awards. Harold makes the final decisions. The NCAB (Council) approves, sometimes with adjustments, the list of applications nominated for funding that Harold sends to them. The NCAB meets later in June, so the SPL review is taking place now, I assume. I don’t know how many applications are presented to the SPLs or the percentage of those presented that are recommended for awards, but you’ve made a huge cut and can be grateful to your PO for all she has done.

      • LNS said

        Thank you very much for clarifying this process. Yes, I am very grateful to my PO. She has been extremely helpful, responsive, and supportive of my research.

      • LNS said

        Related to the proposal referenced above, the last I heard from my PO (on 6/13) was that presentation to the SPLs had not happened yet. Since NCAB meets 6/22-24, wouldn’t the SPLs and Dr. Varmus have approved or rejected the proposal by now? Or can that level of review still take place after council somehow? Thanks!

      • writedit said

        While I would have assumed that the SPLs would meet in advance of Council (mainly since NCAB meets so late), they can meet and make their decisions before or after Council. Council members can weigh in on individual applications, so perhaps that is why they wait for their discussions. Waiting until after the NCAB meeting just means the GMS folks will be very busy getting all the awards processed before the end of the FY, not that your chances are diminished.

      • LNS said

        My PO said that my application was approved for exception funding by the NCI leadership. She requested that I submit JIT. Still, she qualified “this is not a formal notice of funding as only the Notice of Award fits that category.” Commons still only says “council review completed.” Based on this information, do I have any reason to worry? Many thanks as always!

      • writedit said

        No need to worry – congratulations. Your PO is correct that only a formal Notice of Award guarantees an award, but assuming your JIT does not have any problems, you can anticipate a NoA in a month or so. Your status won’t change until the administrative review process begins.

  20. Grantseeker said

    Dear Writedit,

    I recently received a R21 award. I am planning on submitting a R15 grant with no overlap with the R21. My question is whether a PI with a active R21 can receive a R15 even if there is no overlap between the two grants.


    • writedit said

      The issue is not scientific overlap – the issue is having any other NIH award. The R15 could not start until after the R21 ended. If you just received the R21, you should probably wait until later in the award period to submit the R15, since I do not think they would delay the R15 start beyond the FY in which it was awarded (so, if you received an FY15 award, start date would need to be before Sept 30, 2015). You could ask the R15 contact for your IC ( for clarification on how long they could delay the R15, but I expect you will be asked to wait and submit for FY16 (so, Feb in 2015 or later). You could submit another R21 or R01 at any point, of course. It’s just that the AREA awards are intended to be the sole award for a PI, since the program is intended to stimulate research at schools and institutions that have not secured large portfolios of NIH funding (rather than serve as low-hanging fruit for successful researchers looking for additional rather than sole funding).

  21. Stressful Life said

    FYI …this was the timeline for my application. Literally a year from submission. It was super helpful to me to know some time frames that were posted by others:

    05/27/2014 Application awarded.
    05/20/2014 Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management

    04/23/2014 Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to
    Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.

    02/05/2014 Council review completed.

    11/20/2013 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review
    pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.

    06/13/2013 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any
    questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.

    06/04/2013 Application entered into system

  22. New R1 Asst Prof said

    My timeline as a New Investigator for those interested (NIH-NIAID):

    1. R01 A0 submitted 11/13/13

    2. Reviewed on 3/07/14

    3. Summary Statement Released 3/21/14 (18 Impact, 8 %tile)

    4. Early Electronic Council Review Completed 4/07/14

    5. JIT request from GMS 5/19/14

    6. NOA 5/29/14

    7. Start Date 6/01/14

    This was my second R01 submitted. The A0 and A1 for the first were both submitted back in 2012. It missed the payline by 1 percentile.

    Many thanks to writedit and all of the commenters for keeping me informed and sane through out the process.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing all the details on your grant application trajectory. Best wishes for success with the research!

  23. JuniorPI said

    I am a newbie faculty, and I was wondering whether there are strict rules about proposing aims/experiments in junior faculty private foundation grants that overlap with R00 aims. Does the NIH frown on R00 overlapping with other funding sources the same way they do for R01 aims? Is the R00 more like seed-money to help the new faculty or like a mini-R01 given to fund the actual experiments proposed? Grateful for any input, thanks!

    • writedit said

      The NIH won’t care, but the Foundation might, since you are often asked about current funding and potential overlap. If you can tailor the foundation application to collect additional, complementary data supportive of your R00 work (that, combined with the R00 data, will make you competitive for an R01), that would be best.

      • JuniorPI said

        What if the scientific aims overlap, but not the budget? For example, the R00 is clearly not enough money to support the PI’s salary plus the costs of conducting the experiments proposed. A private foundation grant could provide the salary support, and the R00 could provide the experimental costs. Is that still considered overlap?

      • writedit said

        You’ll need to review the Foundation guidelines or talk with someone there. Often they are fine providing additional support for a project, but you’ll want to clarify this with them if the guidelines are not clear.

  24. Yiki said

    First of, I want to say that your blog is excellent and has answered many of my questions in the past. Great work!

    I have recently applied for a mentored K01 and got a score of 13. I figured that it is pretty high but since there was no percentiles and my mentor kept on asking I started looking around and found your blog. I did that because my PO is not very responsive. He does answer questions but in a sort of yes/no way which does not really answer much. Hence after trying about three times I figure I did not want to anger him and waited instead. Your blog helped me wait for the right time and after the council date I got an email from another guy asking for my JIT which I gave the next day. He was very supportive of the fact that we sent it quick and said that it will go to Dr. Varmus and then get a NOA. He also said it could be a couple of weeks but didn’t specify whether to give an NOA or to tell me if I even got it. His email made it look like a got it but I figure asking him directly is not going to lead to answers based on my experience so fat. I am truly at a loss of knowing what is going on with the application and I am hoping that it got funded but if not I want to start getting ready for the re-submission since I guess getting all the reference letters again is not going to be an easy task.

    What I want to know is:
    1.- Is there an NCI “payline” for K01? (obviously not percentile). If so what is it or where can I find it?
    2.- What question should I ask my PO or the other gentleman about my award? Are they allowed to tell me more or less what it means or are they assuming I am supposed to know something? If so…what? I couldn’t find anything that specific on the NIH K kiosk and pretty much says to contact them. I read a from many of the posters here and they seem to have talked at length with their PO so I am worried I did something wrong.
    3.-My supposed start date is July 1st. How does that fit into these delays? If awarded will the date change? is it because of the shutdown back in November?

    Any help will be welcome!

    • writedit said

      Congratulations! NOA = Notice of Award. The gentleman who asked for the JIT information is the Grant Management Specialist (GMS) assigned to your application, and he is indicating that you will get an award – probably in time for your July 1start, but if the award processing takes longer, don’t be worried – the award can start after the date on your application. There really isn’t anything you need to ask now – just wait for the NOA (sent to your university). The GMS can answer questions about the award itself (budget related etc.).

      On your specific questions, there is no percentile for K awards, and no published payline, but you have an exceptional score. Some POs are not responsive – you are not doing anything wrong. Since this is probably the K award PO, you should ask your mentor about a regular PO appropriate for your science (who would work with you on your R01 applications). You can also search Reporter for research similar to yours and check the FpOs assigned (look at NCI website to see which are most appropriate).

      Best wishes for success with your project and your career in academic research!

      • Yiki said

        So we are in mid July now and I still haven’t heard much. This is my status so far apart from the previous discussions:

        10/23/2013 Application entered into system
        04/02/2014 Scientific Review Group review completed
        06/26/2014 Council review completed

        By following your blog I knew when the council was scheduled to meet so it kept me “calm” without much worries. However, a week after council review completed nothing happened so I asked the guy that asked for the JIT (he is not a grants administrator but has the same title as my PO?). I asked for the status or if it was not going to be approved? As usual, nothing specific, other than to say be patient its going to be a couple more weeks. I saw some of the timelines in this blog and people that got reviewed/applied at the same time as me got their NOAs already or at least a “processing” something? Can you give me some insight as to what this means? I know is probably just wait but knowing how much would really allow me to focus on other things. Again any input would be greatly appreciated!

      • writedit said

        All the ICs are not the same, and NCAB (NCI Council) met later than most, so award processing will be later, too. If you check some of the timelines, you’ll see weeks pass after Council – and even after the status changes to Administrative review or other signs of award processing. Your PO and GMS (might be GMO – Grants Management Officer – and they might both sign off as Health Science Administrator) are not being cautionary or negative, so you do just need to be patient. Awards are made into August and September, so don’t worry that the July 1 date has passed or that it has been a couple of weeks since Council. Hopefully you will hear something or at least see a status change by August – but if not, since your NCI contacts already told you to sit tight, I think you can rest assured they will get in touch with you if they need something. Easier said than done, I know …

      • Yiki said

        Thank you so much. I just wanted to make sure that I am not sitting tight for the wrong reason hehe. It is just hard for a newbie like me to figure out what’s going on. I truly appreciate your help and support.

      • Yiki said

        Latest update:

        7/17/14 Received an email from NIH grant manager letting me know that the award was processed with effective data of 8/1/14. Yay

        Apart from thanking you and giving people that need it a timeline of events, I just wanted to post to let people know how “silent” on the NIH process can be. There was really no change in era until the next day when the processing started! Plus no other email either. Hopefully they will have a better system someday in the future that lets applicants more aware of the process (specially for noobs like me) but in the mean time I am very grateful for this blog!

      • writedit said

        Hooray – glad you can finally rest easy knowing when your award will start. eRA commons generates email about major developments in an applicant’s account status, but there is no way to send out explanations about the absence of or delays in award processing activity, since each IC is different (going in, all applications go through the same referral & review procedure, so the timing is consistent through these steps – then differs for each application). Perhaps some interim standard eRA messages could be created for extramural staff to use as they move applications along the award process, but until then, applicants whose applications are under consideration for an award should just check in with POs and GMSs at reasonable intervals, recognizing that the wheels of the federal bureaucracy turn slowly.

  25. Emaderton3 said

    Are new investigators treated the same as ESI when it comes to special consideration for funding? Along those lines, my ESI status just expired. I saw that you can ask for an extension under certain circumstances. Under the rules of the K25 award that I currently have, I was not allowed to apply for a R01 for the first three years. Would something like that qualify?

    • writedit said

      Most ICs treat new investigators the same (or roughly the same) as ESI, but not NHLBI or NINDS – and perhaps others now (that is, ESI get a break, NI do not). You can check your IC’s policy to see whether they extend their ESI consideration to NI applicants. As far as I know, the K award restriction on delaying R01 applications until the 4th year does not count as a valid reason to extend ESI status (, but there is no harm in asking (

      • Emaderton3 said

        I guess I will wait and see what kind of score I get on my recently reviewed R01. It turns out that ESI status is assigned upon submission of the grant and not the review date. So, I am ok for now.

        As for the K, I was just wondering since I did have classes that I took as part of my training (and extension policy includes didactic work although sounds like it needs to be a lot). I don’t want to lose the curved score!

      • writedit said

        Ah – I thought you were asking about an application still to be submitted. Yes, ESI status at submission is what counts. You could still ask about future submissions, but if you did not complete a formal degree program, I don’t think you’ll get far with your request for an extension.

      • Emaderton3 said

        Thanks. It may be worth a shot to at least ask as you say.

        Alternatively, I have a scored R03 that was in response to an Institute-specific announcement for new investigators only. The PO told me they are going to use the general R03 payline for this specific grant as well. Interestingly, when I spoke with the PO about select pay, he said that first submissions at his Institute do not usually get supported for select pay since they figure you have one more shot to make it better. Is that common? Also, he said each division usually pushes one or two applications for select pay instead of pooling them all together and just taking top scores which I thought was interesting.

      • writedit said

        In previous years, ICs would not recommend A0s for select pay due to the opportunity for resubmission – that was pretty standard practice. We’ll see how this might change now that every application is (or could be) an A0. And yes, the select pay is not just top scoring unfunded applications – if you look at the ICs that show funding trend data (e.g., NCI, NIGMS, et al.), you’ll see applications funded way above the payline, up to the 20th & 30th percentiles (even 40th). Very few at that level, but only with a committed PO & then Division/Branch chief enthusiastically pushing for its award. Only R01s get special consideration for ESI/NI, so no surprise there, either. I assume you are at an IC that offers has the special R03 opportunity for K awardees – nice.

      • Emaderton3 said

        It is just a R03 for new investigators. While the K awards limit your ability to apply for R funding, there are easy ways around it. I have heard of people getting R01s within the first three years of a K. My understanding is that the trick is to put your effort down as running concommitant with your K such that you don’t take salary from the R until years 4 and 5.

  26. Red said

    Dear Writedit:

    I have a very senior postdoc that is submitting an R21 as a PI. Can s/he put down 100% efffort or does that look bad? Should it be less, say 75%?


    • writedit said

      Well, if the postdoc has no other responsibilities, it might be feasible, but usually the assumption of reviewers is that he/she has responsibilities to your research as well (especially since he/she is not faculty so not in charge of his/her own time). A letter from you and the chair supporting this unusual level of effort might help (& in fact should be included even at 75% effort), but I expect this would still be tough for a review committee. If his/her biosketch is strong enough to support being a PI, then the question would be why the university doesn’t invest in him/her as faculty (at least research assistant prof) – same thing as with K applications from postdocs (or at least I assume the same sort of hurdle might be faced).

  27. Psyance said

    I’m not sure if this is an admissible post or not, but there isn’t a page for LRP related questions/discussion. I have an LRP renewal under review (assigned to NIDA), but have not heard if I am being recommended for funding. A number of people have heard about their LRP applications over the last few weeks, though they have all been assigned to different institutes (as far as I can tell). I’m just wondering if anyone out there has received any news on a NIDA assigned LRP application.

    • writedit said

      I have helped with loan repayment applications but have not interacted with the NIH side of things, so I am not familiar with how these are handed internally. However, renewals do very well, and I assume you can check with the PO about when you will hear (soon, I assume)

      • WCsoccer said

        Can anyone please point me to how to search for LRP award information in Reporter or anywhere?

      • writedit said

        You should find anything you need to know here:

      • WCsoccer said

        I am sorry; I meant individual LRP award information such as awardees, project description, etc, as available in RePorter.

        Another related question: are LRP awards included in “Notice of Grant Awards issued within the last 90 days” list? If so, what is their award code?

        Thanks much.

      • writedit said

        To the best of my knowledge, LRP funding does not show up in either place, since the applicant does not submit a formal proposal, and there is not an award issued (NIH sends payments to lenders).

    • clueless noob said

      I recently received notice that my LRP renewal app with NIDA had passed the first level of review, but that email said that funding decisions would be made in late July.

      • writedit said

        Cool – thanks for chiming in with this intel. Good luck with your LRP renewal.

      • Just to update, I’m still awaiting any official notice on my renewal. The timeline at indicates that LRP funding decisions go out by 8/7 (tomorrow). If nothing pops up online tomorrow I might contact them on 8/8.

      • writedit said

        Sounds like a good plan – good luck again.

  28. Heliotron said

    I just got an email from my PO saying that he’s cautiously optimistic that my grant will be funded and have a question about this wording. Has anyone been told to be cautiously optimistic and then not had their grant funded in the end? Or is this wording always a good sign and the PO just has to wait until it is official before they can say anything else?

    • writedit said

      You PO cannot guarantee an award until the notice is actually issued, but this is as close as he can get to saying you should be funded (if your JIT/administrative review does not turn up any bars). In other words, he knows of no reason you won’t be, but that does not mean one might not exist he doesn’t know of. I do not know of any instance of unwarranted cautious optimism – perhaps someone else here does.

    • Morrissey said

      can you let us know the institute and %ile you were at? is this ESI A1 application or A0 or ?

      • Heliotron said

        NIGMS R15, no percentile, priority score only (low 20s)

  29. SD said

    For those who are interested in SBIR applications to NIGMS, here is the timeline for our award (10 months from submission to award):

    06/09/2014 Application awarded.
    06/03/2014 Award prepared.
    03/28/2014 Pending administrative review.
    01/30/2014 Council review completed.
    11/06/2013 Scientific Review Group review completed.
    08/05/2013 Application entered into system.

    This is a Fast Track grant (Impact score: 23) where Phase I and II are submitted within the same application.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you so much for posting your timeline of submission and award! Sadly, those delays are within reason (first due to lack of appropriation, second due to administrative catch-up once funds were finally actually released to GM). Best wishes for success with the R&D.

      • SD said

        Thank you writedit. Do you know whether the ICs have caught up? I submitted another application in December 2013 which passed council review in late May. I figured I might not be up for administrative review until August.

      • writedit said

        No, the delay until late March for the administrative review was NIGMS waiting for Congress to pass an appropriation bill. Then, with 2 cycles of awards to process, it took another 2 months to get to your award. Now that they’ve caught up, awards should be processed pretty much in time for a July start date. I assume you have been asked for and submitted your JIT by now.

      • SD said

        I had not received a JIT request until your comment prompted me to ask my PO directly. It was my understanding that it is better to wait until asked rather than act on the emergence of the JIT link in ERA Commons, which is automatically issued for applications receiving an impact score of 40 or less ( The wheels are in motion now. Thanks for the advice.

      • writedit said

        You should only submit the JIT if the PO or GMS requests it. I assume you mean the PO did give you the green light to submit when you asked (and the PO had intended to request this but had not gotten around to it). The automatically issued link does not constitute a “real” request.

      • SD said

        You are correct. He requested it after I asked.

  30. Emaderton3 said

    I just got my first R01 scored. Unfortunately, it did not do very well. I got a priority score of 45. What I was curious about was the percentile which was a 35. I know NIH is pushing reviewers to spread out the scores and use the entire range. So, theoretically, an impact score of a 45 would be the 50th percentile. However, in reality, I know the scores are getting bunched up, and most reviewers don’t give anything worse than a 6 or so. That being said, I would expect that my score of a 45 would actually put me at a worse percentile if the scores only spanned the range of let’s say 10-60. Any insight on this? I guess what I am getting at is whether a resubmission and an improvement of 10-15 points on my score would dramatically get me into a much higher percentile.

    • writedit said

      It depends on when the SRG was recalibrated and whether, now that the new era of unlimited submission has begun, reviewers are spreading scores even farther, both since it is not anyone’s “last chance” any more and since they may want to push some applicants to make significant changes (or not come back). You’ll know better about what to do next when you have the critiques and can talk with the PO about how to interpret them (in the context of how the entire meeting went and your discussion in particular).

    • LIZR said

      You should keep in mind that the bottom 50% or so of R01 applications are typically triaged and are not discussed. Those grant applications do not receive a priority score and are not given a percentile. Therefore, just by making it into the pile of grants that get discussed, you should be in the top 50%. Different study sections may behave differently in how effectively they spread their priority scores.

      • Emaderton3 said

        Thanks for the replies. 2 of 3 reviewers gave me criteria scores that when averaged would have put me in a fundable range. Even the 3rd reviewer, whom had significant issues with a few things, did not score me down that low (but probably helped to bring about the discussion that did lower my priority score). I know, I know, criteria scores are not indicative of the priority score . . .

      • writedit said

        You said it yourself. Criteria scores do not necessarily reflect the priority score (I wish folks would stop making themselves crazy by trying to “calculate” priority score based on criteria scores), and reviewers do not always go back to update their initial comments or scores. After the discussion, obviously someone set a higher scoring range than would be reflected by what they marked during their initial review.

      • Emaderton3 said

        Why don’t reviewers go back and update their critiera scores then? I know they cannot change their individual priority scores, but they can adjust their reviews. Interestingly, the biggest problems with the grant were in the Approach, yet the PO summary at the beginning said the Approach was a strength. Anyway, I will know more after I get the chance to speak with the PO.

        Also, how are POs assigned? I always assumed they were related to the study section, but in this case the PO’s background was in line with my assigned institute and not the expertise of the study section.

      • writedit said

        Oh gosh – you should be picking your own PO in advance of submitting the application. POs work in the ICs – SROs (who run the study sections & write the Resume & Summary of Discussion – not the PO) mostly work in CSR. I’ve written a book about this that you can buy on Amazon …. If you did not talk with a PO in advance (and if you had, you would have wanted to name him/her in your cover letter), then it is like cold calling when CSR makes the referral. The CSR referral officer guesses the best IC to select, if you did not include a cover letter requesting an assignment – but even if you did request an IC but not name a PO with whom you had worked, then there is a quick check at the IC end as to whose portfolio your work best matches – or matches closely enough for assignment anyway. You want to make contact with this PO, who would have attended the study section meeting, to have your questions answered, as you surmised. Some – perhaps many – reviewers do go back to update their criterion scores and reviews (some do this during the study section meeting – it’s all online) – but they don’t have to, and not all do (especially, I would guess, ad hoc reviewers and of course anyone not at the meeting).

      • Emaderton3 said

        Wow, ok. I have never contacted a PO ahead of time, just a SRO to determine if a specific study section was a good match. In this case, the PO’s background is perfect. And in my case in which the work is interdisciplinary and could have gone to a completely different study section, I think this particular PO will be able to advise me on this possibility.

        I never understood this. If the SRO runs the study section and writes up the summary, why aren’t they the ones to answer questions concerning the discussion of your grant?

        I may check out that book!

      • writedit said

        The SRO does summarize the discussion among the reviewers – but he/she does not review any applications themselves so cannot answer any questions about the applications.

        You should absolutely introduce yourself to the PO, ask about your review (POs attend study section meetings but even though they might know your research from talking with you in advance of submission, they cannot speak up during the discussion), and ask about your plans for revising. The PO also helps with portfolio placement – what about your application & science is of most interest to the IC (& can you tweak it to fill a specific niche so you’re not overlapping with similar funded projects).

        And, although I hate to tout my own book, it really would be beneficial for you … I described it in a post on the main blog:

        Essentially, I tried to summarize the most important information (about how the NIH works) and advice (about how to fine tune your applications) I give on this blog (and to researchers here at BICO) in one place.

      • Emaderton3 said

        Thanks. I have always talked to POs after the reviews were in to get help with a possible resubmission. I noticed that there is an extended submission date for each cycle so that new investigators can get more time but resubmit so that the proposal is reviewed in that current cycle. Are they expectations any different with a short turnaround?

      • writedit said

        That’s good that you always communicate with the PO after the review. You do not get any special consideration for going back in early, which is why you should only do so if you can submit a competitive application that soon after receiving the summary statement.

      • Emaderton3 said

        I have consolidated my review down to 11 major points. Of them, only 3 would require new data/experiments. Fortunately, I already have the data. Thus, the rest would be writing, so I am considering the quick turnaround . . .

      • writedit said

        Sure – sounds appropriate in your case. You can always submit again, thanks to the change in NIH policy (used to be a bigger consideration if you only had one more chance to submit, but I still would not advise anyone to submit an application that was not ready so as to avoid wasting the time of and possibly irritating reviewers on the panel you will inevitably go back to again).

  31. I applied the NCI K99 last October.
    I just got the notice from PO asking me to submit JIT. the PO said that there is very high likelihood that my application will be in the funding range, and they should know more in early July.
    My questions are:
    1. Does it mean that my application will surely be granted?
    2. If I am granted K99, in order to receive the 100 K/per year, do I need to ask my PI to change my title to sth like “instructor” to remove the salary cap?


    • writedit said

      Although it would be easier to comment if you had included your K99/R00 score, if your PO is requesting JIT and indicating a high likelihood of funding, then you probably will receive an award – though this is not a guarantee. There is no certainty with any award until the NoA has been issued – but your PO is being as confident as he can at this point, which is good, since they are usually very conservative in expressing their opinion about funding chances. On your second point, I am not sure I understand. The amount you budgeted in the application submitted will determine your salary. Your institution would have needed to approve the level in the application budget before you submitted the application, which indicates they are willing to pay you as much as was listed there. If you did not request $100K/y in salary, then you cannot do so now. Your sponsored programs office will know if you need a change in appointment status in order to receive the salary level approved in the award.

      • Thanks a lot for your reply. My score is only 24. Thus I am curious why the PO is very optimistic about my funding opportunity.

      • writedit said

        The PO has probably been advocating for your application, and they could be moving further down the paylist than they anticipated. I would not be surprised if many of the best-scoring applicants have since secured faculty positions, which renders them ineligible for the K99 under the new policy (at least 1 year of K99 required).

    • CancerDx said

      Hi whiteorblack, have you heard anything else from your PO or GMS? I also got a score of 24 on my NCI K99. I was asked for JIT information twice (the second time was about 2 weeks ago) and haven’t heard anything else. Thanks

      • writedit said

        A second JIT request is a good sign. You can just check with your PO to see what’s up, if you haven’t been in touch recently.

      • CancerDx said

        Thanks for the advice writedit. I emailed my PO and he told me that the OEP cleared the human subjects section of my application and that:

        “The NCI Office of Grants Administration (OGA) is currently reviewing your application – we should have more information in 4-6 weeks.”

        What does this mean, exactly? Any insight as to whether this is a good sign that the proposal will be funded or whether this happens with many proposals that ultimately aren’t funded?

        Thanks for maintaining this great forum!

      • writedit said

        This is good news, though still not a guarantee. The application has been cleared for administrative review and processing, which they usually do not want to do unless an award is likely. However, since we are getting close to the end of the FY, and given his estimate of 4-6 weeks before anything would be known, it could be they want to review all applications that could potentially receive an award now rather than wait, since they might not have time to complete the review later. That is, they want to be sure your application is all set, just in case there is funding. But, it is good news that your application has been moved further down the process. At this point, you’ll just need to wait and check back in with the PO if you haven’t heard back by late August.

      • CancerDx said

        Thanks so much for the interpretation and insight. In a previous email he did say “Your application is being considered for funding.” Does that change anything? I’ll just keep waiting for now and see what happens. Thanks again!

      • writedit said

        The administrative review confirms you are being considered for an award – no guarantee until a Notice of Award is issued, though, so yes, you’ll need to wait (nothing you can do in the interim).

    • Uncertain said

      I am interested in knowing how did you resolve this issue. Were you able to re-budget / increase your salary prior to the award notice during JIT submission?

  32. sgs said

    Dear Writeedit

    First, many thanks for your kindness for these researchers here. I am still waiting for my R01 grant. The following is the detailed information.

    My R01 was submitted to NIDDK and received a 15% percentile and the payline for ESI was 18%. The council meeting was finished on May 14 and the current status of my grant is Pending Administrative Review. On April 21, I received an email from PO and asked me to provide the comments on issues raised in my summary statement. Please see the email.

    In reviewing your summary statement for the above reference grant application, I was wondering if you would like to comment on some of the issues raised. In particular, I would like to gain your perspective on the comments regarding the budget for your application.
    Best regards,

    The start date of this grant is July 1, but I still do not receive JIT from PO. On May 21, I send an email to Grants Management Specialist on JIT, and she replied to me one sentence ” I am working on it.

    Would you please give me some advice what I should do?



    • writedit said

      Please don’t worry about your award – it is coming. It does not need to start by July 1 (that is the requested/estimated start date) – if July 1 comes and your award has not been processed yet, everything will be fine still. If you look at some of the timelines that others have posted here for the administrative review of their applications and processing of awards, it often takes 2 months. You do not need to do anything else, and you should not contact the GMS again. She is working on it, and she cannot make the process go any faster. You may have your award by July 1, but, again, don’t panic if you do not.

      • sgs said

        Hi, Writedit

        Thank you very much for your timely reply. I will follow your advice.

        Have a good day


  33. NINDSapplicant said

    As everyone says, this is an amazing blog for discussion – thanks for maintaining it. I’m including my timeline below for what it’s worth. But, I have a question about wording that is raising some anxiety, though I should probably just relax. I just received a change in status to “Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.” But when you search for official NIH documentation regarding these status messages, the IMPAC II description for this is “Award prepared, not funded”. I don’t know what IMPAC II is, or what the implications of “not funded” are — I’m hoping its just administrative language.

    Timeline for NINDS K23 – A0
    10/23/2013 Application entered into system
    10/31/2013 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
    02/26/2014 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.
    Priority Score 26
    I discussed with advisors who all thought it was a good score, but not great. Percentiles are not published by NINDS for Ks as far as I know
    03/17/2014: Summary Statement Released — most of the issues seemed addressable so I contacted the PO about submitting a revision. The PO responded and was positive about the score and asked that I prepare a Response to Reviewers and send directly to the PO, which I did in about 2 weeks.
    The JIT link opened at some point in this timeframe and an automated JIT request was sent out.
    05/29/2014 Council review completed.
    05/30/2014 Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist. — Although this the statement in the Status History, the Status that I see in my list of grant applications is simply “Pending”
    06/09/2014 NINDS Training Office sent an email invitation to the K Award Training Seminar. When I asked, they explained that they could not legally tell me if the grant was awarded but for those who would be awarded they wanted to advise them early enough that they could make travel arrangements for October 2014.
    06/10/2014 My institution received a K23 specific JIT request with form that was forwarded to me.
    06/17/2014 Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist (status on Status Result – List of Applications/Grants page is still “Pending”)

    • writedit said

      That’s a mighty unhelpful document (e.g., “Pending”=”Application pending”), but you can relax and accept congratulations for your award. Your institution should be receiving a NoA soon. Thank you so much for posting such a thoughtful and complete timeline – investigators like you are what makes the site so helpful to others. Best wishes for success with your research!

  34. Quynh T said

    hello, I applied for F32 at NHLBI in Dec, got 29th percentile and based on the current update from the NHLBI website, the cut off is at 30th percentile. The council met on June 11 and since then I have not heard anything from them or seen any further update on their website. Does anyone know how long it takes for my status getting updated after the council met (whether I will get funded or not)? Thanks

    • writedit said

      F applications (fellowships) do not go to Council, so you are not waiting for a post-Council update. If you check the timelines posted by others here, you’ll see it will be weeks before things start to happen. You can ask the PO what the rough timeline will be until your application is processed for an award.

    • smc said

      Hi Quynh T, did you happen to find out if you were funded? If you don’t mind me asking, did you submit to the regular FOA or the diversity/minority one? Thank you.

      • Quynh said

        Yes I finally got the award. I submitted to NHLBI, regular FOA. I found out the final decision around the 2nd week of July. My award is not activated till December since I still have some support from the PI till then.

      • writedit said

        Congratulations and best wishes for success with your project and your career in academic research.

  35. JNJ said

    Hi Writedit,
    It is a wonderful blog. I need your suggestion. I got 12% on my RO1 grant (NHLBI). I am a new investigator but not an ESI. what would be my chance of getting funded. With new budget is there any hope? What I should do? please advice.

    • writedit said

      Unfortunately, as you know, NHLBI only extends payline breaks to ESI applicants, not new investigators. However, if you were just reviewed, your application will be funded in FY15, and we will not know those paylines until next spring, probably (I do not expect a federal budget until after the midterm elections, and then it may be delayed until after the new Congress is sworn in in January). The NIH appropriation will likely go up, though whether enough to move paylines up a percentile is hard to say at this point. You can talk with your PO about what might happen with this application, in terms of both the potential for the payline to creep up 1 percentile and the potential for your application being tapped for select pay. What I would definitely recommend is that you get an application ready for October for a different project, though you can also ask your PO if any changes you might make to this application would be able to drop the score down a few more points (if PO attended study section discussion, he/she will know what, if any, issues were a concern). You can submit the A1 in November (or an A0 in October) and have this application remain under consideration (if the 12th percentile application is funded, the subsequent submission would be administratively withdrawn).

      • JNJ said

        Thank you Writedit. Very helpful.

  36. Summer breeze said

    Hi, I have a general question about K99. Is it possible to take on a faculty position (non-tenure track) in a different institution during the K99 phase? and then the tenure starts when the R00 phase starts? The current institution only offers a postdoc type position, but if I want to transfer to another school to be a faculty member, is this allowed by NIH policy? Thank you.

    • writedit said

      This seems like a pretty specific question, though I am not sure what the problem is with your current institution only offering a post-doc type position, since that is what is required for the K99 portion (and many if not most K99 awardees move to a different institution to take a faculty position for the R00 portion of the award). If you are a current K99 awardee or you are waiting to hear about a possible award, you should ask whether the initial appointment at the new institution, assuming there is an appropriate mentor there, would still count as a postdoc/trainee position. My guess is not, since they want you to complete a year of mentored training, which would be difficult if you move in the middle of it (changing not only locations and labs but possibly also projects), but the PO would make that call.

      • Skyline said

        Thanks for your reply, I mean if the position in the different institution starts one year after the K99 starts. Does it have to be two years?

      • writedit said

        No, you only need one year in the K99 postdoc position (and two years is the limit for the K99 portion).

      • Skyline said

        Thanks! That clarifies my puzzle. If this works out, will they fund R00 for 3 years or can be extended to 4 years if there is only a one year K99

      • writedit said

        Just 3 years for the R00. The full 5-y K99/R00 is for 2 y K99, 3 y R00. You’ll be working on applications during the R00 period to continue funding as an R01.

  37. BigMac said

    Hi, I just received an Impact score of 18 on a K99 grant to NIAID. Since NIAID do not publish their paylines for K99’s, I was wondering if you had a gut feeling what its chances are??? I’m now past 4 years, so I only have this one shot and am obviously a little anxious. Curiously, the phone number for my PO is not working and am dying to know how I stack up. Any insights here?

    • writedit said

      Your PO can tell you how you would have ranked this year (FY14), but I assume that would be a fundable score. Unfortunately, the paylines for FY15 probably won’t be available until spring 2016 due to the mid-term elections, so you have a long wait for anything definitive. The FY15 paylines should be similar to FY14, though, so go ahead and talk with the PO if you need to know for planning purposes.

      • Matthew Macauley said

        Sorry to sound naive, but I am struggling to make sense of the timelines you have mentioned and what my PO told me:

        -Advisory Council meeting 10/2014, which is the beginning of fiscal year 2015.
        -My application is in FY2014, we have to wait to receive the budget for that fiscal year.
        -decision for funding of K99 is late within the fiscal year after all K99 application are reviewed.

        Given all this, what is the best case/worst case start date if I got the award?

      • writedit said

        I am not sure what your PO told you, but I assume you applied in Feb 2014 (since you mentioned receiving your score in June), which means you will be considered for funding in FY15. The best case scenario would be a start date of Dec 1, 2014, but it is more likely that you will be funded in early 2015 since the federal budget will likely be delayed due to the mid-term elections in November (this means the NIH will be operating under a continuing resolution, during which time the paylines will be very conservative).

    • Jackie said

      NIAID’s extramural group is relocating and their phone numbers are changing. You can try email, but as Writedit says, paylines won’t be known for some time.

  38. New Player said

    Thanks for this great blog. We have got 14th percentile on our resubmitted R21 from NCI. I am a new investigator, will that help? It is way beyond NCI payline 9th percentile. What are our options? We replied in response to an RFA, does that give some extra credit? Can we ask them to change to another institution such as NIGMS (although we did not list it in our application?
    Thanks again.

    • writedit said

      New/ESI status only comes into play for R01 applications – no other activity code. However, program thinks about investigator status generally (new/ESI, no other support, prior track record, facing tenure decisions, etc.) when considering applications for select pay. The fact that you applied to an RFA means that the standard payline is less rigidly applied – they will select the best applications that are responsive to their priorities for the RFA and ensure the portfolio will be diverse (e.g., if all applications below the 9th percentile took the same approach/same general hypotheses, it would not be a good investment to fund them all). You cannot ask for a different IC – especially with an RFA, but never for an application that has already been assigned and reviewed. You ask for dual assignment in your cover letter, though, again, with an RFA, this is not appropriate. You can submit this proposal again in October as a new R21 and ask for NIGMS as the IC; you will want to communicate with an appropriate PO at NIGMS first, to ensure they are interested in your science. In the meantime, you can ask your PO about your chances and whether you should submit this work as a new investigator-initiated application to NCI in October (either R21 or R01, if you have enough preliminary data and perhaps a publication by then).

      • New Player said

        Many thanks for great suggestions.

  39. NEMO said

    Dear Writedit, do you know the fundable score range for a K99 application to NIDCR? They don’t publish payline, so what would be a guaranteed/most likely fundable score?
    Thank you!

    • writedit said

      NIDCR hasn’t told me either, but I imagine you would be in good shape if your score is below 20, possibly the low-mid 20s. They funded 5/15 applications in FY11, 10/19 applications in FY12, and 3/14 applications in FY13, so it’s hard to say if they are scaling back on this program or they just didn’t get that many applications that they wanted to fund last year. Your PO should be able to give you some insight on what scores have been funded for FY14; while this may not apply to FY15, the NIH should get a small increase and at least not a decrease in appropriation (FY16 is another story).

  40. jojik said

    What if PO continues to ignore(?) my emails since I received the review statement in late April..?.
    Can you please help me figure out what this signifies? On my 3rd email, I have listed some specific questions, yet no answer. (Before I submit, I had a chance for a phone conference with the PO which was helpful).

    After this Wed, I probably need to contact other persons to move forward. If that is the case, who would be a person that I can reach out to further understand my score and the review statement?

    I discussed with my primary mentor regarding this matter as you previously suggested. He said that the PO is always very slow; and will try to talk to him at a conference in person in this coming Nov….!!?; in the mean time, just go ahead and prepare for re-submission.

    I agree that the PO is slow in general, but this time I feel odd. I also do not want to just jump into another submission … Any suggestion ?

    • writedit said

      Your mentor is correct that you should just start preparing a resubmission – that is the advice you will get from your PO if your score is anything but below the payline. You can look at the division or branch in which your PO is based and contact the chief to politely ask, since you have not heard from him since April, if your PO is traveling or otherwise unavailable (possible) and if another PO could help you in the meantime. Alternatively, if you know of another PO in the same group who covers similar research in his/her portfolio, you could contact them to see if they have advice (about your PO and/or your application).

  41. Hoping said

    Hi all,

    Does anybody have info on NIDA paylines for R01s? Does anyone know how much the new/ESI break is worth at NIDA?

    Thanks much for any info.

    And thanks for this wonderful site!

    • writedit said

      If you were just scored, the FY15 paylines won’t be known until next spring (2015), but they should be about the same as FY14, which your PO might be willing to divulge. A lot of ICs do not have a specific payline break for new/ESI applicants but will pick from a variety of scores/percentiles above the payline. You should wait for your summary statement, if I am guessing correctly that you were just reviewed, before getting in touch with the PO.

      • Hoping said

        Yes, my A1 was just scored. 9th percentile.

        thanks for response

      • Stressful Life said

        I would imagine a 9th percentile would really be in range especially with ESI and NI. I know many people that were funded at NIDA above that percentile score as new investigator.

        I can attest to the pain and agony of waiting for congress to pass budgets.I got caught up in the shutdown mess. It is a long wait but just be patient. There is nothing you can do.

      • writedit said

        Yes, I would agree that an NI/ESI 9th percentile at NIDA should receive an award, though don’t be surprised if your PO is just cautiously optimistic.

      • writedit said

        Thanks for chiming in to help folks here – both directly like this and previously by posting your application award history. Congratulations again – I hope the research is going well.

        cheers Michelle (writedit)

  42. Charlene said

    Thanks for a great blog! I’m getting a bit confused reading a few comments though. I just got my score for my F31, which at a 20 my PO said was “very likely” to be fundable, but that she’d know with more certainty in September. However, some of these responses/comments on the blog seem to suggest that with the midterm elections, determinations about funding may actually come much later than that. Is my PO being overly optimistic about being able to say if this will be funded after September, or are F31s somehow different? Thanks for any clarity that can be offered!

    • writedit said

      This is curious. F applications do not go to Council, but the IC still needs to see what the budget will look like. It could be that your score is low enough the PO is confident it will likely be funded during a CR (all awards do not go on hold – and the Fs are relatively low budget obligations). Also, it almost looked like we could have had some appropriation bills passed this summer, but the Senate just put the brakes on that process, so your PO might have been thinking a budget would be shaped up by September or that a better guesstimate of the NIH appropriation would be known then.

  43. judy2014 said

    Thanks so much for this excellent site and I learned a lot from it. I listed the timeline of my NCI/K99 application, in case it can provide useful information to any of you.

    2013/2/12: 1st submission

    2013/6/14: 1st submission: not discussed.

    2013/7/10: 1st submission comments available in the eRA. All the reviewers thought the preliminary data were poor, so the proposal part scored 4~5. Other parts were fine (1~2).

    2013/9: Decided to use another project to submit a new application, as there were still no much data for the 1st project.

    2013/10/30 (delayed due to NIH shutdown): 2nd submission using a different project (still A0).

    2014/3/13: 2nd submission impact score 12

    2014/3/17: 2nd submission comments available in eRA.

    2014/4/28: JIT request from PO

    2014/6/2: 2nd JIT request from GMS

    2014/6/25: eRA status changed “Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.”

    2014/7/1: eRA status changed “Application awarded”.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you for posting such a detailed timeline – very helpful for so many applicants! Best wishes for success with your project (great job recognizing the need to cut your losses and change focus) and your career in academic research.

    • MJ said

      Congratulations. I am also in the same boat but I did not get any Letter of intent to commit funds. Did you get LOI from Meininger Jennifer or Kramer Arina

  44. judy2014 said

    Thank you writedit for your great efforts! Yes, the 1st failure, even not discussed, was actually so helpful for me to prepare the 2nd submission. I then knew what I should focus for each part, as I had no sample applications for reference. Thanks again.

  45. goggu said

    Hello Writedit,
    If I move to a new job (another institute) early next year, and if I submit an R grant (R21 or R01) this summer in my current institute, what would happen to my application? Would NIH still fund the project even if I would be in a new institute? Would I be able to re-submit it in the next round?
    Thank you in advance.

    • writedit said

      Assuming the new institution has the facilities and resources needed to perform the research, you can take the award with you. Your current institution will need to relinquish it, but that is usually not a problem. However, if you submitted the application in June or July (or will submit to an RFA on another date this summer), the award would not come through until next spring in all likelihood, in which case you might be able to delay the notice until you move (so long as you do so before Sept 30).

  46. Waiting said

    Hello Writedit,

    Thank you for keeping this informative blog going!

    My question is what is happening between GMS satisfactory review of JIT and NoA?


    • writedit said

      If you know you are getting an award, then you are waiting for standard bureaucratic processing of the award, which can take weeks. It’s the federal government. If you are still not sure, then once your application has cleared administratively, it will probably wait in line on the pay list to see how far the money goes.

      • Freedomtrail said


  47. curious said

    Hi Writedit,
    I submitted my NCI K99 proposal last October and got an impact score of 20. Do you know the payline for this calender year from NCI. I emailed my program director and got a reply that the OGA is still reviewing my application. Not sure what “OGA” means. Could you please clarify.


    • writedit said

      OGA = Office of Grants Administration Your application is being reviewed to be sure it is administratively eligible for funding. You can see the experience of Cancer Dx (, which is similar to yours, but at a score of 24. I suspect neither of you will know anything until August, so you’ll mostly need to hurry up and wait some more.

  48. Feri said

    Dear Writedit,
    If you remember my A0 RO1 submission last Oct/ Nov with the 18% score was assigned to NICHD. Although I got JIT request and then the PO asked me to send her an administrative rebuttal so she could submit her recommendation to the council, it seems that my A0 will not be funded at NICHD because of budget restrictions. I resubmitted my revised RO1 for this July and asked in my cover letter for a change in my primary institute from NICHD to NIMH as I was told by several colleagues involved with NIMH that NIMH funded RO1s up to 20% for new investigators. I just checked my resubmitted grant in my commons and my primary institute is again NICHD. Like my first submission, NIMH and NIDA are my secondary. I am going to speak with my PO next week. Although I know my revised grant is certainly better and I responded all the reviewer’ comments, I worry who gets to review my revised grant and what if my score doesn’t get better than 18% and I am still stuck with NICHD. Is it possible to change the institute now before the study section meets? any advice how to talk with my PO to make this transfer.
    Thanks a million again for this wonderful blog and your extremely helpful advice!

    • writedit said

      Sorry that your A0 was not funded by NICHD. Did you talk with the NICHD PO before requesting NIMH in the cover letter? If not, it could be she assumed there was a mistake in the referral and asked that NICHD be kept primary. She might also know that she can advocate even more strongly for your application this time around and wanted to keep it for that reason. Even if you did talk with her about switching primary ICs and she was okay with that, you can certainly talk with her again now about moving it to NIMH. Do you have a program officer at NIMH? You absolutely want someone there advocating for your application like your NICHD PO did. If you talked with someone at NIMH, you can see if your NICHD PO will talk with the NIMH PO about switching IC assignments, if the NICHD PO is not certain she can push your application for funding this time. It’s not too late – but they would have had some discussion about this at the time of referral.

      • Feri said

        Thanks so much Writedit for your great advice. No I didn’t because she was unreachable and I went ahead and did my resubmission. I am going to talk to my PO at NICHD next week and I also sent an email to an NIMH PO that her interests include my kind of proposals.

      • writedit said

        Sounds good – and it would be a good idea to get a relationship going with NIMH, if not for this application, then one for this fall or other future submission. It’s always best to be working on applications to different ICs (and study sections) in parallel) to diversify your portfolio of funding.

      • Feri said

        Definitely a great suggestion as always! I am also submitting a new RO1 for Oct.

      • grant sub said

        Hello Writeedit and feri,

        Just curious, when a new institute asks a grant be transferred to it for award consideration, will the grant be assigned a new grant number and will you be able to see what happens in your eRA Commons? We are looking at a similar situation with a different institute and just curious on what happens in this process.


      • writedit said

        Yes on both accounts, I believe. The application identification number reflects the administering IC, so unless the original IC is still involved, I think that should change, and you would receive a change of status notice from eRA Commons (and see the change there, probably when the award is issued). Hopefully an NIH official will jump in if I am in error about the change to reflect the administering IC, but no matter what, you will know the application status and identification number through eRA Commons.

  49. New Player said

    Does request for JIT indicate any thing? Our percentile is 14th for NCI so we were not positive then we get request for JIT. Should we be hopeful?

    • writedit said

      If the JIT request came from your PO, then you are at least on the paylist. I assume this is for an application submitted last year (vs one just reviewed). You can check in with your PO to see what the status is, whether the SPLs approved your application for select pay.

  50. New Player said

    Thank you, Write edit. It came from era commons. Also it is for our revised A1 application. So far we have not got a chance to call PO. We are waiting for her to give us time. So thankful to you for this blog, and thanks for being there for all of us. Have a great weekend.

    • writedit said

      Okay – if the request came from eRA Commons, check with the PO before you send anything. If was for an application that was just reviewed, then you won’t know about funding until next year. And if the application was just reviewed, you probably want to wait until you have the summary statement to contact the PO. You can submit this proposal again as a new application, but you’ll want to talk with the PO about strategy if he/she recommends this (and you need the summary statement to discuss strategy).

  51. Korey said

    Hi Writedit,

    I’m trying to gauge my chances for receiving a NRSA. I submitted a F31 to NIGMS, which does not publish a payline. My impact score was 29. Is there somewhere that I can go to see what the fundable range was for F31’s submitted to NIGMS in previous years? Any info would be appreciated.

    • writedit said

      The best way to gauge where you stand is to ask the PO. If your application was just reviewed, wait until you have the summary statement, and then ask about how your score might do next year and what strategy to take in revising the application (which will require the summary statement first).

      • laghs said

        As a separate but related question, my PO said: We are unlikely to fund your application at the beginning of the fiscal year, but it is possible we may fund it in the summer of 2015. I was wondering how serious he is committed. I am preparing a resubmission anyway, as suggested by the PO. Thanks for your input.

      • writedit said

        Your application will still be active and eligible to be funded (even if a resubmission goes in), and I have heard of applications being funded the subsequent FY, so he is genuine in saying this is possible – especially since the appropriation will likely go up at least somewhat. However, subsequent FY funding is rare and cannot be counted on, so you should definitely get a resubmission ready (& submitted) in the meantime.

      • Jane said

        Hi Writedit, Finally, NCI made their funding policies for 2014. You may talk a look.

      • laghs said

        Just to clarify… my application is for the first cycle of FY2015, with a start date of Dec 2014. A resubmission will also be for FY2015. Hope could make at least some improvements.

      • writedit said

        Aha – that makes sense. No awards will be start Dec 1. You didn’t mention your score. If it’s not 9th percentile or less, it sounds like your PO will advocate that the SPLs recommend your application for an award – but he can’t guarantee anything, of course, since he does not know what the SPLs will be of a mind to fund next year. You should certainly get the resubmission in in the meantime … and whatever other applications you might have ready to go. Submitting for FY15 is a good idea (I’ll be doing a post soon on the risks of FY16 and beyond).

        And thanks, Jane, for the heads up on the NCI fiscal plan for FY14 … same as FY13.

      • laghs said

        Thanks, writedit. Look forward to your new post.

  52. Jane said

    Thanks, Writedit for posting it. Although type 1s have a 17% of reduction as 2013, type 2s may only have 10% of reduction this year.

    • writedit said

      Yep – thanks for pointing out the distinction (clarified above).

  53. SI said

    My company has developed a topical analgesic formula, and we are interested to submit a Phase I SBIR. Does anyone know the appropriate NIH institute to submit to?

  54. Waiting22 said

    Hello writedit,
    I applied for an F32 (start date July 1) and have received word from my PO that it falls within the Institute’s payline (NICHD). But so far no NOA. My PO sent a formal letter detailing my funding status, saying that they expect to be able to fund my award but “that the NIH budget has not yet been approved, and many government agencies are operating under a Continuing Resolution. The Institute is therefore limited in its ability to issue awards at this time. We expect to start processing your award when funds become available.”
    I am quite anxious about it at this time because I will have to prepare to move and as it stands I do not have any idea when I should expect the NOA. Do you know of any other information that could help me gain a better sense of when this could be? Or when at the latest I would receive notice?

    • writedit said

      When did you last communicate with your PO? This sounds like a message that you might have received last spring. You should check in with your PO again for an updated time frame. The start date doesn’t matter – it’s fine that July 1st has passed with no award. If you know the GMS, you could contact him/her for an update, too.

      • alsoWaiting22 said

        Just thought I’d leave a message here saying that I’ve received the same letter from NICHD. I also inquired with my PO about when NOAs would be issued. She responded that they are a bit behind schedule and that they expect to issue NOAs mid July. Hope this helps!

      • writedit said

        Very helpful – thank you so much for sharing your experience. Best of luck to you both with your projects and careers in academic biomedical research!

      • Waiting22 said

        The PO communicated this information to me at the end of June. The council meeting was in June and she informed me that everything went fine. The most recent update on eRAcommons was June 30th: “Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.”

        At this point does it make more sense to contact the GMS?

      • writedit said

        At this point, you should just wait and be patient (no need to contact anyone). The award should be coming soon. Congratulations again.

      • Hi Writeedit, As a result of my misunderstanding, I didn’t ask my referees to submit their reference letters till today. All of them have written me great recommendation letters before, so I don’t think it’ll take them long but will it inactivate my proposal?

      • writedit said

        If this is for a fellowship application that you have already submitted and whose due date has passed, then you are likely too late and will need to wait until the next submission deadline. You can contact the PO to see if an exception can be made so that your application is reviewed this cycle, but because fellowship applications (assuming this is a fellowship application you submitted) go to CSR for referral and assignment, this could be a problem (again, your PO will know).

  55. Waiting22 said

    Thanks to you both! That helps a lot. I will patiently wait for the NOA 🙂

    • alsoWaiting22 said

      I forgot to mention in my previous post that I also looked up some past NOA dates for NICHD postdoc fellowships from previous years, and they were issued July 22nd, so hopefully it will be around that same date again this year.

  56. July Sunday said

    I find it very disturbing to find out a K99 application to NEI got a score of 17 and left unfunded. How difficult do they want to make this? Apparently an outstanding-exceptional application cannot be funded! Is NEI particular challenging to support K99 compared to other institute of similar funding size? What about NIDCR, would it be more or less difficult for K99 applications?

    • writedit said

      For any funding mechanism and activity code, you can check the success rate (applications reviewed & funded) to get an idea of the degree of competitiveness, though you should only use success rate as one factor in deciding to which IC to send an application. You should discuss the IC success rate for a given activity code with your PO to see how your idea would fare. If you check these data (, you would see that NEI funds 4 K99 applications per year for the last 3 FYs (out of anywhere from 12-28 applications submitted); I believe past applicants have posted that even a score of 10 is not a sure thing due to this limit in the number of applications funded. NIDCR funded 3 applications in FY13, 5 in FY11, and 10 in FY12, so a conversation with the PO would be important to know where the NIDCR K99 budget is going.

  57. OG said

    Thanks again for this excellent blog. I’ve found it extremely helpful to get a feeling for NIH funding idiosyncrasies. I applied for an NCI K22. Even on this comprehensive forum that seems to be a rare beast so I thought I would share my experience. I prepared my first submission for an Oct 12, 2013 deadline. Unfortunately, this coincided with the Oct 1-17, 2013 government shutdown. We did not know until close to the last minute what this would mean for the deadline but in the end it resulted in a new deadline of Nov 12. The extra time was perhaps helpful but overall this added a lot of extra stress and stretched out the period of lost productivity due to focus on grant preparation. In early April scientific review was completed and about a week later I received my impact score of 18. I happened to be at AACR and was able to meet in person with my NCI PO, who was there for information sessions. She told me that she was “cautiously very optimistic” and should not work on a resubmission, but instead start planning for job interviews to get the tenure-track offer that a K22 requires. She talked with me for about 30min and gave me a lot of useful advise on this. Council review completed end of June. One week later I received an email from PO congratulating me on a successful application and one week after that got a LOI to commit funds from the grants officer. ERA commons system still just says “Council review completed”.

    Oct 12, 2013 – original deadline for submission – delayed due to government shutdown
    Nov 12, 2013 – extended deadline for submission after government shutdown
    Nov 12, 2013 – Application entered into system
    Nov 15, 2013 – Scientific Review Group review pending.
    Apr 3, 2014 – Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending.
    Apr 7, 2014 – Impact Score appears in ERA commons
    Jun 26, 2014 – Council review completed. (Last status change)
    Jul 2, 2014 – PO emails to notify me that application was recommended for funding in FY2014
    Jul 15, 2014 – Received letter of intent to commit funds

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing both your timeline/application experience and your great interaction with the NCI PO. Last year, doggeroo experienced a similar timeline with the K22 (letter of intent on July 10 – award promised by Sept 30), so you might have a little wait still but can be confident in the award: Best wishes for success with the project and your career in academic biomedical research.

    • MJ said

      Congratulations. I am also in the same boat but I did not get any Letter of intent to commit funds. Did you get LOI from Meininger Jennifer or Kramer Arina

      • OG said

        No. It was from someone else. Did you get an email from your PO saying that an LOI was on its way? If so, when? My PO said to be patient. The LOI came in about 1 week. They sent it to me and my institute simultaneously.

      • OG said

        I wanted to share a tip I learned during this process. Since the K22 is activated upon accepting a tenure-track position it might be a good idea to anticipate a raise in salary and budget for that. I proposed 75% effort (support) at my salary level of the time. But, when I started the award in my new position the amount budgeted did not cover 75% of my salary any more. Initially grants/finance people resolved this by making up the difference from other parts of the K22 budget. So, instead of having that money to do the research I proposed a part of it was covering my increase. I negotiated with my department to have them make up the difference but this was a pain and could probably have been avoided by budgeted for at least an approximately realistic bump that you can expect when going from postdoc or research-track faculty to tenure-track. I assume this is possible but maybe some on this blog will tell us if you can’t budget for a hypothetical future salary amount. Another question I have is whether it is even remotely possible to go back to NCI and re-negotiate the budget given what my salary ended up at.

      • writedit said

        You can submit a budget with your salary at a faculty rather than postdoc level. You need to work with your university grant or fiscal administrator to put the right amount in. The institution signs off on what you submit, so they are confirming for the NIH that this is what your salary will be if the award is received (i.e., it is impossible for you to sneak in a higher amount than the university will allow). I expect most universities do not submit many K22s so do not think ahead to this issue when approving the budget. I doubt the NCI will allow you to negotiate for higher salary in future years, but you can always talk with the PO.

      • OG said

        Yeah. I suspected this is what I should have done and hope others see this and avoid my mistake. Exactly right that myself and admin person helping me just didn’t think far enough ahead. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will even end up at the submitting university when you activate the K22, salary is often probably different from original estimate, so its important to make sure everyone is clear on how and who will pick up any difference between budgeted and actual salary amount when you start.

      • writedit said

        Exactly – as part of your start-up package negotiation. Thank you for posting your experience. Congratulations on the faculty position, and good luck working out the salary coverage in the future.

  58. Feri said

    Hi Writedit,
    Just wanted to update you about the transfer of my first RO1 submission from NICHD. I met with my PO at NICHD and she brought up the idea of transferring my grant to NIDA or NIMH as she wasn’t optimistic that the 18% would be funded even in FY15 at NICHD. Of course I was very happy that she brought it up and told her that I had also requested this in my resubmission. She was extremely supportive and started to contact the POs from NIDA and NIMH. Especially the PO at NIDA showed a lot of interest and wanted a transfer. My PO at NICHD started the process but also requested to stay as my secondary institute. I am assuming not only my first submission but the resubmission will also be reassigned to NIDA?
    Thanks so much again for this extremely helpful blog, I have learned so much about this process and I am following your blog to learn more!
    Very best,

    • writedit said

      Wow – this is a fantastic update! You have a real gem of a PO at NICHD, so you should continue to consider how to develop new applications for her portfolio (she might be able to help suggest ways to tweak your ideas to fill gaps that are a high priority at NICHD). Your competing renewal for this 18th percentile R01 would, unless your NIDA PO suggests otherwise in 4 years based on renewal aims, request NIDA as the primary IC and NICHD as the secondary IC, but you don’t need to submit all your applications from here on to NIDA. You should also keep the information for the NIMH PO, in case funding opportunities issued by that institute match your area of research. You want to develop multiple projects that are of interest to different ICs and study sections to keep your own “portfolio” balanced.

      • Feri said

        Thanks so much for the great advice here as always! I am also aiming to work with her closely to prepare another application. My PO at NICHD is a real gem and the PO at NIDA is fantastic too! I will wait and see what happens to my resubmission that I sent in July.

      • writedit said

        Aha. I thought you were talking about your renewal – I didn’t realize you in fact meant that you sent in an A1. If the A0 is funded, the A1 will be administratively withdrawn. The POs can have the IC assignments changed for the A1 if that needs to happen (I assume they all know you submitted the A1). You’ll know if the IC assignments should be changed before the A1 is reviewed, since the A0 would need to receive its award by Sept 30.

      • grant waiting said

        Hello Feri,

        Just curious, is your grant finally awarded by NIDA? I am asking because we also have a grant that is undergoing a transfer to a different institute for award consideration. So I wonder how this type of transfer works out. Thanks.

  59. airmonkey84 said

    I am trying to determine when the best timing is to submit an F32 resubmission to NIAMS to be considered for funding starting August 2015. Would you recommend submitting this August, or is submission by the December deadline also an option?

    • writedit said

      You could submit either deadline to start then (just delay start of cycle II submission – put your requested start date on the application). Waiting until December would give you more time to collect data, publish, and polish the application, whereas submitting in August would allow you to resubmit, if necessary, sooner (next April, for Decemberish start, though probably later).

  60. NINDS R21 said

    Hello WriteEdit and everyone,

    Does anyone know the payline information of NINDS for R21? I saw at the top of this blog the payline for NINDS’ R01, but it seems the institute does not have any payline information for R21(?).


    • writedit said

      Generally the R21 payline is about the same (or lower than) the R01 payline – R21s are as or more competitive. If you were just reviewed, you can check with your PO about funding likelihood based on FY14 paylines (FY15 will not be known until next year) – but you should wait until you have your summary statement, so you can also talk about resubmission strategy if needed.

  61. NINDS R21 said

    Hello writeedit and everyone,

    I have a perhaps tricky question. Say you have an A0 R01. The review comments requested big changes. Then in what scenarios does it make more sense to revise the A0 as much as possible but send it back as a new A0 instead of as an A1? Is it allowed? For example, if I keep 2 of the 3 specific aims unchanged but completely change the 3rd aim in the revision, should I submit the grant as an A0 (assuming it is allowed by the NIH)?

    • writedit said

      It depends in part on whether you were discussed. If you were not discussed, I would suggest resubmitting as an A0. The new NIH policy means you are not required to change anything – but you should incorporate any appropriate advice from the reviewers to improve the proposal. If you received a score out of funding range, you might ask your PO how the discussion went, and you should decide whether addressing the reviewer concerns in an introduction is the better strategy than starting over with an A0.

  62. LNS said

    I have been informed that my R01 should be funded by 9/1 (per PO). I submitted JIT on 7/17 with no additional word from the GMS. There were budget concerns expressed during scientific review so I expect cuts will be larger than the standard. Is there anything I can do at this point to find out what budget I can expect? Email the GMS? I haven’t felt comfortable making plans yet (e.g., job postings) because I don’t know how much money will be awarded. Many thanks for your advice!

    • LNS said

      FYI, for some reason, new posts seem to be posting out of order on the page (at least, on my end). My post I just sent is showing up between posts from 7/27/14 and 2/15/14. When I scroll to the bottom of the page, the most recent post is 7/2/14. The actual most recent post is in the middle of the page, and it was not a comment on a previous post. Just thought I would let you know. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      You should talk with your PO – but simply to ask what the budget will be (not to say you anticipate cuts) so you can get job postings ready and make other plans. If the cuts are severe, you might be able to negotiate for a reduction in the specific aims (so at renewal time you are not held to accomplishing your originally proposed work with insufficient funding), or you might be able to make a case for something closer to your original budget, if you can explain why the reviewers’ concerns are not relevant to what you proposed (and if you padded the budget because you anticipated a cut – well, hopefully you only go back to what you were hoping to receive).

      • LNS said

        Thanks so much for this advice. I really appreciate it.

      • MMKIM said

        I was wondering if on U01 grant mechanism we get scores only or percentiles as well. My U01 was scored recently at 39 but the percentile has not been posted yet. After how many days the percentile are posted ?

      • writedit said

        You will probably only get a score (percentiles usually follow within a few days) since the U01 activity code is used only when there will be substantial IC involvement, and the limited submission dates and/or response means there are usually not enough applications received consistently over time to calculate a percentile.

  63. Kate said

    What an amazing resource–thank you writedit! I have looked to see if the answer to my question is buried here but can’t find it. I received SRG scores from my NIH NRSA (F32) application a few days ago (impact=20, percentile=15). There is neither a summary statement nor a JIT link in my account, although a statement at the top of the page says the link is automatically available for those who have scores in this range, so I assume there is nothing I currently need to do. My IC is NICHD and after reading your blog I looked up council dates for NICHD. The next meeting is January, 2015 (while future years do list a Sept. date, no Sept. meeting is listed for 2014). Does this mean that I will need to wait until at least January, 2015 to hear about funding? Then, if funded, the money might not appear until mid-2015, according to other timelines on this blog? This seems strange and particularly so because I am now exactly two years into my postdoc (I had another fellowship until now) and did not plan to stay more than four years total. Am I missing something about how the process works? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      The next NICHD Council meeting date is Sept 18, 2014, but fellowship applications do not go to Council. Your PO can probably give you an idea of your funding likelihood now, though if you have not received your summary statement, you might want to wait to contact the PO until you do; by waiting, you can then also ask about resubmission strategy, if he/she feels this would be a good insurance plan. I say this because, although your score is very good and likely fundable, the federal budget will not be known until 2015 in all likelihood, which means NICHD will not know their appropriation until next year. During the continuing resolution, they will be very conservative in making awards, so even though you may have had a start date of Dec 2014 listed, this probably won’t happen.

      Don’t worry about the JIT link at all – your PO will ask you for JIT when the time is right (which may be in mid-Sept – or may not be until much later). If you need any IACUC or IRB approvals, though, you get those in order soon.

      Now, I assume you mean you had a predoc fellowship before your postdoc position. You can only receive up to 3 years of NRSA support as a postdoc (either on T32 or F32), which means, if the first 2 years of your posdoc have been paid by an NIH NRSA, you could only get one more year of your postdoc funded (by the NIH) no matter how much longer you stay in your current position.

  64. Kate said

    Thanks very much writedit. Luckily, the first two years of my postdoc were funded through a private foundation so I am, indeed, already two years into the postdoc. I had applied for two additional years of support with the F32. I suspect there won’t be time for resubmission given my position and the apparently very long timelines of funding of these fellowships, so I’ll hold out hope that this application will be funded. However, is there going to be a payback issue if they do fund me? Will they fund two years starting mid-2015 and, if I accept it, will I then have to pay back if I exit the postdoc before two years has passed? Thanks again.

    • writedit said

      Good news on the non-NIH support of your first two years. If you resubmit in December, you would still be funded in FY15, next July or so. Depending on what you do after your current postdoc, payback could be an issue (and I do not believe they will issue partial-year F32 awards, but that would be a discussion for your PO). If you cannot extend your postdoc to complete the two full years of your F32 funding, payback would be required but should not be a problem if you plan to stay in research or academics (

      • Kate said

        Thanks again for this amazing resource! Perhaps the best training I’m receiving for becoming NIH-funded faculty is by reading this blog. I am currently waiting on my F32 (NICHD, 20, 15%) from the April, 2014 deadline. I was told twice by my PO prior to December, 2014 not to re-apply–I emailed once in July, called once in October. My PO doesn’t seem overly communicative, so I have limited my contact. Like you anticipated, I received the December 2014 non-committal letter. I recently saw the paylines (thanks to your blog) and then, like another blog post mentioned, my status changed to “pending” on the front status page with no change in the detailed status. I contacted my PO a third time two weeks ago about that change (an excuse to contact her, really). She replied only with “no change, as far as I know.” My scores are within the published paylines, but I’m losing hope. Any idea what might be happening? Thanks so much!

      • writedit said

        First, congratulations on your outstanding A0 score! Second, don’t lose hope. Although nothing is certain until you have the NoA, you should count on being funded by this spring. I am sorry you have an aloof PO – but her telling you not to reapply was her noncommittal way of communicating that you would get an award. If your status is pending, they have started the administrative review. I assume you have all your approvals (IRB, IACUC, etc.) and any necessary training completed (did you submit JIT yet?). If you have a GMS assigned, you could contact this person if you have any questions about the timing or what more you might need to do.

      • Kate said

        Thank you again! Ah, science–we must be patient. I do have a GMS assigned, but no JIT link. I would like to better understand what my PO’s job is. Is handling communication with applicants her full-time job, such that she could be expected to be a helpful point contact? Or am I a side-job to her main thing (which is what)? How many applicants does each PO handle at once? Likewise, what is a GMS, what do they do all day, and how many people are also emailing this GMS today about the same situation? It would be nice to better understand who these people are, how overwhelmed they are by people like us, and what their focus is. It seems that there is an overarching sense, among some writers here, that POs determine our academic fate. Scary. I sense that we must be careful to stay on their very good side. How much power do POs and GMSs etc. really have? Is dealing with us their full-time job? Thanks so much!

      • writedit said

        Both POs and GMSs/GMOs are extramural staff, which means they are there to support the extramural research program and the extramural research community. It is their job to work with you, though they do have a lot of meetings and government-requried trainings, and the POs attend lectures, scientific meetings, workshops, etc. (to keep up with the science and plan programmatic priorities). The delay in passage of the federal budget makes their lives crazy, because they cannot do much until their appropriation finally arrives (usually a couple of months after the President signs the budget into law), and then they must make up for lost time. The last few months of the FY are always a scramble (they must spend their entire appropriation by Sept 30 – no carryover for the ICs).

        Each IC staffs their offices differently, but you can assume they each have well over 100 people interacting with them on some level (pre- and post-award) throughout the year. While you do not need to walk on eggshells around them, you do want to be respectful of their time and cognizant that they are hearing from dozens of PIs frantic about lab closures, tenure denial, job seeking, etc. While they can be a force of good in advocating for your application if it is in the gray zone, I really don’t think you need to worry about them becoming punitive, though I have seen a huge range in both the degree of helpfulness and style of interactions (warm to rude – even if ultimately helpful).

        Because they are essentially in the customer service business, if you cannot get a response to polite inquiries spaced out over a reasonable time frame, you can contact the branch or division chief to inquire whether everything is okay with your PO (sometimes they are out on travel or due to family emergencies) since you have not had a response and is there someone else who could help with your question. Some new POs, like new PIs, need mentoring, and they don’t always realize they need it until an NIH mentor becomes aware of a problem with their interactions with the extramural community.

        No one individual or group determines an academic researcher’s fate. The PI must have the scientific creativity and deep knowledge/insight/collegiality to propose significant science recognized as such by his/her peers. The study sections evaluate the scientific merit, the ICs make final determinations based on scientific merit and programmatic priorities, and the POs help implement all this – including communicating to PIs (in advance of application) what the programmatic priorities are and what study sections might be most receptive to a PI’s science. The PO can advocate for select pay or bridge funding, but there is only so much $ to go around, and higher level staff in the IC make the ultimate decisions (out of the PO’s hands). Ultimately, of course, the responsibility is the PI’s to take the time needed to prepare an absolutely tight and compelling application.

  65. Waiting said

    I just received news that my A01 R21 to NCI scored 9th percentile on the review 2 days ago. This was submitted to a PAR. What do you think are my chances? Will I have to wait until the new FY15 budget comes out to find out if this will get funded?

    • writedit said

      You should be fine, though you won’t know for sure probably until next year. The FY15 budget should be the same or slightly higher than FY14 though, but the payline could be affected by the number of low-scoring applications. When you receive your summary statement, you can check in with the PO, who can at that point make any suggestions regarding resubmission strategy (if needed).


      • Waiting said

        Okay, thanks for your reply. I’ll wait for the SS.

  66. PNKS said

    Hello writedit, your website is by far the most helpful grant writing resource out there. I was notified that my K01 will mostly likely be funded but with a major budget cut (3 years instead of 5). I was wondering if there is a way to appeal that? I must say that PO has been extremely nice and responsive.

    • writedit said

      If your application is selected for an award, you can talk with the PO to see if you can negotiate another year (probably can’t get back to 5 years). You will want to demonstrate that you’ll need that time to complete any additional training you proposed and/or collect enough preliminary data for an R01 or other RPG. You might want to be thinking of how to reframe your aims in a 4-year timeframe in the meantime and show the PO how this would work so he/she can make your case with higher ups (but brace for 3 years, if that’s all you can get).


  67. Tree said

    Hi, I was reading some grantsmanship instructions. It appears NIH is discouraging ESI to apply for R03 or R21. What should an ESI try then? directly apply for an R01? Can one submit an R01 application during the phase of K99? Thanks!

  68. Tree said

    can one apply an R01 during the phase of K99? or would it be better to try an R21 or R03 first? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      You’ll need to wait until you have a faculty position (i.e., when the R00 is activated) – most universities do not allow postdocs to submit RPG applications (just fellowship & career development applications), and the K99 portion should focus on the transition from your mentored work to your independent research. You can apply at any time during your R00. The R01 is the only activity code that offers a review and payline break to ESI/new investigator applicants. The R03 and R21 are only 2 years and are not renewable, so you would probably do better to focus on securing an R01 while you have R00 funding. The R03 is only useful if you have very specific preliminary data to collect or a model to develop.

    • writedit said

      I explained in my response to your other query why the NIH does not encourage ESIs to apply for R03 or R21 (only 2 years, limited budget, not renewable, no payline breaks) and that you would apply during the R00 phase.

  69. GT Chemist said

    Does anyone have any experience with the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant? I recently had a grant recommended for funding consideration, but I was curious to know what that means exactly? Are most grants considered for funding after peer review, or just the top 20%, etc? I will note that my primary reviewers gave me a score of “good”, which is below the ranks of “outstanding” and “excellent”, but above “fair” and non-competitive.

    • LNS said

      I was told ACS rarely funds anything except “Outstanding,” but I don’t think they would have said it was recommended for funding consideration if they weren’t seriously considering funding the proposal. When I applied for the ACS MRSG, my first submission was “Excellent” but not recommended for funding consideration. My resubmission was “Outstanding” and recommended for funding. I hope that helps!

    • dngrant said

      Wow! You are lucky GT Chemist. I got review of excellent and still they said not recommended for funding…

    • dngrant said

      BTW, i also had applied for RSG in last April…

  70. Sunnie Park Kim said

    It is very troubling to learn how NIH grant is awarded. The initial ranking to fund is based on the average of overall impact scores NOT based on the average of 5 criterion scores (Significance, Investigator, Innovation, Approach, and Environment) from all the reviewers of the application. In fact there is no calculated formula between the two. The initial ranking is based on the average of overall impact scores from 3-4 assigned reviewers (e.g., average score 5, from three reviewers with scores of 4, 5, 6). If initial score of 5 is below 50% of all applications, then it is not to be discussed (designated as ND) and not funded no matter how good the criterion scores ranked and what details were provided on the Summary Statement to the PI. Rather Overall Impact is based on reviewers assessment of “the likelihood/probability of a project to exert a powerful and sustained influence to the field of research”. So the funding seems can be/is ultimately decided based on reviewers’ personal opinion and who They Like to Fund or Want To Fund.

    • writedit said

      Reviewers assign scores based on the scientific merit of the proposal. I would suggest you focus less on the scores and more on the comments. If your proposal does not clearly convey your research (reviewers can only read what is given to them to read) and/or if your research is judged as scientifically lacking in terms of its importance (significance) or approach, then the burden is on you to improve the proposal and/or your research. You should discuss with your PO what to do next based on the summary statement (i.e., whether to modify your aims/approach, work to improve the proposal itself, change research directions, etc.).

      • Sunnie Park Kim said

        If I may refocus on the point, that is, doesn’t overall criterion score based on Significance, Innovation, and Approach reflect scientific merit of a proposal? If so, why use Overall Impact score to select applications to be discussed and ranked for funding which has no clear formula to the criterion scores. Instead Overall Impact is based on reviewers assessment of “the likelihood/probability of a project to exert a powerful and sustained influence to the field of research” (which seems a lot like the Significance criterion). I think one expects overall criterion score and overall impact score to be one of the same or very close to the same but that might not be always true.

      • writedit said

        No, there is no need for the criterion scores to be used to calculate the overall impact score. Many, many applications are triaged that have one or more reviewer assign excellent criterion scores (see and I am sorry you are unhappy with your overall score, which you obviously do not believe reflects the ability of your work to have a sustained influence on your field. You should talk with your PO about strengthening the proposal rather than worry about how applications have been reviewed and scored since 2008 (and which you cannot change). Since you seem to be a small company, my guess is that you could also do with the help of someone who is experienced in developing NIH grant applications.

  71. PNKS said

    Hello, I was wondering whether you have any information about the DP2 success rates (or payline)? Also, do you know of a good resource (or guide) on the web for how to prepare my application? Thank you.

  72. dngrant said

    Hi Writedit,

    What do you think of new changes in terms of granting money to researchers based on their portfolio (similar to HHMI) rather than allocating money for projects. I feel that following this will just lead to “rich gets richer” syndrome. Only very few researchers will benefit. That approach is probably good if there is tons of money available and then you want to distribute. In this climate, i am not sure why these big guys are thinking it will help…

    • writedit said

      The key will be in the implementation. If they do as they say, NCI and NIGMS will not be providing additional money to well-funded researchers but rather consolidating funding and providing some stability to permit exploratory research as well – and these people-based awards will be made to ESI and mid-career investigators as well. I am sure GM will take a close look at non-GM funding sources, and hopefully NCI will as well. I believe there are talks afoot with HHMI to address overlap among funding to these investigators as well, but we will see down the road how this actually pans out.

  73. AKsquare said

    Hi, I applied for a K99 at NIAID in the Feb/March 2014 cycle (a resubmission), and got an impact score of 17. My eRA status changed to “Council Review completed” in late July, although the Council Meeting is supposed to be in September. I haven’t heard anything more, even though I emailed the PO a week back. Do you know what this means? Thanks a ton !

    • writedit said

      Your application received early electronic concurrence in advance of the meeting (routine for applications scoring within the payline). However, your PO probably won’t know anything about when you might receive an award, since this will depend on when Congress passes a budget. There will be a continuing resolution until December, and my guess is that the budget (& NIH appropriation) won’t be passed until after the new Congress takes office (following midterm elections). Some ICs will issue a few awards, but I am not sure whether yours is a sufficiently low score to be paid under the CR. You might be looking at a Feb or March 2015 start date. Your PO will probably know more in November whether NIAID might issue a NoA for a K99 application with that score under the CR. Otherwise, you’ll need to watch the headlines about what Congress is doing with the budget to gauge when you might receive funding.

      • AKsquare said

        Thanks a lot ! I thought it might be expedited review, but wasn’t sure what that meant practically for the award… I’ll keep my fingers crossed, I guess !

  74. R21 resub said

    Hi writeedit,

    I have a question. I have a R21 that has gone from A0 to A1 and its score had greatly improved but the A1 missed the payline by 1%. So I will revise the A1 and submit as a new A0. My question is, when submitting the new A0, can I ask the NIH to possibly assign the same reviewers of the previous A1 to review the A0? I certainly will ask the A0 be assigned to the same study section but not sure if it is appropriate to ask for the same reviewers, sth like “can you assign the reviewers of R21CA1234567A1 to review this application?”

    Thank you!

    • writedit said

      You cannot refer to the prior application anywhere in the new A0, of course. In thinking about whether you could indicate in the cover letter, which is only read by the CSR referral officer and SRO, that the reviewers of R21CA1234567 have the proper expertise to review your new application and that anyone on the panel with a similar area of interest would be appropriate, I think even this generic recommendation might still come across as requesting specific reviewers, which is not allowed, and it might annoy the SRO. Also, there is no reason to assume these prior reviewers would lower their scores a few more points – it could be that they would assign roughly the same score upon seeing the application again, if they feel that their priority score reflects the impact of your proposal (& nothing you do will lower it further). I would suggest listing bullets with the expertise needed (i.e., cancer-associated fibroblasts, invasive lobular carcinoma, patient-derived tumor xenograft, etc.) – use the same list that you gave for your original A0 if it is still appropriate for the new A0 – and assume that the SRO will consider the prior reviewers anyway, since the SRO will recognize your name and the title, if you keep it the same (which is allowed). The SRO may know of a new reviewer on the panel who would be even more appropriate, and you would not want to interfere with the SRO’s judgment by trying to direct review assignments.

  75. DTJQ said

    Hi Writedit, How to understand the description in my commons page: “The NIH provides the JIT (Just in Time) link in the Commons for applications receiving a percentile of less than 30 or for applications receiving a priority score of between 10 and 60 if no percentile is provided.” ? Since one of applications was not discussed, but it also shows JIT in the page. Thanks.

    • writedit said

      I think an automatically generated email about the JIT link only occurs when the application hits one of those thresholds, but yes, the JIT link in eRA Commons itself is always available, even for Not Discussed applications (until they are administratively withdrawn). In either case, unless you receive an email from a program official, you shouldn’t submit JIT info (though if you have a potentially fundable score, you should get any approvals underway, just in case).

  76. SGS said

    Dear Writedit
    First thank you a million for your kind help for these research scientists here. I just received NOA for my RO1.

    This is my timeline:

    Oct 22, 2013: Submitted NIDDK
    Feb 11, 2014: Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.
    April 21, 2014: PO requests the comment on some of the issues raised in the summary statement
    May 7, 2014: Council review completed.
    May 23, 2014: Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.
    July 22, 2014: JIT requested
    Aug 7, 2014: Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.
    Aug 16: NOA

    Hope this will be helpful for other investigators.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you so much for posting this detailed and informative timeline. Best wishes for success with your research.

  77. Venkateswaran Subramanian said

    Dear Writedit,
    I have a question. My R01 grant application with ESI eligibility (A1) was scored in Feb 2014 (24th percentile) under the institute of NHLBI – VCMB study section. That was the last chance for me under the category of ESI. The Council review was completed in June 2014. My grant was 2 percentile away from the funding rank (NHLBI – 22 percentile for ESIs). I was advised to discuss with my PO to request for a possible funding for a shorter duration of 3 or 4 years instead of 5 years given the situation of my ESI eligibility is finished. In addition, I was told that council may have some left over money of their annual budget, which they may use to fund grants with shorter duration. I need your advice whether it is appropriate to request my PO for a possible shorter period of funding (e.g. 3 years).
    Thank you.

    • writedit said

      Yes, you can ask your PO if this is a possibility, especially since we are coming upon the end of the FY. Usually your PO would have suggested this on his/her own, but there is no harm in your asking whether a shorter/smaller award might be possible – perhaps even an R56 for one year (after which you would apply again for an R01, but with additional preliminary data collected with support from the R56 – you would need to give a specific plan for what data would/could be collected in that time that would support a subsequent R01 application). At the same time, you can ask the PO, if neither a reduced R01 nor an R56 is possible, for advice on preparing the next A0 application to lower the percentile further.

    • anxious777 said

      I am also in the same situation, 22 percentile although different study section under NHLBI. I have not heard from the PO. But I just got an email showing STTR payline increase from 24 to 28…… Hope the same increase in R01……

      • writedit said

        The R01 payline won’t be increased like that. If you are ESI, you should be okay. If not, you’ll need to submit again unless your PO pushes for select pay. Now, if you just received your score (i.e., submitted in Feb 2014), then you will be considered under the FY15 paylines, which won’t be known until next year.

      • anxious777 said

        My mistake. I received 24 percentile on my R01 early this year……..

  78. Venkateswaran Subramanian said

    Thank you so much for your suggestion.

  79. MAVS said

    Dear Writedit, would a K99 recipient be eligible to submit an R21 application during the K99 phase, if the recipient is appointed as a non-tenure track faculty member during K99? Thank you.

    • writedit said

      You should first ask about the non tenure track appointment, to be sure that is allowed. I do not believe it is during the K99 year, since the point of the K99 portion is to provide a final year of mentored training, but you can ask the PO what the policy is at your institution. You can apply during the first year of the R00, once you have a tenure track position & activate the award.


      • MAVS said

        Thank you for your quick reply. I know quite a few K99 recipients who are appointed as instructors, clinical APs etc.

      • writedit said

        The K99 policies recently changed, so you should still check with your PO on both matters.


  80. LNS said

    Many thanks for all your help through this application process. I finally received the NOA from NCI last week. I always found others’ timelines very helpful so here is mine for anyone interested. Thanks again!
    9/30/13: Submitted R01 to NCI (A0 and ESI)
    2/12/14: SRG review completed
    6/26/14: Council review completed
    7/10/14: JIT request from GMS
    7/17/14: JIT submitted
    8/12/14: Award prepared
    8/18/14: Awarded

  81. Richard said

    Can anybody tell me how to transfer a NIH grant subcontract from one institution to another? I knew how to transfer RO1 but don’t know how to transfer a subcontract. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      You yourself don’t transfer the subward. The PI’s institution is the prime award recipient and will arrange to redirect the sub award, assuming you can complete the research at your new institution (i.e., you have the right resources, equipment, etc. available). The PI will want to contact the PO about the change, too. I am not sure if formal PO approval is needed for any $ amount or only at a certain threshold, but the PO needs to know.

      • Richard said

        Writedit, thank you for your advice. Could the PI take this chance to keep this portion of funding to himself if he feels they don’t need me anymore because the grant is funded?

      • writedit said

        No, he/she would need to renegotiate the terms of the award with the funding IC, and they would need to confirm they they could do work they needed to subaward out in the original proposal. You can contact the PO for advice if you are concerned about how your sub award might be handled.

      • Richard said

        Thank you so much for your help.

  82. Richard said

    Dear Wrtiedit, I have another question: What can I do if my current institution refuse to release the equipment purchased from my NIH grant when I move?

    • writedit said

      This can be a sticky wicket, though not always. The award is to the institution, not to you, of course, but the equipment was deemed necessary at peer review for the completion of the proposed research so should stay with the project. If you need the equipment to complete NIH-funded research (and you will take the NIH $ to complete the research with you), then you should have a clear case. Taking equipment purchased with NIH funds (vs start up or dept funds) is usually not a problem, but leaving on less than amicable terms could strain the transfer negotiations, especially for equipment purchased with awards that have since been closed out. If this equipment was purchased with the same award as you mentioned previously, you can ask the PO about taking the equipment as well. Again, this is assuming the new institution has the infrastructure to accommodate and support the equipment and complete the research in question.

      • Richard said

        Thanks, Writedit! The equipment were purchased with my own RO1s, some of them are still active and one of them has been closed out recently. While I would like to leave with amicable terms, taking my funding from current institution alone would make it less than amicable and might stain the transfer negotiations, I guess. Thanks again.

      • writedit said

        Taking your awards should not be a problem – most institutions do not interfere since they do not want faculty whom they recruit to have their awards interfered with. No university likes to lose faculty with funding, but they know that is what makes you attractive to other institutions, and that you have your own reasons for wanting to relocate (better collaborators, family situation, leadership position, etc.). And your institution may not care about the equipment – I have known people here at BICO to take everything with them without any problems (though I also hear of cases where some equipment must be left behind, which is why I cannot say how it will go for you). I assume you’ve already talked with all the relevant POs about transferring your awards, and they can offer good advice on the equipment.

  83. Confused Team said

    Thanks Writedit for hosting this wonderful site! We are hoping that you and others can help us with this confusing situation.

    Our R01 A1 application received an impact score of 1.1 and 1st percentile. Needless to say, we were very happy about the score and expected that it would highly likely get awarded. Then, we have been contacted by the primary institute, who would like to fund this as a preclinical R34 at the substantially lower the funding level. They are asking us to change our application from R01 to R34 with a set of different Aims and study design. We are really confused about this. Our understanding is that the scientific review panel decided that the study is highly meritorious as a clinical trial study, yet the institute wants to change the funding mechanism for the application. Our questions are 1) is this a common practice? Has someone experienced something like this? 2) would it be reasonable for us to contact the secondary institute to see if they would pick up our R01? We would appreciate any comments on this.

    • writedit said

      Some ICs (NIDDK comes to mind) require submission of an R34 or U34 (multisite clinical trial planning grant) prior to the submission/receipt of a R01/U01 for a multisite clinical trial. However, NIDDK program officials were willing to entertain skipping the R34/U34 step for a trial colleagues here at BICO were planning, but mainly because the trial would have built on existing infrastructure from a previously NIDDK-funded multisite trial among the same (or most of) sites. You should check the policy at each IC, as they both may require the R34 prior to the trial itself (in which case, there is no use considering the secondary IC). You should also get clarification on whether you would need to resubmit the R01 after completing the R34 preparation year; the application will still be active, so it could be they will just delay that award without forcing you to reapply (in fact, I would assume this would be the case, conditional on successful establishment of the trial infrastructure during the R34). A lot of ICs have gotten burned on funding large clinical trials that wasted a year or more getting organized, preparing uniform data collection forms and protocols, setting up a data coordinating center, training study coordinators & nurses at each site, etc., which is why they decided to enforce the R34-R01 sequence. If you have already established much of this infrastructure, have an operations manual and data collection forms/protocols/database established, then you may be able to convince the PO to bypass the R34 phase. If you need to do this anyway, then you should ask about how the reviewed R01 will be handled once you complete the R34 phase. It is ultimately up to the IC director, who wants to make the best possible investment when funding a large trial and can indeed set aside an application, even one with a nearly perfect score, if there are any concerns about logistics. The secondary IC cannot take over the application without the primary IC relinquishing it to them, so you can’t move the application on your own; if the secondary IC has a different policy, you feel you do not need the planning/prep year, and the primary IC won’t budge, you can certainly ask the PO at the primary IC about a change in assignment (but be aware that the secondary IC may not have the $ to fund the trial in any case).

      • Confused Team said

        Dear Writedit,

        Thank you for your thoughtful comment. This will help us further discuss the situation and respond to the PO. Many thanks from our team.

  84. KPE said

    Thank you so much for the information and service provided! Here is my timeline:
    6/17/13: Submitted R21 to NIMH (NICHD was secondary)
    10/14: Originally planned SRG–Cancelled due to Govt. shutdown
    12/10/14: SRG review completed at PDRP (28 score; 19th percentile)
    1/28/14: Council review completed
    2/26/14: JIT request from GMS
    3/14-8/14: Long, drawn out negotiation over IRB
    8/7/14: Award prepared
    8/15/14: Awarded

    Between 3/14 and 8/14:
    3/13/14: Revision of R21 Submitted
    6/11/14: SRG review completed at PDRP (13 score; 4th percentile)
    8/14/14: Administratively Withdrawn

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you so much for posting such a detailed, informative timeline! Congratulations on the exceptional A1, score, too. Glad you worked out the IRB issues. Best wishes for success with the research!

    • Stillwaiting said

      I’m wondering what is the likelihood for funding with 10-15th percentile from NIMH. Any suggestions?

  85. Jeff said

    Hello, writedit. I have a question regarding a pending R15 application to NIMH. Following initial review, I received a priority score of 30 and a percentile or 18. PO says this is on the edge, but that I have a “non-zero” chance of getting funded this round. Subsequently, she has asked for a preliminary reply to reviewers, and gave me a number of extremely helpful tips on preparing this, concluding with the comment that she thought I was “ideally positioned,” in terms of the scientific content of the grant being in line with her take on NIMH priorities, etc.

    So, I prepared the reply and submitted it a few weeks ago, and yesterday I received an email from my PO inquiring about some possible overlap between my R15 project, and a pilot project I am currently working on (funded as an administrative supplement to a P20 COBRE award). I informed her of a small amount of overlap, and she replied that we should work on eliminating this by modifying the current pending proposal. I made a suggestion re. how to do this, and she replied that she liked the idea, and that she would email me next week to let me know how to go about documenting this change to the project.

    The council meeting date is listed as 9/18 in the commons, so I was wondering what might be going on, and if I should be reading much into these requests etc. at this point? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers, and thanks for the great service you provide to all of us anxious would-be funded scientists!


    • writedit said

      You have a fantastic PO, obviously. You didn’t mention when you submitted the application. If it is for FY14, she is scrambling for a last-minute award in September – the fact that she is asking for documentation on why the projects don’t overlap means she is getting ready for a fast administrative review and approval (before Sept 30). I don’t think she would have done this if she wasn’t reasonably confident the $ was there. If this is for FY15, then I guess she just wants to be sure you are on the paylist, but these awards won’t be issued for many months (federal budget for FY15 won’t be passed until sometime next year). Either way, excellent news, and you can be cautiously excited.

      • jsoon71 said

        Thank you for your reply. Yes, she has been incredibly helpful thus far. I submitted this as a new submission on February 25th, so I guess this would be FY14? The earliest start date is listed as September or December. Either way, it’s nice to be in the mix, and to be in a good position for the revision, if one is required.

      • writedit said

        Usually a Feb submission would be an FY15 award, but maybe your PO is trying to get it in for FY14. Either way, it’s good news, and if she can’t push your application through for an award, she will definitely have good advice on the A1.

      • zhu70 said

        Dear Writedit,

        I just found this very helpful website. I have a question regarding my pending R01 grant application. I submitted my A1 early this year as an early stage investigator. My application got an impact score of 30 and was ranked at 10th percentile. The status of my application was changed to “Pending administrative review” after we submitted JIT over a month ago in response to a request from In the JIT, I indicated that there is a partial scientific overlap between the Aim1 of my R01 application and my March of Dimes Basil O’Connor starter scholar research award, which was just awarded right before I submitted my A1. Now the PO is asking me to delineate the overlap part and if I have taken any steps with MOD to eliminate the overlap. I did not take any steps yet with MOD to eliminate the overlap because I even did not know if my R01 would be funded or not. My questions are how this partial overlap would affect PO’s final decision whether or not to fund my R01 grant and what I should do regarding the elimination of the overlap. Would the overlap be a big problem?

        Thank you very much for your advice!

      • writedit said

        Congratulations on both awards. You will be able to work out the overlap issue – you won’t lose the R01. If you have a mentor who could look at both specific aims pages and budgets, he or she can probably help you with this, since it really requires knowing both applications/awards to give good advice. Someone in your sponsored programs (research) office should be able to give advice, too, and your program contacts at both your IC and the MOD will likely help – they want you to succeed (they just want to be sure you aren’t being paid twice for the same work). I assume from the name that the MOD award is smaller and would at best overlap with only one (or part of one) aim in your R01. If any of the aims or sub aims are identical, then you want to think whether you can modify the overlapping aim in the MOD award and get their permission to pursue something slightly different (additional, since your R01 will cover the overlapped work). Since the NIH wants to make an award by the end of September, renegotiating with MOD to eliminate overlap would probably be easier, and they are probably more flexible. Now, if you don’t have any direct duplication in the two applications but just a similar scientific focus, you can point this out and indicate how the work (specific experiments) with MOD funding will be distinct from (& complementary to) that done with NIH funding.

  86. talaci said

    Dear writedit, I want to let you know that my K25 has been funded with NIAID. The score was 25, right at the FY 14 payline. Thank you for all your help along the way!
    A question i have now is that I am planning a R21 with a collaborator. Can I serve as a contributing co-PI in the R21? My PO said yes but she would like to double check on that, and I have not heard back from her yet.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations! You cannot be a PI as part of a multiple PI submission, but you can participate as a co-investigator. I assume the K25 only covers 75% of your effort, so you could only include as much effort on the R21 as you have available, depending on the % effort you need to set aside for any clinical, teaching, or administrative responsibilities. The effort on the R21 would count as additional research activities in the 25% (or whatever %) not covered by the K25. If the K25 covers 100% of your effort, you might be able to provide effort with no salary requested on the R21, again as part of your research training, but that your PO would indeed need to confirm. If you need to know for an October submission, you can remind your PO again that you need to know by email or phone, if you have called her before. Best wishes for success with your projects and your career in academic research!

  87. HopefulPI said

    Hello writedit. I submitted a revised A1 almost a year ago (for FY14). I received a decent score, but it was just outside the payline and did not seem likely to be funded. Just recently, I got an e-mail from the GMS saying that the application is currently under administrative review and they needed confirmation of the amounts budgeted. My commons status hasn’t changed. Do you think this is good news? Or will I just have to wait through the end of the fiscal year to see what happens? Thank you.

    • writedit said

      This is absolutely good news, and you should reply immediately if you have not already. September is the month that ICs make last minute award decisions based on how much $ they have left. If your GMS is asking for this information, it means they have gotten far enough down the pay list to reach your application (and/or it might have been flagged for extra consideration due to programmatic interest). If you had been in touch with the PO earlier in the year, he or she probably would have told you that your application might be considered at the end of the year. This is a good reason not to make any assumptions about a borderline score. In this case, you seem likely to get an award, and you’ll know soon. I would suggest you also contact the PO an update on what is happening and what you can expect.

  88. zhu70 said

    Thank you so much for your advice! My MOD award is only for two years and the direct cost is only $130K in total, which is mainly to cover a postdoc’s salary. My MOD grant partially overlaps with only one aim of my R01 grant. I will talk with program contacts at both IC, which is NINDS, and MOD. It would be great if MOD can have some flexibility. Thanks again!

    • zhu70 said

      Dear Writedit,

      Again, thank you very much for your suggestion! I renegotiated with MOD and requested to change the overlapping part of my MOD grant based on your suggestions. Now MOD has approved my proposal changes and the overlapping part between my MOD grant and NIH grant has been eliminated. As you said, it was much easier to renegotiate with MOD and they are more flexible. Thank you very much for your help!

      • writedit said

        Perfect – I’m so glad this worked out for you. Foundations want to see their supported investigators go on to get NIH funding (larger awards for longer project periods), which they can claim as a positive outcome – and evidence that they know how to pick solid science (since NIH peer review agrees). Co-funding your research falls into the same category, since supporters of the Foundation want to see this research move ahead rapidly and effectively, which the joint funding will facilitate.

  89. Sambad said

    HI Writedit,
    I am moving to a different school with my mentor. My F31 application (NCI) is under second revision. Do I need to withdraw my application and resubmit it? or is there any other way to fix this? (since training plan and application has to be changed completely)

    • writedit said

      You can’t substitute a new training-research plan. You can ask the PO for guidance about your situation, but if both the training and research plans must be reworked, you should probably withdraw the application to avoid wasting reviewer effort (study section won’t be happy about reviewing you two rounds in a row if you should have withdrawn the current application) and submit a new application from the new institution in December.

  90. AA said

    Hi, I thought to hope for some answer or relief here. The impact score of my revised F32 (appl. deadline Aug 8th, 2013) was 30 and I basically gave up. But few weeks ago I found out that some info was requested (e.g. year I got my PhD and clarification of the budget). I checked the status on eRA and it changed to the ambiguous “Award Prepared; refer questions to GMS”. I wonder if anyone got this and then never obtained funding? I emailed to GMS but they were very vague in their response, basically saying that awards will not go out until 9/15/14 if that helps.

    Here is my timeline:

    11/03/2014: Awared Prepared, refer questions to GMS
    11/20/2013: Scientific Review Group review completed. Refer any questions to Program Official.
    08/16/2013: Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
    08/08/2013: Application entered into system

    What do you guys think it all means?

    • AA said

      correction: 9/03/2014: Award Prepared….

      • writedit said

        You should absolutely check with your PO – he or she won’t mind explaining what is going on. The award prepared status precedes the actual notice of award (sometimes by days to weeks), and as Quynh pointed out, fellowships need to be activated. All FY14 awards must be made by Sept 30th, and it could be that the GMS knows award notices will be going out next week but might not know about yours specifically. Congratulations are in order – best wishes for success with the project and your training.

  91. Quynh said

    Hello what Institute were you applying to? In my understanding, if your percentile or impact score is at the funding range, you will be likely to get it. At NHLBI they posted the funding percentile and they do update their website and funding score occasionally. Based on what they posted at your eCommons, it looks like you are getting the fellowship. However, it could take longer than what they posted regarding the expected date of the award. Also later they could ask you to submit a form to declare what date you want the award activated. My F32 fellowship that I just got from NHLBI stated that the award will be in July. But the whole process was not done till the end of July. Then I requested them to activate my award in December. You could email your PO and ask what is really going on. But my bet is you will get it eventually but it takes some time for them to prepare everything.

    • AA said

      Thanks guys (and you too writeedit!). I just got the Notice of Award. You were right, it took more here than for others in the past. I did contact the PO and he did inform me that my application was funded. Thanks so much for wishing me success on the project!

      • writedit said

        Woohoo! Congratulations again – have fun.

  92. NK said

    If you feel there is a reviewer on the study section roster who is biased against your work, is it possible to ask the SRO that this person not review the application. Roster was published on September 9 and review if October 9. Will the person know that you asked they not review?

    • writedit said

      It’s too late at this point, since the reviewers were assigned some time ago. When you are submitting an application, you can name reviewers you do not want assigned as long as you can provide objective evidence that they could be biased (e.g., publish and/or receive grant funding for similar work – not just that they were obnoxious to you at your poster). Only the SRO knows you have requested that they not be assigned – reviewers do not see the cover letter. If you need to reapply, in your next cover letter, you can ask that this reviewer not be assigned (whether or not you think he/she was assigned to your original review).

  93. GAR34 said

    Hi everyone, I’ve been silently following this blog for close to two years now and have learned a lot about the application process from reading the responses. Writedit… thank you so much for maintaining this page. I am providing my F31 NRSA application timeline, in case anyone out there might find it useful. Don’t give up!

    Funding Opportunity: F31, Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award
    FOA Number: (PA-11-112)
    Funding Agency: National Institute on Aging (NIA)

    4/12/2013 1st submission

    6/27/2013 SRG review

    07/02/2013 SRG review results available in eRA Commons; Impact Score 33
    07/24/2013 Summary Statement available in eRA Commons. Reviewers criticized the training plan, which they felt was generic and not trainee specific. They liked the rest.

    12/13/2013 2nd submission (A1)

    12/29/2013 Received an email stating my application was dead due to a missing document. Heart stopped. However, this was resolved after contacting the Division of Receipt and Referral in the Center for Scientific Review, NIH, where I explained all documents were indeed submitted. They double-checked and found the document. Heart beat again.

    02/24/2014 SRG review

    02/27/2014 SRG review results available in eRA Commons. Impact Score 30
    03/12/2014 Summary Statement available in eRA Commons. Reviewers noted the application was substantially improved, though surprisingly the impact score did not change much. Biggest critique was the project timeline/funding period, which they felt should be longer.

    08/22/2014 Received an email requesting IACUC numbers and approval/expiration dates from NIA. No change in eRA Commons status. *** over 5 months of having heard nothing!***

    09/02/2014 Current Application Status in eRA Commons for A1 changed to “pending”. In General Grant Information, status changed to “Award prepared; refer questions to GMS”.

    09/15/2014 Received NoA via email. eRA Commons status changed to “Fellowship awarded”.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you so much for posting such a detailed, informative, and entertaining application timeline! Glad normal rhythm was restored. I am not surprised about the radio silence at NIA, though you probably would have been told your application was under consideration still if you’d checked with the PO. What a happy surprise. Best wishes for success on your doctorate and career in biomedical research!

  94. random PI said

    My status changed to “Application awarded” >24 h ago, but I haven’t received any email yet. There’s a PDF of the Notice on eRA Commons. It would really help for me to be able to say now (to prospective grad students, the chair, etc.) that I’ve got this in the bag, but I’m paranoid it’s not really official yet. Should I write my PO at the end of business tomorrow if I haven’t received an email?

    • writedit said

      Congratulations – you are receiving an award, no need to check with your PO. If you are saying there is a PDF of the NoA on eRA Commons, this is your official Notice of Award (email would just point you to this PDF), and you can check the PDF for the terms of the award if you need to know what you can promise in terms of $ etc.. If you do not have a NoA PDF yet, up to a week can pass between “Award prepared” and the NoA, so don’t worry – it’s coming.

  95. NP said

    Hi Writedit,

    At the end of each fiscal year, NIH will use the fund left in the budget to fund applications in the gray zone. I am wondering if you know when the decision will be made, by the end of this month? Thank you.

    • writedit said

      All FY14 awards must be made by September 30th (last day of the fiscal year), so I imagine all final decisions have been made, since they need time to process the awards. If you have been waiting to hear but have had only radio silence from your PO, you could check in as to whether anything is in the works for a late September award – or you could wait until Oct 1, at which point you’ll know for sure.

  96. researcher said

    Quick question: I have a R01 at NCI that was reviewed and got as A1 an Impact of 20 and a percentile of 6. Current status says Council review completed. A buddy of mine got a grant reviewed at around the same time and just got his award notice. Do I still need to be nervous about this…?

    • writedit said

      Depends on if your buddy submitted for an RFA or PAR or a regular program announcement (parent or NCI) and when you submitted the applications. If your application was submitted last year for FY14, then you should touch base with your PO. If you submitted this year to standard submission date (Feb 5), then you will be considered for FY15, in which case you’ll be waiting a while due to the delay in the federal budget. Applications submitted earlier this year to RFAs and PARs could be funded in FY14.

  97. Brad said

    NIAID just posted interim paylines for FY2015 R01s and much to my surprise they are higher than FY2014 final paylines.

    2014: 9/13 (ESI/NI)
    2015: 10/14 (ESI/NI)

    Any insight into why the interim payline may so “relatively” high?

    • writedit said

      They’re expecting a little more money than in FY14, and it could be that NIAID is ending some big programs that will free up $ for FY15 (that otherwise would have been obligated). Paylines can be adjusted down, though (NIDCR did that last year), if the bottom falls out on the anticipated appropriation.

      • tcgal said

        is this universal at NIH (i.e. expecting a little more money than in FY14)?

        my NCI R01 (A1) was just reviewed this week and we got 8th percentile. I’m cautiously excited!

        NCI’s hard payline was 9th percentile last FY- and then of course there is the gray zone..

        should paylines be as good or perhaps better than last year, and at least no worse?

      • writedit said

        Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Congratulations on your cautiously optimistic score!

      • laghs said

        But we expect more applications coming into NIH in FY15. So, the payline might actually be down?

      • writedit said

        Success rates will be down due to the larger denominator. If reviewers spread the scores appropriately, paylines should be relatively stable.

  98. blindsided said

    Dear Writedit,
    I have a question a bit off topic — I am in the 5th year of my R01, and one of my collaborators (non-key, but senior) is less than forthcoming with data on my project., more than a year after the experiments were performed This makes it difficult to generate the best hypothesis for the competitive renewal, I feel blindsided.. Are there any NIH policies/mechanisms that could help with such a situation? Or is it just the art of collaboration, that I have (obviously) yet to master. I have to mention I was an ESI when I got the award, so quite junior. Thank you in advance!

    • writedit said

      I assume you have talked in person with this individual about planning the competitive renewal and needing these data to do so. If not, that is your first step – not via email but in person. Bringing this up at group meetings may also help give you some back up. The data belong to the university/institution, not to this individual, so he cannot keep them from you. I would suggest talking with your mentor/Chair for assistance if you know the data exist but have not been shared with you. The NIH Data Sharing Policy can be invoked – though it really should not need to be within the same university/institution.

      • blindsided said

        Thank you writedit. Yes, the need for data was mentioned in the context of planning the renewal application, months before the intended deadline (Nov). Mentioned in group meetings as well. I also offered to analyze the raw data, if they don’t have time to do it. All I got was hand waving and empty promises, not one shred of data. I think you are right, I will involve senior people and hope for the best. Thanks again!

  99. Peter Pan said

    Hello Writedit,
    thank you for this very helpful blog.

    I have a RO1 A1 (submitted 3/05.2014) to NCI, which received raw score 26 and 8 percentile (scientific review on 6/3/2014). eRA Common indicated the Council review completed on Sept 10, 2014. Yet, I haven’t heard anything yet regarding JIT request. I spoke with my PO earlier in June and was instructed to wait until someone to contact me asking for JIT. I am anxious to know whether I can get NOA or not. Is this caused by undetermined FY2015 budget from Congress? Should I contact my PO again to ask for the instruction or just be patient?

    Thank you so much for your advise.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations on the nice score (I assume you mean the Overall Impact/Priority Score was 26). NCI is always very conservative at the outset of the fiscal year under a continuing resolution. If you haven’t communicated with your PO since June, you could check in again, though not to ask for JIT – just to ask for a timing update, in terms of whether you will need to wait for the NIH appropriation to be passed (as part of the federal budget). My guess is, you will have to wait for the federal budget, which probably won’t be until next year. Your PO will not confirm that you are getting an award but will probably remain cautiously optimistic until NCI sets paylines, so please don’t be surprised (or upset) if that is the case. Your PO truly does not know for sure at this point. You are in good shape, but you’ll need to be patient.

  100. Peter Pan said

    Thank you Writedit for your advice! Yes, 26 is Overall Impact/Priority Score. I will contact my PO as you suggested. Thanks again.

  101. grant waiting said

    Hello WriteEdit,

    I have a grant that is already reviewed but missed the payline at its assigned primary institute A. Now institute B (which is not one of the assigned institutes of the grant) says they will request a transfer to B for consideration. I wonder, in this process, should I as the applicant get involved in the transfer process or should I just wait for institute A to transfer the grant to B? If I should get involved, should I direct write to the PO of A to ask them to transfer the grant to B? I am asking because in eRA Commons it looks the grant is still with A, though it has been three months since it had been reviewed.


    • writedit said

      The PO at primary IC A arranges the transfer to the PO at secondary IC B (they communicate how/when to make this happen). There is nothing you can do specifically, though you can contact your PO at primary IC A to check on the status of the transfer. However, I expect this will take some time since the NIH is operating under a CR, so no IC is going to fund a transferred application right now. You probably won’t hear anything until next year, after the federal budget has been passed.

    • Feri said

      Hi there!
      So sorry that I am just seeing your question.
      Exactly what Writedit told you has happened to my grant, and the transfer was done between my PO from primary IC ( NICHD) and my PO at the secondary IC ( NIDA) but I was advised by my first PO to send a resubmission as well. I took her advice and I am glad I did! My A1 was assigned to NIDA as primary and NICHD became my secondary and today I found out that my A1 was scored in the 7th percentile! If my A1 was scored lower than my A0, my assumption is that NIDA might have considered my A0 for funding in FY15 which was scored in the 18%. This happened to one of my colleagues for his R21 who scored much lower for his A1 and his A0 was borederline.

      Dear Writedit,
      I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful advice, and support here! I think I made it!!!
      All the best,

      • writedit said

        Woohoo – congratulations on the terrific A1 score! Best wishes for success with your research!

  102. Feri said

    Thanks SO much Writedit and I will continue following your terrific blog!

  103. Jeff said


    I’m writing back with a follow-up question re. my still-yet-to-be funded R15 proposal. Since last writing, I have been asked by my PO to write up and submit a short description of how I would modify my proposal to eliminate a small amount of overlap with another grant, signed by myself and our university signing official on university letterhead. After that, I received a call from the Grants Management Specialist on 9/12 telling me that they were looking into funding my proposal in FY14, and that they wanted to make sure I would be ready to accept the award by the end of the month, and would be able to submit any additional JIT information within 24 hrs of the request. A couple days later, I received the JIT request, and promptly submitted the requested information.

    That’s the last I’ve heard. My status changed to Council Review Completed on 10/03, but I have yet to hear any final word about it, and an email to my PO has gone unanswered for the last week and a half.

    Reading through the posts here, and talking to colleagues, it seems highly improbable that they would ask for all of the above unless they were planning on funding the proposal. This has not reduced my anxiety, however.

    Any insight re. what may be going on here? If I were going to be funded in FY14, would I have heard something by now? I’m trying to be patient over here, but I’m also thinking about the looming Oct deadline for R15 submissions/revisions.


    • writedit said

      You are correct that they would not do all that work if they did not plan to issue an award. They needed to get your award on the books by day’s end on Sept 30, which they probably did bureaucratically, but actually preparing the Notice takes a little longer. I have seen notices back dated to the end of Sept issued in early October. If you haven’t heard by Monday, you could check in with the PO as to whether the award was/is being processed – or if you should be looking at the November deadline for an A1 application.

      • Jeff said

        Great, thanks for the input! I will now go back to being patient 😉


      • Jeff said

        Hello Again. In case you or anyone else is interested, my R15 to NIMH did not wind up getting funded in FY14. My PO has told me she is hearing that “ grants might not be released until December 1st,” and has recommended I submit a revised proposal on the Oct 25th deadline, just in case. She further stated that I could still be funded in FY15, and that she hopes that I will be. That sounds like good news, right?

        From what I can tell, Congress has already approved an appropriations bill covering NIH funding for FY15. Do you think they are just being cautious while they get a sense for how things are shaping up early in the fiscal year?


      • writedit said

        This is still good news (though not as good as receiving an award). A friend here at BICO received a select pay award at the beginning of the new FY (vs by Sept 30 of the FY in which he was being considered), so you could get an award for your FY14 R15 in December or after. My friend was also advised to put in an A1, which he did, and it was administratively withdrawn after the A0 was funded. Your PO’s support and enthusiasm is what is most important – that she wants you to be funded. The FY15 budget likely won’t be passed until next year, but NIMH can make your FY14 award under the CR. The FY15 budget should be a tad higher (a slight tad, don’t get excited) than FY14, so paylines won’t go up (probably stay the same or drop a percentile in some cases), but success rates will drop since the number of applications is increasing under the new NIH policy.

      • Jeff said

        Sorry, looks like I was wrong about the appropriations bill being passed already. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens as the end date for the CR (Dec. 11th) gets closer, eh?

  104. JW said


    I submitted an R15 application to NIGMS which just received a score of 27. I’m happy with the score, but my guess is that it probably doesn’t have a good chance of being funded. I’m wondering if its worth my time to try to resubmit for the next deadline in 2 weeks, or if I should hold off for another cycle. The study section was just this past week, so I would be getting my summary statement pretty close to the deadline, but I’m guessing the comments are minimal if my scores were a mix of 2s and 3s. I would hate to lose a cycle if I don’t have to, but I’m debating whether its realistic to try to turn this application around so quickly.

    Thanks! And this is a great blog!

    • writedit said

      NIH Policy (NOT-OD-14-074) requires that you have your summary statement before resubmitting (might not happen until after Oct 25), and you absolutely should take into account the concerns raised by reviewers. Unless you rushed a flawed application in the last cycle (such that you knew it had problems you can now fix), I am not quite sure how you would know what to change, aside from adding additional preliminary data and publications. Remember too that you will be going back to the same reviewers, who will know you resubmitted without taking their suggestions into account (due to timing). Your PO won’t want to talk with you until you have your summary statement, at which time the PO could assess whether your application might still be considered for an award and also provide advice on revising the proposal based on the discussion of your application.

  105. MSHS said

    I will be completing my third year of K08 from NHLBI in spring 2015. I am interested in applying for R03 from another institute that has a start date of June 2015. Am I allowed to do that, and keep both grants if funded? Thanks!!

  106. Psyance said

    Greetings Writedit! In my recently submitted R01, I noticed that on the cover/info sheet (which I assume is completed by who ever assigns the application) there is a mistake in the reported budget. The direct costs (minus consortium F&A) are listed correctly for years 1, 3, 4, & 5; however, for year 2 it lists the total direct costs (i.e., it includes consortium F&As) which makes it look like year 2 is >$100,000 more than any other year. Should I contact someone to have this corrected? It is still less than $500,000 for that year, but it looks like there is a huge jump in direct costs during year 2 (which isn’t accurate).

    • writedit said

      The mistake would have been made on your end (your institution’s end) – no one at the NIH changes anything in the application, which is exactly as you submitted it electronically. This is why PIs (& sponsored research office staff) need to look at the application after it is submitted, to be sure everything is correct. You can ask your PO if this can be fixed. I assume all the budget numbers are correct otherwise, in which case there shouldn’t (I would hope) be a problem with this change after the submission date.

      • Psyance said

        Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I should clarify. This isn’t to say that the mistake was not on our end (that’s quite possible), but there was no change in the actual application. The first page looks like a page that was generated (at least partially) by data I put in the application. However, it also lists things that I had no knowledge of at submission. For example, it lists an accession number, an IPF, the assigned review group, that I’m an ESI, that it’s not an AIDS application, etc. There is also a space where total direct costs, minus consortium F&A, are listed. These aren’t values I put anywhere in the grant. In fact, you have to do some math, using the various consortium budgets, to get those values. My institution maintains that they didn’t enter this data either (which is why I thought this was an info sheet added by someone at NIH when my grant was assigned). At any rate, it is my fault for not catching this sooner. Though, I really don’t remember seeing this page when I reviewed it (and certainly it didn’t have my review group listed). I will contact my PO (once one is assigned) to see if it needs to be fixed.

      • writedit said

        Yes, some of the pages are automatically generated based on electronic forms submitted – but the automatically generated pages draw their data from the forms completed in the application. If you have not been working with a PO in advance of submitting your application, then you should just contact the SRO of the review group to which you have been assigned. And if you did not work with a PO before submitting this application, please take care to do so the next time for advice on your specific aims (to develop an application of programmatic interest) and study section selection (to find reviewers interested in your science). Once you have your summary statement, your PO can give advice on revisions and advocate for your application.

  107. grant waiting said

    Hello WriteEdit,

    Just curious, say one has an unfunded R21A0, after revision and adding more content, can one submit an R01A1 based on the R21A0? In other words, can one submit an A1 as a different type of grant?


    • writedit said

      With the new NIH submission policy (, you can submit the modified R21 as an A0 again (you do not need to change aims, you would not refer to any prior applications in the research narrative and not include an introduction). If you feel you have enough preliminary data to support an R01 application, you can also expand it to an A0 R01. You might ask your PO which would be the better strategy (R21 A0 vs R01 A0).

      • grant waiting said

        So basically one cannot submit the A1 version of the grant as an R01 and it must remain as an R21 because the A0 was an R21(?).

      • writedit said

        No, you can submit your R21 A1 proposal as an A0 application for either activity code (R01 or R21). You could also submit a piece of it as an R03. My suggestion was to talk with your PO to see what makes more sense for your target institute in terms of what you want to accomplish and how much preliminary data you have available to expand the R21.

  108. Hope said

    Dear Writedit,
    I have a R15 that just got scored at NIDDK. I don’t think it was scored fairly because no one on the panel was in my area of research. (You might remember that I came to ask you whether it’s possible to move an application from one institution to another. I talked to the PO at NIAID following your suggestions but the PO wasn’t able to help me.) There is an upcoming deadline for R15 (October 25) and I am interested in resending the same grant to NIAID, as a new submission, without waiting for the summary statement. Do you think I can do that? I do have a time limit as my start-up is running out. I would appreciate your advice.

    • Hope said

      According to NIH Policy NOT-OD-14-074, it sounds like I cannot. But my circumstance is not described in the policy.

      I do think that this was a referral error. What do you think I should do? Thank you!

      • writedit said

        There are no “referral errors”. If you do not submit a cover letter, the referral office at CSR first asks different ICs if they will accept your application. If no IC will accept your application, it is rejected. This is not an automated process – people are asked. Again, in the absence of a cover letter, the referral officer looks at your title and abstract for key words that will suggest an appropriate study section (not necessarily the best study section). If the SRO does not reject the application, that is where it is reviewed, whether or not someone with the appropriate expertise for your particular project is on the panel. This is why researching study sections and including a cover letter that requests specific assignments and includes a list of the type of expertise needed to review the application is essential.

    • writedit said

      NIH policy prohibits you from submitting an application for which you have not yet received the summary statement, so no, you cannot submit the same R15 if you have not received the prior summary statement. Now, you can ask that NIAID be assigned as your primary IC, assuming the PO at NIAID was interested in your work, but the reviewers will be the same unless you find another study section to request in your cover letter. That is, the R15 applications are reviewed at CSR, not in the ICs, so the administering IC does not matter when it comes to the review process. You need to find a study section with reviewers who are interested in your area of research.

      • Hope said

        Thank you Writedit. A little bit clarification: (1) I did indicate in the cover letter that NIAID was my first choice, and I had talked to a PO at NIAID (before submission) who showed a strong interest. I indicated NIDDK as my second choice. My understanding is that the first choice, since I indicated explicitly in the cover letter, should be asked first — is that correct?

        (2) NIDDK and NIAID have different R15 panels at CSR. I have colleagues who are also in this round and are currently being reviewed at NIAID R15 panels. Our areas of research are very similar.

      • Hope said

        One more thing to add:
        (3) When I asked the PO at NIAID (or NIDDK) about which study section they would recommend, they both said that I had no choice because R15’s are reviewed in special panels, and each institute had a couple of these special panels.

        Sorry to show my frustration but there’s a lot of inconsistence here. I am considering to appeal but I have no idea how to do that, and whether it’s worth it. Could you please educate me on that? Thank you!

      • writedit said

        Ah, yes, I had forgotten that R15 had SEPs that reviewed them. You do not have your summary statement, so I am not sure what you want to appeal. At the time the application is assigned, if you have a concern about the IC and/or the SRG, you can and need to inquire about this immediately (not after the review). Even with your cover letter, the referral officer would have talked with both NIAID and NIDDK, and apparently NIAID passed at being primary IC (or NIDDK indicated a stronger interest). With the IC assignment, you want to contact your PO if you are concerned about which IC was assigned to be primary. At this point, you absolutely do not want to appeal – again, you don’t even have a summary statement (appeals can only be made if there are objective factual errors in the review that would significantly change the score), but also because you would be prohibited from submitting the application again until the appeal was complete, and then only the original application would be reviewed by the same study section in the review cycle following the next Council meeting (so next spring, since Council must approve your appeal). You never want to formally appeal unless something truly egregious happened at review. What you need to do is wait for your summary statement, talk with the NIAID PO about revising the application for submission with NIAID as primary (it could be you will need to modify the application for an NIAID assignment), and submit next February. I expect the summary statement will point out weaknesses that need to be addressed before you will succeed with your application.

      • Hope said

        Thanks so much Writedit! This is very helpful.

        Regarding the concern about IC assignment — I did inquire immediately after it happened by contacting the POs in both institutes (following your suggestion at the time–thank you again), but they told me it’s too late. Just in case this would happen again… was it really too late, or else?

      • writedit said

        Before you submit your revised application, you can let the NIAID PO know you plan to request NIAID as the primary IC on your next application (and confirm this is what he/she wants). You would put his/her name in your cover letter & indicate that you have discussed the assignment with them.

  109. K812 said

    I have an R01 A1 that was recently scored at the 14th percentile. It’s assigned to NIBIB, with NCI secondary. The payline for both institutes is the 9th percentile (I’m an experienced investigator). I read your Kindle book and learned that for most institutes there are a substantial number of grants funded beyond the payline. There is no data in your book for NIBIB, and I’ve been unable to find anything online. Do you know of a way for me to get this information?

    Another issue is that the PO did not respond to emails that I sent after the review of the A0. I will try again after I get the summary statement, but I don’t have much hope that he will advocate for this grant.

    Thank you.

    • writedit said

      I don’t have the funding trend data for NIBIB because they did not provide them (we asked all the ICs), so I cannot help you there – but you can assume they do fund applications above the payline. If your PO has not communicated at all, or at least since the submission of the A0, then you might check for other POs with similar portfolios or contact the appropriate Division chief for a different program contact. If you don’t know anyone else or none of your mentors or colleagues have suggestions (even if their NIBIB POs are not in your area, sometimes they can refer you to someone else), you can look through the Scientific Program Areas for either alternative PO names or projects similar to yours (and then look up their POs via RePORTER).

      • K812 said

        Thank you for the suggestion about the PO. There is a PO whom I’d prefer, and my grant could fit into his portfolio. I understand why it was assigned to the PO I have now, but it could go just as well to the one I prefer. Is it acceptable to ask a PO to take your grant from another PO? And how many emails have to be ignored before you should do this?

      • writedit said

        I would say if you never heard back after the A0 was reviewed and had no input on your A1 submission, that you could explain this lack of responsiveness to the PO you prefer and ask first if he knows why the other PO has not been responsive and then if your applications could be assigned to him (A1 if possible and any future submissions). Communicating with extramural PIs is the PO’s job, so it is reasonable for you to look into the situation and seek an alternative PO as appropriate.

      • K812 said

        I hate to keep asking questions, but should I try to get it reassigned now, after the review? If I resubmit it will be a new application and I would contact the preferred PO from the start.

      • writedit said

        Happy to keep answering questions. I think it would be appropriate to make contact now, explain the situation, and ask if this new PO can help with your A1 and, if not, with your future applications. Even if your A1 cannot be formally reassigned to him (each IC has their own internal policy on this), he can tell you how much programmatic interest there would be in your A1 and how likely it is that your application would be considered for select pay. In the process, you might also then find out what happened to your assigned PO (& this new PO may just engage your assigned PO to become more active in working with you – perhaps there is something going on that you don’t know about that had distracted him/her), and someone else at the IC will be aware of your A1.

      • K812 said

        Thank you so much for this great information! I will do as you suggest.

      • writedit said

        Now, I should add one more suggestion. I would suggest you wait to contact the new PO until you have your summary statement, if you don’t yet. You could also make one more attempt with the assigned PO when you get your summary statement (and if you did receive your A1 summary statement and tried to contact the assigned PO to no avail, you are good to introduce yourself to the new PO).

  110. JiLord said

    ESIprof got his first R01 funded after he submitted another one (entirely different project and institute). He was considered an ESI for the second R01 (given that ESI eligibility is determined on the date of submission). Now, his second R01 did not get a fundable score. Would ESIprof still be consider an ESI when he resubmit the second R01 as A1?

    • writedit said

      No, he lost ESI status when the first R01 was funded. Status at time of submission is what counts, so all future submissions (including the A1) will be as an established PI.


  111. CK said

    My RO1 A1 submitted to NICHD got scored – 12 percentile with 26 priority score (as an established PI), and I have a few questions before discussing with my PO. NICHD hasn’t posted payline for FY14/15, but I assume it wouldn’t be much different from FY13’s (9 percentile). You mentioned that grants scored above the payline could be funded. Do you know how those grants are chosen? Randomly or by priority scores? I am very curious about the selection process and if you have any suggestions on increasing the chance. Also, there is no secondary institute assigned for this grant (as this is for specific topic and FOA announced by NICHD), but in case this doesn’t get funded, would it still be possible to ask other institutes to consider? NHLBI and NIGMS have ones that fit very well for this grant. If so, when would be best time to contact? I would so much appreciate your help!

    • writedit said

      First, you can’t ask for additional IC assignments now, and it would be very rare for secondary ICs to pick up the application (though not impossible, as demonstrated by fortunate folks who post here). If you need to rework this for a new application, you should identify appropriate POs at NHLBI and NIGMS and talk with them about your science and aims to see which of the 3 ICs are most interested. Whether your A1 is discussed for select pay depends on your PO’s level of enthusiasm for your project (they are selected in good part on score but mainly based on programmatic interest – not randomly at all). When you contact your NICHD PO, you can ask whether your application is under consideration for an award still and, if not, what you can do to improve the proposal for resubmission.

  112. 2Laroc said

    I have a budget question to toss out there. I am putting in my R01 renewal to NCI and am unfortunately under the Type 2 cap rule such that I can only ask for 225, not 250K. I was instructed however that the Type 2 cut is 10%, such that the hassle of putting in for a waiver for 250 (unlikely to fly) then taking a 17% cut is not worth it. My question is this: my institution requires a more detailed budget – should the average of this be over 225K for all 5 years such that I qualify for that module, or if it is an average of 220K per year would the grant fall to 200K module? I don’t think this matters for NIH but I am paranoid since I have been knocked modules before due to institutional mistakes. thanks for your help.

    • writedit said

      I assume you are referring to the 10% cut under the CR – hopefully at least 7% of that will be restored when the FY15 budget is passed (depending on how the dust settles after the dust up over Collins’ ebola vaccine remark). If the competing renewal budget cap only lets you go up to $225K and you need more, one question might be whether to go with a new Type 1 rather than a Type 2. We (at BICO) have had to bite the bullet & do that for some NCI grants (so much for the benefit of renewal). If you want to stick with a Type 2 and can do so within $225K, I would definitely suggest jiggering your internal budget to come out to $225K each of the 5 years (BICO requires the same internal budget). Coming out to $220K each year should mean your institution will bump it up to $225K vs back down to $200K (it’s in their interest to go for the extra module in terms of indirects), but since you can easily come up with another $5K (travel, open access fees, supplies, etc.), I would suggest you just do that to be safe.

  113. CK said

    That’s very helpful! Many thanks as always!

  114. Me said

    writedit – can SBIR indirect funds be used to pay bonuses to employees of the company?

    • writedit said

      You do not report how you spend your F&A/indirect funds to the NIH, which you use at your discretion. In your case, you probably don’t want to mention how you are spending your indirect costs to your PO.

  115. Confused said

    Hi, all!

    I’ve been a lurker for a couple months on your extremely useful blog. In my daily check of Commons, I noticed that under the Action section, a link for Inclusion popped up today. I was wondering what this meant for my grant, if anything. I tried searching the blog and the internet, but came up empty. Is this something that is automatically generated like the JIT? Also, I haven’t been asked to submit a JIT, nor has the link for a JIT popped up on Commons, which is why I’m kind of confused about this. I figured the JIT link would be the next step in the process, not the Inclusion. My score for my F31 application was under the 30th percentile cut-off for the automatic generation of the JIT link, too.

    Thank you for your help!

    • writedit said

      The JIT link should be open, but you should not provide JIT unless requested by the PO or GMS. eRA Commons issues an automated email request for applications with impact scores of 40 or less (not percentile), but these have no bearing on whether your application is being considered for funding. I am not sure what you mean by the Action section – there is an Action column, so I assume you mean there was an entry under Description for “Inclusion” (and a date?) with some sort of link. I also assume this would be in an Other category. In general, this section reflects internal processes, and your PO could explain exactly what it means. Because fellowships undergo the second level of review internally at the IC (not by Council), you should be in touch with your PO to determine whether they need anything else from you for these discussions.

  116. Hope said

    Dear writedit,
    Thank you for answering my questions about the R15 that went to the wrong IC. Today I received the summary statement. There were very few comments. To my surprise, the first two reviewers gave decent scores (very few comments though). The 3rd one, however, gave very bad scores without any explanation other than saying that the approaches were bad (literally just these words).
    Apparently I need to take this proposal to another IC and study section. My question is that, should I show the summary statement to the PO at the new IC?

    • writedit said

      Sorry to hear about the unhelpful comments from your reader (3rd reviewer is not required to write a detailed critique, though it would have been nice if the SRO had asked him/her to add a bit more). You can and should talk with the PO at NIAID about your summary statement and how to plan your revised application (I assume as a new A0 application rather than an A1). At least you won’t have to worry about the NIDDK reviewer #3 at NIAID.

      • Hope said

        Thank you very much writedit! I will do so.

  117. dimitris said

    Hello, my R21 with NEI received an impact score of 33. No percentile is given for the R21s.
    Any idea if the impact score is good enough for funding?


    • writedit said

      Probably too high, since R21s are as or more competitive than R01s, but if your PO is interested, there could be a chance for select pay. When you have your summary statement, contact the PO to discuss next steps with regard to this application and its revision for resubmission (which you should plan on no matter what).

  118. dimitris said

    Thank you. I have contacted the PO and we agreed to wait for the summary statement. thanks again

  119. jms said

    Hi Writedit,
    Quick question: are only gray zone applications considered for select pay ?
    Thank you for this great blog.

    • writedit said

      Only scored applications are considered, and given the number of low-scoring but beyond payline applications in play, it is a lot less likely for higher scoring applications to get much traction during select pay discussions. You can see occasional applications funded in the 40th percentile range, but there is clearly a strong programmatic reason for doing so. POs select which applications they will push for consideration – applications just above the payline (or in any score/percentile range) are not automatically considered.

  120. Pluto said

    Hi writedit:

    Love your blog, as always. My K23 mentee just got his K score back (NHLBI): a 28. The FY2013 final payline was 25 and the FY2014 payline was 30. Obviously, we’re reading into the tea leaves here, but do you (or does anyone) have a sense about whether the federal budget is likely to be as NIH-friendly (hah) as FY14?

    Thanks for any info/guesses/deep thoughts!

    • writedit said

      FY15 will be more like FY14 than FY13 (sequester year), so your mentee should be in good shape. Success rates will drop due to the increase in applications, but the scores should be spread roughly the same (and unlikely to have a sudden surge in more qualified applicants). When the summary statement comes back, your mentee can check in with the PO about next steps – whether to prepare an A1 and, if so, what advice for revisions. FY16 will be more of a crap shoot, since sequestration is scheduled to resume, and the mid-term elections will determine how the next Congress handles it.

  121. xyz99 said

    Hi writedit,

    Thanks for keeping this wonderful blog!

    I got 13% for my first R01 as an ESI from NIDDK. Based on the previous paylines for NIDDK, mine is on the borderline for established PI but since ESI gets additional 5%, I feel somewhat optimistic. Looking at the summary statement, I saw one reviewer was definitely NOT enthusiastic about my proposal but the other two gave nice comments. I started to contact my PO by email and phone a week ago but got no response. This PO has been very nice to me in the past and always responded to my emails fairly fast. Of course it may be just because PO is very busy right now, but I can’t help thinking that maybe this is a sign that my situation is not as promising as I thought. Should I keep trying to get contact with PO? In your opinion, what is the chance that I will be funded? Many thanks!

    • writedit said

      Congratulations on the great score. Barring any bizarre administrative/regulatory problem (I assume no programmatic issues, since you’ve been in touch with the PO), you will get an award from NIDDK with that – don’t worry about the PO’s lack of response. In your case, since you scored within the payline, your PO is busy responding to everyone who needs advice on what to do next and will get to your message when the gray zone and not funded applications have been addressed. In the meantime, relax – and don’t worry if you don’t receive an award by your start date due to lack of a federal budget (a possibility). Start dates are not expiration dates, though the delay and uncertainty of award timing is frustrating.

      • xyz99 said

        Thank you for calming me down! I will come back to update if I hear anything. Have a nice evening!

  122. grant applicant said

    Hello WriteEdit,

    Do you know if one can change the title of his grant in the A1 submission but keep the same grant number? I am asking because we are pondering to resubmit an A0 grant but want to change the title to emphasize a dramatic change in the research topic.


    • writedit said

      Yes, you can change the title. – only the grant number must stay the same for an A1.

  123. SS said

    Hi WriteEdit
    My recent R21 application was assigned to a study section, but I do not want mine to be reviewed in that section. Is it possible to request the change now? It was submitted to the Oct 16 deadline.

    • writedit said

      It’s possible, though not guaranteed. If you requested a different study section in your cover letter, you can contact the SRO of the requested study section to see why your application didn’t go there and whether the SRO can take it. If you did not include a cover letter or request an SRG, you can still contact the SRO of the desired study section to see if your application can go there – but you need to have an objective reason for the request (based on science, panel expertise, etc.). It could be your desired study section has too many applications, which the SRO diverted to other SRGs – in which case, you’ll need to make a compelling case for yours to be taken on. You need to make this request as soon as possible though, before the SRO starts considering reviewer assignments.

  124. pentahedron said

    Hello WriteEdit!

    My F32 at NIGMS just came in at Impact Score 16, Percentile 5.0. This is pretty good right? I have a decent shot at getting funded? I would go up to council in January.

    • writedit said

      More than decent – congratulations … but be patient. Your fellowship application does not go to Council, but the timing of funding decisions will depend on the federal budget, which may depend on what happens with the election next week. Please keep this in mind when all of you who are eligible to vote go do so.

  125. renewalPI said

    Dear writedit,

    I had a question, that I need to answer urgently.

    I am submitting a renewal for my first R01 andwondering if the “progress report publications list” attachment can include a narrative about the progress made in the first funding period.

    I do have a list of publications on this page, but one reviewer said that the progress report could have included a discussion of the relevance of the publications. I am not sure if they referred to a progress report within the research plan (as the NIH SF424 says), or to the prog. report publiciation list.

    If it is not a crime to add a discussion the progress report/publications page, that would save me a lot of essential space in the main grant.

    Thank you in advance for any input….your help has always been invaluable.

    • writedit said

      I have never seen any discussion of progress in the publication list. You cannot use the publication list to circumvent the page limits, and the Progress Report itself, which describes progress made during the prior funding period, goes within the Research Strategy (and sets up the starting point for your new aims).

      The SF424 instructions make it clear what goes in the Publication List:

      List the titles and complete references to all appropriate publications,manuscripts accepted for publication, patents, and other printedmaterials that have resulted from the project since it was last reviewedcompetitively. When citing articles that fall under the Public AccessPolicy, were authored or co-authored by the applicant and arose fromNIH support, provide the NIH Manuscript Submission reference number(e.g., NIHMS97531) or the PubMed Central (PMC) reference number(e.g., PMCID234567) for each article. If the PMCID is not yet availablebecause the Journal submits articles directly to PMC on behalf of theirauthors, indicate “PMC Journal – In Process.” A list of these journals isposted at:

      Citations that are not covered by the Public Access Policy, but arepublicly available in a free, online format may include URLs or PubMedID (PMID) numbers along with the full reference (note that copies ofthese publications are not accepted as appendix material, see Part ISection 5.5.15 for more information).

      A list, and nothing else. If you have questions about addressing your reviewer comments, you can talk with your PO, who would have been at the study section meeting and heard the discussion of your application.

      • SaG said

        Writedit hit it spot on. What you propose is not allowed for exactly the reason you give, “that would save me a lot of essential space in the main grant.” The information the reviewers want you to include needs to be in the progress report section. You could also include it in the one page extra you get for resubmissions if it fits better there.

      • renewalPI said

        yes I came to my senses after I wrote this.

        gladly saved me some embarrassment…maybe NIH would have returned the grant.

        thanks for your help

      • writedit said

        Great. You might also consider whether that comment meant the reviewer thought some of the publications in your list were padding your productivity – i.e., the connection with the research described in the progress report was unclear based on the title/journal (and possibly the reviewer looked at the paper, too). You can cite grant support that allowed you to work on papers not directly related to the funded project, but then those wouldn’t necessarily be part of your Progress Report (only reported to maintain compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy).

  126. RRP said

    I just received my F32 scores from NIGMS as well: impact score 32 and 27th percentile. I am not sure if this is a good score and was wondering if anyone can comment on whether I have any chances to get my application funded?

    • writedit said

      That definitely seems too high. When you get your summary statement, check in with your PO about next step strategies based on the discussion of your application.

  127. in_limbo said

    Thank you for your terrific blog. I’d like to get your perspective on my K23 experience:

    03/12/2014 A1 submitted, IC: NIA
    06/05/2014 Study section. Impact Score=20 (NIA FY14 K payline: 20; A0 score=41)
    09/16/2014 Council. Not funded.
    11/03/2014 Heard from PO. Since NIA doesn’t have a budget yet, this next round will likely be very conservative where a 20 won’t cut it. Once they have a budget, my application may still be in limbo until the end of the FY (September 2015). I was not advised to resubmit as “there is nothing [I] can do that can change [my] chances,” though I should reportedly remain optimistic.

    Is it just me, or does this projected length of time in limbo seem excessive? Is this an NIA thing? I have colleagues with K’s from other ICs whose scores were 22-28. I’m a little dismayed by the possibility that I may have to wait several months for even a chance at getting funded, despite a decent score.

    Thanks in advance for your input. I realize persistence (and apparently unbridled optimism) is key, but it’s challenging to figure out the next steps on which to persist when career development plans can be unresolved for quite some time.

    • writedit said

      I am not surprised about your PO saying you will likely have to wait to know what the FY15 budget holds. I am surprised your score is such that you might need to wait until the end of the FY. On the other hand, I see that they only made 10 awards (out of 52 applications) in FY13 (no data for FY14 yet) and 14 awards (out of 47 applications) in FY12 (which is more reflective of FY14 & FY15), so maybe they do get 3-4 applications per cycle below 20, in which case the delay is not so surprising. If you look at success rate data for the K23 mechanism, you’ll see other ICs have fewer applications and more awards, so you cannot use your colleagues’ success as a barometer for your funding chances. I am a bit surprised you were told not to resubmit, unless there were absolutely no criticisms to address toward improving your score. I see you made a huge jump from the A0 to the A1, which is fantastic. You would go in as an A0 again with no mention of the prior application, so polishing the research plan and career development plan might result in a lower score … but this should be done with advice from your PO. I suspect he/she is trying to reduce reviewer burden with a submission that might not have a significantly improved score, but if reviewers who like you as a candidate see that you need to come back (even though they cannot acknowledge they realize this), your score might improve just a bit to get in the funding range. Also, if there is any way to rework your science to be of interest to another IC, that might be a route to consider. Otherwise, in the meantime, I would suggest starting to develop an R01 application – you can ask the NIA K23 PO for a referral to an appropriate science-based PO, if the K23 person is not the best fit for your research (also do some research on the NIA website, search RePORTER, and ask your mentor). There are other non-NIH early career fellowships/awards through professional organizations that might be applicable as well. However, you don’t want to wait until next Sept to discover you will not receive a K23 with nothing in the pipeline (submitting a new A0 would not knock the A1 out of consideration).

      • in_limbo said

        Thanks for your detailed response, and for looking up those numbers. They make me a lot less optimistic, but stranger things have happened- I suppose I can’t completely consider it a lost cause. And thanks for the advice re: R01. I came to that conclusion myself and asked my PO for his thoughts, to which he said I’m unlikely to be successful if I went that route. (!! ouch) I should go for R03, R21, foundation funding, etc. instead he says, which is fine, but we seem to get contradictory info from other NIH sources who say ESIs should just go for the R01.

      • writedit said

        You definitely should not consider your K23 a lost cause – and I hope a good likelihood of funding with that score. At this point, though, I am thinking you might need a better PO. If you need some very specific preliminary data or to refine an animal or in vitro model or assay, then the R03 is appropriate. If you need to pilot a study to get data for an R01, then the R21 is appropriate. But neither should substitute for a mini-R01, and the R01 is still the best option for NI/ESI – it’s the only activity code that gets you a payline break, it’s renewable, it provides sufficient time and money to launch a research program, and the other mechanisms are just as competitive in terms of paylines and success rates (i.e., you are no more likely to secure one of the smaller grants than an R01). Foundation or professional society is easier – assuming there is a sponsor with a good match for your research out there.

        Here is the NIH statement on why NI/ESI should go for R01s: The NIH has found that the use of Small Grants (R03) and the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants (R21) has increased over the last few years. However, recent analyses indicate that a smaller proportion of individuals with initial R21 or R03 grant support subsequently apply for and obtain R01-equivalent funding. In addition, the initial success rate for R21 applications often is lower than for R01 applications. Since R03 and R21 grants are limited in scope and period of support, they may not be the most effective way to launch an independent research career. Accordingly, the NIH encourages New Investigators, particularly ESIs, to apply for R01 grants when seeking first-time funding from the NIH. []

  128. in_limbo said

    Thanks. That’s much more consistent with the advice I’ve received from numerous other sources. You indicate that I need a better PO. How does one get a better PO? Aren’t you pretty much stuck with who you’re assigned to? Is there any possibility for backlash?

    • writedit said

      NIA has a PO assigned for all career development applicants that is specific to the mechanism, whereas you want to find a PO who is specific to your science. I assume the PO assigned to your K23 is the one listed for NIA in the K23 parent announcement IC-specific policies document. You should ask your mentor and explore the NIA website (& search RePORTER) to find the PO in whose portfolio your R01 (or other RPG) application would fit. Again, depending on your science, you might explore other ICs as well (specific to organ system/disease vs aging). Another PO at NIA might have additional advice and help with your K23, too.

  129. JNJ said

    Hi Writedit,
    I got 12% on my RO1 (NHLBI) which was reviewed in June. Recently I was asked to upload JIT from the Grants department. Council Review was completed on Oct 22nd and it says Council review pending on my commons. I have not heard any thing so far. Please suggest me what I should do now. Should I contact my PO? What are the chances for me to get funded?
    Thank you.

    • writedit said

      You should upload your JIT ASAP. Council met late in October, so there might be a delay in updating the status of applications under consideration for awards (especially so close to the change in FY). You can ask your PO for an update on your application status and when you might know about an award. The FY15 payline should be about the same as FY14, so you should be in good shape, assuming there are no administrative issues or concerns about programmatic priority (but I also assume you talked with your PO about this first).

      • JNJ said

        I uploaded the JIT. I wrote to my PO for an appointment to talk with her. Thank you for your reply and suggestion.

      • JNJ said

        I spoke to my PO. She said that due to the CR, now the pay line is 11%. When will we know about the new budget and what happens to my application. I submitted a revised A0 which will be reviewed in Feb. Please let me know.

      • writedit said

        Hmm. You should still be in good shape, but good idea to submit a revised application. Based on initial posturing after the election, it seems this Congress will try to pass a federal omnibus budget bill by December rather than push the budget to the next Congress in January. In that case, ICs will know where they stand with their appropriation ~6-8 weeks after the President signs the bill. So, hopefully you will know early next year – but in generally, you can add about 2 months lag time after the federal budget is signed into law as when ICs will finally receive and start acting on their appropriation.

  130. Jim said

    My NCI/K99 score was just notified in the eRA. It is 10, and I can’t believe my eyes. This is my first submission and my last chance. I appreciate the great help from this site and thanks so much for writedit’s efforts! Is the 10 safe enough to receive the award?

    • writedit said

      Congratulations on your remarkably exceptional score! Yes, you will receive an award (next spring/summer) … though I should add the usual qualifier, barring any bizarre administrative issues (though I cannot imagine anything that would be unsurmountable). Best wishes for success with your project and your career in biomedical research!

      • Jim said

        This great forum provides so much helpful information. Thanks again writedit. I will share all my experience later.

  131. madness007 said

    You know that 10 is a perfect score, right? So obviously unless they don’t fund ANY K99’s at NCI you are basically guaranteed to get it… congrats!

  132. K99 said

    Does any know the NCI K99 pay line this year?

    • writedit said

      No one, not even NCI, will know until next year, probably (except that a 10 will definitely be funded), depending on when the federal budget is resolved, but it should be similar to FY14. You can search through past comments here or in the archives (or ask your PO what the threshold was for FY14), but I recall somewhere in the low 20s, I believe – maybe upper teens.

    • Su27 said

      I know somebody with NCI/K99 score 28 finally funded in August 2014 (submitted last Oct).

      • writedit said

        Great – thanks for chiming in.

  133. 2Laroc said

    I received a score of 27 on an NCI R21 A0 – I think I can work with that for resubmission as we have successfully optimized the critical model by now. I have not contacted the PO yet as the summs have not been released. However, this was a special emphasis panel, that looks to be expired with no reissue. Does this mean there are no options for resubmission or would the grant go to a regular study section now? thanks.

    • writedit said

      The funding announcement determines the locus of review. If you provide the FOA # (e.g., RFA-CA-12-457 or PAR-CA-11-002 etc.), I can better answer your question. However, you can always resubmit (A1) to a different funding announcement, if your original FOA has in fact expired; in this case, your PO can advise where to redirect the application (choice of both FOA and study section). It could also be that your FOA uses a SEP (vs regular study section) and will continue to receive applications (this would be indicated in the FOA – or searchable by FOA in RePORTER).

      • 2Laroc said

        thanks. It is CA-13-021.

      • writedit said

        Aha – the Provocative Questions RFA. Since this was an RFA with a single submission date, you cannot resubmit an A1 (anywhere). You will need to submit this as a new (A0) R21, probably to the NCI Omnibus R21 announcement (, unless your PO has a better suggestion (or you can check on the NCI website). Your PO can help with study section advice – the PAR indicates applications go through NCI rather than CSR, and even if you cannot request a CSR study section, you can indicate the appropriate expertise for review in your cover letter.

  134. Jim said

    Hi All,

    I just got a score of 26 for a Phase 2 NHLBI SBIR grant. It seems that historically the payline has never been below 28. This year it is 25 so far. What is you opinion about my chances of getting funding? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      You should be fine after the federal budget is passed, which is more likely to occur in December than after the next Congress convenes, and which is likely to give the NIH a very slight increase over FY14 (so paylines should stay roughly the same). There is a lot of program input, too, so you can check in with your PO when you get your summary statement for advice on next steps.

      • tcgal said

        If i’m reading the tea leaves correctly– your thoughts – writedit- is that we will see a federal budget done THIS december during the lame duck session? We have a R01A1 with 8th percentile at NCI that goes to council in Jan/Feb. it would be great to not have to wait an eternity for an official funding decision.. i’m cautiously optimistic with this score.. but you never know!

      • writedit said

        You should be cautiously optimistic, since the 9th percentile payline last year should continue in FY15. Boehner has indicated he would prefer to get the FY15 appropriations out of the way now (during lame duck session) and start fresh in Jan, and McConnell is believed to concur with this, though they both may need to battle their more conservative colleagues over this.

  135. New PI said

    My grad student got an IF of 30 on F31 at nia. There was no percentile listed, does she have a chance?

    • writedit said

      If the score was just posted, a percentile might show up in a day or so. If not, the PO is the best source of intel on whether that is competitive or not at NIA. If the PO is enthusiastic about the candidate and training/research program, your student would get an extra push at program discussions if the score is on the bubble.

  136. Corneliu said

    I received a score of 23 on my resubmission of a K99 from NIDCR (original score was 32). The PO said that it is in the competitive range. The council meeting will take place in January. I was wondering if you have any knowledge of scores for applications that normally receive funding for this FOA from NIDCR. I know that NIDCR does not have have pay lines for K99. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      You can try searching comments here (and in the archived pages for recent years), but your PO is the best source of information on where you stand, so it is great that your PO is positive about your A1 score. If he/she did not recommend working on another submission, then you are probably okay (assuming you are not out of time in terms of eligibility). Come January, you may want to ask for advice on next steps in case NIDCR needs to put off a decision until the end of the FY (and be thinking of this in the meantime).

      • Corneliu said

        Great. Will do! Thanks.

  137. Lucas said

    I received a score of 20 on my first submission of a K99 from NHGRI but still waiting the summary statement.

    Do you think I have any chance considering the previous years?

    Fiscal Year Activity Code NIH Institute / Center Number of Applications Reviewed Number of Applications Awarded Success Rate Total Funding

    2007 K99 NHGRI 5 3 60.0% $274,611
    2008 K99 NHGRI 4 2 50.0% $179,100
    2009 K99 NHGRI 2 1 50.0% $90,000
    2010 K99 NHGRI 2 1 50.0% $88,508
    2011 K99 NHGRI 3 2 66.7% $192,241
    2012 K99 NHGRI 8 5 62.5% $476,928
    2013 K99 NHGRI 10 4 40.0% $373,319


    • writedit said

      Your PO would be able to tell you your chances, since he/she knows the scoring level of the 4 applications funded in FY13 and the 5 funded in FY12. My guess is that you are in good shape, but it really depends on the number of applications received, which has increased in the past couple years. As an FYI for doing these sorts of analyses, you only need to look back the last couple of years, and you can discount FY13, which was the sequester year and is an outlier. When the FY14 data are available, those plus FY12 will be good for gauging FY15.

      • Lucas said

        Thanks a lot!
        Really nice blog, and precious resource for researchers.

  138. MMJAY said

    My NCI R15 grant impact score is 36. But, i see most of the places priority score or percentile. Is this number is different if it translated into priority score or percentile. And What are the funding probabilities with impact score of 36. I am highly appreciate for your reply to this posts. Thanks.

    • writedit said

      Priority and impact score are the same thing, so your score is a 36, and you won’t get a percentile (just a score). A priority/impact score of 36 is probably too high for funding at NCI, but when you receive your summary statement, you can ask the PO about the best strategy for preparing a revised application. Your PO would have been at the study section meeting and heard your application discussed, so can offer good insight into how to approach the resubmission.

  139. xvx said

    I applied to an F31 in August to NIGMS, and got an impact score of 31 (26th percentile). The review panel was in disagreement about my GRE scores (that are actually pretty good, all above 80th percentile) and my co-sponsor’s funding (which has been renewed since than). I have a few questions:
    1. What are my chances of actually getting the fellowship?
    2. I am considering resubmitting in December. I could make all the corrections by then. I currently have no publications (2 in preparation). Should I wait until the April deadline, by which I will at least have submitted manuscripts?
    3. I read somewhere that NIGMS only funded F31-diversity during 2013. Is that true? Will this change for 2015?

    • writedit said

      I am pretty sure that score is too high for NIGMS, though you can and should talk with the PO for insight. You could have sent in an update about your co-sponsor’s funding as post-submission material, unless this happened within 30 days of the study section meeting. You should certainly let the PO know about this renewal, because that is a big deal that could have an impact on a decision at NIGMS. You also want to let the PO know about your publications in preparation, though having them submitted would be even better, and, of course, accepted better still. Especially if you can get your one or both manuscripts accepted prior to a February-March review, then I would strongly encourage you to resubmit in December, since you will be considered under the FY15 budget (which will be the same as/slightly better than FY14, whereas FY16 might be lower). Again, your PO can give advice based on how the discussion of your application went and how best to address reviewer concerns.

  140. NeedAnotherR01 said

    Thanks for the incredible information you provide. Just looking for advice: Established PI, R01 submitted as an A0 after A1 was scored but killed in discussion due to essentially one piece of new equivocal preliminary data. Encouraged by P.O. to resubmit as A0 (using new mechanism of unlimited submissions), replacing questionable figure with much more appropriate and hypothesis-backing one. Scored last month as 14th%ile, 28 impact with NIDDK, secondary=NCI, (1% off DK payline for FY14, as you know). The A0 is in some ways an A4, as a version of the application went two rounds at another study section before the current 3 versions at the new one. Why do I keep resubmitting? Because each time, it scores 20-30%ile with relatively minor criticisms that I fix, and then new ones come up on the next version.

    Emailed my P.O. when I got the new A0 score 3 weeks ago. P.O. is wonderful and, in the past, always responsive. No response so far, though, this time. Just got Summary Statement yesterday. Resume of Discussion all positive except one line about adding an additional type of analysis to the proposed experiments. Individual critiques with only essentially questions about expected outcomes or asking for clarification (not really asking for more data or more experiments). I really don’t want to send this thing in any more and would hardly know what to change other than text, not proposed experiments, and I’ve been holding off on going forward with this project for nearly two years and will have to hire new people to continue if I have to wait until FY16. Any advice on talking to the P.O. what to say, etc, or about likelihood of funding eventually would be fawningly appreciated!

    • writedit said

      It is hard for a PO to respond to a score, so don’t read too much into the lack of response. Now you both know that you can respond to the concerns by simply saying you will perform the requested additional analysis, which is something your PO could take in either making the case for an award or an R56 (for one year of funding & initial data in support of getting the R01 in yet again). At least, this is how I hope your PO will respond. It seems likely the proposed FY15 appropriation will become part of an omnibus budget bill to be passed during the lame duck session, so NIDDK will have at least as much and perhaps a little more money for FY15 (i.e., payline will be the same – very slight chance of a 15th cut off, but not holding my breath for any paylines to go up from FY14). FY16 is much more of a crap shoot at this point, so it would be great if your PO could help get your project picked up now. I’d suggest you send your PO a very brief explanation of how you could/would address the minor concerns raised, briefly explain your predicament about staffing, and ask whether there is any way this project could receive some support in FY15.

      • NeedAnotherR01 said

        Thanks.The scariest part of the grant process is the Black Box at the NIH, so by letting a little light in there, you offer more hope. Also, it’s good to see all the eventual success stories here to remind us people are still getting funded. As our own POs themselves have to be entirely professional and can’t say much outside the frame, we wouldn’t really have any other routes to important information about how the system works.

        For example, my PO whom I have always respected for her warmth, professionalism, and responsiveness wrote back to me after my (not so brief, but that’s how I roll) email along the lines of your suggestion. She confirmed without a budget, no one knows where the payline will land, but very possibly it won’t go up a tick to save me. She won’t know if there will be a special funding pool until spring and would keep my email and summary statement for use if there are opportunities to consider the application. First, the application does need to go through Council, and, given all this, she would recommended revising and resubmitting.

        There are some intangible downsides to resubmitting from my point of view, and maybe some of them are worth airing for others to think about because this new multiple resubmission policy won’t be just affecting me. A resubmission will go back to the same study section a 4th time (every time discussed). Given the two rounds at the previous study section (both discussed), that means a lot of my colleagues have now seen and/or heard about this application, and, worse, the Aims have been more or less static for about 2 years. So I worry about reviewers, my colleagues, beginning to become annoyed, and I myself have outgrown some of the proposed experiments. I can never really revamp the thing, because I don’t want to risk engendering a whole lot of new criticisms. The other issue is that, if I go back in while my A0 has some chance of being funded, I could do damage if my A1 actually does get an under-payline score because, for example, I know an NI in my own Division will have his last chance to save the lab R01 go in to the same Study Section at the same time. What if my A1 is the one that bumps him out of range? Does he really need that competition?

      • writedit said

        First, there is no downside in terms of IC consideration to submitting again. Your A1 (and your prior A0) remain active and eligible to receive an award. If your score goes up, that won’t affect the IC’s consideration of the A1, since they are different applications.

        With regard to sending your proposal back to the same reviewers, have you checked the rosters to see how much of the SRG stays the same each time? Lately, ad hocs often outnumber regular members, and the composition is fairly fluid. More important, though, is the fact that your score has been improving, and the comments have been positive. Reviewers are going to learn pretty quickly how to discourage repeat submissions of applications they do not want to see again. Everyone understands the funding situation, so the main thought might be, damn – thought this would have been funded last time (vs why is he/she sending this AGAIN?).

        With regard to your competing with your colleague, don’t worry about that. Even when two applications from the same PI are reviewed in the same study section, the SRO gives clear instructions not to mention the other application and to review each application on its own merit, not in comparison with other applications (from any source). The reviewers will not be thinking in terms of an institutional quota of good scores. Also, your colleague would be reviewed separately as part of the ESI/NI applicants.

        Now, in terms of how much to revise – you should definitely drop your fear of introducing new science and freshen up your Aims and Research Strategy. Your not doing so would be more likely to annoy a prior reviewer; although the discussion will not even mention your prior submissions, those who remember your application will mentally note that the science has stayed the same over 2 years. You definitely want to incorporate new preliminary data and new data from the literature, which should in turn suggest improvements to your Aims and Approach (and possibly Significance). For all you know, updating the experiments you have been afraid to change might have led to even better scores.

      • NeedAnotherR01 said

        Advice-wise, though:

        1) What happens when my application goes through Council, if there is no payline or if my application is 1 percent above FY15 payline? Does the PO have to say something on my application’s behalf before Council for them to consider it for funding at that stage?
        2) Are there targeted pools of money or opportunities that become available and are separate from simply the funds left over after funding all applications to the payline (considered case-by-case based on percentile and programmatic issues)?
        3) Historically, looking at NIDDK payline vs. award data, being 1% over the payline has still meant about a 75-80% chance of getting an award. Would I be misreading the data to think that likelihood applied to my application (though it could take up to a year)?
        4) My application has a secondary at NCI, which I could argue, based on real numbers, would have strong programmatic interest in the proposed experiments. When do you think would be good to broach the subject of chatting with the likely PO at NCI with my primary PO, not wanting to jeopardize my strong working relationship with her in any way?

      • writedit said

        1) Council just approves your application as acceptable for consideration for funding, though they very occasionally weigh in on individual applications that are or are not on the paylist. They will be given more applications to review/approve than can be funded, and the IC Director makes funding decisions based on theses Council-approved lists. I think your PO is telling you that you will be on the list that goes to Council.

        2) When an IC gets its appropriation, first it sets aside its own costs (extramural & intramural operations), and then it sets aside what it needs to fund noncompeting renewals. ICs then set aside a small percentage (varies by IC, but roughly 3-10%) of what is left to fund competitive applications for programmatic discretion. What is left is used to set paylines: i.e., that money goes as far down the paylist as it can, and where it stops becomes the payline. ICs that announce hard paylines in advance do so with a guesstimate of how much will be left at the end, after applying those hard paylines, for select pay/R56 decisions. If they guess wrong, as NIDCR did a year ago, about how far their money will go, the payline actually goes up later in the year. This is why ICs are conservative with paylines (or do not disclose them). Now, some ICs use a rough payline but lots of case-by-case discussion, as Jeremy Berg described for NIGMS ( I think NIDDK is more of a hard payline and then everyone competes at the end for whatever discretionary spending dollars remain available, in which case you wouldn’t know about your R01, if the payline never reaches the 14th percentile, until next summer. And this is why your PO is strongly encouraging you to get a new submission in now. No guarantees, so you don’t want to wait that long to discover you still need to submit after all.

        3) No, you are reading the historical data correctly. You do have a very good chance of being picked up if the payline creeps up (but not 100% such that it can be officially announced at the better level). However, it is not a guarantee, so see my closing thought above.

        4) Your NIDDK PO should be the one to suggest moving to NCI, and that won’t happen until NIDDK declines (if she really thought NIDDK wouldn’t fund it and really wanted to see the science done, she might have already considered trying to move it to NCI, but that doesn’t seem to be the case). However, I would strongly suggest that you talk with your NCI PO about his/her interest in this proposal and consider reworking it for a February submission that requests NCI as the primary IC (and perhaps a different SRG, if that’s appropriate). If at the end of the FY, NIDDK declines to fund your A1, you can then ask the NIDDK PO about transferring it to NCI for consideration, assuming the NCI PO is interested in taking it.

      • NeedAnotherR01 said

        Thanks for all the detailed and helpful information! It is quite true there has been a lot of reviewer cycling in the SRG roster, which has, in fact, probably been part of my problem with A1 having a different set of reviewers looking for different things from A0. We are just getting to the point of many of the reviewers having seen it at least a couple of times, and they haven’t “loved it – loved it”, or it would have got funded! But your point about revamping the science makes sense, figuring I have at least a pretty concrete, considerably greater than zero chance of getting the A0 eventually funded, why not make the A1 more in line with my science circa 2015?

        The one thing I wasn’t sure on was about the ICs issue in your last point. I don’t actually know my NCI PO from anything at Commons, just can guess based on colleagues and portfolio gleaned from NIH Reporter (part of why I know how limited the NCI portfolio is in this respect). Should I cold call email that PO? I have contacts enough to do it so it wouldn’t really be out of the blue, so I don’t think that’s a problem, but my real question is about the switching the primary IC for the A1. In your point “If at the end of the FY, NIDDK declines to fund your A1…” did you mean “A0”? Then, if the A1 somehow scores worse, I would ask to move the A0 to NCI, if it doesn’t get picked up by DK? Because the A1 would now be NCI’s baby, if I went that route. And, speaking of A1s, say I get a 10th%ile and miss NCI’s likely payline by 1, how do the ICs work out the possibility for funding two different versions of the application A0 vs. A1? The 10th%ile A1 would be under DK’s but over NCI’s payline, and I’d have to wait potentially till the end of FY16 to find out about an A1, from Varmus funding, right, but, if A1 transferred back to DK, it would be well under payline for them? Starts to get confusing.

      • writedit said

        Actually, I would suggest that you submit the more significant overhaul of the science as an A0 again (vs A1), especially if you ask for NCI as primary. However, first you must communicate with your NCI PO – either the one assigned or someone else, if you feel another PO would be better for your science (look around on NCI Website, search RePORTER by PO to see what is in portfolio of each potential PO, ask colleagues). If the one assigned is a good match, great – just introduce yourself to him/her. You could start the conversation in the context of, I have this A1 that may or may not get funded, and I would like to revise it in a way that fills the gap in the NCI portfolio in this area. This will establish whether the PO is even interested and get the PO’s buy in in customizing the proposal to NCI’s needs. PO might be able to suggest another SRG, though it sounds like you’re on top of that, and/or a better NCI FOA to which to send the new A0 (vs whichever FOA you applied to the last 3 times).

        Regarding your borderline A0, it stays with NIDDK until they say no. Having had the conversation suggested above with your NCI PO then allows you to ask next year if he/she might consider taking the NIDDK-declined A0 (vs waiting for the A1). It would be harder to ask without an established relationship like this, though it does happen. Alternatively, if no one funds the A0, and the A1 sent to NCI comes in at say 11th percentile, if NIDDK is still the secondary (which is fine to request), then yes, the reverse switch might be possible if NCI declines the A1 (or A0, depending on how you go per my advice above) – and sometimes POs that really want to see the science funded will send it over before the end of the FY if a pick-up is in doubt (e.g., 11th percentile at NCI).

        You should be cultivating a PO relationship at NCI in any case. Even if NIDDK funds your current A0, you can develop a separate line of research for NCI – it’s always better to have funding coming from more than one IC (even better if the applications can be reviewed in different study sections due to different emphasis).

  141. tcgal said

    I’m really confused about NCE in the context of competing renewals. We are near the end of our first NCE for our R01 (ends Feb 2015) and just submitted our R01 competing renewal for the most recent Nov deadline.

    We submitted a request for the 2nd NCE because of data dissemination & the competing renewal but now that GMS has asked for more info– specifically

    • current IRB approval date (ITS EXEMPT RESEARCH!)

    • estimated unobligated balance (there are none, is this a problem?)

    • Please submit a detailed budget (n/a given above)

    • Please provide a scientific justification for the work to be performed during the extended period. ( dissemination related to our fourth study aim)

    I was under the impression that a grant must be active while the competing renewal is being reviewed/considered. We have data that we will continue to analyze during a 2nd NCE while we wait for our outcome. Can we get 2nd NCE with no funds (but work to do)?

    Do we NEED a 2nd NCE because of the competing renewal?


    • writedit said

      Your R01 does not need to be active when you submit the competing renewal, so you do not need the NCE for that reason. If you have no money left to spend, then you don’t need the second NCE (you can disseminate without it). As a general note, there is no time limit on how long after the funding period ends that you can submit the competing renewal, but you don’t want to wait too long unless you are keeping up with advances in the science in the meantime (and as then gap grows, reviewers will likely be concerned, so you would want to include a brief explanation about what happened during the gap in the competing renewal).

  142. K-hopeful said


    I’m wondering if anyone has an idea of what score for the NIDDK K01 was funded this last cycle or in the last year. I received a score of 26 —


    • writedit said

      Your PO should be able to give you an idea of whether that would have been competitive in FY14 (paylines should be roughly the same) – you should wait for your summary statement to ask though. You might be advised to resubmit, even if there is a possibility of funding at that score, in which case you would want to talk with the PO anyway about how the discussion went and how to focus your revision efforts.

  143. Sean said

    My DK K01 funded with a 20 in fy13. I know some DK K08 applications that funded in the 30s. Good luck!

    • writedit said

      Thanks for chiming in with this intel, and congrats on your award. FY13 was worse than FY14 or FY15 will be, so the payline should be at least a little higher.

      • K hopeful said

        Thanks for the info and this site. I received the award with a score of 26!

      • writedit said

        Congratulations and best wishes for success with your project and your career in biomedical research!

  144. Me said

    Writedit – does NIH post lower scores (SBIR/STTR) before posting the higher scored results on commons? I know they post summary statements in this order – best to last

    • writedit said

      As far as I know (& I my experience), the scores go up all at the same time, so you shouldn’t read anything into a delay in a score being posted.


  145. Me said

    Writedit- can we propose to have a 50% sub-contractor (SBIR) who is located outside of the USA?

    • writedit said

      No, all SBIR-funded work must be done by US entities except as approved on a case-by-case basis … but certainly not for 50% of the work. You can talk with your SBIR PO (at the IC to which you are applying) to determine whether any of the work can be subcontracted to your foreign entity.

  146. Notsosure said

    Our MPI RO1 AO application received 20%. The funding is from NCI. Both primary and 2nd reviewers gave very positive reviews, but 3rd reviewer had some concerns regarding approaches. But they all agreed the novelty and potential impact. Is there any funding possibility under this situation? Look forward to your advice.

    • writedit said

      Your A0 is unlikely to be picked up for funding, but you can talk with your PO about whether you could address the concerns raised about the Approach (if they are straightforward) and be considered for select pay. You will want to talk with your PO in any case since he/she would have been at the discussion and can give good insight on what to focus on with your A1 application, which you should plan to submit no matter what (you won’t know about your A0 until next Aug-Sept, and you will want to get the A1 in before then even if your A0 were considered for pay by exception).

  147. sgs said

    Dear Writedit

    First thank you for your knowledable posts and comments here. In June, 2015, I submitted a R01 to NIDDK and received a percentile 49%. Last week I received the summary statment and read it carefully.

    First: I found that my primary reviewer is too biased to write about the case objectively. She/he even did not read the proposal carefully because I found that she/he copied some comments from other grants that is not involved in my research project.

    Second: She/he claimed that the feasility is low because of no related publications.

    Third: The reviewer said that PIs have no expertise in liver cancer. She/he did not notice that one Co-PI is an extremly famous investigator from the top institution University of California, San Francisco.

    Fourth: I think that our finding is outstanding because we found that one naturally-occuring small molecule in human body can completely prevent the development of liver cacer in two mouse models. We also found that this small molecule is able to completely kill different human liver cancer cells with divergent backgrounds. The reviewer claimed that our finding only have a very limited impact on the field of liver cancer.

    There are numbous unprofessional jargon in the summary statement.

    Could you please let me know what I should do for this? Do you think that I should talk with my PO on this biased summary statement or just prepare for the re-submission?



    • writedit said

      My advice is to resubmit rather than appeal. If you appeal, you need to first have Council approve your appeal, then the exact same application (you make no changes and do not write a response to the prior review) is re-reviewed in the same study section. None of this will happen until next year, which means if the second review of your application came back with a score that could not be funded, you would not be able to submit a revised application for this project until 2016 (for consideration in FY17). Definitely not worth waiting that long. You cannot have the resubmission under consideration, even as a new application (vs A1), while this application is under appeal.

      Also, the bar for a successful appeal is pretty high, and it is not the case that you had a borderline score that could have been influenced by one poor reviewer (you do not mention the other reviewers or discussion comments). The problems cited must be responsible for making the difference between a fundable vs non-fundable score. Only your first point that the comments were directed at grants other than your own would be relevant for an appeal. Your second, third, and fourth concerns are not appealable, since others would have corrected co-PI expertise during the discussion, and the second and fourth points are a matter of differences of opinion. The unprofessional jargon does not justify an appeal either. I assume the Resume and Summary of Discussion include several concerns not specific to the primary reviewer’s written comments.

      When you resubmit, you can absolutely make the case in your cover letter that your primary reviewer not be assigned to any more of your applications. You should bring the primary reviewer’s written comment errors (those described in your first concern) to your PO’s attention, too. You can discuss with your PO how the discussion went – whether the rest of the panel agreed with everything the primary reviewer put forth or if other reviewers came to your defense in some matters. Your PO can give you good advice on how to move forward with the revised application. Be sure to have your PO and as many other disinterested people as possible read your Introduction before you submit it, too. I can tell it will be a bit emotional and angry, at least the early drafts, whereas you should focus only on improvements to the revised application (new data, new ideas, etc.) and not explaining why the first reviewer was wrong or any other petty rebuttal points about the prior review vs the proposal itself.

  148. sgs said

    Dear Writedit

    Thank you very much for your timely reply and will follow your advice to do it.

    Have a great day


  149. KK said

    Dear Writedit,

    I have a NLM R01 that received an impact score of 40. It appears that the payline for FY15 is 35 for NIs. It also seems that in previous years the payline was up to 40. I am guessing that there is no chance this will be funded, but it is the first submission so I can submit an A1.

    I am not in the US, but this was a multiple PI application with a long-standing collaborator in the US, and it was submitted through his institution. I understand that multiple PI applications are less likely to be funded; however, I also have heard that for non-US investigators, it is better to have a US-based co-PI. Would you have any sense of whether a resubmission would fare better with just one PI outside of the US and a US-based collaborator?

    • writedit said

      You raise several issues here.

      First, you should talk with your PO when you get your summary statement. It is not impossible that you will be funded, but only your PO can comment on this. Your PO would also give good advice on preparing the resubmission, which I am sure he/she will suggest since you would probably need to wait until the end of the FY to learn the outcome of your A0.

      Second, I am not sure where you heard that multiple PI applications are less likely to be funded, but this is not true. The need for multiple PIs must be based on the science, so those with overlapping PIs probably do not fare as well, but this is due to the implementation of the multiple PI option rather than its use at all.

      Third, I am not sure why you think a foreign applicant needs a US-based PI on board. If a foreign applicant has the right resources and expertise and competitive science, there is no need to add a US PI just to have one. Foreign investigators are checked out by the State Department, so there is an extra level of administrative review prior to an award decision.

      For the best answer to all your questions in your particular case, though, I would suggest you talk with the PO, who will have the best insight, including whether you should keep your US PI.

      • KK said

        Thanks very much for your reply. I do think that my collaborator is a help, and reviewers had said that our long-term collaboration is a bonus – he is very senior, and we have been collaborating for a decade.

        I am in Europe, and the “common wisdom” is that unless you have something extremely unique, it is best to go with an American co-PI. I don’t have any stats on that; however, it is something I have been told in more than 2 countries in Europe where I have worked. We will go ahead with a teleconference with the PO.

      • writedit said

        Interesting. Well, that is good news that you have such a good US collaborator. Your PO can certainly shed light on the importance/necessity of a US collaborator. The culture is different in each IC, so that may make a difference (i.e., you may be getting advice from investigators whose ICs do care about having a US collaborator on the application). If you have time, I would be very interested in what advice your PO gives, as might other non-US applicants who visit the blog.

  150. SL said

    Dear Writedit,

    I have a DIVERSITY F31 that received an impact score of 39. It appears that the payline for FY15 is 30 for NIAID. I see that a score of 39 is too high. I have two questions.

    1) Does the payline for Diversity F31 applications (PA 11-148) differ from regular F31? I’m trying to see if I there is a slim chance that it may be funded.

    2) I plan to graduate in 3 semesters. There is no point of resubmission unless I can transfer it to an F32. Is that possible?



    • writedit said

      You can ask your PO if there is any chance you could get funded, but if you are graduating in late 2015 or early 2016, then you would not even complete a year on the F31, since it would not start until spring/summer of 2014 (later if it needs to wait until the end of the FY – i.e. Aug/Sept). You can discuss the timing with your PO as well, if he/she thinks there is any chance your application might be picked up. You definitely cannot “transfer” it to an F32, though – that requires a separate application once you are in a postdoctoral position.

      • SL said

        Thank you prompt reply. I just got the impact score yesterday. Should I wait until I get the summery statement?

      • writedit said

        Yes, your PO won’t be able to give advice without that in hand.


  151. NF said

    Has anyone heard back on their NIGMS R15s? It sounds like I’m in a similar situation to Heliotron above, whose score was in the low 20’s, (mine is 22). No updates except “Council Review Completed” on 9/24. PO wants me to be patient, but that’s hard to do, and I need to decide what graduate students (if any) will be RAs next semester.

    • writedit said

      None of the institutes will be making funding decisions (except for the most exceptional scores) until the federal budget is signed into law, hopefully in December, but keep an eye on Congress. You can ask your PO when you will likely be within 90 days of award, but that will probably be when the budget bill passes (takes weeks before the ICs actually get their appropriation). If your PO is not advising you to resubmit, you just need to hurry up & wait some more.


  152. Peter Pan said

    Dear Writedit,
    I finally received the JIT request last week (my proposed R01 starting date is 12/01/2014). Is that a sign that I will receive NOA within a few weeks rather than after all the dusts settle down (budget bill passed, ICs get their appropriation, as sometime in February, March or even April)?

    • writedit said

      NCI may start to make awards under the CR, but I suspect they mainly want everything ready in advance so when their appropriation arrives, they can quickly process awards. Even if the budget was an issue, you would not be receiving your award within a few weeks of getting the JIT request. You can also simply ask your PO if they will be making awards under the CR or if you will need to wait for the federal budget to pass.

      • Peter Pan said

        Thank you so much for your answer and advice! I learned to be patient on this matter. Once I receive further information, I will be happy to share my timeline here for others.

      • writedit said

        That would be great – thanks so much. You can also ask your PO to give you an idea of when you will be within 90 days, if you need yo advertise a position well in advance of the award or do any pre-award spending.


  153. John Walker said

    Dear Writedit: I submitted a K08 grant to NHLBI in June 2014. The grant was reviewed in October 2014, and it received an impact score of 28. The NHLBI payline for 2015 is 30. Can I be sure I will get the grant. Please advise.


    • writedit said

      Yep (barring a really weird administrative issue, which you would be given the opportunity to address). Congratulations and best wishes for success with the project and your career in biomedical research!

    • K01- question said

      Hi — where can we find the 2015 paylines for K’s? (NIDDK)


      • writedit said

        You won’t find that anywhere online. NIDDK does not typically post paylines for K awards, and no FY15 paylines are available since the NIH does not have a budget for FY15 yet (hopefully sooner vs later). You should just ask your PO where your application ranks in the pile. You can also search the comments on this page & archived pages for anyone who posted previously about NIDDK K applications. My guess is that your score needs to be under 30 at least (K99 would likely be more competitive than that).

  154. Michelle Stulgess said

    I am an established investigator. I submitted a new R01 (ES) in 2013 November, wherein it received a score of 39 and percentile of 30. Upon re-submission, I got a score of 44 and percentile of 27. I then improved the application significantly and sent it back as new (A0), and the grant got unscored. I cannot believe the application with each improvement is getting worse score, Can I re-submit the grant the grant as a new A0, as I cannot address some of the comments of one reviewer, who seems very tough and killed the grant for non-scientific reasons as his comments do not make any sense. I am thinking of requesting the SRO to not assign the application to this reviewer. Please let me know id this will be a good strategy. I know the science is very good, but I feel some of the reviewers are very unreasonable. Please advise.


  155. Dawn said


    I submitted an F31 at the same time as my PI submitted an R21. My Aim 2 of my F31 has scientific overlap with parts of the R21’s Aim1/2. My PI assures me that since the F31 is for my stipend and the R21 is for reagents/supplies that this overlap will not be a problem. We were approved for the R21. I just submitted my JIT forms for the F31 and pointed out the overlap and I am concerned that since we were awarded the R21 they will not want to award me the F31. What is your opinion on overlap between R21s and F31s?


    • writedit said

      Congratulations on your mentor receiving the R21. As long is there is no percent effort for you on the R21 (no $ requested for a grad student), you are okay. Fellowships are awarded with the assumption (requirement, actually) that the advisor has funding for the research itself (as your PI describes). It is unusual to get RPG and fellowship funding at the same time, but if your advisor already had the R21, your F31 would have been the same (i.e., there would have been some overlap). I assume your advisor had other funding (R01, another R21, foundation, etc.) when you applied for your F31, as it would be unusual for reviewers to assign a competitive score if there was no indication current (in hand) funding that would last through the end of your fellowship.

  156. L said

    I recently received my priority score for a F31 application submitted in the 2nd cycle (August). The score is the same as the interim payline; what is the likelihood of it being funded? Is there any historical data that shows the payline moves down (i.e. 22 to 21)

    • writedit said

      If your score is the same number as the interim payline (e.g., if you have a score of 22 at NIAID), then you will receive an award. I can only recall one instance of a published payline going down (getting worse) during the FY, and that was during the sequester year, FY13 (and it was not NIAID, which is very careful in setting interim paylines). FY15 will be about the same as FY14, so vanishingly small chance of interim paylines dropping – and very likely to go back up to FY14 levels). Congratulations!

      • L said

        Thanks! Any idea when this grant will be funded if the council meeting is Jan. 2015? When are final paylines released?

      • writedit said

        Your fellowship application doesn’t go to Council, but I expect the Director makes all final funding decisions at about the same time, so likely 6-8 weeks after Council (or your earliest start date). Since you are within the interim payline, you should not need to wait for the federal budget to pass. You could check with your PO for an estimate on award timing, too.

      • Nick said

        I have the reciprocal question. I received a score of 25 on my F31 application to NIAID. Is it remotely realistic that the payline would move up this much by the end of FY15?

        This is the first year that NIAID has offered non-diversity F31s (ie. everyone can apply), so I assume this is part of the reason the payline is so much lower than previous years. Is this a fair assessment?

        Thanks in advance.

      • writedit said

        The ICs are always conservative at the outset of the FY, until the federal budget passes and they know their appropriation. It is conceivable that the F31 payline will move up to 25 for FY15, even with the expansion to non-diversity F31s. You can ask your PO whether you should resubmit, which will inform you about the chances of the payline moving up to your score.

    • SO said

      I also applied for an NIAID F31. I submitted my application in April with a projected start date of September 1st 2014; however, I am just now hearing about the award.

      My previous funding ended in July 2014. If I receive the F31 award will they provide retroactive funding for September to now? I would like to pay my PI back the money he has paid me the last few months if possible.


      11/25/2014 Award prepared.
      11/17/2014 Pending administrative review.
      07/15/2014 Scientific Review Group review completed.
      04/17/2014 Scientific Review Group review pending.
      04/04/2014 Application entered into system.


      • writedit said

        Congratulations on your award! The start date will be stated in the NoA, but it won’t be September 1st. However, you will get the full funding period, so your PI will benefit from the longer time period you are covered. Best wishes for success with your project, your degree, and your career in academic research.

  157. editit said

    I wonder what is the payline for the predoctoral fellowship (F31) with NCI, thanks a lot!

    • writedit said

      You can search archived comments here (or just ask your PO for the FY14 payline), but I would guess somewhere in the 20s.

    • Lily said

      editit, if you happen to find the answer to this question I would be curious to know as well–from what I have seen on this forum most of the F30/F31 paylines refer to NIAID.

  158. K applicant said

    I read here ( , dated 12/2013) that the NIA interim payline for K awards was 20. When I talked to my PO in mid-2014, she informed me that the payline for K applications was the high 20s (higher scores). Is this possible? I was also encouraged to resubmit in late 2014 rather than early 2015. I’m confused and wonder if I should take the encouragement to resubmit with a grain of salt. Any advice? And is there any updated information on the NIA payline for K awards?

    • writedit said

      FY13 was the sequester year, so paylines were much lower than in FY14 (so yes, a payline in the high 20s was possible in FY14). You have missed the November resubmission, which means you would need to wait for March 2015. The reason your PO advised you to submit in Nov 2014, is that it would be considered under the FY15 appropriation, which will be about the same as FY14. FY16 is a crap shoot, and a March 2015 (or later in 2015) resubmission will fall under the FY16 budget.

  159. NEI K23 said

    Received my NEI K23 impact score two weeks ago: 28, but I realized yesterday that the salary budget I requested for my K23 grant was based on 9 months instead of 12 months (it was supposed to be a 12-month based budget).

    I should have paid closer attention to the budget form submitted by my SPO — but what’s the best way of handling this, and would this affect the funding decision and the amount of funding that I will received should I get funded?


    • writedit said

      You can address the budget issue when you are asked for JIT information. Then you can let the GMS and PO know that you miscalculated the calendar months and see if this can be changed on the award itself (I assume so, since you need to be covered for 75% effort). You would submit new budget sheets as part of the JIT, I believe, but they would let you know. The amount of money involved is so small that, no, it wouldn’t affect whether you get the award or not.

      • NEI K23 said

        Thank you very much for your prompt response!

      • NEI K23 said

        Hi writedit, there is a JIT link on my Commons, but I haven’t received any emails asking me for JIT. Should I wait until I am asked for JIT information to do anything about the budget (such as submitting new budget sheets)?

        I emailed my PO about my budget, and he replied: “The grant has to go to council in Jan 2015. We will visit this issue at that time and if your grant will be picked up for funding”. But a consultant at my institute who used to work at NIH told me to email the GMS (and c.c. the email to my PO) about the miscalculation in my budget before the council meeting so that there will be a record in file, and he also said that I could submit JIT information without being asked (?).

        What are your suggestions?

      • writedit said

        Anyone can submit JIT without being asked (the link is open on every application, an email is automatically generated for applications with priority scores of 40 or below). However, you should not submit your JIT until asked. Your PO is correct – they will update your budget when they process your award. Someone from the NIH should correct me if I am wrong here, but there is no need to get “a record in file” about the budget issue. Council generally approves the IC paylist en bloc, and your budget mistake would never be discussed at the level of Council. You have let your PO know – that is all you need to do at this point. Neither your award nor your ability to correct the budget is at risk if you wait to do the JIT when asked next year. Conversely, NEI will not do anything with your JIT until they decide whether you will receive an award (and your submitting a correct budget now does not replace or correct the budget on file – PO must do that), and you would probably be asked to resubmit the information.

  160. s2002 said

    Thank you for a very informative blog. I am a new investigator but not ESI: R01 A1 at NIGMS impact score 36 and percentile 21. It was to go for council review in Oct 2014 and we submitted the JIT on request. It now says council meeting completed but nothing else. I have heard nothing else. Do you think I have lost my chance for funding? Thank you for your answer

    • writedit said

      Not at all. If you were asked for JIT (by PO or GMS, not eRA commons), it means you are on the paylist – which means you are being considered for an award, but not guaranteed one. Your score is on the high end of the funding range, so you will need to wait until well after the federal budget is in place, which means you won’t hear anything until next year. About a month after you hear that the President has signed the federal budget into law (whenever that happens), you can check with your PO for an update on when decisions on gray zone applications like yours might be made. You might need to wait until the end of the FY, so in the meantime, you should also ask about whether you should resubmit and, if so, best strategies for revision.

  161. s2002 said

    Thanks very much for your reply. I will wait for the budget to check with the PO and to rework it toward a resubmission as a new A0.
    I am a bit confused: would this grant (council review in oct 2014) come under this year’s funding range and budget or whether a new payline would apply to it based on the 2015 budget that could be more restrictive and likely to exclude the grants in my percentile range? Thanks very much for clarifying.

    • writedit said

      Applications submitted in 2014 (Feb, June, Oct cycles) are considered for awards in FY15. FY15 should be as good or a smidge better than FY14, so your chances remain about the same. In FY16, the sequester returns unless Congress passes another fix, which would mean a return to FY13-type funding levels (a little better, but lower than FY14 & FY15). Of course, who knows what will happen with the new Republican Senate + House, but I doubt any extreme changes for the NIH.

  162. s2002 said

    Thanks very much for clarifying. Its good to have a clearer picture.

  163. PB said

    We are writing an SBIR grant to NCATS. I am the PI and have a PhD, but unfortunately, I do not have any published papers because all my work so far has been highly proprietary. I do have filed patents. Is peer-reviewed published work important for PI consideration, or should we look for another PI with a better publication record?

    • writedit said

      If you are applying for a Phase I award, publications are less critical, since reviewers understand you are developing the concept/agent/device and would not be publishing results until you were in a position to capitalize on them. You can list your patents on your Biosketch (as part of the 15 items listed). Having the work published lets reviewers know that other peers with access to all your data (not possible in a 6- or 12-p grant application) have critically examined (and approved) your approach and results, so adding a PI with unrelated publications (to the work you are proposing) will not necessarily strengthen the application, unless this PI does work in the same area and using the same methods that you are proposing. This is something you can discuss with the PO, who will have more details/context than is possible in this public forum and who will know the study section well (& what they will look for).

  164. Me said

    Writedit – I am submitting a Direct Phase II SBIR to NCI, and am trying to decide if some of my key collaborators/advisors should be listed as co-investigators or consultants. All of the work will be performed at the company, but we will rely heavily on academic collaborators to advice on project direction, etc. Would you kindly advise?

    • writedit said

      They sound more like consultants if they are not providing actual effort toward the work itself. You can still list them either as Senior/Key Personnel or as Other Significant Contributors (if they are not contributing specific measurable effort) and include their biosketches (please note the format has changed), whether or not they are paid any $ from the award. You will need to include letters from them agreeing to be consultants and describing the nature of the consulting they will provide (again, whether or not $ is requested for this service, though if they are requesting a consulting fee, it needs to be described in the letter, too). Your SBIR PO at NCI can give advice on specific cases, if how you should classify them still doesn’t seem clear (from the SF424 instructions).

  165. kd said

    Hello, received a 30 imapct score for R21 (NEI). While this is not within funding range, the PO has asked me for some paperwork in order to “clear” them prior to council meeting… case the R21 gets funded.
    Isnt that a little strange? why woud he care to “clear” paperwork if the grant is way outside funding range? do you think it is possible the grant was selected due to novelty/uniqueness?


    • writedit said

      I don’t know what the NEI funding range is, so I am not sure how you know that you are outside the range. R21s with scores at 30 and above receive awards at various ICs. There is nothing strange about requesting JIT for an application that is on the paylist, which includes more applications than can/will be funded. This is not a guarantee of funding at all, but it means your application will be considered for an award – and, again, a score of 30 is not necessarily out of range, especially if the study section was recently recalibrated. You should submit your JIT in a timely manner and ask your PO about whether to resubmit and, if so, the best strategy for revising.

  166. kd said

    WEll….when i spoke on the phone with the PO i was told that 30 is probably outside the range and i should think about re-submission or turning it in to an R01. That was before i received the request for all the paperwork.

    I understand there are no guarantees of funding…..but even bn considered would be promising.

    • writedit said

      Aha – I couldn’t tell before if you had talked with the PO or just assumed 30 was too high (not always true). You might also ask the PO if he/she might want a 1-page rebuttal and any updates (new data, abstracts, manuscripts), in case you might be considered for select pay based on your additional input; doing this would also help frame your plans for revision (& help the PO give advice for a revised application based on what you prepare).

      • kd said

        Hello, Just to share with you…my PO just told me that my R21 will get funded.I just have to wait for the NGA.
        Thanks for all your help.

      • writedit said

        Woohoo! Thanks for sharing this great update. Congratulations and best wishes for success with your research.

  167. kd said

    That is a great idea. I will contact the PO today.


  168. KB said

    My NIH R01 grant was reviewed in October 2014 and received a 13 percentile from NIDDK. But I didnot receive the JIT link from the era commons. Is it normal or should I contact the GMS for JIT. Thank you very much. KB

    • writedit said

      The automatic request is triggered by a priority score of 40 or lower, but you would not respond to that – only to the PO or GMS, which won’t be for a while. You can check with your PO to check on possible timing if you need to know for posting a job or spending up to 90 days in advance.


      • KB said

        Thank you very much for excellent information. I have a learnt lot of information from this blog. I have contacted my PO, she told me that I might the get the grant.

  169. mk said

    Hello! Could you please tell me the maximum amount of salary one can request as part of their budget for the R03?
    Thanks for the blog!

    • writedit said

      Your limit on your % effort is dictated by how much of the $50K (upper limit of allowable direct costs) you have after covering the other essential costs for the research (e.g., other personnel, supplies, animals, subcontracts, publishing, travel, etc.). You’ll need to ask your financial person how much is required for fringe benefits as well (vs your salary alone). If you are referring to a tech (vs you as PI), then it depends on the cost of the tech, but possibly 100%, if the tech is devoted 100% to the R03 project. For other mechanisms with higher allowable direct costs, the effort should reflect the amount of work devoted to the research (which can be 100%, but not for the PI, usually).

  170. MD said

    Hi writedit, thank you for hosting such an informative blog! I received my scores on my very first F32 submission to NHLBI: impact score 28, percentile 25. The NHLBI FY2015 payline for F32s is percentile score of 25.0. Being right on the payline, what does this mean for my chances of the grant being funded? I have kindly contacted my PO but figured I would also ask here since I’ve gained a tremendous amount of information from this blog. Thanks in advance for any info you can provide!

    • writedit said

      Congratulations – paylines include applications with scores up to and including the cut-off percentile/score, so you will receive an award (barring any bizarre administrative issue). Best wishes for success with your project and your career in biomedical research!

      • MD said

        Thanks for the response writedit. That is good news but I don’t think I’ll completely believe it until I see the awards notice! In the meantime, I can get back to focusing on the fun stuff-the science. Best.

  171. tarheel51 said

    I received a percentile score of 25 for an F award I applied for in August. The institute doesn’t publish paylines, but the PO said that this past year the institute funded up to the 30th percentile. However, since the application is considered in a new FY, they will probably fund up to the 20th % to begin with. When would I know whether the institute has decided to fund higher amounts? Does it make sense to just resubmit for the next deadline (April)?

    • writedit said

      All the ICs will increase their paylines once the federal budget passes, which seems likely to happen sooner than later given the successful negotiations tonight (though even if the President signs the budget into law in Dec, appropriations won’t show up at the ICs until late Jan or Feb). FY15 will be slightly better than FY14, so paylines will be about the same. You can ask your PO if you should plan to reapply in April – and his/her answer will be enlightening, though I expect the answer will be no.

  172. Waiting said

    Hello, I submitted a new R01 in June and received a score of 23, 14%ile. The institute was NICHD whose payline was 13%ile for NIs in FY14. I was able to resubmit early (Dec 10 as opposed to waiting until March 5) since I’m a NI. This application will be reviewed in early March. However, do you think that I might have a chance to get funded on the A0 application still?

    • writedit said

      Yes, either application could be funded. The NIH will get slightly more money for FY15 – probably not enough to affect paylines, but you never know, and many ICs go above payline for new/ESI applications. Your PO might know a little better after the budget has been signed into law, which seems likely to happen this week. You could check in later in January to see if the PO has an update on your potential status.

      • Waiting said


  173. Don't want to violate said

    I know that submitting applications for essentially the same work to multiple institutes or PHS organizations is prohibited, but is it prohibited to apply for essentially the same work from a foundation and the NIH at the same time?

    • writedit said

      You can submit both applications. If they both receive awards, you will need to negotiate with the Foundation to use their money to conduct work (or pay for different aspects of the work) other than what is being funded with a federal award (NIH, NSF, DoD, etc.). Most foundations will work with you on this.

  174. tallee said

    Hello, thank you (and your commenters) for this incredibly useful site. I submitted a K01 resubmission in March 2014, and it was reviewed in June 2014 – it received a priority score of 30 (K01s don’t get percentile scores). After talking with my PO, I submitted the proposal as a new application to a different study section in October 2014. Today, I received an e-mail from NIDA that “NIDA is considering this [the resubmission] application for funding. To that end, please submit current just-in-time information through the eRA Commons as soon as possible.” The status has changed in Commons to “pending.” Can I be cautiously optimistic? Or is it still a long-shot that the application will be funded?

    • writedit said

      You can be cautiously optimistic and then some. The “Pending” status means they are working on the administrative review in preparation for an award (barring any bizarre administrative issues). Congratulations.

  175. citizensci said

    I have a habit of looking for information in NIH RePORTER for details about funded projects, activities, details about major players (PIs), their productivity (“Results” tab). I am curious about these grants that I see occasionally pop up in query results when I search by PI. They seem to be contracts and will be a very long string of numbers followed by a C and some more numbers. For example: 272200900022C-2-0-1. What is this mechanism? Why do they not have more details in the Description tab like a normal RPG or P-grant? Do they have publications associated with them? Why is there no PO or FOA? It is not urgent for my needs as an R01 applicant, but just curious who these folks are and what they’re up to.

    • writedit said

      These are indeed contracts, not grants. Requests for Proposals (RFPs – vs RFAs) solicit applications for contract work via a Notice in the NIH Guide (e.g., The applicant describes how he/she will perform the task outlined in the RFP and at what cost; thus, there is no abstract (agency defines what the task is) and only very rarely publications. As an FYI, awards that begin with “Z” are intramural awards.

  176. Curious said

    Dear writedit,
    I have been just made aware of how the funding decisions are made at NIGMS, which could be to my benefit as an ESI. But my area of research isn’t listed (disease-related immunology, and I have been sending my applications to NIAID). Do you think NIGMS would be a good fit for me? Thank you!

    • writedit said

      You cannot pick an IC based on its payline or how it selects awards – the IC must accept your application based on its science. You would need to find a PO at NIGMS who was interested in having your application in his/her portfolio. If you do not see your research focus listed among the NIGMS areas of scientific research, you will not find anyone at GM interested in your application. You should instead be talking with your PO at NIAID to determine how you can improve your applications to appeal to reviewers and NIAID program.

      • Curious said

        That’s what I thought. Thank you writedit.

  177. JNichols said

    Hi all – I received a 13th % on my A0 R01 submission to NCI back in June (Submission in Feb 2014). I’ve spoken to my PO in Oct, who said he is not really sure how competitive it is since it is an A0 (no ESI status). His suggestion was to resubmit, but he also warned that it is quite possible that my percentile could get worse (!), in which case I would be screwed. I haven’t spoken to him since October and ended up resubmitting in early November as suggested. We did have a brief email correspondence about resubmission strateg, and he also pointed out that my A0 score would still be considered until the A1 was reviewed/scored. I took this to mean that there is still a chance for the A0, at least until Feb. My question is: should I hound this guy again now that it looks like the 2015 FY budget is set to pass? My A0 is stuck in “Council Review Completed” limbo and I get the impression that I am never going to get a yes-or-no answer on this. How long before I should assume the A0 is dead? I’m really terrified that my A1 could very well end up with a worse %tile despite addressing reviewer concerns. Having served on this study section, I firmly believe that scoring in the 1-25%tile range is almost entirely random.

    • writedit said

      First, your A0 is active and eligible for an award until NCI administratively withdraws it, which usually only happens if another version of the same application receives funding or if 36 months have passed since submission. Even if your A1 gets a worse score, your A0 could still be considered for funding (I have seen A0s receive awards after the A1 received a worse score). This would require your PO sticking up for the underlying science and advocating that your work be in his portfolio. Based on what you wrote, he doesn’t seem likely to do this (or he would have asked for a brief rebuttal to use internally … and did he ever ask for JIT?). You could have submitted the application as an A0 rather than an A1, which is what you might be doing next June, depending on the outcome of the A0 & A1 versions. My guess is that the applications in limbo from the first round will be discussed internally by the Feb 12 NCAB meeting. If the A1 score is worse, you should probably specifically talk with your PO about what would make the science more appealing to NCI (in terms of being competitive during the internal discussions for applications in the ~10-20th percentile range).

  178. tcgal said

    Now that the budget is a done deal, how fast could we expect NIH to move on awards? I was all settled in for a long wait given the CRs of the last few years.. I have a 8th percentile R01 that was reviewed in October.. going to NCI soon (ANYONE know when the next NCI council is?)

    Want to be ready with JIT, get all our IRB ducks in a row.. etc..

    • writedit said

      There will be a lag time of ~6-8 weeks (maybe longer due to holidays) before the appropriations make it to each IC. In an era of electronic banking, there is still a lot of bureaucracy involved as the money trickles down from HHS. However, if your application was just reviewed, you would be looking at an Aprilish award date anyway. Applications will be discussed at the Feb 12th cyber meeting of the NCAB, so that would be the rough timing for your JIT (you can ask your PO if he/she anticipates needing it sooner). If your IRB is anything like BICO, though, you probably want to start lining up those ducks.

  179. Waiting said

    Once the budget is set, how long does it take for paylines to be determined by the different ICs?

    • writedit said

      It will take 6-8 weeks for appropriations to trickle down to the ICs, and then some time for them to sort through all the FY15 applications, most of which will be in by January and reviewed by March/April. POs should have an idea of what paylines will look like by April, though select pay decisions won’t be until later.


      • Waiting said

        Okay, thanks! Time to continue the hurry up and wait process…

      • writedit said

        Yep …


  180. Moose said

    Hello! Before I ask my question, I want to reiterate what others have said about how great a resource this blog has been throughout the writing/editing and of course waiting for decisions. I recently received an F32 impact score that is within NIAIDs interim payline. The PO asked for and received JIT info from me. Any idea how fast the grant will be awarded, especially now that the budget has passed? I saw your answer above about 6-8 weeks for R01’s but I assume things move a little faster for the F’s since no council meeting is required. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Congratulations on the F32 award! The 6-8 weeks I mentioned is how long it will take $ to actually show up at the ICs. Until then, they are not entirely clear on how much of their appropriation they will get, but they certainly know enough to make F awards, which are minuscule. However, if you just received your score for an application submitted in August, then you will still have to wait until next spring for your award. For starters, they need to get through the backlog of awards for the Cycle I submissions (Feb etc.) before they’ll take up Cycle II (yours). The timing is such that you will probably receive your award on schedule around the April 1 start date. Your PO will have a better idea of the award schedule early next year. In the meantime, best wishes for success with your project and your career in biomedical research.

      • Moose said

        Thanks writedit, I forgot to reply with the timeline for others reference.
        01/01/2015 Notice of Award received
        12/19/2014 Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.
        12/10/2014 Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.
        11/18/2014 Scientific Review Group review completed. Refer any questions to Program Official.
        08/15/2014 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
        08/05/2014 Application entered into system

        Surprisingly, they funded the award quite fast!

      • writedit said

        Congratulations and thank you so much for posting your timeline. Fellowships don’t go to Council, but I am happy to learn (thanks to you) that they will make these awards earlier rather than wait to process all applications from that cycle together.

  181. yliu70 said

    I discovered your site and I found a lot of useful information. Thanks!
    I have just received my NCI R21 score (30 and 17%). Is this score totally beyond funding range? I am NI but not ESI which may not matter for an R21. I haven’t talked with the PO yet. When will a JIT be issued usually?

    • writedit said

      If you were just reviewed and scored, you should wait until you receive your summary statement to talk with your PO about the likelihood of funding and strategies for resubmission (which I expect the PO will advise you to do). Your score is not impossible in terms of funding, but not likely unless program really likes your science. NI/ESI status only matters for R01 funding decisions, so that has no bearing here. You won’t receive a request for JIT from your PO or GMS unless you are being considered for funding, and that will not happen until closer to the Council meeting (Feb 12). You would only submit the JIT if requested via email by someone at NCI – not in response to an eRA Commons-generated request.

  182. Bandon said

    Thanks for the great advice you provide on this site! I am a late-career investigator who had an R01 re-submission reviewed in October by a standing study section at NIMH. Impact score was 20, but no percentile rank was provided. After receiving the summary statement, I was contacted by the PO assigned to the grant, and we had a good discussion regarding the project. The PO made it sound like it was becoming rare for even standing SRGs to use percentile scores at NIMH, presumably to give the program staff more leeway in selecting proposals to recommend for funding. Based on your experience, is this the “new normal” at NIMH?

    Even without a percentile rank as a guide, I’m feeling fairly hopeful about funding. The PO asked us to submit JIT info and to send a written response to the critiques in the summary statement to inform her discussions with other staff at NIMH.

    • writedit said

      CSR calculates percentiles because its SRGs review applications for multiple ICs, and the percentiles provide the means the ICs to gauge scores from different review panels. IC study sections do not usually calculate percentiles, though this varies by IC and mechanism. If your PO asked you for JIT and a rebuttal, then you can feel pretty good about your likelihood of an award – she would not do this if the score were not competitive and she did not want to see your project in her portfolio.

  183. Biochemist said

    I received an automated e-mail request for a JIT. Should I respond to this request? Or should I wait for the PO/GMS to directly contact me about the JIT as indicated by many posts on this blog?

    • writedit said

      You should wait for an email from your PO or GMS. If you have a score in the fundable range, though, you should start taking steps to secure any necessary approvals (IRB, IACUC, etc.) and complete any training (human subjects protection etc.) that you might need, so your JIT is not held up when the time comes (probably around Council meeting time).

  184. kben said

    It is possible to apply for R15 while being the PI for a R01

    • writedit said

      If the R01 will end (including any no-cost extension) before the R15 begins, then I guess it is feasible – you can’t have both awards at once. However, the R15 is intended for investigators at institutions that are typically not competitive for R01 funding and should help the R15 PI become competitive for an R01 (vs going from R01 to R15 funding), so if it is for the same science as in your R01 (vs new area), that might not be well received. You should probably talk with your PO about it to see how program would react.

  185. Greg Bix said

    NINDS has just updated their payline for funding grants for FY2015:
    see: ‘’

    According to this page: “for competing RPG’s, We anticipate that approximately 20% of all eligible competing Research Project Grant applications will be funded this year. We have set aside approximately $140 million of the total funds available for competing awards to fund investigator-initiated grants that were not submitted in response to special initiatives. New (Type 1), competing renewal (Type 2), and competing supplement (Type 3) grants will be funded in percentile rank order up to the 14th percentile. ”

    Therefore, according to this NINDS website, the payline looks to be 14.0%, which is unchanged from the past few years. Just thought that some people might care to know as it has not yet been updated on this page.

    • writedit said

      Thanks for the heads up. Paylines will stay about the same since the NIH budget is essentially unchanged (0.5%).


  186. grant assignment said

    I see that NIGMS does not publish a payment. My question is, compared with NIBIB, whether NIGMS’ payline is higer or lower than NIBIB’s? Anyone has any idea? We want to choose one of them as the primary institution for our R01 grant consideration but don’t know which one has a higher payline.

    • grant assignment said

      Sorry, a typo, “payment” should be “payline.”

    • writedit said

      You should talk with POs in each institute to see which is most interested in your work, which is more important than their paylines. You can read how NIGMS selects applications for funding (not with a straight payline, and the funding trends for R01 applications (# funded at each percentile, – though this is FY13, so you will want to watch for FY14 data, which will more closely match FY15). NIGMS funds many more R01s than NIBIB, so their “payline” is higher – but they have to want to have your research in their portfolio – hence the need for a PO discussion.

  187. Me said

    Hi writedit -We recently received a Phase I STTR.

    1. Are we required to sub-contract 30% of the direct costs or 30% of the total budget to the collaborating institution?

    2. Can we switch collaborating institutions (use a non-profit CRO instead of the academic institution)?

    3. If yes to switching institutions, do we need permission from the program director?

    Thanks as always!

    • writedit said

      I am out of the country with very limited Internet, but the 30% refers to direct costs, and you’ll need to talk with your program officer about changing collaborators – the CRO would need to be able to do everything your academic partner could.


      • Me said

        Thanks writedit. Can we use more than one sub-contracting academic institution?

      • writedit said

        I believe so, but this would be another question for the PO. You shouldn’t hesitate to ask anything – asking about these possibilities won’t endanger your award, and your PO would rather explain everything directly than have you make assumptions on your own.

  188. New PI said

    Hi writedit, Thanks for maintaining this very useful site. Currently I am in transition from K99 phase to R00 phase and I am preparing R00 application package. The grant manager at the new Institution told me that they can’t submit the application until I formally join the new Institution. Is this right? I have another question. Does the mentor evaluation letter need signatures from all mentors (primary and co-mentors)? If primary mentor holds the letter, what should I do?

    • writedit said

      You will need to sign a contract with your new institution before they can conduct any business on your behalf with the NIH (you don’t need to be there yet, but you need to have made your acceptance of their offer official). The institution can only manage awards for employees, which is why (most) postdocs and grad students get fellowship stipends rather than awards. Policies vary by institution, though (NIH is not involved), so you can ask for clarification about the timing of their submission if you have already signed your offer letter. Your primary mentor should be able to sign the evaluation letter on behalf of the entire mentoring team, but it may depend on the terms of your award. In this case, you can and should ask your PO for guidance.

  189. BKD said

    Such a great resource here! I am looking for some advice. I am not sure if this is the correct place to post but there seems to be a nidus of experience with NIH policy and institutional practices. I am at a small liberal arts college and I received an R15 from the NIDDK. My institution allows for pre-tenured faculty to have a semester of paid leave for research. A second semester research leave can be granted without institutional pay; most junior faculty cover the second semester with wages and benefits from federal grants (or chose to return to their teaching responsibilities). My R15 budget covers (wages + benefits at 22%) my second semester research leave that began Jan 1.

    Here is the issue on which I would like advice: my institution informed me that I am no longer an employee (while on the second semester), the college considers me a volunteer that is not entitled to certain institutional benefits and protections. In particular the college will not contribute to my retirement benefits nor am I covered under worker’s compensation insurance. My health coverage, life and disability will continue. I have informal indication that my students and I would be covered under the college’s liability policy.

    My concern is that the NIH would require a PI to be an employee, before any award would be granted. And as the award has already been accepted (on my behalf) by the institution and vetted by the Office of Grants; Is the college in breach of that contract? Would it be best to contact my GMS/GMO or PO regarding this policy?

    Any thoughts, comments or suggestions are welcome. I am at a loss on how best to proceed.

    • writedit said

      You should be fine – your college is just not going to pay for your full benefits (retirement, workers’ comp). The fact that they will continue benefits covered by the 22% fringe available on the award (health, life, disability) means you are still an employee, just not eligible for the additional benefits not covered by the 22% fringe. I assume they will continue taking taxes out of your paycheck (vs pay you a stipend for which you are required to pay estimated taxes). Different institutions negotiate different fringe benefit rates, depending on what they want to cover for faculty paid by a federal award. Your institution has a lower fringe that doesn’t cover all the benefits available. I expect it is similar to 9-month faculty – they don’t stop being employees during the 3 summer months, but they only get salary & benefits for 9 months. If you have a question, you would talk with your Office of Grants rather than your PO/GMS, who has no say over your institution policies (award is to your institution).

      • BKD said

        Thanks for your reply. I agree that in practice I will be an employee, but the college has been explicit to the contrary in stating that I am only a “volunteer” (their word). The Office of College Grants as well as some members of the administration were unaware of the employment status policy for funded faculty. Is it common for institutions to only recover partial fringe benefit money? Is it possible to use F&A to cover underages if the negotiated fringe rate is lower than the reality of full benefits?
        Thanks again for your advice!

      • writedit said

        Some faculty here at BICO are listed as “volunteer” when you look at their university directory listing, so different institutions probably use the designation to cover a variety of situations. The fact that no one there can explain it to you is odd – if you know faculty who have previously been covered by grant funding, they should be able to explain how it worked for them. I’m afraid I cannot explain the fringe benefit rate different institutions negotiate with the federal government. I assume your institution will keep some (possibly most) of the indirects to cover rent, overhead, administrative staff, etc. Again, each institution is different in how they allocate indirect costs to PIs, but you can ask your Office of College Grants if they would allow you to spend some of your indirects to buy additional benefits not covered in the negotiated fringe benefits. The NIH is not involved in any of this, so long as it adheres to NIH grant policy (

  190. Mon said

    Hi Writedit,

    I have a DIVERSITY F31 that received an impact score of 39, I think the payline is 30. I also received the summary statement last month. I think one of the three reviewers did the proposal in, and I don’t think it was a fair review. The advisory council meeting is in two weeks. Do you think I should contact the PO regarding my concerns and the likelihood of funding? Or I should wait until the advisory council meeting? Do you think there’s any possibility of funding with a score this high?


    • writedit said

      You don’t mention your institute, but that score is pretty high for funding. You can and should contact your PO now about the likelihood of funding (fellowship applications don’t go to Council). The most important paragraph in your summary statement that reflects how the score was calculated is the Resume & Summary of Discussion (not the individual reviews), so the concerns raised there are the ones you would need to address in a rebuttal. Your PO will probably have attended the study section meeting and heard the discussion, so he/she could give you more insight as well as good advice on what and how to revise.

      • Mon said

        Thanks a lot, The institute is NIAID.

  191. KB said

    I have received the 13 percentile on my RO1 grant (NIDDK) but still did not get the JIT request from website or PO. The council will meet on Jan 28. Is it normal??

    • writedit said

      Yes, you’re fine. You will probably get a request closer to the Council meeting (possibly after). You can check with your PO about the timing. If you need to secure IACUC or IRB approval, you should have that in hand now (or soon) rather than wait for the JIT request.

      • KB said

        Thank you writedit, My IACUC protocol was approved recently. Thank you very much.

  192. TGS said

    Any thoughts on why NICHD never posted paylines for 2014? Do you think this trend will continue in 2015?

    • writedit said

      As I recall, NICHD does not have a good prior history of posting paylines, so I’m not sure they’ll reappear. It will take a few more weeks, at least, before the appropriations trickle down to the ICs, at which point your PO might have a better idea of funding levels (which should be roughly the same as FY14). The paylines usually get set after the last cycle of reviews (now through March/April roughly), at which point the ICs know the number and distribution of scores/percentiles and the amount of money they have available for competing awards.

    • LIZR said

      In April 2014, my NICHD PO said that 2014 paylines would be roughly the same as in 2012 and 2013 (around 9-10th% for established investigators, 13-14% for new and early stage investigators). As a new investigator my 2014 NICHD R01 scored at the 9th% and was funded.

      • writedit said

        Thanks so much for jumping in with this intel – and congratulations on your award. Best wishes for success with your research and career in biomedical research.

  193. Sam said

    Dilemma on budget for potential funded RO1

    Hi Writedit

    I received a 7th percentile on my RO1-A1. This was my final shot as a NI/ESI. My PO has suggested that when the grant goes to council soon, I will have better odds for funding if I settle for 3 years as opposed to 5 years on the grant by cutting one aim and thereby the budget. Any suggestions on how I should respond? Obviously I want to do the science but I am concerned that I would be up for a renewal in 3 years and would take a huge hit on the budget. Any comments are greatly appreciated.

    • writedit said

      Which IC is this? All ICs try to give ESI applicants the full 5 years, and you should not need to negotiate at the 7th percentile level. Is your PO asking you to make this offer now, before a decision is made on your application?

    • writedit said

      I will add that POs often suggest that PIs with applications scored in the gray zone consider negotiating for a shorter/smaller award (rather than no award), but, again, this should not be your situation at the 7th percentile as an ESI.

  194. LC said

    For NIAID F31 fellowships, is the expected state date ever expedited without request? I submitted the grant in Aug. 2014 cycle. I sent in my JIT documentation and status on Commons has been updated as award prepared, yet start date is still April 2015. Thanks.

    • writedit said

      The start date is based on the cycle of submission, not when the award might actually be issued (often awards are issued well after the start date due to delays in the federal budget approval). I assume you were asked to submit JIT based on a fundable score. Because fellowships do not go to Council, they can be prepared at any time, but there is often a lag between the eRA Commons status of “Award prepared” and “Awarded”. You can check with your PO about when the award might be issued, but there is nothing you yourself can do to expedite the process. Congratulations and best wishes for success with your project and training.

  195. Waiting said

    I am sure that this type of question has been asked before, so I apologize in advance for asking again. NICHD has a council meeting on January 22. So, does that mean that they will know paylines at that point?

    • TGS said

      This from a recent response from writedit (about a week ago):
      As I recall, NICHD does not have a good prior history of posting paylines, so I’m not sure they’ll reappear. It will take a few more weeks, at least, before the appropriations trickle down to the ICs, at which point your PO might have a better idea of funding levels (which should be roughly the same as FY14). The paylines usually get set after the last cycle of reviews (now through March/April roughly), at which point the ICs know the number and distribution of scores/percentiles and the amount of money they have available for competing awards.

    • writedit said

      Also see LIZR’s post on the FY14 paylines:

      In April 2014, my NICHD PO said that 2014 paylines would be roughly the same as in 2012 and 2013 (around 9-10th% for established investigators, 13-14% for new and early stage investigators). As a new investigator my 2014 NICHD R01 scored at the 9th% and was funded.

  196. Waiting said


    • Waiting said

      I just received an email from a PO at NICHD with a more definitive answer. This helps those of us waiting!:
      “Our national advisory council meets on Jan. 22 and en bloc approval will be sought for a slate of applications. Funding paylines aren’t always discussed at council so I don’t know if they will or won’t be discussed this year. We usually are informed of the paylines around the time of our council. Please check back with me the week of January 26 and I’ll fill you in.”

      • writedit said

        Great – thanks so much for sharing this intel. The same would be true for the other ICs that do not post interim paylines.

      • Waiting said

        Update on the NICHD paylines from my PO:
        “The R01 payline for January 2015 is the 9th percentile getting up to the 12th percentile for new investigators.”

      • writedit said

        Thanks for sharing this intel.

  197. wt888 said

    I have a friend who is a faculty in a university in a foreign country but also an adjunct proferssor at a university here in the US, where he works part time. Can he apply for NIH grants independently or as my collaborator?

    • writedit said

      Citizenship is required for fellowships and career development awards, and PIs must reside in the US for SBIRs (work must be done in US), but most research project grant applications do not have restrictions on citizenship or where the work must be conducted. Each FOA (funding opportunity announcement) addresses applicant eligibility, so your friend can check the eligibility criteria for any announcement of interest.

  198. Stillwaiting said


    Did anyone get JIT request from PO for the NIMH February council meeting?


  199. CautiousOptimism said

    I just received my notice of award! Since this site was such a huge help, I wanted to share my timeline; however, I was reluctant to post anything until I had my NoA in hand. Hopefully this is helpful for others. My grant application was for a F31 through NIDA.

    1st submission:
    01/15/2015 Application withdrawn; previous application funded.
    07/22/2014 Summary statement was released. Most of the feedback I received was easily addressable so I went ahead and resubmitted. That time line follows.
    07/08/2014 Scientific Review Group review completed. Refer any questions to Program Official. – At this point, I received a score of 28 that fell within the 26th percentile.
    04/17/2014 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
    04/08/2014 Application entered into system

    2nd submission:
    01/15/2015 Fellowship awarded.
    01/09/2015 Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.
    12/10/2014 Received a JIT request from the GMS. Submitted all the requested information on 12/15/2014.
    12/10/2014 Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.
    11/20/2014 Received my summary statement. Realized that I needed to address a specific issue. Contacted my PO who advised me to write a letter addressing the issue and send it back to him. Sent that back on 12/1/2014.
    11/18/2014 Scientific Review Group review completed. Refer any questions to Program Official. – I received a score of 13 that fell within the 3rd percentile. Needless to say, I did a very happy dance at this point.
    08/15/2014 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
    08/07/2014 Application entered into system

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing such a detailed timeline – great information. For those who are wondering why there is no mention of Council meetings, fellowship applications do not go to Council. Best wishes for success with your dissertation work and your career in biomedical research!

  200. Confused said

    I am a New Investigator having a question about funding decisions made by NIH/NCI for grants reviewed in NI category. My first RO1 grant proposal scored 49% at one of the NIH/NCI study sections couple of years ago. I submitted A1 application for June 2014 IRG review and it scored 11%. I was quite happy because I thought it had a good chance to be funded even if it is outside of solid payline. PO for this proposal said that due to the lack of approved budget the funding decisions will be made sometime in January 2015.

    I also generated another RO1 grant proposal that scored 24% as A0 in a different NIH/NCI study section a year ago. I resubmitted this proposal as A1 for October 2014 IRG review and it scored 4%. Both of these proposals were reviewed under NI category but they are unrelated and they are handled by different POs.

    I recently contacted PO for my first grant to inquire about it. In his email message he said that “after much deliberation my 11% grant was not selected for funding. It was recognized that I have another New Investigator grant (4%) that will be funded in January 2015.”

    I am surprised by such reasoning as the key argument appears to be that I am a NI for both proposals. I have a few questions. Does anyone know about any public notice by NIH stating that two grants reviewed under NI category cannot be funded? I was not able to find anything. If I knew such policy existed then of course I would not have been resubmitting my second RO1 proposal in the next cycle after resubmitting the first one.
    Is it now an internal policy of NIH/NCI to make funding decisions based on how an unrelated RO1 proposal from the same investigator scores in a different cycle in a different study section? I am confused because NIH to date did not make any decision on my second grant (Council review still pending) and yet, it was used as a justification not to fund my first. Can anyone share thoughts or experience obtained under similar circumstances? Does anyone have any advice? Thanks.

    • tcgal said

      first.. congrats on the 4% R01 and pending award!!

      under tight fiscal budget, NCI has been using a low payline (last year i think it was 9th percentile) and funding at and below the payline — above the payline and the scientific leaders meet and make a decision and select applications to fill gaps in their research portfolio

      your 11th percentile was above this- and so in no way guaranteed funding..

      i think you are a victim of bad timing – in that they were both sitting infront of decision makers at the same time..

      my hunch is that NCI would rather fund 2 investigators than 1 investigator w/2 awards.

    • writedit said

      Each IC has its own policies about deciding which applications to fund (such as NIGMS deciding not to give additional R01s to well funded PIs). Your 11th percentile application, while likely fundable even as an established PI in other ICs, is in the discussion zone at NCI, and they can take any internal, NCI-specific criteria into making these decisions (area of research is already well covered, area of research is not a priority for NCI, etc.). I know new PIs who have managed to get 2 awards both submitted while they had NI/ESI status – but unfortunately, NCI has apparently decided that it needs to keep as many labs as possible going – as tcgal says, better to fund 2 investigators with 1 award each than 1 investigator with 2 awards. If you have a secondary IC assigned for the 11th percentile (such as NIEHS), you can ask whether the secondary IC might pick it up, though that is always a very long shot, more so now in times of restricted appropriations and an uncertain future for the federal budget. You can count on your 4th percentile though – and you should definitely ask your PO, if there is no secondary IC to turn to, whether you can resubmit the 11th percentile as a new application or whether he/she is telling you NCI will never fund you for both.

  201. KB said

    Today NIDDK have announced the new paylines for FY2015. The paylines were same like last year.

    • Stillwaiting said

      NIMH FY 2015 Funding Strategy is also published. Did anyone hear JIT request for the Feb. council meeting? thanks.

  202. KB said

    Minw was in January 28 council meeting, still i did not hear for the JIT

    • writedit said

      No need to worry – often JIT requests are after Council. If you are not sure if you are getting an award, you can check with your PO for an update.


      • KB said

        Thank you very much writedit. I have following this wonderful website every day for updating my knowledge. thank you.

      • writedit said

        You are all very welcome – and all the input from the community is what makes the site so useful (and reassuring & encouraging, as appropriate), so thanks to all of you, too.

  203. Xoxoxo said

    Is there a wait period before I can submit a proposal to a study section that I just step down as permanent member?

    • writedit said

      To the best of my knowledge, no, since you can submit applications while you are a permanent member (reviewed by SEP vs SRG). Only those panel members with whom you directly interact as part of your research would be in conflict after you leave the panel.

  204. JNJ said

    Hi Writedit,
    Any idea what’s going on with NHLBI? Why they are still on 90% pay line even after they got the budget? My RO1 got 12% (reviewed in June 2014). What is going to happen in terms of funding? Please let me know.

    • writedit said

      The 90% is not payline but how much of the approved awarded budgets for will be paid out under the CR, which will now be restored. It takes well over a month before the appropriations trickle down to the ICs – not to worry about the delay. Your PO can tell you what your funding likelihood is since the payline for established PIs is 11th percentile – if you are ESI, you are fine obviously (up to 21st percentile).

      • JNJ said

        Thanks Writedit. I am a NI and not an ESI. the 2014 pay line was 12%. My PO does not know more than this (that current pay line is 11%). Since other agencies like NIDDK have already restored and their pay lines are similar to 2014, I am really worried (my job condition is not good).

      • writedit said

        Aha. Well, the NI doesn’t get you a payline break but would probably help with select pay. The payline might go up still, but not until Feb or March, which is when they’ll know both how much money they have (in appropriation) and how the scores are spread for applications from all 3 submission cycles. Your PO is being honest when he/she says they don’t know.

  205. JNJ said

    thanks writedit.

  206. Pecan said

    Dear writedit, when I apply for DP2 grant, do I put a recommended NIH agency in the cover letter or this will be directly managed through NIH? Will I be competing with other applicants to the same agency or all applicants across the agencies? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      No, you do not request an IC. If your application passes the first level review, the IC directors become involved in managing applications in the second level review, at which time assignments are made (you are not involved). Everyone initially competes against each other within a Science Area designation (part of the application process).

      • Pecan said

        Thank you writedit! As far as the preliminary data go, I understand it is not required for this, but would this be like R21 applications in which grants without preliminary data rarely fare well in peer review although it’s not required either?

      • writedit said

        This is tricky since your DP2 project must be very innovative and a departure from your typical or ongoing research, so preliminary data should only be used to show the feasibility of your approach and/or your hypothesis – not any actual prior work toward addressing the hypothesis or project you are proposing. The DP2 review focuses on you as a promising investigator (based on track record) and the ideas proposed in your essay (must be logical, creative, and exciting).

  207. sundowner said

    Hi writedit, Thanks for maintaining this very useful site. I in Nov 2014 I got an Ro1 funded as an ESI (submitted in Feb of 2014 i think).

    In July of 2014 (still ESI) i applied for another different R01 (R01 #2). R01#2 scored OK as an A0. lets say 15%, in November 2014. Council in Feb 2015 for R01#2.

    I called and confirmed with my PO that ESI would be in effect for this and we could try to “rescue” the A0. I rebutted comments and stuff for council.

    Now PO says that since it is now 2015, and my R01#1 was funded in 2014, my ESI status sundowned, and i’m in the pool with established PIs.

    Can someone find a NIH reference to back this up? Quibbling with the PO is unlikely to help, but i wonder if it can be subtly done… I’d like to ride the ESI into R01#2 if possible… it is war out there and all is fair in love and war, right?

    • writedit said

      While two applications submitted in the same application cycle (e.g., February 5) might both be considered for ESI/NI status throughout the review process (especially if being considered by different ICs). When you submitted the second (June) R01, the application received an ESI status based on your status at the time of receipt. Your status changed prior to its consideration for an award, though, which means the IC no longer considers you ESI when making award decisions. This is reflected in the NIH policy for new investigators (which includes ESI):

      When is NI status calculated for an application? The NI status for an application is calculated based on investigator status on the date the application is successfully submitted to NIH. The application will reflect the NI status regardless of whether the investigator loses NI status because of a substantial award after the submission date. Any NI application will be grouped with other NI applications during peer review. NI status will be reassessed for any pending application after peer review and prior to consideration for award.

      Now, you still might be considered for select pay based on your rebuttal and the IC’s interest in your research. Hopefully your PO will back you up when individual applications are considered, though this was not the case at NCI for confused:

      • sundowner said

        Oh well. Thanks for the detailed and accurate answer!

  208. DS said

    Hi writedit,
    I submitted an F31 to NIDA in April. The review group meeting was in July and we received an impact score of 10 and 1 percentile (this was our second submission). In December we received a request from the GMS for JIT documents which we submitted around 12/20. I saw in a response above that NIDA has funded some F31s from the August cycle. Our grants management specialist said on 1/13 that they do not know when we might receive our NOA. What might be some of the reasons why our NOA seems to be so delayed?
    Thank you!

    • writedit said

      No – the delay is not unusual since the appropriation may not have arrived yet (or just arrived), but you can check with your PO or GMS for an update on timing. It should not be too much longer, and they should be able to tell you when to expect the NoA.

  209. NeedAnotherR01 said

    Hi, I posted a couple of months ago about a 14th%ile A0 R01, scored in October. The IC has recently posted a “nominal payline” of 13th% for established PIs like me. My PO did not commit to anything in response to my email query about the application at the time of receiving my Summary Statement, saying the application would have to get a budget and go through Council before she knew anything, so the PO recommended revising the application. My question now is that Council is nigh, the auto-generated JIT request says it expires at the end of the month, and my grants administrator here at my Institution keeps nagging me to submit JIT. I tell her writedit says I must wait until requested by the PO or GMO and that I don’t want to nag the PO, because then the PO will know that I’m not a cool and sophisticated PI.

    But seriously, does that posted JIT “deadline” actually mean anything? Shouldn’t I be expecting a personal request for JIT, being just 1% off the payline with Council next week? Is there harm in contacting the PO about JIT? I do worry it might be awkward. I’ve been contacting the POfor other reasons a decent amount lately (existing R01 with Supplement application) and don’t want to be a nag. Plus, maybe I don’t want to hear bad news.

    • writedit said

      There is no harm in submitting the JIT, if it will make your grants administrator happy. The point in waiting for a request is that you don’t do work you don’t need to and you submit the most recent data (which can change between when an application is scored and is finally considered for an award many months later). I assume it is unlikely anything would change over the next month or two, and you should have already lined up any IRB/IACUC approvals since you were close to the payline (i.e., you wouldn’t be doing all that work for a 40th percentile grant). So, although there is really no “expiration” in when you can submit JIT, you might as well submit it – or ask the GMS/GMO first, if you want. You might a request after Council, if you came up on the paylist in this round. If you submit JIT now and your application needs to wait til the end of the FY, you would be asked to submit updated JIT at that time, which is no problem.

      • NeedAnotherR01 said

        Thanks. Two questions, though.1) How do you know if you come up on the paylist? My PO, in the email after the summary statement, said my application would first “have to go through Council” before even beginning to know whether it would be funded. I’ve been kind of hoping that the “nominal” payline is based on the first Council of FY2015, and they might realize at this Council there’s enough money to go to 14th%ile. 2) Why do they give a JIT “deadline” on ERA Commons, which is what has worried my Grants Administrator.

      • writedit said

        Your PO will need to tell you if you are on the paylist or under consideration for select pay, though this decision would not be made until the end of the FY – ditto for an R56 to give you a year to get some data and reapply). If she hasn’t asked for any sort of rebuttal, that may be doubtful – but she might know the project well enough by now not to need specific feedback from you, or she might wait until closer to the time that special award decisions are made (in case you have new data, publication, etc. by then). If you have any new data or publications, you could let her know so she realizes you are committed and productive in this work (not sure if you’ve continued working on this project or can’t without the $). Since NIDDK was at the 13th percentile last year, I wouldn’t expect them to be higher this year.

        As to the JIT expiration date, I wasn’t aware of it, but it is probably calculated to request the JIT prior to Council, which, in a perfect world in which federal appropriations are signed into law by Oct 1 and the NIH can operate on its ideal schedule, would be the appropriate timing.

      • NeedAnotherR01 said

        Thanks. I went the GMO route and got a response right away to upload the JIT just in case either the GMO or PO need it. I wasn’t asked for rebuttal but provided it when I first contacted her after the Summary Statement. There was exactly one line in the Resume of Discussion that had any criticism, so there wasn’t much to rebut in any case.She is also probably quite familiar with the science at this point. We do keep working on the project, but it has had to go slowly, given the absence of funding. Typical Catch 22. I guess we do have some exciting new data, so that’s a good idea and a review on the topic in review.

        The JIT deadline is right after Council time, so that is probably why the timing is as it is.

  210. kd said

    My PO told me that my R21 is going to the council and requested some info. Council is/was today. If the PO is pushing this for funding, even though is outside the NEI s range/payline… long do i have to wait before i hear council s decision ie notice of award ….or rejection??


    • writedit said

      Council does not (usually) consider individual applications at their meetings, but it does need to approve the entire list of applications that the NEI Director is putting forward for consideration for funding. If your application is on the list approved by Council, then your PO needs/needed the additional information to advocate on your behalf to other program staff and directors. Final decisions about applications above the payline being given special consideration might not happen until summer (after all 3 review cycles are done). Your PO probably won’t know anything immediately after the Council meeting, but hopefully he/she will have an update for you within a few weeks. NEI won’t reject your application, so you won’t know that you definitely are not getting an award until Sept (funding decision would need to be made before Sept 30).

  211. kd said

    thank you. that is a very long time. that means i cant re submit either.
    do you reccomend contacting the PO?

    • writedit said

      You can resubmit – the current R21 remains under consideration even after the resubmitted (whether as an A1 or an A0) R21 has been reviewed and scored. You could resubmit this cycle, if you can get the application ready by Feb (for new A0) or March (for A1). If this R21 does receive an award (which is possible in the next couple months – or later in the FY), the resubmitted application would be withdrawn. No penalty for submitting again – even if the score goes down, this R21 could still be considered for an award (though, if the score drops significantly, your PO would need you to explain why, and advocating for select pay would be harder). You can ask your PO if you should resubmit – his/her answer may tell you how good your chances are of receiving an award for this R21.

  212. kd said

    Well we are not gonna make it for February 5th so we might as well wait.
    the PO said that he will let me know as soon as he known the decision on the R21.

    What do you think? good/bad sign?

    • writedit said

      Feb 5 is the deadline for new (A0) R01s. New R21s are not due until Feb 16, and resubmission (A1) R21 applications are due March 16. You can ask your PO if you should resubmit (if you have not asked yet) – though if the PO did not tell you to resubmit, that is a good sign.

      • kd said

        Indeed the PO has not mentioned resubmission to me. The reason we don’t really wanna resubmit is that if this doesn’t get funded….we would like to turn it to an R01 since the comments were very favorable and 2/3 reviewers said it was too ambitious for R21 and R01 is a better fit.

      • writedit said

        Aha. Good news on the PO not telling you to resubmit – and the R01 route sounds like a good back up plan. You don’t need to worry about missing the Feb deadline – there really is no advantage since the federal budget is always late, and the Feb & June submissions usually get awards at about the same time. The only good reasons to rush in an application for Feb is if your ESI or tenure clock is about to run out, or you need to be able to resubmit in Nov. Of course, if Feb/March is just the right timing for the research, fine – but I never advise PIs to rush something in that isn’t quite ready or could be stronger if it waited.

      • kd said

        Thank you very much for your reply and advice.

  213. Stillwaiting said

    Did anyone (not ESI) get funded beyond 10 percentile from NIMH? NIMH doesn’t have a pay line and it states “the Institute expects to support most of the applications that have an impact score up to the 10th percentile, many between the 10th and 20th percentiles….”.


    • writedit said

      I don’t know about FY15, but yes, I know investigators with percentiles between 11 and 15 who were funded. NIMH assumes everything between the 10th & 20th percentile are essentially equal in scientific merit, so they make decisions based on programmatic priority with some preference for new/ESI. This is where having a PO in your corner helps.

  214. Corneliu said

    Does anyone know what “Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.” mean for a K99 application? This was a resubmission with an impact score of 23 (NIDCR), no pay lines. Thanks

    • kd said

      have a look “here”….to be paid…..Congrats

    • RT3 said

      I would be cautiously optimistic. Nothing is certain until you get NOA. Coincidently, I had the same score (23) on K99 (NIAID) and the status remained “Pending administrative review” and eventually not resulting in NOA.

      • Corneliu said

        Thanks. I agree with you. Nothing is certain until NOA. I will contact the PO in couple of days.

      • kd said

        really? i didnt know that this can happen. i guess you never know with NIH. thanks RT3

      • TGS said

        I also haven’t heard of that happening – did they mention anything administrative came up? scary to know this is a possibility!

      • writedit said

        Cautiously optimistic is the right response, since, as RT3 unfortunately discovered, nothing is guaranteed until the NoA has arrived. However, in recent years especially, it is very rare for an application to undergo administrative review without an award being made (ICs don’t have time to do extra work), so I assume an obstacle encountered during the administrative review is what would forestall an award. You could ask your PO sooner, since it sounds as though you haven’t been in touch (or not in an overly burdensome manner).

      • kd said

        May i ask when was the council meeting for this application? Just wondering how fast you got to the “admin review”.


      • Corneliu said

        The council review took place today. The status changed very fast i.e. on the day of council review. This is why I’m thinking of contacting the PO in a couple of days.

      • kd said

        i think you should. Good luck…

      • Corneliu said

        The application was successful! The PO just emailed me.

      • writedit said

        Woohoo! Congratulations and best wishes for success with your research.

      • Corneliu said


      • RT3 said


        kd! Yes, that did happen. Even worse, the PO officer emailed me a congratulatory note that your grant has been selected for funding. We even opened the bottle of Champagne. A week later I got an email from NIAID that they apologize for a little too early response from their PO and they have decided not to fund the application. I am still sore from this 2011 incident and suspect big politics at NIAID.

      • writedit said

        Wow. And now you know why POs are (usually) so conservative and make no commitments until the NoA is issued.

  215. LIZR said

    NICHD finally posted FY14 paylines. Better late than never?

    “The NICHD 2014 payline is the 9th percentile for new (Type 1) applications and 9th percentile for renewal (Type 2) and amended (-A1) applications.

    For R01 applications from New Investigators and Early Stage Investigators, the payline is the 15th percentile.”

  216. Xoxoxo said

    When is the latest to apply for a renewal on an R01 to maintain funding?

    • writedit said

      You cannot be guaranteed of maintaining funding with any renewal, so whether you apply early or late has no impact on funding maintenance. Usually it is best to think about when is the earliest you can start trying to renew an award, if the goal is to keep funding continuity. You will get a no-cost extension for one year and can ask for a second if you still have $ left to spend and good rationale for needing another year. There is no expiration date beyond which you cannot renew a grant whose funding has run out (including NCEs), but if years have gone by since the original award period ended, reviewers will probably not look upon your application as a renewal (or at least not kindly). Now, the program announcement to which you applied may also play a role in the renewal decision – often applications to continue awards made through RFAs are submitted as new applications (to the parent R01 announcement) rather than renewals, since the RFA program will have ended – unless a new RFA is issued that allows renewal applications from prior awardees.

  217. Peter Pan said

    I have acquired a lot of useful information here. Last Friday I finally received my NOA from NCI. As I promised, I would like to share my timeline here with a hope it can help you somehow.

    6/5/2013, R01 first submission
    10/25/2013, received scores, 26%
    3/5/2014, R01 A1 resubmitted
    6/3/2014, scientific review, impact score 26, 8%
    9/10/2014, Council review completed
    11/14/2014, JIT request
    11/19/214, submitted JIT
    11/26/2014 request clarification and additional JIT
    12/22/2014 submitted additional JIT
    (in between, received a couple of emails regarding progress)
    (1/20/2015, grant notification from senate’s office)
    1/23/2015 Notice of Award

    I have learned to be patient and meanwhile you have to move your research further.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing such a detailed timeline. This is especially useful for those concerned about a JIT request not coming prior to Council (never mind 2 months after) and that JIT is not always straight forward. Thanks again for helping make this blog useful for the community and best wishes for success with your project and your career in biomedical research.

  218. Anonymous Chemist said

    Hi folks,
    I have a grant that is pending (an RFA to NIEHS), with a mediocre score (35) that apparently good enough that the PO has told me I should not discount the possibility of it getting funded. He had previously asked for a rebuttal on the Summary Statement. My question is, it is appropriate to keep the PO informed on research progress relevant to the aims of the grant and/or findings in recently published literature that would bolster the grant? When do updates, if acceptable, become too much information? The council meeting is in 3 weeks, BTW.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    • writedit said

      Yes, you should absolutely let the PO know about manuscripts accepted for publication and abstracts accepted for meetings. If you have new exciting data, you can ask the PO if he would want that and if so, in what format.


  219. jrresearcher said

    Hi, I am submitting an A1 K23 to the NIA. One reviewer suggestion was to include more learning experiences outside of graduate courses (eg, conferences, workshops). I originally included participation in two national conferences, but I found an additional two relevant conferences. How much $ can you request each year on a K23 to attend conferences? They are so expensive these days. Attending 4 per year could get costly. thanks!

    • NEI K23 said

      K23 / K08 applicants (for NEI) at my institute usually request for $1,500 for each conference, and it never seemed to be a problem with the reviewers. However, you need to be careful not to propose to attend too many conferences. An applicant at my institute proposed to attend 3 conferences annually, and one review’s comment was “The attendance of three national meetings per year for a graduate student seems excessive.”

    • writedit said

      If the conferences include a short course or workshop, you could make the case. I expect the reviewer was more interested in your taking 2-3 day workshops or short courses (up to a week long) at other institutions vs just going to more scientific conferences (unless they have appropriate educational sessions outside the scientific sessions). You might see if the NIH is offering any workshops on your area of research, too. Your mentor and PO might know of options that you hadn’t considered or been aware of, too.

      • NEI K23 said

        Agree with writedit… the applicant at my institute that I mentioned above was proposing to attend 3 annual scientific conferences, not including any workshops or short courses.

    • jrresearcher said

      Thanks for the comments!

      I did find two workshops/sessions outside of annual conferences, 1 through the NIA and the other through the DHHS/NIH. However, both sessions require an application so admission is not guaranteed. One website actually posted a recommendation NOT to include participation in the workshop in the Career Development Activities of career development awards.

      • writedit said

        Interesting – thanks for sharing your findings. You might ask the PO about the other one (whether it would be appropriate and how to budget for it). You might describe one or two appropriate alternatives if you aren’t accepted into the NIH one.


      • jrresearcher said

        Thanks! Great suggestions!

  220. s2002 said

    Thank you very much for a very useful website. We submitted another grant to NHLBI. I have heard they only fund 4 not 5 years. Is this true-because we submitted a budget for 5 years. Would our grant get rejected or shunted away from NHLBI because we did this or would we just be asked to redo the budget? Thank you very much for your reply.

    • writedit said

      Yes, this is official NHLBI policy, which can be found in their FY Funding & Operation Guidelines. You won’t be rejected, but you will need to redo the aims and budget for 4 years unless you qualify for one of the exceptions:

      Duration of Research Project Grants The NHLBI will fund investigator-initiated R01 competing applications, regardless of percentile or priority score, for four years or less. The only exceptions to this policy are awards made to Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) and clinical trials with patient accrual and follow-up timelines that cannot be accomplished within four years. These excepted applications will generally be awarded for the full length of their National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) recommended project periods.

  221. s2002 said

    Thank you very much, this is very helpful to know.

  222. Dave said

    Established PI. Just got a 13%ile on an A0 for an NHLBI proposal. Does it get funded in FY15?

  223. JoEllen Welsh said

    Hopefully this year will be better than last, in similar situation with NCI, my A0 year 17 renewal at 13% wasn’t funded (PO tried to get it funded by exception, no luck), revision went to 15%, again not funded. Good news is that the (barely changed) revision went to same study section and got 2%, council next week so hopefully an NGA soon. Timeline – first application was Feb 2013, so 2yrs struggling to support students, long time res assoc, etc.

    • Dave said

      Received an from my PO from NHLBI today and he tells me that there is a chance that the R01 will be funded at 13%ile, but likely won’t know till June/July. Obviously, he’s non-committal, but I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic.

      • Dave said

        Should read “an email”

      • writedit said

        They need to wait until the last cycle of reviews is complete and then, if the payline does not move up after all reviews are in, for the end of the FY to see what $ is left for select pay decisions. If your PO has not told you to resubmit, though, that is more optimistic certainly – and the fact you are in the running, of course.

      • KB said

        Dave it was wonderful news for you. Hopefully you will get your grant. My grant still I am waiting for response from my NIDDK PO (13% ), they have completed council last week.

      • Dave said

        Update: my PO emailed me yesterday to tell me he is “confident that I won’t need to submit a revision” bc the nhlbi payline increased to 13%ile for R01s.

      • writedit said

        Fantastic news – thanks for sharing this intel.

  224. Stillwaiting said

    KB, 13% is within the payline of NIDDK. Did PO tell your proposal went into council? I thought they update the eRA status soon after council meeting.

  225. KB said

    I didnot contact my PO from last 2 months so she did not inform me whether my application went to council or not. But before the council (1/13/2015), they have updated my era commons as

    Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.

    After the council, there is no update in my era commons.

  226. Hi, I just got an impact score for my F32 application at NIDDK of 26. They do not percentile, so it’s hard for me to know where I stand.

    My PO said this:
    “Most likely you will not get funded this round. However, we will be discussing your application for potential funding if some of the better scored applications are not funded. So you should plan on potentially submitting a revised application and hope you do not have to do so. The summary statements should be released by March and the funding decision should be made by mid March.”

    Anyone know how to decode this? Should I be semi-optimistic?
    Waiting for my summary statement …

    • writedit said

      You have a great PO who gave you great advice. You have a small chance of being funded this cycle, depending on whether better scoring applications are passed over for one reason or another. If you have any new manuscripts or abstracts (for meetings) accepted, by all means let your PO know, in case your PO can use this progress since review to advocate for your application (he/she seems to be in your corner already). You should plan on resubmitting. NIDDK could still go back and fund this application later in the FY if not now – you will not jeopardize this F32 by submitting another one. As soon as you get your summary statement, consider how you would improve the proposal and then communicate with the PO about it (and your mentor, of course – but your PO will have heard your application discussed and may have added insight into what the reviewers are looking for).

      • NeuroPostdoc said

        Update: I did not get funded this round. My PO wrote and said that unfortunately they would not be able to fund my application, but “I am hoping we will be able to support your resubmission.”

        I am taking this as a very optimistic sign about my chances of getting funded on the second round. Crossing my fingers …

      • writedit said

        So sorry to hear they could not pick up your F32 now, but you can absolutely be optimistic about the resubmission. Your great PO could also give good advice on your revised application and strategy for responding to the critiques, so be sure to take advantage of their interest and support.

    • Maggie said

      I just received my F32 scores from NIDDK which is 26 on 19th February on my first time submission. I saw a comment about a score released on 5th Febraury.
      Do NIDDK release scores as and when they are uploaded by the reviewers or they release after the study section meeting?

      Also, I went ahead and emailed my PO whether this score could be fundable. She replied that in a month she will have more information and that my grant was in the top 50% of the grants that were discussed on 18th and 19th February from which grants will be selected for funding.

      Since NIDDK donot display clearly the F32 percentile cutoff, it is difficult to infer anything. Any idea of FY2015 paylines for F32 specifically?

      I am new to all of this, so trying to wrap my head around all the information.
      Thank you for the awesome blog.

      • writedit said

        Fellowships are reviewed in CSR study sections, not by NIDDK, so the date of scores depends on when the SRG meets (not on the IC). Your PO has told you all that can be known right now. Fellowships are selected based on scores and internal discussions, and you know yours is in the running. You might have a percentile assigned as well shortly, which could give you a better idea where you rank.

      • maggie said

        Thank you for your help. You have an amazing resource here for all of us who anxiously wait to be funded.
        I had applied for F32 in December 2014 for NIDDK. On 4th April, I had received an email from them asking for JIT information. They mentioned that my proposal was being selected for funding. I had requested for 1st July starting date but I have not received the NOA yet. The last update on era website was on 1st April which says: Pending administrative review. I talked with the grants office at my institution and they mentioned to not email them till next week. Also, the program office at NIDDK just retired. Since I have not revived the official NOA, I am not sure if I am getting the funding or not.

        Is it common to not get any communications from them till the last minute? Any help will be grateful! thank you in advance.

      • writedit said

        Yes, if you look at some of the timelines posted, you will see that some people go weeks to months between changes in status, including long periods of Pending or Pending administrative review. With your PO retiring, the award processing will take longer, so you shouldn’t worry (this is why your university grants office is saying you can chill). Also, the NIH had some downtime due to software upgrades that they are catching up from. I assume your PO introduced you to your new PO. If not, you should ask. And don’t worry about the start date – that is a best-case scenario, not an expiration date. Awards can be made before or well after a requested start date, though hopefully yours won’t be too much later than July 1.

      • Paul said

        I don’t know how common it is, but I can say from my own experience it definitely happens. I hate to say it, but you may not hear anything until after your start date. It has happened to me a couple of times.

  227. NeedAnotherR01 said

    Hi, Writedit. Wondering about something else. What is the etiquette about contacting SROs after grant review and Summary Statement release? Are they ever allowed to comment on tenor of discussion in the IRG meeting the way a PO does? Are there NO-NOs about what can be discussed with them about specific applications after, say, an A0 review in re: what to do in resubmission?

    • writedit said

      The SRO can comment on whether your application is appropriate for the study section (and whether you should resubmit there, if that is your concern) but won’t give advice on how to modify your science to be more appealing to the reviewers – mainly because you need to be sure the science meets the needs of the intended IC. The PO’s advice includes both what he/she heard at study section and what he/she hears from senior program officials in terms of IC priorities (taken into consideration for select pay decisions). The POs go to as many SRG meetings as possible, so they are as familiar with the reviewers as the SROs … and with so many ad hoc reviewers on study sections now, it is hard for either the SRO or the PO to predict what reviewers on a future panel might be looking for.

  228. Jessi Brown said

    Is there a notion that FY2015 will be any better in terms of payline, i mean more generous?

    • writedit said

      Probably not. The money is the same, and the number of applications is up (with unlimited submission policy), so they should be about the same, though they might go a point or so in either direction at individual ICs.

  229. Beingpatient said

    Did anyone get an eRA status of “pending administrative review” before NIMH council meeting? Any news from the 2/6 meeting?

    • writedit said

      This happens because your application was approved electronically in advance of the Council meeting – applications within the payline with no international collaborators or other special exceptions are sent out for approval en bloc before the meeting so GMOs can start working on processing.