How Does NIH Determine Which Senior/Key Personnel are Named on the Award?


All PD/PI(s) are named in the Notice of Award (NoA). NIH program officials use discretion in identifying in the NoA senior/key personnel other than the PD/PI(s). Generally, these are individuals whom the IC considers critical to the project, i.e., their absence from the project would be expected to impact the approved scope of the project. Change in status of senior/key personnel named in the NoA requires prior written approval from the NIH.


  1. If the Terms and Conditins of a NoA states something similar to “this award is based on the application submitted to, and as approved by, NIH …”, does this mean that evey person listed in the “Senior/Key Personnel” section of the application meets the NIH definition of a Senior/Key Personnel for which documentation needs to be submitted for such things as JIT, progress reports, or prior approvals?

    1. Hi Julia – The prior approval requirement for changes in status of personnel applies only to those senior/key personnel named at the discretion of the NIH program officer in the Notice of Award (NoA). Please visit the Senior/Key Personnel Frequently Asked Questions page for a full explanation of the roles of senior/key personnel named on the application and named on the NoA, and their reporting requirements.

      NIH uses Just-in-Time procedures for certain programs and award mechanisms (each FOA will include specific guidance on the use). These procedures allow certain elements of an application to be submitted later in the application process, after review when the application is under consideration for funding. Applicants will be notified (primarily by e-mail) when Just-in-Time information is needed. This notification is not a Notice of Award nor should it be construed to be an indicator of possible funding. Applicants should only submit this information when requested. Full details regarding Just-In-Time procedures can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, (specifically Section 2.5.1) and the NIH Guide Notice titled “Notice of Requirement for Electronic Submission of Just-in-Time Information and Related Business Process Changes Beginning April, 20 2012” (NOT-OD-12-101)

      Hope this is helpful!

  2. Can the role of someone listed as Instructor/postdoctoral fellow in an submitted nih grant later be changed/corrected to co-investigator?