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 Those ICs that traditionally do not publish payline or percentile guidance are indicated by “no payline data available” (& none probably ever will be).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: 5 July 2018

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

NCI: FY18: 9th percentile for R01s (14th 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: FY18 final paylines: 13th/17th percentile for established/new-ESI PIs for R01 and impact score of 32 for R21 & R03; impact score of 22 for R15, 28 for R41/R42, 33 for R43/R44; 18 for Ks except K99; 17 for T32/T35; 20 for F30, 19 for F31, 20 for F32 (except K99)

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

NHLBI: FY17 : 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, 29 for R43; Zone of Consideration impact scores of 10-33 for R21, P01, T32, T35, & R44; 10-40 for 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: 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: FY17: 12th percentile for established and new investigators (7th percentile for annual DC of $500K or more), 12th/17th percentile for new/ESI applicants, 15th percentile for first renewal of ESI R01s
NIDDK cleared concepts (click on most recent Council minutes)
NIDDK program contacts

NINDS: FY18: up to the 15th percentile for research project grants, case-by-case up to the 25th percentile for ESI
NINDS cleared concepts
(click on most recent Council minutes)
NINDS program contacts

NIMH: FY18: about three-quarters of the applications under the 20th percentile, many ESI/NI applications up to the 25th percentile
NIMH cleared concepts
NIMH program contacts

NICHD: FY17: no payline for R01, R03, R21, or R13/U13; impact score of 26 for R15, 36 for R41/R42 (30 for NCMRR), 26 for R43/R44, 29 for F30, 19 for Ks (30 for K99), 24 for T32, 20 for T35; 23rd percentile for F31 parent applications, 30th for F31 diversity & F32; 3rd percentile for P01;

NICHD cleared concepts
NICHD program contacts

NIA: FY17: up to 15th (28th AD) percentile for RPGs below $500K, with new investigator applications considered up to the 18th (31st AD) percentile and ESI to the 25th (33rd AD) percentile; R01s above $500K at the 12th (25th AD)percentile, with new investigator applications considered up to the 15th (28th AD) percentile and ESI up to the 22nd (30th AD) percentile; priority score of 22 for Ks (36 AD), 26 for Fs (40 AD), 22 for Ts (27 AD)

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

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

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

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

NCATS: Fiscal policy but no paylines

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

NIAMS: FY18: 13th/22nd percentile for established/new PI R01, 13th percentile for R21, 15th percentile for R15, 12th percentile for F30 (FY17), 19th percentile for F31/F32/F33; priority score of 22 for R03, 29 for K01/K08/K25, 20 for K99, 23 for K23/K24, 24/21 for SBIR/STTR (FY17), 15 for T32

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

NHGRI: 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: 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: Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIDCD cleared concepts
NIDCD program contacts

NIDCR: Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIDCR cleared concepts
NIDCR program contacts

NLM: FY17: 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, applications with scores of 33 or better will be considered for funding. For career transition awards and fellowships, applications with Impacts scores of 30 or better will be considered for funding.
NLM cleared concepts
NLM program contacts

NIBIB: No updated paylines (multiple special programs & areas of consideration)

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

NIMHD: Fiscal policy but no paylines

NINR: No updated paylines
NINR program contacts

NCCIH: Fiscal policy but no payline data
NCCAM cleared concepts
NCCIH program contacts

FIC: 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. AX said

    What’s the normal window for scores to be posted to era commons after the study section meeting is concluded? I have an R01 proposal reviewed at a one-day study section last Tuesday, and the score still hasn’t been posted as of now (Monday afternoon). I’m starting to get concerned and wonder when is the appropriate time to contact the SRO to check on the situation.

    • writedit said

      The scores are usually up within a week, but if the SRO got sick or had another commitment for the rest of the week, a delay would not be surprising. If you have not heard by COB on Tuesday, you can ask your PO or the SRO when scores might be available.

      • AX said

        Thank you for your reply. I received the score on this R01 grant on Tuesday (impact score 28, percentile 13%), and the summary statement was posted today. 13% should be a pretty good score for the competitive renewal of a previous ESI R01 at NIGMS. However, the summary statement is quite unusual. Reviewer 1 and 2 were extremely positive with scores in the 1-2 range, while reviewer 3 was quite negative with two criterion scores at 4 and 6. The summary of discussion only noted some minor concerns, so apparently reviewer 3 didn’t sway the whole panel. I am going to speak to the PO next week and wonder if I should say something about the negative comments from reviewer 3. Would a negative reviewer make the 13% score a “weaker” 13% as compared to a situation where all three reviewers are positive?

      • writedit said

        I think you will be fine in terms of receiving an award, so you probably shouldn’t need to prepare a rebuttal, but you can still ask your PO how the discussion went. It could be the scoring range was 2-4 (vs 1-4). There doesn’t need to be a major problem with the science, but if there is only so-so enthusiasm, then reviewers are more likely to go with scores of 2 or 3. Also, some SROs are more careful about ensuring reviewers spread scores. Your PO would be able to advise you whether any of the discussion is something you should consider in planning/conducting your science.

      • AX said

        Thank you, writedit. My PO told me to be “cautiously optimistic”, which is very encouraging.

        I was reading the funding trend for NIGMS competing R01 application in FY2015 (; Figure 4), and was surprised to notice that quite a few grants scored in single digit percentile (as low as 1%!) went unfunded. Any idea about what happened to those applications? Were they A1 applications of grayzone A0 applications, and when A0 got funded eventually, the A1 was withdrawn administratively and therefore counted as “unfunded”?

      • writedit said

        More likely well-funded PIs (NIGMS has a cap on the amount of funding a PI can receive) or overlapping funding.

  2. ImmanK said

    I have an R01 that scored a 25 at the NHLBI CLTR (clinical trials review). These are not percentiled. What can I expect and what is the best course of action for this very good (but not perfect) score?

    • writedit said

      Unfortunately, nothing will be known until next year, depending on when the federal budget passes and the ICs know their appropriations. When you receive your summary statement, ask your PO if you should sit tight or resubmit as insurance – and if the latter, what advice from the discussion could he/she share that would guide your revisions.

      • ImmanK said

        Hello: I have a follow up on this R01 (reviewed by NHLBI CLTR)- score 25, no percentile. Summary statement was positive. Council met on Feb 7th and I wrote the PO asking if my proposal was slotted for funding, or if I should resubmit to NIMHD for June. I also asked if resubmitting to NIMHD in June would hurt my chance of NHLBI funding anytime during the fiscal year. The proposed start date is April 1, 2017.
        PO replied: “Dear XX, The Council’s recommendations are now being considered by the Institute Director and his final say determines the grants that will receive funding. This can take several weeks to complete. Let’s touch base in 6 weeks if you haven’t heard anything. In any case you still have some time between now and June. If your grant is selected for funding by NHLBI anytime during the fiscal year and it is the same grant, then you will have to withdraw it from NIMHD.”
        I still have no idea whether or not my proposal is even being considered. Would you follow-up with PO or just wait it out. Thank you.

      • writedit said

        I’d say your PO is more positive than negative about your application but truly does not know – mainly, I think, because the NIH (including NHLBI) is not sure what will happen to its budget. Six weeks will give time both for the NHLBI Director to review the entire paylist and set priorities (ie, rank order of the applications recommended for funding), which will allow your PO to see where you are on the list, and for Congress to put together a draft FY17 budget, which will allow the NIH/NHLBI to see where they stand with regard to an appropriation. I do not expect a significant cut, and but NHLBI cannot make commitments to awards without having a clearer idea of how the new Administration views taxpayer funding of biomedical research.

        With regard to your submission to the NIMHD, your PO is saying go ahead and plan, but don’t put fingers to keyboard until April at least (which would still give you time for June submission). Worst case, NHLBI is still uncertain, you submit to NIMHD in June, receive award from NHLBI in August, and withdraw the NIMHD application.

        If you haven’t heard from the PO by late March, then you should check in for an update.

      • ImmanK said

        I just noticed that my application status went to Pending today. Is that good news?

      • writedit said

        Yes! The processing of your application may still take a while, but your application is being reviewed (especially regulatory aspects, since I assume this is a clinical trial, & budget) and processed for an award. I am pleasantly surprised to see so many awards going through under the CR, especially with so much budget uncertainty ahead. I won’t say congratulations yet, because nothing is final until you have the NoA, but it is very good news.

  3. A said

    Thanks, I will update you when I get more info from PO. Thanks for keeping this blog up and running.

  4. luyongke said

    Hi Writedit, I changed institution and submitted an application to NIH for the grant transfer. One month passed but the status is still “Application entered the system”. There is not any contact for Administration. I emailed my PO but did not receive any response. Do you have any idea what I should do now? Thank you in advance.

    • writedit said

      If this is for a funded application, you can contact your GMS. You should also try calling your PO. If you still get no response after that, then you should check with the chief or director of the branch or division where your PO works and let them know you need assistance. Now, if this is for an unfunded application under review, then you don’t need to do anything in a rush, since no awards will be made any time soon, and you can submit the change as part of JIT (if not sooner), if you are considered for funding. The award would be made to your new (current) institution with no involvement of your old institution (and no need to request transfer).

      • luyongke said

        Hi Writedit, thank you very much for the detailed response. This is a funded R01 grant. The previous institution submitted a relinquish letter to NIH and then I submitted an application on September 30. Tomorrow, I will try to contact GMS first.

      • writedit said

        Sounds good – you should certainly seek a response from someone. It seems odd that you have not heard from the PO in a month, so he/she could be on leave or have something else going on that has delayed their working on this transfer. If need be, the GMS should be able to suggest an alternative contact in the Division/Branch, too (if higher level authorization is needed and is not yet in the works).

    • luyongke said

      Hi Writedit,

      I contacted the GMS and she replied at once. She received the application for grant transfer and is reviewing. I am relieved.

      Thank you very much for the suggestion.

  5. OhioT said


    Would you recommend contesting study section assignment to CSR shortly after it’s posted on eCommon?


    • writedit said

      Yes – this is the only time you can ask to change your review group assignment. If you requested a specific study section in your cover letter, you should first contact that SRO to find out why your application did not go there. The SRO may have thought a different group was more appropriate, especially if he/she was already overloaded with applications. If you did not request a specific study section, then you should contact the SRO of your preferred study section to ask if your application can be moved there. CSR makes the final call, but you first want to check with the SRO to see if they are willing to accept your application (something you can also do in advance of submission – and then note in your cover letter, so there is no question with the CSR referral officer).

      • OhioT said

        Thanks Writedit!

      • Logiclane said

        Hi Writedit,

        I just found out that my K99 A1 has been assigned to the wrong SRG. Since this is an A1 with the same topic and approach, I do not know how it was assigned to CHHD-M from the original one CHHD-C. I also specifically requested CHHD-C in the PHS Assignment Request Form. Who should I contact at the moment? I am kinda freaking out since this is my A1 and the last chance for K99 application…

      • writedit said

        There might be a reason invisible to you that your application was not assigned to your selected SRG, such as a shift in membership that made it less appropriate, an excess of applications, etc. These changes are not made lightly and do involve internal discussion, but you can email (together) the SROs of these two SRGs and ask why your application was not assigned to CHHD-C and whether it can be moved, particularly since this is an amended application previously reviewed in CHHD-C.

      • Logiclane said

        Thanks a lot writedit! Just wondering the worst case scenario if my A1 ended up with the another study section which doesn’t seem to have the appropriate expertise, my application is unlikely to get scored?

  6. Richard said

    Hi Writedit,

    If a project PI of a P50 center grant moves to another institution, can he transfer his project to the new institution? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      This is a discussion among the overall PI, the project PI, and the PO. If everyone who does the science for that project is moving, then yes, the project moves with them. If the project can continue at the original institution (ie, just the project PI is moving, with other key personnel at the P50 institution), then either the PI is kept on for salary as a consultant but the work stays at the P50 institution, or the project moves, if the project PI has an outstanding environment and expertise to conduct the project there. It depends on what is best for the science, and the NIH must approve what ultimately happens, but there is no automatic rule saying the project must move or must stay.

      • Richard said


        Thank you for your advice. Yes, everyone who does the science for the project is moving and nobody in this center has the expertise to conduct the project there if the PI and his lab move. However, I was told that the overall PI can request that this project is replaced with a new project with new PI and keep the money in his institution. Is it true or not?

      • writedit said

        I cannot say categorically this is not possible, but it would definitely require NIH approval (due to the amount of money involved), and it should involve the approval of the P50 advisory committee or whatever oversight body was written into the application as deciding when to end existing projects or start new ones. At least, all the P50s I have worked on have had a formal mechanism for reviewing major changes like this to the Center. The NIH needs to consider that the peer review of scientific merit and hence the approved budget is based on what was submitted – otherwise, any PI could get a P50 and replace projects with ones more to his/her liking. Here at BICO, we have had SPORE (P50) PIs leave and only take a small piece of the Center related to their work, with the rest left at BICO, and we have had project PIs leave and take their project – and often the SPORE renewal continues the collaboration across institutions (depending on the science, outcomes, & PI preferences). It depends in part on where you are in the project and the P50 (e.g., if toward the end, there might be plans to sunset the project and then propose the new replacement project in the renewal).

      • Richard said

        This five-year grant starts this year. The following statement was found in the grant application. “If a project PI leaves, a co-investigator can be named as project PI or, if there is sufficient time remaining in the grant period, a new project can be selected by the steering committee, with the approval of NIH”.

      • writedit said

        Then you (or PI) need to make the case for keeping the project at a new institution with the Steering Committee (I assume project PIs are all SC members). Anything in the summary statement that specifically supports why this project is integral to the Center would be important to highlight. Be aware that the NIH won’t take sides (ie, they won’t tell the P50 PI that he/she needs to keep your project, so you can’t appeal there – especially with this governance statement in the application approved for funding). If the Steering Committee votes to replace the project, you (or the PI, if not you) might want to talk with the PO about whether they would support your project as a stand-alone R01. You would still need to apply, but it would be nice to know if the IC wants to see your science continued outside the Center dynamics.

      • Richard said

        Thank you for your insightful suggestions. Have a great weekend, writedit!

  7. NewPI said

    My AD grant was reviewed at end of Oct (in response to PAR) and scored 14%. I just received email request for JIT materials. Does this mean they will try to push through quickly?

    • writedit said

      Not necessarily – many months can go by between JIT requests and actual award processing. You can ask your PO if there is any chance NIA will make some awards during the CR, though.

  8. agomez1008 said

    Hi writedit
    When you get impact scores and summary statements- but no percentile information, is that an indication of reduced funding chance? In other words are applications receiving a percentile info more likely to be funded than those receiving just a score?

    • writedit said

      Not at all. Not all R01s (or any other activity code) receive a percentile. It just means you were reviewed in a study section that does not meet regularly (SEP or other specialized panel), that your study section does not regularly review enough applications with your activity code to calculate percentiles (e.g., many R21s), or that your activity code does not receive a percentile (e.g., R03). In your case, a funding decision will be based on your Impact score plus programmatic review (priorities, summary statement, related competitive applications, etc.).

      • agomez1008 said

        Hi writedit
        I’ve been waiting for an R01 funding decision since o7-16, when I was given an impact score of 20- NIDDK. Since then the PO contacted me about a moth ago to request a cut in my budget and time of project from 5 to 3 years , which I did. However I do not know what to expect now or how long more is it going to take to have a decision in light of imminent gov shutdown. I’ve been checking my era commons account and its stil says “council review completed” and it has been like that since 09-16. Not sure if the lack of new status means a negative decision (?) any insights are appreciated

      • writedit said

        If you negotiated the reduction in time and budget, then you just need to wait for NIDDK to process the award. The current federal budget situation will just determine if the NIH needs to shut down temporarily, which will cause more delay but will not affect whether you will receive an award. Your shortened and reduced budget reflects NIDDK’s concern that future appropriations could be significantly cut (but this will not be known until later this year or next). I assume you submitted your JIT material – if not, you could ask your PO or GMS when this should be sent.

  9. agomez1008 said

    Thanks writedit!

  10. ztec said

    I recently received an impact score of 20, but a 17th percentile on my F31 resubmission. I emailed my PO at NIGMS, who said I was unlikely to get funded, and the NIGMS F31 payline is likely in the single digit percentiles this year. Obviously I’m incredibly disappointed since as far as I can tell, an impact score of 20 is really good, and there were no major weaknesses in my proposal according to my summary statement (reviewers specifically state their concerns were all minor points). My question now is, NIDDK is currently listed as my secondary assignment, and was actually my requested primary assignment for my resubmission (this was turned down, and sent back to GMS, I assume because it’s a resubmission and some policy dictates this). I’m confident that scientifically my application fits much better within NIDDK than NIGMS at this point, and I also feel that I may have at least a shot at getting funded through NIDDK. I’m calling my PO at NIGMS next week, should I raise these points in hopes of getting a transfer to NIDDK?

    • sissypants said

      ztec, I’m in a similar situation as you. My F31 submitted to NIGMS scored 18th percentile (24 impact score) on initial submission and I was told the payline was also likely in the single digits. I resubmitted to NCI and am about to find out how I fared. I also had NO weaknesses apart from vague comments and one specific comment that I cannot address regarding environment. Overall my peers could not understand why this application was not funded.

      I don’t think you’ll get a transfer.

  11. writedit said

    If you know the PO at NIDDK, you should communicate with him/her about your situation and whether they would be interested in picking up your application. If so, you would indeed talk with the NIGMS PO about the transfer, which should not be a problem. Hopefully NIDDK will be interested in your science and your score.

  12. COI said

    Hi Writedit

    this is in followup to an question I had raised a few months ago regarding potential reviewer conflict of interest in my assigned study section for an NCI R21. I was worried that one of the potential reviewer will not be favorable and wanted them removed.

    Your advice was not to do anything about it since the reviewers were already assigned.

    Given I was almost sure that my grant would be reviewed by the person I thought was unfavorable, I did not expect to get a score.

    Guess what? I got 10th percentile on the grant !!

    Thank you for your seasoned and mature advice! Maybe that reviewer was not assigned, or maybe didn’t turn out to be the nasty person I expected them to be. In either case, this experience validates your advice to others here as well…to not prejudge who might kill a grant.

    One again, I appreciate your help.

    If I may continue my advice seeking, any idea of the chances for a NCI R21 at 10%? From the NIH stats it appears that 50% of the R21 applications at 10th percentile were funded in 2015. In any case I am preparing for a long wait.

    Thank you again for your service to the community!

  13. COIquestion said

    Hi Writedit

    this is in followup to an question I had raised a few months ago (its in the thread above under my username ‘COIquestion’) regarding a potential reviewer conflict of interest in my assigned study section for an NCI R21. I was worried that one of the potential reviewer will not be favorable and wanted them removed.

    Your advice was not to do anything about it since the reviewers were already assigned.

    Given I was almost sure that my grant would be reviewed by the person I thought was unfavorable, I did not expect to get a score.

    Guess what? I got 10th percentile on the grant !!

    Thank you for your seasoned and mature advice! Maybe that reviewer was not assigned, or maybe didn’t turn out to be the nasty person I expected them to be. In either case, this experience validates your advice to others here as well…to not prejudge who might kill a grant.

    One again, I appreciate your help.

    If I may continue my advice seeking, any idea of the chances for a NCI R21 at 10%? From the NIH stats it appears that 50% of the R21 applications at 10th percentile were funded in 2015. In any case I am preparing for a long wait.

    Thank you again for your service to the community!

    • writedit said

      Woohoo! I have had POs & SROs tell me that PIs are convinced a competitor trashed their application when in fact that person was their biggest proponent (don’t forget that direct competitors have a vested interest in promoting the significance of the science), though it is just as likely your reviewer of concern was not assigned (but still did not try to sway the discussion against you).

      Now, with regard to the 10th percentile, you’ll need to talk with your PO to be sure there is plenty of programmatic interest on his/her end. The GOP Congress will not cut NCI’s budget, and will hopefully still find $ for the cancer moonshot (interest is there, budget negotiations lie ahead), but the R21 hard payline will probably stay in the 7-9th percentile range unless their is a huge boost in the NCI appropriation. Your PO will have no clue about this until next spring, but in the meantime, you can ask if you should resubmit (for insurance – PO’s response should help you gauge the level of interest as well) and whether there are any responses to the review or anything else that you can provide before Council meets (& when federal budget is passed) that would help make your case for an award (e.g., a publication or an abstract for presentation – though I realize this is an R21 rather than an R01).

      • COIquestion said

        Wonderful.I will contact the PO once the summary is released.

        Thank you again!

  14. CD0 said

    Well, 2017 could be different, but I got an R21 (A1, assigned to NCI) scored at percentile 8 in 2016 and I did not get it.

    • writedit said

      Yes, last year, the hard payline was the 7th percentile for R21s (was 9th percentile the year prior). Everything above the hard payline up to the 15th-ish percentile is paid according to programmatic priority, not score. Very sorry yours was skipped.

    • laghs said

      For FY 2016, NCI stayed with the hard payline at the 7th percentile. According to my PO, they didn’t pay any R21 above the hard payline. I was unfortunately in the same situation as yours.

  15. GM said

    Hi Writedit,
    I received an impact score of 20 and percentile of 8 on my first RO1 around Oct 10th 2016. I am still eligible for ESI. My application was assigned to NIAID and the era commons state says pending council review (30/1/2017). Just wondering when can I expect the JIT request (email)- before or after the council review?

    • writedit said

      Right around the Council meeting, though usually after. I am not sure how many awards NIAID will make during the CR, so you still might be waiting beyond April 1 for an award, depending on if-when the federal budget passes.

  16. hdacs said

    Hi writedit, Thank you for maintaining such an awesome site! I have a question regarding my R15. It was submitted to NIGMS and scored 27 (council meeting will be in January). Summary statement showed that the panel was really enthusiastic about my proposal. I contacted my PO about the next steps, his reply was pretty generic: “there are many variables associated with the funding process so it is impossible to provide anything specific.” He sent me a few links about NIGMS Advisory Council, Advisory Council process and Funding decision process. At the end of his email, he reminded me to submit JIT (I got an automated email a while ago but did not act on it) and list funding amounts in direct costs to my lab per year. Isn’t JIT requested after council meeting by GMS? Is it just another generic note or is he trying to tell me something? I felt like I am reading too much between the lines. What is your take on this? Any suggestion or comment will be highly appreciated!

    • writedit said

      JIT can be requested before or after Council, but if your PO told you to submit it, then you should do so – and you can take it as a positive sign though by no means a guarantee. However, no one has any idea what will happen to the NIH appropriation until the federal budget is hammered out next spring, so my guess is that all ICs will be very conservative until they have their FY17 appropriation in hand. You can ask your PO if you should submit an A1 in the meantime as insurance (nothing will be known before the Feb-March deadlines – and the resubmission can be withdrawn if the budget is passed sooner). His response to that question will help you gauge your chances – but even if he says yes, submit an A1, that is not necessarily negative (just realistic, given all the unknowns in the year ahead).

      • hdacs said

        Hi writedit, thank you so much for the comments and suggestions. I will be submitting JIT soon. Thanks!

  17. R15NEW said

    Can any one give some idea what would be or what is AREA or R15 grant FY17 funding strategy? I have a priority score of 23.

    • R15NEW said

      Can any one give some idea what would be or what is NCI AREA or R15 grant FY17 funding strategy? I have a priority score of 23.

    • WPR said

      The NCI interim payline for R15 is now 20 while they are funded under the Continuing Resolution. If a FY17 budget is passed, it will return to 25.

      • R15NEW said

        Thanks. it gives me some hope still!!!!
        What is interim pay line? How long it will be?
        Usually when FY17 budget is passed, I am curious because I am new to this system.
        If this is true i will be very happy. I learn for the last 5 years Pay line fro R15 is priority score 25.

      • writedit said

        The interim payline lasts until the federal budget is passed and the NIH receives its appropriation. Right now, it looks like the earliest anything might happen would be next March or April. In the meantime, you can ask your PO if you should plan to resubmit (for insurance), but I suspect he/she will say you do not need to. It will be a long wait (though at least a hopeful one), and your PO will have no information about the final payline until after the President signs the federal budget act next year.

  18. Jerry said

    For NINDS, the payline was 12th percentile. It is too bad, not sure if it will be up.

  19. Shawn said

    Hi writedit,

    Thank you very much for this wonderful blog. I have a question about my NCI K99/R00 application that was submitted this June and received a score of 28. I contacted my PO who has been very helpful and told me that he is cautiously optimistic. When I asked him if I need to prepare a resubmission for insurance, he wants me to just wait. Should I be hopeful at this point? My PO hopes that they will have more news within the next 2 weeks. However, I just noticed that NIH will run under a second continuing resolution till the end of April. Does that mean that I will have an even longer wait before I have more update? I am trying to figure out what should be my best solution now.
    Thank you!

    • writedit said

      Your PO is telling you that you should receive an award, barring some unusual, unpredictable turn of events. He would never tell you not to resubmit if he thought there was a chance you might not be funded, so you can be confident that you will be in line for an award. However, the timing of this award could be considerably delayed due to the election and the decision to put off the budget until the new administration and Congress are in place. There is nothing you (or your PO) can do about this, unfortunately.

      • Shawn said

        Thank you so much, Writedit, for the valuable information! I just received a Just-In-Time request from my PO last week and I just started working with our own institute on IACUC amendment to include my proposed research into our current IACUC protocol. This is taking longer than I expected because of the holiday season, so I am afraid now that I may miss the Just-In-Time submission deadline that my PO requested, which is right after the new year. Do you think a delayed submission of JIT will significantly influence my potential award?

      • writedit said

        You can ask your PO, but I think you should be fine with the delay, since I doubt NCI will be able to process the award under the Continuing Resolution (though maybe). However, you don’t need to worry that a delay would keep you from receiving an award (this is only an issue at the end of an FY, when the clock is running out). Just let your PO know what is going on, so he can plan accordingly. His knowing that you only need an amendment (vs approval of a new protocol) might even be helpful if he has an internal meeting to discuss your application.

    • Shawn said

      Writeidt, can I ask you another question? After submission of JIT, my GO told me that my K99 application was being administratively reviewed and they proposed a start date, which is tomorrow 2/15. Nothing has changed on my eRA since then, so I just checked with him about the status but was told that they have to wait for board approval tomorrow. What does this mean? Should I be worried?

      • writedit said

        No need to be worried. Your PO is talking about the NCAB meeting on Feb 15, which is when the NCI proposed pay list (not guaranteed awards, but applications NCI would like to consider funding) will be approved by the Board. This is a required formality, but your award will not be instantaneous afterward, so don’t be surprised if there are more delays. I’m surprised they proposed a start date, but this is not an expiration date and does not affect your chance of receiving an award.

      • Shawn said

        Thank you, writedit! I just received the NOA today and would like to thank you for answering my questions and providing such a wonderful blog!

      • writedit said

        Woohoo! Glad they turned the NoA around so quickly, especially during a CR. Best wishes for success with your project and career in academic research!

        Sent from Pluto >

      • fish_fish said

        Hi, Shawn,
        Would you please tell me the payline (priority score) of NCI K99 in 2016 if it is at your convenience? Thanks!

  20. Sean said

    Hi Writedit,
    The first NCE of my K01 ends in February, but i have money left due to a couple other grants funded during the past 3 years. What is the process for submitting a 2nd NCE? Is there any general information? I’m not getting much help from my department on this issue. I’ve also attempted to contact the PO, but no luck.
    thanks so much

    • writedit said

      You need permission from your PO. You can contact your GMS in the meantime to see what forms and information are needed to proceed with the request. I don’t keep up with the grant administration procedures, but I know this is possible (just not automatic as with the first NCE).

  21. NCI Newbie said


    Will a GMS contact you inquiring into the exact start date of an F32 fellowship before issuing an NoA or does the GMS automatically assign a start date that can be extended up to 6 months if only requested afterwards?


    • writedit said

      I believe this is negotiated with you/your institution, but you can ask your GMS, PO, and/or university grants manager for clarification.

      • NCI Newbie said


        Thank you for the information. As a follow-up, is it appropriate to initiate contact with the newly assigned GMS to ask questions after the PO has officially recommended the F32 for funding and vetted the application to the Grants Administration Office?


        NCI Newbie

      • writedit said

        Yes, you can contact your GMS. He or she might refer your question to the PO if appropriate, but they are all there to help you.

  22. First F31 Submission said

    Hi Writedit,
    What is entailed with the “administrative review” process and how long does it typically take to complete for an F31 award?
    Thank you.

    • writedit said

      It depends on what your project entails, but mainly reviewing budgets (& confirming sponsor has funding), vertebrate animal and human subjects protection, reported predoc data, n’at … each IC has their own checklist of items. The review itself shouldn’t take too long, but depending on how your IC handles fellowships, your award may be delayed until Congress passes and the President signs a federal budget, which won’t happen until next April at best.

  23. unflappable said

    writedit: This site and your book were ESSENTIAL pieces to my scientific development.

    ALL: Thank YOU all for your brave comments, questions, and community mentoring. I hope my timeline helps integrate some commons patterns seen on this site.

    The K23 A0/A1/A0 and R01 A0/A1 timelines span >4 years and two presidential elections. The timelines are listed below in reverse chronological order. The below excludes non-NIH grants. Yes, direct institute communication supersedes all other information. Yes, eRA Commons provides new information without e-mail notification. Yes, there are electronic delays and data-loss via era-notify auto e-mails.

    Here’s the time devoted to the R01 grant phases,
    • A0, Aims (12 weeks = 3 months)
    • Reading this site & all of Google on NIH grants, >3x (6 weeks)
    • A0, Budget (1 week)
    • A0, Entire Grant (1 week = 7 days)
    • A1, Response to A0 Summary Statement (3 weeks)
    • A1, Entire Revision (1 month)
    • N/A, ‘Response’ to A1 Summary Statement (1 week)
    • Refreshing eRA Commons incessantly (1 week)
    • Writing This (1 day)

    R01 A1 Thread, Reverse Chronological
    12/27/2016 Application awarded (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    12/21/2016 Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    12/17/2016 Snap Indicator Code noted to be Y (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    12/16/2016 Budget information received (Source: Grants Management Specialist, A1)
    12/15/2016 Budget information submitted (Source: Institutional Signing Official, A1)
    12/14/2016 Request for additional budget information (Source: Grants Management Specialist, A1)
    11/21/2016 Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    11/21/2016 Comment: “it is official” (Source: Program Officer, A1)
    11/08/2016 58th United States Presidential Election
    10/04/2016 Comment: “sit tight” (Source: Program Officer, A1)
    09/30/2016 Offered 2017 A0 (re-)submission if 2015 A0 & 2016 A1 are fails (Source: Newbie Myself, A1)
    09/19/2016 Council review completed (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    09/15/2016 Council Meeting Date (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    09/12/2016 JIT submission received (Source: Grants Management Specialist, A1)
    09/09/2016 JIT submitted (Source: Institutional Signing Official, A1)
    08/29/2016 Comment: “actively considering” (Source: Program Officer, A1)
    08/19/2016 Offered PO an unsolicited ‘response’ to summary statement (Source: Newbie Myself, A1)
    08/18/2016 JIT request (Source: Program Officer, A1)
    06/30/2016 Request for JIT Information (Source: era-notify, A1)
    06/29/2016 Auto e-mail: Summary Statement Available (Source: era-notify, A1)
    06/27/2016 Summary Statement e-accessible (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    06/17/2016 Auto e-mail: Review Results available (Source: era-notify, A1)
    06/16/2016 Percentile: 14%, Impact: 32; Review Results accessible (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    06/16/2016 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    06/16/2016 Scientific Review Group review date (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    05/20/2016 Comment: “wise strategy” (Source: Program Officer, A1)
    05/11/2016 Additions for Review, Accepted Publication (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    05/11/2016 Post-Submission materials received, Accepted Publication (Source: Scientific Review Officer, A1)
    05/10/2016 Post-Submission materials submitted, Accepted Publication (Source: Institutional Signing Official, A1)
    04/22/2016 Auto e-mail: Application assigned to Study Section, SAT (Source: era-notify, A1)
    04/20/2016 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    04/15/2016 Institute Assignment, NIGMS (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    04/13/2016 Auto e-mail: verified electronic application (Source: era-notify, A1)
    04/11/2016 Institute Assignment, NIGMS (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    04/11/2016 Auto e-mail: NIH has received the electronic grant application (Source: era-notify, A1)
    04/11/2016 Application entered into system, Proposal Receipt Date; Project Period Begin Date: 09/01/2016, Council Meeting Date (YYYY/MM): 2016/10 (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    03/16/2016 Pitched Resubmission Response to PO (Source: Newbie Myself, A1)

    R01 A0 Thread, Reverse Chronological
    12/27/2016 Application withdrawn: previous application funded (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    08/29/2016 Comment: “still active” (Source: Program Officer, A0)
    05/25/2016 Council review completed (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    05/20/2016 Comment: “will be considered” (Source: Program Officer, A0)
    05/19/2016 Council Meeting Date (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    04/08/2016 Auto e-mail: JIT submission received (Source: era-notify, A0)
    04/08/2016 JIT submitted (Source: Institutional Signing Official, A0)
    03/16/2016 JIT request (Source: Program Officer, A0)
    02/25/2016 Auto e-mail: Summary Statement Available (Source: era-notify, A0)
    02/24/2016 Summary Statement e-accessible (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    02/22/2016 Comment: “good position” (Source: Program Officer, A0)
    02/11/2016 Percentile: 20%, Impact: 35; Review Results accessible (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    02/11/2016 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    02/10/2016 Scientific Review Group review date (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    12/31/2015 Additions for Review, Accepted Publication (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    12/31/2015 Post-Submission materials, Accepted Publication received (Source: Scientific Review Officer, A0)
    12/30/2015 Post-Submission materials, Accepted Publication submitted (Source: Institutional Signing Official, A0)
    10/22/2015 Application assigned to Study Section, SAT (Source: era-notify, A0)
    10/21/2015 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    10/17/2015 Institute Assignment, NIGMS (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    10/08/2015 Auto e-mail: verified electronic application (Source: era-notify, A0)
    10/05/2015 Institute Assignment, NIGMS (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    10/05/2015 Application entered into system, Proposal Receipt Date; Project Period Begin Date: 07/01/2016, Council Meeting Date (YYYY/MM): 2016/05 (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    10/05/2015 Auto e-mail: NIH has received the electronic grant application (Source: era-notify, A0)
    08/21/2015 Institute accepts Pitch (Source: Program Officer, A0)
    08/05/2015 Pitched rough Aims to NIGMS Program Officer (Source: Newbie Myself, A0)

    K23 A0 Thread, Reverse Chronological
    11/01/2016 Application administratively withdrawn by funding agency (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    01/30/2015 Council review completed (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    01/29/2015 Council Meeting Date (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    12/04/2014 Discussed Next steps (Source: New Program Officer, A0)
    09/26/2014 Auto e-mail: Review Results Available (Source: era-notify, A0)
    09/23/2014 Program Officer will change (Source: Original Program Officer, A0)
    11/14/2014 Summary Statement e-accessible (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    09/24/2014 Percentile: Not provided, Impact: 61; Review Results accessible (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    09/24/2014 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    09/22/2014 Scientific Review Group review date (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    06/20/2014 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    06/17/2014 Institute Assignment, NINDS (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    06/12/2014 Institute Assignment, NINDS (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    06/12/2014 Application entered into system, Proposal Receipt Date; Project Period Begin Date: 04/01/2015, Council Meeting Date (YYYY/MM): 2015/01 (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    04/17/2014 NIH announced new Resubmission policy (Source: NIH)

    K23 A1 Thread, Reverse Chronological
    11/01/2015 Application administratively withdrawn by funding agency (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    04/28/2014 Review of Summary Statement (Source: Program Officer, A1)
    02/03/2014 Comment: “Not selected for funding” (Source: Program Officer, A1)
    02/03/2014 Requested Update from Program Officer (Source: Newbie Myself, A1)
    01/30/2014 Council review completed (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    10/28/2013 Comment: “very good score”, “fundable range” (Source: Program Officer & NINDS Office of Training, A1)
    10/28/2013 Requested Next Step from NINDS Office of Training (Source: Newbie Myself, A1)
    10/26/2013 Auto e-mail: Summary Statement Available (Source: era-notify, A1)
    09/26/2013 Requested Summary Statement from Scientific Review Officer (Source: Newbie Myself, A1)
    09/26/2013 Auto e-mail: Review Results Available (Source: era-notify, A1)
    09/25/2013 Percentile: Not provided, Impact: 29; Review Results accessible (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    09/25/2013 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    09/23/2013 Scientific Review Group review date (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    07/17/2013 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    07/17/2013 Institute Assignment, NINDS (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    07/12/2013 Institute Assignment, NINDS (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    07/12/2013 Application entered into system, Proposal Receipt Date; Project Period Begin Date: 04/01/2014, Council Meeting Date (YYYY/MM): 2014/01 (Source: eRA Commons, A1)
    05/16/2013 Pitched Resubmission to PO and Office of Training (Source: Newbie Myself, A1)

    K23 A0 Thread, Reverse Chronological
    07/01/2015 Application administratively withdrawn by funding agency (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    05/24/2013 Council review completed (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    04/17/2013 Discussed Summary Statement (Source: Scientific Review Officer, A0)
    04/02/2013 Auto e-mail: Summary Statement Available (Source: era-notify, A0)
    04/01/2013 Requested Summary Statement from Scientific Review Officer (Source: Newbie Myself, A0)
    03/15/2013 Requested Summary Statement from Scientific Review Officer (Source: Newbie Myself, A0)
    02/15/2013 Auto e-mail: Review Results Available (Source: era-notify, A0)
    02/11/2016 Percentile: Not provided, Impact: 49; Review Results accessible (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    02/14/2013 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    02/11/2013 Scientific Review Group review date (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    11/06/2012 57th United States Presidential Election
    10/16/2012 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    10/16/2012 Institute Assignment, NINDS (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    10/11/2012 Institute Assignment, NINDS (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    10/11/2012 Application entered into system, Proposal Receipt Date; Project Period Begin Date: 07/01/2013, Council Meeting Date (YYYY/MM): 2013/05 (Source: eRA Commons, A0)
    09/21/2012 Received advice on Aims (Source: Program Officer, A0)
    09/10/2012 Pitched rough Aims to NINDS Program Officer (Source: Newbie Myself, A0)
    08/31/2012 Go to NINDS (Source: NIGMS Program Officer, A0)
    08/31/2012 Pitched rough Aims to NINDS Office of Training & NIGMS Program Officer (Source: Newbie Myself, A0)

    • writedit said

      Wow. First, Woohoo and congratulations on the R01 award!!! Second, huge kudos for your perseverance – you clearly are unflappable. Third, thanks so much for sharing such an incredibly detailed, inspiring, and entertaining timeline – more help for others (on so many levels) than I could possibly provide. I am so glad you had supportive POs along the way and am happy that material here and in the book helped (getting ready to update the book, so all your input continues to be helpful). I am so glad you were funded during the CR, too. Best wishes for success with your research and your career in biomedical research – we need committed scientists like you, now more than ever.

    • trying said

      I know it has been a while since this was posted (although, what is ‘a while’ in the context of obtaining NIH funding?), but I still wanted to say: this timeline is amazing, encouraging and incredibly helpful! Thank you so much for sharing this. I hope the R01 is running smoothly.

      • writedit said

        I agree – and I have to assume based on the grit & commitment demonstrated in the timeline, that they are making great discoveries with that R01 funding. I should really pull this out as its own post.

  24. Oreo said

    Finally! This was for an NIAID SBIR. After an initial submission and subsequent revision in 2015 (both rejected), the following submission to a new study group did the magic. Impact Score was 21. JIT request was sent immediately after NIAID released interim paylines for 2017.

    Many thanks to all of you who maintain this wonderful blog! Happy new year to everyone!

    12/28/2016 Application awarded
    12/20/2016 Award prepared
    11/22/2016 Pending administrative review.
    07/18/2016 Council review completed.
    06/28/2016 Council review pending.
    04/15/2016 Scientific Review Group review pending.
    04/05/2016 Application entered into system

    • writedit said

      Woohoo! Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your timeline. Best wishes for success with your project!

  25. K01 hopeful said

    I received communication from my PO that he was “hopeful” to award my NIDDK K01 and would keep my informed over the coming weeks. That was back in the middle of December. I am wondering how much longer I will have to wait for an answer? Should I contact PO again? Is NIDDK still operating under a CR?


    • writedit said

      Yes, the NIH is still operating under a CR and will be until April (at least). Your PO will have no new information until after the new administration settles in and the ICs have a better idea of whether/how their appropriations might change. You could ask your PO if your award will need to wait until the federal budget is signed into law – in which case you will know to watch the news for a clue as to when an award might be forthcoming. Just be aware that the ICs won’t get their appropriations for at least a month after the President signs the budget bill into law (lots of sequential bureaucracy at Executive level, then HHS, then NIH, then IC before final appropriations are in place for spending).

  26. 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.

  27. R15NEW said

    Is there any updates in NCI funding FY17

  28. R15NEW said

    Is there any updates in NCI funding FY17 on R03 and R15?

    • writedit said

      NCI has not announced paylines for any activity codes and probably will not until the federal budget passes later this year. Hopefully this will happen by April, but perhaps not, based on recent events. I do not expect the NIH to take a hit to its appropriation, so NCI paylines will stay at least the same as last year and more likely better, given the $1.8 billion in support of the cancer moonshot in the 21st Century Cures Act that was signed into law last year. If your score is at or near 25 (NCI FY16 payline for R03 & R15), you should be fine. You can ask your PO if you should resubmit for insurance in the meantime, so you don’t miss too many submission cycles waiting for an answer (which could be delayed months).

  29. stillhopeful said

    I noticed NIAMS has now posted tough interim paylines for R01s and R21s (10th percentile for both, down from 13th percentile for FY16). Any thoughts as to whether these will be revised upwards with the budget?

    Thanks so much for this wonderful resource.

    • writedit said

      These paylines will be revised upward once (if) Congress passes a budget that the president can sign – hopefully by April, though who knows.

  30. AbouAlaiwi said

    I have an NHLBI R15 that was scored 26 and the payline for 2017 is 24. Any tips or comments as it will be reviewed at the council meeting next week.

    • writedit said

      The payline may go up later in the year, though perhaps not all the way to 26 (was 25 in FY16 but only 20 in FY15 & FY14). If you have not already done so, you can ask your PO if you should resubmit for insurance – and if you should provide any updates since or rebuttal from the review.

  31. LNS said

    I just received an 8th percentile on an R01 for NCI. I see above that no paylines are set yet so does that mean I won’t have any idea about funding likelihood until after a budget is passed? Many thanks,

    • writedit said

      You can check with your PO when you receive your summary statement – ask both about funding likelihood and, if your PO is noncommittal, whether you should resubmit; I expect you will be told just to sit tight. An 8th percentile score should be fine, since the NIH budget should not be any worse than last year (when NCI payline was 10th percentile), and in fact NCI should be in better shape given the $ they will get from the 21st Century Cures Act, but some competitively scored applications are skipped, so you can’t take anything for granted. The current CR lasts until April, which is about when your start date would have been, so hopefully any award won’t be delayed too much.

      • LNS said

        Thank you for this reply!

      • LNS said

        My PO said they are funding at the 9th percentile so I “should be good to go.” She said I can submit JIT. An award still won’t be made until after council meets in May, correct?

      • writedit said

        Correct – you will receive an award in line with your funding cycle … hopefully not delayed, assuming Congress passes a budget in April.

  32. Mimi said

    I have an R15 with NIAMS that is scored 25, 13 percentile. It is very likely to be above the NIAMS payline, and the PO has suggested me to submit it again. I’ve heard from several colleagues that if I resubmit, especially to a different institute (I would like to try NIAID), my original application will be administratively withdrawn. My PO, on the other hand, said that it would not be withdrawn. I am very confused and hope that you can clarify that for me. If the original proposal will not be withdrawn, I would like to submit it again later this month (Feb 25). I would appreciate your advice.

    • writedit said

      No, your application will not be withdrawn. Once you have your summary statement, you can resubmit the same science, and both applications remain under active consideration. If NIAMS funds your R15, you would then withdraw the NIAID R15. You can proceed with the NIAID or other R15 (including a resubmission to NIAMS) without worrying about your 13th percentile/25 application being withdrawn – it will remain eligible for an award.

  33. LL said

    Hi writedit,

    I just noticed that the interim 2017 payline for F32 Fellowship applications is the 17th percentile. I’m hoping there will be an award, but do you think it will come during the CR?

    • writedit said

      I think ICs are more likely to issue fellowship awards under a CR than research awards since they are small and of short duration and do not require Council approval. You can check with your PO, though, if you have not communicated with him/her recently.

  34. jingdh836 said

    We just had a P01 reviewed by NCI and the score was 22. Do you think we get any chance to get it funded? It is an A1.

    • writedit said

      This is a promising score, but the NCI program officials will use more than just your score to decide. The summary statement and your PO’s enthusiasm for your science will be key, plus what NCI thinks is important to invest in for the years ahead. I assume since this is an A1, you were strongly encouraged to resubmit. When you have your summary statement, you can talk with your PO about drafting a rebuttal and other next steps.

  35. jingdh836 said

    Thanks. A0 was scored 36 and you were right about that our PO strongly encouraged us to resubmit. According to him, our A1 was scored the best among all applications in his portfolio this round. Will wait and see the comments.

    • writedit said

      Cool beans – the significant drop in score also helps, and it sounds like he should be able to make a compelling case for you (& more importantly, that he wants to try to do so).

  36. vl said

    I have an R21 A0 version from NIA, in fundable range based on their 2017 interim payline. My PO said the JIT will come since they signed the list of awarded projects early last week. But I have not heard any update on JIT for a week… It is the point I have to decide if I need to submit an A1 version for March. I wondered what I shall do? Waiting? I dont’ want to keep bothering my PO. I appreciate any suggestions.

    • writedit said

      It sounds as though your PO is telling you that you will receive an award, and if you are within their FY17 interim payline, then you likely are on the pay list for an award. You don’t need to worry about not receiving a JIT request as yet. If you think you have misinterpreted what the PO told you, you could send a very simple email asking your PO to confirm that you do not need to submit an A1 in March (but not ask about JIT or anything else – just whether an A1 is needed). But, again, based on your wording, it sounds as though your PO is telling you that your R21 that scored within the payline is on the pay list, which means you should be fine (& just need to be patient for the JIT request). Operations under a CR are slow because the ICs are very cautious about making awards without their final appropriation in hand.

  37. Johannes said

    Hi Writedit,

    Do you know the current payline of NINDS? I cannot find it online. I just received the score of my R01 (7%). BTW, I am an ESI.


    • writedit said

      I do not know the FY17 payline, and likely NINDS does not either due to the CR and chaos in DC, but I think you can be pretty confident about receiving an award with that score as an ESI applicant (see the FY15 outcomes data to see why – FY 17 should not be worse: When you receive your summary statement, you can check in with your PO for confirmation. Your PO might use the term “cautiously optimistic”, which means you should get funded barring a black swan event. Hopefully any federal budget delays will not delay your award.

      • Johannes said

        Thank you for your prompt reply!

  38. Adam said

    NIDA is funding some new grants. I just received my first R01! It received a score of 5%, which may have helped…

    3/4/2016 Application entered into system
    3/10/2016 Scientific Review Group review pending
    6/3/2016 Scientific Review Group review completed
    9/8/2016 Council review completed
    12/21/2016 Pending administrative review
    12/25/2016 Request for JIT info
    1/12/2107 JIT info uploaded
    1/30/2017 Award prepared

    • writedit said

      Woohoo – congratulations on the exceptional score and funding under the CR. Thanks for this great information and sharing your timeline for your A1. Best wishes for success with your project and career in biomedical research.

  39. K01application said

    I received an impact score of 23 on my NIDA K01 application. Since paylines are unavailable, does anyone know of any recently funded scores? Thanks!

    • K01 said

      My K01 was funded with an impact score (no percentiles) of 30 by NIDA in 2015.

    • writedit said

      Thanks to K01 for chiming in – my guess is that FY17 will not be worse than recent years, but when you receive your summary statement, you can ask your PO and also whether you should resubmit (if you are told no, you can feel pretty good about an award).

  40. TL said

    I am a new/ESI and my A1 R01 application to NIGMS was scored at 6% last week. It has been a few days but the JIT link hasn’t appeared next to my application yet. Curiously, I just noticed that there is no JIT link next to the original A0 application either, which was scored at a much higher percentile (over 40%) last year. Is this odd – I heard era will automatically add a JIT link to all scored applications? Should I wait for a week or two for the JIT link to appear, or is it the time now to contact my PO about it? Thank you for your advice!

    • writedit said

      Not to worry – you will receive a JIT request from your PO (closer to Council meeting), which is the only JIT request you need to be concerned about. The automated request can be ignored. I say not to worry because that exceptional score (especially for an ESI applicant) should receive an award.


  41. Rando said

    Hello, I just wanted to drop a note for those considering an A1 for a career development mechanism. I submitted my K99 A0 a year before I would lose eligibility, and that proposal was Not Discussed. A follow up application a year later right before I would lose eligibility resulted in an A1 with an impact score of 18%. On a scale of 20-90%, 18% is a “good” one ,but since my institute is NIMH, they do not post paylines, and since there are no Percentiles for K99’s, it is difficult to directly translate an impact score into a likelihood of fundability. I will update after council meets!

    • writedit said

      Are you sure 18 is a percentile? (vs an Impact Score, in which case you are likely to receive an award) Even so, in your case, the jump from ND (not discussed) to a good score will garner extra attention at NIMH, especially since it is your last chance to apply. You can ask your PO if you should explore other applications in the meantime. If the PO says to sit tight, then you can feel pretty good about your chances.


      • Rando said

        My bad, you are correct: there is not a % symbol. It says “Impact Score: 18”. The field below, for Percentile, is appropriately blank. Just waiting on the Summary Statement so I can talk to my PO, and hopefully learn if there is anything I can do between Study Section and Council meetings to help nudge things in the right direction.

      • writedit said

        Your good, actually, since that should be a competitive score. Now, I had been assuming the NIH appropriation would be at worst flat line, but we’ll have to see what happens with the federal budget in the coming months. Hopefully Congress will hold firm on not cutting discretionary spending to support a 10% increase in military spending.


      • Rando said

        I am optimistic that the overall impact score is competitive for reference to anyone else in the same institute and mechanism (NIMH, K99). A formal JIT was requested along with a phrase I was not familiar with, which was that my application was being considered for funding with existing end of year funds. Perhaps this means some institutes are trying to fund some grants with their current coffers that would be less sensitive to future budget changes. I will know and be able to share more if I hear anything back from council, which unfortunately does meet until the end of May. In the meantime, as part of the JIT, a rebuttal to minor criticisms was requested even though it is an A1.

      • writedit said

        The rebuttal is for your PO to argue internally on behalf of funding your application (vs a response to the next set of reviewers). I believe they are indicating that your application will receive an award out of any unspent FY17 money after the highest priority third cycle applications have been funded (which for you would mean an award decision in August or Sept). In this strange budget year, though, it could also that they are waiting until the end of the FY to make most awards, pending potential FY17 cuts (or at best, continuation of the CR through the end of the FY). In either case, it will depend on your rank on the paylist as to whether NIMH has funds for your award when your application comes to the top of the list. That is something your PO will not have any information about until Congress acts or later this summer, whichever comes first, so you might ask him if you should be working on another application (for insurance) in the meantime (though I hope not, with an 18).

      • Rando said

        As an update for anyone in the same cycle and institute, my status did change today from “Pending Council Review” to “Pending”, though Council will not meet for over a month. There has usually been a delay of at least 48 hours between a Commons change an associated e-mail with more detail on the changes in status (such as for SRG, JIT, etc).

      • writedit said

        Very good news. This means that your application was sent for electronic approval en bloc in advance of the Council meeting and received approval to be considered for an award. Because your status changed to “Pending” rather than “Council review completed”, NIMH is doing the administrative review needed to process your award (vs leaving you in line for consideration).

      • Rando said

        Both my PO and GMS have told me in the past few days that they have received approval to fund my application! No NOA or details yet, but I was told completion will take another couple weeks. While I will be curious as to those details of the award, of course getting it per se is the major hurdle. Thanks for all the advice. Keep applying people…I think this was my 5th grant application?

      • writedit said

        Congratulations – on your perseverance and your success. It could take weeks to get your NoA, so don’t panic as the days pass with no activity. Best wishes for success with your research!


      • Rando said

        I have not received any e-mails about my NOA, but it is available on Commons, and funded at 100% of the requested budget before the actual council meeting date! Hard to complain too much…

      • writedit said

        Woohoo! Congrats again – and thanks for confirming (and allowing those monitoring timelines to see how long it can take).

  42. jingdh836 said

    Hello- What is the current payline for NCI? A R01 A1 scored 9 percentile is for sure to be funded at NCI? Many thanks

    • writedit said

      Assuming NCI maintains its payline from last year (which it should, at a minimum, given the moonshot funding), you should be okay at the 9th percentile. When you receive your summary statement, you can check with your PO for confirmation.

  43. R21 applicant said

    Hi, My R21 application to NINDS scored 23 with 12th percentile. The PO said that payline for Feb Council review was 12th percentile, but he said they are currently operating a continuing resolution from congress, so he cannot definitely say if this payline will continue for the May Council review. Is it frequent of adjusting the payline lower (tighter) throughout the same fiscal year?

    • writedit said

      This is very rare, but it happened a few years ago at NIDCD (payline went down instead of up later in the FY). Although traditionally Congress has supported biomedical research and has been unlikely to dramatically reduce NIH funding, we just learned today that a 10% increase in military spending will be proposed at the expense of non-defense discretionary spending, which means the NIH, EPA, NSF, CDC, etc. As the federal budget process moves forward, interim paylines may well shift to become more conservative, depending on Congressional wrangling of appropriations.

  44. imager said

    I know its anyone guess but do we know what direction NIH budget will go. EPA will be gutted that is for sure, DoD will see riches – but what about NIH? I also have a R01 with 9th percentile so I am worried about that one.

    • writedit said

      Everyone reading this blog should be contacting their entire Congressional delegation (FASEB makes it easy: to weigh in with support for the NIH and against cuts to non-military science funding more broadly. NIH grants are scattered in every Congressional district, so no member of Congress should want to see that $ go away – but they need to hear from us. Congress also typically supports the NIH because they, their families, and their constituents all have some health problem at some point that they want research to fix. However, NIH has a $33B budget, and when you need to come up with $54B, it’s a tempting target.

      Sent from Pluto

  45. F31 Applicant said

    Hello. My F31 application to NIA recently got scored, and it is a couple of points below the recently reported extension paylines ( The NIA website says that the extension ends on April 28, 2017. Does this mean that this payline does not apply to me, since the council meeting date for my application is in May?

    • writedit said

      You should be okay, since ICs are very conservative under a CR, but the weeks ahead will be telling as the federal budget gets hashed out.


  46. GMF01 said

    I got an R01 scored at 11 percentile last week for NCI. My guess is that it is out of payline since last year the NCI payline was 10th. Do you know whether NCI actually funds any application outside payline?

    • writedit said

      They will on a case-by-case basis, so when you receive your summary statements, you can contact your PO and ask whether you should prepare a rebuttal – and whether you should submit again in June or July, depending on whether this was an A0 or an A1 at the 11th percentile. Applications such as yours are generally not considered for funding until the end of the FY, so you may not know for sure until July or August. Now, NCI could have a higher payline due to the 21st Century Cures Act funding, in which case you would be fine, but it depends on what happens with the overall federal budget, too.

      • GMF01 said

        Thank you very much for your suggestions.
        The R01 is A1, and the initial A0 was not discussed but was given max 4 in most categories.
        Why would it depend on A0 or A1? would A1 have better chance?

      • writedit said

        I was referring to whether the next submission, if needed, would be in June or July, which depends on whether you would go back to an A0 (June) or submit an A1 revision (July). Now, it doesn’t matter if you have an A0 or an A1 under consideration.

  47. Rando said

    What was your impact score on commons?

  48. R01 applicant said

    Hello, my A1 R01 received 6th percentile in NCI. NCI seems to have not released the payline yet but last year payline is 10 percentile. I contacted PO and he advised that we have a discussion after the summary statement is received. Is this normal? I was told by some others that applications scored well below payline will be automatically funded without the need to address the summary statement? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Your PO is asking you to wait until you receive your summary statement to talk with him. This does not necessarily mean you will need to prepare a rebuttal, but before he can confidently comment on your application, he needs to be sure the SRO did not raise any administrative or budgetary concerns.

      • R01 applicant said

        Thanks, writedit. This forum is incredible!

  49. Waitinglite said

    I have k99/r00 A1, submitted July 2016 and council reviewed late January 2017. My PO said (over the phone) my impact score is good and my application goes well and smoothly. He also said that officially nothing is determined but I have a very good chance to get it. It has been three weeks since that phone conversation and ~7 weeks since council meeting. era commons status stays really calm and nothing changes after it was updated to “council meeting completed” about a month ago. Am I really safe and is it really OK just to wait until I have an update from PO or GMO? Oh~ this is really frustrating moment.

    • writedit said

      You are very safe. All POs are incredibly conservative, because they never want to give false hope or risk a PI missing an opportunity to resubmit if needed, so if your PO is comfortable telling you that you have a very good chance, then you should keep calm and sit tight and wait for your PO or GMS to get in touch. Even when the government is operating normally, the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, but especially now under a continuing resolution and with the budget uncertainty. Your start date is not an expiration date, so don’t be worried if it passes and you have not heard anything.

      • Thank you so much Writedit,
        My application has approved. I really appreciate this blog.

      • writedit said

        You are very welcome! Congratulations and best wishes for success with your project and your career in biomedical research.


      • Waitinglite said

        I have a question about co-mentors of my k99. After the initial submission, it has been passed almost 18 months. So everything changed a lot. My question is that if I want to add or replace a new co-mentor to my current k99, is it possible? (no NOA yet) . A professor and I agreed to work together recently and she wants to be my co-mentor officially and I also want to learn her skills very much. she wants to be my co-mentor officially and I also want to be an official trainee to my k99. What is the best way to meet both needs?

      • writedit said

        I am not quite sure I understand the situation. You should be able to add a co-mentor to a K99 project without any issue since the mentors are not paid (so no change in the award itself). I assume your main mentor agrees with and supports the addition of this co-mentor. Because your K99 was reviewed on the basis of the mentor team proposed, you would need permission of your PO to replace a mentor (ie, remove an existing peer-reviewed mentor vs simply adding a new person to your team) in advance of doing so. Your PO might want to see a mentoring plan that lays out each person’s responsibilities and how often they will meet together.

        Now, this assumes you have a fundable score – you mention no NOA, and say you submitted your initial application 18 months ago. Have you resubmitted since your initial application? If you are still waiting to hear about your application from 18 months ago, then you need to check with your PO, because you likely are not receiving an award and will need to resubmit. When you resubmit, you can change the mentorship structure then.

  50. Bill said

    waitinglite, may I ask what your score and institute is?

    I’m also waiting on a K99/R00 A0 (can’t resubmit) with an impact score of 18 at NIGMS. There are 11 K99s funded so far in FY2017, none from NIGMS (based on NIH Reporter), and I’m trying to see if anybody has heard anything from NIGMS regarding their grant.

  51. salchi said

    I experience the same…and my PO told me similar words… my k99 was funded…just relax, enjoy your time and wait to receive a congratulations! BTW my score was 20.

    • My K99 application sent to NIGMS got an impact score of 15. It was not funded because I had a job interview–not a job offer (I still don’t have a job offer).

      • writedit said

        Did the PO indicate this was the reason? Have you followed up with him/her?

      • Here is an exact quote from the PO:
        “Indeed, individuals who already feel they have the skills and experience to test the academic job market are not the intended candidates for the grant mechanism. Your decision to apply for independent, tenure track faculty positions implies that you now feel prepared to launch an independent career and there is no clear justification for additional training to become competitive. Since you said that you received an invitation to interview for a tenure track faculty position, this also indicates that a search committee sees you as a competitive candidate for such opportunities.”

      • writedit said

        Wow. I knew the NIH was cracking down on applicants/awardees who tried to skip any or all of the K99 phase (after the free-for-all following the initial roll-out of the mechanism), but clearly this PO is looking to weed out applicants who perhaps were ready to jump straight to an R01 or other K mechanism. It’s tough to sit on your hands and do nothing while waiting for your score and the career clock is ticking. You could contact ( an NIH training officer, such as Henry Khachaturian, to appeal, and, if they support the NIGMS stance, to ask for details on the policy about not applying for positions (while waiting to hear outcome of K99/R00). Did this come up during JIT, or did you volunteer the information to your PO?

      • The PO specifically asked if I had any interviews during a phone conversation the PO initiated after I emailed the PO to inquire about the likelihood of my K99 being funded. This conversation took place after the JIT. During the conversation, the PO said that it was “a problem” that I had job interviews. I argued that I need the training outlined in my K99 to be successful as an independent investigator, and that I would defer any job offer for at least one year so I could get that training. The PO found that argument unpersuasive, so I even offered to drop out of the job market. That concession didn’t change the PO’s mind either.

      • writedit said

        When the NIH changed its K99 eligibility and policy (firm requirement for at least one year of postdoc training), I had an exchange with an OER training official who made it clear they did not want applicants who might not need or use (except as placeholder for future position) the postdoc year because they were sufficiently competitive for faculty positions (as I alluded to above). Of course, the applicants who are going to secure the best scores for this very competitive mechanism are also the ones who probably could go straight to faculty positions.

        If your mentor has not weighed in, that might be one more option – to confirm that you had genuinely planned to and will stay in his/her lab for another year to complete very specific necessary training. If your mentor had something to do with your prior job link, such as suggesting you for an opening, that might be another point of discussion. If your area is specialized and job openings are not frequent, your mentor’s involvement in linking you with a possible position would be an expected part of his/her role (especially by promoting you, your work, and your upcoming job search during visiting lectures). I doubt NIGMS will change their minds, but if your mentor hasn’t weighed in but could be supportive, it might be worth a conversation.

        To be honest, though, you are better off converting your project into an R01, since that will be more money and renewable – and I assume the reviewers really liked your science. In that case, your mentor could provide the year of training needed as you get the R00 converted to an R01 (if your mentor’s ability to cover the cost of this year is an issue, that would be another point to make with GM). Doesn’t take the sting away from not getting an award, but you are in good shape moving forward.

      • Tom said

        My postdoc just experienced the same thing with a K99 at GM, with one added twist. When she first applied for the K99, she got an impact score in the 30s on the A0 (decent but not fundable). On the phone, the PO encouraged her to re-apply, but also to apply for faculty jobs. He did not indicate that if she even applied for jobs (let alone got interviews, received an offer, or accepted an offer), she would make herself ineligible for the K99. She followed his advice, reapplied for the K99 and got an impact score of 20. He asked her if she had applied for jobs, and when she told him she had, he told her she would likely not be funded. The official notice she would not be funded was just given today.

        It is incredibly unethical to encourage an applicant to re-apply for a K99 and apply for jobs when applying for jobs makes her ineligible by some unwritten (and therefore made up) criteria.

      • Bioinorganic Chemist said

        I just feel compelled to add some perspective on this as this is a topic I frequently hear about.

        The point of the K99 is for people to transition to independence- having mentored training and independent funding from the same mechanism- while also making you more competitive for the job market. Applying for a position let alone interviewing and being offered a position, and accepting that position, must nessecarily disqualify you from the K99.

        I tell all of my trainees to not think about applying for a K99 if you see yourself applying for an independent position within 2 yrs. That means for a 4-6 yr post-doc they are applying for F32’s and K99’s within a year or two of each other, or are just applying for a K99.

        If you are competitive for a faculty position, you should not also be interested in applying for a K99!

        In my view, the K99 is an old enough mechanism that everyone should know this. Most PO’s will tell you this. The PO you had, I suspect, was mis-interpreted, just misspoke… but to make grandious claims of being “unethical” is a bit much.

        Also, while I’m on my high horse, there are far more positions than K99 awardees. If a department requires you to have a K99 for interviews, etc, it is not a department I would advice anyone to join.

      • Tom said

        “Applying for a position let alone interviewing and being offered a position, and accepting that position, must nessecarily disqualify you from the K99.”

        Applying for a position doesn’t mean you are ready to take a position. In some cases it simply means you are feeling out the job market. It is illogical to assume anyone who applies for a job is qualified for that job.

        “If you are competitive for a faculty position, you should not also be interested in applying for a K99!”

        Applying for a position does not mean someone is competitive for a position.

        “In my view, the K99 is an old enough mechanism that everyone should know this. Most PO’s will tell you this.”

        Most POs will tell people that if they apply for a job they are ineligible for a K99? I think you are making unfounded assumptions here. Clearly, my postdoc is not the only person to assume the written rules are the rules.

        “The PO you had, I suspect, was mis-interpreted, just misspoke… but to make grandious claims of being “unethical” is a bit much.”

        I don’t know what a “grandious” claim is, but it’s a bit much for you to claim to know what the PO said, not knowing anything about the conversation. And yes, the PO created a catch-22, which is unethical in my opinion.

      • Bioinorganic Chemist said

        Hi Tom, I didn’t mean for my comment to come off as personal or offensive.

        My larger frustration isn’t with you or your trainee but is with the dilution of the initial intentions of the stated NIH funding mechanisms.

        Take R21’s for example. At some point, they really were meant to be for proposing high risk ideas with limited data- but people started applying for these with lots of data and with the proposed studies already accomplished… at some point, R21’s stopped being used to really fund high risk ideas with limited prelim data- it became like any other grant mechanism.

        I find the same is true with K99’s— I know a lot of people apply for K99’s co-incident with job applications- I just don’t think that was the true intent, and my conversations with POs back when I was a post-doc (4 or 5 years ago) said as much.

        It may be hard to believe, but I withdrew myself from consideration of a competitively scored K99 application once I got job interviews. People said I was crazy- they may be right! In the end, it worked out because my start-up allowed me to write an even more expansive R01 that gave me more money and resources than the K99/R00 would have.

        I wrote the K99 at the urging of my advisor- however, from conversations with various PO’s, I realized that I really should not have applied in the first place if I personally felt I was ready for the job market and taking an independent position. That was the metric numerous PO’s told me when I was a post-doc as well as in work shops I’ve attended as a PI. Though, I must admit that, at the time, I don’t think I ever saw this in writing explicitly.

        In the end, this may be an issue of not a consistent message from the NIH on eligibility and intent.

      • writedit said

        I apologize that my day job prevented me from jumping in sooner, and then I’ve just discovered a bunch of my replies hung up in limbo. Hopefully this month-ish delay does not reopen hard feelings, but I think there are some important points here.

        On the PO actions: I don’t know the particulars of the application or the summary statement or the conversation, but if the PO was concerned that your postdoc would not be able to bring down her score below 30 (based on what he heard at study section, for example) and/or she was running out of time for K99 eligibility and/or her application suggested she was ready to start considering independent jobs (based on publications, data, training, etc.), then he would be remiss in not suggesting your postdoc take other steps toward independence rather than hold up her career in waiting for an award that might never be issued.

        At the same time, as Bioinorganic Chemist suggested (and thanks for all your thoughtful comments and insights), if the PO thought she was competitive for a faculty position then (based on her K99 review), then that is where the PO would advise her to put her energy. After getting a job, she could then work on a faculty K or R01 application, both of which are much much better “deals” for the applicant than the K99/R00. (I don’t recommend postdocs put a lot of work into these either – anyone capable of getting a K99/R00 is probably capable of securing a faculty position, and an R01 is a much better first award than an R00, since it is more money for more years, includes indirects, and is renewable.)

        Indeed, the NIGMS-specific instructions for the K99 specifically note that “Individuals who … expect to transition to an independent position in less than one year may not be appropriate for this grant mechanism. … In some cases, the applicant may discover that there are better options for his/her specific situation.”

        Finally, a PO has no way of knowing if, following application, a job offer was made or if there was a quiet informal agreement not to formally offer the job until the K99 phase was complete. As Bioinorganic Chemist notes, if the K99 applicant thought she was ready (ie, had the skills and publications to go on the job market) and if you as her advisor agreed that she was ready to apply (did not need additional training), then she was not appropriate for a K99 either in the spirit or per the stated aim of the mechanism, which is intended for candidates “who require at least 12 months of mentored research training and career development”.

        If you as an advisor regularly encourage your postdocs to test the market and practice applying as part of their training and career development process, even if they are not yet ready to take an independent position, you could indicate this to the PO, and of course your postdoc would have described this practice as part of her training plan.

        And really finally, the new NGRI policies are intended to help qualified new investigators succeed with their first R01, to which, again, the PO might have been looking ahead as part of the recommendation for your postdoc to test the job market.

  52. Dingz said

    I have a R01 A0 in NIDA as ESI. It was reviewed recently with 14%. Since NIDA doesn’t publish payline info, I don’t know where I stand and what is the chance of me getting funded. Any comments based on your experience? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      A 14th percentile is probably on the bubble, though with better odds since you are ESI. You should contact your PO when you have your summary statement and ask both about funding likelihood and whether you should resubmit for insurance.

  53. l1zerdbreath said

    Has anyone applied for the CRCNS program through NSF/NIH in collaboration with ANR and BMBF? I was wondering if anyone knew of a rough timeline- especially since this potentially gets reviewed by multiple countries and NSF–>NIH, seems like it might be forever before we hear anything.

    • writedit said

      I’m afraid I can offer no help here – hopefully your PO can provide an update … the NSF official might be more responsive.


  54. goggu said

    Dear Writedit,

    I am considering to submit a request to extend my ESI status, but I wasn’t sure whether my case will be approved, if so what month of extension would be reasonable, and what kind of document I should prepare.

    My wife and I had our first baby in 2014 when I was interviewing for a faculty position. My assistant professor appointment and research activities were interrupted and delayed for about 6 months because of the child birth. My ESI status expires this summer if no extension is granted.

    NIH contact ( does not respond to my questions. I would appreciate any comments.

    Thank you

    • writedit said

      The six-month delay in research activities due to the birth of your child should be an acceptable request. I would suggest you complete and submit the required form ( and see what happens, though I expect you will be granted the extension. As illustrated in the examples provided (, you will want to give a specific time span (mo/yr to mo/yr) during which you were kept from your research due to family care responsibilities.

      • goggu said

        Dear Writedit,
        Thanks for your kind advice. I actually requested a 9 month extension and just received a 6 month extension approval from the ESI extension committee. It was noted that NIH normally award up to 6 months for parental leave.
        Best Wishes,

      • writedit said

        Great – glad that worked out for you … thank you for sharing what you learned here.


  55. AX said

    Has any one received funding notification from NIGMS recently? I have an R01 renewal (scored at 13% for A1), and my PO told me back in January that funding notifications for the January council are usually sent out in early March.

    • writedit said

      Don’t worry if there are delays – your start date is not an expiration date. If you need to know when you can order supplies or animals in advance or post a job opening (and need a grant account opened for this purpose), you can ask your PO or GMO when you are within 90 days on award (which is probably now) so your institution can set this up for you.

      • AX said

        Thanks, writedit. I am worried about the NIH budget situation and payline though. I guess the worst case scenario for FY2017 budget would be at the CR level, with no increase over FY2016, but with the major uncertainty for FY2018, would NIH become super-conservative in making multi-year commitments (e.g. R01s) this year which causes payline to drop significantly?

      • writedit said

        If your PO already gave you indication that you will receive an award (which is what your prior message suggested), then your score falls within the range for which they feel comfortable making a multiyear commitment. You can just check with your PO for confirmation. I agree that the NIH needs to be more cautious after the budget plan released, but hopefully your prior comment indicates your application is on the paylist awaiting processing (vs awaiting further clarity on the federal budget & NIH appropriation).

      • AX said

        My PO just wrote back that NIGMS intends to fund this R01, and the era status turned into “Pending” today. The grant was cut from 5 years to 4 years (as expected), with a cut of approximately 38% (!!!) on the annual budget. I understand this is how NIGMS is able to maintain an excellent payline and I’m happy and relieved that this grant is renewed, but wow that’s a big cut that I have never seen before.

      • writedit said

        You should get some of this back when the CR is lifted, as the entire NIH operates on 90% of the prior FY budget level during a CR … but this will depend on what happens with the federal budget and the NIGMS appropriation specifically (ie, if the NIH is cut to pay for DoD increases). With a 38% cut, though, you can also talk with your PO about adjusting your Specific Aims so you are judged on a feasible standard for progress when you apply to renew the grant (vs what you proposed originally, which is not feasible on just over half the funding level).

      • AX said

        Hi writedit,
        I had further communications with my PO about the administrative cut and the possibility of adjusting my specific aims. My PO wrote back saying that the cut was based on NIGMS’s standard budgetary guidance and they will not be able to increase the award amount. He asked me to give him a call to discuss this and my question about adjusting the aims. I am curious what exactly does it take to adjust the specific aims on a to-be-funded grant? Is it simply an understanding between me and the PO that we’ll drop certain things in our specific aims, or does it require a formal process that we submit a new set of aims and get it approved? Given all the uncertainties with NIH budget now, I certainly do not want to create unnecessary complications that could delay the funding process.

        Thanks for your advice.

      • writedit said

        Wow. That is a much bigger cut than is “standard”, but these are new times. You would talk with your PO about changing the scope of work in the NoA so that when you submit progress reports and renew, you are judged based on this revised scope of work vs what you originally proposed (assuming you would receive the proposed budget levels). If the summary statement specifically indicates that an aim or experiment or component of the budget is not justified, then that is just dropped (no change in scope of work). But if there were not recommendations to change the budget in the summary statement, then you will need to work out where in the budget the 38% will be cut and then adjust the scope of work accordingly. For example, if you need to drop a piece of equipment or order fewer animals or supplies or not hire someone, the work directly affected by this change would need to be adjusted to reflect the loss of resources. This should be part of negotiating the revised budget and NoA and shouldn’t delay the award any longer than might be needed just to rework the budget (so, no delay, if you know exactly what needs to be cut – that is, there is no additional review or approval of aims etc. beyond the internal administrative review at GM). Your PO can help talk through what makes sense when you call.

    • SaG said

      Out of curiosity how much of an increase did you get over your previous year’s budget? That is, did you ask for a huge increase in your budget for this renewal?

  56. KL said

    I have an R01 A1 with an impact score of 20, but no percentile. It was submitted in response to an PAR from NICHD. I tried to contact my PO, but no replies yet. What is my chance and what should I say to my PO when she returns my call? Thanks!!!

    • writedit said

      If you don’t have your summary statement yet, that could be why the PO is delaying a conversation. She wants to see what the critiques were and whether there were any administrative concerns. You can ask about the likelihood of funding, of course, and whether you should submit another application for insurance. When you have your summary statement, you can also discuss your response to criticisms raised (and a strategy for resubmission, if your PO advises you to submit again).

      • KL said

        Thanks so much for your prompt reply.

        I read the funding strategies for NICHD and it states:

        Research Project (R01) Grants:

        ….There is no fixed payline for R01 applications. NICHD will consider scientific merit, program priorities, portfolio balance, and availability of funds in making funding decisions. (From

        To me, I think the Program Officials could have a lot of discretion to select the grants that fit the above-stated guidelines.

        Do you happen to know someone went through this relatively new selection process at NICHD or other IC with a similar impact score?

        Do you think that being a response to a PAR, I will have a good shot because it is definitely addressing to their “program priorities”

        P.S. you are right, I still do not have my Summary Statement.

        However, since it is an A1, I have addressed all the previous concerns, although new ones could come up. My old score was 30 and at that time, I received a percentile of 17%. Not sure why they did not rank it this time.

        I did speak with the PO last time and she was very helpful in advising the resubmission.

        If I have to resubmit, I have to start all over as a new application.


      • writedit said

        Your significant improvement in score weighs in your favor, too, when the PO and other program staff discuss which applications to fund. I’m sure you’ll have a good talk with your PO once you have your summary statement – there is not much she can say until then.

  57. Ramsey said

    I recently got an impact score for my F31 that I submitted to the NIA. The grant is heavily focused on AD and the impact score was 41. Do you think there is a chance of it getting funded?

    • writedit said

      The FY17 payline right now is 33 for AD-focused fellowship applications, which I would not expect to jump up to 41, but you can check with the PO when you have your summary statement.

  58. R01 Hopeful said

    I am an ESI, and I received a score of 45, with 32 percentile on my A1 R01 application with NIEHS. What are my chances? I work at a Hispanic-serving institution.

    • writedit said

      Probably low likelihood of funding (but not impossible). Check with your PO after you receive your summary statement. He or she will almost certainly advise you to resubmit, so start looking ahead to June to submit again as a new application, using the A1 summary statement and advice from your PO to strengthen the application.

  59. Jerry said

    when will the FY17 payline be available? April or even later? Will a big cut for NIH budget?

    • writedit said

      Earliest would be the end of April (CR ends on 4/28), but I highly doubt a new budget will be ready for passage by then given the reaction to current proposals coming out of the White House. For the DoD to get a $54B increase, the NIH would have to give up a few billion, at least, which Congress would not like either.

  60. Brian said

    Current proposed budget will cut NIH by 20%. This would be disastrous for the scientific community.

    • writedit said

      Please see the post I just put up about this for what you can do (& what to expect this year):


      • coolscience said

        Thank you, Writeedit, for that post.

        I wanted to add that it is highly unlikely that congress will actually pass this crazy budget that the monkeys in the white house came up with.

        (Note to monkeys in the forest: sorry to insult your intelligence by comparing you with republicans… pardon me just this one time though)

        But I agree with Writedit that we should be proactive and write to the delegations,

      • writedit said

        Thanks, coolscience.

        Yes, I do not expect this budget plan to go anywhere, but it does have a purpose. If future “negotiations” result in a “mere” $1B cut to the NIH, it will seem like a win since the original figure had been $6.8B (whereas if the first proposal had been $1B, the final cut agreed upon would be much lower). At the very least, it is unlikely the NIH will see an increase in its base appropriation, which is a loss to science.

        The DoD budget is secure and continually growing because the industrial military complex has jobs in every Congressional district (and thanks to intensive deep pocket lobbying). We need to remind Congress and taxpayers that scientific research funding benefits every district – both with the $ immediately spent locally and with the wider societal benefit that accrues from the knowledge gained.

  61. Parsimony said

    Hi Writeedit et al.,

    The first time that I submitted the R15, two years back, it was not discussed, but on the basis of the comments that I received, I was able to address each of them and resubmitted it. At that point I received a score of 44. Two of the reviewers gave me between 1-3 and the last one really killed me. I prepared a new application, modified one aim, and published 4 peer-reviewed papers in the last year and this time I got an impact score of 43. I am extremely disappointed at this. I am still awaiting the summary statements. I am a new assistant professor (4 years here and 6 years out of my Ph.D.) at a small liberal arts institution where we primarily work with undergraduate students. I teach 4 courses, and try to maintain an active lab. This year, I anticipate that we will be publishing another 3 papers. Despite the limited scientific infrastructure, our productivity, and the significance of our research, I feel as though I am unable to articulate it well in a grant or really I don’t know what the hell I am doing wrong. I would greatly appreciate any advice or guidance on this issue. I apologize if some of my words sound like incoherent babble. Thank you.

    • writedit said

      Wow – I know how incredibly frustrating and disappointing (even demoralizing) your experience is, and you are not alone. If your score is staying about the same in the 40s, then my guess is that your science is sound (with some tweaks, perhaps) but is not exciting or sufficiently high impact. However, the R15 should be about helping faculty just like you maintain a lab where undergraduate liberal arts students can be exposed to sound and challenging research (not necessarily changing paradigms in your discipline). Your PO should be able and interested in walking through the summary statement with you to make specific suggestions for improvement. You might ask your PO about other funding mechanisms, too. Your PhD advisor/mentor would probably be willing to take a look, depending on your relationship with him/her, as might any colleague in your field who has an established funding track record. Another set of eyes and ideas always helps, which you’ll need to look outside of your college for in this case. Depending on your area of research, NSF and some foundations might be appropriate sources of support, too.

      • Parsimony said

        Thank you so much for your advice. I immensely appreciate it. That’s what I intend to do. I’m going to wait for the summary statements and then talk to the PO about it. Lets see what the outcome is from that. In fact, I have also integrated by own research into multiple lab-based courses that I teach at the undergraduate level. One of the major research projects that is ongoing in my lab now stemmed from original observations that were made by undergraduate students in the lab component of one such course. I am compiling those results into a manuscript and they will be co-authors on it. However, I feel as though, and this is despite the guidelines for the AREA (R15), that reviewers really do not care much about undergraduate student exposure to the research. At least that is the impression that I got when I got the first summary statements back. Moreover, when I look at the composition of the scientific advisory panel, only 1 person was from a small liberal arts college. Every other person on the panel was from a larger research institution. This disproportionate representation is detrimental to researcher-educators at small liberal arts college, where the teaching load is so much and yet we try to maintain an active lab. In the absence of appropriate representation it seems this is just a losing battle. I’m trying to look into R21 and R03 mechanisms too but I think I will entertain those options after consultation with the PO. Finally, I am hesitant to submit to the NSF because my work focuses on a pathogen and NSF is notorious to not fund research on pathogens even if it is related to basic biology. I have personally experienced this. As a post-doc, I submitted a fellowship application that was deemed “Highly meritorious” by the advisory panel. In fact, it was one of the top 5 applications since only 2 were outstanding and 3 were highly meritorious. Yet, it was declined at the administrative level because it dealt with a pathogen.

      • writedit said

        If you haven’t had any interaction with the NSF since your postdoc fellowship, you might check back again with a program director there, as they are funding more applied biomedical research. An appropriate program person there would tell you before you apply whether they might fund your work – especially in the context of teaching and training (vs solely for discovery and translation).

        At the NIH, the R25 might be another mechanism to consider, but this would not help you with your research much, and these awards are also tough to win. However, you have a compelling story with the students leading the discoveries and publishing their work. The R03 and R21 (especially) could be a tougher row to hoe – R21 applications are as difficult to get as R01s, though if your IC accepts R03 applications, this could be a possible route.

        Unfortunately, the R15 is not limited to undergraduate institutions, and eligible individual schools (eg, school of nursing or pharmacy) that are part of major research institutions (even those in the top 10 of NIH funding) can and do apply, as do plenty of mid-sized universities (and individual schools within them). The reviewers are directed to assess the scientific merit regardless of where the work will be done (they would not want undergraduates exposed to poorly justified,, planned, or implemented research), though clearly the discussion would benefit from representatives from your peer institutions who can temper quibbling criticisms with a dose of reality. I would hope program would step in to give allowances for higher scores in cases when the science is sound but the research environment at a liberal arts college was held to the standard of a full university. This is where you really need an advocate PO.

  62. LNS said

    Status for an R01 (NCI) was updated recently to show a 6/19/17 Advisory Council date. My PO originally said my proposal would go to the May board with funding expected in June or July. The NCAB meeting dates are listed online as 5/3 or 6/19-21. Do you think the timeline suggested by the PO has changed or is the date in commons incorrect? (This R01 is currently under the payline, although we don’t know if the payline will change after the CR ends in April). Thanks for any clarification.

    • writedit said

      The May 3 session is a joint meeting with NIAAA and NIDA, so there will be no discussion of grant applications. NCAB meets 4 times per year instead of 3, so this is their “extra” meeting, and June will be the “spring” Council meeting (in line with other ICs that meet in May & June). No need to worry – this is not a reflection on your application’s likelihood of funding.

      • LNS said

        Thank you!

  63. K08app said

    Hello, I am incredibly happy to post my timeline and thank writedit and everyone who has posted here before. My K08 is at NIBIB and I received the NOA this morning.

    10/09/2015 Initial Submission
    03/18/ 2016 SRG
    3/22/2016 Impact score 30 (no percentile)
    4/6/2016 Summary statement
    7/8/2016 A1 Re-submission
    11/04/2016 SRG
    11/08/2016 Impact score 18 (no percentile)
    12/13/2016 Summary Statement
    01/24/2017 Council Meeting
    02/22/2017 Pending Administrative Review in eRA Commons
    2/23/17 JIT request from GMS
    2/28/17 JIT submitted
    3/23- GMS emailed to confirm award (status date updated)
    3/24- NOA

    • KL said

      Dear Writedit,

      What precisely happens at an Advisory Council Meeting and what events will take place prior to the Meeting? Thanks

      • writedit said

        For individual applicants, there is nothing specific that you can do (and your PO will not be speaking on behalf of your proposal here). Council members receive the applications (and their summary statements) that the IC Director is seeking approval to consider for funding (all activity codes except fellowships). They review the quality of peer review for these applications and their alignment with the IC’s mission. They generally approve the list en bloc but can raise questions or seek discussion about individual applications. They also review appeals (if the PI wins his/her appeal, the original unmodified application submitted is sent back to study section for re-review) and consider applications that fall under IC-specific policies (e.g., well-funded applicants receive extra scrutiny at some ICs). There are presentations about work supported by the IC, proposals for new initiatives (concepts that are cleared by Council then become FOAs, which is why it is helpful to monitor Cleared Concepts on your IC’s website), and other advisory board type activities. Jeremy Berg explained the NIGMS Council meetings on the Feedback Loop:

    • writedit said

      Woohoo! Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your detailed timeline. Best wishes for success with your project and career in biomedical research!

      • KL said

        Dear Writedit,

        Thank you so much for your detailed reply to my questions about Council Meeting. It is very insightful for me! I am wondering about the followings:

        1) At this point, I still have not received my Summary Statement (25 calendar days past review), so I cannot speak with my PO about my R01 A1 (impact score 20, no percentile, response to a PAR at NICHD). How likely will my grant be included in the en bloc list that you mentioned above?

        2) what and who determine which application is included (or not included) in the enbloc list that could be considered for funding? I suppose percentiles/PO play a big role, but what about applications with borderline percentile or applications like mine that has no percentile because it was reviewed by a SEP?

        3) How can we (as applicants) advocate for ourselves when we speak to the PO? With all due respect, not all PO are in my field and it may be difficult for them to appreciate the significance of my application with the same level of enthusiasm as say, another application that is closer to her/his field. Are there specific guidelines that they have to follow other than those broad ones stated in funding priorities?


      • writedit said

        With a score of 20, you are likely to be on the paylist (which includes more applications than the IC will fund), but this won’t be decided for some time yet. After you receive your score, you can ask if you should resubmit your application. If you have new data or a new publication in support of your application, you can let your PO know. What you do not want to do is suggest to your PO that you do not think he/she has the scientific background to appreciate the significance of your work. The PO does not make funding decisions, so I am not sure what you mean in asking if they need to follow specific guidelines. There is certainly nothing you can do to “make” them advocate for your application (no standard to hold them to). You should be patient and assume your PO is doing whatever is allowable to advocate for your application. Given that we have no idea what will happen with the FY18 budget (which may affect FY17 funding decisions under the CR), you may not know what is happening with your application (for reasons outside your PO’s control) for several months.

  64. Jake said

    I have recently resubmitted a F31 to NCI which was scored Impact:33 Percentile:28

    I Found the following site that has historic “Success Rate %” for NCI F31:
    From this, I can see that the success rate for NCI F31 is ballpark 28% and increases year to year.

    Do you think it is likely given my score that I would be funded:?

    Thank you.

    • writedit said

      The success rate has nothing to do with your percentile (or score) and simply reflects the number of applications submitted that receive awards. NCI only published funding patterns (which is what you need) for R01 and R21 applications ( When you receive your summary statement, you can check with the PO about whether you should submit again (as a new application next time). I suspect NCI funds fellowships at a lower score/percentile than you have, but if your application improved significantly and if the concerns are readily addressable, your PO might ask for a response to the critiques for internal discussion. All hypothetical, so you’ll need to ask the PO once you have the summary statement in hand. If the problem is with the science, then that would need to be fixed for peer review again.

      • Jake said

        Writedit, Thank you so much for your help! Such a great resource

      • LCA said

        Thanks for all of your help on this blog! I have a question about when summary statements are released:

        Our SRO mentioned that the statements are released in order of score. Does this mean lowest to highest score, or worst to best order?

        Thanks again!

      • writedit said

        This is not an NIH policy, so it depends on the SRO, but my guess would be best to worst, since the lowest scoring applications will have the least complicated summary statements (so faster to release) such that those in the gray zone would receive their summary statements sooner (since they will be closer to 10 than to 90) – but that is just a guess.

      • SaG said

        SROs generally release SSs best score (10) to worse score (ND). But, they also prioritize NI/ESI SSs to give them a chance to resubmit the very next round. This is true for CSR reviews. If the app was reviewed within an Institute then it could be different. But, most follow the CSR practice.

  65. KL said

    Dear Writedit,

    Thank you so much for replying to my inquires on March 10th, 12th and 25th. You are truly a godsend to me! I will follow all your advice and be patient.

    Not sure if you heard the news, the new Administration just proposed to cut another $1.2B from the FY2017 NIH budget yesterday. These news about budget cut are truly disturbing, just hope they will not pass Congress.

    But if some (hopefully not all) of the proposed cuts do materialize, what will be the best course of action for NIH to implement the cuts in your opinion? Will they consider maintaining the success rate with a further reduction in individual grant budget? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      Each IC will manage any reduction through a combination of lower and fewer awards (there will be no NIH-wide policy – each IC is autonomous) – but I do not expect the proposed cuts to make it through the Senate (or House). More likely, given everything else going on, they will just continue the CR funding levels to the end of the year, which will still result in cuts but not as drastic.

  66. AD said

    Dear writedit,

    Thanks for this terrific resource!

    On 3/23, my F31 application to NCI received a score in commons (impact:30, percentile:24). This was my first submission. Based on anecdotal reports, it seems there is a possibility my application could be considered, but I may need to resubmit. I believe the next submission deadline is April 8.

    An advisor encouraged me to ask the PO for advice on whether I should plan to resubmit by the next deadline. I haven’t received a summary statement yet. Can you advise on the best strategy here, in terms of whether to contact the PO?


    • writedit said

      When you receive your summary statement, you should contact the PO. You cannot resubmit before you receive the summary statement (NIH policy), and even if you receive it days before the April 8 submission date, you will not be able to address the concerns that quickly (at least not well). When you talk with the PO (after receiving summary statement), you can let him/her know if you have published since the application was reviewed and/or comment on how you would address the concerns raised. The nature of the critiques will determine whether the PO can advocate for your being funded now rather than waiting for a resubmission, which is why you need to wait to contact him/her, too. The PO cannot offer advice based on the score alone.

      • Ok makes sense, thanks!

        I was thinking I might be able to turn around a resubmission quickly if the critique happens to be specific issues for example in the training plan. I agree, too short a time to make any meaningful revisions to the science aspects.

        Anyway thank you, I will definitely wait to receive my summary statement. Will this show up in commons with my score?

      • writedit said

        Yes, just watch your eRA Commons account for the PDF to show up. If the weaknesses are so readily addressable to allow you to feasibly resubmit on April 8 after receiving summary statement a few days before, then your PO would probably let you address them via an informal internal rebuttal. If they require a more substantial response, you would need to wait anyway.


  67. emilylars6 said

    Thank you writeedit for this resource!
    I imagine there’s a lot of unknowns right now about future NIH budgets, but any insight into the future of the Fogarty programs? We have a grant that will definitely need to be revised, but I heard this program is in danger of being cut entirely. Any insight you can provide will be helpful in planning our project.

    • writedit said

      The administration eliminated all FIC funding in their FY18 budget proposal, just as they torpedoed IDeA funding in their FY17 budget. Whether the FIC funding can be preserved depends on whether they have advocates in Congress (I suspect IDeA funding will be more difficult to eliminate as it helps many GOP-majority states). Your PO may or may not have insight (more likely not). I would urge you to contact your Congressional delegation about the importance of preserving FIC funding broadly and the impact of your FIC funding in their state/district as well as leadership of the House (Cole & DeLauro) and Senate (Alexander & Murray) Labor-Health and Human Services-Education subcommittees.

  68. Newbie said

    Dear Writeedit,

    Thanks much for this wonderful resource.

    I am an ESI. My resubmitted R01 application to NCI reviewed in Feb received an impact score of 20 (7%). I received a request from eRA commons for a JIT in mid March. I emailed my PO to ask if he needs additional information to be upload on March 28. It’s about a week but I have not heard back from him. I included the summary statement in my email to PO so I do not know what holds his reply.

    Will you suggest me to do/submit a JIT regardless? What is the standing of this supplication to be funded under CR or potential budget cut? Any advise is very much appreciated.

    • writedit said

      You can ignore the eRA Commons request for JIT – and do not worry about your PO not getting back to you. He will have had access to your summary statement (without your sending it). I suspect he is very busy with other investigators who do need answers or help right now. He knows your application is likely to be funded – though not a guarantee until the administrative review is completed (it would be nice for him to send a quick note to this effect, though) – so is not rushing to respond with many other pressing inquiries on his plate. He will probably not need the JIT until closer to the NCAB meeting, which will not be until June 19-21, so do not panic if he does not ask for it soon. I would suggest you be patient and wait to contact him again until the end of April, if you have not heard anything in the meantime.

  69. Newbie said

    Thanks much for your reply.

  70. R15NEW said

    R15 application got 22 score but current situation funds upto 20. Program officer says it is tough to fund. I do not know should I resubmit this or wait until June?

    • Rando said

      You can always pull the A1 if the A0 gets funded…

    • writedit said

      You can ask your PO directly, but from your comment below, I expect he/she will tell you to submit, even if just for insurance. I would suggest preparing an application based on the review comments and submit it if June arrives and your PO remains unsure. The problem is the budget uncertainty, which won’t be clarified again until the end of April (and probably not then for the long term).

  71. 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).

  72. 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?
    Update: I called Division of Receipt and Referral, Center for Scientific Review and the lady said it’s okay for me to get them in asap. it’ll still be reviewed. “just get it in” is what she said…

    • writedit said

      Great! I am glad they could and were willing to accommodate you – good luck with the application. Be sure they get the letters in asap.


      • Thank you for the prompt reply though! Another thing: one of my reference sent in the letter and got the confirmation number but I didn’t get a notification from eRA. What could have happened?

      • writedit said

        That would be a question for the eRA Help Desk, I think. They are usually quite helpful.

      • Also, on my status page, it says the council meeting time is 2017/10…is this right? Are they meeting to review the August deadline ones together with the April ones?

      • writedit said

        Yes, you will be reviewed in the summer and go to Council in the fall. The August submissions will be reviewed in the fall and go to Council early in 2018 (winter). Now, fellowships don’t actually go to Council, but the timing is about the same.

  73. Very Anxious said

    – R01 application reviewed on Feb 28 with impact score of 20 (non-percentiled)
    – Summary Statement received on March 31st
    – Left two emails to PO for Primary IC for consultation since March 31st and heard no replies.
    -Primary IC; NICHD, Secondary IC: NIDDK
    – What should I do now?

    • writedit said

      You should sit tight for another week or so and try calling the PO if you have not had a reply by the end of next week. In addition to having more urgent requests for help, the PO could be off for personal reasons, especially around holidays. When you reach him/her, you can ask whether you should resubmit or sit tight until the PO needs information from you (whether a rebuttal or JIT). You shouldn’t panic about the delay in response- but if you cannot connect with the primary IC PO by the end of April, you can let the secondary IC PO know that you would like some guidance on next steps.


      • Very Anxious said

        Thank you so much for your advice.

        By the way, I read on several occasions above that it is sometimes possible that an A0 grant will be funded even if the applicant sent in an A1. in those cases, the IC will pull the A1 out.

        How about the following scenario: I already got the Summary Statement of the A1 (with an impact score of 20), but my PO turns out to be very vague about the prospect of it being funded (or not), which is not uncommon from what I read above.

        Can I send in a new A0 application (with a new title, but same Specific Aims) that addresses the very minor comments for the A1 while the A1 is still being considered? Can they pull the new A0 out if the A1 is funded?


      • writedit said

        Yes, a new A0 (using the same science) works the same way. If the A1 with the score of 20 receives an award, the new A0 would be pulled, even if it had been reviewed. Your PO might have a better idea of funding in early May (current CR ends April 28, and my guess is that Congress will just extend the current funding level to the end of the FY – but this is not certain and won’t be until the end of April), which would still give you time to prepare an application for June.

  74. Very Anxious said

    Thanks! Just one more question: From what I was told by my colleagues, NICHD (and perhaps some others as well) is funding at 5th percentile during the current CR because of the uncertainty of how this year’s budget will end up. If Congress makes it clear on April 28th to extend he current CR for the rest of the fiscal year, does it mean that the funding level of NICHD will rise back to 10th percentile (like last year) for the remaining of the year?

    • writedit said

      The payline will go up once the ICs know their final appropriation, though it won’t go fully back to the level of FY16, since they first must cover all prior obligations (with no increase), leaving a bit less for competing awards (new, renewal, revision/supplements). Some gray zone decisions might be affected by the future budget uncertainty, in that ICs will be careful in taking on large, long-term obligations until they know what happens to the 20% cut proposed for FY18.

  75. noisydata said

    I am an ESI and received a score of 9% for R01-A1 (IC: NHLBI). The current payline is at 15% (25% for ESI). The grant has been under “administrative review” for over a month now. PO and GMS have not said for sure if the project will be funded. I wonder what are my chances of getting the award notice, considering the budgetary/political uncertainties?

    • writedit said

      Wow. Have either the PO or GMS indicated that there are administrative issues that need to be addressed, or are they suggesting this is due to future funding concerns? The length of time for the administrative review is not an issue – lots of timelines posted here have shown months passing in the Pending status, especially under a CR. This year, however, the concern about future FY appropriations is giving ICs significant pause, since they must meet existing obligations before funding new awards; if they take a 20% cut (unlikely, but still on the table), they would not be able to fund very many new awards in FY18 (and only with cuts to noncompeting renewal budgets). NHLBI not funding an ESI R01 at the 9th percentile is a remarkable shift, though, and I am sure it is incredibly painful for them to risk losing outstanding junior investigators.

      • noisydata said

        No outstanding issues. The last response I got was that the award will be issued if and when the funds are available. According to RePORTER, NHLBI is still funding “new” projects but at a much slower pace. I think they must be working on an ultraconservative, interim payline, but that payline has to be really, really low for my grant to be put aside. Hopefully, it will get better after the 28th of April. It is extremely depressing nonetheless.

      • writedit said

        Funds should be available by the end of May, if at the end of April Congress just continues FY16 funding levels through the end of FY17, which is what I would expect to happen. However, NIH won’t know by the end of May what is happening with the FY18 budget, which is what will make them extremely nervous. Hopefully NHLBI will see their way to fund applications such as yours though.

      • Rizwan Ahmad said

        Okay, I finally got the award notice. But, to my surprise, the approved budget is smaller than what I requested. In particular, the 4th and 5th year budgets have been cut by more than 15%. Note, the reviewers did not recommend any cuts and the rationale for these cuts has not been communicated to me. I am worried that these budget cuts are too extensive and I may have no choice but to modify the research plan (e.g., reduce sample size) to accommodate these cuts.

        Is it common for GMS to cut the budget without discussing its ramifications with the PI?

        Also, should I contact GMS to make a case for a larger budget? Can GMS revise the budget upward after the award notice has been issued?

      • writedit said

        Except for ESI awardees, budgets are almost always cut (even if study section approves budget as proposed), especially in out years, and the NIH does not need to provide rationale. However, you can talk with the PO about adjusting the aims. They must negotiate if the cut is 25% or more, but your PO might work with you on adjusting the scope of work at a 15% cut. You can always ask about restoring some of the funding, but this is standard practice, and funds are rarely restored except with very good justification.

      • LIZR said

        Rizwan, NIGMS almost always cuts R01’s, and this is usually done without talking to the PI. If you look through NIH reporter you can see that many recently funded NIGMS R01 are fund at $200K per year or less. Most of these grants were probably submitted with modular budgets of 250K/per year, which means they were cut by 20% cut or more. Most NIGMS R01’s are also cut to 4 yrs instead 5yrs (except for ESIs). This seems pretty harsh, but NIGMS makes these cuts in order to fund as many awards as possible.

      • writedit said

        Thanks for chiming in with this observation, LIZR! (sorry for my tardiness in getting to all these comments …)

  76. K99NIDCD said

    Hi, writeditor, I was wondering do you have any idea about fundable score for a K99 application to NIDCD? Cause, They don’t publish payline.
    Many thanks.

    • writedit said

      This year in particular, I really have no idea. Probably under 20, given the current and potential future budget situation, but your PO should be able to give you an indication as to whether you will be considered for an award or whether you should resubmit (which is the question you should ask, once you have your summary statement – should I resubmit).

  77. ladypaindoc said

    Hello! I am super excited to post my timelines for two A0 K23 applications spanning about 2.5 years. I thank writedit and everyone who has posted here before – this website has been a tremendous resource for information, in addition to being something to turn to to help curb my craziness and anxiety during the waiting process.

    K23 A0 Submission to NIAMS
    2/3/2015 – Application entered into system.
    6/29/2015 – Scientific Review Group review completed. Impact score 70 (no percentile).
    7/27/2015 – Summary Statement available.
    Decision made to come up with entirely new project as main concerns from reviewers were on the research strategy. I focused on getting some preliminary data and getting more publications. Used every piece of critique/advice from this application’s summary statement to improve next application.

    K23 A0 Submission to NIGMS
    6/13/2016 – Application entered into system.
    10/12/2016 – SRG.
    10/13/2016 – Scientific Review Group review completed. Impact score 21 (no percentile).
    11/8/2016 – Summary Statement available.
    2/1/2017 – Council review completed.
    3/9/2017 – Pending administrative review.
    4/5/2017 – Award prepared.
    4/6/2017 – Application awarded. Received Notice of Award!

    • writedit said

      Woohoo! Congratulations and thank you for posting such an informative and inspirational timeline. I am really happy awards are being made under the CR, especially. Best wishes for success with your project and your career in biomedical research!

  78. U0NCI said

    Thanks for the great service for community. Got score U01 NCI score 20 and summary statement. PO is supportive. What would be the chance of getting award. Advise would be highly appreciated.

    • writedit said

      If your PO is supportive, that’s fantastic – you cannot do better than a supportive NCI PO. If your PO did not make any noises about resubmitting and did not request any rebuttal, then he/she must feel that an award is relatively secure. NCI is in a more secure place than the other ICs, though the FY17 and FY18 budget uncertainty will still definitely affect applications scoring in the gray zone. If your PO does not think you need to do anything (either resubmit for insurance or provide him/her with rebuttal for internal advocacy), then you just need to wait out Council and administrative review (ie, summer).

  79. Very anxious said

    After nearly three weeks since I first contacted my PO, I spoke with her this morning about my revised R01 application (impact score 20 – not percentiled). The PO said even the application was not percentiled, the IC will assign a percentile based upon data available from CSR for funding decision. Any idea if an impact score of 20 will fall between the 1st and the 9th percentile? Has anyone got a score of 20 with a percentile beyond 10th?

    I also asked my PO twice whether I should begin resubmission, but she kept telling me let her find out the percentile first. Is it a good sign?

    My application is also dual-assigned to two IC’s. My PO told me that if I want, I can contact the PO of secondary IC Should I do it now or should I wait?


    • laghs said

      I got 20 twice, first time (R21, FY2014) had 7%, and second time (R01, FY2017) had 6%. So you should be fine.

      • Very anxious said

        Thank you so much for sharing and good luck with your current/future applications as well!

    • writedit said

      I agree that your PO telling you to wait on resubmission is good news – she cannot and does not want to say anything definitive, but if she had any doubts, she would tell you to resubmit. You should wait to see what the percentile is and what your primary IC PO has to say before contacting the secondary IC PO (this person will not be able to say or do anything until a percentile is available and the primary IC has decided whether to make an award). If you do not know the secondary IC PO and feel, after looking up his/her area of expertise, that this PO would be a good contact to make for future reference, you could just reach out to introduce yourself (not to ask anything about your R01 application). If you get the R01 with your primary IC, you might want to consider submitting a different application for a different project to this secondary IC later, in which case this would be a good contact to make.

      • Very anxious said

        The PO emailed me today and said my score is associated with 5%ile with no further comments. I suppose it should be fine, right? Thanks!

      • writedit said

        Yes, you don’t need to be “Very Anxious” at all.


  80. psyance said

    Hi Writedit – Do you (or anyone else here) know if a transgender student would meet the requirements for a diversity supplement.

  81. F32app said

    Hi Writedit, are the members of a study section for F32 usually the same group of people in a year?

    • writedit said

      You can see who will still be on the study section by looking at the SRG roster. Each name has a two-digit year in parentheses that reflects the year on which they will rotate off the panel. You would look for (17) or (18) to see who might be gone, depending on when your application is reviewed.

  82. doubletree said

    Hi Writedit,

    Thanks so much for this great resources.

    More than a month ago, a GMS asked us to update JIT for my R01 application reviewed last October. But I haven’t heard since then. And I just realized that my application was also assigned to a different institute several days ago in era commons status. I was wondering if you have seen the change of the institute at this stage.

    • writedit said

      If your summary statement lists a secondary IC, it could be the primary IC reached out to them for help funding the award … or it could just be that someone realized the secondary IC was not listed as they began processing an award. You can ask your PO or GMS for an update on what is happening – if your application were being transferred to a different IC, you would have heard from them, so I expect this is just administrative clean up. The month delay with no activity is not surprising, so don’t worry about that (or be surprised if there are more delays).

      • doubletree said

        Thanks so much for the reply !
        It was not a secondary IC (something not listed in the summary statement). I may contact the PO and GMS later. Thanks again and have a great weekend.

  83. Jake said

    Dear Writeit,

    I recently followed up with the PO on my F30 application after receiving the summary statement. The e-mail response was generally positive. The PO congratulated me and said that nothing is guaranteed but that I was within the funding range for this cycle. One of the issues raised was that I was a senior student (in 4/5th year) and requested 2 years. My question is, if I am within the fundable percentile, will they likely grant me the 2 years of funding requested? or is there a chance they will make concessions and only fund 1 year? I was not sure how flexible they were on changing the term of the grant.

    • writedit said

      They can only fund you for your actual years in graduate school, so while they may approve 2 years, the noncompeting renewal for the second year would likely be contingent on how many months you have left. But, if it is clear you only have a year left when they process your award, they will fund you for the one year (it is not 2 or nothing).

  84. SO said

    Hello Writedit,

    My PO tells me that my “application has ranked within the zone of consideration for funding”. What does that actually mean? is it that I am within the payline for this mechanism, and should strongly expect to get funded? or is it that I am only being considered for funding and there is a 50/50 chance that I might or might not get funded? Thanks so much

    • writedit said

      More the latter, but you may have a greater than 50-50 chance, if your PO even mentioned this. You should ask whether the PO recommends that you resubmit in July (or June, if the application under consideration was an A1). The PO will not want to put you at risk, if you need the insurance (of a back-up application that can be withdrawn), but if the PO says no, then you can feel more confident.

  85. Jerry said

    Hello Writedit,

    Do you expect any changes to the NINDS payline?

    It did not mention any increase to NINDS.


    • writedit said

      Assuming the budget bill passes both houses and is signed by the President, the increase in NIH funding will first be distributed according to legislative direction (for specific disorders, such as Alzheimer’s), with any administrative funding taken out next, and then distributed according to each IC’s appropriation percentage. The ICs won’t know their final appropriation until 4-6 weeks after the budget bill is signed into law. NINDS should have a payline that is no worse than FY16 and should be slightly better – depending on how cautious they are about future commitments given the uncertainty of the FY18 budget (ie, threatened 6% cut, which won’t happen, but could still have the potential for a smaller cut).

  86. Jerry said

    I mean on stroke research

  87. Jerry said

    Thanks. Hope the NIDNS payline can go back to the 15th percentile.

  88. salchi said

    Hello Writeit,

    I am currently a K99 fellow. The K99 phase was funded for two years. I am planning to move to the R00 phase during month 18 of my K99. There is a new regulation that K99 fellows can bring K99 carryover to the R00 phase. Can I carryover money included in the K99 budget for salary/benefits as well as for training related activities? What happens with the 8% for indirect costs? Would this portion of the carryover be subject to the 8% indirect costs instead of the institutional indirect cost percentage? Thank you!

    • writedit said

      You’ll receive the second year of your K99 award all in one chunk (including indirects) at the beginning of the year, not month by month. You can ask your PO and/or GMS about the carryover, but I assume it all (including indirects) folds into the R00. It could be the first year award of your R00 may be reduced to reflect the carryover, but I’m not sure how this is handled now, so you are best off asking some at your IC.

      • salchi said

        Thank you!

  89. R15NEW said

    Is there any change in funding score for R15 with NCI?

    • writedit said

      We won’t know if the federal budget changes specific paylines for at least a month, probably more like 6-8 weeks.That’s how long it will take the final appropriation, minus any administrative expenses, for each IC to make its way down the chain of command (HHS, NIH, IC). You can check with your PO in June if you haven’t seen or heard anything by then (but definitely ask your PO sooner if you should resubmit in June, if that is what you need to decide).

  90. Xin said

    Hello writedit,
    I submitted 3 R15’s in February (I am close to tenure evaluation) and they ended up in the same study section. I was hoping that they would be assigned to different study sections. Among the 3 of them, one is distinct from the other two, and the second and third ones are concerning the same disease model. I am wondering if I should withdraw one or two because I’ve heard from many people it’s bad to have multiple grants in the same study section. Please advise. Thank you!

    • hdacs said

      I want to share my experience with you: I had one R15 and one R03 both pending back in March. Before NIGMS funded my R15, they asked me to withdraw my pending R03 with NIA. It was sort of a no-brainer, so I did, and within a week, my R15 was funded.

      • writedit said

        Congratulations and thank you so much for chiming in with your experience. Best wishes for success with your research!

    • writedit said

      Did you request specific study sections in your cover letter? If so, and if your request was not honored, you could ask the SRO of your preferred SRG if he/she can take your application. If you did not request a specific study section in your application cover letter (or did not submit a cover letter), then you cannot ask to move any of the applications.

      I would definitely recommend administratively withdrawing one of the two similar applications, or they might both be returned administratively if the SRO feels they are duplicate science. You cannot have two applications with the same science under review at the same time (even if they had gone to different study sections, this could have been discovered). Now, just because they use the same disease model does not mean they are duplicate, but it depends on your aims and approach – if too much overlap overall, then there would be a problem.

      Having two different R15 applications at the same study section is not ideal but should be fine. The SRO instructs reviewers to evaluate each application on its own merit, not in comparison with your other application (and not giving consideration to the fact you have two applications under review).

      • Deep said

        Nowadays there is a specific.form for requesting assignment and anything on cover letter is meaningless

      • writedit said

        My bad – you are absolutely correct. Same underlying question about whether a specific SRG had been requested still applies, but yes, the new form was in place when this application would have been submitted. Thanks for the correction.

      • Xin said

        Thank you writedit. Because R15 are usually reviewed by special panels, I only requested institutes in the cover letters. The 3 applications have been assigned to 3 different institutes. There is no overlap between the two grants with the same disease model. So, all 3 grants are distinct. The SRO has sent notifications to me yesterday that all 3 grants will be reviewed by his/her study section.

        Am I interpreting it correctly that you think it’s okay that they are in the same study section?

        Thank you again!

      • writedit said

        Yes, you will be fine having all 3 in one study section, especially with an R15 (since only one can be awarded). But even with R01 and R21 applications from the same PI (one of each or multiple of either) in the same SRG, the SRO instructs reviewers not to consider the other application when discussing or scoring the one currently under review.

  91. Guo said

    Dear Writedit,
    I have a R01 for NIA that was reviewed in June 2016. It is AD-related and it was just announced that the new AD payline is 28. And my R01 falls into this payline. My question is whether this payline applies to my application. The NIA council meeting was Sept 27-28, so I don’t think they could fund my application using last year’s budget (even if it were within payline). Would like to hear your expert opinion. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Your 2016 submission was for FY17, as is the just-announced payline. A Council meeting at the end of Sept is still for applications to be funded at the beginning of the next FY (FYs end on Sept 30, so unless the IC received electronic approval in advance of the Council meeting and completed all administrative review in time, none of the Sept Council applications would have been funded in FY16). You should be in good shape then, though the award process will (likely) not happen immediately, as there are administrative delays as the IC appropriation trickles down through HHS to NIH to NIA over the course of 4-6 weeks. On the other hand, your first-cycle submission should be first in line, so they may get started on these sooner. Your PO might have an idea of timing, but don’t be surprised if this is not the case.

      • Guo said

        Thank you so much! This puts my mind at ease. Like countless other readers, I really appreciate your blogging and contribution to the scientific community. I learned a lot from reading your posts.

      • Guo said

        Something strange happened. I emailed PO about funding possibility of my R01 and the PO replied saying that they “will not be able to go back” to my application in 2016. I then emailed back asked for clarification because this is at odds with my understanding (March 2016 submission, June review, supposedly for fiscal year 2017). Three days passed and haven’t heard back. Could this be just some misunderstanding? I can’t think of any scenario in which my application would be removed from consideration of 2017 funding. Looking at my Commons status, the only thing that seems strange is the last status update to “Council review completed” was Sept 16, while the council meeting was Sept 27-28, 2016. I am wondering about what my options are. Hopefully I’ll hear back from my PO soon, like on Monday. If not, who else can help clarify this situation? Are there any official channels to communicate through in cases like this?

      • writedit said

        I believe your PO is mistaken – even if Council approved your application in advance of meeting (Sept 16), which is generally the case for R01s, NIA would not have had time to process the awards by Sept 30 (yours would not have been the only R01 sent for en bloc approval in advance of the Council meeting). The only Cycle I applications funded in September go to Council in August(ish). You can check the FOA for your R01, which will indicate the earliest start date, which will tell you the FY in which your application cycle fell. If yours was submitted at standard submission dates (Feb 5/March 5), then your 2016 application was for FY17 (since Council was Sept/Oct rather than Aug). Some of the submission dates early in the year (ie, Jan-Feb) can be considered in the same FY (ie, 2016), but this would be very clear in the FOA – and your Council would have been in the summer (July/Aug), not the fall.

        Probably the delay in response is due to your PO checking to confirm the FY is FY17 (new POs especially often confuse the FY). Hopefully you’ll learn that yours is in fact still under consideration. You should sit tight until you hear back. If you don’t hear anything in a week, you could try calling the PO.

      • Guo said

        Thank you very much for the insight. My application was using parent announcement with standard due dates (March 5 in my case for A1). I think you are right. There is just no way it shouldn’t be a FY17 grant. I’ll sit tight and wait it out. Will post updates as this develops.

      • Guo said

        Finally heard back from PO, saying “within payline so it looks like it will go thru”. writedit, you are right all along.

      • writedit said

        Fantastic – congratulations and best wishes for success with your research!

      • Guo said

        Finally today received NOA. Here is a timeline of my application in case anyone is interested.

        10/6/2014 Initial application (NIA AD grant).
        2/12/2015 Study section meeting.
        3/7/2016 A1 submission.
        6/16/2016 Study section meeting (my app is 1 percentile lower than the 2016 payline; no 2017 budget yet).
        5/1/2017 Congress included $400 million increase in AD research in the budget bill.
        5/5/2017 Congress passed budget with $400 million increase in AD research.
        5/10/2017 NIA announces 2017 paylines.
        6/2/2017 JIT request from GMS.
        6/29/2017 Request to address reviewer comment on Authentication of Key Resources Plan (should have done this sooner).
        7/5/2017 NOA posted.

        I’ll have to say that there was a great deal of luck in my award thanks to the funding increase in AD research. However, like Drugmonkey said, you got to keep sending in credible applications so that you are there when luck comes. I have sent in too many applications to count and my aim has been one application per cycle. So for those of you who are struggling, just keep trying, because, one day, luck will find you.

      • writedit said

        Congratulations on your perseverance and success! Thank you so much for sharing your timeline (everyone should take note of the year delay between study section meeting and JIT request …), and best wishes for success with your research.

  92. avocado said

    Are applications submitted to a non-Parent R01 FOA reviewed by standing study sections or by Special Emphasis Panels? The FOA does not offer any guidance on this and the contact person listed on the FOA has not replied to my queries on this.

    Appreciate any advice……

    • writedit said

      The FOA indicates the locus of review. If there is no individual listed under Peer Review Contact(s) but instead a line instructing you to check your eRA Commons account for the review assignment, this means your application will be sent to CSR for assignment (and you should request an SRG as part of your application). If the contact person you mention below is an SRO listed as the Peer Review Contact, then look at the scientific review committees listed for that IC ( or the SEP for that FOA ( You can also give the SRO a little more time to respond – your inquiry, depending on the submission date, is probably a bit less urgent than other questions or activities related to making reviewer assignments, preparing for an upcoming review meeting, or getting summary statements ready (depending on what phase that SRO might be in now).

  93. Mdot said

    After the council review if the status still remains “Council Review Completed”, does it mean that the grant is not in the list to be funded. What is POs role after the council? The review was in February. Can you please give some insight into the process that happens in Council review and past council review with respect to the grants that may be in funding range or borderline.

    • writedit said

      Council review completed means just that – every grant application has that status. It later changes to “Administrative review” once the IC starts to process JIT information toward processing an award. If you are not sure where you stand in terms of score and don’t know if your application was sent to Council for approval, you can ask your PO if your application is on the paylist and, if so, what your odds are for funding (and whether you should submit again). Your PO will let you know if he/she needs additional information, such as a brief rebuttal to the review, to use in advocating for an award. If you are on the paylist, you won’t know for sure about your outcome until September 30th (or, realistically, a week or two prior), at which point it will be too late in the FY for an award (processed from scratch).

  94. Mdot said

    Thank you, it is clear now. PO’s response was not negative. I believe it is encouraging.

  95. alessaycy said

    Letter of support vs. biosketch for collaborators, how do you decide which one to provide or one should just provide both? Another question is my work mainly involves animal models, but in very rare cases I may need to do an immunostaining on human tissues. I obtains human tissue through my collaborator and I don’t have my own IRB protocol. Is it ok to list my collaborator’s IRB protocol under human Subject or I need to get my own?

    • writedit said

      If you are naming the collaborators and listing them as key personnel (even if not paid), they need to provide a biosketch, and a letter is good as well. You need to talk with your Office of Research or Sponsored Programs about what is required with regard to your human subjects question. This depends on the experiments you are proposing in the application and the source of the tissue. You should work with your institution to ensure this is completed correctly for your application.

  96. R01 hopeful said

    Dear Writedit,

    We all heard that Congress passed the FY2017 budget two weeks ago, but from what I learned, the President has not signed it yet.

    Q1: In this case, will NIH still operate under CR?
    Q2: When will the President sign the budget?
    Q3. What is delaying him for doing so?
    Q4: Will CR end and paylines be revised immediately the moment that the President signs the budget or we will have to wait for another two weeks or more?


    • writedit said

      The President signed the federal budget bill for FY17 on May 5. It will take 4-6 weeks (since it was signed) before the ICs know their final appropriation: first HHS sorts out the Department budget, then distributes $ to the NIH, which then distributes $ to ICs (lots of bureaucracy along the way, and some $ will be designated for reporting and other administrative costs). Then the ICs will need to review their portfolio of applications for the entire FY (not just current cycle) – and try to read the tea leaves about FY18 (since they must consider long-term obligations in light of future budget trends), though it seems quite unlikely the NIH will be cut by 20% – possibly at all.

      • R01 hopeful said

        Thank you so much for the insights. My Council will meet on June 9th, so will they fund applications using Interim CR payline? (My Impact Score is 20, PO’s response was quite neutral when I spoke with him in April).

      • writedit said

        By the time your application is considered, your IC might have an updated payline available. A neutral PO is par for the course. If you asked whether you should resubmit for June/July and were not encouraged to, then that would have been a positive response. Otherwise, you should be able to get an update soon (especially if your eRA Commons status changes to “Council review completed” before June 9).

  97. U0NCI said

    Hi writedit,
    Thanks for your reply to my post on April 21, First, he said he doesn’t need any thing but after talking regarding science he asked me if I can provide him 1 or 2 some important publications in support. I asked him for rebuttal letter too but he denied it. What would you think about this. I have Impact score 20 on U01 application.

    • writedit said

      If he doesn’t think he needs a rebuttal to make your case, then you’re good. The publications are more important (and have more sway with the internal discussions). Sounds like you have a good PO, so sit back and see what he can do. The score should make it easy for him to make your case, too (depending on the rest of the application pool, of course, but 20 should not be a stretch).

      • U0NCI said

        Hello Writeedit,
        The status of my application on era commons is showing council meeting completed since one week. I sent email to my PO regarding the updates but didn’t receive any reply yet. As currently I am not having any NIH funding what would be my chances of getting this award (impact score 20).

      • writedit said

        Please don’t worry about not hearing from the PO yet. A week since Council is no time at all, and there is a lot to do within the IC (which only received its appropriation within the last few weeks). You do not mention the mechanism, but an impact score of 20 should be competitive for a lot of mechanisms, so your PO has probably been busy working with POs whose funding is not assured and/or who just received their reviews from February/March submissions. I expect the ICs won’t get to Cycle 3 applications until July (the anticipated start date is not an expiration date), so, again, don’t worry if you don’t hear anything before the holiday weekend. If you had a GMS assigned, you could ask him or her if/when your JIT would be needed. They won’t ask for JIT until they are ready to process it, so, again, any delay should not necessarily be taken as a bad sign. I am assuming you communicated wth your PO after you received your summary statement – if not, you could try again after July 5, both to ask about the funding likelihood of this application with an impact score of 20 (and when JIT should be sent, if the PO indicates you are in good shape); if your likelihood of funding is not clear, you can ask if you should submit again.

      • U0NCI said

        Hi Writedit,
        I apologize for misspell your name. Again thanks for wonderful service for the community. I also asked to my PO if they need JIT. Please reply!

      • writedit said

        No worries – see my response above, and good luck!

      • U0NCI said

        Thanks a lot. My mechanism is U01 (NCI). After summary statement and after score, I talked to PO. I also asked him about rebuttal but he denies it and rather asked me to send published paper which support my science. The start date of my application is on Sep 2017.

      • writedit said

        If your start date is not until September 1, then they won’t be working on your application until August, probably, so don’t be surprised if there is a delay. No news is good news – it is fastest for them to say no.

      • U0NCI said

        Hi writedit,
        Thanks for your positive reply. My worry is that I came to know that a PI got negative reply from PO after council. My grant has to start on September 01. Also, I am a new investigator (means do not have NIH funding). I assume that U01 mechanism did not follow new and early stage investigator. It is about one week since I wrote email to my PO. What is your opinion? Thanks in advance!

      • U0NCI said

        The PI who got negative reply having application in the same mechanism but our POs are different.

  98. Applicant said

    Dear Writedit,

    Thank you for this wonderful resource. My P.O. has been quite unresponsive, and I was wondering if you had any suggestions for how to move forward. My NRSA application (Dec. 2016 submission) is below the payline (>10 below), and I have tried to contact the P.O. numerous times over the past couple of months but to no avail. Should I just sit tight or is there anybody else that I should contact? Thank you very much for your help!

    • writedit said

      Since your application would not be processed until June or July, you don’t need to worry about the lack of activity, and your PO probably would not have had much to tell you before now, but he or she should have responded at least once. If you have only sent email, you could call his/her office (there might be another number offered if you get sent to voicemail). You can check your IC’s extramural research staff (on website) to see if there is another NRSA or possibly career development PO whom you might contact; if not, you can see extramural office leadership and check in (politely & respectfully) with an appropriate member, or you could ask your mentor to contact his or her PO to see what they can learn (I assume they are in the same IC). There could be a personal or work-related reason the PO has not been able to respond, or they could have been waiting until they had a more solid timeline to suggest, which should be more clear now that you are closer to your start date and the federal budget has been signed into law.

      • Applicant said

        Dear Writedit,

        Thank you very much for your reply!

        The Dec. 2016 submission was an A1 re-submission application for an original application that was submitted for the Aug. 2016 submission. According to the recently updated funding policy, my Aug. 2016 submission is actually below the current payline (3 below). Even if it may be too early to hear back from the P.O. about the Dec. 2016 application, I’m guessing that I should have already heard from the P.O. about the original application. I will try calling him or try getting in contact with another staff member. Thank you again for your help.

      • writedit said

        Hmm. If the A0 scored so well, I am surprised you have not heard anything. I would suggest you try calling the NRSA PO and if you still cannot reach them, ask your mentor to reach out to his/her PO for advice on who else to contact about your fellowship.

  99. R15 said

    Hello writedit, I currently have an R03 that ends in March 2018. I have just learned that I have an R15 within the FY17 payline. Based on the R15 website, it appears that I cannot accept the R15 with an existing R03. But I do need the R15, which is larger than R03, to pass my tenure evaluation. Is there a way to withdraw/manually end my current R03 in order to accept the new R15? Thank you!

    • R15 said

      I just heard from a colleague that it’s possible to transfer my R03 to someone else in the same department. Would you recommend that? Thanks.

      • writedit said

        Yes, your PO and IC need to approve the new PI, and this person must have the appropriate expertise and resources to do the work, but you can ask your R03 PO about transferring the award. You can also talk with the R15 PO about the overlap, but I do not think they will have any flexibility, and the R15 award would need to be made by Sept 30th.

  100. K22 Exten said

    Can we ask no-cost extension on K22 grant from NCI? I might have left with some little pending work at the end?

    • writedit said

      You should just ask your PO – it’s a special mechanism, and I’m not sure how NCI manages those. I assume carryover would be fine, but you should just ask to be sure.

  101. MonkeyBoy said

    My score on NCI RO3 submitted in June 2016 and reviewed in Nov 2016 was priority score of 21. It was for NCI small grants RO3 omniibus PA. For the past 5 yrs this NCI RO3 payline has been 25, this mechanism at NCI is not percentiled. A few months ago inquiring of the p.o. I learned during the CR they were only funding to 20. In Dec the p.o. was very positive it would be fumdedt but that was before the CR was extended to the spring. Time is running out for fy2017. I hope the payline is back to at least 21 once the NCI makes final budgetary decisions. My question is I have iacuc protocols for grant still pending. If my grant is selected for an award in the next month’s will I lose out if the iacucs are not fully approved prior to end of fy2017 on Sept 30th? Status now is Council Review Completed. Thanks , I have followed your blog since its inception !

    • writedit said

      The payline should be updated in June, so if your PO was positive about your chances, you should get the IACUC approval ASAP. You need IACUC approval before your institution can accept the award, and the award needs to be made in this fiscal year. If your application has administrative issues such as lack of IACUC approval as Sept 30th grows closer, your application could be skipped (NCI cannot carry any $ over so would need to apply these funds to another award).

  102. alessaycy said

    Dear Writedit,

    I propose to use two different animal models that involves two IACUC protocols. I don’t see an option in “research and related other project information” to add multiple IACUC protocols. What should I do?

    Thank you.

    • writedit said

      I have not done the vertebrate animals section in the latest forms, so I cannot comment on what you are experiencing. However, if you cannot add an additional IACUC approval date, just enter the most recent approval received. The IACUC details are more important at JIT rather than at application (many applications have Pending IACUC status), so you don’t need to worry if you can’t include both dates. You can parenthetically note the existing IACUC review/approval in your Vertebrate Animals section, if you want emphasize these models exist and have been approved (if they are complex, for example), but reviewers know you will need to secure approval prior to funding.

  103. Matt said

    Dear Writedit,

    I have read a few comments above that despite the increase in the approved FY2017 budget, many IC’s will remain cautious about the remaining funding cycle because of the worries of budget cuts in FY2018 budget. However, someone also told me that NIH must spend whatever they are appropriated for the FY2017 because the money cannot be carried over to FY2018. So exactly how the IC’s will do now to the paylines in order to prepare for the potential cuts in FY2018? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      The NIH must spend all of its FY17 appropriation in FY17. The NIH enjoys bipartisan support in Congress, so the severe cuts proposed by the Administration will not be considered, especially in light of the increase in the FY17 budget despite a request by the Administration for a cut. However, the GOP is also committed to a tax cut, which would need to be offset by flat or reduced discretionary spending. When ICs are uncertain about long-term appropriation trends, they may make shorter commitments, such as more 3- or 4-year R01s (since NIH reports the number of R01s as a metric to Congress) and other major activity codes and/or more R21s (2 year and not renewable).

  104. F30Query said

    I have a f30 application that has been reviewed and I was not optimistic intially because the score was borderline but indications from the PO seem to imply that the grant will be funded as it is within funding range. I see in Advisory Council (AC) is remaining. I was wondering just 2 things
    1. How large of an impact the AC has on grant funding? Does it hold as much weight as the SRG? From the description on NIH website it looked like it is another scientific review?
    2. I recognize that new eyes on a grant (even one that is already funded) will always raise new criticisms. I was curious how often it is the case that an application is within funding range from SRG score and PO indicate that its fund-able but then AC brings new criticisms?

    Many thanks, I appreciate this resource Writeit!!!

    • writedit said

      First, congratulations on the PO being positive. Fellowships do not go to Council for review – they are selected internally at the IC.

      All other applications do go to Council, which focuses on the quality of the peer review and the appropriateness of the science for the mission of the IC. They also provide extra review for special applications, depending on the IC’s policies, and consider appeals to peer review outcome (never a good idea for the PI to pursue). Council does not conduct a second review of scientific merit nor provide any feedback to applicants. For most applications, Council provides approval en bloc (meaning they approve an entire list of applications the IC would like to consider for funding), often electronically in advance of the actual meeting. In the future, if your application is on the list sent to Council, you don’t need to worry about something bad happening at Council, though being on the paylist approved by Council is no guarantee that your application will receive an award.

      • F30Query said

        Great, Thank you so much again for all your help!

  105. jacob said

    My friend received a notice yesterday that her R01 was just funded by the NIDCR. I am waiting for the information from the NIAAA. Are there any information from the NIAAA? Their council meeting was done almost one month ago.

    • writedit said

      Don’t panic too much over the delay. The ICs have probably just received their appropriations (takes 4+ weeks after the President signs the budget bill) and gotten down to making awards. If you know you are in line for an award, sit tight for processing (don’t worry if your July 1 start date passes without an award – it is not an expiration date). If you are still waiting to hear whether you might receive an award, your PO should have a better idea in the next week or so. If you don’t hear by next week, you can certainly check in again for an update.

  106. jacob said

    Thanks Writedit. Will wait one or two weeks to see.

  107. alessaycy said

    For R01, can you request budget to hire an undergraduate student? He/she will work in the lab for 10 hours per week to make reagents, autoclave, clean animal cages. I got mixed answers from the Sponsor Program in my institute.

    • writedit said

      This varies by university/institution (some want the undergraduate to have an educational component to any job), but the NIH does not have any policy against using grant funding to hire undergraduates for lab work. The grant funding is for you to spend as you see fit to accomplish the work. Now, if you are just preparing an application for submission, assuming you have a modular NIH budget, you will not list this as a budget line item for the NIH (just a research assistant in the budget justification, though not specifically designated as an undergraduate student). For your internal budget, you would use whatever employment classification your university or institution uses (Research Level II, for example) and the middle of that pay band with the appropriate calendar months for the % effort you want this person to do. The qualifications would be high school diploma or bachelor’s degree to cover whomever at this level you might hire.

  108. R15 UPDATE said

    Any current update on NCI R15 percent funding. Currently NCI funding upto impact score 20. Mine is 23. Any insight would help.

    • writedit said

      Give it another week or two and see if your PO gets in touch with a JIT request. If NCI has not updated their page by mid-June, you could check in with the PO for a status report.

  109. R01 hopeful said

    Is it always a good sign that the PO (not the automated system at eRA Commons) asks you for JIT one week before the Council Meeting? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Yes. It is not a guarantee of funding (IC needs to do administrative review first), but it is a guarantee that your application is being considered for an award.

      • R01 hopeful said

        Thank you for your quick reply. Could you please enlighten me, who does not have your experience in this matter, what an administrative review is and what can go wrong at that stage? Thanks!

      • writedit said

        They will check for overlapping sources of funding, completion of any necessary training and regulatory approvals (eg, IACUC, IRB), and any updates on the budget as submitted. If you need to obtain any regulatory approvals, you need to do that ASAP (hopefully already completed by now) – your award will be delayed until those are in hand. Once the administrative review is completed, your application can be processed for an award.

  110. NH2017 said

    Hi Writedit,
    Is it possible to request the SRO to assign one particular PO to an application once it is reviewed?

    • writedit said

      SROs and POs live in different places. SROs are (mostly) in the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), while POs are entirely in the ICs (some SROs are in ICs, too, but only for career development awards, certain other mechanisms, and IC-issued FOAs). If you didn’t work with a PO in advance of applying (which I always recommend doing, both for guidance on the application and selecting the right review group), the IC accepting your application assigns one, whose name and contact information will be listed on the summary statement.

      • NH2017 said

        THANK you so much!
        I did communicate with a PO who read my aims and significance/innovation. I selected a study section. How do I indicate that on my application so if will be assign to him? Thanks again!!

      • writedit said

        You can include an optional cover letter that indicates you have been working with {your PO’s name}, in addition to the Assignment request form.

  111. R15 Wait said

    Any current update on NCI R15 percent funding. Currently NCI funding upto impact score 20. Mine is 23. Any insight would help.

    • sciencegirl said

      R15 Walt–Just wanted to let you know that I am in the exact position as you. NCI R15 impact score 23. I have also not heard anything as of yet. Let me know if you do, and I will do the same.

      • R15 UPDATE said

        Sure… I will.

    • sciencegirl said

      R15Wait–I just heard from my PO that payline for NCI R15 for 2017 is 20 and my grant (score 23) will not be funded. I don’t know if you have written or heard from your PO yet, but I thought I would share the bad (for me) news.

    • sciencegirl said

      Just heard again from my PO that NCI has just raised payline to 25 so there is still hope!

      • writedit said

        Fantastic news – your application should move forward for administrative review (will likely still take weeks due to backlog, though).

  112. NH2017 said

    THANK you writedit

  113. nmnatsak said

    Hello, the status for my K01 application with the score 25 submitted to NIA was just updated to “Pending Administrative review”. Does this sound promising? Any comment will be very much appreciated.
    06/02/2017 Administrative review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.
    05/17/2017 Council review completed.
    02/06/2017 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.
    11/28/2016 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
    11/14/2016 Application entered into system

    • R01 hopeful said

      Certainly a very positive development. Did you get a JIT request? Fingers crossed!

      • nmnatsak said

        Thank you for your reply, yes I got the JIT request, which I submitted a month ago. This is my first application ever, so i don’t know much about the funding process. Do all the grants go through the administrative review stage, even the ones which might not get funded?

    • writedit said

      Very positive status update. They are processing your application for an award, assuming there are no hiccups in the administrative review. You can put the champagne in the fridge, but don’t pop the cork until you have the NoA.

  114. nmnatsak said

    Thank you very much for your reply. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  115. PendingR01 said

    Dear writedit –

    It seems that my pending R01 is currently under administrative review (although the online status is still Council meeting completed). I just received an email from NIH, saying that they noticed there might be a scientific overlap between my pending R01 and an active foundation grant. They would like a copy of my foundation proposal and a document that summarizes the similarities and differences between the two grants.

    Although I don’t think there is overlap, I still want to know if there is anything I need to be careful about when preparing the justification document, since it is my first time dealing with such issue.

    Thanks a lot!

    • writedit said

      It’s hard to give specific advice in a generic setting, but if you can lay out the details of what aims or aspects of your science NIH vs foundation $ would cover (so even if there is scientific overlap, there is no double payment for the same work), that could help. I know of situations in which a foundation was willing to work with the PI to adjust their (foundation) award so there was no overlap (ie, fund different aspects of the lab) to satisfy NIH concerns, so you could talk with your foundation PO (equivalent), too. Your NIH PO should also be willing to help ensure that your research is maximized – the NIH is happy to accommodate complementary funding such that the federal dollars leverage and benefit from foundation support (ie, you can accomplish more than if you only had NIH $, which is good for the NIH – and scientific community). The key is to show either that the foundation $ goes either to a parallel project (absolutely no overlap in science or effort) or to different/complementary aspects of the same project supported by the NIH.

  116. LNS said

    I was told that my R01 was within the payline and submitted JIT by request. Last week, we received an email from the institute requesting we confirm their proposed start date and funding level. We responded with our approval immediately, but I haven’t heard anything since then, and nothing has changed in commons since February (other than our JIT upload). The proposed start date they gave us is this Friday. Should I be concerned and/or should I follow up?

    • writedit said

      No, you are fine. You can get the NOA after the start date (even when the NIH sets it, it’s not an expiration date). If you don’t have a NOA by Friday, they’ll either keep the backdated start date or update the start date to reflect when the NOA is issued.

      • LNS said

        Ok, thank you so much for the reassurance!

  117. R01 hopeful said

    I was just told by my boss that for the R01’s in response to PARs or RFAs they have separate budgets. So according to him, if the money assigned for a specific PAR run out, the IC may not pay. Is he correct?

    This is concerning to me because my R01 got a good score (equivalent to 5%-tile according to the PO), but it is in response to a PAR. The Council will meet soon, so what if the budget for the PAR did run out? Can they try to fund it through the regular R01 budget? Should the IC pull the PAR announcement if they knew that the budget was running out?


    • writedit said

      The FOA indicates if there is a limited amount of designated funding. This is usually the case for RFAs but not (usually – I cannot guarantee that no PARs have limited funds available) for PARs. You can look at your PAR and see what is listed for Funds Available in Section II of the FOA. It likely gives the standard “The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.” All FOAs without set-aside funding say this. Plus, it sounds like you have a good PO who absolutely would have said something about any potential funding limits when he/she told you that your score was the equivalent of 5th percentile.

      • R01 hopeful said

        Dear Writedit,

        I just checked the FOA and you’re right (of course). It did say “The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.”

        Yes, my PO has been one of the best that I have encountered so far. Let’s hope it will go through Council Review without any incidents.

        Thank you!

      • writedit said

        Great – sounds like you can be cautiously optimistic.

  118. A said

    Dear Writedit,

    The status of an R01 pending for more than a year (score 20), changed yesterday from “council review completed” to “Pending admn. review”. It’s been a long process in which we had to negotiate a cut and a reduction of from 5 to 3 years. I know from previous posts you’ve said this may be positive news- but I wonder what the potions are, and howl long would it be before getting a NOA.

    Thanks !


    • A said

      and one more thing- how feasible it is to take an award you just got to a different institution, if you had offer a new position?

      • writedit said

        The award is to your current institution (not you), which would need to relinquish the award to your new university/institution. Although your current institution has the right to keep the award and nominate a new PI (subject to approval by the NIH), they will almost certainly let you transfer the award. If you have co-investigators at your current institution receiving effort off the grant, their funding would not go with you (would be reworked as a subcontract). Now, this assumes the NIH agrees that you can perform the work at the new institution and approves the transfer of the award – again, usually not a problem, but if you need access to specialized equipment, animal models, patient populations, etc. only available at your current institution, the negotiations would be more complex; in some of these cases, the PI who is moving steps down to become a consultant or co-investigator as a subcontractor on the award, with a new PI selected at the original institution to continue the project.

      • ELISA said

        Hi Writedit,
        Thanks for these great posts here! Along the same line – I may also need to go to a new institution within a year. My impression is I can take the remaining funds to the new location, but I was told the fund of the current FY, which is already allocated to the current institution, can’t be moved. Is that true? Thanks!

      • writedit said

        No, you can transfer an award at any point in your budget period (or NIH FY). You first close out the award at your current institution (assuming they agree to relinquish the award), at which point any funds not yet spent are relinquished back to the NIH. Your IC then issues a new NoA to your new institution. You’ll lose time closing down one award and lab and starting up again in the new location, but the funds go with you – again, assuming your current institution and your IC agree with your request to transfer the award to the new institution (generally not a problem, assuming the new institution has the appropriate resources and infrastructure to support your award). You’ll want to communicate with your PO as early as possible about the possible transfer – as soon as you know it might be needed.

    • writedit said

      This is very positive news, especially after all your negotiating (which never happens unless the IC wants to make an award). The timing of actually getting an award can be days to months still, though. Assuming all your JIT has been reviewed as part of the negotiations, you can probably expect to hear something within a few weeks. However, if it takes longer, you don’t need to panic – your PO will be in touch if they need information from you.

  119. alessaycy said

    This is encouraging for early- and mid-stage investigators.

  120. MIRAtime said

    Hi Writedit and all,

    Thank you for providing such a great resource. Has anyone heard anything about decision timelines for this years ESI-MIRA? My PO has been extremely vague.


    • writedit said

      As I recall, it was pretty vague and quiet last year as well, so don’t assume the worst. Hopefully someone with better intel can chime in.

    • C said

      I suspect there are lots of us anxiously waiting on their FY17 ESI-MIRA funding outcome, riding together on the budget rollercoaster of the past couple months. I have a mid-30s impact score and was told (prior to FY17 budget agreement) that my app “is being considered for funding”. My last communication with PO in mid-May said to check back in a few weeks.

      • MIRAtime said

        Similar situation here. Low 30’s impact score, described by PO as “borderline”. I submitted JIT last week, but haven’t gotten any information about when they are actually making decisions.

      • writedit said

        Thank you so much for sharing this intel, which I am sure will be useful to others. Hopefully the positive outcome for the FY17 appropriation is good news for your applications – the PO encouragement and JIT requests are positive developments.

      • MIRAtime said

        Hi Writedit,

        I just checked in with my PO about decision timelines and he said that my application had “passed through” the paylist meeting and is with senior staff for approval. Unfortunately, this the first time I have had a proposal make it this far so I am not sure if this is good news or no news. Any insight you can provide is greatly appreciated, as is this blog!

      • writedit said

        This is good news – you are on the paylist, and now the senior staff are approving the list and the rank order (if they are not sure about making awards to all the applications on the list – but I expect this list includes only those selected for funding).

      • C said

        Well, my status changed to “Pending” late today. Fingers crossed. Will be shooting my PO an email first thing tomorrow, since I haven’t heard anything from them in a few weeks.

      • writedit said

        The Pending means they are processing your application for an award. Assuming there are no issues (that can’t be resolved), you should be hearing good news in the weeks ahead.

      • MIRAtime said

        That is great news, congrats C! No change for me yet. This will only increase the frequency with which I refresh eRA commons. At least it seems they are making some decisions.

      • MIRA Anxious said

        I also applied for the NIGMS FY17 ESI-MIRA in October 2016. I received a high 20s impact score in March of 2017 and immediately contacted my PO. The PO was very encouraging and requested that I send in my JIT information two weeks prior to the scientific review council meeting. I checked back with my PO at the beginning of June and my PO told me that they were having a meeting at the end of the first week of June to make decisions. My PO remained cautiosuly optimistic after that meeting and my ERA Commons status changed from “Council Review Completed” to “Pending” yesterday morning. Is this typically good news?!

      • writedit said

        Very positive development! They are processing your application for an award, so assuming no fatal issues come up in the administrative review (unlikely), you should be hearing good news in the weeks ahead.

    • MIRA status said

      I also had a ESI-MIRA proposal reviewed in March with a high 20s impact score. Although a JIT was requested earlier, there has been no change in the eRA commons status yet. I wonder whether I should start converting the MIRA grant into a R01 for October.

      • writedit said

        If your PO (vs eRA Commons) requested the JIT, which I assume was the case with your score, then you should be under consideration at the very least – and hopefully actually on a paylist. These are very time-intensive awards to process, so you shouldn’t assume the worst from the silence. Applications are obviously being processed, though, so you can certainly ask the PO for an update and whether you should plan for an October submission.

      • MIRA status said

        Thank you, Writedit. I will be patient and check with my PO for an update sometime next week.

  121. budgetquestion said

    I have a question about budgets. I am a K99 recipient and will be in the R00 phase (possibly at a different institution) next year. If I buy a computer using my K99 funds, how does it technically work? Does the university own the computer (as the grant is technically released to the university not the PI) or would I be able to take it to my new institution? As this will have some additions for big data analysis, I don’t want to spend a lot more money and use it only for a year.

    • writedit said

      The university does own whatever you buy with grant funding, but a computer is a supply rather than equipment, so you should ask what the policy is about taking computers. You will certainly get a new computer at your new institution, though, and I assume you have one currently. If you do need a specially configured/powered laptop/computer for data analysis sooner than later, then ask your current university about their policy (and be clear why you are asking) … and depending on your relationship there, you might want it in writing via email or other means. Since you would be expected to leave with an R00, it shouldn’t be a surprise or a blow to their indirects, and there shouldn’t be any departure hard feelings, but people are hard to predict.

  122. Jerry said

    It might be a good news.

  123. White said

    I heard from my PO that not all institutions will be able to fund ESI at the top 25 percentile.

  124. White said

    Hi writedit,
    I have a R01 application in NINDS (A1, 24 percentile, ESI). A few weeks ago my PO told me that my chance is slim considering this year’s payline is only 12 percentile, which is much lower than people expected. Do you think I will have a better chance to get funded through the next generation researchers initiative? I also heard that NINDS may not able to reach 25 percentile for ESI even through NGRI. Thank you!

    • writedit said

      The new policy does not apply in FY17, if you are wondering about an application currently under consideration. Details about how the policy will be implemented are still being worked out, but ICs will not get enough additional funds to cover all ESI applications, which would mean they would need to fund fewer established PIs to free up the funds for ESIs. It will be a little while before the timing and method of implementation are clear though (and it will depend on what happens with FY18 moving forward).

  125. RNAScientist said

    Hello Writedit,
    I have an A1 R01 – 15 percentile that falls within the 2017 budget year. The PO took a one-page summary to discussion in December but said afterwords that there were not enough funds to support my R01. This application was submitted to NCI, which historically has pretty low funding, even for ESI, which I am. Based on the recent information regarding the Next Generation Initiative I am hopeful that it might get funded; however, I am less optimistic based on the information that not all institutes will comply. Do you know what NCI plans are? Any chance that this 15 percentile will be funded? I emailed the PO about 6 days ago to inquire about any new possibilities of this proposal getting funded (this was before the Next Generation was announced) and have not heard back. Was curious what your thoughts are. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      The new policy will start in FY17 (I realize they said “effective immediately”, but that is for the shifting of funds – which is still good but cannot guarantee all ESI below 25th percentile being funded), but when you last asked the PO, NCI did not know if they were facing a cut to their appropriation (when in fact they got an increase), so you could hear positive news back. Not hearing right way is not a bad sign.

  126. Matt said

    My Council Review completed last Thursday, but my PO has been on vacation since last Wednesday. Can I call the Grants Management Specialist to find out if my grant (with a good score) was approved or is there someone else to whom t I can speak?

    • writedit said

      There is no rush to learn about what happened at Council. If your application was within or near the payline and/or your PO said it was sent to Council, then it was approved by Council to be considered for an award (Council approval does not guarantee you an award at all – more applications are approved by Council than can be funded). During the weeks after Council, the IC leadership ranks the applications approved by Council into a paylist and funds as many applications as they can in order on the list. If you are within the payline, then you just need to be patient. Your PO’s vacation will not delay or interfere with your getting an award, so don’t panic about not hearing from anyone or feel as though you need to reach someone else.

      • Matt said

        Thank you so much for your advice, which make good sense. There is one issue which, probably due to my inexperience in this subject matter, propels me to be so eager to know the outcome as soon as possible. This is because my application has a dual assessment and my secondary IC happens to have a 50% larger budget. So I was wondering if I could be told for whatever reason that I could not be selected for an award from the primary IC, I could start talking to the PO of the secondary IC. Does it make sense to you? Is this the way how applications with dual assignments work or should the PO of the primary IC have already contacted the PO of the secondary IC in this case if she thinks that my application is unlikely to be paid by the primary IC? Thanks

      • writedit said

        It is rare that the secondary IC picks up an application, but this won’t be considered until the primary IC declines to fund the application, and the transfer needs to be initiated by the primary IC (not you). First, you need to confirm from your PO whether you will receive an award from the primary IC (again, Council did not decide this, so your PO will not know right way, unless your score is within payline or clearly very close). You have not mentioned your score, so it’s hard to give advice on the likelihood of your getting an award, but there is no need to rush to the secondary IC, especially since they would put priority on funding their primary applications first.

  127. Matt said

    Sorry for leaving out my score. It is 20 (5%-tile) for an R01, but no payline is published for R01 by NICHD. My PO was cautiously optimistic, but again, there was no guarantee.

    At what point should I give my PO a call to seek an update?


    • writedit said

      If you have a 5th percentile score, then you don’t need to worry about anything. Barring a black swan event, you should receive an award. You can be patient and wait to hear from your PO without panicking.

  128. Jerry said

    My PO at NINDS said that he does not know about the potential change to the payline for mid-stage investigators. The payline is the same so far for all investigators except ESIs.

    • White said

      Hi Jerry,
      They are probably still discussing the new payline. Do you know what is the payline for ESI at NINDS before NGRI was launched? Thanks!

      • Jerry said

        I was told it is approximately 22nd percentile

    • writedit said

      The new policy will be for FY18, though some ICs may bump up their ESI payline and/or fund more ESI & mid-career applications this year in transition to the new level.

      • RNAScientist said

        I had read that the new policy will be for FY17 applications in multiple places (NIH website, Science, nature,…). Is this incorrect and/or am I misunderstanding. I read twice in this blog that it will be FY18 and once where you had responded to a previous question of mine on June12th that it will be for FY17. Can you clarify? My pending R01 is being considered for FY17, so for me the timing is critical. Thank you!

      • writedit said

        Effective immediately, they were putting more $ into funding ESI applications. Because the ICs did not budget for 25th percentile ESI at start of year, changing now might mean they could fund very few additional established PI applications (i.e., that payline would plummet for third cycle applications). I don’t know how they could fairly impose the new ESI payline at the end of an FY, but I am sure all ICs will fund more ESI. You can certainly check with your PO, though.

  129. tetramerv7 said

    Is there any chance that the NCI payline will be 11%. I just received 11% on an A1 as an established investigator. Thank you

    • writedit said

      Not sure, but not impossible, and you might be discussed internally for an award. You can check with your PO about where you stand, does he/she need a rebuttal to the summary statement or anything else from you, and should you submit again (as new A0).

      • tetramer said

        Thank you. Just one more question. Since the grant is going to the September council meeting, will it be considered under the 2017 or 2018 budget?

      • writedit said

        You will be funded in FY18, which means the payline won’t be known until next year (sorry, I missed that you had just been scored). The payline will depend on what happens with the FY18 federal budget, which won’t be known for several months, in all likelihood.

  130. Oreo said

    Hello Writeedit,

    Got a score in April below the NIAID payline (SBIR). Reviewers liked the idea but thought it was too early. So I gave up hope. P.O. surprisingly reached out last week after council meeting. Quickly wanted a writeup on reviewer comments and an updated budget. Provided them, including a resource realignment. P.O. came back again with request for budget justification. Wanted everything to be sent back quickly. Which I did. What do you think are the chances? Does this happen at all? Three years ago, I was below the payline by a lesser margin and never got the call. Think it’s the topic? (it’s one of those high-profile topics)

    • writedit said

      The PO would not be requesting all this if you did not have a good chance of receiving an award. He/she is clearly advocating on your behalf for this to happen. Just keep responding quickly, and if you have any scientific updates based on work done since the submission, the PO might want to know this, too.

  131. Nathan said

    Do you have any gut feelings on NIDCR for F31? I recently received an impact score of 19, but I’ve only been able to find the total number of applicants and number funded, rather than anything involving percentiles and impact scores.


    • writedit said

      NIDCR is usually pretty generous in their paylines, so I would think a score of 19 would be fundable. If you just got your score, though, your PO won’t be able to give you any idea of where you stand until your summary statement is available, so you should get in touch then.

  132. fish_fish said

    Dear Writedit,

    Do you know the payline for NCI K99? There is only priority score for it. Do you think it will be get funded if the score of NCI K99 is 30 which was reviewed several days ago?


    • writedit said

      FY18 is still a mystery, since the Administration is proposing a major cut, and Congress has showed they support the NIH, so the payline for any FY18 applications will not be known for months. I know NCI has funded K99s with scores into the 20s (there is no percentile), but I am not sure about a score of 30. When you receive your summary statement, ask your PO if you should submit again (if you are eligible) or prepare an alternative application (if you are no longer eligible for K99). My guess is that you will be advised to work on another application as insurance, which you can withdraw if the K99 is funded.

  133. fish_fish said

    I got it. Thank you so much for your help!

  134. sciencegirl said

    Dear Writedit,

    I just got a reply from my PO that my NCI R15 proposal, which scored 23 and went to council last October, will not be funded this year as the cutoff for the award is 20. Do you have any insight into why the R15 payline decreased by 5 points, considering the budget (and boost of funds to NCI)?

    Just looking for answers as everyone was so positive the payline would stay at 25 like it was both 2015 and 2016.

    Thanks for any comment!


    • writedit said

      I do not know why the R15 payline is so much lower. NCI could be moving funds around among extramural programs to support new policies (eg, NGRI) and/or priorities (eg, big moonshot programs), but that is just speculation. More likely is an increase in the number of competitive R15 applications scoring below 20 that are consuming the AREA budget and not allowing funds to be spread to those with higher scores. You should ask your PO for advice on submitting again – does NCI consider your work a priority, and what revisions would make your application more competitive (I assume there were not many weaknesses listed).

      • sciencegirl said

        Thanks for your reply!

      • sciencegirl said

        Just heard again from my PO that NCI has just raised R15 payline to 25, so there is still hope! Just wanted to share.

  135. LK said

    I recently received a percentile score of 11 for an NCI R01 — I am an ESI. Any thoughts as to my chances? Council is in October, wonder if NGRI will have any impact on funding chances for this one? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      We won’t know about the NIH FY18 budget for several months, but NGRI will expand resources, so your 11th percentile should certainly be promising. When you receive your summary statement, you can ask your PO if you should resubmit for insurance (he/she will not know about your funding likelihood specifically since details about the FY18 appropriation and how NGRI will be implemented in the year ahead are not yet available).

      • LK said


  136. Stephen said

    I received a fundable score on my F32 that my PO said was in range of funding back in March. Before Just in Time request came in from the GMS I also received notice that I was selected for funding from a non-NIH source. I have informed both agencies that I will accept the F32 in lieu of award of both. I was wondering if the fact that I have the offer of other funding will affect the award of my F32 even though I stated I will decline it? The F32 is currently pending administrative review according to eRA commons. Just wanted to check if I should continue to expect this award or if have reason to doubt. Also, thank you for this fantastic resource, truly truly useful!

    • writedit said

      If you have declined the non-NIH award, you will be fine (if the other application was on your JIT submission, you can contact the GMS to indicate that you declined that award). Sometimes foundations are willing to rework their original award to you so it does not overlap/conflict with the NIH award (eg, extend the work to do additional aims not covered by NIH funding, thus leveraging the NIH award), but I assume in this case that you had two fellowships providing stipends essentially (in which case it would be difficult to make adjustments).

      • Stephen said

        I have not declined it yet as I cannot until receiving NoA from NIH. However, I stated in Just in Time that I will decline upon receipt of NoA. This will not affect the administrative review then? Thanks so much!

      • writedit said

        Yes, you will be fine. The NIH understands you don’t turn down another award until a NoA is issued.

      • Stephen said

        Thank you for your help!

  137. pjparker said

    Do you have any idea what are the chances for funding of a midcareer investigator whose R01 is in a NCE and who received 11% on an R01 from NCI. I also am an MPI on an R01 that expires in Dec of 2018.

    • writedit said

      You should be at least discussed internally, with an 11th percentile, but your PO will have a better idea once the FY18 budget is available from Congress (not for months). Once you get your summary statement, you should talk with your PO about next steps with regard to your application and how to keep your lab going in the meantime.

  138. Matt said

    Did anyone who has a grant application being reviewed by the Council (NICHD in particular) in the past two weeks and if so, have you heard anything back? My Council (NICHD) met two weeks ago, but the status has not been updated since then. My PO is not returning any call/email. My colleague who has a 3%-tile also did not hear anything (same NICHD Council). You would have thought that we are in the last Council meeting of FY2017, so things should be much clearer than the next cycle, right? How much longer do you think we have to wait for some confirmation? 2 more weeks or a month? Please advise.

    • writedit said

      No need to panic after 2 weeks. Council only approves the list of applications sent by the IC Director, not all of which will receive awards. However, it is not so much that things are unclear, especially at the 3rd percentile, but that they have a lot of internal discussion (about applications scoring in the gray zone) and administrative work. There is still plenty of time to process awards. If you need to start spending, though, you are no doubt within 90 days of your start date, so you could ask your PO if it is advisable to set up an account at your institution so you can begin pre-spending.

      • K applicant said

        Would the same advice to apply in the case of a Council meeting (NIMH) that occurred 4 weeks ago? Prior to the meeting, my PO said he was feeling optimistic and that there was a high likelihood that I would be funded (K application). After the Council meeting, my PO said that he still didn’t know if I would be funded. If I haven’t heard anything by now, should I assume I’m not being funded?

      • writedit said

        You should not assume anything, especially that you are not being funded (bad news arrives more quickly than good news). You may not hear until after the July holiday – your PO would tell you as soon as he heard any negative news (would not want you to lose time getting another application ready). The waiting is hard but not necessarily bad news (no guarantee the other way either, of course).

        (sorry – several of my replies got hung up in administrative limbo, and I’ve just noticed – hopefully you have had a positive development)

      • K applicant said

        Thanks so much for your thoughts – very helpful. On the advice of the PO, I ended up resubmitting because he said funding was still uncertain. He said we can “pull the resubmission” if my original application ends up being funded. Any idea how common that is?

      • writedit said

        Reasonably common – it is standard practice to pull applications for a variety of reasons. Even if a resubmission is reviewed and scored (and scores worse than the first application), the first application can still be funded, at which point the second application is administratively withdrawn (nothing you need to worry about doing at a certain time or in advance of anything – it happens when the to-be-funded application is being processed for an award).

    • JRM said

      Just wondering if you have heard back from NICHD. I am also waiting for the response from the PO. Also I notice that a number appears next to the Award Document Number in the commons website. Just wondering if its always there or it means something something positive?

      • Matt said

        As of today, still no words from the PO or eRA Commons. But as writedit said, may be it is not the time to panic yet….

        As far as I understand (and recognized), the Award Document Number is always there.

  139. mudd-fudd said

    2017 UPDATE: After getting the summary and PO comments from my October 2015 K08 submission, I completely revised the Aims and Research Strategy. I addressed all the reviewer’s comments, and also had 2 more publications, I resubmitted this K08 A01 to NIDDK in March 2017, and it was reviewed last week. Just got my Impact score, which is 33 (down from 50). This is a BIG jump, but I don’t feel confident about funding potential. I will once again wait for the Summary Statement and discussion with PO, but already I am planning a timeline for a 3rd submission in October.

    Has anyone been successful on the 3rd K08 submission to NIDDK? Is there a limit to how many times one can apply? Need some positive thoughts 🙂

    • writedit said

      This is a positive development – you can and certainly certain should apply again, especially with the score improvement (applying again with no or negligible change would not be recommended). I assume the concerns are with the research program approach and/or training plan (ie, fixable) versus you as a candidate, your mentor(s), or the significance of your research (harder to fix). If you have had more publications or other research progress since the A1 submission, you can let your PO know when your summary statement arrives, in case there is any glimmer of hope for this cycle (not FY17 but the first FY18 cycle, the decisions for which are a long way off in any case).

  140. I received a fundable score on my F32 that my PO said was in range of funding back in March. Before Just in Time request came in from the GMS I also received notice that I was selected for funding from a non-NIH source. I have informed both agencies that I will accept the F32 in lieu of award of both. I was wondering if the fact that I have the offer of other funding will affect the award of my F32 even though I stated I will decline it? The F32 is currently pending administrative review according to eRA commons

    • writedit said

      No, the NIH understands you would want to apply for multiple funding opportunities, and that you would prefer the NIH funding at the expense of non-NIH funding. The purpose of the JIT info is to indicate that you will not accept duplicate funding for the same work, not for the NIH to see if you have other means to do the work (so they don’t feel obligated to issue an award). The other offer confirms you are a strong candidate and that your science is competitive.

  141. laghs said

    I have an R01 application that is expected to be funded this fiscal year (currently pending administrative review). But I am still struggling to finish all the IRB paperwork due to some new IRB policy changes at our school. It seems this will take quite a while. When will be the deadline for submitting all the JIT paperwork? What would happen if I couldn’t provide the JIT by the end of September? My grant was already approved for funding by NIH for this fiscal year. This IRB mess was really unexpected and I am getting more anxious day by day. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      You should let your PO know about the delays and your chair and dean know your award is on the line (so your review gets prioritized). If there is any aspect of the work that does not require IRB approval, the NOA could be issued with the restriction that funds for work requiring IRB approval would not be released until approval was received by the NIH. However, this assumes your IC wants to fund your award no matter what; if you were on the edge, the IC has the prerogative of moving on to the next application in line and skipping yours. However, you definitely want to check with your PO. You might need a statement from your IRB or AOR indicating that this is an institutional issue, and if there is any possibility not having IRB approval could endanger your award, you want a statement from your PO to this effect to ensure the IRB moves on your protocol in time (again, make sure your chair and dean are award of this, too – no university wants to lose awards).

      • laghs said

        Thank you so much, writedit. These are great suggestions.

  142. mudd-fudd said

    Thanks Writedit! This has definitely been a learning process, and these forums are very helpful. Will keep everyone posted on how things go.

  143. agomez1008 said

    Hi Writedit
    I recently got my first R01 (NOA received today)- and you were very helpful in walking me through the process. Any way- regarding that, if you happen to have an offer from another institution that you are contemplating, can your current institution threaten you with retaining all the award, and replacing you with a different PI to carry out the project?
    I appreciate your view.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations on the R01!

      As you know, the award is made to your current institution, not to you, so they do have the right to ask the NIH to keep the award and change PIs. However, this very rarely happens since PIs are always moving among institutions, and no university wants the reputation of not letting awards go with the PI (otherwise, no one will want to go there, knowing they face the risk of losing awards). Plus, it is a general agreement among universities, and the NIH must approve any changes in PI – and any transfer of an award. The NIH is most concerned that the quality of the research not be affected: if you as PI are key to its success, the award should stay with you; if the work is tied to a patient population, specialized equipment or facility, or other unique aspect of your original institution, the bulk of the award might stay there, with you kept on as PI or perhaps now a multi-PI in a collaborative role from your new institution. If you have any co-investigators at your current institution, the funds for their work would likely stay at your current institution as a subaward, depending again on individual circumstances. You should always get in touch with your PO as soon as you know you might/will be moving. The PO wants to be sure the best interests of the project are protected, which are your best interests, too (so don’t be afraid of reaching out), and the process for transferring an award takes months.

      Congratulations again, and best wishes for success with the research wherever you perform it!

      • agomez1008 said

        Thanks Writedit-

        Do you know if that philosophy also applies to non-profit research institutions? I’m currently on one of those and my offer is from a public university- by conversations with the folks here, they seem very adamant from taking me out of the award if I leave. So I wonder if you’d (or anybody in the forum) has heard from other experiences.

        Thanks so much for any insights

      • Zui Pan said

        Hi, I had a bad experience on moving my R01 to another public university. Even my NCI PO already informed my previous institute that she suggested to transfer the award. The “big named” CCC wanted to remain the R01 within their Cancer center and eventually sub-awarded it to me.

        On Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 5:05 PM, Medical Writing, Editing & Grantsmanship wrote:

        > agomez1008 commented: “Thanks Writedit- Do you know if that philosophy > also applies to non-profit research institutions? I’m currently on one of > those and my offer is from a public university- by conversations with the > folks here, they seem very adamant from taking me out of” >

      • writedit said

        Very sorry to hear this, Zui Pan. It is rare an institution won’t allow an award to be transferred, but it’s not never – and I am wondering if the trend is increasing due to tighter and tighter funding levels.

      • writedit said

        Again, you should talk with your PO, although as Zui Pan noted, the PO does not have authority over the recipient institution. Now, if the NIH does not agree with the proposed PI (to take your place), the NIH can withdraw the award, but that does not necessarily mean you would receive it – just that your non-profit institution would not be able to keep the award after you left.

        If you had not yet received the NOA, you could have asked the PO to postpone issuing the award until you moved. I believe the award is not activated until you start drawing funds, so if you have not yet used any of the funds (and if none of your salary has been charged there yet), then you might be able to ask the NIH to hold the award – but my guess is that this is very tricky if not impossible. I do know someone who, upon receiving a K24 NOA and knowing she was going to be changing universities within the next 6 months, asked her current university to freeze the award (not draw on it), because she was concerned the current university would take funds out to cover salary until she left.

  144. Melinda Gittens said

    I got a score in the 9th percentile for my resubmited R01 from March; NIEHS is the primary institute. Any insights on funding possibilities?

    • writedit said

      This will be for FY18, and we have no idea what will happen with the NIH budget (probably not the 20% cut proposed, but nothing is final until it is final). In recent years, 9th percentile at NIEHS would be competitive, but it will be many months before anyone there knows for sure. When you get your summary statement (PO can’t give any advice until this is released), you should check in with your PO to ask if you should submit again as a new application in October. If he/she says no, then you can be pretty comfortable about your chances (but no guarantees).

      • Melinda Gittens said

        Thanks so much!

  145. R15 UPDATE said

    Hello sciencegirl said,

    Did you see any GMS added to your era common application? If so check with them in addition to PO….. and let me know their response.

  146. R15 UPDATE said

    Hello sciencegirl ,

    Did you see any GMS added to your R15 era common application? If so check with them in addition to PO….. and let me know their response.

    • sciencegirl said

      R15 UPDATE,

      I did see a GMS added to my era commons application. I have not yet checked with them about the award. If I don’t get a JIT request soon, I will contact them. Have you received word from your GMS?

      • R15 Wait said

        No. Not yet.
        Is your PO said the application will be funded up to 25?
        I did not hear from her still about funding……

    • sciencegirl said

      R15 Update,

      Just FYI, I received a JIT request from my GMS last week, and as of today, my commons account says “award prepared”. I have not received word of the grant starting, but in the JIT email my GMS said if JIT was received, the start date would be 08/01.

      Hope you have had similar news.


      • writedit said

        Congratulations and thank you for sharing your update! Best wishes for success with your research.

      • R15 UPDATE said

        Hello Sciencegirl,

        I have submitted JIT and waiting for the award. But, I have not seen any change in my era common account !!!

      • R15 UPDATE said

        Hello Sciencegirl,

        Did you receive Award notice yet???
        I submitted my JIT and waiting for GMS award notice. I do not see any change on my era common account……

        Thanks in advance for your update on this.

        R15 update.

  147. Steve said

    I just noticed that a GMS contact was added to my era commons account. Is that positive? Status is council review completed 06/22/2017

    • writedit said

      That is pretty standard. If you are anticipating an award, you probably won’t see a switch to Pending for a bit yet (ICs are still finishing awards to Cycle 1 & 2 applications), so don’t panic. The change in status signals when you can put the champagne in the fridge (still a delay after that too, though).

  148. R15 Wait said

    Hello Writedeit,
    Just i want to ask your opinion. I have an NCI R15 application scored 23 in July 2016. I had got JIT request in Sep 2016 (Council review Sep/OCt) but I did not submitted JIT thinking that some one will contact me through personnel e.mail from NIH. When I requested my PO in December 2016 or so, PO said we are funding upto 20. Lately, I see GMS was added to my era common for this application, recently. Is it a positive sign toward funding????

    • writedit said

      Possibly, since your Council date is long past. You can check in with your PO again as to whether they need JIT now (and hopefully you have any regulatory approvals in hand).

  149. Cassm said

    Hi Writedit:

    My RO1 application to NHLBI just got a score of 2%. Project begin date is 09/01/2017, yet Council meeting date is 2017/10. What do you think of the chance this project be funded? Can this be funded via 2017 budget? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      Did you set your start date, or is that the start date in the funding announcement? If you just received a score, your start date should be 12/01/17 and so would be funded in FY18. If this was an RFA with awards scheduled before Sept 30, then you would be funded in FY17. However, with a 2nd percentile score, you can rest assured of an award no matter what the FY is (assuming you have no administrative issues or duplicative funding).

      • Cassm said

        My administrator set the date. Thank you so much for your valuable insights!

      • writedit said

        Okay – not sure why your administrator would set it then, unless he/she saw both Sept and Dec start date options, which can occur in some ICs with Council in late August … but not yours (in Oct). No matter what, you can feel pretty comfortable about an award, and you can check with your PO, in case they do intend to try to push it through sooner (doubtful though).

  150. bassounds said

    Hi Writedit,
    I have a question about ERA status updates. In May, my PO indicated that she finished her administrative review of my F31, and that they were planning to fund the award and were working toward a start date for July 1st. She added that nothing is guaranteed until a NoA.

    The status in ERA has not changed since March and still says SRG review complete. According to the grants specialist at my institution, the JIT was completed via email upon the NIH GMS’s request, so there is no record of a JIT submission that I can see in my ERA page.

    I havent heard anything since May. Is this reason for concern that there is some administrative issue? Should I reach out to the PO or the GMS?

    Thanks for the great resource!

    • writedit said

      Fellowships are different from all other NIH awards in that they do not go to Council, so everything after study section is handled internally (and eRA status is less relevant until the processing/issuance of award). If your PO said they would be issuing an award in July, then they will – so the delay is nothing to worry about. If you are getting anxious, you can check with your PO (not the GMS) to see if you need to do anything else on your end, more as a way of getting a status update, since they would have contacted you if anything was needed. Overall, though, you can sit tight and focus on your dissertation project.

  151. NeedAnotherR01 said

    Hi, Writedit,

    Thanks again for your invaluable site. I just saw DK’s FY2017 payline is 12%, which, despite, increased money to NIH, is less than the previous two years. Any sense of what’s going on? Is only DK reducing the payline?

    I ask because I just got an 11th%ile on a FY2018 award, and I am trying to read the tea leafs. PO said I should do an A1, “just in case”, though also was quite positive about how well this score would do historically. The decision about whether to do an A1 is of course a few months away, because reviewers didn’t ask for much, so it would not be enormously more work in addition to the ton of work an application is just in paperwork alone. The reason I am trying to get as much info as possible, though, is there is another private award I was shortlisted for (ie letter of intent accepted) that would overlap the R01 in both timing and potentially Aims. The application for that is due shortly, and I am trying to decide if I should just assume the R01 will probably be funded, as DK hasn’t funded at a payline below 11 in at least a decade.

    My best guess is that I probably won’t know much even by the Fall when the A1 would have to be submitted, because we will likely be under CR’s until March again, so funding may come next summer…

    Any thoughts would be helpful!

    • writedit said

      Wow – not surprised your PO is being cautious, but it’s pretty sad when an 11th percentile with no major concerns cannot be discussed internally (even if payline stops at 9th or 10th percentile).

      You are correct that the FY18 budget will not be known for many months still, but this year we should have something by December, maybe even sooner (unless they hold out until after tax reform is debated) since there is no election to wait for and the GOP controls all 3 branches. Congress has pushed back on the administration’s request for a 20% cut to the NIH budget, so if there are any cuts, they will be much smaller.

      You could submit the A1 and withdraw it if either the A0 or your private award come through before next summer. I would suggest you apply for the private award – even if the A0 comes through (or A1), you can sometimes negotiate with a private or foundation sponsor to adjust the aims for their award so they are not overlapping and instead leverage the NIH funding to do more research. The reverse is not true, since the NIH can only fund work that was proposed and peer reviewed. Even if no negotiation is possible, you can see where things stand if you are offered the private award with no final word from the NIH (your PO won’t be able to promise anything but might have a clearer idea of outcome).

      • NeedAnotherR01 said

        Thanks for the advice. Good point about the budget. The debt ceiling has to be addressed by early Fall also, which may mean more pressure to do something on the budget earlier as well.

        Do you think the DK reduction to a 12% payline even with more money is caution on their part with regard to FY2018? Applications have also been up, so that could be another factor.

        What did you mean by “discussed internally”? I was assuming, because my potential award is in Fall Council that there would be no discussion anyway until cycle 1 awards in FY2018 would be discussed. With Council in September, I assume that would be October-November. I guess I was assuming that the PO was preparing me for the fact that the budget might not be known by then, so I would have to be ready to submit an A1 to not miss the Cycle 2 deadline….?

      • writedit said

        The PO was definitely, and appropriately, preparing for the possibility that your A0 might not be funded and suggesting you put in the A1 this November as insurance (can be withdrawn as needed); your PO does not expect to have budget clarity before the November submission date (also an appropriate assumption). I apologize for confusing you as to when internal discussions about applications just missing the payline might occur – obviously not until FY18 awards were being considered several months from now, and possibly not until later in the FY, until they know the number of applications scoring within the payline (and in turn how much of a slush fund they have, though ICs build this in when setting paylines). NIDDK (and all ICs) is also looking ahead to the new NGRI to fund more ESI and mid-career investigators (within 10 y of first R01), which will result in a drop in the payline for established PIs.

  152. U0NCI said

    Thanks for your reply. My worry is that I came to know that someone got negative reply (score is good) from PO after council meeting but our POs are different. My NCI (U01: IS-20) grant has to start from September 01. Also, I am a new investigator (means do not have NIH funding). I assume that U01 mechanism did not follow new and early stage investigator. What do you think if I would get benefit as a new PI for this mechanism. As I wrote you before, it has been one week since I sent an email to my PO. What would be your suggestions? Should I contact him now or give him more time?
    Thanks in advance!

    • writedit said

      Don’t worry about your colleague with the different PO – you have completely different situations and applications (and POs), so please do not compare your experiences. You got a positive reply from your PO, which is the only relevant information.

      Your ESI status does not entitle you to a special payline for the U01, but NCI may consider this in deciding which applications to fund, particularly in light of the new generation researchers initiative.

      Your start date is not set in stone – your award can start any time. It doesn’t matter if you do not have an award by Sept 1 – it is not an expiration date. You can receive an award after Sept 1, even if the start date listed on the application passes, so don’t worry about the date at all.

      There was a holiday this week, and your PO may have taken more days off (before and/or after than Fourth, so a week with no response is no time at all. You can safely wait until the end of July before trying to contact him again – your PO will get in touch when he needs anything or if he has an update in the meantime. He has hundreds of other investigators to help, but he will focus on your application when there is something to be done.

  153. antsyaboutF32 said

    Thanks for this great resource!

    I submitted an F32 in December that I thought had a borderline score (impact score 30, percentile 23 at NEI). I spoke to my PO in May and asked some questions about how I should revise the application for an August resubmission. He replied that he was not suggesting that I revise and resubmit and when I asked what that meant, he said, “You figure that out,” which I took as a positive sign. He indicated that I should know by mid-June whether it would be funded. I spoke to him again two weeks ago (late June) and he said I would know for sure within a week. Still no update. Should I proceed as if I will have to resubmit this thing in August?

    • writedit said

      POs are very conservative (in terms of indicating funding likelihood) and do not put PIs at risk of missing funding by advising them not to resubmit unless they are confident about the application receiving an award. Because you were in the last cycle submitted for FY17, your PO knows all the scores of any F32s submitted earlier in the FY and so knows what NEI will be funding (barring unforeseen administrative issues). Your application would be processed for a July start, but the ICs didn’t receive their appropriations until May/June, and the holiday last week would cause more delay. If you will need a lot of time to get an August resubmission ready, then you could ask your PO next week if you should start working on the application or sit tight. He still might not know the exact timing of your award, but he should be able to confirm your paylist status (by maintaining his recommendation not to work on A1).

  154. deep said

    established investigator 11th percentile on A0 for a NIAID R01 for Oct council. PO says no clue about FY18 so wait. Any ideas writeedit?

    • writedit said

      Congress rejected the Administration’s cuts again, but we won’t know the final appropriation until the fall. There is no election this year, so theoretically, the budget should be passed before the end of the (calendar) year … but who knows, given everything else going on in DC. Under the CR, the interim payline may be below the 11th percentile, in which case you would need to wait for clarity on the federal budget. If by late September it looks like the FY18 NIH appropriation is in doubt, you might want to ask the PO whether you should submit an A1 in November, assuming you think you can shave off a few percentile points. .

  155. SI said

    Hi Writedit,
    I understand that summary statements are made available in order of scoring (best scores available first). Is this the same for Impact Scores? We submitted an SBIR that was reviewed by IRG yesterday, and I am wondering if all Impact Scores are uploaded simultaneously or manually based on the score itself?

    • writedit said

      As far as I know, all scores are uploaded at the same time. Otherwise, all the ND applications would have immediate eRA Commons postings, whereas they take the same day or two to appear as a scored application. The scoring is done electronically by algorithm and does not need individualized attention (beyond checking electronic score against hard-copy sheets) and de novo writing like the summary statements do.

  156. R15 UPDATE said

    Hello Writedit,
    Is that NCI R15 funds up to 25 impact score now? Some one write their PO mentioned about it.

  157. writedit said

    Actually, I believe folks have reported that NCI is funding up to 20 for R15s (25 was in FY16). If you are writing about an application submitted last year for an FY17 award, then you can probably check with your PO for an update now. If you submitted this year for an FY18 award, this will not be known for several months yet.

  158. F31Query said

    Dear Writeit,

    I have had an F31 A1 submitted in Dec 2016 (start date for July 1), got scored, PO mentioned that my score was within funding range, asked for follow up information which we addressed, and they recently requested JIT (i.e. verification of tuition, IACUC protocol) which we submitted today (7/12) . I had 2 questions:

    1. At this point, from your experience, what would be the likelihood of funding in our case?

    2. I have heard that the NIH is currently cautious/conservative in grant monies due to the unknown of FY2018. But our F31 grant technically was submitted for this FY2017, with proposed start date for 7/1/2017. I was wondering if our F31 will be affected in any way?

    I sincerely appreciate all that you do Writeit, You are providing an invaluable resource. My sincerest thank you for all that you do.

    • writedit said

      Although nothing is guaranteed until you have a Notice of Award, you can rest assured that you are as likely as anyone can be to receive your F31. Your PO telling you that your application is in funding range and then the request for JIT means that the IC intends to fund your application. As long as you have addressed all their questions and requests, you should be fine.

      Your submission in Dec 2016 was for FY17, which does not end until Sept 30, 2017 (FY18 starts Oct 1). There is no budget uncertainty for your award.

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

      • F31Query said

        Thank you Writedit!

  159. confusedscientist said

    Dear WritedIt,

    I submitted an F31 last August that just missed the payline for funding. All of the comments were addressable, and I resubmitted in April. However, my resubmission was not discussed. On my summary statement, my criterion scores were overall better than the first submission, and comments from reviewers were generally positive. My PO did not have much to say about my resubmission.

    Given this outcome, I am wondering if it would it be unwise to pursue a similar line of work for an F32 application? In your experience, do outcomes such as this speak to a general lack of enthusiasm for the idea?

    Thank you!

    • writedit said

      See below for R15 in Reverse! to see that changes in SRG composition can easily account for radical swings in score. In your case, despite the generally positive tone of the individual critiques, your reviewers did not give you a sufficiently high preliminary score to be discussed, which could be due to tougher competition this cycle (ie, your score was not bad – perhaps even similar to last time – but was pitted against more better-scoring applications).

      Now, I am unclear as to whether your PO could give no advice about why your A1 was ND or did not want to talk about it in general. You want to be sure the PO is interested in your science – and he or she should be able to comment on the discussion of the A0 (if they can remember that far back about your application specifically). The fact that your score was just out of range before and that reviewers had no significant concerns but did not assign preliminary scores in the range to be discussed could suggest lack of enthusiasm – but your PO should be able to clarify overall enthusiasm an whether you should try again.

  160. R15 In Reverse! said

    Writedit or any one else. I’m struggling to understand the review process and I have grave concerns about the validity of peer review. I had an R15 that scored a 25 last fiscal year and barely missed funding – perhaps by as little as 1%. My revised application scored 41! I thought it was perhaps the best grant I’d ever submitted yet I went from nearly being funding to barely being scored. The process seems more than just flawed but I won’t type what I’m thinking. 25 to 41 after addressing reviewer comments? This may be the perfect example of why the majority of us shouldn’t even try.

    • SaG said

      Getting a worse score on a resubmission is not common nor rare. Keep in mind that you likely had at least 1 maybe 2 new reviewers. They each critique the app through their own scientific “lens”. You might have done a great job responding to previous critiques but raised new issues. Or the reviewers found new problems. Or, the reviewers didn’t like the way you responded to the previous critiques. My suggestion is to keep trying. There is a lot of variation in the system (i.e., a 25 might not be so different from a 41).

      • Bioinorganic Chemist said

        R15 in reversal, I had a ~20% R01 at NIGMS that was submitted in June 2016 that was being considered for funding until the very end; 2 JIT requests and lots of updates and convos with the PO, and a rebuttal request. It didn’t end up getting funded and we re-submitted a A1 in June 2017 that did not even get discussed.

        My take home is what has been echoed by others- its frustrating, but keep submitting. If put in 10 *PERFECT* grants, you should only expect 1 (maybe 2) to get funded. It’s the life we chose!

    • writedit said

      I was going to say the same thing as SaG … lots of PIs at BICO lament that they have submitted their best application ever only to have it triaged or score worse than a prior version. A longshot, but if your PO really likes your science, and there is nothing glaring raise in the summary statement, you could ask about an exception in light of the original score. Otherwise, don’t set the proposal aside (again, especially if your PO is interested) but keep submitting. Also, be sure to check the roster of your SRG for the last 3 meetings and see how much it changes (often half or more of the reviewers are temporary); you can check if there are any repeat temporary reviewers who might be in direct competition (in which case you can ask the SRO not to assign them again, explaining why – based on funding and publication record, not subjective opinion).

  161. alessaycy said

    Dear Writedit,

    I submitted an R01 application in June. Today, my co-investigator informed me that he has decided to resign and will go work for industry. This caught me completely off-guard. He is supposed to be the main person who drives one of the aims. I know of somebody else who has similar expertise. Is it ok to make personal changes after submission but before the study section?

  162. writedit said

    Thanks, SaG! Yes, I was going to say the same thing – to wait until after the review and, if needed (due to award potential), submit the change in personnel as part of JIT. Now, if the replacement is an even stronger choice than the original co-investigator (solid biosketch with more pubs, good name recognition, etc.), then you might consider making the change prior to review, but only if it strengthens your application.

    • alessaycy said

      Thank you Writedit and SaG! Both the original co-investigator and the potential replacement person are assistant professors. They are in different fields but happen to have expertise in the same technique. I like the wait until after the review idea, but also worried about what if somebody on the study section becomes aware of the situation. Science is a small world.

      • writedit said

        Does your currently listed co-investigator’s industry position preclude him from doing the work (as part of his new job)? If not, and if reviewers would recognize this as a possibility, then you could decide which way to go at JIT. If it’s obvious he won’t be involved any longer and you would switch to the new co-I anyway, then since they are equal in terms of their stature and contributions, you may wish to make the change before study section meets. People move all the time, and as long as the aims and approach remain the same as originally written (and the new co-I can do exactly the same work), then I don’t think you need to worry about negative repercussions from the change. It would be one thing if you were replacing an established leader in the field (who had driven the design of the science) with a new assistant professor, but if the two are equals, then there would be less (if any) of a negative impact.

      • SaG said

        Agree with WE. Technically that (info that is know by a reviewer but not public especially if it comes out after your submission) shouldn’t alter your score.

    • deep said

      I strongly suggest waiting for the peer review results before asking NIH to allow making any personnel changes. Its much easier later. But you can line the other “duck” up.

  163. CDP said

    I submitted a supplement request based on my current R01. Does anyone know how long typically it takes for a supplement request be awarded? I submitted it in April. In this case, will a decision be made in this FY or next FY?

    • writedit said

      This varies by IC – though my guess would be an award this FY. Your PO can let you know (if you did not discuss award timing with him/her when preparing the supplement for submission). I am assuming you are talking about an administrative supplement vs a competitive revision (which would undergo peer review this summer for FY18 award).

      • deep said

        While I am not as experienced as Writedit, I am of the opinion that if an admin supplement was not discussed with a PO, then it has no chance. If it was discussed, and submitted in April, then by now the PO should have a fairly good idea. At least she or he’d know if it has been shot down yet or still alive. And if its still alive in the third week of July, then it should have a good shot of being funded.

      • writedit said

        Yes, I am assuming CDP discussed the administrative supplement with his/her PO prior to submission. I would have thought the PO would have known in April the rough timing of supplement decisions, but the PO should certainly be able to provide a reasonable update now.

      • CDP said

        Hello Deep and Writedit,

        Thank you both for the great information. Yes, it is an administrative supplement. We got the PO’s nod when we submitted the request. Yes, it is still alive, so it seems we just need to wait a few more weeks.

  164. Matt said

    I am curious to know if anyone whose R01 grant score has triggered a positive response from the PO and reviewed at the May/June Council meeting (especially NICHD) received an NOA yet? A colleague and I both received good scores (3rd and 6th percentiles) and positive responses from the PO’s earlier on, but as of today, we heard nothing else. Not that we are feeling insecure (perhaps just a little) or impatient, but we do need the fund to do pay personnel and order supplies….

    • writedit said

      Since it is July, you are definitely within 90 days of an award; you can ask your PO for confirmation so your fiscal people can set up an account for you to pre-spend from your pending award.

      • Matt said

        Thanks. I just checked eRA Commons and the status has changed to “Pending”. What does this mean? From what I read above, if it is going to be awarded, they usually said pending administrative review. In my case, the words administrative review” are missing. So what is the application pending now? Thank you.

      • writedit said

        Pending is shorthand for Pending administrative review. They’re processing your application.

    • SaG said

      A positive response (cautiously optimistic) is not the same as Yes, we are funding you”. Unless they have a signed paylist you might have to wait a bit more. Once the paylist is signed it should change to ” intend to pay.” So things might be delayed at the NICHD.

  165. GradStudent said

    Question. I submitted an F32 in April to the Institute A (fellowship study section). It was not scored (individual scores were 3s, 5s and even 8). Received somewhat helpful critique. My work aligns well with Institute 1 and Institute 2.
    Now I’m planning to re-submit. Question 1: Should I re-submit to the same study section (Institute A) after addressing the concerns as A1 application (which mostly had to do with the training plan)? OR Should I submit to Institute B study section (which reviews other types of grants as well) and risk into getting more negative review? What complicates this even more is that my mentor feels that Institute B will “get” my application more than Institute A (since my work is behavioral interventions). Institute B study section consisted of members doing basic research.

    Lastly, I’ve been talking with the PO at Institute B without mentioning the previous review. Should I bring it up? And ask them directly what they think I should do? I don’t want to seem like I don’t care about their Institute and only in it for the money.

    I’m leaning towards submitting it as a new application to the Institute B.

    • GradStudent said

      Forgot to add, OR can I submit this application as A1 to the Institute B? (This way they can see that I addressed previous concerns).

      • writedit said

        Yes, you can submit an A1 to a different study section (and a different primary institute). In your case though, you probably just want to start over with a new A0.

    • writedit said

      You should absolutely ask the PO at Institute B for his/her opinion. They probably know about your F32 A0, if they checked you in the system, but you should bring it up and explain how you can readily address the concerns listed (realizing that the assigned reviewers may not have cited every weakness they felt the application had – once they know an application will be ND, they cover the big issues but not necessarily everything). Ask POs at both ICs about changing study sections (whether to do so, where to go if so), which are organized at CSR by scientific field, not IC (see

  166. Scientist said

    I want to thank writedit and my fellow scientists for this excellent resource. Here, I have learnt a lot about grantsmanship and how to read the tea leaves while waiting for news/updates regarding my NHLBI ESI R01 submission. Below is my timeline and hopefully this will be of help to some of you:

    10/03/2016 A0 Application entered into system
    10/12/2016 Scientific Review Group review pending.
    02/27/2017 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending.
    05/10/2017 GMS initiated JIT request – submitted 05/15/17
    06/06/2017 Council review meeting
    06/08/2017 Status changed to Pending
    07/25/2017 Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.
    07/26/2017 Application awarded. Non-fellowships only

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your timeline and your appreciation for learning from fellow investigators (I am grateful to you all for making the site valuable and timely). Best wishes for success with your research!

  167. SI said

    Hi Writedit – does NIH still offer a Direct Phase II SBIR FOA?

    • writedit said

      Not currently, but you could ask your PO if Congress is planning to reauthorize this program.

  168. […] renewal cuts should stay below 25% due to NIH fiscal policy, though there was word of a Type 5 taking a 50% hit, which seems exceptional. Each IC will be able to take its own approach to applying the […]

  169. U)NCI said

    I wrote my second time regarding the status of my application. I am waiting for his reply since one week, still did not get any reply. Should I keep hope? (NCI U01, IS-20).

    • writedit said

      Okay – in April, your PO was supportive of your score of 20; in May, he asked for a couple papers (including recent publication) but didn’t need a rebuttal. A friend with the same U01 and score but a different PO has had negative news. Your start date was listed as Sept 1 – but this is not set in stone (so no need to panic about actual date still). Did your PO ask you to submit the JIT (when you asked about it in June)? If so, this is another very good sign.

      Your PO may not have yet replied to your most recent message if he has no news. What you might want to ask instead is whether you should prepare the U01 proposal as a a new R01 application (if this is possible) for submission in October. If your PO had any concerns about your getting the U01 funded, he would recommend that you prepare an R01 for October. If he told you not to submit an R01 (with this same science), then you should feel comfortable about the U01 being funded, especially if he asked for the JIT back in June.

  170. U)NCI said

    Hi writedits,
    Thanks for your valuable advice. I will ask my PO about new R01 as per your advice. In fact, I emailed twice to my PO, asking him if I should submit JIT, but I did not get any reply from him.

    • writedit said

      Hopefully you will hear back soon about whether to resubmit your proposal as an R01 – and whether JIT needs to be submitted. It sounds as though you have contacted your PO several times, though, so you should wait a few weeks to try again, if need be. In the meantime, you might want to start getting the U01 ready as an R01 for October, in case you do not get final word until September (which is possible).

  171. Matt said

    Dear Writedit,

    My grant application status has been changed to Pending since 07/19 (3 weeks ago). I wrote the Grant Management Specialist for an update last week, and she told me that the JIT was in order, she is just waiting for the PO to approve. What did this really mean by PO’s approval in this case?
    How much longer do you think before I get this approval and have the award released?


    • writedit said

      You are getting an award – the PO just needs to sign off on the conditions of the award (in the NoA). There is nothing ominous about this (just an administrative review), so you don’t need to worry, but the ICs have been working overtime since early July to catch up on award processing, so it’s just a matter of waiting in line. If you need to start spending some money now, your institution could set up an account for pre-spending, since you are within 90 days of an award (all awards will be made by Sept 30).

      • Matt said

        Dear Writedit,

        It has been three more weeks since I wrote, but still nothing changed from “Pending” status.

        Called/Emailed PO once, but no response.

        Because of the lack of response (and further confirmation), my institution is reluctant to set up an account for pre-spending. Any advice?

        In a few more weeks, the FY17 Fiscal Year will be over. Any chance that it will fall through the cracks (so to speak)? Does the PO get reminders that she has to sign off the grant before FY17 ends?

        The IC for my grant is not a big IC, so it should not have too many grants (compared to say, NCI or NIGMS). IT is really strange that it will take so long to process my grant.


      • writedit said

        Everyone at the NIH knows the money must be spent by September 30th (they have no carryover, so what they don’t spend is lost, and so yes, they pay very close attention to the FY close). Your or your fiscal administrators might contact the GMS again to see if she has an update or can provide the confirmation they seek. If you don’t get a response from her or your PO by, say, the Friday after Labor Day, then you might want to look at your IC organizational structure to seek help from someone higher up in the Branch or Division. If your application is intended to receive an award, the IC won’t miss the deadline. If you are further down the paylist, then they might be waiting to clear other awards prior to processing yours (ie, checking to be sure they have enough money and/or checking to see how your award terms might need to be adjusted), in which you might not have a definitive answer until later in September.

      • Matt said

        Hi writedit, finally got hold of the GMS today. He told me that the PO still has not approved the grant. It is a 5%tile grant, so it could not be too low on the list. Why is the PO so tardy in approving it? Also, I am wondering if she continues to delay the approval, will money be used up for other approved grants and there will be no money left for mine when she gets to approve it. What should I do?

      • writedit said

        Did you ask the GMS for confirmation that an award will eventually be made (so your institution can set up an account)?

        I would suggest you figure out who is above the PO but then wait. If you have not heard from the PO or the GMS by next Friday (after the holiday weekend), then try to contact them each once more. If you only reach the GMS, and if he still needs to hear from the PO, then I would suggest you tell the GMS you intend to make inquiries higher up in the Branch or Division – and then do so, unless the GMS recommends you wait (also be sure to ask if you are in fact on the paylist for an award before the end of the FY). If you cannot reach the PO or the GMS at the end of next week, then try someone higher up for some insight as to whether you will have an award before FY17 concludes. I am sorry you are being forced to wait with minimal insight into what they are doing – a pending 5th percentile application shouldn’t be so delayed, especially if there were no concerns with your JIT.

  172. Abbas said

    Hi writedit,

    my k99 impact score is 23 (first submission). I was wondering if this is close to funding zone for nigms? I contacted my PO and she didn’t give any specific advice or payline number but to tell me wait for council meeting.


    • writedit said

      Your score is certainly within the possible funding range (NIGMS does not use a hard payline), but your summary statement will be more informative to the PO, who truly does have no idea whether your score will be competitive for funding at this point. When you receive your summary statement, ask if you should submit an A1 in November. This is the more important piece of advice to get now – your PO won’t know about funding likelihood until Congress is closer to passing the FY18 budget, which won’t happen for a few months (or more).

      • Abbas said

        Thanks writedit, I will share my story when after the council review in September. This is a truly great place to talk about NIH grants etc… thanks for keeping this place up and running.

      • writedit said

        You are (all) most welcome, and it is your questions, updates, and timelines that make this site valuable for everyone, so thank all of you, again!

  173. NewPI said

    PO wrote to me that my R01 to a PAR “made it on the approved funding list for this fiscal year”. The requested start date is Sept.1 – is that realistic? How does council work for PARs? We submitted JIT. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Yes, the Sept 1 start is feasible, especially since you already submitted JIT. However, the IC has until Sept 30th to make awards in FY17, so even if they miss the Sept 1 date, they can make the award later in the month (it’s an estimated/requested start date, not an expiration date). Council may have already approved the application for an award (their approval is not a guarantee – just allows the IC Director to make the award if funds are available), including electronically in advance of the meeting (if Council meeting is scheduled for Sept).

      • NewPI said

        Great, thank you!

    • NewPI said

      Commons status just changed to pending and PO indicated NOA towards end of month.

      • writedit said

        Congratulations! Glad you got a positive update. Best wishes for success with your research.

      • NewPI said

        NOA came on the 15th, thanks for all the great advice and information!

  174. pjparker said

    Do you know if an A1 submission of an SBIR annuls the A0? My PO implied that a worse score on an A1 will prevent the A0 from being considered. Thank you.
    Thank you

    • writedit said

      Both applications remain active and under consideration for funding (in the same FY anyway), and a worse score on an A1 does not necessarily mean a competitive A0 will no longer be considered for funding, especially if the PO is supportive (ie, if the PO will push the IC to go with the A0 application instead of the A1). I have seen non-SBIR situations in which an A0 is funded rather than the A1 (even if the A1 scores better, in some cases), and I am not sure why this would be different for an SBIR proposal. Now, if the A1 were ND, that might make it difficult for the PO to push for the A0, but not impossible. You can withdraw the A1 at any point, so if you find out your A0 is likely to be funded just before the A1 is reviewed, you could pull it then. Once it is scored, withdrawing it has no impact on improving the odds for the A0 (if the score gets worse rather than better), so there is no point in withdrawing then.

      • tetramerv7 said

        Thank you!

  175. bioPI said

    Hello Writedit,

    Can you offer some insights or experience on the difference between, say a U01 program and a regular R01 program? I note that U01 means cooperative agreement but don’t really understand what that means in terms of writing a U01 application and, subsequently, carrying out the U01 work if one receives such an award. Thank you!

    • writedit said

      The U01 activity code means there is some level of NIH involvement (which varies considerably) in the research projects as they are performed. Some U01 programs integrate the cooperative nature in the application itself, whereas others (most) set up the network or consortium after awards are made. If the FOA does not give specific instructions for organizing and writing the Research Strategy (Section IV), and does not specifically require that you describe your project/contribututions in the context of a larger consortium, then you would write about your project like you would an R01. The level of NIH involvement post-award is described in the FOA (Section VI) and usually includes some level of oversight of the research being conducted and organizing PI meetings (Steering Committee) among awardees. If you have questions after reading these sections of the FOA, you can talk with the PO for additional clarification, especially as it pertains to your application.

  176. Sean said

    Hi Writedit,
    Thank you for providing such a great resource. I submitted a new R01 application in October 2016. The application scored 3%ile and received approval for funding from council (NIDDK). The start date was July 1, 2017, but I have yet to receive the official NOA. I contacted the PO, who put me in touch with GMS. The GMS will not answer emails or phone calls. Any ideas on the timeline or why the process is so long? JIT was submitted July 10. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      You don’t need to panic because the start date has passed – it’s not an expiration date, and you will receive your NoA before the FY ends. The ICs are making a year’s worth of awards in 3 months (July, Aug, Sept), so the GMS is probably just very busy. Since you are definitely within 90 days of an award, you can have your fiscal person set up an account to pre-spend (in advance of award) if you need to order animals/supplies or set up a position.

    • Matt said


      Just to let you know that you are not alone. I am in similar situation. A1 application sent in Nov 2016. scored 5%ile, NICHD Council June 8th. Status changed to Pending on July 19th, still no NoA as of today. Writedit advised patience. Please do let us know when you get your NoA.


      • Sean said

        Will do. Other grants in the portfolio of my PI were awarded about a month ago. I thought mine would follow shortly thereafter, but no news.

      • Sean said

        Hi Matt
        My award notice came in today. No budget cut.

    • Matt said

      Congratulation!!! Still waiting for mine.

  177. fish_fish said

    Hi Writedit,

    I got a letter said: “Your application is under consideration as we construct a funding plan. Please note that NIH does not currently have its budget for FY2018 and I am afraid I do not have further information on
    funding potential at this time “. Do you have any idea how much chance it will be funded?


    • SaG said

      Go by last year’s payline for the institute you submitted the grant too. If you would have been funded last fiscal year and NIH’s budget is flat or goes down then your chances decrease. If Congress’ Increases the NIH’s budget your chances increase and you can be optimistic.

      • fish_fish said

        The council review will be in September, but the budget for FY2018 will come out in October. Do you think whether I will know funding potential after council meeting in September, or I have to wait until October?

      • writedit said

        You will need to wait a few months at least. FY18 starts Oct 1 (hopefully under a continuing resolution, which will keep the federal government operating at 90% of the FY17 budget levels), but the federal budget for FY18 will not be passed and signed into law for several weeks to months (more likely) – hopefully by the end of this calendar year. No one at the NIH will know for sure what their appropriation will look like until the federal budget takes shape, so watch news on House and Senate bills for a clue on whether NIH funding will remain level or increase, and touch base with your PO after you see that the President has signed a budget for FY18. And thanks for your prior input, SaG!

  178. fish_fish said

    I see. Thank you so much for your help!

  179. SaG said

    Tom Petty wrote a song about this situation.

  180. uso said

    Hello – thanks for all of the information you provide. I resubmitted an R01 (A1) in March 2017 and received score of 11% in June. Payline for NHLBI is 15% for FY 2017. Council meets in October 2017. Do you know if FY17 or FY18 paylines would be used to determine whether it gets funded?

    • writedit said

      Your application will be considered for funding in FY18 (except for RFAs & some PARs, generally, the funding FY is the year after the calendar year in which the application was submitted). Watch the federal budget process to gauge when your PO might have information – probably not until the President signs something, which probably won’t be for a few months at best (ie, not until well after Council meets).

  181. uso said

    Ok thanks very much

  182. hopeR01 said

    Writedit: could you tell us more about the funding decision of those RFAs & some PARs? thank you much

    • writedit said

      If you mean when they are reviewed and funded, you can look at the FOA itself to see the “Earliest start date”; if this falls before September 30 of the year in which you are applying, then you would be funded under that FY. If the earliest start date is October 1 or later, then the award will be made under the next FY (in which case you need to wait for the federal budget to pass before the ICs will know how many applications can be funded). In addition to the variability in FY, applications submitted to RFAs (especially) and PARs (to a lesser extent) are selected for funding based on programmatic interest as much as score, so you cannot assume being scored within the IC payline ensures that you will be funded. ICs can and do pick applications with higher scores for specialized FOAs.

  183. alessaycy said

    Dear Writedit, sorry for a newbie question: I expect to have a new publication before the study section meets. When and how can I submit this information so that the reviewers will be aware?

    • writedit said

      No worries, and never hesitate to ask any question – plenty of other investigators out there will benefit from the answer (and are glad you asked), and your asking helps me understand what newbies need and want to know (but may be afraid to ask). If your manuscript is accepted for publication 30 days or more before your study section meets, you can send the notice of acceptance to the SRO. If it is published online ahead of print, you can send that link, too. SROs cannot accept updates less than 30 days before the meeting, but you can and should let your PO know (no matter the timing), especially when the online ahead of print link is ready.

    • SaG said

      If you deposited your pub in a preprint server (e.g., BioRxiv) NIH considers that kind of like a pub.

  184. R2K said

    Dear writedit,
    My situation have a K01 within the last 2 years and recently got R21. However, R21 award letter saying that PI request effort is removed because I have the K01? Any advice how to restore the cut? thanks a lot

    • writedit said

      You should talk with your K01 PO. If anything, the R21 salary should be kept and the K01 salary reduced by that amount (assuming that would not drop you below 50% effort – if you are currently at 50% effort, then some of the R21 salary would need to be forfeited). If the work on the R21 is essentially the same project as for your K01, then the R21 PO might have felt the effort was duplicated – but the question of overlap should have been flagged in the summary statement. Your K01 PO will be able to advise and advocate for you if the R21 can to be adjusted.

  185. R2K said

    Thank you much. Now I am 75% on K01 and totally different R21. Also a R01 pending. So it sounds like reduce K effort is way to go.
    Do you know that the reducing part of K need to returned to NIH or can be shift to research expense?

  186. F31D said

    Timeline for my NIAAA F31 Diversity application:

    4/10/2017- Application entered into system
    4/18/2017-SRG review pending
    7/24/2017-SRG review completed
    8/1/2017-Pending administrative review
    8/4/2017-JIT request via e-mail from GMS
    8/7/2017-JIT material submitted
    8/21/2017-Summary statement posted on common status

    **Currently anxiously waiting and checking commons status every 5 min. Would it be a good idea to e-mail PO? I haven’t heard from him. My inclination is to hold tight and not bother him.**

    • writedit said

      Thanks so much for posting your timeline – I assume you received a competitive score. Since fellowship applications do not go to Council, this unusual sequence does make sense. If you have already communicated with the PO previously, you can sit tight. If you have not contacted the PO at all, you could reach out to confirm whether they plan to make an award before the close of FY17 and whether they will need anything else from you in the next few weeks. One focused contact is fine – you just don’t want to keep pestering for updates thereafter. If you do have or receive confirmation that they intend to make an award in FY17, then you can sit back and wait (and even get some relief from refreshing eRA Commons).

    • SaG said

      An F31 is an F31. No need to differentiate diversity from parent. They are all reviewed and scored the same. Just like there is no difference between an ESI R01 and a nonESI R01. I say this because I have heard of folks diminishing the accomplishment of diversity F31 recipients compared to Parent F31s.

  187. U)NCI said

    Hi Writtedits,
    I follow your instruction and wrote my PO three weeks before for the submission of the same science (as of U01) into R01 in October cycle. I still did not get his reply. What is your suggestion?

    • writedit said

      You should try calling (on Monday) the PO and the GMS, especially if you have not submitted JIT. In the meantime, look at the organizational structure for the Branch or Division in which your PO is located. Find the Chief of the Branch or Division, and if you cannot get either the PO or the GMS on the phone to answer your questions, then you should email (use your full application number) and then, as needed, call the unit chief for guidance about your application (whether your application is being considered for funding still, or should you apply in October). At this point, it seems as though you will need to submit in October, though I am disappointed the PO has not responded at all after seeming optimistic much earlier in the year.

  188. Ben said

    Dear Writedit and folks

    It seems this forum has discussed the NIH’s recent policy of “Next Generation Researchers Initiative”. On August 31, 2017, NIH updated this policy (see the link below).

    One of my proposals seems to qualify this policy (I am ESI), but so far no one from NIH contacts me about this and the PO has not responded my emails. Do you (or anyone else here) know how this policy will be implemented for FY17 since this FY will be ended very soon (based on my understanding it will be ended on Sep.30, so only 3 weeks left).

    Any suggestions what I should do? It is embarrassed when keep bothering PO and without response.


    • writedit said

      I am not sure what you mean by “qualify”, since this policy does not mean all ESI applications will be funded, and there are no actual guidelines for how individual ICs will implement the policy (ie, your IC does not have to fund you or anyone else – it is entirely at their discretion). You don’t mention your score or percentile, but you would have been contacted by now for JIT if your IC felt your proposal was competitive and of programmatic interest. There will only be 200 additional awards in FY17 under this policy, which, if distributed evenly among the ICs, would mean ~8 additional ESI awards per IC – not that many, no matter how you look at it. Moving forward, numbers will continue to increase, so if your score was close, you should probably resubmit in October or November as appropriate.

  189. UFO said

    Dear writedit: thank you for maintaining this blog, and for your calming and empathetic presence. I’ve lurked many times over the past few years as I have struggled with a K23 application at NIMH. Posting my semi-detailed timeline including criterion scores, since I have found the relationship (or lack thereof) between criterion scores and impact scores to be one of the most befuddling aspects of this process. Hope my timeline can be helpful viewing for others who are also going through this.

    Round 1
    09/2014- Application entered into system
    02/2015- Unscored (1-3) (3-5) (1-6)

    Round 2 (A1: major revamp)
    11/2015- Application entered into system
    02/2016- Unscored (1-2) (1-3) (2-3)

    Round 3 (submitted as a new app, minor changes)
    6/2016- Application entered into system
    10/2016- Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.
    10/2016- Impact Score high 20s (1-4) (1-3) (1-3)
    11/2016- Per phone convo w/ PO, I need to resubmit

    Round 4 (A1, minor changes)
    03/2017- Application entered into system
    06/2017- Impact score available online (high teens)
    06/2017- Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.
    06/2017- Summary statement available online (1-3) (1-4) (1-2)
    06/2017- auto-request for JIT
    06/2017- phone call w/ “very, very optimistic” PO
    07/2017- sent response letter to PO
    08/2017- uploaded JIT
    08/2017- status is “pending administrative review”
    09/2017- request for revised JIT
    09/2017- revised JIT submitted
    09/2017- Awarded

    • writedit said

      Oh wow – huge congratulations and kudos to you for your persistence and dedication over the past 3 years! Thank you so much for sharing this very enlightening and inspirational timeline with everyone. Best wishes for success in your project and your career path in biomedical research!

  190. RNAScientist said

    My experience/timeline with my first (hopefully) funded R01 through NCI as an ESI.

    6/5/2015 – A0 Application entered into system
    10/13/2015 – Application not discussed

    3/21/2016 – A1 major resubmission entered into system
    6/14/2016 – Scientific Review complete – scored 15% (pauline 12% for ESI)

    10/05/2016 – New (but similar) A0 submitted

    11/04/2016 – Email from PO asking for one-page response to reviewers comments from A1

    02/08/2017 – A0 scored 40%

    02/10/2017 – Email from PO stating that the one-pager for A1 did not fair well, grant likely unfunded
    09/13/2017 – Meeting the PO while at NIH in DC.
    09/14/2017 – Email/call with PO indicating that 15% A1 will be funded and to update JIT information. Indicated that this notification was totally coincidentally with the visit from the day before. 18 months after submission.

    Currently – waiting on NOA

    Crazy system – but indicates that we should not lose hope.

    • writedit said

      This is terrific – thank you so much for sharing your experience in having a prior application funded (even though subsequent application scored worse – and even though PO doubted benefit of rebuttal). Kudos for sticking it out, and congratulations on the upcoming NoA – best wishes for success with your research!

  191. Matt said

    Dear Wirtedit,

    I have a question about change in key personnel. I submitted an R01 A1 in last November with two intramural NIH scientists (Drs. A & B) as Co-Is. Since they are intramural scientists, they did not claim any salar and their roles are mainly advisory.

    Soon after my grant was reviewed, Dr. B left NIH and took up a VP position at a biopharma company. Dr. C was assigned to replace him, but Dr. B remains very interested in the project and offers to serve as a unpaid consultant for the grant if it is funded.

    My grant was just funded last week. So what is your advice on the change in key personnel in this case? Since there is literally no loss in the personnel (in fact, I gain Dr. C in the process), do I have to inform NIH about the change? If so, whom should I contact, the PO or the GMS? What will happen after I initiate the change? Will they stop paying me until the change is approved?

    Please advise.

    • writedit said

      The NIH needs to approve changes of 25% or more in the budget, so this does not require prior approval in terms of budget adjustments. Now, if Dr. B committed 25% or more of his time, you would need permission from the PO, who needs to know that the peer-reviewed and Council-approved work that would have been done by Dr. B will still get done by a qualified replacement (in this case, Dr. C). Even if Dr. B’s effort was less than 25%, you should alert the PO to the personnel changes (Dr. B to industry, Dr. C to NIH intramural), since I also expect that the NIH needs to know for internal purposes any intramural researchers working on extramural awards – but I am not involved in this sort of grant management, so I cannot give precise details. This will not impact funds being released for your award, since no funds are needed for any of this. If Dr. B wants to maintain a consulting role, that should be fine, though you might ask your institution and/or PO if any IP agreements need to be in place, depending on his role.

    • SaG said

      Are they actually listed as key personnel on the grant or are they listed as collaborators? If they are listed (or you want to list them) as key personnel then yes you need NIH permission. Since Dr. B remains involved why would you take him off as key personnel? Conversely, Dr. C doesn’t necessarily need to be add as key personnel. And they can still collaborate. Generally, as writedit points out above) NIH mostly cares about the money and if the science can get done.

      • Matt said

        Hi Writedit and SaG,

        Thank you for your insights, which I followed and proceeded. Unfortunately, I was told by Dr. C (the intramural scientist that replaced Dr. B who left for industry) two days ago that he thought the commitment made by Dr. B was excessive. Dr. B did commit some tech time in addition to his own time. While Dr. C did not say outright that he will not honor Dr. B’s commitment to the project, he has asked for a teleconference among the PO, himself, the representatives of his institute and my university to discuss this further. Moreover, he has already alerted the PO about his cocerns before even speaking to me and the University!

        So how should I approach this now? Will all these torpedo my grant award? How will a PO normally approach this kind of issue?

        I have spoken to my boss, and he told me that in the worst case scenario, we can find someone who is qualified to do the work proposed for the NIH intramural scientists here at our university. My department will pay for the additional expenses if it cannot be covered by the current grant budget. (please do understand that the costs incurred by the intramural scientists are covered by their intramural budget, so they were not included in the grant budget. That being said, the amount is not astronomical either,) Should we let the PO know about this at the teleconference or will this create more problems?

        As for the specific questions asked by SaG above, yes, Drs. A & B were listed as key personnel (unfortunately). You are right, I did not mean to take Dr. B out as he will remain as a non-paid consultant. So technically, there is no change in key personnel. But as far as the intramural institute is concerned, Dr. C was assigned to replace Dr. B, do I have to report this addition to the PO, right? I was merely following the advice from my own grant management officials at the University.

      • writedit said

        I don’t think Dr. C’s actions will torpedo your chances of an award, and your boss’s support is excellent. The intramural-extramural dynamics within an IC can be interesting, and it could be Dr. C is using your application to leverage more funding for his intramural lab but does not intend to interfere with your getting the award or refuse to do the work. You could contact your PO before the teleconference to say your institution is willing to help you reconfigure the work to be done in-house vs by Dr. C, if there appears to be insurmountable differences at the time of the call (ie, in unlikely case Dr. C refuses to participate without more $ from the IC). If the IC took you up on that suggestion, it’s unlikely you would be able to renegotiate the budget to offset some of the additional costs you take on as a result, but it’s not impossible (though it would not come from Dr. C’s portion, since funds don’t cross the intramural-extramural fiscal barrier, so to speak).

      • SaG said

        I would suggest working out all of the details before you speak with the PO. If your school and all of the players are on board and you can show that the proposed science will be sustained then you can present it to the PO.

        Dr. C should not be in contact with the PO. The PO should only be speaking to you and your school. Do you even need Dr. C on the grant?

      • Matt said

        Thanks writedit and SaG.

        I totally agree with SaG that Dr C should not have contacted the PO. They are not the awardee institution but my university is. The whole thing was very disturbing and this tells me how inexperienced the intramural scientists are when it comes to extramural funds. As of now, my university has requested a Teleconference with Dr C before the scheduled Teleconference with the PO. Let’s see what Dr C has to say. If he thinks that the FTE that Dr B promised was too much and he wants to cut it to half, can I still argue that it might still work?

        Dr C was “assigned” to take over Dr B for the project. I did not request him.

    • SaG said

      AS PI, you get to pick your collaborators. Not the other way around. If you and your school want to drop Dr. C and the PO agrees you can. Nothing Dr. C can do about it. You have the power here. Now if political dynamics are involved that is a different issue. But, don’t let anyone tell you that you “have” to collaborate with a person they choose.

  192. Richard said

    Dear Writedit,
    My RO1 is at its first no cost extension and I expect that we will still have significant money left after this first NCE. Therefore, I am considering to have second NCE. I am wondering what is the chance that my request for second no cost extension is rejected by NIH.


    • writedit said

      I would say very small risk, especially if you can justify the delays in spending (moving, hiring issues, animal model or recruitment issues, etc.) and still have work to do on the proposed research. I am not familiar with a second NCE that has not been granted, but I think it would only be due to lack of performance or spending irregularities. If you truly have a significant amount of carryover, you will probably want to show how the funds will be spent by the end of the second NCE – the NIH will not want you to try to stretch it to a third year. Perhaps someone who has experienced an NCE problem will chime in with additional comments.

      • Richard said

        Thanks. Yes, I moved to another institution several years ago and it took more than six months to transfer the grant to my new institution. GMS and PO knew this situation very well. I hope that this could be a strong justification for the request.

  193. goggu said

    Dear Writedit,
    I am in 2nd year R00 and I have heard from a few colleagues that a proposal from an investigator holding R00 is reviewed more critically than other ESI without R00 (and even disfavored for DP2 and MIRA). Is it true? I just submitted DP2 and am trying to submit MIRA. An NIGMS program officer has just notified me that my MIRA proposal does not fit at NIGMS. My R00 is from another institute.
    Any comments would be appreciated.

    • writedit said

      Reviewers (for any funding mechanism) would not be more critical of you as an applicant just because you have an R00 award, but they would expect you to have more preliminary data than someone who had not had a couple of years of similar research funding. You are not eligible for MIRA because you do not have an R01 award (the funding IC does not matter – the R00 is not eligible). With the DP2, your R00 will have no impact on the review, since preliminary data are not required, and the emphasis is on creativity.

      • Tom said

        Just FYI, GM does have a MIRA mechanism for ESI:

        Regarding the original question, I have heard informally from a few people that R00 holders are sometimes treated more critically until the R00 is nearly expired. In my own case, I got an R01 in my second R01 year, but a colleague of mine heard from someone in her study section that her R00 did have an impact on the discussion of her R01 (also in her second year of R00).

      • writedit said

        Oh, man – my bad for forgetting the ESI MIRA! I was thinking the concern was that the R00 was related to the eligibility concern. In that case (ESI MIRA), the NIGMS PO was probably reflecting on the science not being appropriate (for NIGMS).

        Thanks so much for sharing your additional experience (direct and through colleagues), Tom, which is interesting. My guess is still that the extra rigor applied is related to the fact that R00 awardees receive $250K (minus whatever indirects the PI’s institution takes), compared with the fraction of funding available with a traditional K (usually less than $50K, often much less) or an ESI applicant with no prior K or R funding. Reviewers would expect R00 applicants to have a more solid scientific story and publications, depending on timing in relation to start of the R00. However, I cannot imagine the mere fact of having an R00 being a negative in the minds of reviewers, especially if the applicant was productive with that funding.

      • Tom said

        Definitely agree with your thoughts on that. In other words, I think there can be a mindset among reviewers that you have a substantial grant (the R00) and as an ESI you need to accomplish something tangible (papers) before asking for more money for another project, even if there is no actual rule to that effect.

      • Newbie said

        A colleague in my department received ESI MIRA in his second R00 year without any paper from his own group. A friend from another institution received DP2 in his third R00 year also without independent paper. I think the pool is too small to make any meaningful trend here.

      • writedit said

        Interesting – thank you so much for sharing this additional insight. I completely agree that the sample size is too small, and each case is unique (PI, SRG, application).

  194. goggu said

    Thanks writedit and Tom. Well… producing something meaningful with one year worth work doesn’t sound so easy though regardless you have R00 or not.

    It seems that NIGMS MIRA (for ESI) provides significant flexibility in research development for MIRA investigators (that’s one of major goals of MIRA and that’s why this program is so attractive to me), but it has been unclear what are the criteria determining someone’s research is relevant to the mission of NIGMS or not. I thought I did a good job making my proposal relevant to NIGMS’s mission in my research summary and sent it to an NIGMS program officer for review. The program officer sent back a three-sentence reply : basically, (1) thank you; (2) yours does not fit at NIGMS; (3) find other opportunities. Without any specific reason. How do they determine and choose proposals that fit NIGMS?

    • writedit said

      If you’re at the start rather than further into your second year, reviewers will take note of this. That’s what I meant about the timing of the R01 in relation to the start of the R00.

      I would suggest you look through the extramural staff, search RePORTER, ask colleagues etc. to identify an appropriate PO for your work at NIGMS – as if you were searching for a potential R01 PO. When you make a connection with this individual, ask if your R00 work (or whatever work you were going to propose) is appropriate for an NIGMS R01 or ESI MIRA – and discuss the prior response from the MIRA PO if you are given a positive response. If this PO confirms it is not responsive for the GM ESI MIRA, then you can discuss strategy for an R01.

      • goggu said

        Thanks Writedit.

    • SaG said

      If your research is basic but focuses on a specific organ or disease then it is outside NIGMS’ mission. For instance, studying kinase/phosphatase pathways to better understand cancer metastasis is NCI not NIGMS. Looking at bacterial transcription to better understand virulence is NIAID. Investigating chromatin structure to better understand neural development is NINDs …etc….When you go to NIHreporter plug in some key words from your app and see what grants come up and who funds them. Writedit’s advice about finding a specific PO to speak with at NIGMS is a great idea too.

      • goggu said

        I think I did my best — I found the PO as you and Writedit suggested and my project is about developing and applying a new technology for a certain biological issue (one of the mission of NIGMS). The PO didn’t give me any specific reason why mine doesn’t fit at NIGMS. One I can guess is the due was only 20 days away when I contacted the PO. The PO must have been very busy.

      • SaG said

        “One I can guess is the due was only 20 days away when I contacted the PO. The PO must have been very busy.”
        That is not a good reason.

        My guess is that your program was more part of NBIB’s mission. But, I think you should ask the PO (or another PO) for a more exact reason. Ask to talk by phone if you haven’t already.

      • SaG said

        Being mildly insistent/pushy is how the big cheeses get so many grants.

  195. Vidya Chidambaran said

    Dear Writedit, my R01 submitted in Feb 2017 was ND. PO was not very encouraging but gave some suggestions to improve the proposal and split it into an R01 and R21. The study section reviewers seems to have a bias against the sample size, which I have found acceptable in grants funded by other study sections. Is it a good idea to request a change in IRG for the resubmission? and the R21? I emailed the PO to discuss this but have not heard from him for 2 weeks. Thanks.

    • writedit said

      You should pick the SRG(s) with the best reviewers for each application. This could be the same SRG (for both the R21 & R01 – reviewers will be instructed to judge each application on its scientific merits, ignoring the other application), or it could be different SRGs – and the SRG(s) could be the same or different from the one that did not discuss your Feb submission. You should not assume, though, that another SRG will find your sample size acceptable just because you have received awards for other applications with similar sample sizes (obviously depends on the study, not the SRG – please check with a statistician about sample size). If you truly believe the Feb submission SRG was not the most appropriate for your application, you can use CSR and RePORTER data to identify SRGs that might look favorably on your science, plus ask mentors and colleagues. Hopefully you will hear from the PO as well.

      • Me said

        Thanks much!

  196. john chandler said

    Dear Writedit,

    I have been wondering about the time frame to wait for a response from program officers and program directors. After how long is it appropriate to follow-up with an email? I know they are busy, and I lean towards not disturbing anyone, however, without their guidance, one would never know the fit of a project with a particular a RFA.

    In my case, an email to NIH PO is approaching 2-weeks without response; for NSF, 2 PDs responded, another waiting for 2 weeks. I have heard advice to pick up the phone but I am not about that approach. Just wanted to know what is the proper etiquette.


    • writedit said

      Because POs are busy, emails in particular can quickly get pushed below the fold and lost in the crowd, especially if the PO cannot respond on the spot. I would suggest you forward or resend your original message with a brief polite note acknowledging that you realize he/she is quite busy but would appreciate his/her guidance. If you don’t have a response within a few days and you still don’t feel comfortable calling, you could contact your usual PO (if you have one) for help reaching the RFA PO, especially if they are in the same IC.

      • john chandler said


  197. UICAlchemist said

    This blog is very helpful. Thank you for doing it.

    I submitted an ESI AD R01 application on 02/05/17 which scored 21st percentile on 06/29/2017. FY2017 payline is 33rd percentile for this application. Unfortunately it is under FY18. My NIA PO indicated that the FY18 paylines are uncertain and the safest course of action is to resubmit.

    Things got very peculiar a few weeks ago. The grant was scheduled to go to council on 09/26/17……however……on 09/09/17 my status changed to “Council Review Complete”. I have received no contact from my PO or requests for JIT- thought the link for JIT upload has been available since the score posted. Any thoughts? Even if not, just writing this has been therapeutic. I had another ESI (non-AD) R01 that scored 22nd percentile on 06/26/15 (not funded [payline 21]). For the record- the unfunded application in 2015 did not say “Council Review Complete” until 1 day after council review.

    Post-script: I think I may be going crazy and losing all patience.

    • writedit said

      The Council review complete status change in advance of the scheduled Council meeting means that your application was sent to Council for electronic approval en bloc in advance of the in-person meeting. All this means is that the Director of NIA (& senior leadership) can consider your application for funding (that is, they have Council’s approval to do so). Any discussion of which applications to fund will not occur until after the Council meeting (at which many more applications will be discussed), and even when NIA comes up with a ranked paylist, few awards will be issued until Congress passes and the President signs a budget for the federal government. Now, while your application being on the list sent to Council for advance approval is good news, and it currently looks as though the NIH may get more money rather than less (so the FY17 paylines are a good guide to FY18), a lot can happen in the larger scheme of things between now and budget passage, so you you should certainly resubmit, per your PO’s suggestion (you always want insurance, especially in these uncertain times). If the 21st percentile A0 falls within the FY18 payline but the future A1 does not, NIA can still fund the A0 – the A1 does not knock it out of consideration.

      • UICAlchemist said

        Thank you very much for the response. I have a much better understanding about where my application is in the process now. Keep up the good work!

  198. newbie said

    Should you ask your PO about the possibility of funding after council review? Is there a “right” way to ask about this? My era commons status says “council review completed.”

    • writedit said

      If you haven’t asked your PO about funding likelihood and your score is good or close, then you can certainly check in for his/her take. However, they won’t be able to say anything definitive since no IC will have any idea about paylines until December or later, depending on when Congress passes a budget.

  199. Neurite said

    Just got my K08 A1 score: 36. This score may be close but I am not so optimistic. According to my discussion with my PO before the submission, grants with scores < 30 were funded and 30+ were unclear. It is down from 50 (A0) but still kind of high.

    I have tried to address all reviewers' comments. The main critique of A0 was the disease implication of the science (aim 3). Except for Research Plan, other scores were good. In the resubmission I provided a lot of data to address that.

    My mentor thought I am moving in the right direction because the score improved. He encouraged me to fix it and submit another A0 if I don't get it this time. I am just worried that the Study Section were not so enthusiastic about my research because the score didn't improve significantly.


    • writedit said

      A 14-point improvement is good, but it depends on whether both panels had concerns about the significance of the work (ie, is it worth doing no matter how the approach reads), or if they mainly cited fixable issues with the research and/or training plan. It could be your mentor sees a lack of enthusiasm for the research you are pursuing – but this is important to clarify, since you do not want to continue down that path (if it is not sufficiently significant for a K, it won’t be sufficient for an R either). Your PO will be helpful in assessing reviewer enthusiasm and making suggestions on next steps since he/she will have heard the discussions and can comment from an IC perspective as well.

  200. NT said

    I got a 25 on a K01 resubmission to NIMH. Not sure what the chances of funding are since there’s no percentile and the payline for 2018 hasn’t been established yet.

    • writedit said

      NIMH has been funding 35% or more of K01 applications, so I suspect 25 is within the realm of possibility (you probably won’t get a percentile). When you receive your summary statement, you can touch base with your PO about how the discussion went and whether you should resubmit (for insurance). He or she won’t have any idea about FY18 paylines until the federal budget passes (or gets close to finalization), which won’t happen until December at least.

  201. U)NCI said

    Hi writedit:
    Finally, I talked to PO. It seems that he was try to push my application for funding. Now, he is suggestng to submit it again for new open RFA as a R01 proposal (one month later). However, upon my request to cut funds and time, he said that he will see what can be done. What do you think about that? As my grant has outstanding score, is it possible to ask some other institutes for funding?
    I really appreciate your suggestions and based on my experience, I can say that you are really a big support system for newbies.

    • writedit said

      I am glad to hear your PO was supportive (though silent) all these months. Your application can still be funded, even though the FY has changed, and perhaps he can negotiate an FY18 award at a lower budget level. Since the FY has changed, all ICs will be in a holding pattern until the federal budget passes, which will not happen until December at the earliest. If you had a secondary IC assigned to your application, you could touch base with the PO there about interest in your proposal, but you should not expect anyone else to pick up the RFA application at this point (especially if you have never communicated with the PO there). All other ICs have lots of unfunded proposals of their own to consider if money becomes available, so yours would not be a priority (score is not enough to make it appealing) – especially since NCI has the largest budget at NIH (other ICs prefer to let NCI pick up applications relevant to NCI mission). In the meantime, I would strongly suggest that you submit the proposal as a new R01; if you do contact POs at other ICs, you could take into account any suggestions they have, but I would focus on ensuring the application is of interest and priority to NCi, since it sounds as though your PO there has your back, and you want to help him make your case at NCI (for both the RFA application and a new R01).

  202. R01 NEW INVESTIGATOR said

    Hello Writedit,
    I just received a percentile of 24 for my application. It is with NCI.I am new investigator but not early investigator. Is there any opportunity to receive funding?


      Hello Writedit,
      I just received a percentile of 24 for my application. It is with NCI.I am new investigator but not early investigator. Is there any opportunity to receive funding? Additionally, this application has a secondary assignment with NIBIB.

    • writedit said

      Wait until you receive your summary statement and then talk with your PO, since I expect the reviewer comments will be as important as the score in answering that question (not a funding decision made on score alone). However, your PO will not have definitive guidance until the FY18 budget shapes up in December, but he/she will know NCI’s general plans with regard to funding more ESI applicants if the appropriation they anticipate (FY17 levels or higher) comes to fruition.

      • R01 NEW INVESTIGATOR said

        Thanks Writedit.
        I come across news that ESI may get their R01 funded upto 25%. Is it apply for New Investigator also? I just crossed my 11 years after my PhD and got a R01 percentile 24 by NCI. Any input is apprecaited.

      • writedit said

        If you cannot extend your ESI status, then you won’t qualify for the extra NGRI payline breaks (each IC will determine their NHGRI funding thresholds, I believe, though the goal is the 25th percentile) … but when you have your summary statement, you can still talk with your PO about funding likelihood as select pay, given how close you are to ESI (they would be more reticent about funding breaks for a senior foreign (new to US) or former NIH research applying as a New Investigator), especially if your work is of high programmatic value. Your PO can give advice on whether to resubmit and, if so, strategies for addressing concerns raised during the discussion (that PO heard but did not get recorded in summary statement).

  203. K01 applicant said

    Hello Writedit,
    I received (July 3rd) an Impact Score of 24 on my K01 application – NIDA. The problem is that NIDA does not share pay lines on Ks, nor do they give percentile scores on Ks. My PO says that it is a good score with a “decent chance” to be funded. The summary statement is positive but reviewer 3 wanted some changes. I gave my PO one page with suggested feasible solutions to the critiques. In my last contact with the PO he indicated that the uncertainty with congress it is unlikely that he would know anything before December. Is there any opportunity to receive funding here (level of optimism)? It has been 3 weeks since I heard back from the PO and I feel like he does not want to be bothered (and I definitely don’t want to bother him/her). Is there anything I can do or information that I missed in between the lines or elsewhere?

    • writedit said

      No one will know about NIH funding likelihood until December (or whenever the federal budget passes and is signed into law). Your PO truly has nothing further to tell you at this time, so that is why he has not responded – you don’t need to keep asking him (which can become bothersome). Just watch the news to see when Congress acts on the budget. The Continuing Resolution lasts until December, and it is unlikely the budget will pass before then. You probably do want to to resubmit in November for insurance (the A0 application with the 24 score remains under consideration no matter what). You could ask your PO for his advice on resubmitting (but nothing else!), if you haven’t yet – that is, whether to resubmit and whether anything he heard in the discussion might help you in revising the proposal. Also, if you resubmit, you only really need to respond to the concerns raised in the Resume and Summary of Discussion. If concerns raised by an individual reviewer are not listed there, then probably the panel decided during the discussion that those were not weaknesses; if reviewer 3’s concerns were cited in the Summary, then you do need to address them.

  204. K applicant said

    Just received an impact score of 20 on my K resubmission to NIMH (original score was 33 and PO had said there was actually a chance that would get funded, but it didn’t end up happening). I know they’ll be quite a bit of uncertainty until the new budget passes, but any thoughts on the likelihood of funding? Thanks so much!

    • writedit said

      If your PO thought the 33 had a shot, then the 20 score should be even more likely, since unless they go crazy with tax cuts, the NIH should be in line for another slight increase (so paylines should be stable). PO won’t know more until budget passes (December or later), but when you get your summary statement, you can touch base and ask if you should resubmit.

  205. Elf said

    Hi- Just received an impact score of 30 (20th percentile) on my R01 re-submission. I am ESI candidate. I have heard of rumors that NCI/NIH will fund all the grants till 25th percentile. Is this true? What is the likelihood of this getting funded. I have not contacted my PO yet. How soon should I get in touch with them? Thanks so much.

    • writedit said

      You should contact your PO when you receive your summary statement, which is when he/she can comment on whether you might get funded based on reviewer comments (PO won’t know how far their budget will go until Congress passes a budget, probably not before December) and on whether you should prepare a new application (A0) for this proposal as insurance (the A1 remains under consideration). As ESI, you should be in good shape, especially with the NGRI, which seeks to increase the payline for NI/ESI applicants, though I believe it will be up to ICs to determine the higher payline vs an NIH-wide ESI payline. However, this depends on whether the NIH receives a slight boost to their budget, as is currently indicated by Congressional drafts but is not guaranteed. The most useful information you will be able to get from your PO at this point is whether you should submit again and, if so, strategy for doing so.

  206. G said

    Hi- I am an ESI. I have submitted DP2 this summer and am wondering whether I can apply for another DP2 from NIDA (Avenir Award Program for Research on Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS) with a different research idea/project. Thanks.

    • writedit said

      If the science is different, then I do not see why not, since a concurrent R01 is allowed, but you should contact the NIDA DP2 PO for confirmation. You would not be allowed to receive both DP2s, though, in the happy event that both are competitive.

  207. Craving for funding said

    Hi – I asked the NCI program director after receiving a score of 28 for R15. He replied as ‘While we still don’t know what next year’s budget will bring I can tell you that I am not optimistic that the payline for R15’s will relax at all. Let’s arrange a time to chat once the reviewers comments are available.’ . After one week of that conversation, I sent him the review comments and asked for a conversation. He didnot reply. After another two weeks, I sent him the same email, and still didnot receive response for one week. What could be happening on the other end? Should I call him? In the mean time, can I submit the same proposal to catch deadline in this month? If I do this, will the scored proposal still be considered for funding? Thanks a lot!

    • writedit said

      POs are busy and tend to triage requests based on urgency. He probably thinks you are not going to submit again until the next cycle, which means you would have plenty of time (so not urgent – and he probably needs some time to go over the summary statement and application). If you haven’t called him yet, I would suggest you start there, since it will be important for you to incorporate his feedback on the reviewers’ discussion at the study section meeting; if you only get his voicemail, be sure to note that you would like to submit for Oct 25th. You can resubmit once you have the summary statement (which you now have), but you do not want to submit again if you don’t have time to adequately address the concerns raised. Your application with the score of 28 will remain under consideration even if your subsequent application scores worse (ie, submitting again does not affect the first proposal).

  208. Unclear about ESI said

    Thanks so much for your site. I am unclear about the Next Generation Researchers Initiative. For example, the NIAID payline for ESI in FY17 was 18th percentile but with the interim FY18 budget the ESI has dropped to 13th percentile. Will this drop in percentile’s for ESI’s is persist or will it be rectified with the Next Generation Initiative? Will this interim budget only adversely affect those whose Council’s met in Sept of 2017? Will this be a trend for other institutes as well?

    • writedit said

      The NIH is operating under a continuing resolution (CR), which means their funding levels are 90% of what was approved for FY17. The interim paylines are always very conservative until the final federal budget passes, which for FY18 will not likely happen before December. Assuming the FY18 federal budget keeps funding levels at or above FY17 levels (right now, the NIH is looking at a small increase in its budget, but that could change), the interim paylines will be adjusted upward, and these higher paylines will be retrospective to the beginning of the year. The impact of the NGRI is unclear, as each IC will manage the program however they see fit, but overall, paylines for ESI applicants will continue to be higher than those for established PIs across the NIH. The final ESI paylines won’t be known until the FY18 budget is signed into law, though (NGRI also based on appropriation levels).

      • Unclear about ESI said

        Thank you very much for the information.

  209. Jerry said

    Hi, is it appropriate to ask the SRO if my proposal fits in his study section?

    Thank you very much.

    • writedit said

      Yes, you can send an abstract and/or specific aims for his/her take on whether the SRG is appropriate. If you are trying to decide between two study sections, you can note this as well. Your PO should have good insight on SRG choice, too.


  210. Jerry said

    Thank you very much!

  211. R21_applicant said

    Thank you for having this blog — it gives a lot of great information!
    I have the following question:
    I have an R21 application which received a percentile of 19 in 2015. In 2015 this was not even close to the cut-off around 11 (NIA). The application has been administratively withdrawn by the funding agency beginning of July 2017. The pay-line has now been raised to 19 at NIA. I assume that my application will not be considered since it has been administratively removed. Did this happen to anybody that suddenly your application falls within the pay-line, but it has been administratively removed? Is there any chance that it will be re-considered for funding? Thank you for any response!

    • writedit said

      Applications are automatically administratively withdrawn after 2 years – it was not “suddenly” removed to prevent you from being funded. The FY17 payline was for applications submitted in that fiscal year. While it is possible for an IC to go back and fund a prior FY application, they are not required to retrospectively apply paylines to prior FY applications (paylines are calculated only to cover current FY application numbers). In two years, the field will have moved forward (one hopes), so an application written in 2014 would probably no longer be of programmatic interest in 2017, especially if you had not submitted updated applications in the meantime for the same science.

      • R21_applicant said

        Thank you for your response!

  212. Waitinginanticipation said

    Hi writedit,

    I recently received my R21 score for an application submitted to NCI. The impact score was 30; percentile was 12. Should I be optimistic for funding or should I start planning for a resubmission?

    Thank you

    • SaG said

      Your program Officer can answer that question with more confidence than anyone here.

  213. ihatewaiting said

    Any idea on when a payline for NIA 2018 will come out?

    • writedit said

      Not until after the federal budget is signed into law (at least the final payline won’t be known until after that), which probably won’t happen before December. If you need advice before then, ask your PO whether you should resubmit in the meantime.

  214. DragonJD said

    Hello Writedit,
    I will submit my R01 competing renewal this Nov. A question comes up for budgeting. If not going for a modular budget, does NIGMS limits the amount requested to a certain percentage above the current year’s award?
    Thanks for the helpful inputs. I learned a lot here.

    • writedit said

      I know NCI and NIAID cap the renewal budget, but I do not believe NIGMS does – but you should certainly check with your PO to be sure. If you are requesting a significant increase in budget due to a major change in scope, you may also want to talk with your PO about whether this should go in as a new vs renewal application.

      • DragonJD said

        Thanks much, Writedit. I will contact the PO or a specialist from NIH to confirm.

    • SaG said

      Ask for what you need but don’t be greedy. Keep in mind that the average NIGMS R01 renewal grant size in DC is ~$250,000. ( If you are below that you can probably ask for more. If you are above that ask for a very modest increase. If you want to ask for a big bump you should have a strong scientific justification. And just wanting to increase the size of your lab is not a good justification. You probably need to go for a second grant instead.

      • DragonJD said

        Great. And, yes, will probably ask for a modest increase.

  215. Optimist said

    Hello Writedit,
    My R01 renewal went to study section in June (8%ile, woo-hoo!). Council met last week, but my status still indicates “Pending Council Review.” Is this just the system being slow?
    Thank you.

    • writedit said

      Did you check your IC’s website to be sure the actual Advisory Council meeting date is the date listed in eRA Commons? (not always the case) If the IC website indicates that Council did indeed meet, then it probably is just bureaucracy moving slowly, but you can confirm with your PO and also ask (assuming you are not at NCI) if your award might be made under the CR or if you’ll have to wait for the final federal budget for FY18. Probably the latter, but you can always ask.

      • Optimist said

        The date listed in eRA Commons is the one that is wrong (indicates a 2016 date!), but the IC’s council did indeed meet last week.
        I will check with my PO as you suggest, thank you!

  216. Zdravka Medarova said

    I have a question about Multi-PI grants. I am a Multi-PI together with another investigator from my institution. The other PI is the Contact PI. I just saw that we got a score of 19, 2%. The grant was reviewed this week. The other PI is leaving the institution. What happens to the budget. Can the other PI just take the entire grant with them. Is the grant awarded to the other institution since by the time Council meets, the other PI will have moved. Thank you

    • SaG said

      Technically the grant “belongs” to the institution. They have to agree to relinquish it. Professional courtesy usually lets a PI take grants with them when they leave. I suggest you do not do anything until you get the award. Then worry about transferring the grant to the new school. It is a messy/complex situation but not unusual. FYI, the Total amount of the grant won’t change. So if the indirect costs are higher at the new school the extra money will come out of direct costs. And Vice Versa.

      • pjparker said

        Thank you…But what happens when the contact PI leaves and the multi-PI stays at the institution. How are the funds split up. And who is contact PI- the one that was named contact in the application or the one that stays with the institution.

      • writedit said

        Your share of the award should stay the same. How much the other PI can take with him/her depends on how much of the work can be done at the new institution (ie, if the current institution or new institution is worse, as good, or better for conducting the work proposed). All this (including who is contact PI) will get worked out during the award negotiations as part of JIT, assuming the other PI has moved before JIT is requested and the award terms are prepared.

      • SaG said

        It depends on what you work out with the other PI. It could move with him and you get a subcontract or you become the contact PI and it stays at your school (the easiest). The contact PI has to be at the institution that receives the grant. How you divide the money could be tricky but again that is up to you two to decide. What does your Multi-PI leadership plan say? If I was your Chair or Dean I might insist on keeping the grant since you are remaining.

  217. DrSam said

    Over the last year, I am hearing that reviewers are also being asked to comment on the “premise” of the aims in a proposal. Not sure how different it is from what we had been writing previously under “rationale”, “justification”. Any pointers?

    • writedit said

      I believe the “premise” is a bit more than the significance of the scientific concept and rationale for pursuing the work in that it includes the scientific basis of your objectives and approach. That is, the work may be broadly significant (eg, we need a vaccine for XYZ), but the scientific articles on which you base your hypothesis and approach may not be optimal (eg, papers cited are outdated, not appropriate for your proposed approach, wrong/different animal model used, relevant papers left out, etc.), so the premise of your specific project is weakened. I believe the goal is to hold PIs accountable for really understanding whether the literature they are citing is appropriate and genuinely supportive of/progressing toward their proposed work (vs just in the same scientific ballpark). And actually, Mike Lauer specifically addresses premise: (preliminary data also considered in assessing premise). However, I too would be curious as to whether/how SRGs have been addressing premise in their discussions.

  218. Student123 said

    Got my F32 impact score back and it is 28. It was reviewed at Institute A where they don’t publish the paylines. PO said to contact them when I have the summary statement back. The secondary institute that it was assigned to has published paylines and it is within their funding range. I’ve also been reading on here that all institutes are cautious at funding applications, until the FY18 is established. So I’m thinking I will not know for a while? Beginning of next year? Should I be cautiously optimistic or move on with my postdoc?

    • writedit said

      During the Continuing Resolution, the NIH operates at 90% of the FY17 budget levels, and the ICs do not know how much they will get in FY18, so yes, they are all extremely cautious until the future funding situation looks clear. Your PO needs to see the reviewer comments to determine how the internal discussion will go about your application (fellowships do not go to Council). After you get your summary statement, your PO will be able to advise whether to submit again for insurance (if that is possible for you to do) and also whether, if it looks unlikely that his/her IC will fund your application, whether he/she will release it to the PO in IC B for consideration for funding (though none of this would happen until after FY18 budget is passed – all very hypothetical). Hopefully your PO, after seeing the summary statement, will tell you to sit tight until the FY18 appropriation reaches IC A.

      • Student123 said

        Thank you for the reply. What makes this even more complicated is that I’ve recently started at a different institution as a post-doc (different from the institution that I indicated in the F32). I’m itching to talk with my PO about it, but patiently waiting on my summary statement for that. Have you heard of anybody receiving F32 funds who proposed to do their research in a different institution? I know F’s are strongly tied to an institution, unlike K awards which might be more moveable.

      • writedit said

        I was about to say, as SaG just did, that you could only keep the F32 if the science is the same, since that is what the reviewers evaluated in the context of your old sponsor’s lab. Usually when a postdoc moves, the new sponsor’s projects are different (to varying degrees). The sponsor at your new institution would need to agree to let you conduct the project you submitted for your F32 – and be willing to provide the resources and expertise you will need to make it work. Usually when a postdoc moves, he/she prepares a new F32 with the new sponsor, so this really depends on whether the project stays the same and the PO is okay with the change in institutions (your old sponsor won’t get the award for a different postdoc, since you as a applicant were the focus of the fellowship, not the project itself). This will be the same for the secondary ICs as well – they can only award the fellowship if the science stays the same as what was reviewed, so if the primary IC PO turns down your application due to your move, the others likely will as well.

      • SaG said

        Same PI or new PI? They are strongly ties to the research more than the school.

      • Student123 said

        SaG, so I plan on working with a sponsor from the Institution that I left and add a new co-mentor from the new institution where I am at now.

      • SaG said

        Will the project/research be the same? I think you need to talk to a Program officer about this. You can’t change the application that was reviewed too much. If the science/proposed Aims stay exactly the same might be OK.

  219. SkinDoc said

    I submitted an R01 in June 2017. It was sent to NHLBI and CICS study section. CICS met last week and my application received an impact score of 31 and was in the 9th percentile. NHLBI posted FY 2017 paylines are 15% so I think I’m in a good position…but, since council does not meet until January 2018 and the grant would not begin until April 2018 at the earliest, will my grant fall under FY 2017 or FY 2018? NHLBI has not posted their 2018 paylines (probably due to lack of a federal budget).
    Should I be optimistic that my R01 will be funded? I’m a new investigator but not ESI (not sure that NI status does much for me).

    Thanks for the input. This is a great site with great information.

    • SaG said

      FY2018. According to the current House and Senate NIH Bills I would expect a similar payline in 2018 as 2017. Assuming no changes in NHLBI funding policies. Of course this begs the question of why skindoc isn’t applying to NIAMS……

      • SkinDoc said

        We’re investigating blood vessel-nerve interactions in hypertensives so it went to NHLBI and CICS…my other R01s have gone to NIAMS but haven’t had any luck there even getting scored.

    • writedit said

      As SaG said, this will be FY18, and you should be in good shape, even though there is no break for NI applicants – only ESI. The initial paylines will be very conservative, but by the time your application comes up for funding, the federal budget should be in place … and even if not, higher paylines later in the FY are retrospective to the prior cycles.

  220. Question said

    Is early investigator status noted or relevant for R21 and R03 grants? That is, do early investigators get a boost for R21/R03 grants, or just R01s? Thanks for your help.

    • writedit said

      There are no breaks during the review process or award decisions (eg, review & payline is the same for all applicants). Specific R03 PARs are limited to K awardees in certain ICs, so those R03s get special consideration, but otherwise, no. The goal is to get new investigators to put their time and energy into R01 applications, which do have review and payline breaks plus bigger budgets and the potential for renewal (and are hence the platform on which to establish an independent research career, not an R21 or R03).

  221. LNS said

    We submitted a “Revision Application” to supplement a current NCI-funded R01 to specifically address NCI’s provocative questions. I am unfamiliar with this mechanism. We received a 37 (no percentile). Normally, I would assume this is not fundable, but I have no frame of reference for this type of funding. Do you have any insight? Thank you!

    • SaG said

      It depends on where you ranked among the other apps reviewed. I would imagine that it also depends on the PQ you asked. If several other apps picked the same PQ and score better than you your odds of funding are probably low. If you were the only one to address a specific PQ Program might want to fund it. You will ask to ask your PO.

      • LNS said

        Ok, thank you!

  222. R01 vs foundation said

    We submitted an R01 (as an ESI), and shortened the application substantially and submitted it for a small foundation grant as well, hoping we’d get one at least. Ended up getting the foundation grant and the R01 scored 24 percentile, with prior year paylines at 25. We’d like to accept the foundation grant, even though it’s not a lot of money, since it starts much earlier than the R01 would get awarded (if it does). We’re wondering if accepting the foundation award will affect the chances of getting funded on the R01 given the overlapping aims and our borderline score, as we’d have to list it as awarded or pending on any future JIT request? And thanks for running this comment board. It’s been really helpful!

  223. writedit said

    You might ask the Foundation if they can be flexible and fund you to do a piece of the work not proposed in the R01 — something you would have liked to have done but couldn’t work it in the R01 budget or time frame. Most Foundations can be flexible in what they fund, since they are usually more focused on the concept and end goal vs specific science, whereas the NIH IC can only fund what was peer reviewed (so you can’t ask them to fund a new/different aim in place of what the Foundation covers). Alternatively, you could do preliminary work toward a shared aim in both proposals on the Foundation’s dime – and then if need be use these data to get the resubmitted R01, in case the 24th percentile isn’t funded (though you should be in good shape). Both the Foundation and the NIH should be happy to see you leverage each other’s support, so long as you are not getting paid twice for the same work. If the Foundation can’t be flexible, then you could accept their award to fund your first aim (or whatever their award would cover), and then your NIH award would be reduced by this amount, unless you can negotiate to do additional work (e.g., number of repetitions/replicates, larger sample, etc.) that falls under the science that was reviewed by the SRG. Hard to get specific, but you could start with the Foundation.

  224. Donald Perry said

    I am an established investigator and just received an impact score of 30 (11 percentile) for a new R01. The NIEHS (primary institute has a payline of 10 for 2017, could be the same in 2018. My grant is dual assigned to NCI and NHLBI. NCI (I heard may fund up to 12 percentile) and NHLBI funds up to 15 percentile. How likely is it that the NIEHS may fund (slightly above payline). If not, cam it get funded by NCI or NHLBI. Do you know how secondary institutes could pick up applications? Please advise

    • writedit said

      Paylines should be about the same or slightly better for FY18, depending on what happens in the months ahead. When you receive your summary statement, you can talk with your PO about the likelihood of NIEHS funding the application – either alone or in conjunction with a secondary IC. If the PO has any doubts, you can ask your PO about whether one of the secondary ICs could pick it up (NIEHS PO must relinquish it). If you know the PO at NCI and/or NHLBI, you can also contact them about picking it up (if NIEHS passes) – but first you need to talk with your NIEHS PO with your summary statement in hand. It is not typical for secondary ICs to pick up awards (since they have so many of their own they cannot fund), but it’s not unusual, especially if you have a relationship with a PO at NCI and/or NHLBI and they are interested in your science.

  225. chemchem said

    Dear writedit, I applied for the NIGMS R35 ESI MIRA this month and the status on the eRA commons changed to ‘pending IRG review’ today. Does this mean my application has passed the initial review for responsiveness to NIGMS’s mission?

    • writedit said

      Yes – your application has been assigned for review (first to IRG, then SRG), so you should see a date for the study section meeting eventually.

      • chemchem said

        Thank you!

  226. Ruthie said

    Does anyone know what the 2018 budget details as far as dollars to NIH and Alzheimer’s disease research?

    • writedit said

      The last draft in Congress included $400M for AD and about a $1.1B increase for the NIH overall. This is likely what will ultimately pass, but nothing is final until the President signs the budget into law.

      • Ruthie said

        Thank you!

  227. fearless said

    I applied for the NIMH R01 (A1) in March and received 15th percentile in June. I am an ESI. The AC meeting was in September. The PO called me this morning saying that my A1 proposal was unsuccessful. The PO offered R56 for two years instead. Please advise me.

    • writedit said

      The R56 is bridge funding to help you collect additional data toward the resubmission of the R01 (as a new application now). This will not affect your ESI status, and you can apply for the R01 at any time (in case you are running out of time). Assuming the amount of money he is offering will allow you to conduct some of the work proposed in the R01 (and/or collect preliminary data requested or that would address concerns raised by the reviewers), there isn’t a reason not to accept the R56 funding as a bridge to securing the full R01 award.

      • fearless said

        Thank you for your advice.

    • Charm3 said

      I got an R56 from my R01 application. I am also ESI. You should definitely accept it. It is 1 year plus 1 year renewal (so 2 years total). However, you should spend your money wisely since if your R01 resub is funded, they will cut 1 year (since they already gave your 1 year worth of funding).

      • fearless said

        Thank you very much for your suggestion.

    • Toco said

      I am curious about your case. How a ESI 15 percentile can not be funded. Did the PO told you the main reason. I would like to know that. Thanks

  228. Mrama said

    Hi writedit
    I have been a long time follower of your wonderful blog, it has helped me through successful a F32 and a K22. I just got my score for my first R01. It went to NIGMS, and received and impact score of 28, 12th percentile. I am a new investigator but not eligible for ESI. Can I feel cautiously optimistic?I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you!

    • writedit said

      Only your PO can tell you if you can feel cautiously optimistic (and only after you receive your summary statement), but that score is certainly in their funding zone, especially if the FY18 budget keeps the slight increase anticipated for the NIH. Your PO will know after reviewing the summary statement whether there might be any caveats affecting your funding likelihood.

      • RF said

        Hi. Writeedit
        Thanks for all the infor.
        Is K99 payline the same as other Ks?
        In nHLBI. ALL Ks payline is 32. For aK99 scored at 30. Is there any chance?

      • writedit said

        NHLBI does not indicate that their K payline is for all activity codes except K99, so I assume K99 applications fall under the 32 payline. When you receive your summary statement, you can check with your PO to be sure.

      • mrama said

        Thanks! I emailed my PO and he said it was competeive but would be able to discuss further after the summary statements are out.

      • Celtics said

        Is it possible to receive a new R01 award from NCI during continuing resolution (if R01 ranked 5 percentile and post-council review)?

      • SaG said

        Yes, In fact I have heard that awards are starting to be made. But, it will take awhile still before Notices of Award go out to PIs. Good luck!

  229. K99r00qs said

    Hi writedit,

    I have a k99, but am considering jobs at more teaching focused schools. These schools have no R01s, but have had R15s. Do you think it is possible to transfer the R00 phase there? I know this would be dependent on the startup package offered, but they do have the facilities I need to do the research I proposed.

    • writedit said

      The key would be the availability of facilities, equipment, animal models, etc. to do the work that was peer reviewed in your K99/R00. Your PO (and mentor) should be able to give good advice as you look at job possibilities and assess whether the institutions you are considering would be able to support your career in academic research.

  230. R01 said

    I am a new investigator and just received a 43 percentile (impact score 43) for my first R01 (A0 submission). The same grant was received a 21 percentile from a previous A1 submission. Please advice me if I need to go a re-submission this time or submit it again as a new grant.

    • writedit said

      You should check with the PO once you receive your summary statement, but if the 21st percentile application was not funded, the 43rd likely won’t be either (and at the 21st percentile, it is not likely the PO will go back to pick up the A1 unless it is of strong programmatic interest). Since your next submission will be the fourth submission of the same work, you might want to take a hard look at significantly updating the aims and approach and ensuring that you address concerns about significance (if possible) and common themes in the weaknesses cited across submissions. You can ask your PO what aspects of your research are of most programmatic interest and focus on strengthening this work – you should also check RePORTER for similar research being funded by your IC so you do not propose work that is already well-covered in their portfolio.

  231. R15 said

    Is ESI status considered in R15 application decisions?

    • writedit said

      No – ESI status is only formally considered for R01 applications (review, paylines).

  232. F-series question said

    Hi Writedit,

    I hear that there is a 3 year limit to Fseries grants, (i.e. if you have a 1 year F31, and even though you move to a different lab for a postdoc position with a new start, you still only qualify for 2 years on an F32). Is this true? I keep hearing mixed comments, so I wanted to ask you.

    • SaG said

      Not true. From the F32 Parent announcement…

      Individuals may receive up to 5 years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the predoctoral level (up to 6 years for dual degree training, e.g., MD/PhD), and up to 3 years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training grants (e.g., T32) and an individual fellowship award.

  233. Abraham said

    Dear write edit,

    I have a question of R01 proposal. I want to observe a phenomenon in clinical study. And I hope to explain the phenomenon using an animal study. Can I put a clinical study and an animal study (on different specific aims) in a single R01 grant proposal?

    Thank you!


    • writedit said

      Yes, this is common in either direction (animal first, to determine mechanism, then clinical pilot to observe whether mechanism documented in vivo is the same in humans, or as you suggest). If your budget creeps up too high (>$500K in any year), you will need PO permission in advance to submit (and a letter to this effect).

      • Abraham said

        Thank you so much!

  234. Kaden said

    I received a score of 40 on my K01 application through NIDDK. It certainly looks like out of the funding range, but I keep hearing from colleagues about funded K01s in the upper 30s, through the same mechanism. While I have to wait for my summary statement and plan my resubmission, I was wondering if anyone has more insight into how K01s scores roughly translate to funding in NIDDK. Thnkas!

    • writedit said

      40 is pretty high, but Ks do get funded into the 30s. With a 40, there should be an obvious weakness/concern that can be readily addressed – which sometimes a PO will let you do as a rebuttal to the summary statement for select pay, but if not, should make the resubmission strategy clear.

      • Kaden said

        Many thanks for the insight. I received my summary statement. The critiques’ individual scores look reasonably good (1 to 3) but the overall impact score is dramatically higher (40), possibly because in the study section concerns were raised by other members. The only major concern is my mentor being a junior faculty. Despite adding a senior co-mentor and advisory committee members to my application, this became the main weakness of my application. I will have to talk to the PO to figure out how to address this. I feel that this is one of those weaknesses that I have little control over!

      • writedit said

        Hmm. If it really is an issue with the junior status of your mentor, your PO should be able to help make the case that your team will help mentor the junior mentor (so a win-win for you both). It sounds like you did all the right things – I am never sure how reviewers expect more junior investigators to grow as mentors if they aren’t allowed to mentor K awardees (what, they’re okay to practice on grad students & postdocs for a while?), especially in the setting of team mentorship where everyone learns.

    • Trista said

      I submitted a K01 application (A0) to NIDDK last year, and received an impact score of 30. Although I was able to submit the response to weakness to the Program Officer before the council meeting, but at last my application was not discussed at the council meeting. I heard from the Program Officer that they fund up to impact score of 32, 33, if the applications falls into the priority category, which I guess my application was there.

      • Trista said

        Sorry, what I mean was my application was not in the priority category.

      • writedit said

        Your application would have been discussed internally at NIDDK, not at the Council meeting (Council only discusses applications with controversial reviews and a few other special instances). Council would have approved your application to be considered for funding, and then the NIDDK leadership needed to decide which applications to fund based both on score and programmatic interest. I am a little unclear as to what you are saying happened, but it sounds as though your application was not selected for special pay (above payline), which means you will need to submit an A1 application in March (or next July). If that is the case, you will want to work with your PO to be sure your amended application addresses NIDDK priorities in the manner of most interest to them, if you can make adjustments that improve how the NIDDK leadership views your proposal (your PO will know whether you can make any such adjustments). You have already addressed the reviewer critiques (for NIDDK) – you can also ask if the rebuttal you prepared for your PO can be used for the A1 application (PO also would have attended the study section meeting & heard the discussion of your application).

  235. lucien said

    Dear Writedit,

    I just received a score of 30 for an NLM EXPRESS RESEARCH R01 application. On the NLM website, it says, “applications with Impact scores 30 or better are the most likely to be considered for funding”. Assuming the 2018 funding situation is similar as 2017, how likely I will be considered for funding. Should I start preparing a re-submission?

    Many thanks!

  236. trying said

    Hi all,

    I just received a score on my first (but probably also last, given eligibility) K99 application and got an impact score of 20 through NIMH. As most of us here, Im trying to find something to hold on to, at least until the summary statements become available and I can talk to my PO. Since NIMH doesn’t seem to publish a payline, I was wondering if there is any statistics on how scores translate into funding available for previous years. I have seen the success rate charts the NIH puts out, but since we don’t receive a percentile I cannot use these.

    Many thanks for a great blog/community!

    • writedit said

      A 20 should be competitive, and the fact that this is your last chance for submission should be taken into consideration as well (as will any rebuttal to the summary statement that assures NIMH you can address any concerns raised). Fingers crossed that the summary statement and PO hold good news for you.

      • trying said

        Thank you writedit for your response! I will make sure to follow up here with whatever happens so others can include it in their estimation of chances too.

  237. Robert Visalli said

    I need some advice or comments. This scenario is unbelievable.

    Renewal application submitted 6/2015 received score of 25. Final pay lines not set until 8/2016 – not funded

    Resubmitted application as A1 2/2017 received score of 41. SRO calls prior to release of summary statements (7/2017) offering opportunity to withdraw and resubmit. Perhaps due to absence of progress report or ? – was never completely clarified. Something odd must have happened at that review. No summary statements will be issued if I chose to resubmit. I thought this a bit odd that the opportunity was offered after panel review but he assured me the review was considered incomplete without issuing a summary statement.

    Worked my butt off revised and submitted 10/2017. Application gets posted as an A2. That immediately worried me but since the same SRO was listed I figured it would get switched to A1 based on the conversation in July. NIH just withdrew my application because I cannot submit an A2. Of course I know that but this was supposed to be the A1 re-submission. They refuse to honor the advice given to me by I the SRO. App is dead.

    Considering prep time this went from 3/2015 through 11/2017 – over 2-1/2 year at one time scoring a 25 and missing funding by what I estimate as 1%.

    I wonder what options I have – appeals? legally? This is unbelievable …..and I’m completely exhausted.

    • writedit said

      Did the SRO back you up on your explanation that you had withdrawn it at his suggestion? I believe, strictly speaking, he was correct about the summary statement: this is why you cannot submit an A1 application before receiving the A0 summary statement (application is still considered under review until then). If no summary statement was added to your eRA Commons account, the application should not have been considered reviewed – but I am not sure if different rules are used to determine A1/A2 status (ie, panel completion is sufficient to trigger A1 designation). Did your status change to SRG review completed when the SRO pulled the application? What did your eRA status say? I would suggest talking with the SRO (if you have not) and your PO about the A1 and whether it can simply be converted to an A0 by removing the Introduction/response to the prior review – and submitting the same application as an A0 in Feb (if they won’t let you convert the A1 to an A0 for Oct submission).

      • SaG said

        You should demand to see the Summary Statement from the A1 review.. If they do produce it ask why it