Extended Guidance for Applicants Preparing Applications During the COVID-19 Pandemic


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.

One comment

  1. I find it very frustrating for NIH to be instructing reviewers to act like nothing has happened despite the seismic shift in all our lives caused by this pandemic. Many of us were not permitted to work for 3-4 months due to State-mandated University shutdowns and yet NIH seem to expect that we were able to keep up our productivity despite this major disruption, which may not have been shared by researchers in other States. It is bad enough we lost 4 months of salary!

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