Which applications qualify for the Continuous Submission program?

Continuous Submission only applies to R01, R21, and R34 applications; applications using other mechanisms (e.g. R03, or R15) are NOT eligible for Continuous Submission. The application must be submitted under an NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity) that uses Standard Due Dates. Since RFA NOFOs do not use Standard Due Dates, applications in response to an RFA are not eligible for Continuous Submission. At least one of the PD/PIs on the application must be eligible for Continuous Submission at the time of submission.

Applications submitted under the continuous submission option must include a cover letter that states the eligibility of a PD/PI for continuous submission and follow the Schedule For Assignment to Advisory Council Rounds Under Continuous Submission Option (see NOT-OD-20-060 ).

Who is eligible for Continuous Submission?

Appointed members of standing NIH study sections, NIH Boards of Scientific Counselors, NIH Advisory Boards or Councils, or NIH Program Advisory Committees are all eligible for Continuous Submission. 

Does this opportunity apply to new applications only?

No, Continuous Submission applies to new applications, resubmissions (A1), competing renewals (type 2), and revisions (type 3) for R01, R21, and R34 activity codes submitted to an NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity) that uses Standard Due Dates.

How are applications with multiple Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) handled?

If an application has Multiple PD/PIs, and any of the PD/PIs is eligible for continuous submission, the application is eligible for continuous submission. Note: having a co-investigator or collaborator who is eligible for continuous submission does not make the application eligible for continuous submission; the eligible reviewer must be in a PD/PI position on the application.

What is the last date I can submit my continuous submission application and have it reviewed in a standing study section?

According to the current NIH policy (NOT-OD-20-060 ), continuous submission-eligible applications may be reviewed in a standing study section if an appropriate study section is not in conflict with the application, at the IRG/review chief’s discretion. However, the closer the submission date is to the Advisory Council-dictated deadlines, the more likely it becomes that the application will need to be assigned to a special emphasis panel in order to be reviewed in a timely manner.

Continuous submission-eligible PD/PIs who want to submit applications that are not eligible for Continuous Submission (NOT standard due date, or NOT: R01, R21, or R34) must submit within the two-week late window of consideration per the late policy (NOT-OD-15-03).

I’m eligible for Continuous Submission. Am I also eligible for the two-week late window of consideration for submitting after the deadline?

Yes. If you are eligible for Continuous Submission, you are also eligible for the two-week Late Window of Consideration after the application due date even if you haven’t reviewed within two months of the due date (See NOT-OD-15-039 for more information about the Late Window of Consideration). You must include a cover letter stating that, while your application is late, you qualify for Continuous Submission and are requesting that your application still be accepted. For this, your application must be successfully submitted within two weeks of the Due Date. A late window cannot be used to extend the Application Receipt Periods for assignment to Advisory Council rounds. Note: the Late Window of Consideration applies to all NOFOs (Funding Opportunity Announcements), unless the NOFO specifically states that late applications will not be accepted.

What happens if I submit after the application receipt period ends for a given advisory council review cycle (after April 10, August 10, December 10 for non-AIDS applications)?

Continuous submission applications received after the receipt period ends for an advisory council are automatically assigned to the next council round in the system.

What does this mean in practice? Let’s take the example of the February 5 due date for new R01s. If you have continuous submission privileges, you have until April 10 to submit your CS-eligible application for the October advisory council round. If you submit by April 10, your application would typically be peer reviewed in the June-July time frame and would be considered for funding by the assigned funding institute/center at their October advisory council meeting. If you submit your application after April 10, it would be assigned to the January advisory council in the next calendar year, and its peer review would be delayed from the summer timeframe to the fall.

OER CS FAQ site: https://grants.nih.gov/faqs#/continuous-submission.htm
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OER CS site:   https://grants.nih.gov/policy/peer/continuous-submission.htm
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Continuous Submission Application Receipt Periods by Council Round

Excerpt from NOT-OD-20-060. See full notice for applicability and eligibility details. NOTE: CS-eligible applications received after the dates listed in the last column below are automatically assigned to the next Advisory Council Round.  There are no “late” applications that can be considered – they are simply early for the next council round.

For the Advisory Council Round: Non-AIDS Standard Application Due Dates Continuous Submission Non-AIDS Application Receipt Period Ends
  R01 R21, R34 R01, R21, R34
May October 5
November 5
October 16
November 16
December 10
October February 5
March 5
February 16
March 16
April 10
January June 5
July 5
June 16
July 16
August 10