Use the Assignment Request Form in FORMS-D to Provide NIH Peer Review Referral Information

NIH applicants have the opportunity to suggest information to help NIH refer and review their grant application. When applying with the new FORMS-D application package, applicants will include their requests in the new assignment request form, rather than in the cover letter has has been done in the past.

Applicants should use the new assignment request form if they choose to:

  • request assignment to an institute/center for funding consideration
  • request assignment to a particular study section for initial peer review
  • identify individuals they do not think should review their application
  • identify scientific areas of expertise needed to review their application

Applicants should still use the cover letter attachment for information not captured on the assignment form, such as to provide information about a late application. Just like the cover letter, the assignment request form is only for internal use by receipt and referral staff and scientific review officers involved in handling the application’s review – we do not share the assignment request form or cover letter with reviewers or other NIH staff.

For more information, read these related NIH Guide notices:

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9 thoughts on “Use the Assignment Request Form in FORMS-D to Provide NIH Peer Review Referral Information

    • The assignment request form would be found with other optional forms. For additional help with applying through system-to-system software, we recommend contacting the support desk for the particular software or system you are using. Thank you!

    • I believe in the cover letter section. These are from the parent R01 instructions for due dates June/beyond.

      The form is optional, and use of the form does not require completion of all fields in the form. For example, an applicant may wish only to request a specific awarding component or study section assignment and leave the other fields on the form blank.
      The PHS Assignment Request Form complements the Cover Letter Attachment on the SF 424 (R&R) form. Although NIH will no longer check the Cover Letter Attachment for requests pertinent to the assignment and review of applications, the Cover Letter Attachment still may be used to communicate a variety of other issues, as specified in application guides (e.g., reason for late submission).

    • The Assignment Request Form is posted with the application package included in the funding opportunity announcement to which you are applying. When you complete your application, just fill out that form as well. Its use is optional.

      • It is actually not uploaded. You will find on the left hand side menu, a Add Form Option. Select this and from the dropdown select the Assignment request form. You then fill it out electronically.

  1. I wrote a cover letter and suggested reviewers (like I used to before these changes). I was told by the SRA that I am not allowed to suggest reviewers. I won’t suggest them anymore but was wondering where to find the information stating that we are not allowed to suggest reviewers. Thanks!

  2. If I am submitting to a specific FOA with only one Participating Organization, is an Assignment Request Form still needed, or is it a given that there will only be one study section/peer review group?

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