NIH Paylines & Resources – Grant Q&A & advice

I update this page as ICs revise their funding strategies and answer questions submitted as comments as I am able (usually within 1-5 days) – others monitoring the blog often chime in as well with their knowledge and experience, which is fabulous and will provide more value than I ever could on my own.

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 Those ICs that traditionally do not publish payline or percentile guidance are indicated by “no payline data available” (& none probably ever will be).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: 24 June 2020


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

NCI ($6.25B): FY20: 10th percentile for R01s (15th percentile for ESI only), 9th 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 ($5.88B): FY20: 14th/18th percentiles for established/new-ESI R01s impact score of 31 for R21 & R03; 22 for R15; 34 for R41/R42 and for R43/R44; 20 for Ks except K99; 20 for F30, 19 for F31 & 22 for F32; 18 for T32/T35

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

NHLBI ($3.62B): FY20: 16th/26th percentile for established/ESI PI R01, 39th percentile for F31, F32, F33; impact score of 30 for R15, 20 for F30, 32 for Ks, 30 for R43; Zone of Consideration impact scores of 10-30 for P01; 10-35 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

NIA ($3.54B + $330M AD/ADRD): FY20 : up to 11th (28th AD) percentile for RPGs below $500K, with new investigator applications considered up to the 14th (31st AD) percentile and ESI to the 16th (33rd AD) percentile; R01s above $500K at the 8th percentile, with new investigator applications considered up to the 11th percentile and ESI up to the 13th percentile; impact score of 20 (40 AD) for P01 and other NIA-reviewed research; up to 40/43/45 (established/new/ESI) for multiple ADRD program announcements; up to 21 (non-AD) and 35 (AD) for career development awards; up to 30 and 40 (AD) for fellowship awards

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

NIGMS ($2.94B): 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

NINDS ($2.37B): FY20 interim: up to the 12th percentile for research project grants, case-by-case up to the 22nd percentile for ESI
NINDS cleared concepts
(click on most recent Council minutes)
NINDS program contacts

NIDDK ($2.11B): 13th percentile for established and new investigators (8th percentile for annual DC of $500K or more), 13th/18th percentile for new/ESI applicants, 16th percentile for first renewal of ESI R01s
NIDDK cleared concepts (click on most recent Council minutes)
NIDDK program contacts

NIMH ($1.97B): 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 ($1.56B): FY19: no payline for R01, R03, R21, R13/U13, R41/R42, R43/R44; impact score of 20 for R15, 12 for R24/R25, 21 for F30, 18 for Ks (33 for K99); 21st percentile for F31, F31 diversity, & F32

NICHD cleared concepts
NICHD program contacts

NIDA ($1.46B): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIDA program contacts (click on relevant Division)
NIDA cleared concepts (click on latest Council minutes)
Funding priorities & policies

NCATS($833M): Fiscal policy but no paylines

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

NEI ($824M): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NEI cleared concepts (click on latest Council minutes)
NEI program contacts

NIEHS ($803M): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIEHS cleared concepts (click on latest Council minutes)
NIEHS program contacts

NIAMS ($625M): FY20 interim: 8th/12th percentile for established/ESI PI R01, 8th percentile for R21, no payline yet for R03, R15, F30, or SBIR/STTR; 18th percentile for F31/F32/F33; impact score of 20 for K01/K08/K25, 18 for K23/K24; 14 for T32

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

NHGRI ($606M): 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 ($545M): 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 ($491M): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIDCD cleared concepts
NIDCD program contacts

NIDCR ($477M): Fiscal policy but no paylines
NIDCR cleared concepts
NIDCR program contacts

NLM ($457M): FY20 interim: For experienced investigators, applications with scores 23 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 30 or better will be considered for funding. For career transition awards and fellowships, applications with Impacts scores of 25 or better will be considered for funding.
NLM cleared concepts
NLM program contacts

NIBIB ($404 M): FY19: 19th percentile for established & 24th for ESI R01s; all other mechanisms are select pay, including the Expanded Opportunity Zone for R01s above the payline

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

NIMHD ($336M): Fiscal policy but no paylines

NINR ($169M): No updated paylines
NINR program contacts

NCCIH ($152M): Fiscal policy but no payline data
NCCIH cleared concepts
NCCIH program contacts

FIC ($81M): No payline data provided (10-25% success rate)
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 move comments by calendar year onto archived pages, which has the added benefit of making them searchable. I am also pulling out timelines and posting them on their own searchable page at NIH Grant Application-Award Timelines.

806 Comments »

  1. katie said

    Dear Writedit,
    As you know the NCI interim pay line is 8th but my R01 received 10th (A1). I have found out the PO is the Branch Chief. I sent email twice without any response. Should I contact PO/Branch Chief again? Do you think I am still have an opportunity to be considered for funding given current situation? I am wondering if the final payline always goes up for 1-2 point compared to interim payline? Given the increase increased budget for NIH, how likely the final payline will go up.

    Thank you so much.

    • writedit said

      At NCI, the payline has typically not gone up from interim levels (as occurs at other ICs), because NCI has preferred to reserve a large portion (over 40%) of their budget for special and select pay awards (programmatically important applications scoring above the payline selected on a case-by-case basis). However, a recent blog post suggests they will be moving toward a higher hard payline in FY21 (15th percentile), but there is no indication whether FY20 will set a slightly higher payline in FY20 or jump straight from 8 to 15 in one year (or perhaps even rethink the 15th percentile – it is a blog post about an “aspirational goal”, not a commitment). https://www.cancer.gov/grants-training/nci-bottom-line-blog/2019/fy2021-annual-plan-and-budget-proposal

  2. April Liu said

    Dear Writedit, Happy New Year! I wonder if the JIT budget has to be identical to the one used in a grant application, or Ok to increase the total budget with a justification, such as recent salary raise? Thanks!

    • SaG said

      You cant up your requested budget, But, you can re-budget money from other places to cover your increased salary.

  3. katie said

    Thank you Dr. Writedit.
    I just received the response from PO and learned that there is a possibility the NCI may change the interim payline for R01s in the next one or two weeks.
    thanks

    • writedit said

      Fantastic – thank you for sharing this information!

      >

  4. April Liu said

    Grant officer notified me that my grant will be awarded and I will likely need to submit JIT information. However, I have not received automatic JIT request Email. Shall I submit JIT information ASAP, or hold off until the automatic JIT request email arrives?
    Thanks!

    • writedit said

      You can submit the JIT at your convenience. Your grants officer probably wanted to be sure you had enough time to get any approvals or training/certification done.

      >

      • GPJ said

        hi
        I have following query from NIAID PO regarding my R21 (scored 34 pay line 31)

        During processing the EOY award considerations, your application R21 is temporally on hold due to a Foreign Component Dr. ____,_____. Administrative rules do not accept the EOY applications with any foreign component. We need to act fast to obtain Foreign Clearance from the Department of State. Please provide information and answer questions below:
        1. The contact information of Dr.______ including title, address, email, and phone number.
        2. Please describe the collaboration with Dr. ______and experiments and studies that will be performed in this foreign site.
        3. Please describe Dr. _____ function and role in the project.
        4. Does this collaboration include animal work?
        5. Will the NIH funds go to this site?
        6. Is the project viable without this foreign component (in case the Foreign Clearance can’t be obtained)?

        I have answered all questions, the amount going to the foreign institute is less than 10%

        I then had a reply from PO that he has initiated a foreign Clarence on 1 June 2020. Since then no communication.

        I am puzzled as to what is going on?
        Can anyone elaborate more on this?

        Thank you in advance
        GJ

      • writedit said

        This is standard for any grant application with involvement of a foreign institution (in any country) – you weren’t singled out, if that was your concern. It will probably take a while before your PO hears back from the State Department, which is why your PO wanted the information so urgently.

      • GPJ said

        Thank you for reply.
        But I understand that EOY Council meeting is in the month of June if they have to decide on this. Will they discuss again if he receives Clarence after 4-8 weeks (standard time reported on the website)?
        Sorry, very new to NIH -my first grant so not aware of many things.

      • writedit said

        Council just gives approval for the application to be considered for funding, and they do review applications with foreign involvement individually (ie, no approval en bloc). I believe your answers to the PO’s questions will be used as part of Council consideration of your application. If Council approves, an actual award would depend on receipt of State Department approval (no approval, no award – similar to getting IRB or IACUC approval, except completely out of your control), and then the final decision is up to the IC Director (Fauci).

      • GP said

        Just received a reply from PO, that they have got Foreign component clearance approved.
        What will be the next step? Any idea?

      • writedit said

        I assume your eRA Commons status is Pending. Since they went through the trouble of getting foreign component clearance, I assume they will now begin the regular administrative review and move forward from there. Your GMS would be the better contact, but if your status is Pending, you can just sit tight. The GMS will contact you if they need any information (and is incredibly busy, so I wouldn’t recommend sending a query just for a status update). If your status is Council review completed and does not change in the next week or so, you could check with your PO to confirm whether they intend to process your application for an award (and if not, which, again, would seem rather odd after all this, advice on next steps).

      • GP said

        Thank you for your input. My Status is still Council review completed. As you suggested, I shall wait for a week to see if any changes in the status.

      • GP said

        Now I have received email from my PO that they will be funding my R21. Immediately after his email, I had email to submit JIT which I submitted 2 weeks before. My status changed to pending, since then I am m yet to receive any feedback, on what is next or the time frame they will get back to me, on what I need to do next.

      • writedit said

        You don’t need to do anything else. If they have any questions, they will contact you, but it is more likely that you will not hear anything else from them. Eventually, the Pending eRA Commons status will change to Award prepared and then to Notice of Award sent – everything will go to your institution. This will happen later in August or September – definitely before September 30.

      • GP said

        Finally, I received an Award letter for R21. Thank you for your inputs. learned lot

      • writedit said

        Congratulations! A lot of waiting, but at least you could wait hopefully. Best wishes for success with your project.

  5. Bob The Second said

    Hello, thank you for maintaining this important resource. Can you offer your opinion on what the final NIAID R01 paylines will be for FY20? With the 5% boost and not-withstanding special initiatives, they theoretically should be more than capable of meeting the FY19 paylines of 14/18. I’m a new investigator sitting at an 18th percentile ranking right now for January council. I’m hoping they adjust upward before or shortly after council or my only hope is to resubmit and hope for a better percentile…

    Of course my PO claims to know nothing…

    Can you forsee a scenario in which paylines drop compared to FY19 even with the budget increase?

    Any educated guesses are welcome! Anything to sooth the neurotic wreck I am right now!

    Best,
    Dr. B0b

    • writedit said

      Your PO truly does not know anything with certainty right now. NIAID won’t have its final appropriation for a few more weeks at least, and ICs don’t know how much money will be skimmed off at each stop along the way (HHS, NIH) for evaluation and other bureaucratic requirements. Either way, though, the appropriation will go up, so paylines should not go down unless there is a major shift in the number of applications at lower percentiles. The leadership is the same, so I would not anticipate any change in funding policy (e.g., away from their generous hard payline to a lower hard payline with more money for a larger number of select pay applications, as has been the case at NCI). If your PO has not advised you to submit again, you should feel pretty good, though I would not be surprised if there were some equivocation there, too, since POs are so conservative.

      • Bob The Second said

        Thank you so much for the insight. Indeed, my PO advised a resubmission “just to be safe” as they said even if it performed more poorly (say, my IS goes down but my percentile increases due to much higher quality of submissions) the better of the two scores would be considered for funding.

        Similar to an earlier comment, my status states that council review is complete even though the meeting is set for Jan. 27th. I noticed that similar to the other commentor, we are both 2 percentile points shy of the interim paylines but in line with last year. Thoughts?

        Again, I can’t thank you enough for your insight and of course your time!

      • writedit said

        Your application was included on the paylist sent to Council for en bloc electronic approval in advance of the actual meeting. ICs do this with applications that require no discussion or separate consideration (e.g, involvement of foreign sites, well-funded PIs, etc.). Their approval gives the IC Director permission to make awards to any applications on the list (that have no administrative issues upon review), but it does not mean every application on the list will receive an award. A positive sign, though.

      • R01hopeful said

        All depend on ICs and how they process the fundable proposals. we have a ❤ percentile R01 and the council is in Feb but nothing has changed so far in the Commons. PO didn't want to say anything for sure, so we just need to be patient.

  6. R01hopeful said

    don’t know why < 3 becomes a <3.

    • Bob The Second said

      I thought a ❤ was good but a < 3 is even better. 😀
      Wow, congratulations on that amazing percentile and presumably near perfect impact score! If you haven't heard anything yet and your PO won't flat out tell you an award is in the works, then I suppose we are all just in for a bit of a wait. Thank you for the advice.

  7. DS said

    Dear Writedit, my R01 application (established investigator; A1 resubmission) submitted to NICHD last summer was scored slightly above the payline. The PO mentioned that he will nominate my application for “select pay”. Any thoughts on the likelihood of funding? What percentage of R01s nominated for select pay are actually funded? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      More than the ones that aren’t … but seriously, your PO’s advocacy is great. Not a guarantee of funding, since there are more nominated than the IC can fund. If you haven’t already, I would recommend asking your PO if you should submit a new A0 in the meantime, since you may not have a decision on your A1 until the end of the FY (ie, summer). Submitting a new A0 would provide insurance and can be withdrawn if the A1 is funded.

      >

    • Oj Richie said

      NICHD has a payline now? My R01 was scored in the 17th percentile, and there have been zero response from the NICHD.

      • writedit said

        NICHD does not have a fixed published payline for R01s, but they internal thresholds for planning purposes. Your PO probably won’t be able to provide informed feedback for a couple of weeks, but if you have had no response to any queries, then you might want to check the Branch personnel for either the Chief or another qualified PO who can answer your basic questions (eg, do you need to submit again, advice for revising if so, etc.).

        >>

  8. katie said

    Dear Dr. Writedit,
    I would like to share this good news with you. NCI has extended the payline for R01s to 10th. My R01 will be funded.

    Thank you so much for all your suggestion and advice during this process

    Thank you

    • writedit said

      Wonderful news – congratulations! Thanks for the heads up, too, on the payline bump, which I see on their website (R21 at 9th percentile). Best wishes for success on your research!

      >

  9. Mil said

    Can anyone explain the SRG naming system? For example, in RPHB-Z (12), what do the Z and the (12) signify specifically?

    • writedit said

      The Z refers to a special emphasis panel, the 12 refers to a specialized small business panel of the Risk, Prevention & Health Behavior IRG (each number has a different focus in the same general field). You’ll see other numbered RPHB SRGs as well, each with their own SROs and rosters.

      >

  10. JC said

    Hello,
    Thank you for maintaining this very helpful resource. I have an R01 (A1) for the NIBIB with percentile ranking of 14 and I am a new + early stage investigator. PO previously responded that nothing was known back in November when there was no 2020 budget. I am a little nervous about the payline this year, since nothing has been reported yet. Now that the budget has passed, any thoughts on whether the 2019 payline of 19 might hold?
    Thanks!

    • writedit said

      I cannot imagine why the FY19 payline wouldn’t be continued, but your PO might not know anything definitive for a couple weeks still (takes a while for the final appropriation to trickle down to ICs). However, an ESI 14th percentile should be in good shape for funding (especially since the ESI payline was 24th percentile in FY19), so hopefully your PO will have a positive update soon.

      >

  11. VS said

    Dear Writedit.
    Thank you so much for this wonderful resource. We completed a Phase II SBIR project funded by NICHD. We are now hoping to apply for a Phase IIB project but the gap between our Phase II completion and potential future Phase IIB application now exceeds the maximum allowed duration (first six due dates). Do you know any chance if this requirement can be waived by the PO?
    Unfortunately, I am not sure what is going on but I get simply no response from NICHD.
    We are now starting to explore the CRP program but it seems NICHD does not support CRP.

    • JPEG said

      Hmph. I am waiting to hear from anyone here that NICHD has responded to. I will avoid this institute in the future!!

    • writedit said

      I am not familiar with what ICs can do to accommodate SBIR applicant situations. You could try contacting the general NICHD SBIR email (nichd_sbir@mail.nih.gov – & copy your PO) and/or query the main NIH SBIR office (sbir@od.nih.gov), where you could also ask for a recommendation for a possible contact for the pilot CRP opportunity. The Matchmaker tool at Project RePORTER might also link you up with another potential IC (and PO) for your work, though if you’ve been funded by NICHD, then that is probably where your project belongs.

  12. katie said

    Dear Writedit,
    One of my R01 applications (A0) received a score near the payline (10th). Please let me know if POs more favorably consider the select pay to the A0 R01 applications over A1 applications.
    Thank you

    • writedit said

      There is no preference for A0 vs A1 in making select pay decisions (these are based on programmatic priority), but I would hope with a 10th percentile, you are within payline (even NCI is now at the 10th percentile for R01s). 

      • science student said

        When did NCI improve the R01 payline (is it based on the recent funding increase)? Will this affect grants that were evaluated under the interim payline or will it only apply to newer submissions?

      • writedit said

        Yes, payline increases are retroactive (within the same FY) and will cover applications scored for FY20 before this announcement.

      • SaG said

        It should include R01s submitted this fiscal year. (https://www.cancer.gov/grants-training/nci-bottom-line-blog/2020/fy-2020-budget-boost-for-nci)

      • R15 grantee said

        Hello- I currently have an R15 from NIA and we proposed using a transformed cell line (BV2 cells) for our work that it currently in year 1. We want to extend our findings by using a zebra fish model system keeping the relative experiments the same but having them done in an in vivo model system. We have requested a change in scope from my NIA grants specialist. My question is should I be worried they will not except it? We have been waiting for an answer for a couple of months and I am getting anxious. Thank you.

      • writedit said

        That shouldn’t be a problem – you received a grant, not a contract, which gives you the flexibility to pursue your aims in the best manner (scientifically). You can contact your PO if you have concerns.

  13. IcyR01 said

    Dear Writedit,

    Thank you so much for this blog!
    I am planning to submit my R01 application at the June cycle and have a question regarding my ESI status of this R01 application. I obtained my degree at the year of 2010, officially in May. Would it still be eligible for an application of ESI?
    Thanks!

    • SaG said

      Probably not. Your ESI status would end May 30, 2020. It should say your end date in your ERA commons acct. You could apply for an extension (new baby, significant time off for an illness , etc.)(https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/esi_extension_add.htm) also, https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/faqs.htm

      • IcyR01 said

        Thanks for the information. Much appreciated!

    • ESI succes said

      I disagree with SaG. I was in this situation (May graduation). After reading the rules carefully, I submitted the R01 a week early (by May 31 instead of June 5) and it definitely got ESI consideration. The date of submission matters, not the deadline. Also, if you graduated any time in May 2010, your ESI ends at the end of May 2020, not on the anniversary of your graduation date.

      • SaG said

        That is true. But be careful that the app is successfully submitted to grants.gov. Assuming your grants office doesn’t work on Saturdays, that means they need to be finished with the submission in grants.gov by May 29. Many grants offices request 1-2 weeks for processing. If you manage to beat the deadline you have 13 months to resubmit an A1 as an ESI. https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/faqs.htm#5406

        Good luck!

      • IcyR01 said

        Thanks for both of you, ESI success and SaG! It’s time to talk to our grant officers.

  14. FirstRO1?!? said

    Hello Writedit,
    I would like to ask when we should expect to see fy 2020 paylines, particularly for NINDS. There is a council meeting 01/2020 (no date provided), then the advisory council meeting on 02/05/2020. My percentile would have been funded last year (fy 2019). What percentile should we expect this year or at least when should we find out?
    Thanks for this helpful blog!

    • SaG said

      FYI, https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Funding/About-Funding/NINDS-Funding-Strategy/NINDS-Funding-Strategy-FY-2020

      • FirstRO1?!? said

        This information was published prior to the approved appropriations, so this is not likely the actual payline for fy 2020. Correct?

      • writedit said

        Correct – but the funding strategy is not likely to become more conservative since their budget will be increased again in FY20. You should be in good shape, but you could ask your PO if you need to resubmit (easier question for them to answer until appropriation is known, which won’t be until February probably).

  15. Varun Kumar said

    Hello Writedit, I recently applied (AO) K99 application (June 12, 2019 deadline) and got the impact score of 31. What is the chance of funding?

    • Varun kumar said

      The application is at NEI.

      • writedit said

        NEI seems to fund about 20 K99s a year (37-47% success rate). That should put your score at least in the bubble, but you can just ask your PO if you should resubmit in March (and withdraw it if the A0 is funded). If your PO thinks you have a reasonable likelihood of funding, they will suggest that you wait – but I suspect they will recommend submitting an A1 for insurance.

      • Varun Kumar said

        Thank you very for the reply. I am preparing for the re-submission in the march 2020 as suggested by PO.

  16. CR said

    Hello writeit,

    I applied for an F31 in the April 2019 cycle and got a very good score. After waiting for the appropriations cycle to get done, I received an email from my PO today asking me to “address the concerns in the Summary Statement” so that they can move forward with the review of my application for award consideration, and the status on ERAcommons has changed from SRG review completed to pending.

    By concerns, is the PO likely referring to the few weaknesses listed in the summary statement, or a specific concern that a reviewer listed under the “Vertebrate Animals” sections in the statement?

    • SaG said

      Play it safe and assume both. They can’t award the fellowship if there are outstanding VA concerns. And/or the PO wants ammo in case they have to argue to fund your app.

  17. RNA_21 said

    Is it rude to call my PO without an appointment? Or, is it better to email the Grants Management Specialist?. I need a direction about a grant that was reviewed last summer and scored in the 17th percentile (council meeting took place in September). Neither my PO nor his secretary is responding to my emails.

    • writedit said

      You could call the PO (GMS can’t help at this stage), though you would likely be leaving a voicemail, and/or email the Branch Chief where your PO works to say you would like some guidance on whether to resubmit in March and have not been able to reach your assigned PO (with whom I assume you had not communicated before applying). If this is NCI and some other ICs, reapplying will probably be advised (since you may need to wait until the end of the FY for final decision).

      >

      • SaG said

        I agree. Start emailing folks up the chain of command. Someone will respond eventually.

      • SaG said

        and if they don’t public shaming on twitter usually gets a response. Or even have you local Congressman’s office send a letter. That will definitely get a response.

  18. adeade said

    Hi, PO says he/she has signed off the checklist and my proposal is now with grants management specialist for processing. How long will I have to wait to hear the final NOA? It has been 4 weeks seen we submitted the JIT. I am a nervous wreck waiting.

    • writedit said

      The ICs are catching up on a huge backlog of Cycle I awards (& Cycle II awards will be in line soon, too), so the delay isn’t surprising (& the Pending status can last months – but you don’t need to worry about that happening). You don’t need to contact them to make sure everything is okay – they’ll contact you if they have questions. If you need to start work now, your grant administrator should be able to set up an account for pre-award spending (allowed up to 90 days before the NOA).

      >

      • adeade said

        Thank you for the response. This is very helpful

      • adeade said

        OK, I am still waiting for an NOA – now three weeks since the PO told me he signed off on the JIT. Might the delay be due to the president’s budget proposal that indicates cuts to NIH? It has been hard for me to not email the GMS as I do not want to annoy anyone, but my project is now on pause (a student graduated) as I cannot hire not knowing when the funds will come through. I have an email written out to the GMS, but not sure if I should send it.

      • writedit said

        SaG has the right idea. 🙂 The FY21 proposal from the White House has no bearing on the FY20 budget, nor the FY21 budget for that matter (Congress will ignore and give NIH the same or more funding). You can be patient (start dates for this cycle are in April), and you can ask your home institution about the pre-award spending account (GMS doesn’t have a role, though your fiscal person will probably contact to confirm you are within 90 days of award).

      • SaG said

        Ask yourself…”how long does it take to order a large piece of equipment at my school?” Then apply that to getting a few hundred $K spent through the Federal Bureaucracy.

      • adeade said

        Thank for the reply – writedit. Actually, the PO says my application is on the October 2019 council pay list – not the February 2020 one. We are still waiting for NOA :(. Also at what point would we know if the budget is cut/by how much the budget is cut?

      • writedit said

        The October 2019 Council meeting is for the first funding cycle of FY20 – so your NOA should be issued soon (ICs only received their appropriations in late January/early February, so this delay is not meaningful beyond usual bureaucracy catching up) … and that is when you will know how much your budget has been cut.

  19. abu said

    I’m on the funding border. PO was reasonably positive and optimistic. How long after council meeting is appropriate to wait until I follow up? I’ve been getting the resubmission together just in case, but waiting to start asking people for updated letters of support. Council meets 1/31, resub deadline is March 5.

    • writedit said

      Your PO should be able to provide feedback on whether to resubmit by later next week. ICs now have their appropriation and two rounds of applications, so your PO will know better where your application sits in the rankings, including whether a funding decision will be made this cycle or not until the end of the FY (in which case you should submit in March for insurance).

      >

  20. Vosky said

    My R01 status has been “award prepared” for about 17 days. One of the research fellows that will work on this project resumes in a couple of days. I check era commons almost every 30 min during the day. I emailed the GMS and received no reply. What could be the reason for this delay?

    • writedit said

      It is unusual for the Award prepared status to linger so long. Your grant administrator (at your institution) should be able to set up an account for pre-award spending, so ask about that now. You can also check with the PO about the delay, but it could be a book-keeping issue on their end out of the control of the PO/GMS (eg, IC appropriation not yet dispersed to Divisions/Branches).

      >

  21. Lorena said

    Good evening,

    We applied for SBIR Phase I from NINDS and received a good score (25). The council review just concluded today. What are the next steps? How long will it take them to let us know the decision? Will there be a change of status online?

    Thank you for your time and help!

    • writedit said

      You can contact your PO about next steps – whether you are likely to receive an award and, if there is any question about an award, whether you should resubmit (and suggested strategies for doing so). If you are content to wait, your eRA status will change to Pending (or something similar) if they are considering your application for an award, and you will receive a request for JIT information. 

  22. R01_frustrated said

    Hello, I have an A1 R01 that received a 7 percentile and was submitted in response to a PAR that listed NIMHD and a long list of other institutes, one of which was NIDA, the primary IC. Our PO on the application emailed to say he is retiring (last day was last week) and that his Branch decided not to fund it at council and that he requested a transfer to another Branch. We have now correponded with that Branch chief who scheduled a call with us for this Wednesday. I am very concerned at this point that NIDA just doesn’t want to fund this grant. Other ICs (NIMHD are likely very interested in it but we can’t pursue that unless NIDA releases it). How long do we wait on NIDA to come around or should we push to have it switched to another IC? We have already been pushed to the next cycle. Thanks for the advice …

    • writedit said

      When you talk with the new NIDA Branch chief, if there is any question about NIDA’s making an award, let him/her know that NIMHD is interested in funding your award (& the name of the PO who is interested). You should absolutely be able to get an award for this application.

      >

      • R01_frustrated said

        Thank you for the advice! I hope our story has a good ending. If I learn anything that may help someone else, I will update you! This is a great site!

  23. Elemental PI said

    Hello – this is a great site. Does anyone know what the NCI R43 and R44 payline will be for 2020?>

    • writedit said

      If no one chimes in, you can ask your PO if you should plan on resubmitting as a way of gauging your funding likelihood and soliciting input on strategies for resubmission (based on panel discussion).

      >

  24. Information-less said

    NIH Should be paying you. I’ve called and emailed my PO throughout the whole process (NIGMS), with ZERO response back. This is my first time submitting an SBIR and my score isn’t great, but I don’t have a %ile, and I know it went to council. My status says “Council review complete”. What does that mean? Thanks for all the info.

    • SaG said

      You could find out who the PO’s boss (Branch Chief) is and cc: them on the email. (https://ned.nih.gov/search/)

    • writedit said

      Council review completed is the status of every application (scored or not) after the IC Council meeting. It doesn’t mean anything specific. Agreed with SaG about copying the appropriate Branch Chief on your next contact, which should be to seek advice on whether to resubmit/strategy for revising the application.

      >

      • abu said

        This document (https://era.nih.gov/docs/era_status_codes.pdf) makes it sound a bit more positive than that. Like the status for a grant that isn’t competitive would say: “Council review completed: Application not recommended for further consideration. Refer any questions to Program Official.”

        Am I reading this wrong?

      • SaG said

        Yes, you are reading it wrong. NRFC grants are those that are so bad that review panels are telling PIs to never come back again ever. Council is forbidden from recommending it for funding. It is worse than a Not Discussed. Applies to apps that seek to prove that HIV does not cause AIDs for instance.

  25. mc991220py said

    Dear Writedit,

    I am following up with this R01. The PO just said she doesn’t have any news on my A0 as to whether it will be picked up for funding in its regular cycle. The PO said that the complication of course is with a follow-up A1 which did not do well. She mentioned that for now I will just have to hang tight until they complete the last cycle round.

    My question is mainly on the logistics:
    1. What is usually the timeline for regular cycle and selected pay?
    2. When is a good time to contact a NIBIB PO as NIBIB is the secondary IC? I noticed that NIBIB had a council meeting on Jan31. Did I miss this cycle?
    3. Will I lose the chance to get funded by NIDCR if NIBIB eventually doesn’t pick it up for funding?
    4. NIBIB usually requires 4 year budget while my R01 has a 5-year budget. Is that a problem?

    Thank you very much.

    • writedit said

      The start date for each cycle gives you an idea of when funding decisions are made (except cycle 1, which is rarely completed in time for Dec 1 start dates due to federal budget delays). Cycle 2 decisions (for April 1 start date) are being made now in February and will continue into March and April as ICs see how much $ they have after processing successive awards. Select pay awards are typically funded at the end of the FY (ie, late summer) when ICs know how much discretionary money they have left (and then they’re in a hurry to spend it before Sept 30). You can contact the NIBIB PO any time – again, an application can be funded any time during the FY in which it was submitted, so you haven’t missed any deadlines. The only hard deadline for making awards is the Sept 30 cut off. If the NIBIB PO is interested, which is not a given (especially if you haven’t communicated with them before), since they have lots of their own primary assignment applications that they need to fund, you can ask your NIDCR PO about transferring the application – but they will no longer consider it for funding (so you need to be sure about NIBIB). Also, if NIDCR thinks they might fund it, they probably won’t release it until late in the FY when they’re sure they won’t fund it.

  26. mc991220py said

    Got a call from the PO saying the renewal R01 will be funded. However, there is a question on the funding disposition. The existing R01 ends in December 2020 while the proposed start date for the renewal R01 is from April 2020. Had no experiences at the time of submission. Can I request that we can terminate the existing R01 in September (the end of FY 2020), and then start the renewal on Sept, 2020? Thank you so much

    • writedit said

      You can ask your own grant/fiscal administrator how this is typically negotiated, but usually, they just reduce the first year of the renewal award by the amount carried over from the prior award period (and you have a new project period start date, not December, based on when the competing renewal starts). You might be able to delay the renewal until September to avoid losing less money. Again, your fiscal person should be familiar with how the IC likes to handle these renewal situations, or you can ask the GMS, too.

      • mc991220py said

        Dear Writedit,

        This R01 renewal was submitted to NICHD in June 2019, received 12% in Oct 2019. I received an automatic email and then submitted the JIT. PO said in Jan21 2020 that this application will go to Jan Council this week and then will be available in the funding plan depending on the availability of funds. The on-going R01 ends in Dec 2020. Got a call from the PO in Feb 2020 asking my selection on the fund deposition: 1. terminate the current R01 early and start the renewal, or 2. wait for FY 2021. I selected option #1 and requested to terminate the current R01 and start the R01 renewal in FY 2020. However, I sent a few emails but haven’t heard back anything from the PO since the last phone call with him in early Feb 2020. GMS replied once in May 2020 saying that she has not yet received a pay authorization. I emailed them both again at the end of July but got no response. In eRA Commons, it remains to be: Council meeting completed. I understand NIH is going through a difficult situation. I am really nervous as there is just a month left for FY2020. My question is what if my application is not funded in FY2020? The PAR has expired in May 2020 and I can’t submit the A1. Will it still be considered for funding in Fy 2021? Thanks

      • writedit said

        You definitely want to reach out again and this time copy someone higher up in the hierarchy. I would suggest replying to your most recent reply to the PO and GMS (reply all) so the email chain and your most recent attempt to reach out are documented and add the acting director and/or associate director of DER (Hayunga and/or Hazra), since I do not see an org chart that breaks out branch chiefs. Unless your award is currently being prepared for FY20, they should be able to issue the renewal in FY21 – especially if your email exchanges document the fact that you were anticipating this award (and so did not submit an A1). Now, I see that 4 of the 7 NICHD leadership positions are “acting”, which suggests a lot of flux, but the silence in advising you on your application is unacceptable, and so it’s time to bring in some higher ups to ensure you get direction and reassurance about your application status.

      • mc991220py said

        Dear Writedit,

        The NICHD leadership finally decided not to fund this R01 renewal because it has a cancer focus. They recommended me to submit the resubmission or new submission to NCI. While this is very sad news, I am thinking about what are my options. The PAR has expired in May 2020. Can I still submit an A1 but to a different funding opportunity, e.g. Parent R01 and to a different IC? Or I have to submit as a new R01? In the latter case, the reviewers won’t be able to see the positive comments from the summary statement. Thank you very much for your advice.

      • writedit said

        Wow. This is not sad. This is unconscionable.   You first asked in January 2019 about this first ESI R01 renewal, for which you had to select a new FOA for renewal submission, and you were in touch with your PO about this way back then. Your PO reviews your R01 RPPRs and perhaps even discussed your renewal aims with you (they should have offered anyway), so they should be aware of any possible creep away from the NICHD mission.  Your A0 scored 12th percentile in October 2019, and in February 2020, your PO called (not emailed) to say the renewal would be funded, with the only question being how to handle the end of the ESI R01(due to end Dec 2020) and the start of the renewal (scheduled for July 2020) in terms of budget and start date. No mention of the science itself being inappropriate.  At the very least, your NICHD PO should start communicating with the appropriate NCI PO about this application, introduce you, and explain why NICHD cannot financially support the renewal of this work (but does support your scientific progress made to date).  However, I really feel as though you could take this long ongoing conversation (18+ months) to the NICHD Director of Extramural Research to inquire why in January 2019 (when you asked about renewal FOA) or in June 2019 (when you submitted the Type 2 A0) they did not flag your application as inappropriate for NICHD … and why they in fact told you in February 2020 that they were planning to fund your ESI A0 renewal. By the time you resubmit, you will have lost more than 2 years (you did not prepare an A1 based on NICHD advice) and will have a long break in funding, depending on your carryover situation. Your situation is especially egregious since this is the first renewal of your ESI R01, which is a priority funding scenario for the NIH and should have been factored in – especially way back when some advice from NICHD for you as an ESI awardee to switch to NCI would have helped you keep on track (vs completely derailing your lab and research). I would hope that the NIH OER does not want to see ICs hindering rather than helping the biomedical research careers of ESI awardees in this careless manner.

        I hate to ask, but what happened with your 15th percentile R01 at NIDCR (secondary IC NIBIB, which has 18th percentile payline)?

      • SaG said

        What is a head scratcher is why NICHD didn’t send this app to NCI day 1 or just have it withdrawn as not fitting their mission months ago. To say at this late point that it has too much of a Cancer focus suggests that someone didn’t look closely at the app months ago. You will have to submit a new grant. Hopefully the next group of reviewers will identify the same positives and you fix any negatives.

      • mc991220py said

        Thanks, writedit and SaG! I have been quite upset recently. You make me feel better. I really appreciate your kind words and advice. My other R01 (A0) was eventually funded by NIDCR. My NIDCR PO has been very responsive. I would like to follow your suggestions to take this long ongoing conversation to the NICHD Director of Extramural Research to inquire. Half of my team is working on this project. I really don’t want anyone to leave. However, I may not be able to argue for the ESI R01 renewal at this point. What is my better strategy?

      • writedit said

        Congrats on the NIDCR award! Even with this second R01, your NICHD application remains the renewal of your ESI R01 (and was being considered/recommended for funding before the NIDCR award) – but the ESI first renewal is just an added consideration, not the main argument. ICs do not like to see labs laid off due to a gap in funding, and this situation in which you were directly told many months ago to expect an award, the gap will not be your fault. I would still recommend sending the NICHD DER a documented timeline of submission, review, and post-submission communications with a brief note explaining that half your lab is supported by this award and was counting on the renewal (ie, you had no idea that you needed to be looking elsewhere for funding). If the shift to a cancer focus occurred between the original and renewal applications, you could also note any communication with your PO and/or reporting on your RPPR that would demonstrate that the NICHD was aware of this shift even before your Type 2 application. Since it took NICHD 18 months to realize your science wasn’t appropriate for them, I feel as though the least they could do is provide a year of R56 funding while you prepare a submission for NCI (and I would still like to see your NICHD PO make a personal referral to the appropriate NCI PO, including background on your situation). This would keep the lab going and give you time to rework your application for a direct cancer focus. Alternatively, if the application has NCI as a secondary IC (given NICHD’s concern about the cancer focus), you could see if an R56 could be negotiated there, again to provide time to transition the work to an NCI-oriented project. The latter is probably a bit late, though, whereas NICHD has already done the administrative processing (and currently holds your award), so could more easily issue R56 bridge funding. In an ideal world, NICHD would ask NCI about co-funding the renewal application (in full) and allow you to shift administrative (and possibly funding) ICs during the second project period, so you transition to NCI without a break in funding or needing to resubmit again.

  27. New applicant said

    Hi Writedit,

    I submitted my JIT around mid December when requested by PO and have not heard anything since then. PO has been out of contact since late January. Is this something common? If not, what should I do to push things forward? Thanks for this blog!

    • writedit said

      You do not need to do anything (and should not try to push things forward). All ICs are dealing with a backlog of applications to process all at the same time, so you need to be patient. They will contact you if they need information. Otherwise, you should sit tight. If you need to start ordering things now, you can as your institution’s grant/fiscal administrator about setting up an account for pre-award spending, since you should be within 90 days of award.

  28. mika said

    Dear Writedit,
    MY RO1 scored 3 percentile (Oct 7, 2019 study section meeting). we submitted JIT, era system shows Advisory Council 02/11/2020. question: when I should receive NIH official letter —-funded

    • writedit said

      You shouldn’t expect your award before April (the typical start date for Cycle 2 awards is around April 1). After Council meets and after the IC holds internal meetings to finalize a paylist, they need to conduct an administrative review of your application and the JIT you sent and then negotiate the terms of the award (any cuts to your budget etc.). There is nothing you can do to speed this up, but if you need to start purchasing items, you can ask the grant/fiscal administrator at your university about setting up an account for pre-award spending since you should be within 90 days of award.

    • R01 said

      In the same boat here, a 2% R01 with uncertainty about funding. Even don’t know if it is in the paylist or not.

      • SaG said

        You probably wont know until you get a Notice of Award. Some NIH ICs will let POs email PIs once a paylist is signed but that is optional. It is risky telling the PI anything certain until the official letter is out. I am sure no PO wants to get a call from an angry PI saying, “but, you told me it was funded and I already hired a post-doc!”

  29. Limbo Rock said

    My council met on 1/31. I am waiting to hear about a grant that I knew was outside the payline, but the PO was clearly going to push for. In December they told me it was likely but not guaranteed and I should consider resubmitting. We wrote again yesterday (2/7) and received basically the same answer. I thought that council decides what grants to fund, so I’m surprised to be in the same limbo. Worth noting that a colleague who was within the payline has already heard positive news. At this point, I just want to understand the process, which feels perfectly opaque.

  30. Limbo Rock said

    I’m confused about the council process. I scored just outside the auto payline at an institute that often funds a bunch outside the line. PO had me write response letter, and told me it was likely but not guaranteed in December. Council met 1/31. We wrote yesterday (2/7) and I got the same answer (likely but not guaranteed). I thought that council actually decides so I am just confused about the process. Can you shed light on this?

    • writedit said

      The IC Advisory Council/Board role is to review the quality of peer review and to confirm the science proposed is within the IC’s mission, not to make funding decisions. They discuss very few applications at their meetings but rather approve en bloc (either at the meeting or electronically in advance of the meeting, which sometimes leads to Council review completed status changes before Council actually meets) a very long list of applications that the IC Director, who does make all final funding decisions, is considering for awards. The Council must approve this list of applications as eligible and appropriate to be considered for awards before the IC Director can act on any funding decisions. Depending on the IC, internal meetings after (or sometimes before) Council meets create an ordered paylist for awards, and the IC processes these applications in order. Those at the end are the ones that the IC would like to pick up if funding is available – but all the applications on the list will not receive awards. Any that do not are held until the end of the FY, when the IC assesses both how much money is left to be spent by Sept 30 and the highest priority applications left over from all 3 cycles. Right now, your IC is still paying Cycle 1 awards due to the delay in the federal budget appropriation, and colleagues whose applications are in the definite pay zone of the paylist can be given positive news (assuming no administrative issues uncovered). Yours must be at or just within the likely pay portion of the larger list for Cycle 2, so it will depend on how far the money goes after they get through the within-payline applications (all the negotiations, budget cuts, administratively dropped applications, etc. affect how far an IC can reach, and this cannot be projected at the outset of the process). With regard to Council in general, you can read a nice overview at NIGMS: https://www.nigms.nih.gov/about/council/Pages/Councils-Role-in-the-Funding-Process.aspx

      • Limbo Rock said

        So amazingly helpful — thanks so much!

  31. brg said

    My app was reviewed about five days ago, and the current status is still ‘Scientific Review Group review pending’ without showing impact score nor percentile. Is it literally pending or not discussed? Will even the status of ND apps be changing to be completed? Thanks.

    • SaG said

      The SRO has 3 working days to input scores and release the meeting. You should get your score very soon.

      • brg said

        Thanks Sag. I wondered if my app was not discussed, so no score is released yet.

    • writedit said

      Thanks, SaG! And yes, brg, ND is posted, so everyone whose applications were at your SRG are waiting to hear.

      • brg said

        Thanks much, writedit!

  32. Fei Cheng said

    https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/grants-funding/nia-funding-line-policy-fy-2020
    I submitted a R01 application to NIA (PAR17-032) as an ESI and I received an impact score within ESI payline (less than 45). However, after the Council meeting in the last month, my PO told me my application was reviewed by the NIA special study section and my payline should be the same with the established PI payline (40). It means that I lost the ESI payline due to reviewed by NIA special study section. However, I didn’t require to be reviewed by this NIA special study section during submission. What should I communicate with PO to ask for ESI payline for my scored R01. Thanks

    • SaG said

      Several strange things here. First, what you said the PO told you is wrong. If you are an ESI you should get the ESI payline. Second, you don’t get to pick your study section. If you applied for an ADRD RFA you will get reviewed at a special study section. Third, the NIA website specifically mentions an ESI payline for ADRD apps as 45. (https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/grants-funding/nia-funding-line-policy-fy-2020) . Seems to me that either the PO misspoke or you misheard. Contact him/her again and point to the payline website above.

      • writedit said

        I agree with SaG that some miscommunication probably happened here. There is nothing in the PAR that specifically indicates ESI status will not be considered, and NIH ESI policy applies to all R01 equivalents, including this Program Announcement. If your Summary Statement documents your ESI status, you should be able to communicate with the PO or extramural office at NIA about the use of the correct payline.

      • Jay said

        I submitted the R01 to NCI before and got scored 14 percentile in ESI payline. My PO said the same thing. I think they just don’t want to fund from my experience. It really does not matter what said on your statement.

      • writedit said

        Well, NCI is different from NIA, which does have special paylines for ESI and AD/ADRC applications. In the past, a 14th percentile at NCI was a crap shoot no matter your status.

        >

      • Cheng said

        Thank you very much. My PO from NIA has told me he made a mistake and my ESI R01 is going to be funded. Bests

      • SaG said

        Congratulations!

  33. Richard said

    My RO1 application received a score in the grey zone. Council completed last week. When I wrote to my PO for update and asked whether I should prepare JIT, she replied “You will receive an email from GMS if/when a JIT will be needed”. Positive, negative or nothing?

    • writedit said

      Neutral, so you’ll either wait a few weeks (if funded in Cycle 2) or a few months (if funded at end of FY) to know the outcome. If you haven’t asked your PO for advice about whether to submit again and strategies for doing so if this is advised, then I would suggest you check in on whether to plan for a March or July (or June, if the grey zone app was A1) submission.

      • Richard said

        Thanks, writedit! I plan to submit A1 next month.

  34. New Investigator said

    I am a new investigator (not ESI), and my R01 application received 31% at NIGMS in cycle 2. The PO said that any decision will be made after the council meeting. I submitted the JIT in Nov after a request from the PO, and the council meeting happened recently in Jan. The online status says “council review completed.” I am quite nervous about the outcome and whether to start planning for the resubmission in March. Thanks for any input or advice.

    • writedit said

      If you haven’t asked your PO for advice on whether to submit again (& strategies for doing so if recommended), then start there. Your PO probably has a clearer idea now whether this would be recommended, too.

      >

      • New Investigator said

        The PO recommended checking with him by the end of Feb, which will be only 1 week before the resubmission.

      • writedit said

        Aha – then that is when he’ll know the final playlist. Your best bet is to prepare the A1 and decide whether to submit at the end of the month. It’s better to do some extra work now (which will help you think through the science again – always a good thing) than risk missing a cycle.

        >

      • New Investigator said

        Thanks a lot for your advice. I appreciate you maintaining this important resource that is especially valuable for new applicants.

      • SaG said

        My guess is that a decision won’t be made on a 31% until later this year. I suggest playing it safe and start preparing a resubmission. Assuming that you can address the major weaknesses without a lot more bench work. Otherwise wait til July.

      • New Investigator said

        Thanks, SaG. Yes, I am preparing A1 renewal as we have been working towards addressing the major weaknesses since the summary was released.

  35. pneumosepsis said

    My R01 application (submitted on Feb 05) has been assigned to a study section different from what I requested. Who should I contact to find out why it was and whether it can be reassigned to the requested study section. No SRO has been assigned yet.
    Thank you.

    • SaG said

      If it is a standing Study Section you can search CSR’s website for the SRO or the SRO’s boss and contact them. You have to have a strong scientific reason why it should go to a different study section. The final decision is up to CSR though.

  36. ESI MIRA said

    Hello Writedit,
    My NIGMS R35 MIRA for ESI application scored 37. No percentile was released and I’m wondering whether there’s a chance to be funded. Thank you for your input.

    • writedit said

      Scores higher than yours have been funded, while scores lower than yours have not received funding (at least in the early years) – but you’re definitely in the zone of funding possibility, especially looking at 2019. This spreadsheet created by Serdar Bozdag (announced last year on Twitter) has tracked scores and award outcome (you could add yours for 2020): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10f1MDXXW57r5pYxwqTnAKM_NRY_SmvC0s0b3joyO_Zo/edit#gid=0

      • ESI MIRA said

        Thanks for the quick response! According to the spreadsheet, my application (with a score of 38, not 37, sorry I mistyped above) appears to be in sort of the funding zone. I’ll definitely add my score to the sheet. Thanks!

  37. Curious said

    K99 recipient here. I have a tenure-track offer in hand. But start date will depend on when my visa at the new university is approved. I will be filing a no-cost extension on my K99 to bridge the gap in time but postdoc contract may not be extended due to lack of funds for salary/delay in current visa extension. Does anyone know what happens if you’ve filed a no-cost extension for K99 but soon after you’re not employed as a postdoc at the university? And in the meantime, your new university submits an R00 app which is under review but not approved.

    • SaG said

      This is a classic “contact your PO/GMS moment.” Let them know what is happening before someone pushes the wrong button and terminates your award…

      • Curious said

        Yep. Already emailed them! Just want to know if anyone else has experienced a similar situation and how they approached it.

  38. DoS said

    Does appearance of a Grant Management Specialist mean the application is on the fund list? My PO hasn’t given me much information about funding possibility yet, but last week I noticed that a Grant Management Specialist appears on my eCommons. The current eCommons status is still “council review completed” though.

    • writedit said

      The addition of the GMS alone does not mean a lot, but if the GMS (or PO) requests JIT information, that would be a positive sign, as would any change in status.

      >

      • DoS said

        Thanks for the reply, writedit! The PO hasn’t requested JIT information yet, but I will keep my fingers crossed.

      • DoS said

        My ecommons status changed to “pending” today, but I still haven’t heard anything from my PO yet. Is this status change a good sign?

      • DoS said

        My PO just called me today and told me that I got the award! No JIT was ever requested for my case, although I submitted a JIT myself earlier to revise one of the application document.

      • writedit said

        Woohoo! Congratulations and best wishes for success with your research. They could just use your earlier JIT, which is why they didn’t request it again. You have a great PO, so keep in touch with them about meetings you might attend, especially to present research funded by this award (POs can sometimes attend scientific meetings and are happy to meet with awardees), and manuscripts accepted for publication.

  39. Laulau said

    Hello Writedit,

    My R01 submission June 2019 as an ESI got a 25 percentile at NIGMS. After talking to the PO and senior colleagues, I did a quick resubmission A1 at November 5th 2019. The PO asked for JIT for A0 December 2019. The PO then sent promising comments after Council meeting early 2020 for A0 (after I asked for updates). But the A0 status is “Council review completed” for a couple of weeks since then. However, I just got a very bad score which is 45 percentile for the resubmission version (A1). This is a bummer to me now. Maybe some reviewers were changed. I wonder if you know what will happen. Will the bad score of A1 affect the outcome of A0? Very worried now… Thanks!

    • SaG said

      Once the 45% Summary statement comes out contact your PO again. My guess is that it won’t negatively affect the A0 funding unless the second set of reviewers identified a major feasibility problem that the first set didn’t.

    • writedit said

      SaG is correct that NIGMS can ignore the 45th percentile A0 application and fund the 25th percentile A1, especially if the summary statement did not find genuine scientific flaws. Don’t forget, too, that the A0 is a new application, not officially related to the A1. The start date for funding in this cycle begins at April 1, so the delay in status change is not necessarily a bad sign. They work on the applications at the top of the paylist first, so yours is toward the end of a long line.

  40. FS said

    I got my A1 with a 23 percentile and got a JIT request. The PO had asked me to submit a R35 (MIRA) grant as well which was reviewed after the above mentioned A1. However, the MIRA grant went to not discussed pile. The PO seem to get less enthusiastic after that. The PO told me they are going to be meeting in early March and he can then update me. However, he did say that I should keep all my plans intact for now.

    Also when I asked about resubmitting he told me to wait (or something to that effect).

    Is this a good thing? bad thing? should I be worried?

    • writedit said

      I assume this is NIGMS, in which case your 23rd percentile is in a competitive (but not guaranteed) zone. If your PO did not encourage you to resubmit, that is a positive sign, since POs are always conservative and never want to risk giving advice that might result in a PI missing a funding cycle.

      >

      • FS said

        Yes this is NIGMS. Thank you.

        And my MIRA no discussed application does not have any bearing on the decisions? Does it come up in the discussions? since the R01 and MIRA are mutually exclusive.

        I do not understand your comment though: “since POs are always conservative and never want to risk giving advice that might result in a PI missing a funding cycle”

      • writedit said

        POs want to ensure PIs have the greatest opportunity of funding, so if they have any doubts about a scored application receiving an award, they err on the side of caution and recommend that the PI submit again while awaiting a decision on the scored application. POs know that PIs can have tenure, job offers, lab personnel, trainees, etc. hanging in the balance, so they never risk telling a PI to wait if funding is unclear. Since you are ESI, the 23rd percentile is even more likely to be funded, and clearly your PO feels the same. As to your other concern, the MIRA outcome has no bearing on the 23rd percentile R01.

      • FS said

        Thank you. Fingers crossed.

      • FS said

        Hi –

        I got in touch with the PO and he told me that he made a case for me and it went well and that he got a “yes” nod from his superiors. This was around Feb 25th.

        My status changed to “Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.” – on March 3rd 2020.

        The start date of my grant is April 1st.

        I contacted the GMS yesterday that if there is something I can do to expedite the process since it takes around 2 weeks for my institute to give me the account from which we can spend.

        She replied back with “We are not able to indicate a start date at this time. I will contact you once we have an update. Thank you for your patience. ”

        Is this normal? Should I still be optimistic that the award will go through? What do you think they are doing right now? Are they just getting each award one by one and I am in the queue?

        Thanks,

      • writedit said

        You don’t need to worry about anything, and you don’t need to contact your PO or GMS again. They do indeed process awards in a queue by hand (not an automated process), and your GMS cannot say yet when yours will be next in line. Once the GMS is done with the administrative review and drafting the Notice of Award, you will need to wait for the Institute Director to sign off on your award, which neither the GMS nor PO have any control over. Your application will soon be processed for an award – the April 1 date is not an expiration date, the start date can be after April 1. Now, because the NIH allows pre-award spending, your institution should be able to set up your account now for you to begin spending against, since your GMS and PO have confirmed that your application will receive an award. If they decline to do this, there is nothing your PO or GMS can do to change their minds.  Please remember, too, that the NIH is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic as well and that efficiency will be affected as staff have to deal with changing routines due to school closures, social distancing, etc. You should be grateful that you are receiving an award – I hope you thanked your PO for his support! – and be patient for the final NoA.

      • FS said

        Thank you. And yes I did profusely !

  41. NKM said

    Is this a EI or ESI R35 application?

    • FS said

      This was ESI R35 😦

  42. MC_Max said

    Hi, we got our score for an A0 R21 with NIDDK. The score is 44. Do you know what is the Payline for R21 with NIDDK? I assume this will not get funded now but would like to get an idea of the target for resubmission.
    Thank you

    • writedit said

      NIDDK does not fund a lot of R21s, so my guess would be below 30 (and probably lower), but your PO should be willing to give you some advice on resubmission strategy, both in terms of addressing reviewer concerns (especially if your PO attended the discussion) and NIDDK priorities for the R21 mechanism and your science.

  43. Gothope said

    Does anyone have any insight regarding the zone of fundable scores for NHLBI single-site and multisite clinical trials separately?

    • writedit said

      Hopefully someone will chime in, but you should check in with your PO (& also whether you should resubmit).

      >

  44. Woman In Science said

    My A0 R01 grant was reviewed last Thursday and Friday. I have been waiting anxiously for the results. Nerve-racking! I cannot do anything but checking eRA common every 3-5 minutes …

    • writedit said

      Hope you’re out of your misery (with good news) soon – SROs can take a few days to get all the scores up, depending on the number of applications reviewed, so don’t assume the worst.

      >

      • Anxious Woman In Science said

        Thank you so very much Writedit. I will keep you posted if the news is good.

  45. usom said

    Im another woman in science with the same worry!! if the application was ND, would that at least be posted by now? By my limited experience, my applications that were ND were posted the same day as the SRG meeting. maybe the delay at least suggests it was at least discussed??

    • Brian said

      There’s really no relation between the delay in score posting and actual score. Generally, all the scores for one study section (including ND) tend to go up at nearly the same time. I’ve had very well-scored applications take a long time, but also had them go up the same day as the meeting. I’ve also have ND applications go up quickly, and other times a week later. I know it’s hard, and we’ve all been there, but try not to read too much into small things!

      • writedit said

        Thank you for sharing your experience, Brian! SROs wait until all scores are ready to post, and the time to posting depends on workload rather than score ranking.

        >

  46. Reteplase said

    First of all, many thanks to Writedit for contributing this excellent site. Here is the timeline for my first NCI-R01/R37:

    A0 submission:
    June 2018: Submission
    October 2018: Review score 18th (Not funded; ESI payline 14th)

    A1 submission:
    March 2019: Resubmission
    June 2019: Review score 1st
    September 2019: Council meeting
    November 2019: JIT requested
    November 2019: PO notified a conversion from R01 to R37
    January 2020: Notice of Award

    • writedit said

      Thank you so much for posting your timeline, Reteplase! Congrats on the exceptional 1st percentile score, and best wishes for success with your research! 

  47. AHRQ Newbie said

    Does anyone have experience with AHRQ R01s and funding ranges? I know that they do not fund solely on payline but take into account programmatic priorities. I’m an ESI, which, while they do not formally take into account, they factor into their decisions. Thanks in advance.

    • writedit said

      AHRQ is small and personable. If you have a good relationship with your PO, that will go a long way toward getting you on the paylist, if your score is within range. Your PO should be able to give you a sense of whether your proposed work is of high programmatic priority.

  48. Wondering said

    Hi, We applied for an R01 to an RFA put out by NIA (RFA-AG-20-022, Aging, Driving and Early Detection of Dementia ). It was reviewed and scored yesterday by a special emphasis panel. I’m assuming since it’s an NIA RFA it was scored by NIA rather than CSR. In looking at the NIA Payline page ( https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/grants-funding/nia-funding-line-policy-fy-2020 ) however, I only see PAR’s listed under the “Applications Responding to Alzheimer’s-related program announcements”, no RFAs. This RFA, and our proposal, are definitely AD-related. Will it still be paid according to the payline for AD-related proposals? Many thanks

    • writedit said

      Yes, the NIA-reviewed research payline of 40 should apply here if you have a score; if you have a percentile (which I doubt), the appropriate R01 AD-ADRD payline would apply (depending on budget size and PI status). The PO can confirm, too (if there is any question, wait until you have your summary statement to inquire).

      • Catherine Roe said

        Thank you, Writedit. You are always there when we need you.

  49. Susan2020 said

    I submitted my 2nd R01 application as an ESI in October 2019, and it will be reviewed this week. In February 2020, my first R01 was just awarded. My question is: is my second R01 application still treated as an ESI? In the eRA system, the status for the 2nd R01 is still marked as ESI. Thanks.

    • Ruthie said

      Congrats! I was in the same situation a little over a year ago and I was ESI on both. I was told that it was dependent on your status at the time the application was submitted and didn’t matter if your status changed after submission. Mine were both to NIA – not sure if that matters.

      • Susan2020 said

        Thanks for your feedback. However, I see this in NIH website (https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/faqs.htm#5895). It seems the 2nd one is at least taking advantage of the ESI payline.

        #19: If I have two different applications under consideration as an ESI and one is awarded, will ESI consideration be given for the other?

        No. Only one substantial NIH independent research application can be awarded as an ESI. When an ESI-eligible application is pending and the PD/PI has been awarded another R01 or R01-equivalent application, the ESI status of the pending application will be updated after release of the summary statement to indicate the application is no longer ESI-eligible.

      • writedit said

        Yes, this is updated NIH-wide policy (ICs formerly used their own discretion). ESI status is based on status at the time of submission, and that carries through to the review process. Now, when it comes time for the IC to make funding decisions, the status is updated to determine the applicable payline (ie, if a PI was ESI at time of application but subsequently received an award, the ESI status is not considered for funding decisions on the second R01). Now, NIA is so generous with AD-ADRD applications that the paylines are even more generous than other IC ESI paylines, but it could be that Ruthie applied before the new policy was implemented. Of course, this policy does not preclude the IC from giving Susan a second R01, including by select pay if the score is above the established PI but below the ESI payline.

  50. Jennie said

    Hi writedit, I submitted my K99 application late last year, and the score is in the grey zone. I cannot resubmit again as I passed the eligibility window. My PO has told me that she will advocate for me, but there is no guarantee. In the meanwhile, my primary mentor of the K99 wants me to help write an R01 application which is a direct overlap of my K99 award. I understand that he wants to increase the chance to get funded and sustain the team. However, I did come up with the K99 ideas independently and tried hard to distinguish from his previous work. Thus, I am worried that if his R01 gets funded, will that further jeopardize my chances of K99 and future independence? If so, how can I deal with this? Thank you.

    • Forbes said

      May be you can negotiate with your mentor to put you as the PI on the R01?

    • Forever writing said

      I agree with Forbes. You definitely should not “give the grant away” without at a minimum, be the MPI on the grant. Also, just in case if your K99 came through, make sure your new R01 application is worded differently so that they don’t have a reason to reject your CDA. The 5 years extra time on a K99/R01 is very valuable. If you do not have greencard or citizenship then definitely keep communicating with your PO about your situation.

    • SaG said

      Sounds like your mentor is being a bit selfish. Sacrificing you for the “team/him”. At a minimum you should be a PI but as a Post-doc you probably cant. And yes it will make it harder for you to become independent. This sounds like your “mentor” does not care about your future career aspirations.

      • Jennie said

        Thank you all for the advice. I surely need to have a tough conversation with my mentor. I am thinking if it would be helpful to consult the PO. On the one side, if the message that my mentor’s planned R01 will jeopardize my K coming from the PO, that’s more convincing. On the other side, I am worried that the news will make NIH less likely to give me the award.

      • writedit said

        Your PO will be on your side – talk with them first – and soon, given the grey zone status (discussions underway now). Your PO can use this concern in advocating for your award, which you will need to get a position (via R00) at a better institution that promotes mentoring excellence and career development. If the PO communicates that they are advocating for your award, hopefully that will get your “mentor” to back off on the R01 until the K99/R00 outcome is more clear.

    • Jennie said

      Thanks for the advice. I have contacted the PO. Hope my PI will change his mind…

  51. reordered1 said

    I got an impact score of 27 in GMS for my R15, anyone have experience on the success rate I may have?

    • writedit said

      That seems like a possibly fundable score. When you have your summary statement, you can discuss next steps with your PO (rebuttal, resubmission).

    • hdacs said

      My R15 was funded with an impact score of 27 with NIGMS. Good luck!

  52. Continuing Resolution said

    Writedit – do you know why the NCI paylines have not yet been published for STTR / SBIR awards? Do you know when they will publish?

    • writedit said

      NCI does not post individual paylines for each activity code, and SBIR/STTR applications are among those without a published payline (you can look at an archived funding strategy file to see what they typically cover). When you have your summary statement, you can check with your PO about next steps (rebuttal, resubmission).

  53. NM2020 said

    Dear writedit:
    I am a new faculty with the current K01 funding which will end in 2 years. I plan to apply for R01 later this year. Another senior PI wants me to be the co-PI in her Multi-PI application, which she is filing now. I have a question in this regard and will very much appreciate your advice: Will being the co-PI consume my new investigator incentive from NIH if this multi-PI grant gets funded and will it affect my individual application R01 application negatively? Thank you very much in advance.

    • SaG said

      If you are listed as a PI on an mPI app and it gets funded, then you lose your ESI status. All PIs on an mPI grant are..well…PIs..You now have an R01 and your ESI status is lost. ALL of the PIs on an mPI app must be ESIs to get any ESI break. You can be any other kind of key personnel on her app (Co-I, collaborator, extra special friend) and not lose your mPI status. The question is would you be a co-equal PI on the mPI grant and if not why is it even being suggested? To help you or to help her?

  54. NM2020 said

    Thank you so much for your reply. Do I understand it right that if I’m not a Co-PI but a Co-I or collaborator on someone else’s application, then I will not lose my NEW Investigator (not ESI ) status when I apply to my own R01? Thanks again!

    • SaG said

      NIH doesn’t recognize the name Co-PI. You are either a PI, key personnel or collaborator. If you are key personnel you can be called anything you want..including Co-PI. But, this isnt the same as being a PI on an mPI grant. So, let her call you whatever she wants but DO NOT get listed as a PI on an mPI grant. If funded you will lose your ESI status. My suggestion is to be added as key personnel, call you a co-investigator and avoid any confusion.

    • writedit said

      Just to reiterate what SaG said (all good advice!), please tell your senior colleague that you can only be on her grant if you are listed as key personnel (co-investigator) and not part of a multiple PI submission. Your colleague does not benefit from making you a PI (in terms of being considered under a better payline), so if she wants you involved based on your scientific, she should be willing to list you simply as a co-investigator. You definitely should not participate as a PI on a multiple PI application while you still have ESI status.

      • NM2020 said

        Thank you very much for your advice!

  55. iloiktoitals said

    Hi Writedit,

    iloiktoitals here back with a question on the NIA K99.

    Here’s a quick summary of where I stand:
    -A0 K99 at the NIA, Submitted June 2019,
    -sort of ADRD related (Dementia with Lewy Bodies),
    -Summary Score:20- Received Summary Statement in Oct 2019.

    I was asked to submit a response to reviewer’s comments and proof of valid visa status in Jan in anticipation of NIA internal meetings, but my status on eRA Commons is still “Pending Council Review” for some reason.

    My 4 year eligibility runs out with the March 2020 cycle, and my PO is unresponsive to emails. I should resubmit the K to be safe, right?

    Thanks again!

    • writedit said

      Yes, submitting in March is a good strategy for insurance, but the dementia with Lewy bodies falls well within the ADRD payline (regardless, you are within the regular K award payline of 21 as well), and your PO should have been able to respond to a direct question (though I see NIA seems to have only one K-specific PO). You might email them again and copy the Director of the Division of Extramural Activities specifically to inquire whether you need to submit in March (so as not to miss your last opportunity) or if your K99 with a score of 20 will receive an award.

      • iloiktoitals said

        Hi Writedit!

        Thanks for your advice! I did as you suggested, and wrote to another PO (and Director of the Division of Extramural Activities) who wrote back saying that I didn’t need to resubmit for the March cycle, and that I’d be contacted by my PO or someone from the grant management office about my application status in following weeks.

        I guess I can cease resubmission activities with my fingers crossed?

      • writedit said

        Yes – nothing is guaranteed, but their intent is to award your K99 (assuming no administrative issues), so you can stand down on the resubmission.

      • NIAk992020 said

        Hi @writedit, thanks for the great resource. I have a common question for NIA K-grants. How NIA decide that grant fall in the AD category? I resubmitted K99 in the October 2019 cycle, received 29 impact score, my grant is directly on AD (AD is in the grant title). On May 22, 2020, NIA posted a revised payline for K grants, now it is 35 for AD-related K grants. What could be the possibility for my K99 grant?
        Thanks in advance.

      • writedit said

        It sounds like you should be in good shape – you can confirm with your PO that you’ll receive an award under the ADRD payline.

  56. mika said

    NIDDK payline 2020, confused me, could you please let me know the percentile for Established PI ?
    Thanks

    • writedit said

      For most R01s with direct costs below $500K from established PIs, the payline is the 16th percentile. New applications from ESI applicants will be considered up to the 25th percentile, and the first renewal of the first R01 award will be considered up to the 19th percentile (ie, ESI’s first renewal as an “established” PI). Applications for therapeutic clinical trials (no matter the costs) will have a slightly higher (but unspecified) payline. Applications submitted in response to NIDDK solicitations (RFA, PAR, PAS) will be not be funded based on score/percentile alone (ie, lower scores may not get funded, higher scores may be funded). All funding decisions include programmatic discretion based on priorities.

  57. Richard said

    Hi writedit, one of the key persons (Co-I) listed on my RO1 application does not request a salary support from this grant. Do I need to include his other supports in the JIT? Thanks for your advice.

    • SaG said

      If he is receiving any money from the grant then yes, report his OS in the JIT. He might get no salary but $100k of supplies. NIH staff need to know if he has support to do work that overlaps with what he is doing for you.

      • Richard said

        Thanks, SaG for your input!

    • writedit said

      Also, the NIH will want to confirm that he has the percent effort available that is committed to the project. If he didn’t request salary because he is already 100% (or more) committed to other funded projects, then they will want to know how he will be able to do whatever you proposed that he would do.

      • Richard said

        Thanks, writedit!

  58. K08Commenter said

    Hi Writedit, thanks for maintaining this incredibly useful resource. I’m posting my full timeline in case it is helpful for other applicants (this was K08 at NIDDK):

    04/27/2018 Initial phone conversation with PO about Specific Aims.
    06/12/2018 Status: Application entered into system.
    06/20/2018 Status: Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
    10/23/2018 Status: Scientific Review Group review completed (impact score 34): Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.
    11/29/2018 Summary Statement available.
    12/10/2018 Post-review conversation with PO; rebuttal letter requested in advance of January council meeting.
    01/13/2019 Rebuttal letter submitted.
    01/17/2019 Status: Council review completed.
    01/23/2019 Email from PO recommending resubmission.
    03/12/2019 Status: Application (A1) entered into system.
    03/20/2019 Status: Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
    06/24/2019 Status: Scientific Review Group review completed (impact score 26): Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.
    07/08/2019 Automated JIT request.
    07/22/2019 Summary Statement available.
    07/26/2019 Post-review conversation with PO; expressed optimism re: funding potential, requested rebuttal letter in advance of September council meeting.
    08/30/2019 Rebuttal letter submitted.
    09/12/2019 Status: Council review completed.
    10/04/2019 Email from PO expressing continued optimism but noting there would be no definitive information until FY2020 budget signed.
    01/31/2020 Email from PO stating that they are moving forward with award and tailored JIT request would be forthcoming.
    02/07/2020 Received personalized JIT request from GMS.
    02/11/2020 Status: Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.
    02/19/2020 JIT materials submitted.
    03/02/2020 Status: Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.
    03/03/2020 Status: Application awarded.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you for posting this very detailed and helpful timeline of your perseverance! I especially like that you start with a phone call discussing your specific aims with the PO. Awesome. Best wishes for success with your career in biomedical research.

  59. Susan2020 said

    Hi Writedit, I had a post discussing with you about the ESI eligibility last week. In 2019, I submitted 2 ESI R01s to NCI in February and October. The Feb 2019 one was just awarded and the Oct 2019 one was scored this week. The score is between the ESI (15th) and established payline (10th). According to the NIH policy, after the summary statement is released, my 2nd application will become ESI-ineligible. Do you have any advice on this situation? Is it okay that I contact the PO to request a select pay after the summary statement is available? What do I need to emphasize for such a request? We are indeed in urgent need of funding support for the 2nd project given that two related manuscripts are under revision. Thanks a lot!

    • writedit said

      As you note, you will need to wait for your summary statement before contacting your PO. When you contact the PO, include both brief bullet points in response to the summary statement concerns (in the Resume & Summary of Discussion only) and any new data and/or an update on a manuscript that bolsters the work proposed (of course, not if it is actually reporting completion of work proposed in any of the R01 aims … only if providing preliminary data in support of pursuing the R01 aims). If possible/appropriate, you’ll want to note, too, how this second R01 is complementary to the first R01 funded and that pursuing both in parallel will benefit both projects.

      • Susan2020 said

        I really appreciate your excellent suggestions! Will keep posted for this grant status.

  60. CHC said

    Hi Writedit, Thanks for this fantastic blog. I recently received a score (good, but not fundable) on my new (A0) R01 grant application. I would like to move to another institution and resubmit from the new institute. Can I resubmit (addressing all comments) the application as A1 from the new institute or do I have to start all over again and submit a brand new application?

    Thanks

    • writedit said

      Yes – though you’ll need to address (in Facilities if no room elsewhere) any changes to space, equipment, research subjects, etc. that might affect the work (emphasizing what is better and how you’ll work around any new challenges). Now, I am assuming you mean to change universities (institutions) from which you will submit your application, not the NIH Institute to which you will submit your application. If you mean the latter (new NIH Institute), then you would need to find a PO in the new target IC and submit a new application (with primary assignment to the new IC).

      • CHC said

        Thanks so much. I appreciate it. Yes, I meant changing research university, not the NIH institute. I plan to resubmit it to the same study section as A1 from the new university.

      • CHC said

        Writedit,
        Thanks for your reply. Yes, I meant changing the University.

  61. Oldpostdoc said

    Hi All, I submitted a K99 in June 2019 and received a fundable score. My eraCommons status has been “pending administrative review” for more than 2 weeks. Is this common? Any idea when I might receive a final decision ($ is due to start April 1)? Second, I was never asked for proof of visa status (I’m Canadian). Could this be a reason for the delay? Should I be proactive and send this info to my PO without being asked? Thanks for your advice.

    • writedit said

      The Pending status can last for weeks – even months – so don’t worry about that. They will contact you if you need additional information, but you could check with the GMS (vs PO) to be sure there is nothing else they need. You will be able to start by or soon after April 1 – it’s an estimated start date, not an expiration date, so all is good.

  62. R35 MIRA ESI said

    Hi All, I got a score of 38 for my NIGMS MIRA ESI application. After the summary statement was released, I contacted my PO and he said we could talk over the phone next week. He also said for now I should submit JIT information. I feel the score is around or slightly out of the lower edge of the funding zone, but do you think this is a positive development? Does NIGMS simply request JIT for all scored applications? Thanks.

  63. Phil said

    I just got my R21 re-submission to NIMHD scored: 19th percentile, 30 impact score. Any ideas on the chance to be awarded?

    • writedit said

      Several variables in play … how much the score dropped (if it did), whether this is a PAR (I assume not an RFA since a resubmission), how supportive your PO is about your project. When you have your summary statement, you’ll want to think through how you would address the concerns and contact your PO for advice on next steps (which will likely include submitting again, for insurance, if you are on the bubble).

      • Phil said

        Yes, it’s a PAR and scores dropped from 27th percentile to 19 and from 34 impact score to 30. I am waiting for summary sheets to come!

      • writedit said

        Ah – great. The drop in score and PAR solicitation weigh in your favor as the delta is another positive and there is more weight on programmatic priority involved in funding decisions.

  64. newinvest said

    I recently received an automated JIT request for 13% score on R21. However, my IACUC and IRB protocols are not yet ready ( I did not expect a good score and did not submit them yet). The JIT request email says pending or out-of-date approvals are not accepted. I am going to submit my IACUC and IRB protocols soon to my university and request them to do expedited review. However, I am wondering whether NIH considers extending the time to submit these approvals, as it may take 30
    to 45 days for getting these approvals? or they think I am not yet ready to conduct this study, and pass this money to others who have everything in place, as my score is on the border line. Please suggest?

    Thank you for maintaining this great resourceful blog, that helps new investigators.

    • writedit said

      Are you sure this is an automated request? It seems late for a Cycle 2 application – unless this in fact a Cycle 3 application that was just scored.  If this was Cycle 2 (ie, June/July submission), and you can get the approvals turned around in 30-45 days, you should be fine, since that would still give them time to process your award before they need to start calculating for Cycle III awards (they need to pay out Cycle II awards so they know how much $ they have left moving forward). Be sure to let your PO know what is happening, and get the protocols in ASAP.  If this is for a Cycle 3 award (ie, application submitted October/November and just reviewed recently), then this probably is an automated request, but you should still ask your PO if you should start preparing your JIT, reminding the PO that you need to get both IRB and IACUC approvals (a lot for an R21!). If you are not advised to submit your protocols for regulatory approval, you can ask for advice on next steps. As an FYI, during the regular funding cycles, the ICs have some leeway in time allotted to obtain approvals for JIT. At the end of an FY, applications needing regulatory approvals or other certifications are often skipped, since the IC doesn’t have time to wait (all awards must be issued by Sept 30). 

      • newinvest said

        Thank you for your response. Very helpful. Yes I submitted for Cycle 3 and it is a R21/R33 grant. The R21 part deals with the IACUC protocol and R33 deals with IRB. The automated message I received is for the R21 phase, as R33 phase kicks in after two years. In this case, can I email my PO and check if submitting only IACUC approval is sufficient for now to receive the grant? Thank you!

      • writedit said

        Aha – yes, you should only need to submit IACUC (you’ll need to submit the IRB later if you meet the milestones to move on to the R33). When you get your summary statement, you can ask the PO if you should submit now in anticipation of a real JIT request later (and whether the PO needs a brief rebuttal to the concerns raised). If the PO is not optimistic, then you can ask for advice on the next submission.

  65. DShin said

    Dear writedit,

    Three weeks ago I have received a request from my PO at NLM stating that the NLM is at the latest stages of making funding decisions and that my application is under consideration for an award and asked to send him some clarification of reviewers concerns (which were minor). It is in regard to my application that I submitted on July 31, 2019 with the project start date of 04.01.2020. Since I didn’t receive any word from from him yet, does that mean that my application most likely won’t be funded? Or the PO would inform me of that? Is NIH ICs still processing cycle 2 applications or they have moved on to Cycle 3?

    Thank you!

    DShin

    • writedit said

      Nothing to worry about – the time frame is fine. Your start date is not an expiration date. You should get a JIT request (if PO did not request with the response to review), and your status will change to pending if/when the processing of an award begins. I suspect your PO will update you if your application is not picked for an award so you can start working on your next submission. In the meantime, no news is not bad news.

      >

      • DShin said

        Thank you!!!

      • DShin said

        Dear wriedit,

        Thanks again for sharing your invaluable expertise!
        Today the status of my NLM R01 proposal changed from “Council review completed” to “Pending”. Since it doesn’t say pending what, I am wondering what it could mean.
        I have a tenure appeal meeting the day after tomorrow and I am wondering if I can present this as an evidence that there is a good chance that I will get this grant.
        Do you know what this status is about?

        Thank you!

        D Shin

      • writedit said

        Yes – this means pending administrative review. If a note from your PO might help, let them know what’s up and ask if they could comment on your funding likelihood (assuming no issues on review). I think they would be happy to help if they could. If not, the P&T committee will understand that pending (administrative review) means an award is highly likely to follow.

        >

      • DShin said

        Thank you!

  66. K-app said

    Dear Writedit,

    This is an excellent resource. I recently applied for a K99 w/NINDS (cycle 3). I know NINDS doesn’t publish a payline for traditional K99/R00 mechanism and I have checked the archived posts as well to see if there was any info on this, but din’t see any K99 applicants from NINDS. I wanted to ask if you know what the lower end of the impact scores NINDS usually funds?

    Thanks

    • writedit said

      I’m pretty sure the lower end would be 10, and while I don’t know their upper end, though I imagine they fund applications into the 20s. When you have your summary statement, you will want to contact your PO for advice on next steps (rebuttal, resubmission & strategy for responding to reviewers).

  67. IKGF said

    Dear Writedit,

    This is an excellent resource and thank you for helping to better understand NIH funding process. I got a 29 percentile(NIGMS, ESI, Cyl-1) and got a JIT request. What are the chances of funding?

  68. IKGF said

    Thanks to magic eight ball too for the promise….

    • IKGF said

      I will not have ESI status at that time. But thank you for the suggestion SaG.

  69. Shenzu said

    I have an “award prepared” status for an NIAID R01 as ESI that will be fully funded according to NIAID GMS. My work has reaching implications so I submitted an NIGMS R35 MIRA as well with about 30% conceptual and research/overlap as stated on R01 JIT. I scored a 35 on the MIRA and NIGMS PO says will be seriously considered for funding.

    If MIRA is funded, will I lose the ability to accept MIRA once I get NOA for R01 and technically lose ESI status? Overlap is less concerning as a budget cut is much better than losing out all together.

    Many thanks,
    Shenzu

    • SaG said

      You will receive either the R01 or MIRA. NIGMS prefers to award ESI MIRAs over ESI R01s. If NIGMS plans on awarding the MIRA they will not award the R01. Overlap doesn’t matter.

      • SaG said

        Oops. My mistake. I missed that it was an AI R01. Jill is correct. If the AI R01 is funded first it is unlikely that the ESI MIRA would be too.

    • jill said

      You will loose your ESI status once NIAID R01 is awarded, so will not be eligible to receive MIRA award from NIGMS.
      Congrats on your first R01 !!

      • Shenzu said

        That is very disappointing to hear. Especially considering that the MIRA was submitted before my R01. A lot of people are misinformed on this topic as I was told by my mentors and everyone around me that your status upon submission was what mattered not the award data. This makes the most sense since the issuance of awards is largely contingent upon budget factors and a number of other issues. It really does not make sense to have it based on awarded date when my status upon submission was as an ESI.

        So, hypothetically, if my R01 were one cycle ahead and I got the MIRA first, then I would be able to keep both. That seems absurd as it is literally a matter of only 3 months.

      • writedit said

        For many years, ICs were inconsistent on how they handled ESI applicants having more than one application score within the ESI payline (or rather, they were consistent internally, but some allowed multiple ESI payline breaks while others stopped considering applications as ESI after the first award). The NIH instituted the trans-IC policy of having an ESI award cancel out ESI status for all other pending applications to ensure everyone was treated the same. The policy has been in place since last February: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-19-072.html   ESI status is determined at the time of submission and carries through the review of the application – this remains true. The change as of February 2019 comes in the status considered for funding decisions. It is always best to check the most current NIH policy and to ask a PO directly – in this case, probably the MIRA PO (before submitting the R01), since the MIRA PO would have known that the R35 decisions take longer than regular cycle R01s. 

      • Shenzu said

        One more hypothetical question.

        Suppose one were 6 months from losing ESI status (supposing with an R01 at an IC where it mattered for payline) upon R01 submission and through the normal bureaucratic process 7 months elapse before a funding decision is made. Let’s suppose that the R01 received a score fundable for an ESI but not for established PI. Since the PI is no longer considered an ESI does the award get denied? I assume the answer is yes.

        I am just trying to understand the logic of using award granting dates over submission dates. It seems that this would result in large year-to-year inequities. Any years in which the NIH is under continuing resolution (as it usually is) these timings are going to be way off.

        So in my position, some years I could get the NIGMS ESI MIRA if NIAID happens to not have some delay in sending notices of award?

        This just seems fundamentally flawed in multiple ways especially considering that NIGMS only accepts ESI MIRA applications once a year.

        Sorry, don’t mean to shoot the messenger here, but I have gained priceless insight from this blog and I am sure others have this or similar experience and require the expert advice available here.

      • writedit said

        The policy was implemented last February to prevent this sort of frustration, since some ICs did fund more than one application under ESI paylines while others did not. The policy has been on the books and is quite clear (also in the ESI FAQ). For your hypothetical, the ESI status at submission still counts for funding purposes. It is not the time lapse – it is the status at the time of funding decision.  Always, always get the advice of a PO when making grant submission decisions to avoid this type of frustration. At least you know the R35 science is good and could be reworked into a traditional R01.

  70. seetheworld said

    Hello,

    I have some questions on the special consideration for ESI (early stage investigator) and NI (new investigator).

    0. Are these special consideration pan-NIH or IC-specific?
    1. Both cases are for special consideration for the first time R01 equivalents, right?
    2. My understanding is that ESI must be NI (haven’t been previously funded via R01 equivalents) AND within 10 years of their terminal degree or the end of their postgraduate training. The last part is a little confusing. For PhD, do the post-doc years count towards the 10-year limit?
    3. If the PI was a co-PI (not the submitting/corresponding PI) on a R01 equivalents, would that disqualifies the PI from the ESI or NI special consideration when the PI submits his/her first own R01 equivalents?

    Many thanks!

    • writedit said

      0. Definitions are NIH-wide, but some ICs do not recognize New Investigator status (only ESI).1. The status only applies to the review and payline criteria for first-time R01 applications.2. Correct – all NI are also ESI. ESI clock starts when PhD awarded (post-graduate training refers to medical residency, not non-clinical postdoc positions). For information on ESI, check out https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/index.htm and https://grants.nih.gov/faqs#/early-investigators.htm (and ask your PO about specific individual situations)3. An NI or ESI as part of a MPI (multiple PI) application will lose special status – it does not matter who is the contact PI. NI or ESI as co-investigator (not in a PI role) is fine.

      • seetheworld said

        Thank you so much, writedit! I guess you mean all ESI are also NI, right?

        Also, for 3 – the MPI application, are all co-PIs required to have ESI/NI status to be eligible for the corresponding special consideration?

      • writedit said

        Yes, all PIs on a MPI application would need to be ESI … but that is still a waste of ESI status for all of them, unless they will only be submitting MPI applications due to the nature of their science (ie, complex and collaborative).

      • seetheworld said

        Dear writedit,

        Really appreciate your reply. This is very helpful!

  71. UKresearcher said

    I received a 22 from NIDA for a K99. I cannot find information about the payline from previous years. Does this seem like a score that is likely to get funded?

    • writedit said

      I know NIDA is pretty tight in terms of what they fund, but when you have your summary statement, definitely check in with your PO. Anywhere else, I would say to be hopeful – and I hope this will be the case at NIDA, too.

  72. JN said

    Hi Writedit,
    My RO1 grant was funded only for 4 years and then I got 12 more months with a no-cost extension. Can I apply for one more year of no-cost extension and request for some financial support? Please let me know.
    Thanks.

    • writedit said

      If you still have money left, you can request a second NCE (will take a little more effort than the first), but you cannot ask for more money – at least not from the NIH. Your Department or institution might have some bridge funding to help until you can renew, if you are close in terms of score (assuming you submitted a renewal application) and progress on the current project.

      • JN said

        Thanks, Writedit.
        Is there any COVID-19 NIH support? I see that it is available for the grants with human subjects. But my grant does not have human subjects.

      • writedit said

        All acute COVID-19 funding will be distributed as administrative supplements, so ask your PO. They will know what funding is available and how it can be used – and whether your idea would be appropriate for a supplement, which will be reviewed internally by IC staff. 

  73. R03 said

    Writedit: do you know if all scored proposals or only the fundable ones go to council for discussion? PO said she has no information of likelihood of funding at this time but our proposal will go to council for discussion. Because this is a special RFA and there is no re-submission, PO basically just asked us to wait and be patient. Any thoughts?

    • writedit said

      There won’t be a discussion about your application at Council, but the fact that it is on the list is good news, because Council needs to approve all applications being considered for an award (but not all applications approved by Council will receive awards – they are eligible, pending funding availability and the IC Director’s decisions). If your application were not on the list going to Council, you would have had no chance at an award (at least this cycle). RFA awards are discussed internally at the IC, after Council approves the list. Your PO asked you to be patient because they will have no information until the RFA applications to receive awards are selected by senior leaders at the IC. If your PO needs anything, they will be in touch, but otherwise, patient waiting is the appropriate advice.

      • R03 said

        thank you. So, not all scored proposals will go to council although it always says “pending council review” in the Commons?

      • writedit said

        Until Council meets, the eRA status for all non-fellowship applications (even ND) says “Pending Council review”, though this does not mean all applications actually go to Council, and some applications will switch to “Council review complete” before Council meets if they are approved en bloc electronically in advance of the meeting.

        >

      • SaG said

        All scored apps will go to Council. But very few are discussed by Council unless there is an issue. For example, appeals, problem with review..etc..

  74. Lale said

    Hello,
    Thanks for this amazing website! I submitted an R01 that has a start date of 04/01/2020. A month ago, I received a letter from NIH saying that they plan to fund my R01. I emailed my JIT documents to my PO and Grants Management Specialist almost 3 weeks ago but I haven’t received the NOA yet. I also sent two follow-up emails to both of them and still no answer. Given the current situation with Covid-19, do you think NIH decides not to fund some grants? I am sorry if I sound selfish but this grant is important for my lab/career as a junior PI.
    Many thanks in advance!

    • writedit said

      Not to worry – your start date is not an expiration date, and in fact 3 weeks is not long at all (can often take much longer between JIT and NoA). Please just sit tight and let your GMS catch up on a big backlog of work – everything will take longer (due both to working remotely and scrambling to make funds available for COVID-19 research), but awards should not be canceled due to COVID-19. There might be fewer end-of-FY select pay awards, perhaps – all those decisions deferred from the first two cycles – but there may be additional funds for the coronavirus work in any case. You don’t need to keep reaching out in the meantime, though.

  75. Woman in Science said

    Dear writedit and all PIs,

    I have a quick question. If your lab is closed due to COVID-19, how do you handle staff members in your lab (e.g. technicians, research nurses, post-docs)? Do you allow them to work from home? If so, how do your track their time and productivity? Thanks!

    • Hulo said

      I have a 90% computational lab, and our hr has created a work_from_home document which all my lab members including myself have had to fill-up. Although my time is defined via state line. I am tracking all my lab members’ progress via two weekly meetings. Of course wet lab works are shut down and nothing can be done. Hope the agencies will understand. I am not sure how this can be handled for folks who are 100% experimental Good luck to all of us in this interesting situation.

    • writedit said

      As Hulo mentioned, most universities have sent out policies and tools for managing suspended research and supervised employees working from home (among everything else that needs to be done remotely). You should check there first, since you won’t be the only PI looking to track your team’s activities for accounting purposes. If your lab is closed, I assume the study has been suspended, and data collection paused. Certainly your team could work on things that anyone could be doing at home (prepping for future manuscripts, cleaning data (unless blinded), etc.) – but it depends on the nature of the study and what other responsibilities you and your team might have.

      • Woman in Science said

        Very helpful. Thank you both very much!

  76. Other Support Questions said

    I have several questions on the preparation of JIT when it is requested by GMS for consideration of potential award.

    First, I am confused about “the current budget period” for calculating “Person Months”. The guideline says “the level of supported as approved for the current budget period”. Does “the current budget period” mean the first budge period/first year of the grant being considered by NIH? For example, I am on an NIH grant on 25% effort, but it will expire within 3 months of the first budge period/first year of the grant being considered by NIH. For this particular grant, would it be 0.25*12*3/12= 0.75 Person Months?

    Second, should I include startup package from my University in the Other support document? Should I include the total amount left? How should I deal with it in terms of “Person Months”.

    Third, if I have a grant in NCE, do I include it in Other Support. Do I have to include $$ and “Person Months”?

    Thank you very much ahead of time.

    • writedit said

      Post-award support is not my forte, but your university should still have grant/sponsored program personnel available to help via email (or a fiscal administrator in your department). Those folks do this for a living and know exactly how to handle everything. But yes, the “current budget period” would be the first year of the pending award.

  77. Tianhong said

    Dear Writedit,

    NIAID just released a “Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” (NOT-AI-20-031). It is said in this notice that “NIAID is encouraging the submission of applications for Competitive Revisions to active grants”. Does this mean one will have to have an active grant to apply for a NOT-AI-20-031 award? Please advise.

    Thanks!

    • writedit said

      No, this is not an administrative supplement to an existing award per se. You apply to one of the parent FOAs listed in the Notice – which does include the parent award for administrative supplements – the and cite the Notice number to get special consideration for your application (see Notice for full instructions). Everything else about the application (R03, R21, R01, SBIR, STTR, admin supplement) submitted is unchanged.

      • Tianhong said

        Thanks a lot Writedit!

    • SaG said

      Yes, you do need an active grant to apply. Likely an active NIAID grant. A competitive revision gives you more money (and in this case possibly time) to expand the scope of your currently funded research. It is like an admin supp but out of scope. These are reviewed by NIAID staff and can be awarded very fast. Or at least faster than a regular R01.

      • writedit said

        These are not Type 3 competitive revisions – they are new applications to the parent announcement that will receive special funding consideration (read: better payline). Interested investigators apply for new research grants (R01, R03, R21, SBIR, administrative supplements) and mark the application as responding to this notice to receive special consideration. There is no parent application required – but all submissions will need to be for NIAID, not any other IC. I assume this was NIAID’s quick workaround to avoid the time needed to develop and issue RFAs.

      • SaG said

        My mistake, I saw this line in the comment above. ‘NIAID is encouraging the submission of applications for Competitive Revisions to active grants”” I thought they were talking about this NOSI…https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AI-20-034.html

      • LiqN2 said

        I am planning to submit a revision in response to NOT-20-034 for an active NIAID R21. What I’m not quite certain is whether all the documents are needed as in a regular application, or only the items relevant to the competitive revision? The application packet highlights introduction and research strategy, and budget of course. Thanks!

      • SaG said

        It should say in the application packet you download. But I think most of the same docs are needed. A competitive revision is like a regular application in that way. You are expanding the scope of your research like you would with a brand new application.

    • Tianhong said

      Thanks a lot Writedit!

      • Tianhong said

        Thanks Sag. The information of NOT-AI-20-034 is also very useful.

      • Tianhong Dai said

        Thanks SaG. The information of NOT-AI-20-034 is also very useful.

  78. Mohammad said

    Dear Writedit,
    I am an establish investigator. One of my RO1 was scored 12%ile in 1st submission (proposal receipt date by NIH, 12/17/2018, cycle 3). It was reviewed on Feb, 2019). By the suggestion of PO, I resubmitted the grant on 07/03/2019 and it was reviewed on October 2019 (cycle 3) and score remain same (12%ile). The council Meeting was completed on: 02/11/2020. At the end of Feb, I received an email from PO and he requested me to call him. By telephone, the PO told me that they are going to put my grant for special consideration although he is not sure whether it will be funded or not and due to budget constrain, they may only give me the amount equivalent to modular budget (250K per year). I told him that I can decrease some efforts of key personnel including me and will be able to complete the works by modular budget. Finally, PO told me that I may hear something by the end of March 2020. I my eRA common I am seeing JIT request (date: 02/13/2020), council meeting completed on 02/11/2020). Would you kindly help me by providing answer of following query?
    (1) Is there a chance that this resubmitted proposal will be funded? I am running out of support by the middle of next year.
    (2) Is the JIT request is automatic as it was updated before I received and talk with PO.
    (3) Should I prepare my JIT documents now?
    (4) Till when, the division consider my proposal for funding if I have not seen any update in my eRA common by the end of next week (April 3, 2020)? One other word, when I will consider that this grant is not going to be funded by NCI by this score.

    • writedit said

      With two 12th percentile scores, I’m glad your PO is advocating for your proposal. Please be sure to tell your PO your situation (running out of money), though I assume he knows. The JIT request was probably automated. Since it’s almost the end of March, you can probably wait a little longer on the JIT, though if any regulatory approvals are needed, you might start getting those protocols/forms ready. When your PO contacts you later this week, you will know about funding. If your PO is unable to secure select pay or an R56 bridge award for your application, be sure to talk with him about strategy for resubmission. Your PO will have likely attended the study section meetings and have advice beyond what is in the summary statement – but hopefully this won’t be needed. Don’t wait for a change in your eRA Commons status before deciding whether to submit again, though, as this will not reflect an unfunded status until well after the next submission date in June/July (the unfunded application notice is not sent out until14 months after Council).

      • Mohammad said

        Thank you for your kind and prompt response. Can the PO try to fund it anytime within next 14 months or it will dead if he fails this time. As I submitted it twice (A0 and A1), I have not an option for resubmission. Will it be too much to send email to PO again? If PO want to fund it, who else will be involve to decide for final funding? Is there any chance that other members in the division can veto it and finally it will not go to council? Regards, Mohammad

      • writedit said

        You can submit it in June as a new R01 (A0). It will get a new grant number, and you won’t respond at all to the prior review (or even mention it). Your PO will likely know later this week if he can get funding for your award in FY20. If not, he can give you advice on preparing the new A0 version.

  79. NCI Diversity said

    Update: My A0 got pulled up for funding earlier this month, just days before my A1 was going to be discussed.

    • writedit said

      Woohoo – congratulations! Sorry you had to go through an extra submission, but it’s always worth having the insurance. Best wishes for success with your project and career in biomedical research.

  80. Richard said

    The status of my RO1 has been “pending for administrative review” for almost one month. However, I still did not receive a JIT request from my GMS. I am wondering whether most grants in “pending” will be eventually funded. I am getting anxious now.

    • writedit said

      Pending can definitely last more than a month – it can last many months. You should definitely feel hopeful and not too impatient – remember the federal government is operating even more slowly than usual with all the pandemic-related disruptions. If you need any regulatory approvals, though, you shouldn’t wait for a JIT request … and you can send the JIT any time, but it will just sit there until your application comes up in the queue though (ie, nothing will be sped up by your sending it now).

      • Richard said

        Thanks, writedit! Just receive a JIT request this morning.

  81. John said

    My ESI status is slated to expire in July 2020. I planned to submit a new R01 in the June 2020 cycle. With most of the research shut down at my university, completing all of the prelim data and grant preparation will be impossible. Has anyone hear about the NIH allowing ESI extensions due to COVID-19? Thanks in advance for any assistance.

    • writedit said

      Currently, the NIH has only extended deadlines from March 9 through April to May 1, so your June R01 would not be affected. However, the COVID-19 FAQ indicates that the research shutdown is valid grounds for ESI extension: https://grants.nih.gov/faqs#/covid-19.htm?anchor=question55857

  82. RS said

    Hi,
    Just rec’d a score of 40 for an R44 NIAID SBIR. Any thoughts when I contact my PO (after I get SS) as to making a case for funding? The funded R43 was assigned to both NIAID and NICHD, but only shows NICHD for R44 submission even though I requested both…
    Thanks for a fantastic website.

    • writedit said

      Only one IC can be the primary IC. If NIAID is not listed, they did not want to continue involvement, though I am not sure what you mean by an R44 NIAID SBIR. The score of 40 is high for either IC, though as you recognize, your PO can help with next steps after you receive your summary statement.

      • RS said

        My mistake, I meant NIAID is listed for the R44 not NICHD.

      • writedit said

        Aha – well, same advice essentially. Either NICHD declined to be assigned or NICHD does not participate in this FOA (you can check the FOA for the ICs involved … if NIAID issued it, though, I suspect they are the only participating IC, especially for an SBIR).

  83. GG said

    Dear WriteIt,
    My RO1 A1 submission went from triage to a 28 score, 9% in the February review. My institute has a fy2020 payline of 16%. I’ve submitted my JIT weeks ago. Given the Covid situation though I remain nervous, so I emailed my PO two weeks ago to find out what the chances were and he hasn’t written back. My council meets in early May. What are my options here? Just hope for good news some time in May or continue to pester my PO? My current grant expires at the end of this month so this is a crucial moment. Thank you for your insights!

    • SaG said

      The good news is that you got a great score! The bad news is that you probably wont hear anything until late June or July about funding. After Council meets it can take weeks for final decisions to be made and grants awarded. You could let your PO know your situation and maybe they can expedite their decisions and your award. But, it will still take weeks after Council.

      • GG said

        Thank you SaG. Your timeline sounds very plausible, so I will breathe deeply and focus on other issues! I am very jealous of people who regularly communicate with their PO. Even after funding my PO responds to perhaps 20% of my emails (20% of a small number of attempts!)

      • writedit said

        Very sorry that you have a relatively unresponsive PO – especially as an awardee. You might look around the branch or division in which your science fits in case there is another potentially appropriate PO in whose portfolio your work might fit (check the IC website and RePORTER Matchmaker). If you have a question that truly must be addressed in a timely fashion yet receive no response, you can copy the PO’s branch chief or division head on the next attempt to contact.

      • GG said

        Thank you WriteIt for the response. I have always been very hesitant to escalate as I don’t want to alienate the PO (who has been an advocate as far as I can tell…just not a very responsive one 🙂 Good luck to us all!

  84. Confused_Researcher said

    How exactly are applications triaged to the ‘Not Discussed’ category? For example, I had an R44 application that was ‘Not Discussed’, but the average of the actual reviewer scores was 2.6, which seems pretty decent to me. I’m sure they’re not all weighted equally, but what process determines what gets discussed?

    • SaG said

      Being triaged /ND means your application was not in the top 40%-50% of apps at that study section. Half of the apps had a better preliminary score than you. If your subscores were all 2-3s and then there must have been a lot of apps with 1-2s at that study section. That does seem high but if there were a modest number of apps not impossible. This will be a good question to ask your program officer. They probably have more experience with this study section and how they score.

    • writedit said

      SaG is correct on the fact that applications are ranked by initial scores and a threshold applied, and your application was in the half not destined to be discussed. Marasi is referring to the fact that any reviewer can ask for an application on the triaged list to be discussed, time permitting, but apparently no one spoke up on behalf of your application.

  85. Marasi said

    It depends if you have a friend on the study section 😀

  86. NCIR01 said

    Dear writedit and SaG, sorry for the Institute-specific question but the agenda for NCI NCAB for May does not include grant review whereas the June NCAB agenda does. However, eRA Commons states AC in May 2020. Any ideas? Also, does the Covid situation threaten the published pay lines for FY2020? Any projections on how the pandemic could affect pay lines in FY2021?

    • writedit said

      The June meeting will still be in time for July start date/Cycle III awards. Unlike most ICs, NCAB meets more than 3 times per year, and eRA is often just a rough estimate of meeting timing (many other IC Councils will meet in May). FY20 funding will not be affected by the pandemic. Although medical research should be the last thing affected by future budget constraints, the US and global economic situation will determine what the next federal budget looks like, and the election will likely push any work on appropriation bills off until early in 2021, which will likely leave the federal government operating on a continuing resolution for quite some time. In other words, no idea what FY21 paylines will look like.

  87. blessedPS said

    Dear writeedit.
    I have an application that is on the bubble which was reviewed in Oct 2019 and council meeting was in Feb 2020. It was recommended for funding but it has been pending admin review since first week in March . Start date on my application is April 1 . The last time i reached out to PO he was not happy. Any suggestion on how I can find out what is going on with the application?

    • Marasi said

      I am in the same boat. Oct 2019 and has been in the “Pending Administrative blah blah” since then. Incidentally, my start date was also April 11th. My PO told me that GMS would not be able to be done by April 1st.

      NIGMS?

      • Marasi said

        I meant April 1st 😀

    • writedit said

      If your application is Pending administrative review, your PO is not involved at all and can offer no insight into timing or what is happening, so you don’t want to contact him again. The Pending status can last months, so there is no need to worry. Mostly, it’s sitting there waiting for a GMS (meaning Grants Management Specialist, not General Medical Sciences (Institute)) to work on it, and I suspect all the ICs are a bit behind on all activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic – plus the emergency rush to fund COVID-19 supplemental funding applications. You could ask the GMS, but I definitely recommend just sitting tight – they will be in touch with you if they need anything (and are working as fast as they can). Best not to stress anyone with unnecessary email. Your start date is not an expiration date, so don’t worry about the timing, whatever it ends up being (you either, Marasi). 

      • Marasi said

        Thank you Writedit. You are so kind and generous with your time and expertise. I really appreciate it.

      • COVID supplement said

        Hello Writedit,

        Thank you for maintaining this extremely useful site. We are working on an Administrative Supplement related to the COVID-19 pandemic and was hoping you could give us some advise as to what to include/format. Should the Research Strategy section essentially be the same as an R21 application? Thank you for your input.

      • writedit said

        Yes, depending on the specific instructions for the Notice to which you will respond, you should write a 6-page Research Strategy that ties the proposed work into the parent award. Most important, though, you want to communicate with your PO first, as these administrative supplements are discussed internally by program staff, so your PO can tell you whether your idea will be of interest and how best to frame it if so.

      • BlessedPS said

        Thanks for your response. So does this mean the application will be funded then ?

      • writedit said

        No, it’s still not guaranteed, but you could save time and effort, since you will know what not to submit, and if your PO is enthusiastic about your idea, your odds should be good.

      • Marasi said

        But @Writedit barring any administrative problem the NoA must be forth coming for @BlessedPS yes?

      • writedit said

        Oh wait – yes, the COVID-19 administrative supplement question got mixed in the middle of the original query. Yes, the @BlessedPS’s pending application should receive an award assuming the administrative review does not turn up any problems. It’s still not guaranteed, especially in these strange times, but on a positive trajectory and likely to be awarded. 

      • BlessedPS said

        Thanks again writedit for all your hard work. Is there a way one can direct message on this platform . Marasi, it may be worth connecting -if for nothing to allay the anxiety ..lol . This has been stressful

      • writedit said

        I can connect you offline, if both agree.

      • Marasi said

        @BlessedPS is your institute NIGMS?

  88. vinash85 said

    Dear Writedit,
    My K99 (A0) was submitted to NCI on June 12, 2019 was and got 24 an impact score. PO informed me that this is within NCI payline and sent me JIT, asking me if Feb 2020 as a starting date is acceptable. I submitted JIT on January 20 that included current-supports of my mentors and mine. Following the JIT submission, my GMS informed that NIH had placed the funding on administrative hold, due to unknown reason. PO told me that he would not worry about that in my current situation, so I didn’t resubmit in March. It has been 3 months since the application is on hold. Just last week, the GMS told me that NCI is still making final decisions, and he doesn’t know if my K99 will be paid yet. I am quite anxious now. Further, my four-year eligibility runs out on May 16. Should I write to the PO request, if my eligibility could be extended till June, in case the NCI decides not to fund A0?

    • writedit said

      I assume the GMS meant NCI hasn’t started making awards yet, but definitely contact the PO about your situation to confirm your award status and, if an award cannot be confirmed, what your next steps should be.

    • PI said

      Vinash85- what does the status say on your grant – pending administrative review?

      • vinash85 said

        @writedit — thank you for the suggestion. Accordingly I followed-up with the PO and he informed me that there is nothing I need to do (I think he meant for re the submission), and GMS is the best point of contact now.
        @PI — the status is: Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.

      • writedit said

        Ah – then it is almost time for congratulations.  : )

      • PI said

        Any updates?@vanish85

      • Avinash Sahu said

        @PI no changes till now. The pending status in ERA commons has not changed since Dec 18, which is frustrating. I reach out to GMS once every month regarding the status.

      • writedit said

        I assume the GMS has not suggested anything negative is happening (just no action as yet). You should also check in with your PO what to do, especially with your status ending soon (you may be able to get an extension if an award is not going to be made).

      • Avinash Sahu said

        Hi @writeedit/@PI,
        My GMO and PO are still giving me the same replies to any question regarding the next step.

        GMO: “NCI is still making final funding decisions, and we don’t know if this one will be paid yet.”
        PO: “Only GMO could tell the current status of your application.”
        Back in Jan, the PO was positive and asked us if we would like to start in Feb. Since then, the process has been entirely opaque when my application was put on administrative hold in Jan. I am completely confused re status and my chances.

      • writedit said

        The PO is correct that only the GMO knows the award processing status. It’s a little worrisome that your PO was positive (including telling you not to resubmit while you were still eligible), your status remains Pending administrative review, but your GMO is not sure the application will be paid. It could be that the GMO is just being cautious or using the language recommended by the Chief GMO, since they have been using the same line since April (“not sure if K99 will be paid”). NCI has made 32 new K99 awards so far in FY20, most recently it seems as of May 1. In FY19, they made 22 new awards; in FY18, they made 36 new awards, and 29 new awards in FY17. My guess is that they juggle the number to carry a consistent funding obligation and might be getting near the end of their award making (though it seems as though, looking at the trends, it seems as though they should have room still in FY20). If your application is not paid, then you absolutely need to contact the PO about both whether your K99 could be paid in FY21 and getting an eligibility extension to apply again in July or November (whichever would allow you to submit the stronger application). Of course, you may even be better off seeking a different activity code or mechanism at this poitn, depending on your citizenship/residency status – but that conversation would wait until the outcome of your K99 situation is decided.

      • avi said

        thank you Writedit for the clarification.

  89. MND81 said

    Hi WriteEdit – I applied for a DP2 Award and received an Impact Score of 20. I wrote to the PO and they said I was in gray area and that I should prepare a one-page rebuttal to the major critiques. Do you have any suggestions for the rebuttal? Should I feel positively, neutral or negatively at this point? Thanks so much.

    • SaG said

      That depends on your personal outlook on life. I think you should be cautiously optimistic but it will be several months before you get a NOA. I think most are awarded in July or later.

      • STAT said

        Would you also recommend cautious optimism for an impact score of 25? Separately, it’s been over 30 days since the scientific review, but no summary statement yet. When is it appropriate to reach out to the PO about this?

      • SaG said

        A 25 is on the edge. Could get paid by an Institute if NIH Common fund doesn’t. You should contact the SRO about the summary statement. Should be out by now.

    • writedit said

      I agree with SaG that you can feel positive. For the rebuttal, you’ll want to focus on any concerns raised in the Resume and Summary of Discussion. These were discussed by the group, and the SRO felt they were worth writing up however he/she did. The individual reviewer critiques were written before the meeting and are not reliably updated after (so you might address a written weakness that was never considered by the entire panel to be a concern). The PO was (likely) at the review meeting, so you can ask if your one-pager addresses the discussion points appropriately.

    • Grumpy said

      Has anyone received a JIT request (from a human) or been assigned to an IC for the Director’s New Innovator DP2?

      I submitted a 2-page rebuttal back in April, but I have not received any communication from anyone since then. My era commons status recently changed to “Council review completed”, but no assignment to specific IC or PO.

      I got a 26 and was told I may be on the wrong side of the grey area. The waiting game is killing me!

      • writedit said

        If you go back through last year’s comments at this time, you’ll find others who endured very long waits about their DP2. There is a spreadsheet still kicking around with scores for MIRA and DP2 applications (and outcomes, where available). Most scores are older, but I see the DP2 tab has revived for 2020, so add your score and see what develops here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10f1MDXXW57r5pYxwqTnAKM_NRY_SmvC0s0b3joyO_Zo/edit#gid=0 

      • DP2Q said

        I noticed that several 2020 DP2 applications in this spreadsheet (DP2 and Discussion tabs) were recently assigned to an IC, all NIGMS (5/29), with scores of 23, 25, and 26. No other IC assignments are noted (yet). Do different ICs tend to process assignments at different times, leading to variability in era commons status updates?

      • writedit said

        I’d suggest you also search this page and the archived pages for the timing of IC assignments, but as I recall, the administering DP2 ICs are usually assigned later – July-August. I think the NIH tries to do everything all at once since they make a single big announcement and hold all the news embargoed until this date (which is tough with so many awardees across multiple Common Fund programs). I would say any activity on an application is a good sign (even if IC doesn’t change) – but inactivity is probably not a cause for alarm yet either.

      • pluto said

        Hi writedit,

        Thank you for all you do for this site and the community.
        Quick question:
        I have a mentee who submitted his first R01(he is an ESI) and received a 27th percentile score. The current NHLBI payline for ESIs is…wait for it…26th percentile.
        What is the precedent (if any) that NHLBI moves their paylines at the end of the fiscal year–do they tend to do this, or usually do they stick to the posted paylines?
        Thank you!

      • Magic 8-ball said

        Signs point to yes.

      • DP2Q said

        Thanks, writedit. My score is between the ones mentioned above (and is within the range of others who have posted on this site with seemingly positive outcomes), so I’m trying to stay cautiously positive.

  90. DTron said

    Hi WriteEdit,

    Last month I got an impact score of 26 for NIAIDs New Innovator DP2 award for postdoctoral fellows. It is a new program for postdocs, but is essentially a pre-job search DP2.

    My summary statements were glowing with lots of adjectives like “extremely innovative” etc. The driving minor concern was lack of collaborators. I have spoken with my POs and while they cannot guarantee an award, they said that I am favorable positioned for funding. They also accepted a 1 page rebuttal, which was only for their own reference.

    How likely is it that I’ll get an award given that POs are generally very conservative about these things?

    • writedit said

      This is all positive – the rebuttals are always for the PO’s use in advocating for your application at meetings where competitive applications will be discussed and ranked (vs submitting it to NIAID leadership for consideration). You are correct that they wouldn’t have shared the opinion that you were favorably positioned without feeling reasonably confident. 

  91. K_APP said

    Dear Writedit and SaG,

    Many thanks for this wonderful resource. My K99 received an impact score of 30 and I am not sure if its within the funding range. I got my summary statement and the resume & discussion section indicates that the proposal was considered excellent and the only concerns that the panel raised were some missing details on the statistical analysis, which only slightly reduced the enthusiasm.

    I can definitely address this issue with a rebuttal. I haven’t heard back from my PO yet (emailed a week ago), I want to know if its okay to call and ask for suggestions on the next steps and/or submit a rebuttal? Or should I wait for the PO to get back to me? I know things are moving slow with the COVID-19 situation. But I read somewhere here that the training office internally discusses the K applications a month or so before the advisory council meeting. And so I want to get the rebuttal to my PO in time if there is even an outside chance of funding. Thanks.

     

    • SaG said

      I would suggest sending another email first. Most POs wont answer cold calls and if they do they might not get their desk phone calls forwarded to wherever they are teleworking. NIH is closed until at least May 1. POs and such are all teleworking. (https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-shifts-non-mission-critical-laboratory-operations-minimal-maintenance-phase). After another week, send your rebuttal via email. If you don’t hear back from your PO find a supervisor and cc: them. This wouldn’t happen to be NICHD?

      • K_APP said

        Thanks SaG, this is NINDS. Also, would it be okay/appropriate to contact the training office just to find what the funding range might be for this mechanism?

      • SaG said

        My view is that it is always appropriate to contact someone at an NIH Institute. It is their job to respond to your questions. So, ask away!

    • writedit said

      Thanks to SaG for jumping in! I hope K_APP has had a response of some kind by now. Things are slowed down due to COVID, but the PO should have been able to respond, at least with an acknowledgment of your query.

      • K_APP said

        Thanks, SaG and Writedit. I heard back from my PO and spoke to him after submitting a rebuttal. I asked if I should prepare a resubmission but my PO suggested I can wait until after the council meeting. Does it mean may be there is still a chance this cycle?

      • writedit said

        If your PO suggested to wait, you can wait hopefully, because no PO would risk an applicant missing a submission cycle if there were serious doubts about an award (POs understand how much is on the line, which is why they are conservative in their advice and err on the side of caution). Nothing is guaranteed, but you should take this as a positive sign.

  92. toulouse said

    I have an Admin Supplement that is in review. The status changed to “Accepted for Consideration” in the Admin Supplement tab of eRA Commons but has no detail at all in the Status tab. Any ideas?

    • Biophysicist said

      Accepted for consideration does not mean that your administrative supplement is considered for funding, but simply indicates that your request has been successfully passed along to your institute for review. Good luck with your request, though!

  93. SaG said

    Depends on the Institutes grants processes. Some Institutes accept the supplement then decide if they want to fund it. Others only accept it once they decide to fund it. It can also vary within an institute depending on what kind of supp request it is. E.g., Diversity v. Equipment.

    • Ruthie said

      I also had the same question as Toulouse regarding the Admin Supplement “accepted for consideration” on 4/16/2020 in response to a COVID-related notice NOT-AG-20-022. Any idea if “accepted for consideration” means likely to be awarded and/or the time frame I should expect to hear back?

      • SaG said

        I don’t know how likely it is to be awarded (see above) but if it is an Urgent competitive revision for COVID work I expect it to take just a few weeks for a decision. For an admin supp it depends on what you asked for and how relevant it is to the COVID pandemic. It should all happen on a much faster schedule than a regular grant submission (9 months) or admin supp (2-6 months). It looks like some Institutes have made awards already. https://projectreporter.nih.gov/Reporter_Viewsh.cfm?sl=15E0CF024B84C3DF7598B8961CAA4A01A2FFCEB861BF

    • Toulouse said

      NIAID Admin Supplement related to SARS-CoV-2

      • SaG said

        NIAID has made some awards already (see link above). One was April 9. I cant tell when it was submitted but it probably took less than 4 weeks from receipt to award.

  94. BiomedScientist said

    Dear writedit

    I would appreciate your suggestion/advice on the following situation. I submitted a new R01 grant last October and it was reviewed a couple of months ago. The grant was scored well on other categories (e.g. 1-2) except the approach (e.g. 4-5), but the final score was ND. I have substantially revised the approach. Should I submit the grant as a new (A0) application or a re-submission (A1)? Thanks so much!

    • SaG said

      I suggest going with an A1. That way you will get an extra intro page to explain the changes you made in response to the reviewers comments. Doing a good job gets you lots of brownie points with the reviewers.

      • BiomedScientist said

        Very helpful. Thank you so much SaG!

    • writedit said

      I agree with SaG, especially if your Significance scores were also 1-2. If so, this suggests the science is solid, but the execution could be improved (and you no doubt got good advice on how to do this in the critiques, which you can point out in the Introduction). If any Significance scores were 3-4 or higher, then you might want to talk with the PO about your ideas. The Approach can be fixed, but the Significance is more difficult to turn around, unless the writing or presentation was confusing or the preliminary data and literature cited not rigorous or compelling. I assume, too, you have confirmed with the PO that you are at the best study section – if not, a new application to the optimal study section might be an alternative plan.

      • BiomedScientist said

        Thanks so much for the suggestion Writedit.

  95. R34 query said

    Dear Writedit, I submitted an R34 (NINR) and got a score of 33. Council will meet in mid-May. PO said that there are many applicants who got scores higher than mine and asks for resubmission. As preparing for the resubmission, is there any slight chance after the council meeting, the decision will be changed? Thanks for any insights.

    • writedit said

      Possible but not probable if your PO said there were several better-scoring applications. NINR will only invest in R34 applications that it would like to see progress to full multisite clinical trials. It is a good sign that your PO would like you to resubmit (ie, your idea is of interest), but you might want to discuss how you could improve your next application to make it more appealing to NINR as well as reviewers.

  96. iloiktoitals said

    It’s ya boy iloiktoitals back with a rundown of my full timeline for a K99 at the National Institute on Aging-

    Pre-Application Timeline:

    08/20/2018 Cold emailed POs about K99 grant idea- POs not particularly impressed, suggested elaboration on the aging component of the grant, etc.

    09/05/2018: 45 min phone-call with a (different) PO who pointed out more inadequacies in my research strategy and proposed coursework

    Application Timeline

    06/11/2019 Status: Application entered into system.

    06/19/2019 Status: Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.

    09/27/2019 Status: Scientific Review Group review completed (Impact Score 20): Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.

    10/11/2019: Automated JIT notification/request (To be ignored)

    10/22/2019 Summary Statement available

    12/11/2019 Email on behalf of PO: Request for 1-2 page response to reviewer’s concerns

    12/19/2019 2 page response submitted.

    01/16/2020 Email on behalf of PO: Request for Institutional Support Letter with proof of visa support throughout the K99 period of the grant (Originally submitted Institutional Letter did not mention visa support)

    01/21/2020 Council review (allegedly) completed, but no change in eRA Commons Status; Status still read “Council review pending”

    03/09/2020 Received personalized JIT request from GMS- Current and Pending Support for all personnel, IACUC documents by 03/13/2020

    03/09/2020 Status: Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.

    03/12/2020 JIT materials submitted.

    03/19/2020: Additional questions on JIT materials, Request for Institutional Support Letter with proof of visa support throughout the K99 period of the grant (again)

    04/21/2020 Status: Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.

    04/30/2020 Status: Application awarded.

    • writedit said

      Woohoo – congratulations on your award (finally!) and thank you so much for sharing such a detailed and helpful timeline! Best wishes for success with your continued training and launch of your independent career in biomedical research.

      • iloiktoitals said

        Thank *you* for this resource, and I hope the information I provided is helpful to others.

  97. Chris said

    Dear Writedit,
    I submitted an R61/R33 to NIAID and got an impact score of 25. I check NIAID website and find it does not provide paylines for R61/R33. How likely is it that I’ll get an award? Thanks a lot!

    • writedit said

      ICs do not usually provide paylines for special mechanisms like this, especially where two activity codes are involved (R61/R33). When you receive your summary statement, you’ll want to get in touch with your PO. I suspect awards will be made on the basis of more than just impact score, but yours seems like it should be in or close to the range of consideration. It really depends on the number of applications and the spread of scores, though, which only the PO knows – and also NIAID’s preference for what type of science to fund.

  98. GG said

    Dear Writedit,
    I had written previously:
    RO1, A1, prior triage, now 28 impact, 9th percentile, institute payline 16
    Reviewed in February, Counsel meets in mid may

    For months the status was “Pending Counsel Review”
    As of today the status is just “Pending”

    I think Pending is a good sign after the counsel review, but what does it mean here before the counsel review?

    Thank you!

    • R01 said

      “Pending” is a good sign.
      Writedit, we have a 3 percentile R01 that is still “Council review completed” since February. Frustrated. Anyone heard a 3 percentile R01 didn’t get funded?

      • writedit said

        Even 1st percentile applications can get skipped (for awards) if the PI is well-funded, if the IC has decided not to fund any more work in that particular area due to saturation of their portfolio, or if this is a RFA or PAR application competing against competitively scored applications with more interesting (to the IC) science. If you don’t have more than $750K in direct costs awarded to you right now, you should talk with your PO about what else might be going on and what your next steps should be.

    • writedit said

      The Pending in advance of the Counsel meeting means that your application was approved electronically en bloc in advance of the meeting (and actually, all the meetings are electronic, now, but this means in advance of discussion of specific applications). You should receive a JIT request, if you haven’t already, from your PO or GMS. The Pending status may last a long time, since everything is taking longer while everyone at the NIH is working remotely. Your July 1 start date isn’t an expiration date, though, so even if your Pending status lasts well into June, you don’t need to panic.

    • writedit said

      And congrats on jumping from triage to award (assuming no issues at administrative review) – great job on the A1, GG!

  99. GG said

    Thank you very much writedit for the explanation and the kudos. The only JIT I have received was a couple months ago in an automated request. But this all sounds very promising and I will wait for further communication from the program officer. And frankly I can’t quite believe it at times. I will never be so jaded that I will feel anything but deep gratitude for an NIH award. Thank you again for all you do for the community.

    • writedit said

      If you haven’t checked in with your PO, you can ask if you should send JIT and whether they need anything else from you.

      • GG said

        Thank you. I had already uploaded my “Other Support” and IACUC certification but had held off on any budget info in case they had guidance there (ie cut a %, cut a year) etc. If I dare to dream, perhaps I will get the whole budget as requested.

  100. R03 said

    Hi,

    I have an R03 (responding to NCATS special RFA) scored in a gray zone in this October. However, it was recently reassigned from NCATS to another IC before the council meeting next week. I didn’t ask for the reassignment…I am wondering if the reassignment, happened a week before the council meeting, means the new IC wants to fund it.. The New IC now has only the GMS contact, but not PO’s, in my Commons, so don’t know if I can contact GMS for this reassignment. Could you please give some inputs on this situation?

    • R03 said

      sorry, the R03 was reviewed and scored in this March. The council meeting is in next week.

    • writedit said

      You can ask your originally assigned PO at NCATS what is going on and whom to contact at the new IC. I assume other ICs participated in the RFA, which NCATS administered, and awarding IC assignments are being made based on IC interest in specific applications. I assume this is good news and that any applications that had no interest from other ICs would just stay at NCATS (as RFA administering IC). The NCATS PO should be able to offer some guidance. If you need any regulatory approvals (IRB, IACUC), definitely ask if you should be pursuing those, if you haven’t yet, so an award can be processed in a timely manner.

      • R03 said

        Writedit,

        Thank you so much for the thoughtful inputs. Your are right that the RFA was administered by NCATS but announced by Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund), so it seems all NIH ICs participate. I checked last year’s awards, most were funded by NCATS with TR#, but many also funded by other ICs. I don’t know if all the money came from the Common Fund, or if the Common Fund cannot fund it, it has to be funded by a specific IC’s budget. any thoughts?

      • writedit said

        The Common Fund can provide money but cannot administer awards – only individual ICs can do this. Sometimes they add money so it is not always all Common Fund funding. Again, your initially assigned NCATS PO should be able to point you in the right direction for information at the newly assigned IC. If there is a GMS assigned at the new IC, they should be able to tell you who the PO is, too, and provide an update on what is happening with your award.

  101. mika said

    PA-18-484 – Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). NIDDK allows for a five-year proposal?

    • writedit said

      New Parent R01 FOAs were released this week, so you would apply to PA-20-185. The FOA allows a project period up to 5 years. Some ICs only fund 5-year awards for ESI applicants (ie, 4 or fewer years for established PIs, in most cases), so you should check with your PO about the appropriate project period length to target. It would be better to know that you should only plan for 4 years (if that is what the PO advises) in advance than to have a year cut off when the award is made. If the PO says 5 years is fine, then you’re good to lay out 5 years of work.

  102. MND81 said

    Dear WriteEdit – This is a bit of a ridiculous question, but I was hoping to get your thoughts. Have you ever heard of anyone having two active DP2 Awards?

    Briefly, I applied for the new NIAID New Innovators Post-Doc DP2 Award and also the NIDA Avenir DP2 Award. I received a 33 and 20 respectively. The projects are completely non-overlapping. With the score of 33, I wrote off the NIAID award, but I did receive reasonably good feedback from the NIDA PO, who asked me to write a rebuttal (referenced above). So I was waiting for the decision from NIDA Council, which is due to come next week, when amazingly I found out today that I my NIAID DP2 will be funded. I know this may be premature, but is there a way that one can receive both? Thanks for your thoughts.

    • writedit said

      Unfortunately, no. Once you have a NoA naming you as PI, you become ineligible for any subsequent awards that require ESI status, such as the NIH or NIDA DP2 programs.

  103. Postdoc said

    Any idea of how long it usually takes for post-submission material to get uploaded to eRA commons? My AOR sent the email over a week ago, but there has been no response yet from the SRO and the document is not in eRA commons. This is for news of an accepted publication related to my K99 proposal. My publication record is okay, but not stellar, so would like it to be part of my application. The study section meets early June, so I’m starting to get concerned about reviewers completing their reviewers without seeing it .

    • writedit said

      This is probably most important for the panel discussion, and as long as your assigned reviewers know of it in advance of submitting their scores (ie, it is nothing that will require in-depth or lengthy review – just something to think about, if they had been concerned about our publication record), you should be okay. Everything is taking a bit longer with the NIH staff working from home, and I’m sure SROs in particular are incredibly busy getting ready for a hectic online review cycle. If you haven’t heard anything by the end of the week or early next, you or your sponsored programs office could contact the SRO to confirm receipt. I think it’s just all taking longer than usual, though – especially with the scramble to handle emergency COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 applications and awards.

      • Postdoc said

        Thanks! Entries into PubMed are moving slowly too (was hoping reviewers could also see it from my bibliography, but no dice yet).

  104. GCR said

    Dear Writedit,
    Thanks for maintaining this resourceful blog. I am an ESI and recently submitted R01 application to NIAID. It scored above payline. I heard from PO- “working towards a select pay for your award, but haven’t gotten approval for it yet. Will let you know if that changes”

    PO didn’t suggest me to plan for a resubmission, nor asked me for any rebuttal.

    What is the chance that it will get funded when a PO works towards a select pay?

    • GCR said

      ” Working towards a select pay for your *application*

    • writedit said

      Hard to say in general, but your PO seems generally positive about it, which is a good sign. Your PO would not risk your missing a submission cycle, so if they can’t get select pay, I am sure you will hear promptly – but I also feel as though if there were reasonable doubt, you would have been advised to resubmit. There is no specific timing for these decisions – they are made through August (NoAs for the current FY must be issued before September 30).

      • GCR said

        Thanks for your suggestions!

  105. F32Q said

    I submitted an F32 to nigms and got a borderline score. PO said still in the running and asked for a rebuttal a month ago. Now I got an email with a variety of questions about other funding and would I accept the award if given, but highlighted at the top that they haven’t decided yet. It seems like good news, but do they send it to a much larger pool than they fund or does these mean I’m almost certain to get it? Thanks in advance! My first nih experience!

    • writedit said

      This is still very positive news. They would check with all applicants they are considering funding in case one of their candidates received fellowship or other grant support from another source, got a faculty position, or experienced any other career change that could have occurred in the meantime (since many postdocs are actively searching for jobs, applying for multiple funding opportunities, etc.). Send your information quickly – hopefully good news will follow soon.

      • F32Q said

        thanks! fellowships don’t go to council, if I understand correctly. do you know when they make decisions? for NIGMS

      • writedit said

        You are correct that fellowships do not go to Council. I do not know the exact timing for internal discussions, but I assume it would be somewhere in the same time frame, since the award processing is based on cycle.

  106. NRC said

    Dear Writedit,
    I am a new investigator who plans to move to another university. I have submitted a R01 application that was reviewed in Feb, which will likely be funded. But I am moving (June end) before the NOA is sent (likely in July/Aug as per PO). My question is- would there be any issues in transferring this grant application to the new institute as NOA will likely be issued to the old university after I move? Is there any way to navigate this?
    Thanks for your inputs!

    • writedit said

      If the research can be completed at the new university (ie, they have the proper facility, equipment, and other essential resources), then you should be able to do this before your current university activates the award (most universities are willing to relinquish awards when a PI moves) – or even better have it issued to the new university (since it has not been issued to your current university yet). You want to talk with your PO ASAP no matter what – telling them you are moving will not endanger the award, and they need to know as early as possible when a PI is moving to get the process of moving an award in motion quickly to prevent delays in funding after a PI moves (process can take months).

      • NRC said

        I appreciate your suggestions. Thank you!

  107. MNC said

    Hi Writedit, I have a question about my budget information that needs to be submitted for JIT. My IC recently updated salary for the K awards and I am wondering if should change my budget request accordingly? Also, would the budget info and other JIT material need final approval from the grants management at my institution? Thank you.

    • writedit said

      Your institution actually submits the JIT, so you will need to work with your grants management staff (you can upload, but they must submit). Your award will be based on your submitted (and approved by peer review) budget. Salary change notices usually coincide with the start of a new fiscal year or with applications submitted in a certain cycle moving forward (so applicants can plan budgets accordingly). You can ask your grants management office and/or GMS for guidance.

  108. NIAID Fan said

    For those of you interested in knowing and waiting, the final NIAID paylines for all mechanisms for 2020 were posted on May 11, 2020. Please visit to see their official announcement at:
    https://www.niaid.nih.gov/grants-contracts/niaid-paylines. Thanks.

  109. MOH said

    Dear Writedit,

    Are RO1 proposal selected by special consideration by the NCI Division need to approve by Council meeting before it goes to grant management specialist for issuing NoA? Actually, I do not know the step in funding decision for grants considered beyond the payline. Would you kindly clear it?

    Best Regards,

    MOH

    • SaG said

      First, Council needs to approve the possibility of funding. Next NCI has to decide that they really want to fund it and have the money to fund it. Next it has to go on a paylist. Then a NoA can be released. Absent this being a COVID-related emergency app, you can expect several more weeks of waiting. And there are many sub steps between each of the ones above.

    • writedit said

      Thanks, SaG, for laying out the many steps that remain. MOH, if your PO said your application might be considered for select pay (PO is not involved – scientific program leadership makes these decisions), they should have an update sometime after the NCAB meets in June, so you could check in either just before or after the July 4 holiday, if you haven’t heard anything. If you think your application is in the range of select pay but have not communicated with your PO, you should do that now to get guidance on next steps (rebuttal, resubmission, timeframes).

  110. Sarah K Fineberg said

    Hi All,

    Thanks for this website. I’ve found it helpful and encouraging over the past several years. I’d like to contribute my K23 application timeline as encouragement to others to persist:

    6/2017: new application submitted
    fall 2017: not discussed

    6/2018: new application submitted
    10/2018: score 33,
    11/2018: discussed w PO, above payline so won’t be funded, encouraged resubmission

    2/2019: A1 application with significant efforts to be responsive to summary statement
    6/2019: not discussed

    10/2019: new application entered into system, revised version of previous submitted after discussion with mentors and other experienced grant-writers and K-mentors
    2/2020 Scientific Review Group completed, score 22
    3/2020 JIT request from a human being
    4/22/2020 pending administrative review
    5/13/2020 award prepared
    5/21/2020 NOA

    • writedit said

      Thank you for sharing your detailed and inspiring timeline! Three years of persistence and hard work have finally paid off. Congratulations and best wishes for success on your career in biomedical research (and clinical care)!

  111. NeedAnotherR01 said

    Hi, Writedit, your blog has helped me so much over the years from getting my very first 2nd R01 to now when I have a more senior problem, which is that I have had an R01 at NCI, under FY2020 payline, recommended for funding per PO and GMS working on it. Pending since early January. Two sets of institutional emails to GMS updating various administrative and budget items (after initial JIT). Last update two weeks ago with GMS saying it would just take a few minutes for them to process. Now still no status change (eg to Award Prepared) and no return of emails from GMS. I guess they’re all busy these days, but I’m paranoid about Covid and end of fiscal year approaching for this award, which is a Cycle 1 FY2020.

    My lab is well-funded but under $750K direct that I’m PI on. We are doing fine, but I have budgeted personnel based on this award being a done deal. Is there any particular hold-up or slow-down? How worried should I be? Should I try to call at some point, track down a supervisor?

    • writedit said

      NCI seems to be way behind on processing awards based on comments here (on the blog). Your GMS sounds responsive and helpful generally, so I don’t think this is a situation in which going to the next level up will help, and I don’t think you need to worry about losing your funding to a COVID application, especially since you are below the FY20 payline. Hopefully your GMS did not get sick. Although your PO is not involved at all with the award processing and likely won’t know the status of your materials, you could make contact just for a sanity check – to confirm that the delays are due to current circumstances (ie, all of NCI is backed up) versus a problem with your application. Still, this is extraordinarily late for a Cycle 1 award, even with the federal budget delays earlier in the year and the ongoing global pandemic.

      • NeedAnotherR01 said

        Thanks. I wasn’t worried about specifically losing to a Covid grant, just that the government would rescind allocations or something, and payline would go down 3 points! But I’m sure I’m being paranoid. It’s just this is about 3 months longer than I’ve usually spent in “pending”, and we’ve gone through 2 cycles of slight modifications to JIT/budget stuff.

      • writedit said

        I understand – I meant the appropriation for competing (and noncompeting) applications would not change – at least for this year. I don’t want to think about FY21 though (and have wondered if some ICs are concerned about big long-term commitments in the context of trillions of dollars in COVID-19 relief spending).

      • NeedAnotherR01 said

        Just to update that the NoA came through today. The GMS had unfortunate family crisis plus there were glitches with an internal audit. All’s well! Thanks for your reassurance.

      • writedit said

        Congratulations (at last) and best wishes for success with this work. Thanks for sharing the contributors to your delay – everyone needs to remember that NIH personnel are no less impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and life events (and often do not have someone to step in and take over when life happens).

    • Richard said

      My RO1 is also pending since early March and it is still pending now. JIT was requested late March and submitted in early April.

  112. IDeA nominee said

    Hello, I was wondering if you might have any insight or information about success rates for proposals that are nominated for IDeA co-funding. I have an R01 that scored well, but missed my institute’s payline. My PO nominated it for IDeA co-funding. I cannot seem to find any information about the review process for those nominations and what the potential chances are for funding through such a mechanism. Thank you very much for your time.

    • SaG said

      There are many variables. It depends on how many the Institute that might fund your app submitted, how many are submitted by other institutes, your score, etc….Also, they look for geographic diversity in awards. So if a bunch are submitted from your state your odds go down. If yours is the only one your odds go up. Most institutes submit 2-4 but only 1-2 get funded. So, 50%? If this is the only one submitted by your funding institute it could be close to 100%. Bonne chance!

      • writedit said

        Thanks, SaG – this is great insight for me, too!

      • pluto said

        Hi–thank you for all you are doing to help us!
        I have a mentee who submitted his first R01 as an EST to NHLBI. He got a 27th percentile score. The payline for NHLBI ESI is 26th percentile and my experience is that they stick quite closely to the payline. My question is: is there precedent for the payline moving over the course of the year with NHLBI, or does this tend to be it? Thank you!

      • writedit said

        SaG gave a great response – though I think what SaG meant to advise is that you as the mentor touch base with your PO (assuming you are funded at NHLBI and/or have contacts there) about your mentee’s application. NHLBI would take into consideration the fact that this ESI applicant has a mentor who is genuinely supportive of their success and still working on their behalf (ie, good investment for NHLBI to make). I also wanted to thank you for looking out for your R01-ready mentee (and helping this researcher get to the point).!

      • SaG said

        pluto, The payline wont move at this point in the fiscal year. But, NHLBI could still pay the grant if they need to fund a few more ESIs to make their numerical ESI goal. If you are located in an IDEA state (https://www.nigms.nih.gov/Research/DRCB/IDeA/Pages/default.aspx) NHLBI might try and get IDeA co-funding too. Hopefully your mentor is in contact with their NHLBI PO.

      • IDeA nominee said

        Thank you very much! As an update, this turned out positive for me and my PO emailed a couple of weeks ago stating that my grant will be funded in this manner (through the IDeA co-funding). I got a direct email JIT request and submitted the documents one week ago. Of course, now I am going crazy waiting. How long does typical award processing take at this stage?…is there a time estimate to when notice of award will be reached? Thanks again. When all this is complete, I will post my overall timeline. It has now been 1 year 10 months since the very first submission of this particular proposal.

      • writedit said

        Congratulations on the IDeA co-funding! The administrative processing can take anywhere from days to months, but probably a few weeks. The NIH is less efficient working under COVID-19 restrictions than it normally would be, and you need a real person to sign off on your application (in fact, all the processing involves real people – none of this is automated). At least you can now wait hopefully – a well-deserved reward after more than 22 months of persevering.

      • Diana said

        I have returned to provide my timeline as it may be helpful for others. It was a lot of “hurry up and wait” for this to finally come through. So thankful for this to have ultimately been funded this current fiscal year.

        Oct 2018–First submission of R01 proposal
        Feb 2019–SRG completed, not discussed
        June 2019–A1 submission
        Oct 2019–SRG completed, scored borderline, told to wait and see
        Feb 2020–Council meeting completed, not included in pay list
        Feb 2020–Submission of “new” A0 to different study session
        April 2020–previous A1 nominated for IDeA co-funding
        June 2020–SRG completed for new A0, scored within payline
        June 2, 2020–previous A1 changed status to “pending administrative review”
        June 18, 2020 (AM)–PO emailed to indicate the previous A1 will be funded via the IDeA co-funding mechanism (Current A0 will be withdrawn)
        June 18, 2020 (PM)–JIT request from GMS, deadline 5 business days to submit (submitted as requested)
        July 15, 2020–Award prepared
        July 22, 2020–Notice of Grant Award
        Aug 1, 2020–Project start date

        Phew!

      • writedit said

        Woohoo – congratulations on your award (finally), and thank you for sharing this detailed and informative timeline! I am very glad they were able to fund you sooner than later (especially since an FY21 award could be significantly delayed due to the election). Best wishes for success with your research!

      • SaG said

        Diana, I think Tom Petty had an NIH app pending when he wrote this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMyCa35_mOg

      • writedit said

        If he did, that big box of hand-typed (probably on IBM Selectric), unlimited-page application (multiple copies) would have been flown in and driven from National Airport to the NIH for hand-delivery by 5 pm (in response to a solicitation in the mimeographed and mailed NIH Guide). 🙂

  113. TrialandError said

    Hello, I wanted to get thoughts on Covid-19 admin supplements on SBIR. Had discussed the application with the NIAID P.O. before the submission. The supplement request status changed from “Submit” to “Accepted for Consideration” four days after submission.

    Still no response yet. Does NIAID typically accept supplementary requests before deciding to reject? Or do they review first before accepting requests? As always, thankd for the reply

    • writedit said

      ICs do not accept all admin supplements (mostly from POs who do not communicate with their POs first, which is how they should get the thumb up/down on submission), so all supplements must be accepted before they can be considered for funding. Of course, this is true for all grant applications submitted to grants.gov – the application must be accepted for referral, which is not always a given. Your supplement proposal will be considered but is not guaranteed. If your PO was enthusiastic, then you can be more optimistic – though I suspect with so many PIs having so much time on their hands, ICs will receive a lot of supplements (and grant applications in June/July), so your ultimate chances will depend on what else is on the table for consideration and how much money they have available.

      • TrialandError said

        Thanks writeedit for the response.

        Four weeks have passed since our supplement submission. I noticed that only one SBIR has been awarded a covid supplement in the last six weeks. The rest all are research grants or fellowships. Do you think it’s worth checking with the P.O.?

      • writedit said

        Sure – you can ask about general timelines, at least (when to anticipate a decision). 

  114. john c said

    Hi – I have received email from my PO about a grant that could get funded. Although this is a NSF grant, I think the question is relevant to folks writing NIH awards as well, therefore I thought I’d ask here.

    In my pending support, there is a grant listed to a foundation that the PO wants to know about potential overlap. This grant was submitted recently and is pending review.

    There is a substantial overlap between the two grants. Should I withdraw the one that is pending or say that if both awards come in then the scope of the latter one will be revised.

    The risk in withdrawing the foundation grant is that until the NOA is issued, the NSF grant is not really funded. Something could go wrong and NSF NOA may never arrive…

    Another option is to say that is the NSF NOA is issued, then I would withdraw the foundation grant. Not sure if this will work.

    What would the folks here suggest?

    Thanks,
    John.

    • writedit said

      The NSF application cannot be changed because it has undergone peer review, but NSF PDs work with their investigators to get funding. You can tell your NSF PD that if the NSF application is funded, you will try to alter the foundation project scope to eliminate duplication or, if that is not possible, withdraw the application. If you know someone at the Foundation, you can ask about this. Usually a foundation has more flexibility to allow you to adjust your aims and scope to eliminate the overlap. You can talk with your NSF PD about it, but I assume the elimination of overlap or the application will be a condition of the NSF award notice (which your institution would enforce), so you don’t need to withdraw the foundation application preemptively and risk missing out on both awards. 

      • john c said

        Thank you, this sounds reasonable.

  115. Shinny Purple Eagle said

    Hi Writedit, I submitted a K99 in Nov 2019 and received a fundable score. The council meeting was held on May 21st, but now the eraCommons status has been “pending council review” for a week. According to some timeline shown in Writedit, it takes a week to have the status changing to “pending …”. I am really anxious about my results as this is my last chance to submit K99. Do you consider it is suitable to write a letter PO asking for updating the status (results) and suggestions for the next move (e.g., still waiting)? Thank you so much for your advice.

    • Bene Gesserit said

      I’m in a very similar situation at the moment and have the same question!

      • St. Alia-of-the-Knife said

        Moving from Pending Council review to Council complete is a technical change. it should happen soon. A week is a bit long though. You should contact the PO about chances of funding your app given the score.

    • writedit said

      Which IC is this? Not all May meetings include discussion of grant applications (e.g., NCI). Even if this was your the grant review Council meeting for your IC’s advisory board, everything has been taking longer at the NIH due to working remotely, COVID-19, and the increasing busy-ness of having Council meetings, Cycle II deadlines, and the final months of the FY. If you haven’t contacted your PO yet at all, you could certainly check in about the status of this application and whether you should be preparing a resubmission (if you are still eligible). Your PO will not have funding news at this time – but should be able to give you a better idea of the time frame and whether you need to do anything in the meantime.

      • Shinny Purple Eagle said

        Thank you so much for your reply. I sent an email to PO for the status updating. Like you guessed, he told me the Council did not discuss the funding and asked me to check it up again for July. I did not ask for the chance or the advice of what is the move next, should I ask or keep waiting?

      • writedit said

        If he did not say anything about resubmitting, then I assume he is optimistic that you should receive an award (otherwise, he likely would have mentioned resubmitting or considering other funding options) – but none of this is guaranteed. It sounds like he’ll have a better idea of timing in a few weeks (after the July 4 holiday) – which means more hurry up and wait in the meantime.

      • Shinny Purple Eagle said

        Dear Writedit, thank you for all the answering and suggestions. The now system status change to ‘Council Review Completed’, I read some people said it implies ‘NOT founded’. Should I worry about it or send an email to PO for checking? or just waiting for July as PO told me two weeks ago?

      • writedit said

        All applications have the status “Council review completed” before switching to “Pending administrative review” or other status indicative of award processing. You shouldn’t assume this is your terminal status. If you don’t hear anything before the July 4th holiday, check in with your PO afterward (and don’t assume the worst if your status stays the same all this while).

    • iloiktoitals said

      Hi there! I was in the same boat as you a few months back.I applied for a K99 at the NIA. My Council meeting occurred in January 2020, but my eRA Commons Status *never* changed to “Council Review Completed”.

      I eventually received a individualized JIT request and the “Council Review Completed” step was just skipped, changing to “Pending administrative review”. My K99 was funded in May.

      Good luck!

      • writedit said

        Thanks for jumping in with your experience, iloiktoitals – and congrats again.

  116. Neuronerd said

    Dear Writedit,

    My grant was selected for funding by my IC’s leadership and I received JIT request from PO/GMS, and was told that the it was undergoing administrative processing prior to the council meeting. The council meeting (May) is now completed and the status on my eRA commons reflects the same. I wanted to know when the status could change to pending or administrative review. I understand the delays caused by COVID-19 but I am trying to get a sense of whether or not the my application is on top of the pile given that the JIT request and admin. processing have already begun. Also, I am curious too (as previously asked by many), is the status change from council review completed to pending a manual change or an automated one?

    Many thanks.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations on being tapped for an award. The change in eRA status is a manual one – someone is processing your application. However, the timing of the change of Council review completed to Pending varies widely, and the pending status itself can last weeks or months (as others here have noted). What you can feel confident about, assuming there are no administrative issues, is that you will have an award before September 30 – but more likely in July.

  117. FormerlyNewPI said

    Thanks for this great blog. I have a question about A1 resubmission and whether it is okay to go from a single PI to an MPI on a resubmission.

    • FormerlyANewPI said

      Sorry, the question is whether it is okay to go from a single PI to an MPI between an A0 and A1.

      • SaG said

        Sure. My question is why? The other PI can get just as much money and participate just as much as a key personnel. Will the new be PI really be taking on an equal leadership role as you? Why do you want to give half of your research program to someone else? And, just because you are adding a PI doesn’t mean you can request more money. Most NH Institutes limit the budget increase you can expect to get for a renewal. 3%-20% for instance. If you are doing it to be nice or help a colleague these are not great reasons. A final point, some Institutes (like NIGMS) look carefully at the other support of All PIs. If the new PI has a lot of other funding they might not award the grant even if you get a great score.

      • writedit said

        As SaG notes, the rationale for switching to an MPI application must be driven by the science rather than any attempt to add a big name to improve the score. If the reviewers specifically noted that you lacked expertise in a critical domain of the work and the new additional PI clearly fills the gap cited previously, then this would be a good change to make. If you are submitting a Type 2 renewal, then SaG’s concern about the budget applies (you might not have enough room from the prior award to accommodate another major salary line). If this is for a Type 1 (new) application, then you can adjust the budget as much as you need to (though you might need to switch from modular to detailed, and if the budget jumps above $500K in any year, you’ll need a letter from the PO agreeing to this).

  118. ESI MIRA said

    Hi Writedit,

    My R35 MIRA application was selected for funding. Your advice and information on this forum helped me a lot. Thank you! I have a pending R01 application (submitted in Feb, assigned to another institute, and will be reviewed at the end of this month) with significant scientific overlap, and PO asked me to withdraw it at my earliest convenience. Is it ok to wait until the score of the pending R01 is released? I feel MIRA is a better program in terms of future funding stability, but I also feel the other institute may be more supportive in the future renewal based on the nature of my research program. Thank you for your advice.

    • SaG said

      The bottom line is you cant have both grants if there is scientific overlap. You should ask the PO if this is OK. Otherwise they might fund the MIRA in the interim then the score of the R01 is irrelevant. A bigger risk is if the R01 gets a great score and both grants are funded. Your institution will get its hands slapped and asked to return the ALL of the money (even if some was already spent) from one of the grants. Or if you turn down the MIRA after the NoA is released.

    • writedit said

      Thanks, SaG, for your very informative answer. I would add that if you have been asked to withdraw the R01, then you should. You don’t want to create extra (unnecessary) work for a study section you will likely go back to with future applications. You don’t want to put the R01 PO in a bad position, for the same reason (you will likely want to work with this person on future R01s). With the government spending trillions of dollars it doesn’t have, the economy on shaky ground, and research sponsors focusing immediate attention on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, you definitely want to take the sure thing with long-term stability. And congratulations on the MIRA! Once this work is underway, you will no doubt generate other ideas for exceptional R01s that can go to the non-MIRA institute (and SRG).

      • ESI MIRA said

        SaG, writedit,

        Thank you for the detailed advice and kind word. Taking into account the opinions from you (and my colleagues and supervisor), I decided to withdraw the pending R01 immediately and receive MIRA. I understood I couldn’t receive both grants, but I completely forgot that the NoA of this R01, even if it turned out to be within the funding zone, would be released way beyond Sep/Oct. There’s no way to have the MIRA up in the air in the meantime. More importantly, as you pointed out, I shouldn’t make a study section and PO waste their time. I really appreciate the invaluable inputs!

      • writedit said

        Good decision – and I am sure your MIRA work will generate new ideas and avenues of research that you will be able to pursue in parallel with separate funding streams (always a sound plan to maintain two or more projects with different goals and sponsors).

  119. MOH said

    Hi Writedit, Usually at which date of June SPL meeting scheduled at NCI? Specifically, do you know the date of SPL meeting in June 2020? Is June SPL meeting consider extracted grants funding approval?

    • writedit said

      I do not have any inside information on SPL meetings, and the meeting date won’t necessarily translate to an immediately clear answer on whether/when you might receive an award. If you need to make career or lab management decisions, you can let your PO know about your situation and ask whether you should be submitting again (if you haven’t asked yet) and ask them to let you know if/when you can begin pre-award spending (if you can’t wait until late July-Aug-Sept for NoA due to the need to pay lab personnel, maintain animal colony, etc.). My guess is that award decisions will not be clear until late June or (more likely) July.

      • MOH said

        I am not sure!! Is NCAB meeting and SPL meeting are different? NCAB meeting members include both external and internal NCI members. However, SPL members only from internal NCI. If council meeting is completed for a grant, will it go to ncab again or it will only go to SPL if a division select a grant for funding?

      • writedit said

        The SPL – Scientific Program Leadership (all internal NCI staff) – meet after the NCAB, which are external to NCI. The NCAB approves a large list of applications for consideration for funding – more applications than NCI can fund (this occurs in all ICs). Once the NCAB has approved applications on the larger list for consideration (not a rubber stamp, especially with well-funded PIs, for example, or applications Council feels are outside the IC scope), the NCI Director then meets with the SPL to prioritize awards based on score/percentile and programmatic priority to create a paylist in descending order of priority. The grants management staff begins processing applications in the order on the paylist – not all of these will receive awards due to subsequent duplicate or disqualifying funding (eg, ESI or other eligibility-specific award), administrative concerns (regulatory issues), PI or institution cannot obtain necessary approvals in time (at the end of the FY), etc., and not all of these (well, none of these) will receive the requested budget. All this explains why a PO or GMS cannot say for sure if your application will be funded – it depends on how much money is still available by the time they get to your application.

    • MJ said

      Hi, MOH. The NCAB meeting has been scheduled June 15th (2nd Virtual Joint BSA/NCAB).

      See below link.

      https://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/ncab/ncabmeetings.htm

  120. tetra said

    This is pure speculation, but what is the likelihood that NCI paylines for R21 (currently at 9th percentile for FY2020) stay similar (or at least, don’t decrease) in FY2021? Or more specifically, what are the chances of an 8th percentile application (scored in the Summer) to get funded?

    • writedit said

      Without a global pandemic, the odds would have been very good. Between trillions of dollars in federal spending (plus huge drop in revenues) and a tumultuous election this fall, neither the amount nor the timing of the FY21 NIH appropriation can be predicted – other than to say we probably won’t have clarity until next year (after January 2021). The NIH budget is likely to be protected to the greatest extent possible, but it is difficult to imagine any federal agency not experiencing a budget cut (or at best, no change, which still means a reduction in new awards). All this said, NCI specifically is trying to move toward higher paylines and fewer discretionary awards, but that is an aspiration rather than a formal policy.

  121. Richard said

    Hi writedit, I recently contacted my GMS by email to inquire the status of a “pending” grant, the GMS replied that all communication should be through my AOR according to the NIH policy. While I know that it is ok for the PI to contact PO directly, I am not sure whether the PI can directly contact GMS. Thanks,

    • writedit said

      Hmm. Usually GMS folks are willing to communicate what they can (which often isn’t much information though). It could be the SOP at your IC (new or existing). Having the AOR contact the GMS could allow for the option of the AOR officially learning that you are within 90 days of award, for the purpose of setting up a pre-award spending account.

      • Richard said

        Thanks, writedit!

  122. Alessa Yin said

    Question on subcontract budget for a R01 application. The PI’s institute said that for subcontract, NIH does not increase the budget annually in the direct cost categories. They suggest to assume and build in 10% increase before the project begin date and keep it flat for future years. However, my institute (I serve as a collaborator) recommended to have budget increases for future years for inflation. Which way is correct?

    • SaG said

      You should point out to your institute that NIH hasn’t allowed inflationary increases in grants for the last 8 years or so. If they force you to add it it will be automatically cut. Not a good strategy. https://grants.nih.gov/policy/nih-funding-strategies.htm

    • writedit said

      As SaG (& the PI) said, you definitely want to go with building in a 10% cushion (flat across the years) since this will almost certainly be cut (and inflationary increases are definitely cut, leaving you having to rebudget in future years to accommodate any increased costs).

  123. […] position already or (b) has a “strong letter of commitment” from their institution that includes assurances of being promoted to such a […]

  124. R01 said

    Does anyone have a recent NIAAA proposal status changing from “council meeting completed” to “pending administrative review” after May council? Thanks.

    • K99 said

      Mine (K99) is changed to “council meeting completed” after May council. I got JIT request from GMS and submitted last week. My status is still “council meeting completed”.

      • R01 said

        Thanks. We have a 2 percentile R01 finished council meeting since February. PO indicated it will be funded before the fiscal year ends but no personal JIT request so far and status is still “council meeting completed”. I know they are slow but waiting without news is no fun.

      • writedit said

        All ICs are behind in processing awards. Don’t forget that they did not get their appropriation until late winter-early spring (so had a backlog of applications to process from Cycle 1), and then coronavirus both added to work loads and made award discussions and application processing (from home) less efficient, and of course lots of NIH staff had their own personal/family health and other issues to address. Most ICs don’t have such a deep bench that anyone can work on any application – you often need to wait for the right person to be available. That said, they will get all awards issued by September 30th – and no start date is an expiration date, so there is no need to panic about July 1 (or April 1, from Cycle 2). If you absolutely need to start spending to keep your research going, you can get confirmation that an award is planned within 90 days so your grant administrator can set up a pre-award spending account.

      • R01 said

        I know typically they start to process them in the mid. June for the last round funds before the fiscal year ends.

  125. OrdinaryResearcher said

    Hi Writedit,

    I have a question about the startup package negotiation when there is no competing offer in hand. I am in my second year of K99 grant and I am in the process of internal promotion to Assistant Professor. Given the hiring freeze everywhere at many institutions, it is hard to get a competing offer. In addition, since this is an internal promotion based on the fact that I expressed my intent to stay, it is also a bit risky (in my opinion) to reach out department chairs for faculty positions as the news could quickly circle back to my institute.

    So, is there anything that I can leverage to negotiate salary, space, etc. Otherwise, my institute likely gives me a pretty standard package.

    Can the K99 program official chime in to help when converting to R00? I also have pending R grant applications. If I get one of them in the next a few months, can it help?

    Thank you so much for your help.

    • writedit said

      This is a tough situation right now. If you have not actively looked into the possibility of a position at another institution (because you assume no hiring), you should certainly check, especially anywhere you already have contacts and/or know of an opening (or at least one before the pandemic) – and anywhere you would like to move, especially if you would prefer to change institutions. Your pending R application should give you additional leverage in reaching out to other universities. Also, your mentor should be interested in helping your career, including getting the best independent position and start-up package (no matter where you end up) to ensure success. Your PO won’t be able to help you negotiate a start up package (anywhere), but you could ask if they know of any positions that are open (& still seeking applicants, even with the pandemic). Now, if you would genuinely prefer to stay where you are but just want other offers to help get a better offer, I would suggest instead you get help from someone who can advise you on negotiating your first position – if not your mentor, perhaps a career development or faculty affairs office at your institution … or the CTSA, if your university has an award. Most major universities have career development resources to teach skills and expectations in negotiating faculty positions. For example, what your current university offers will become part of your first R01 application facilities and will help convince reviewers that the institution is invested in your success – so it is in your institution’s best interest to make a solid offer that puts you on the path to successful independent grant funding.

      • OrdinaryResearcher said

        Dear Writedit,

        Thank you so much for your detailed opinions. Very very helpful. Indeed, I genuinely would like to stay at my current institute, but wish to get a better-than-average startup package. The reason is that I already build a strong collaboration network here and have a couple of R grant applications in good shape as well as the department and university are highly ranked and I get along well with my mentor (so it is not like I can’t wait to leave the big boss).

        I will talk to my mentor and see what advices he has for me.

        Since I have been sort of inclined to stay where I am and I know the department is also interested in keeping me around, I did not search jobs extensively. Last year, I did try to reach several department chairs for potential jobs, but it did not work out though they expressed interests.

        Thank you very much again for your valuable opinions 🙂

      • SaG said

        Though your PO can’t negotiate your start up package they do get to see it s part of the transition from K99 to R00. If they think it is not reasonable they can say so and let the Institution know. Depending on the NIH Institute the PO will have seen a lot of start up packages and should have a good idea of what is reasonable. They look especially close at the packages offered to women v. men…..So, the PO can provide advice about whether the package is above average.

  126. AHRQ R01 said

    RE: AHRQ. Does anyone have an idea what their R01 pay line is? I just received a 16th percentile and am wondering if this could be enough. Thank you.

    • writedit said

      AHRQ POs are great, so when you have your summary statement, you can check with them, since programmatic priority (& PO advocacy) is important there. Now, this is for FY21, and I have no idea what that appropriation will look like, and it probably won’t be clear until after the election. Funding for biomedical and health research doesn’t usually run into opposition, but we’ve been spending trillions of dollars on the pandemic response, and the party(s) that control Congress in 2021 will probably determine the FY21 federal budget.

      • anon said

        This post on twitter from April is hopefully not relevant for FY21 paylines: “We submitted an R01 to AHRQ in February, and were pleased to get a potentially-fundable 13th percentile score. Just heard that AHRQ has DROPPED it’s payline to the 5th percentile, presumably (per the PO) as funds move towards COVID-19 research. It’s not a zero-sum-game, folks.”

      • writedit said

        February submissions are usually for the next FY (FY21), so AHRQ could be anticipating a budget cut as a result of the federal pandemic spending of trillions of dollars to shore up the economy (which could also apply to funding decisions about larger long-term awards in FY20 that they don’t want to be carrying in the next few potentially lean years). The AHRQ website talks about making $7.5M available for COVID-19-related projects, which indicates rebudgeting of their existing appropriation for FY20 (out of a total budget of $445M) – though I thought AHRQ received some of the supplemental funding distributed to federal agencies for just this purpose (COVID-19-related awards). AHRQ POs are great, so certainly anyone seeking funding from this agency should check in with theirs about the funding outlook.

      • AHRQ R01 said

        Fifth percentile is correct for the cut off for AHRQ R01s this cycle.

        I do not think POs actually have any input on who gets funded – and honestly, I don’t think they should. After all, the merit of an application is determined by the study section and should not based on if applicant and PO are “tight”. I have always struggled with this idea. Imagine you are the PO and have hundreds of people on the phone/email who want their grants funded and be your friend – as a PO, I would find that a bit nauseating, no? They should (hopefully) be out of that equation.

        Hopefully the new congress will appreciate the need to fund biomedical research in order to solve biomedical problems.

        Writedit, thank you for this awesome resource.

  127. R15-NIGMS said

    Hi writedit, this has been a very useful forum to me as it helped me a lot to better understand NIH funding.

    My R15 proposal (NIGMS) got an impact score of 34. Could you and/or anyone else on this forum please share your thoughts on chances of funding?

    Thanks a lot for maintaining this forum!

    • writedit said

      This is probably a little on the high side but not unreasonable, and your PO will be able to weigh in more once you have your summary statement. Also, because this is for FY21, any insight into future paylines probably won’t be possible until after the election, since the party(s) that control Congress will determine the FY21 federal budget and how to maintain/accelerate the economic recovery (amidst trillions in spending). However, with your summary statement,  your PO will be able to advise you about whether to resubmit and, if so, how to address the concerns raised.

      • R15-NIGMS said

        Thanks very much for the quick reply.

    • Magic 8-Ball says, said

      “Outlook good”….”Talk to your PO”

      • R15-NIGMS said

        Thanks for your input. Yes, I will talk to my PO; waiting for my summary statement.

  128. writedit said

    Great advice from SaG – thank you! That is good news that you are happy where you are at and have a good collaborative network. You should feel free to seek advice from any senior collaborators, too, on what they feel would be an appropriate package to launch your independent career. Again, no institution should want to hire a new faculty member without giving them the means to be successful (win-win), and your mentor and colleagues can let you know what is appropriate and what you should request that you might not immediately consider or recognize as important (because it has been invisible to you or provided through your advisor/mentor).

  129. Toulouse said

    Hello, I received an R15 score of 28 from NLM. I know this would be for FY 2021 but any thoughts on how it might fare? Last year they didn’t fund any and only 2 the year before. So not much data to go on. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Your PO won’t have any idea about FY21, but once you have your summary statement, they should be able to comment on where that score would fall in a typical year and whether you should resubmit (with advice on revision strategy as well). Looking at the RePORT data, it looks as though they typically make one competing award each year – but this is one award out of anywhere from 1-6 applications submitted. 

  130. WRG said

    Hi! I applied for an Alzheimer’s Disease related supplement to my NIGMS back in March. I haven’t heard anything yet and the status in era commons hasn’t changes since I submitted it. Do you know if any of these have been awarded yet? Would I be notified if a decision has been made not to award a supplement? Thanks as always for the advice!!!

    • SaG said

      Usually you are not told that you are not getting a supplement. Send an email to your PO and ask. It is their job to know and let you know if you ask. And no it wont change whether you get the award or not.

  131. Smith said

    Writedit, Thank you for maintaining this valuable site. I have a question about making a minor change to a pending project. Two weeks ago, we received a notice of probable funding from NIGMS for a fast-track (R43/44) proposal and have recently (2 days ago) received a JIT request. Our project will design, develop, and test educational software to help K-12 students understand science. The approach will be the same, but we would like to change the focal topic from one K-12 content area to another area. The reason for the change is that our educational partners have been affected by covid-19. We have recruited new educational partners who teach different areas of K-12 science. How do we approach making this change?

    • SaG said

      It depends on the topics. If it is from Cell bio to Microbio probably not a problem. If it is from Cell Bio to Cosmology could be a problem. You can always ask your PO. NIH is likely being extra flexible during the pandemic when deciding about these situations.

      • Smith said

        Thank you!

  132. Mika said

    I am going to re-submit R01 on NIH cycle 07-05-2020. One of comments “an overall timeline for the proposed effort would have been helpful” what are start and end of the five-year period

    • SaG said

      I think they are looking for, in Year 1 we will do X/Year 2 we will do Y…etc..Not specific dates.

    • writedit said

      Yes – usually they are looking for a visual grid timeline broken down into 4- or 6-month segments showing when each aim will be worked on (start & finish). Columns would be by time segment (quarter, half year), rows by Aim and sub aim, with boxes shaded to signify activity on each aim/subaim. This shows you can do some work in parallel (ie, aims are not conditional) for more efficiency and options in case you run into a roadblock with one set of experiments or aspects of the work (eg, slow recruitment, reagent not available, animal model not working out, etc.). This also shows whether you are alloting a feasible amount of time for each component of the work. You start hypothetically on your start date – but as SaG notes, you don’t need to give actual month/year designations – just the quarter in which you anticipate starting and continue on for 4-5 years, depending on the length of your project period.

  133. R01 ESI said

    Dear writedit,
    NIH indicates that summary statements for new R01 applications submitted by new investigators are posted within 10 days of the study section meeting (https://public.csr.nih.gov/ForApplicants/InitialReviewResultsAndAppeals/applicationduringafterreview). Is this calendar days or business days? How strictly do SROs adhere to this policy? Apologies if this is answered elsewhere on your site. Thanks!

    • SaG said

      I am not sure that page is current. They released a Notice early this year that updated those policies. https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-19-053.html

      Summary statements for all NI R01 applications will be prioritized: to the extent possible, they will be released before summary statements for other applications reviewed in the same meeting.

      In general, summary statements will be available no later than 30 days before council.

    • writedit said

      Thanks, SaG! It would be business days, and it would vary by SRO, depending on what else they had going on (especially in times like this). SROs don’t want to delay getting the summary statements out – they know how important they are to investigators – so there is no reason to remind them or inquire about your summary statement unless you have a time-sensitive reason (eg, tenure or job decision) and have waited a reasonable amount of time (eg, 4-5 weeks after study section). As with so much else in the NIH process, it’s a lot of hurry up and wait.

      • R01 ESI said

        Thank you, writedit and SaG. Very helpful.

  134. psyance said

    Is there a NIH policy on investigators with active funding that are mobilized and deployed for military service? I’ve been searching, but so far all I’ve found is info for current NIH employees. Would this be justification for a no-cost extension? If it happened at the very beginning of a grant (or perhaps just as an award was being issued), could the funding be revoked? I have a grant that I am cautiously optimistic about, but I also have a potential deployment looming. Any thoughts or recommendations are appreciated.

    • SaG said

      Keep in mind that an NIH grant goes to an Institution. So, if you are deployed your Institution could select another PI to run the grant until you return. Assuming there is someone at the school who is qualified; NIH has to agree to the change. How long will you be deployed? Six months to year is probably not an issue. PIs go on sabbaticals all of the time. My guess is that your PO will work with you to find an acceptable solution. But, think about who could sub for you while you are away.

      https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-18-172.html

    • writedit said

      Is this an application for which you are anticipating an award in FY20 (ie, July-Sept)? If this is for FY21, the start date could probably be delayed until you returned, but if this is an FY20 award, they need to get it on the books before Sept 30. SaG shared great information. What might also be possible is for your university/institution to not activate the award by drawing on funds, but I don’t know if this is required within a certain time frame (ie, can an institution accept an award but not draw any funds for a certain number of months). Now, you don’t mention how long your deployment will be, which is probably key to the solution. As SaG said, if you have a co-investigator who could serve as PI in your absence, this could be negotiated as part of JIT. You might ask the sponsored programs office at your institution how this has been handled previously there, and your PO should be willing to work with you on the NIH side.

  135. NCI R01 said

    Dear writedit,

    Have you seen the cases of application with ‘pending administrative review’ status not being funded? I’m a established investigator and have 11 percentile NCI R01. Early this month, the PO recommended me to resubmit. after the council date, however, the status has been changed to ‘pending administrative review’. I wanted to check if I should resubmit the application for July deadline but the PO and GMS are not responsive to my emails phone calls at all.

    • writedit said

      Wow. I don’t know what’s going on at NCI. I can only assume their staff ranks have been struggling with COVID-19 (they don’t have back-ups). You can look at the org chart for the Office of Grant Administration and contact the team leader and/or branch chief responsible for your application, explaining you were anticipating a July A1 submission until the status changed and haven’t been able to reach your GMS for clarification. If you have the A1 application ready and do not hear back from anyone at NCI before your institution needs to submit, I would advise you to submit. You can withdraw it if needed. The Pending status is not a guarantee, especially in the last few months before the FY ends. ICs want as many award-ready applications as possible (ie, JIT submitted and reviewed) – especially with the pandemic, when PIs/institutions might not be able to turn around regulatory review or other concerns on tight deadlines – but you still might be a ways down the paylist (so if everyone ahead of you gets awarded, there is no guarantee $ will be available for your application). You didn’t mention if they requested JIT, but I assume you have it ready if not. 

      • NCI R01 said

        Thanks for your response. They did requested JIT with updated starting date (from July 1st to June 1st) and I submitted it in May. I contacted their GMS team lead but he directed my email to the PO, who is not responding to my email… Anyway, I agree with your suggestion to resubmit. I just wanted to save my time and others’. I will keep it posted.

      • writedit said

        Aha. This sounds more positive, though still not guaranteed. If you don’t hear before July 5, then you probably will shortly after, so while it would be extra effort for you and your institution, I suspect you won’t be burdening reviewers. Hopefully you’ll get a response by the end of the week or early next.

      • Juhun Lee said

        Just want to update the status. The status of my A0 submission has been changed to ‘Council review completed’ on July 14. I believe it is the last stage for not being funded… Anyway, thank you for your advice! I’m glad that I resubmitted my application already.

      • writedit said

        Sorry to hear this, but glad you submitted the A1. Did you ever hear back from the PO? The status could still change again (back to Pending), but your PO may have recommended resubmission back in June based on the number and higher priority of other applications in line. Of course, you want to be sure your PO is interested in your science (ie, will go to bat for you when select pay decisions are being made). If they aren’t super enthusiastic, you could come close but not get an award again. Since you are an established PI, if you have another PO at NCI, you might talk with them where this application fits in the NCI portfolio (ie, filling gap or competing with similar proposals). If this is your usual PO, hopefully you’ll get more insight into how close your application came to an award and the level of enthusiasm for your science.

  136. LNS said

    I received a 3rd percentile on an A1 R01 (Cycle I, NCI). We had to request permission to submit an excess budget for this proposal. At the time, the PO stated that they have the option not to fund because of the large budget even if we get a fundable score. It is my understanding Cycle I proposals will be considered for funding in FY21 so we won’t know anything about NIH budget until much later. Do you think they are likely to hold on deciding on our proposal until they have a budget? Also, we requested two secondary institutes. Should I engage them to see if they might want to jointly fund with NCI? (I’ve heard of that happening but don’t know how that works). Thanks for any advice!

    • writedit said

      You are correct that your application submitted in March will be considered for an FY21 award. The PO agreed to accept the application, which is not always the case, and had to make the disclaimer about award decisions. However, if you are already well funded, this might make it more likely for NCI to skip your application, even at the 3rd percentile. NCI will not make any awards, definitely no large awards, until after they have their appropriation in hand, which almost certainly will not be until spring 2021 (so you have a long wait). The PO is the one who would communicate with other ICs about sharing the award (this does happen but is rare). If you talked with POs at each of the secondary ICs who expressed interest in your project, you might tell your NCI PO, if you hadn’t already. However, none of these discussions will be held until after the federal budget (and NIH/NCI appropriation) is clear. Although biomedical research is always a top priority in Congress (especially now), the trillions spent to shore up the economy may force tough decisions.

      • LNS said

        Thank you. This is extremely helpful info–as always!

  137. NotReviewer2 said

    I received a R44 score below the FY 2020 payline for NIAID, but how do I know if the application is considered for fiscal year 2020 or 2021? The proposal was submitted for the April 5th deadline (cycle III), but the next advisory council is Sept 17 for NIAID. Thx.

    • writedit said

      You can check with your PO, but I think that will go in Cycle I of FY21. However, talk with your PO. They may get electronic approval in advance of the Council meeting to make some awards in September, especially if they have SBIR money to spend before the end of the FY (and especially if there are projects they don’t want to delay – which would be the case for FY21 awards, given the certain delay in any appropriation, likely until 2021).

  138. k01stress said

    I recently received a K01 from NHLBI…am I still eligible to apply for a R21 grant this same year?

    • writedit said

      This depends on how much effort you have available. I believe that if you have 75% effort on the K01, have no other responsibilities (clinical, teaching, administrative), and can devote 25% effort to the R21, then it should be okay – but you would definitely want to check with your K01 PO first. If you do not have enough uncommitted effort available to serve as PI, then you won’t be able to reduce your K01 effort to accommodate another award until the final 2 years of the K01 (and in that case, you should be going after an R01, which has more $ and can be renewed). You probably want to talk with your mentor and PO about whether the R21 will be a good complement to your K01, too.

      • Kquestion said

        Hi Writedit and SaG,

        I am expecting a K99 award soon. My mentor recently suggested a promotion plan for me to become an adjunct Asst. Prof. This is in part due to me receiving the grant and also my university policy that doesn’t allow postdoc status beyond the 5th year (I’ll soon start my 4th year and will be receiving a new contract). Other than the title and my ability to apply for some other NIH grants, nothing changes (in terms of trainee status, lab, etc) with this promotion. As I understand, its always good to reach out to PO (or GMS?) to confirm if this is okay or since this is an official university policy is it okay if I go ahead with the promotion and let my PO/GMS know once everything is finalized?

        Thanks.

      • writedit said

        Evidence for lack of eligibility for the K99 (listed in the FOA) specifically includes: “The candidate is eligible to apply for independent research funding as the PD/PI of an NIH research grant”. The NIH feels that anyone who feels ready to apply for independent funding does not need additional mentored training under the K99. Since you have time to complete a year of the K99 as a postdoc (within the 5 years allotted by university policy), you can (and probably should) remain a postdoc for the K99 year and then obtain a tenure track appointment for your R00 (which is when you should apply for independent funding). If you decide to consider the promotion, you should talk with the PO first to confirm whether this would change your eligibility, since this would come out as part of JIT anyway, and NIH policy, not awardee university policy, governs NIH awards. (I do appreciate your university’s preventing perpetual postdoc status, though.)

      • Kquestion said

        Thanks, Writedit. I should have made my question a bit more clear. While the promotion will allow me to submit independent grants, I don’t plan on submitting one during the K99 period and this is also officially reflected in the JIT information we submitted; level of effort for my K99 is 100% (12 Cal months). The major reason for the promotion as I mentioned before was to extend my contract for two years (K99 period). If I remain on the postdoc status, I will have to renew my contract twice, for the 5th year and file for a 6th year exception separately. Given that COVID-19 has disrupted the academic job market, and I also have things to wrap up, it might be highly possible that I’ll remain in my current position for the whole two years of K99 phase and so don’t want to go through the contract extension process twice. Given that this move will still be to a non-independent, mentored training position and that we won’t be requesting any additional salary, is it reasonable to check with the PO/GMS about this? Also, should the university official be communicating about this with the PO/GMS? Thanks again.

      • writedit said

        If the University position *allows* you to submit grants, then the position itself makes you ineligible for the K99, whether or not you ever submit an application (get a raise, remain mentored, etc. – none of that matters). Please talk with the PO about this first (not the GMS). You do not want to sour this relationship from the very outset by avoiding asking about something you absolutely need to. If you want 2 years of K99 funding, then you’ll need to deal with the separate contracts for the 5th and 6th year (or ask for an exception now to allow 2-year contract). You might also consider just 1 year on the K99, since it sounds like you don’t need a lot more mentored training (the point of the K99 – to cover actual training in postdoc period, not extend it), and it sounds like you weren’t really planning on 2 years of K99 support (per your wording). Your R00 will make you an attractive candidate for an independent position.

      • SaG said

        The Title “Adjunct Asst. prof” and ability to “apply for grants” worries me. It can sound like you already have an R00 eligible faculty job. Listen to Writedit….You should really discuss this with your PO.

  139. ESI R01 applicant said

    Thank you so much for this resource. I am an ESI and just received scores for an R01 A0 to NIDCR as primary institute, (secondary institute is NCCIH). Impact score 47, percentile 34. I will wait for the summary statement before contacting my PO, and I plan to resubmit. But I was just wondering if anyone knows paylines for ESI in NCCIH and whether it is worthwhile contacting a PO from this institute as well, once I receive my summary statement? My research fits funding priorities for both institutes. Thank you.

    • writedit said

      Your score and percentile, even as ESI, are almost certainly too high for either IC, especially since they have no idea what their budget will be for FY21 (and probably won’t until next year – you don’t want to wait that long). You will definitely want to submit an A1, so when you get your summary statement, you should talk with your NIDCR PO about strategies for addressing the reviewer concerns, especially if they can add any insight from the actual meeting. You are not the one to decide if a secondary IC can consider your application (your NIDCR PO must contact the NCCIH PO and relinquish the application), but secondary ICs rarely pick up competitively scored applications for funding, and certainly not an above-payline application. However, if your work might be of interest to NCCIH, you should identify an appropriate PO there (you can use the RePORTER Matchmaker tool plus review the NCCIH program director bios) and discuss your science with them. You might even consider developing a second project in parallel with your NIDCR R01 application that targets NCCIH priorities. It’s always good to line up multiple projects that target different ICs (and different agencies/organizations) and can be sent to different reviewers.

      • ESI R01 applicant said

        Thanks a lot Writedit for the sound advice!

  140. R21 Curious said

    Hello there! My colleague recently received an impact score of 20 on an R21 that was submitted in response to an RFA (and reviewed by a special emphasis panel specific to the RFA). Any idea why we would not get a percentile ranking?

    • writedit said

      No percentile because this was reviewed in a SEP, which does not meet each cycle (generally does not meet more than once period) and therefore cannot calculate percentiles (based on scores from past 3 cycles). That score should definitely be considered for funding, but award decisions for RFAs are as much about programmatic interest and priority as the impact score. When you get your summary statement, you can check in with the PO about next steps, though if this is for FY21, the PO won’t be able to say much about when funding decisions will be made (federal budget won’t be signed into law until next year).

      • R21 Curious said

        Thanks so much!

  141. SM said

    Hi Writedit, Is there a specific timeframe one can expect the NOA after the status changes to “Award Prepared”? It’s been a 8 days since my status changed to “award prepared” but still haven’t gotten the final notice. Based on the previous award timelines for most institutes this around 3-6 days. I know it’ll come but just wanted to see if this is an automated process or will there be a manual signing off on the final award that might be getting delayed.

    • writedit said

      A live human being needs to sign off on the prepared award before it is issued, so the time frame depends on this person’s availability and backlog of NoAs awaiting review. The delay is not bad news, just more hurry up and wait time.

  142. ESI gator said

    Dear Writedit, Thank you so much for your advice. This is one of the greatest help I have been getting. I am an ESI and applied my first R01 in June 2019 to NIA. I received percentile 24. I am still in the status of “pending council review”. Does it mean I still have a chance to be awarded depending on changes in payline in the future? Thank you for your help in advance!

    • writedit said

      If you applied for an R01 in June 2019 (reviewed fall 2019) and still have a Pending Council review status, then you need to contact your PO to see what is going on. No matter what, your application should not be still pending Council review. If your application falls in the ADRD category (ESI ADRD payline, 33rd percentile), then you should be considered for funding. If your application is not considered ADRD (ESI payline, 16th percentile), then talk with your PO both about the delay and strategic advice for an A1 submission in November.

  143. ESI gator said

    Thank you very much for your advice! I am contacting the PO regarding this. As NIS used to increase payline at the end of the year, I was thinking (or hoping) the applications under pending status will be reconsidered.

    • writedit said

      Just to clarify – your status says “Pending Council review”, correct? If it just says “Pending” or “Pending administrative review”, then your application is being processed for an award (and you should receive a JIT request, if you haven’t already). “Pending Council review” means someone needs to take a look at what is going on with your application.

  144. DC said

    Dear Writedit,
    I got my first R01 last year and was really excited about being able to finally working on my ideas. Then the second NOA is delayed – today was supposedly the starting date. I am wondering what could this be and can’t help feeling anxious. I already wrote to the PO and GMS, although I did not directly ask about it 1 week ago. It’s “pending administrative review”. Your site has been tremendously resourceful and helpful, I’d appreciate if would let me know what is your thought about this. Thanks! DC

    • writedit said

      Your start date is not an expiration date, so no need to feel anxious at all. The NIH staff is struggling with the same restrictions and challenges as everyone else under COVID-19, so everything is less efficient. If someone in your application chain is ill or has a family member who is ill, there is no one to fill the gap. Even in the best of times, “Pending administrative review” can last weeks to months. Your PO is out of the loop at this point, and your GMS will let you know if anything is needed. If you have all your approvals and there is no overlapping funding or any other issues, you can be confident and hopeful for an award in the next month or two – definitely before September 30.

      • DC said

        Hi Writedit, thank you very much! I get new perspective every time I visit here. I hope (very sincerely) that things could move forward soon. Thanks again for your insight.

    • Ruthie said

      My NoA for my 3rd year of my R01 (NIA) was also delayed, which made me anxious. It finally came almost 3 weeks after the start date. Everything was as expected on the NoA. I think they are just really backlogged and/or short staffed right now.

      • DC said

        Hi Ruthie, thanks for sharing your experience. It certainly make sense. It also kind feels like dominos, delays lead to delays…. Good luck with your research!

  145. Domino Lovers said

    Dear Writedit,

    My first submission of an R21 received a score of 45 (reviewed in November, 2019). I resubmitted in March this year and ironically it was even not discussed. I believe we have addressed all the comments/suggestion adequately. This made me wonder in future submissions whether I should consider resubmission if the first submission score is higher than 40. It seems resubmission is a waste of time.

    • writedit said

      I have seen scores go from fundable (on the bubble) to ND, so while not typical, it’s not unusual. You could have different reviewers, reviewers who found different problems with the resubmission (not flagged in the A0 review), or reviewers who just weren’t excited about the science. Usually with high scores and ND, it’s better to try again with an A0, but a 45 could go either way. If you have a helpful PO, often they can give some guidance based on their familiarity with the SRG and their take of the summary statement. If the Significance has consistently high scores, then you probably have reviewers who are not excited about the science, so you might want to look into reframing your question and/or changing SRGs (to a panel that would be more enthusiastic about your work). Again, this is where a helpful PO can help.

      • Domino Lovers said

        Dear Writedit, Thank you so much for your response and suggestions. I feel a lot better. I have not received the summary report for the resubmission (for the first submission, the scores for significance ranged from 2 to 3). It will be interesting to see how high the scores are this time. Thank you for your suggestion regarding next steps. It is very helpful.

        Also, what you noted brought up a question that I have been thinking to ask and would like to have your advice/input. For SRG, is it correct that we are not able to choose a review panel but follow CSR’s assignment? If I appeal against an assigned review panel, will this impact the review of my submitted proposal? Thank you for your help as always.

      • writedit said

        You can and should pick your SRG. You can list your choice on the PHS Assignment Request Form, which allows you to communicate your preferred SRG(s) as well as IC and reviewers who should be assigned to read your application (with rationale). The reviewers themselves never see this form – just CSR and the SRO. Your PO can give great advice on picking an SRG, and you can use the CSR Assisted Referral Tool, in which you paste in your abstract to get a ranked list of the most appropriate study sections. CSR generally accepts assignment requests, but your application may not be assigned to your top choice for a number of reasons: the SRG was broken into two panels or merged with another panel, the assignment is not appropriate based on the application science (some PIs choose SRGs that are kind to their colleagues), the membership and hence type of expertise/interest is in transition (so SRO feels another SRG is more appropriate), the application could go to 2 or more SRGs & was redirected for a better balance of numbers in each possible SRG, etc. You can inquire as to why your requested assignment was not honored, but if CSR does not agree with moving your application to your preferred SRG, their decision is final (you do have the option of withdrawing the application). 

  146. DP5 Applicant said

    Hi writedit, is there a way to check when NIH staff will meet to discuss funding for DP awards? My DP5 application received an impact score of 30 and a positive summary statement. My PO asked me to submit a 2-page response and then mentioned it would be radio silence until funding decisions come out in ~July (or even as late as September). Now that it’s July, I’m wondering if I should reach out to my PO to get another update? Trying to plan for re-submission (due in September) if my application won’t be funded…

    • Vanessa said

      I also applied for the DP5 this year. I reached out in late June and she didn’t have an update for me, other than to say that decisions are still underway and that they hope to make final decisions this month. My plan was to check in again in another week or two. This year was a resubmission for me and compared to other POs I’ve had for other types of grants, I find this PO to be very responsive and understanding. I don’t think it hurts to check in with her from time-to-time. Good luck with your application!

      • writedit said

        Thanks for sharing your experience, Vanessa – great intel. COVID-19 has slowed down all NIH processes, so you might want to wait until late July to check in again (especially since this PO will likely reach out with updates when there is news to share), unless you need more time and input to work on your resubmission, DP5 Applicant. In that case, seeking her advice on your resubmission strategy would be useful.

      • DP5 Applicant said

        Thanks for the info Vanessa and writedit. I agree this PO is great, but is it typical for POs to follow up if you do NOT receive an award?

        I feel pretty confident in my resubmission strategy and got feedback from my PO early on should I need to resubmit. I’m just trying to figure out how long until funding decisions will be made because I don’t want to spend a bunch of time writing the A1 if my A0 gets funded.

        I’ll plan to reach out to my PO towards the end of July as writedit suggested. Vanessa, please pass along any info if you hear back sooner – hopefully we both hear back with good news soon!

      • writedit said

        I understand completely about not wanting to work on an A1 that isn’t necessary. I think this PO would let you know the outcome either way since she requested extra information and gave you fair warning about the radio silence (ie, sounds like she’s saying she’ll break it with news, one way or another). If you have any concerns about getting the A1 ready in time, you could ask her sooner about whether you should be working on resubmission, but if she’s still not sure due to lack of updates, she might well tell you to start working on it for insurance, since she won’t want you to risk missing the September submission date.

    • Vanessa said

      My application (obviously) wasn’t funded last year and I didn’t receive any notification. My era commons status remained as “council review complete” and I didn’t receive any emails. I also knew my probability of funding was likely very low, so didn’t bother to reach out. I operated under the assumption that I wasn’t going to be funded and so moved forward with putting together a new application in June. Plus I remember previous applicants not hearing back until late July or early August, so thought it best to at least start the process of putting together a new submission if that was the earliest I’d hear back. Will certainly post if I hear anything!

    • Vanessa said

      Hi DP5 applicant – notifications went out last week for those who received an award from the common fund, just FYI.

      • DP5 Applicant said

        Dang, no email here. 😦
        Any luck from your end?

      • Vanessa said

        Unfortunately not! Looks like I will be re-applying one last time. She did say that the ICs haven’t made decisions yet and have the next three weeks to do so. The emails that went out are for those who were selected by the common fund, but there’s usually another (smaller) group that gets funded by the individual ICs.

    • DP5 Applicant said

      Hi writedit. Three follow-up questions: 1) my application was recently transferred to another institute, does this mean select funding is likely? 2) I heard decisions will be made this coming week, but I haven’t heard about my application yet. Does NIH typically fund close to, or even the day of the deadline? 3) If my application does move forward, how quickly does JIT need to be submitted?

      • writedit said

        This is good news, since an IC would not take an application unless they were considering funding it. Awards can be made any time up to September 30, and often the Director’s awards are made in August or later, so this is not unusual. You will need to submit JIT as soon as requested since there is so little time for processing. If you need regulatory approval (IACUC, IRB, etc.), please start working on that ASAP. If your JIT is not ready when requested, your application may be skipped due to the time crunch. You can contact the DP5 PO at the IC to which your application was assigned for additional advice.

      • DP5 Applicant said

        Another update: I recently submitted JIT and was told informally that my A0 is very likely to receive funding. But the 9/30 award timeline makes for a difficult situation as my A1 would be due 9/4. I’ve been delaying working on my A1 until I heard a more concrete answer, but now it’s getting very close to the A1 deadline. Should I wait a bit longer? Or start on the A1?

      • writedit said

        If you did not ask your PO this question explicitly, you should do so. They will only tell you to hold off if you are relatively certain (assuming no black swan event) to receive an award. If there’s any doubt, they’ll tell you to submit.

  147. Chong Wu said

    Dear Writedit,

    We submitted an R03 this Feb. and got Impact Score 28, Percentile 6%. We received an automatic Just in Time request on July 1, which said we need to submit JIT 60 days before the starting date (Sept. 1). It seems we missed the deadline. Does this really matter? I am very worried about it.

    We contacted PO today. I wonder if we need to submit the JIT directly or we need to discuss it with PO first. Thank you so much. We find this source is extremely helpful.

    Thanks,
    Chong

    • writedit said

      Unless the FOA lists a start date in September, a February application is usually for the next FY (FY21). If your application falls in the FY21 timeline, even if you listed a September 1 start date, the NIH is not held to that (and start dates are not expiration dates, either – there is nothing binding about them at all, except the one on the NOA, which dictates the timing of RPPRs). Even if your application is for FY20, you don’t need to worry about the 60 days before the start date instruction (automated line). The award can be issued up until September 30, and in the final months of the FY, applications are processed with much less than 60 days lead time.

      • Chong said

        Got it. Thank you so much. I learned a lot form many conversations in this blog. Thank you!

  148. SB2010 said

    Hi Writedit,

    I recently got a K99 award and the salary in my NOA was lower than my current salary that we requested, which is also well with in my IC’s allowed salary limit for K99. We sent an email asking if this can be changed but have not heard back from the GMS. Do you think it’s an error and will be changed to the requested amount? As a part of JIT we had to provide a letter stating that I would not be receiving any salary support from another early career development award I hold, which we did. I also checked if this was due to % effort but its still lower than that. I’ll wait for the GMS to respond but just wanted to see if you have any idea as to why this may have happened.

    Thanks.

    • writedit said

      Sorry – hard to say without details, but they can amend the NoA if there was a mistake (vs an intentional change). Your grants administrator should be able to work it out with the GMS, who is no doubt busy with a long list of applications in need of processing and may be waiting to hear back from the chief GMO (if your query was sent higher up the hierarchy).

      • K99 applicant said

        For K99, are we allowed to request the salary higher than the current one we have? When I prepared my budget with my admin, they told me to just request the maximal amount allowed by the IC (which for sure is much higher than my current salary provided by the non-federal postdoc fellowship).

      • writedit said

        Aha. This is the problem. You cannot use the upper K99 limit to get a raise. ICs set higher limits to accommodate applicants from areas with high cost of living, such as San Francisco, New York, Boston, etc. The IC will base your salary support on what your institution currently pays you and others with your number of postdoctoral years. From the FOA: “The requested salary must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the institution and with salaries actually provided by the institution from its own funds to other staff members with equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the department concerned.”

      • SB2010 said

        You can request the maximum allowed salary but its not guaranteed. As writedit said IC’s determine the cap and they apply it. Although in my case we only requested my current salary which is well within my IC’s max. allowed salary limit, I still din’t get it. I am in a high cost of living city and on top of it I was asked for assurance that I wont get salary support from other career development grant and still ended up with a salary budget in NOA that was lower than my current/requested salary.

      • K99 applicant said

        Oh okay. 😦 I live in a city with high cost of living. Unfortunately my current salary is whatever my postdoc fellowship pays me (which is slightly lower than NIH F32…) and my PI does not provide any supplement. I know this is common in academia. But I feel I’m underpaid and want to quit and go for industry. Anyways…Thank you writedit and SB2010 for your reply!

  149. SMO said

    I submitted a R21 proposal for a specific RFA (no published R21 paylines or guidance from the institute). It was scored 41, percentile N/A. I’ve submitted other NIH grant proposals, but nothing funded yet. Initial conversation after summary statement received – PO thought the review was really positive but it wouldn’t be funded and to plan for resubmission. Most recently it moved from council review completed to pending administrative review. Which often corresponds to something at least being considered for an award. I sent an inquiry to the PO and GMS about status. PO indicated GMS would respond to inquiry. GMS response was that ‘we have not yet received approval for funding at this time’ and then the status changed from pending administrative to council review completed in eRA. I don’t want to keep with inquiries as it seems the vagueness is deliberate, but it would be helpful to have some insight on what all this might mean.

    • SaG said

      I’d go with what the PO told you. Though they could be considering reaching to pay it the odds might not be high. Sounds like the pending admin review was a mistake. The vagueness is on purpose. No PO wants to suggest that an app will be funded then have their boss (or their boss’ boss) say no.

  150. writedit said

    Yep, what SaG said. The GMS keeps track of application processing (PO not in that loop), so the GMS is the correct contact in this case, and someone could have opened your application to by accident or to change something quickly but left it pending (and you caught the status due to personal vigilance). If you have been struggling to get a fundable score, ask your PO for advice on your Introduction and revised aims and ask your mentor and colleagues to review this as well (and the Research Strategy – 6 pages should not be too much of a burden). If you are at an institution with a CTSA, this center or institute might be able to help you develop your applications, too.

  151. Jason said

    Can you help me understand if and how SBIR awards can move from one year to another? Currently, we have two SBIR Fast-track awards: one is in Phase I (6/20-11/20, $225k) and another in Phase II (1/20-12/20, $750k) — both with NIGMS and the same program officer.  What happens if we don’t spend all of the money in 2020? Can we request for some of it to move to 2021? If so, how and when would we do that?

    • Brian said

      I have a lot of experience with SBIRs, so I’ll try to help. First, the money is tied to the grant period defined in the NOA and not the calendar or fiscal year. Also, the Phase I portion of the Fast Track is an entirely separate grant from the Phase II portion. The Phase II portion itself is divided into two years, but will carry the same grant number for both years.

      I do not believe you can carryover Phase I money into the Phase II portion for a Fast Track. I suggest either using the money or requesting a no-cost extension if you need time to complete the objectives. This would delay onset of your Phase II award, but should have minimal impact on the chance of Phase II funding (which is not 100% either way). I suggest talking to the PO if you want to explore this option. Also note that you cannot extend the timeline of the Phase I just because you have funds left over that you want to spend.

      The Phase II is different. Generally, first year Phase II funds that have not been spent will carry over into the second year. I believe this will happen automatically, but someone will correct me if I am wrong. If the first year’s spending is less than 75% of the first year budget from the NOA, you will need to justify the under-spending in your RPPR report. There is a chance your funding could be cut, but I feel this is unlikely.

      • writedit said

        Thank you for your very helpful reply, Brian! With the COVID-19 pause, POs should have more latitude with no-cost extensions and milestones, depending on the extent to which your work might have been affected (eg, access to lab suspended, supplies delayed, illness, shelter at home orders, etc.). I would recommend that you check in with your PO now so you can plan accordingly (everyone has been affected by the pandemic, including your PO, so you won’t be alone).

  152. f32supplement said

    What is the latest ballpark turn-around time for the NCI OGA to process extensions (in the form of admin supplements, which is with costs) that were reviewed by the NCI PO and leadership for about 1 month, then sent to OGA and obviously accepted for consideration 2 weeks ago?

    Thanks,

    Mike

    • writedit said

      I truly have no idea. I know from other posts here that NCI has been very slow in award processing in general, probably due to the reduction in efficiency and workforce and other impacts of COVID-19. The only guarantee I can make is that you’ll have it before September 30. Hopefully much, much sooner, but it’s impossible to say when. I would definitely recommend that you not contact the GMS or PO about this. It sounds like you will receive the funding, and they will get to it as soon as they can – you’re asking won’t make anything happen any faster, so my only advice is to hurry up and wait.

  153. NM2020 said

    Dear writedit:
    My first R01 application has been submitted today to NIH and I wonder if I need to do anything to qualify as a New investigator. I don’t qualify anymore as ESI, since I completed my PhD back in 2003, but do I still qualify as a New Investigator since this is my first R01 application? Is there any way that I can have this indicated in Era Commons or should I contact the program officer in this regard? Thank you very much in advance!

    • SaG said

      It should automatically be noted in your Commons acct. when you sign up for it.

  154. R01 said

    Your PO will notice that you are a new investigator. You can also discuss with him once you get a good score/summary statement.

  155. f32supplement said

    Does anyone know how long it takes to have an NoA revised and reissued?

    Thanks

    • writedit said

      Waiting is tough, but it will take as long as it takes, especially with COVID-19 and the end of the FY scramble. The length of time depends on the workload of the GMS, what needs to be adjusted, and who needs to sign off on it. 

      • Writedit,

        I appreciate the prompt responses and thorough feedback. COVID has thrown a wrench into everything.

      • SB2010 said

        I recently got my NOA revised in 3 days. It took a week to hear back from GMS. As writedit mentioned, all the staff seem to be occupied with Cycle 3 grants and also those that are being considered for FY ending on top of delays caused by COVID-19.

  156. Pjparker said

    Is an R43/44 with a score of 28 fundable by NCI

    • writedit said

      Possibly, but only your PO will be able to comment on this (after you have your summary statement). The question would be whether you need to prepare a resubmission, as no PO will be able to say if a score is “fundable” in FY21 (budget does not exist yet, though it does look promising for the NIH). If the PO advises preparing an A1 application, the next request would be for advice on strategy based on the summary statement and panel discussion (if PO “attended”).

      • PJParker said

        Thank you. If the grant is going to September council, doesn’t it still fall under the 2020 budget, though?

      • writedit said

        Aug-Sept-Oct Councils mainly approve applications for consideration for funding in Cycle 1 of the next FY (Dec 1 start date), though there are exceptions. For Cycle 3 SBIR applications, the start date can be in September (FY20) or December (FY21). I suspect the decision about whether to fund in FY20 or FY21 depends on the amount of money left in the SBIR program and the number of higher priority applications waiting for awards, but your PO can let you know for sure how your application will be handled and whether you should work on resubmission (likely yes if you won’t know until December or later).

    • Brian said

      Typically, R43/R44 scores around 30 are borderline for most agencies. NCI can be tough, but I think you’re in decent shape. You’ll have to talk to the PO, as Writedit suggests. Unless s/he can give you a definite answer (which is not likely), I would prepare an A1 application.

  157. Though appearing obvious at face value, what does “Pending Administrative Review. Please contact your PO or GMS…..” actually translate into? Essentially, what is involved with a “pending administrative review”?

    (This is for an admin supplement)

    • writedit said

      It means they are processing the application for possible funding. Not a guarantee, but an award would only be in doubt (or delayed) if the administrative review turned up any duplicate funding for the same work, regulatory approval concerns, ineligibility, etc. Your PO or GMS will contact you if they need any information. In the meantime, you can sit tight and wait for an award update. Supplements are faster to process than full applications, but everything is a bit slower with COVID-19 and the end of the FY scramble, so the timing is hard to predict.

  158. dp2 said

    I submitted a DP2 application that received a score of 22. In late May/early June it looks like it was assigned to the Common Fund/NIGMS. I then received a JIT request about a month ago, which I responded to. Since then it has been sitting as “Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.” From reading replies above, I gather this means funding is being considered but is not guaranteed? We are inching closer to this year’s due date and I am trying to assess whether I should be preparing to resubmit, as it seems like the decisions for IC-funded grants come out too late to know in time…

    • writedit said

      With that score, funding should be likely (though still not guaranteed, since decisions are made programatically, too). If your science is better suited for an IC other than NIGMS, it could be that the future administering IC is taking a while to process the transfer from GM and to process the award itself, though this is conjecture. COVID-19 and the end of the FY is making everything slower than usual. Your currently assigned PO (in NIGMS, I assume) might be able to say whether your application is being reviewed at GM or another IC, but they won’t know about funding certainty (the pending means you are being considered – potential reasons for not funding are out of the PO’s hands) or timing (POs are not in the application processing/approval loop even in their own IC).

      • dp2 said

        Thank you for your insight. This blog is a great resource for the community. Apparently the world sensed my unease and the status of my application changed today to “Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.” To be helpful to future readers, the timeline was

        5/29: Assigned Common Fund + NIGMS in eRA Commons
        6/19: JIT request
        7/16: Award prepared

      • writedit said

        Congratulations and thanks for sharing this timeline of application processing milestones. You may still have a bit of a delay in the NoA (your application award now waits in line for final approval & sign off). Best wishes for success with your research.

  159. DNAhappiness said

    My grants managements specialist has been emailing my grants office this week asking for fine-grain financial details on a pending award for which I do not yet have an NoA. I know that this is a good sign of forward progress, but wonder if this sort of work takes place after all the sign-offs or if there will need to be a sign-off after this point. Any insights? Thank you.

    • writedit said

      Good news, yes. Once any adjustments to this NoA have been made (depending on if there is any budgetary overlap and/or question of your available % effort), the GMS will put your award in line for review and approval by the Director (this is the delay between Award prepared and Notice of Award issued). The final final sign off comes at the very end. 

      • DNAhappiness said

        Thank you for this helpful information!

  160. SJ said

    Thanks for maintaining such a helpful and insightful website! We submitted a R01 grant in response to the PAR-20-178 call for COVID research and just received an impact score of 37. I know this score is not promising and maybe far from a fundable score, but would like know whether there is any information for this special request mechanism with regard to payline? Also, when would be a good timing to contact the PO? We are still waiting for the summary statement, but also don’t want to give PO impression that we don’t care. Lastly, if we receive the summary statement and there is no major concerns, does this mechanism allow for resubmission before the expiration date of August 10th? Thanks a lot.

    • writedit said

      You definitely want to wait for your summary statement to contact the PO about next steps (there is no need for communication before then). This FOA only allows new applications, so you would not submit an A1, but because they shortened the expiration date from April 30, 2021 to August 14, 2020, I would not recommend submitting another new application to PAR-20-178, even if you have your summary statement in time to revise and submit again as new. The dramatically shortened submission window means they are not looking to fund more applications (especially repeat submissions not funded the first time in). You would be better off reworking the proposal for another FOA in consultation with the PO.

      • SJ said

        Thank you very much for your information

  161. DP2 Applicant said

    Hi writedit, and Community

    I am a DP2 applicant with a score of 20, and just found out I will not be funded by the common fund. Do you have thoughts on the likelihood of being picked up by an IC? I’ll be working on the submission for August nonetheless.

    Thanks for your input

    • SaG said

      Hmm, the Common Fund usually funds pretty much via score. And 20 seems like a very good score. Who told you that you weren’t going to be funded by the CF? If an IC is picking up your app your grant number will change. Has it?

      • Dp2 applicant said

        Thank you for the feedback. No, unfortunately everything looks the same. I was told in the initial feedback call that I was in the “grey zone”. The summary statement seemed very favorable and concerns were addressed in 2 page rebuttal.

        Ravi recently emailed saying I was not in the group to be funded by the common fund. The standard text in the email – which I think everyone who is not funded by the common fund received – says that ICs have the option of picking up applications over the next month.

      • SaG said

        My best advice is try and figure out which institute is most relevant for funding your DP2 and contact a PO there. I have heard that lots of ICs fund DP2s at the last minute to use up end of year money.

      • writedit said

        Thanks, SaG! I agree on reaching out t the most appropriate IC(s), especially your mentor’s PO(s), assuming they are in the same IC(s) and same area of research. If not (or in addition), I would suggest using your DP2 abstract in the Project RePORTER Matchmaker tool to identify the most likely IC-specific POs and then check each IC’s “contact by scientific area” website pages to confirm the best PO(s) based on their bios and grant portfolios.

  162. K99 applicant said

    At what point would you ask the SRO when the summary statement will be released? It is now 40 days after the study section met and I don’t have it yet. This is for a K99 that was discussed but received an unfundable score. Want to get started planning for the resubmission, but don’t want to be a pest (this is my first NIH grant).

    • writedit said

      I assume you mean 40 calendar days vs 40 business days. Normally, you can expect it to take up to 6-8 weeks (but there is no official time by which they must be issued). With COVID-19, just about everything is taking longer. If you haven’t heard by mid-August, you could check in with the SRO – but that won’t necessarily speed anything up. In the meantime, you can focus on incorporating updates to your science and preliminary data since you applied and any new relevant training/skills that you could incorporate. This would be a good time to focus on getting manuscripts out, too.

  163. Feri said

    Dear writedit,
    Always enjoy reading this blog and your comments have been invaluable For me.
    I just saw my score posted for my R21 new application for NINDS that received a 16%. Based on their website It says that 16% is the Payline for all investigators but when I contacted my PO at NINDS, he said that they have set the pay at 14% without approved congressional NIH budget. So if the budget stays flat or decrease , this will be set at at 14% unless the budget increases which then it will go back to 16%. He ended his email with “ So not great news but hopefully it will work out.” I thanked him and also mentioned to him what I saw is written at NINDS website about the 2020 pay line and he hasn’t responded back which I don’t expect. Here is the information from their website. Please help me understand this! Do you think I should be hopeful? Thanks so much and all the best, Feri

    NINDS Funding Strategy FY 2020

    On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed H.R. 1865 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 and NINDS and NIH received a full year appropriation. Though still awaiting final approval on NIH funding policy and details of the appropriation, NINDS is issuing this updated interim funding guidance based upon the expected final appropriation.

    Competing Applications

    The table below describes the paylines for different categories of new and competing applications. The payline applies to the following activities: R01, R03, R15, and R21. Applications within these paylines will be funded with rare, NANDS Council-approved exceptions.

    Investigators General Pay Line
    All Investigators 16%
    Early Stage Investigators 25% (only R01s)

    • writedit said

      Your application is for FY21. Although Congress is definitely planning on flat and possibly slightly increased appropriations for the NIH, nothing is certain until either the HHS-Labor-Education appropriation bill is signed into law or an omnibus bill funding the entire federal government is (or smaller omnibus bills). With the election and everything else that is going on, I can’t predict the likelihood of the NIH FY21 appropriation being signed into law by Oct 1, but I would say the odds are pretty low. Until the FY21 appropriation is signed into law, all ICs will operate at CR levels, which is 90% of the FY20 appropriation and no or very limited new awards until the FY21 appropriation arrives. This is why your PO is noncommittal but vaguely hopeful – but he has no other information or advice to help you and won’t until about 2 months after a President signs the federal budget into law, since it takes that long for money to trickle down to ICs – and they won’t know their exact appropriation until it passes down from HHS to NIH to IC (with $ skimmed off for administrative costs at each level). He didn’t respond to your comment on the FY20 funding strategy because it is not relevant to FY21 and is busy with urgent end-of-the-FY activities helping those with FY20 applications-awards. Still sounds like a good PO. You can watch the federal budget situation and the HHS appropriation bill especially, but you won’t know about funding likelihood until December or possibly next spring, so you would be well advised to submit an A1 in November, especially if nothing is happening with the federal budget. I think it would be a good idea to get in this fall under FY21 (which looks promising right now) rather than wait for FY22 (Feb/March 2021 applications).

      • Feri said

        Thanks so much for the feedback Writedit! I now understand what’s happening.

  164. davidzangao said

    WriteIt:
    My R01 revision was scored at 23% in June 2020; new investigator. I thought that it was not good enough and called the PO(nichd) in June. She encouraged me to revise and said all concerns are addressable. Today, I received her email:
    “could you pls send response to all reviewer-identified weaknesses, no firm page limit but pls be concise, by end of month?
    Thanks and best,”
    Is this a good sign? Any advice? Thanks a ton!

    • writedit said

      This is indeed good news. NICHD must have enough leftover funds for FY20 to start reaching for some R01s that it would like in its portfolio. Your PO sounds great, too, and she must have advocated for your application. You want to be quick like a bunny and get this off to her; 1-3 p would be good – the more concise, the better. You could send your 1-p Introduction for the A1 and a slightly longer, more comprehensive response, too. I would also suggest that you start working on JIT (especially if you need any approvals), since if (if) your application is picked for select pay, they would need to turn the award around by September 30th; you don’t want to submit JIT until it is requested (which it might not be – this isn’t a guarantee at all), but having it ready for rapid turnaround will be important.

      • Writedit, thanks very much for your insightful advice. Zan

      • writedit said

        You’re very welcome – I hope you get good news in the weeks ahead. I just realized you said this was a “revision”, though I’m not sure if you meant as a competitive supplement (Type 3 application) or a revised and resubmitted R01 application (Type 1 amended application or A1). Since there wouldn’t be an Introduction for the new (A0) submission of the prior A1 application, I would suggest you just prepare one response for your PO, keeping it concise but going over a page as needed to cover all concerns raised (no need to write as thank-you’s etc. as if for the study section – this is just for internal use at the IC).

      • Yes. It was an A1. I will prepare one response as suggested by the PO and you. Thanks again, Zan

  165. DP5 round 2? said

    Hi writedit and community,

    I applied for a DP5 in September 2019 and am still waiting to hear about a final funding decision (not updates since I received my score in march). If my application is not funded I would like to reapply next cycle this upcoming September – does reapplying count against the institutional cap of 2 applicants per institution? Thank you!

    • writedit said

      There is no resubmission – only new applications are accepted. You would submit a new application that would count as one of the two applications allowed from your institution.

      • DP5 round 2? said

        Great to know, thank you for clarifying!

    • DP5 Applicant said

      FYI, Common Fund decisions for DP5 applications came out by 7/17. If additional ICs pick up DP5 awards, they have until 8/7 to process them.

      • DP5 round 2? said

        Thank you for letting me know, this is very helpful. I am keeping my fingers crossed but it sounds like I should switch my focus to resubmitting.

  166. Kapplicant said

    Hi Writedit,
    I have submitted a K99 in cycle II last year, and the score is slightly above the payline. So I was kind of giving up hope on it getting funded. However, the status of my application has changed to “Pending” recently. And I was requested to submit JIT by the GM last week. PO told me that there is no guarantee whether my K will get funded. I am curious what is my chance here? And what will the NIH timeline be for such decision to be made?
    Thank you.

    • writedit said

      This is good news but not a guarantee. It means your IC has money left over that it needs to spend before September 30 (end of FY20), so they are reviewing many applications to be sure they have enough processed for rapid funding. No IC can carry over funds from one FY to the next, which is why there is always a flurry of last-minute application pick-ups in July-September. I assume you got your JIT in. You may not know for certain until late September (just before FY20 ends).

      • Kapplicant said

        Thank you for your reply. I guess this is a select pay among all types of grant mechanism (Ks and Rs)? If so, is this kind of a long shot still?

      • writedit said

        Yes, ICs are looking at all mechanisms and activity codes for select pay awards, but that doesn’t reduce your odds. Decisions now are made on programmatic priority.

  167. Ryan Wu said

    WriteIt:
    My SBIR Phase 2 application (Sep 5, 2019) to NHLBI received an impact score of 28 (consideration range 10-40) without major concerns in Scientific review last November. It was not funded in February’s Council meeting, nor in the June Council meeting. I am wondering we can do next. We can certainly address the few minor concerns, but still run the risk to fail in next Council meeting.

    Thank you!

    • writedit said

      You want to talk with your PO about whether NHLBI is excited about and interested in your R&D, which is as big a factor as your score. If they are not interested in seeing this project continue to move forward, then there is no point in submitting again. If your PO is supportive, then the next conversation is how to make the next application more attractive to both reviewers and NHLBI program to be more competitive for an award.

      • Ryan said

        Writedit:
        Thanks a lot. I will ask the question to PO in next call.

  168. tupanwe said

    I submitted a revised K01 (A1) grant application March 2019. It was reviewed in June 2019 and my score was +6 above the pay line. I then resubmitted a revised application with more prelim data this May 2020 to the same institution. Late June 2020, I received an email from the Grants Management Specialist requesting for JIT of which I submitted two days after. The status changed to “Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist”. What does this mean? The PO is the same for my first submission, A1 and the recent submission. Should I contact him to discuss prospect for funding? or should I wait and see.

    • writedit said

      As the end of the FY draws near (Sept 30), ICs need to spend their entire appropriation, so they start processing multiple additional applications to ensure all the money is spent. Your March 2019 A1 is being considered for funding after all (this is unrelated to your submission of the new A0 in May 2020). Your PO will not know the status of your March 2019 A1 in terms of funding likelihood, so there is no point in contacting them. Please just be sure to respond to the GMS quickly if you are contacted for additional information. If your March 2019 A1 receives an award, your May 2020 A0 will be withdrawn; if not, the May 2020 application will proceed to review as usual. And if the March 2019 A1 application does receive an award, be sure to thank your PO, who likely advocated for your application to receive additional consideration (without your being involved).

      • tupanwe said

        Thank you Writedit for your insightful feedback!
        I did submitted all the JIT information 2 days after I received an email from GMS. Since my application is being considered for select pay and the P0 is not involved at this stage, what could possibly go wrong not to get funding? This is my first experience with NIH funding.

      • writedit said

        Your application is in a long line of applications waiting to be funded, so the money could run out before they get to yours. Usually, ICs do not request and process JIT information unless they intend to fund the application (save time and effort at NIH) – except at the end of the FY, when time is of the essence, and ICs would rather have more applications than they can fund ready for awards. An application ahead of yours may be skipped if the PI needs regulatory approval, duplicate/too much funding, or other JIT items that the IC does not have time to work out. The IC would like to fund you and will if the administrative review goes well and there is funding left when your application reaches the front of the line for award processing.

      • tupanwe said

        I wanted to share my timeline for those who have applied or thinking of submitting a K application. Thank you Writedit for maintaining this blog. Your input and feedback has been extremely valuable.
        Folks, this was my 2nd application of the 3 application. All in all DO NOT GIVE UP!

        08/25/2020 Application awarded.
        08/17/2020 Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.
        06/30/2020 Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.
        10/30/2019 Council review completed.
        06/21/2019 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.
        03/18/2019 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
        03/08/2019 Application entered into system

      • writedit said

        Congratulations and thank you for sharing your timeline! Wow – you definitely had long periods of radio silence, which are really important to share, so thanks again. Best wishes for success with your career in biomedical research!

  169. NGR said

    Hi Writedit, Thanks for maintaining this great blog for a young researchers like me. I am an ESI, and a coronavirus researcher. I had submitted a R01 application to NIAID in Oct19 that scored 30%ile in Feb20. Reviewers comments were largely very positive I was told in May-20 that my PO is ” working to have my application funded as a select pay, but have not gotten approval yet for it. Will let me know if that changes, though!”. I had asked if I needed to resubmit or provide rebuttal. I wasn’t suggested to do either. I would’ve resubmitted in July if was told to do so. I recently emailed my PO requesting an update on the grant application, but didn’t hear back. I appreciate if you could provide some insight on what to expect and how to approach further given end of FY is close.

    • writedit said

      If your status is still Council review completed and you have not been asked for JIT, you might want to try to call your PO – but also start thinking about a November A1 (and getting in a manuscript that supports your application). Missing the July deadline is unfortunate but not the end of the world, especially if the extra time allows you to strengthen your application with additional data or a manuscript accepted. Unless Congress manages to pass appropriation bills before the election, I expect FY21 will be pretty chaotic, with the first cycle applications especially quite delayed, and possibly cycle 2 (June-July) as well. The key will be to resubmit this fall, and you’ll have plenty of notice since the FY ends September 30. However, there is definitely still time for your application to be funded via select pay. 

      • NGR said

        Thank you! My application status still is “Council review completed” and I have not been asked to submit a JIT. I am surprised PO didn’t suggest me to resubmit despite asking about it 3-times (may be PO is occupied with COVID stuff). I will plan to resubmit in the fall. How late select pays are awarded and do you think 30% is at higher end to consider for select pay for an ESI (and coronavirus) application.
        I appreciate your help!

      • writedit said

        The select pay decision can come any time up until September 30 (but processing of your application would need to start much earlier). If you contacted your PO three times about whether to resubmit in July and never heard back, you might want to contact the PO’s branch/division chief for advice. This seems unusual for a PO who had been encouraging about select pay and in fact did not advise you to resubmit (most POs do not want to risk an investigator’s funding situation by not recommending resubmission if an award is not certain). If something has happened related to COVID-19, you may not have any way of knowing this, which is why I would suggest you politely contact whomever oversees the branch or section in which your PO is located (check on IC website) to explain your situation as you have here and to seek an update on your application and recommended next steps (including whether your PO is available or should you start working with another PO).

  170. Shinny Purple Eagle said

    Dear Writedit, I was told from the PO that my K99 is going to be funded. I had proposed a 100% effort for my K99 proposal and made a reduction to 75% in the previous JIT. A couple of days ago, the PM sent me an email to confirm the reduction of 25% or I want to stay with 100%. I was wondering whether the reduction will affect the funding opportunity, or to play safe, I should stick to 100%? Thank you so much for your help

    • writedit said

      The question is why did you request the change from 100% to 75%. You will need to explain the change and demonstrate that this will not interfere with your ability to complete everything proposed. The study section reviewed your application assuming 100% effort on your part, and your PO will need to determine if such a significant change in effort (25% is considered significant) affects your ability to achieve the aims as reviewed. This will be especially true if you are filling this 25% with another project or other duties that could detract from your ability to focus on the awarded project and training (conversely, a new complementary project funded by another source that arose recently should be okay  – though it sounds like this is not the case, since you can still go back to 100% apparently). Also, keep in mind that the money saved in salary will not be allocated elsewhere (ie, your award will just be smaller). 

  171. k-advice said

    Dear Writeedit,

    I submitted an A1 application for a K-award. After receiving the summary statement, I contacted the PO to ask if the application might be in competitive range for funding (the institute does not post a payline). The PO said that once the summary statements for all study sections have been released, he will be informed of the competitive range.

    I was wondering if you might have a sense of how many months I should expect that process to take, e.g. are we likely talking 1-2 months or 3+ months?

    Also, is there anything I might glean from the POs response that he needs to wait for all study sections to release their summary statements before responding? I didn’t realize that K paylines can be affected by the scores of applications reviewed in other (non-K) study sections and was wondering if that’s typical.

    Thank you for this amazingly helpful resource!

    • writedit said

      You should always wait for a summary statement before contacting a PO. They will never (because they cannot) offer any feedback on a score without a summary statement to convey the nature of reviewer concerns. Summary statements are usually available 6-8 weeks after scores are posted, but with COVID-19, a lot of NIH processes are much slower. Unlike scores, which are posted all at the same time, the SRO will issue summary statements as they are ready, so the timing of your summary statement will depend on where you are in line. There is nothing to glean yet until you have a summary statement. Even then, because this will be for FY21, your PO will not have a definitive answer, because the NIH does not know for sure what its budget will be – or when it will receive funding. Given the political climate and upcoming election, it is unlikely a federal budget be signed into law until next year, which means the NIH will operate on a continuing resolution that provides 90% of the FY20 budget (most ICs do not make any/many new awards during a continuing resolution). You will have your summary statement in time to prepare a new A0 application for October, if your PO recommends doing this (which is likely, if there is any question about funding, for insurance, since it could be many months before the PO has an answer).

      • k-advice said

        Thanks very much for the reply, it sounds like I should plan on submitting an A0 in October.

        Sorry if I was unclear, but I had already received and reviewed my application’s summary statement before contacting the PO with my question. The PO responded that he will be informed of the competitive range only after the summary statements for all study sections have been released, and I was wondering how to interpret the PO’s response and also around how long it may take for all other study sections’ summary statements to be released.

      • writedit said

        Aha – well, no way of knowing how long it will take for all summary statements to be released, but you can assume at least 8 weeks from study section meeting dates and perhaps longer. Your PO wants to review the spread of scores and the summary statements of everyone else who is in the same boat as you (upper end or just over likely future payline) to see which reviews are most supportive of select pay likelihood (but no matter what, the PO won’t be able to guarantee anything for FY21).

  172. Fred said

    Hi,

    Great website with awesome information! I wanted to run things related to two grants:

    1. R21: I submitted an A1 that received a 3rd percentile (payline has been around 9-10%) with a start date of July 1st. I emailed my PO around the start date and was told “it is on a signed funding plan.” As of today (about 3-4 weeks) eRA commons just says “pending” and no JIT request from GMS as well. Little nervous but maybe things r just delayed with COVID? I always stories how a well scored grant didn’t up getting funded. I also wasn’t sure what a signed funded plan, I assume that is not a NOA like thing?

    2. R03: for K awardees via NHLBI and received a 33 for A0. PO mentioned it was “very good score.” However I submitted a A1 which was due a day before the council met to be on the safe side. I received a GMS JIT request for the A0 which I submitted 1.5 weeks ago and eRA commons just has “pending.” Is this a good sign? Also for JIT they asked for the IACUC, support page and my response page. The JIt request came in about a 1-2 weeks after council so that seems like a good sign?

    • writedit said

      You can be optimistic about both applications. The R21 is almost certainly a victim of COVID-19 delays. The July 1 start date is not an expiration date, and the IC has until Sept 30 to issue an award. The R03 is also likely to be funded, pending the review of your JIT (“Pending” = “Pending administrative review”). It was a good idea to submit an A1 for insurance, but this can easily be withdrawn if/when the A0 NoA is issued. Again, the timing is not an issue – everything is taking longer, and both applications can be funded any time up until Sept 30. Now, I assume you have enough effort for the K, R21, and R03 – the administrative review for each application will consider all 3 awards and what it means for your effort.

    • Researcher said

      Hi Fred, I also received an impact score of 33 for my NHLBI R03. Did you find out from your PO what previous year impact scores have been funded by NHLBI? I did see a high success rate of 80% which is promising! I haven’t been able to find any information online. Thanks!

      • Fred said

        Hi, I did ask but didn’t get a firm answer. I think this particular R03 was inactive for little (had a friend who go it when he was at the tail end of his K with a IS of around 45 when they had this) and I submitted mine in the first date around 11/19 or so when they restarted this so we’ll see. Based my conversation with the PO it seems like as long as it has a decent score, they will programmatically pick but that is my guess.

      • Researcher said

        Hi Fred,
        Thanks for your response. I heard back from a PO who said that R03s don’t go by funding lines because it’s an RFA (compared to parent mechanisms that use a payline). NHLBI sets aside funds and has funding for ~21 applications in FY21 (or 7 applications per cycle). They said a score of 33 is in a pretty good spot especially since NHLBI leadership has been so supportive of the R03. So promising news for both our applications!

  173. writedit said

    The PO cannot help with submitted applications, so you would need to communicate with eRA Commons. it’s hard for me to tell what you mean about a collaborator, since career development awards don’t involve co-investigators (and letters should be submitted by people familiar with you and your work). I assume you do not mean a mentor. If this person was not flagged as inappropriate in the first application, their letter for the A1 should be fine, too (and won’t invalidate a good score).

  174. Salchi said

    Dear Writedit,
    It is my impression that the percentile score is what counts if one receives both the impact score and the percentile. Am I correct?

    I found in your great website that the R01 ESI payline for NIAID is 31 and for NIMH is about three-quarters of the applications under the 20th percentile, many ESI/NI applications up to the 25th percentile. I received an impact score of 14 for my ESI R01 application (I selected NIMH and NIAID). Could I be cautiously optimistic?

    • Salchi said

      * Percentile is 14.

    • writedit said

      If you were just scored, then your application will be considered in FY21, so the paylines are not known yet, but I expect they will be similar, if the current appropriation drafts are eventually signed into law. Paylines for FY21 probably won’t be known until next year (not until after President signs federal budget into law). The percentile is generally the metric for funding decisions, along with programmatic priority (especially at NIMH). The secondary IC (NIAID – I assume) doesn’t come into play unless NIMH decides not to fund your application and NIAID is sufficiently interested (their paylines don’t apply – they won’t accept the application unless they want it, which is rare for secondary assignments).

  175. ImmanK said

    I received a score of 31 on a K24 to NHLBI. Payline for K awards is 32. Can I be optimistic it will be funded? The start date is 9/1/20, and will Council need to approve it?

    • writedit said

      If your application was just reviewed, your application will be for FY21 (what you put for a start date doesn’t matter – it’s up to the IC, and it’s not an expiration date). The next Board meeting will be August 25, and with only a month thereafter before the end of the FY (Sept 30), NHLBI won’t be able to process a lot of awards for FY20. If the current draft appropriation bill for NIH is reflected in the federal budget signed into law later this year or (more likely) next year, then the paylines should be about the same. Still, when you have your summary statement (if you don’t already), you will want to talk with your PO about next steps, including whether you should resubmit for insurance, in case the payline does drop.

  176. Kobe said

    Hi writedit, thanks for maintaining this resource.

    My PO mentioned my A0 is likely to receive select pay in the next few weeks and that I may want to start preparing JIT for when an official request comes. However the letter of intent for my A1 is due before I could hear back about my A0. Should I submit an A1 LOI, or does this make my A0 less attractive?

    • writedit said

      A letter of intent is not required (only used to help anticipate the response and review needs), nor is it binding. It won’t affect anything with regard to the status of the A0, but since your PO is so positive, I would suggest you skip the LOI. I assume the PO is the same as the one associated with the FOA, so they will understand if you learn that you need to submit the A1 after the LOI deadline passes (without responding) and be able to communicate the reviewer needs to the SRO (and the same would be true if your PO is not listed in the FOA in terms of communicating with the SRO about review planning).

      >

  177. Sunny said

    Hi writedit, I just found this great website and resource, and have a couple related questions.

    My RO1 was just converted to a one-year R56 grant starting in August, as it is already A1 version, which cannot be resubmitted, for the next step, shall I submit it as a new application or renewal? I prefer to renew if it’s allowed so I will have one extra month to prepare for it. And when I renew, do I request continuous funding for another 4 years or 5 years as a regular RO1?

    In the renewal, can I just refine the same three aims of the original RO1 instead of proposing new hypotheses and new set of aims as we do for regular RO1 renewal? The reason why I ask is that I only have three months before the 11/5 due date, it’s very difficult for me to collect sufficient preliminary data for new aims. I am guessing that I should ask for another 4 years to continue working on my original RO1, which is impossible to be completed in one year.

    Thanks for your advice!

    • writedit said

      You will submit a new A0, not a renewal (not allowed, so all of your renewal-specific queries are moot). Because you should be using the R56 to obtain additional data to address concerns with the R01 application for which the R56 is awarded, you probably don’t want to submit in October, since you will have had funding for at most a month. Although you are allowed to submit in October, I would recommend waiting until February to be sure you can address all concerns with a strong new Type 1 A0 submission and perhaps get a manuscript in before then. If the prior study section liked your aims, then you would only need to modify them based on any additional new data. Your PO can give you advice on the timing and focus of your next R01 application, too. 

  178. Sunny said

    Thanks for your suggestions! If I submit a new A0 next February, then there will be a gap between the end of R56 (end of July, 2021) and the start of next RO1 (Sept. or Dec., 2021) if awarded. Can I ask for no cost extension of this R56 by then? I do have a new paper published in March, but missed the deadline of submitting to the prior study section review meeting, so can be used as part of the accomplishment of R56. However, this new paper is part of Aim 3 of the original RO1, so the reviewers would think this aim has been almost completed. I’ll have to come up with at least one new aim anyway. What a dilemma!

    • NIAIDFan said

      Yes; the first year no-cost-extension (usually considered to be automatic in academic settigns) on an R56 at the level of your institution’s grants management office with justification are allowed. In my undestanding, extending it even further requires the permission from your institute at the NIH (usually handled by the PO). Thanks.

      • Sunny said

        Thanks a lot, very helpful!

    • writedit said

      As NIAIDFan said (thank you!), you can get the NCE on your R56. Now, if you already have an additional publication that would strengthen your next Type 1 A0 submission, you could go for an October deadline – but as you note, you would need to revise/replace Aim 3 to avoid proposing any science reported in the paper – but the paper will be helpful in further establishing the significance-feasibility-rigor of your work. Again, I would suggest you talk with the PO for advice on how to handle the next application, both timing and substance.

      • Sunny said

        Great, thanks for the suggestions! I wrote to the PO today for advice. Love this website and recommended to my friend immediately, thanks for your quick responses too.

  179. BV-2020 said

    Below is the timeline for my R15 grant. Thank you so much for maintaining this website. Extremely valuable!

    Timeline for an A0 NHLBI R15 application
    10/24/19: Application entered (cycle III)
    11/06/19: Scientific review group pending. Refer any questions to the scientific review administrator
    2/03/20: Date of the study section
    2/07/20: Scientific review group complete: council review pending. Refer any questions to program official (note: the program official was not listed in the summary statement). Impact factor 24 (no percentile).
    2/21/20: Request for JIT
    2/26/20: Summary statement available
    3/26/20: Name of the program official became populated on the status information page (found out, by phone communication, that the program official was assigned at this time)
    6/09/20: Date of the council meeting
    6/15/20: Council review completed
    6/22/20: Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to program official or grants management specialist.
    6/23/20: Contacted by GMS to request additional JIT.
    7/22/20: Award prepared, refer questions to Grants Management Specialist
    7/29/20: Application awarded (Notice of Award [NOA])
    Note that there were many times that updates were populated first on the status information page, and days later on the status results page.

    • writedit said

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

  180. Becks said

    Hi,
    I have a quick question about submitting two different K proposals to two different institutes simultaneously. For example, can I submit two different K99 proposals to NIA and NCI simultaneously? Thank you for your help in advance!

    • SaG said

      Unlikely. the K99 FOA states, The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. An individual may not have two or more competing NIH career development applications pending review concurrently. In addition, NIH will not accept:
      .
      An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

      Cant see how you can propose 2 sufficiently different projects.

    • writedit said

      SaG is correct – and this applies to almost every NIH application (you cannot submit duplicate science in simultaneous applications – whether via different activity codes, to different ICs, or to NSF). Both ICs would know about both applications, and aside from the prohibition of submitting two career development award applications cited by SaG, the ICs would not appreciate your submitting an application that could be a total waste of time for their reviewers (if you accept award at other IC). You will need to go back to these ICs for funding throughout your career and do not want to start off with a black mark to your name. You should talk with POs at each IC to gauge their interest in your work and seek their advice and decide which to target. Finally, if you really have two fully independent projects in different labs both with publication track records, you might want to be looking at a different activity code (and probably don’t need more postdoc training).

  181. tiramisuxxx said

    Dear writedit, thank you for your previous help on my questions about my K99 applicaiton. I got the NOA a few weeks ago! In my original application I requested for 100% effort but I have requested to reduced it to 85% effort and have gotten the approval. The GMO said that they will now issue a new NOA. Do you know whether they will reduce the entire budget package by 15%, or will they just reduce the keypersonnel salary and fringe by 15%? Thank you very much!

    • tiramisuxxx said

      I forgot to say that the effort reduction is only for the first K99 year. I requested to keep 15% on an ongoing project that has been stalled during COVID-19. Thanks!

    • SaG said

      Your budget shouldn’t change. Percent effort and salary drawn are 2 separate things. You cant take more salary then your effort but you can take less. Unless, like some Med Schools, they force you to take salary that = your effort.

    • writedit said

      Yes, as SaG notes, you will have the lower salary level, but nothing else will (should) be changed. Congratulations on the award and best wishes for success with your career in biomedical research.

      • tiramisuxxx said

        Thank you SaG and writedit. Once I get the new NOA I will post my timeline here. It takes so long to finally be able to “take the champagne out from the fridge”.

  182. Sunny said

    Dear writedit, my PO responded to my question about the transition from A1 R56 to RO1, you are right that the A1 R56 is not renewable, so I will submit a new application. The new A0 should be the continuation of the R56 project. If I receive a fundable score on the new A0 (or its A1), the new award will be for 4 years and not 5 because the R56 is considered as Year 1 of the new grant. He did not answer my other questions which I would ask your advice: 1). If I submit the new application next February and it gets funded, the earliest start date is September, or most likely December, then it will be a 4-month gap after the R56 ends (7/31/2021), or even longer if awarded on A1 version, is a gap allowed between R56 and next RO1? I want to have more time to polish my application, rather than rushing to meet a receipt date. 2). for the new application, shall I use the same project title and include a progress report for R56, same as regular RO1 renewal, so the reviewers know I am applying for the continuation of the previous RO1 project? Thank you!

    • writedit said

      I’m glad the PO could help with your earlier questions. Yes, there can be a gap (and there usually is) between the R56 and R01. If you have funds to carry over, you can do that, but the gap does not affect the likelihood of the A0 or A1 being funded (same is true for a renewal – a break between budget periods does not affect the project itself). It is up to you whether to keep the title or modify it to reflect any new data and focus you might have, but you cannot include a progress report. The ASSIST application will not allow this for anything but a Type 2 application, and you cannot try to add it as another attachment. You can certainly highlight progress made with the R56 funding (you do not have an R01 project to continue), to demonstrate to reviewers that you have been productive in moving the project and science forward. This will just be part of your 12-p limit and integrated with the usual 3 components, depending on where the new data best strengthen your application (demonstrating significance of the work, highlighting innovation of your ideas or techniques, and/or showing the feasibility and logic of your experimental design and plan).

      • Sunny said

        Thanks a lot for your clarification and suggestions! I guess that I don’t need to include an introduction page either to address the critiques from the reviewers of the R56. In fact, the reviewers for the next cycle won’t be able to see the previous summary statement and proposals, unless the new application is assigned to the same reviewers, right?

      • writedit said

        Even then, they won’t be able to see it. Reviewers don’t see any prior summary statements except for A1s, and they don’t see prior proposals. Reviewers must destroy all materials after the study section meeting, and even if a reviewer who was on the panel when your last application was reviewed remembers your proposal, they must judge the scientific merit of the current application on its own, with no consideration to what has happened previously (ie, receiving the R56 does not predispose reviewers to look on your A0 favorably and has no bearing on whether you will receive a subsequent R01 – not all R56 awards convert to full R01 awards). You should make no assumption that you will receive an R01 – you need to receive a competitive score on the basis of scientific merit, just like any other application.

  183. House Atreides said

    Hello writedit!

    As a student who had never before applied for NIH funding, your blog has been a constant source of advice and encouragement throughout my entire Kirschstein-NRSA F31 application process (NIA). I am immensely grateful to you and your posters for the resource you have created together. Below is a timeline of my F31 application odyssey; I hope it’s as useful to other grant applicants as so many of the timelines on your blog have been for me.

    A0 Application (Initial Submission):

    4/08/2019 Status: “Application entered into system”
    4/26/2019 Status: “Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator”
    6/13/2019 Study Section meeting date
    6/17/2019 Status: “Scientific Review Group review completed. Refer any questions to Program Official”
    7/09/2019 Status: “Summary Statement available” (Impact Score: 42)
    7/31/2019: Phone conversation with PO who recommended I consider working on a resubmission

    08/04/2020 Status: “Application withdrawn: previous application funded” (see below)

    A1 Application (Resubmission):

    12/9/2019 Status: “Application entered into system”
    12/23/2019 Status: “Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator”
    2/27/2020 Study Section meeting date
    3/2/2020 Status: “Scientific Review Group review completed. Refer any questions to Program Official”
    3/14/2020 Status: “Summary Statement Available” (Impact Score: 24)
    3/18/2020 Phone conversation with PO regarding funding probability. PO stated that funding probability was reasonable based on reviewer comments and impact score
    4/3/2020 Email on behalf of PO requesting response to reviewer comments in Summary Statement
    4/27/2020 Response to Summary Statement submitted
    5/29/2020 Email conversation with PO regarding expected funding decision timeline. PO mentioned that she had recommended the application move forward and expected funding decisions would be made in June or July
    7/2/2020 JIT information requested (email sent directly to our department’s Pre-Award Administrator)
    7/6/2020 Status: “Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist”
    7/8/2020 JIT deadline
    7/24/2020 Status: “Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist”
    08/4/2020 Status: “Fellowship awarded”

    • writedit said

      Wow – thanks for submitting this well-annotated, very helpful timeline of your fellowship saga, and congratulations on your award! Best wishes for success with your doctoral program and career in biomedical research.

  184. K applicant said

    Hi writedit

    I got a JIT request from NIAAA GMS in mid-June and submitted within a week. My application status was changed to “Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist”.

    After a week, my PO asked me to turn in the data sharing plan and I submitted it to both PO and GMS in mid-July. The GMS replied to me right away and said he will check with my PO for confirmation of acceptance and approval.

    After that, I have not heard back from GMS and PO. My status is still “Pending administrative review”. Is it okay if I email my PO to check? Or should I wait longer because of COVID-19?

    Thank you!

    • writedit said

      I would suggest you just wait. Everything – at every IC – is taking longer due to COVID-19, plus they are busy with the end of the FY scramble. I suspect your data sharing plan was fine, and your application is in line for approvals outside the GMS’s control (and your PO is not involved at all in application processing or award preparation). If you are still pending by mid-August (end of next week or early the week after), you could check with the GMS to ask whether anything more is needed. I doubt it though – this is definitely the season of hurry up and wait.

    • R01 said

      In the same boat with 2 pending (JIT submitted in June-July) at NIAAA. It could happen in the second half of August hopefully or as late as in September.

      • writedit said

        Thanks for chiming in, and congrats on your two pending awards. Your experience also lets folks know that they don’t need to avoid submitting multiple applications in the same cycle.

      • DNAhappiness said

        I am having a similar experience. I submitted the JIT info in June and then mid-July my grants office received requests from the GMS for clarification of small details. Even after that my status didn’t change from Pending Administrative Review to Award Prepared until July 28 and there is no NoA yet. I keep coming here to reassure myself by seeing others report their experiences of waiting.

      • DNAhappiness said

        Update: Notice of Award came today, 8/7/2020.

      • writedit said

        Awesome – congratulations and thanks for sharing your experience to help alleviate the concerns of others who are still waiting. Best wishes for success with your research!

      • DNAhappiness said

        Thank you!! This blog is the best resource ever.

  185. Morningside said

    Dear writedit,

    I have a general question, is the budget for the subcontract sent to the grantee institute as part of a whole package or directly to the subawardee from NIH? My GMS said the subcontract will be in place, but the money we received (NOGA issued on 7/27) did not include that for subaward, the subaward PI did not receive notice from NIH either, shall we just wait? Please advise, thank you!

    • Brian said

      I am not writedit, but in my experience the subaward goes through the prime grantee. All of my NOAs show the subaward amounts.

      • Morningside said

        Thank you, Brian, for your response.

    • writedit said

      The subaward details will be on the PI’s NoA, because the PI is responsible for that work being done and progress being reported as part of the annual RPPR. You can contact the GMS to see if there was an administrative hold-up on issuing the subcontract award (ie, missing IACUC or IRB approval or other required documentation). If so, the subaward will be made when any required documentation is in hand. If there is no obvious reason for the delay, then you do want to contact the GMS for clarification and guidance.

      • Morningside said

        Thank you, I’ll follow up with the GMS.

  186. ESI said

    How often does an official JIT request (i.e., not the automated email) result in funding? What about for applications that were outside the payline, but have been identified for possible select pay?

    • writedit said

      Often but not always. At the end of the FY, decisions are made based on both programmatic priority and which awards can be made quickly (no regulatory approval needed, simple administrative review). Because ICs must spend their entire budget by September 30th, they need to have a certain number of applications reviewed and ready for award (ie, JIT processed in advance), so they can quickly spend down their funding on science of interest (payline not relevant at this point). This year, it is probably especially chaotic between the late receipt of the main federal appropriation (Feb-March) and the infusion of COVID-related supplemental funding in April-May. Whether you receive an award depends on how much $ is left by the time your application gets to the top of the list.

  187. R01 PI said

    Dear writedit,
    This is a very helpful blog! I am a seasoned investigator but learned a lot here. My score for NIDDK R01 A1 is right right at the 2020 payline of 16%-tile. My PO told me that this grant would be paid from 2021 appropriations. How likely that the 16th-tile for NIDDK will hold in 2021?
    And when will the funding situation for 2021 become more clear? Many thanks for any information.

    • writedit said

      FY20 paylines should hold. Despite the struggling economy and trillions in coronavirus relief funding, the House passed an appropriation for the NIH that includes a 1% increase in the base appropriation plus another $5B in one-time “emergency” appropriations. The Senate hasn’t begun work on any appropriation bills but is likely to support the House levels (no cuts, certainly). No guarantees, since nothing is especially normal right now, but based on the spending bill status currently, you should have a reasonable shot at an award. Now, the federal budget will almost certainly be significantly delayed due to the election, and final paylines may not be reached until even later, so you still may want to submit again (as A0) for insurance (or at least get another project in), since you don’t want to wait until late spring or summer 2021 to discover that you might not get an award.

  188. DNAhappiness said

    Dear writedit, do you have insight on the difference between a project period and a budget period? I received an NoA today. My application was a competitive renewal and the project period is listed as if I’ve had continuous funding for two grant periods, starting on 6/1/2015 but my budget period starts on 8/15/2020. It seems like I lost 2.5 months of time to work on the project. Am I understanding this correctly?

    • writedit said

      The budget period starts when the award is made, and next year, the budget and project periods should match (easier to administer the award, including RPPRs, if the renewal project period matches the original project period start-end). You shouldn’t have lost anything. If you had funds carried over from the prior project period, your competitive renewal will be reduced by this amount for the first year (and you’ll have been able to keep working). If you had no carryover funds to use over the past couple of months, and you do not spend your Year 1 money by the end of the budget period, these funds will carry over (so you might eventually have an extra couple months to work at the end of the project period through carry over funding).

      • DNAhappiness said

        Thanks, writedit, I was thinking of lost time, not lost money, because of the first “year” actually only being 8.5 months. Your comments are helpful.

  189. AnxiousSJ said

    Dear Writedit, do you have any insight about tracking the status of administrative supplement application? I submitted a admin supp application in response to NOT-AG-20-022 in late April and the status showed as “accepted for consideration” sometimes ago. But I could not track the status anymore a couple of weeks ago in the eRA commons, only my parent grant is listed there. At some point, the GMS did request some budget clarification and IACUC document from our OSP. Does this mean the admin supp application is not considered anymore since nothing can be tracked now in the eRA commons? Thanks a lot for your information.

    • writedit said

      If the GMS requested clarification, then they are processing your application; whether you receive the supplement will likely depend on whether the IACUC and budget information is acceptable. The awards are made internally, so you probably won’t see your eRA status change if/until an award is made. This can happen any time up until September 30, so that is when you will know for sure that you are not receiving an award. You can ask the PO if your administrative supplement is going to receive an award, so you know it’s status in terms of being on the paylist, but the PO won’t know when you might receive an award, if you are scheduled to be funded (everything on the grants management end is taking a long time due to COVID-19, and POs are not involved in award processing).

      • AnxiousSJ said

        Thanks so much for your information.

  190. R36 said

    There isn’t a lot of information the R36 mechanism so I thought I’d post my timeline here.

    07/15/2020 Awarded
    07/08/2020 Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.
    05/20/2020 Just in Time request (from GMS)
    05/13/2020 Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.
    05/12/2020 Council review completed.
    02/21/2020 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.
    11/27/2019 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
    11/18/2019 Application entered into system

    • writedit said

      Fantastic – thank you so much for sharing your experience and information with the community! Some might be interested in your impact score, too, since there are no public paylines for this activity code. Congratulations and best wishes for success with your doctoral project and career in biomedical research!

      • R36 said

        Thank you!
        My impact score was a 27. When I spoke to my PO after receiving the summary statement, they were optimistic and said it was within the fundable range, but could fall on either side of the funding line. This was in contrast to my A0 application with an impact score of 38, for which I was strongly encouraged to resubmit.

      • writedit said

        Aha – great intel on the R36 funding thresholds. Thanks again for sharing your experience!

  191. Susharla said

    Dear Writedit,
    I have a SC1 grant (my IC is NIGMS). Would I be eligible to apply for an administrative supplement on my current SC1 grant as per https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-18-591.html to cover cost increases associated with achieving new research objectives within the original scope of the peer reviewed and approved project? I am confused because NIGMS does not usually give administrative supplement on SC1 grants (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-GM-17-001.html), but hoping that Pandemic situation may be treated differently. I will greatly appreciate response and suggestions.

  192. writedit said

    If you look at PA-18-591, you’ll see the NIGMS Notices of Special Interest (NOSI). The current GM NOSI for this PA focuses on equipment purchases for NIGMS-funded R01, R35, and R37 awards. You want to contact your PO first (and this is true for anyone applying for any supplement – always talk with the PO first) to discuss whether NIGMS would accept your request.

    • Susharla said

      Thanks, Writedit for your response. I am waiting for my PO’s response.

  193. SmallFishBigPond said

    Dear Writedit,

    Thanks so much for maintaining this great grant website, on which I have learned a lot. I have two different but related questions:

    1. Is it rule of thumb that a proposal should be submitted as a new application rather than a resubmission if not discussed plus the reviewers’ scores are also bad. If so, should I submit it to a different study section to further avoid the same reviewers?

    2. Is there any bad impact on the proposals if I have two R21s in the same study section for the same cycle? I am PI on one and multiple PI on the other one. What if part of the methodology for the two proposals are similar?

    Thank you very much for your feedback.

    • writedit said

      For #1, no specific rule, but often it is better simply to submit a new A0, since there was no prior discussion to address (the main point of the Introduction for A1s). You should change study sections if there is one better suited to review your application – not just to avoid the prior reviewers. If they were the appropriate reviewers (but your application had too many weaknesses), you definitely won’t do better in an inappropriate SRG, and CSR would probably change the assignment if the requested panel wasn’t appropriate. You should concentrate on thoroughly revising the last application, using what you learned from the individual reviewers, and contact a PO about both your aims and study section recommendations (ie, stick with current SRG or request a new one). POs know all the potentially appropriate study sections for projects in their portfolio. You can also paste your abstract in both the Project RePORTER Matchmaker tool and the CSR Assisted Referral Tool. If you haven’t communicated with a PO about this application, I would suggest touching base as part of your resubmission planning. 2. Reviewers are instructed to review each application on the basis of its scientific merit. It is up to the ICs, not the SRGs, to decide if they want to fund two applications for the same PI in the same cycle (which does happen – not often but regularly). As long as the aims and objectives are distinct, an overlapping methodology applied to two different projects should be fine. No one can give a definitive answer without knowing both projects, but shared methods are not disqualifying per se. Again, the PO(s) involved could confirm that your use of the same method in both applications is acceptable.

      • SmallFishBigPond said

        Dear Writedit,

        Thank you so much for your detailed answers with a lot of valuable insights. My proposal would be appropriate for two different study sections. This R21 proposal was discussed both in its original and resubmission. One of the reviewers really held an unfavorable view against this application if not biased. I certainly feel that it is almost impossible to persuade that reviewer and it seems he/she is a standing member of that study section.

        Actually, we had already tried our best to revise the proposal in prior resubmission. So in the case, would you agree that changing study section might be a wise move?

        Thanks.

      • writedit said

        It’s really impossible for me to say, but I do know that sometimes PIs are a bit biased in their interpretation of/response to reviewer critiques. 😉 Again, your PO would give better advice based on knowledge of both your science and the potential study sections. Remember, too, that even standing members do not attend each meeting, and they rotate off regularly (no one is forever). By the time you submit again, your biggest critic could be gone. The bigger question is whether they understand your science – and whether the panel members have the appropriate expertise (you don’t know who reviewed your application, but you can look at the entire list, which you should always do before picking a study section). If some/most of these people publish in journals you read, then this is probably where your application goes. The ART tool can confirm.

  194. AnxiousR01 said

    Dear Writedit,

    Thank you so much for being a wonderful resource.
    A little background: I submitted a R01 application under the ESI status to NIMHD. My grant was reviewed under a special emphasis panel on 07/20/20 (Score 30, Percentile 14). I know these scores are not great and a tad on the high side.

    Since NIMHD does not publish paylines and contact with my PO has been limited (other than the initial email saying wait for your summary statements to discuss further), what do you advise on how I should proceed? I have emailed the PO a few times since I received my summary statements and he hasn’t responded yet. I know these are trying times, but he was super responsive initially and now nothing.

    1. Any advise or insights would be so helpful

    2. Received summary statements 2 weeks ago and most are addressable. I have emailed my PO with no response. Should I plan for a revise and resubmit (the problem is that this PAR19-373 had a specific submission date). So when would I resubmit? Next submission cycle is not till March 2021

    3. The council review on era commons is listed for 08/2020 with a start date of the grant listed as 09/2020. I am assuming this is because it was reviewed under a special emphasis panel.

    How do you suggest I should proceed.
    Thank you so much for your help.

    • writedit said

      I suspect it is too soon for your PO to know anything, though a brief reply saying so would be polite. You have until next March to submit again (yes, that is the only time you can submit again), so the PO knows there is no rush in getting back to you and would probably rather wait until there is concrete information to share. If you do not receive funding this cycle, check with the PO in October, after the Sept 30 FY deadline passes (everyone will be frantically busy until then), for advice on preparing the March 2021 resubmission. The next NIMHD Council meeting is Sept 4, so your PO may not have an update until early September (the 8/2020 is a generic eRA Commons date, not specific to your application). Application processing will happen quickly, so if you need any regulatory approvals for JIT, you might look into that. You will only have a day or two to submit JIT if the request comes.

      • AnxiousR01 said

        thank you so much for your response and guidance. Do you know what the paylines for NIMHD are for ESI?

      • writedit said

        I don’t know about any NIMHD paylines, but they have traditionally made relatively few R01 awards (compared with other ICs), so I suspect their funding decisions are based as much or more on programmatic priority (vs score). However, a 14th percentile (the more relevant number for benchmarking) is respectable for ESI, so that should help in internal discussions. 

  195. TraderJoes said

    Dear Writedit,

    Thank you for maintaining this excellent resource! My question pertains to no-cost-extension. Would a competitive revision (S1) be extended automatically when the main grant is extended?

    Thanks,
    TJs

    • writedit said

      The NoA for your Type 3 revision award (distinct from the parent award) states whether you have automatic carryover or if prior approval is required. If the terms in the NoA aren’t clear to you, your local grants administrator or GMS can look and confirm whether you need to take any specific action, but I suspect it will provide automatic carryover.

      • TraderJoes said

        Thank you!

  196. Morningside said

    Dear Writedit,

    We have a subcontract to our collaborator who will perform analysis on samples provided by our lab. If we want to increase the number of samples than we budgeted in the original application meaning higher charges from the collaborator, can we increase the amount of the subaward to them? We are still setting up the new funding so the subaward has not been issued to them. I am thinking, alternatively, if I can buy some lab supplies to be shipped to their lab if the subaward cannot be modified.

    Thanks for your advice!

    • writedit said

      You can shift costs around (ie, from your supplies or other budget categories) as long as nothing is reduced by a significant percentage (25% or more requires NIH approval), but I would suggest you confirm with your grants administrator that the reallocation you have in mind is okay.

      • Morningside said

        Thank you!

  197. etx001 said

    I really learned a lot from this amazing site, Thank you! I will contribute a R44 grant timeline for NIAID. We are really lucky to get this one especially during this uncertain times.

    08/04/2020 Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist.
    06/26/2020 Pending administrative review. Refer any questions to Program Official or Grants Management Specialist.
    06/02/2020 Council review completed.
    03/12/2020 Scientific Review Group review completed: Council review pending. Refer any questions to Program Official.
    01/15/2020 Scientific Review Group review pending. Refer any questions to the Scientific Review Administrator.
    01/05/2020 Application entered into system

    • writedit said

      Congratulations – especially on the relatively rapid turnaround (only 8 months from submission to award, with >1 m “pending”!) – and best wishes for success in your research and development! I assume this was within the NIAID hard payline (34) vs being a higher-scored select pay award. Thanks for sharing your timeline and experience.

  198. humbleservant said

    Dear Writedit,

    My STTR received a score that was above the payline for NIGMS. However, the grant was also assigned to a secondary institute where the paylines are higher.

    I received the following message regarding my STTR: This email serves as Notice of Intent that a decision to fund your application has been deferred by the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF GENERAL MEDICAL SCIENCES.

    Can you explain what defers means in this case? I received similar emails in the past but they never talked about deferral.

    Shall I contact my PO to release the grant to another institute where the paylines are higher?

    • writedit said

      I have not heard of a deferral either, but they don’t have much time left this FY (assuming your application is for an FY20 award), so I assume this means deferring a decision until FY21. I would suggest that you contact your NIGMS PO to ask about the deferral, whether the PO would recommend relinquishing the application to the secondary IC, and, if you don’t already have a contact at the secondary IC, whom to contact there about whether they could/would accept your application (no use having NIGMS relinquish it if they don’t want it). If you hadn’t already asked about resubmission advice, you could seek that, too. And if you do have a contact at the secondary IC, you might check with them first about whether they could/would accept the application (if not, your interaction with the NIGMS PO will be strictly about the deferral meaning and next steps).

  199. MIRA ESI said

    My PO asked me to send an email stating that I will accept the MIRA award. I’m curious whether this step is the beginning of the evaluation of my application by GMS or at the end of award preparation. I was not asked about the acceptance of the previous R21 award, though.

    • writedit said

      This is a request that is specific to MIRA awards, and the request indicates that NIGMS intends to fund your application (assuming the subsequent administrative review does not uncover any problems). Some MIRA applicants have R01 applications simultaneously pending at another IC, so NIGMS wants to be sure the applicant will accept the MIRA (and decline the pending R01) before NIGMS begins the administrative review process, which is more involved than a routine grant application. 

  200. NervousR01 said

    Dear Writedit,

    Thanks for this great blog! It is extremely helpful.

    Here is my question. My R01 A1 app (a continuation grant) to NICHD got 16th percentile. I wasn’t sure about the score but my PO in mid July said he recommended my app to get it funded this fiscal year and was “very hopeful.” Said I should know by mid-August. I have sent my responses to the review soon after but I haven’t heard from PO since then. I have emailed a couple of times in between. ERA page shows AC meeting scheduled on 9/9, although my PO seemed to suggest the meeting was to occur late July or early August. I know things must be hectic and crazy to finish up this fiscal year, but I suppose there are nothing for me to do except just wait? The start date is 9/1, which may not mean anything. I didn’t get an email re: JIT either. I am just getting totally nervous and anxious, because if my app doesn’t get funded, I may not get as many participants back as possible for this longitudinal study…. Any advice? Thanks!!

    • writedit said

      At this point, you need to sit tight (and not bug your PO or GMS). Council meets on September 9-10, but they will approve some applications electronically en bloc in advance of the meeting (ie, August). If you have your JIT ready, you can go ahead and submit it online so it’s there, or you can wait until they ask for it – they won’t request it until they are sure your application will move forward for funding. Your start date is not an expiration date, so don’t worry about that. You can be funded any time up until September 30. Your PO clearly supports the continuation of your study (you would need to start fresh with a new Type 1 A0 application otherwise). If the PO cannot get a full award, he might be able to negotiate an R56, though this would still require a subsequent application (but you would have money to continue data collection in the meantime).

      • NervousR01 said

        Super thanks for your prompt and thoughtful reply. I will sit tight and wait!

  201. Humbleservant said

    Dear Writedit,

    My STTR received a score that was above the payline for NIGMS. However, the grant was also assigned to a secondary institute where the paylines are higher.

    I received the following message regarding my STTR: This email serves as Notice of Intent that a decision to fund your application has been deferred by the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF GENERAL MEDICAL SCIENCES.

    Can you explain what defer means in this case? I received similar emails in the past but they never talked about deferral.

    Shall I contact my PO to ask them release the grant to another institute where the paylines are higher?

    • writedit said

      Sorry about the delay – I replied above to your earlier post of this question. (yes, communicate with PO)