My colleagues and I have heard from many of you since Friday, expressing significant concerns regarding delaying the review of applications to the May council round due to the Government shutdown. Applicants faced with a four month delay in a funding decision described serious consequences to their research programs. Additionally, many reviewers contacted us saying they are ready and willing to do anything to get these reviews done. In light of this feedback, our review staff have risen to the challenge, and will be working with reviewers to go the extra mile in exceptionally creative ways to reschedule as many of the 200+ missed October review meetings as possible.
Today my office issued a new NIH Guide notice, announcing that most review meetings originally scheduled during October will be quickly re-scheduled to enable applications to be considered at January council. Today’s Guide notice supersedes the guidance from last week. While we’re going to do everything we can to review of all the applications, scheduling complexities may mean that it will be necessary to reassign some small number of applications to May council. The Guide notice provides additional details about how and when those reassigned applications can be “refreshed.”
The rescheduled October receipt dates have not changed and are described again in the new notice. November deadlines still stand. Progress report due dates that were due in October were extended to November 4.
It is unfortunate that the government shutdown has forced all of us to scramble in this way. I very much appreciate that NIH can pull together with the extramural community in difficult times to ensure that great science continues.