NIH grant applications should NOT include contingency plans that would outline steps needed to recover from temporary, emergency situations, or institutional return-to-the-workplace plans, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contingency plans will not be considered in peer review but, if needed, COVID-19 contingency plans will be requested and carefully considered by NIH staff before funding.
Reviewers will continue to receive instruction to assume that temporary, emergency problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic will be resolved and complications related to COVID-19 should not affect their scores. Reviewers will be instructed to disregard situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, e.g., temporary declines in productivity, availability of key personnel, proposed patient populations, animal facility shutdowns, etc.
This guidance has been extended until further notice, as announced in NOT-OD-21-026.