May I submit many post submission items, or only one?

An investigator may submit any number of such items, but must follow the page limits specified in the policy. That is, for post-submission materials that are not required on a form page, and are not covered by one of the exceptions such as an RFA or institutional training mechanism, each explanation or letter is limited to one page. Therefore, if a research team lost a member after the application was submitted, and the PD/PI wanted to replace that individual with two substitute personnel, he could submit a one-page explanation and biographical sketch for each new person, plus a revised budget page(s).

Allowable Post-Submission Materials are listed in the NIH Policy NOT-OD-17-066. Post-submission materials must be received by the NIH Scientific Review Officer (SRO) no later than 30 calendar days prior to the peer review meeting, unless specified otherwise in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Why is there a 30-day cutoff for notification that a paper has been accepted?

The purpose of the policy is to provide an even playing field across the agency, types of applications, and study sections in terms of when the reviewers have access to information and in terms of the types of information they receive. The thirty-day window before a review meeting is time when reviewers are concentrating on the applications and their critiques, and SROs are making preparations for the meetings. In most cases, reviewers are asked to submit their preliminary critiques, criterion scores, and impact scores a week before the meeting.

Must the article accepted for publication be authored by the investigators submitting the grant application?

In most cases NIH expects that news of an article accepted for publication will be in reference to an article authored by the investigators submitting the grant application, but news of an article authored by other investigators could be accepted if the SRO determines that it directly affects the work proposed in the application.

Why aren’t late-breaking research findings allowed as post-submission material?

In most cases, the time from submission to the review meeting date is two-three months, and reviewers gain access to the applications five-six weeks before the review meeting date. Therefore, only a few weeks are left in that window in which new data could be gathered, analyzed, and submitted. For those mechanisms in which the time from submission to the review meeting date may be longer, such as applications submitted in response to Requests for Applications, or institutional training grant applications, the policy provides exceptions to accommodate this additional time.

May I submit newly-received patent approvals relevant to my application as post-submission materials?

Yes. The AOR and PI may submit citations of issued patents as post-submission materials, but copies of patent applications or patents, or any other materials related to a patent application or granted patent will not be accepted as post-submission materials, unless specific in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for which the application was submitted or in a special Guide Notice. See NOT-OD-17-066 for the recommended citation format.

Must the letter of acceptance and/or the full article accepted be submitted as post-submission material?

No. News of an article accepted for publication since submission of the application, which must include only:

  • List of authors and institutional affiliations
  • Title of the article
  • Journal or citation (if available)

Copies of articles, links to articles, or any other materials related to an article accepted for publication will not be accepted as post-submission materials, unless specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for which the application was submitted or a special Guide Notice.