Guidance for Applicants Preparing Applications for Summer 2022 Due Dates During the COVID-19 Pandemic

For applicants preparing applications for the summer 2022 due dates, NIH recently extended the guidance that while grant applications should not include contingency or recovery plans for problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, investigators may address effects due to the pandemic on productivity or other scoreable issues in the personal statement of the biosketch.

K99/R00 Candidates Can Continue to Take Advantage of COVID-Related Eligibility Extensions

Under normal circumstances, individuals must have no more than four years of postdoctoral research experience to be eligible to apply for a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award. Due to ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, NIH will continue to allow up to a two-receipt cycle eligibility extension for candidates on K99/R00 applications to parent announcements. If you are planning to take advantage of this flexibility, there are a few details to keep in mind.

Are COVID-19 Flexibilities Related to Animal Care and Use Still in Effect?

Yes. The flexibilities allowed by the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare are continuing due to the recent surges in the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the country and the impact on institutions’ operations. Read on for more details.

Extending Existing Guidance for Preparing Applications During COVID-19 

For Spring 2022 due dates, NIH recently extended the guidance that while grant applications should not include contingency or recovery plans for problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, investigators may address effects due to the pandemic on productivity or other scoreable issues in the personal statement of the biosketch. NIH also extended the special exception for post-submission material to applications submitted for the August/October 2022 Council rounds.

Reminder of COVID-19-Related Flexibilities for NIH Grants

When the public health emergency was first declared, NIH, working with OMB and HHS, quickly identified a long list of flexibilities to support the research community. The list has evolved since the pandemic began, so we would like to take this opportunity to remind the community of many of the current flexibilities we have in place.

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

NIH recently issued a clarification indicating that while grant applications should not include contingency or recovery plans for problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, investigators may address effects due to the pandemic on productivity or other scoreable issues in the personal statement of the biosketch.

Extension of COVID Flexibilities for Method of Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research

NIH (together with AHRQ and HRSA) will extend the existing COVID flexibilities permitting online training in the responsible conduct of research through December 31, 2021, even if the declared public health emergency is rescinded before then. Grant recipients do not need to seek prior approval to do so.

Updated NIH-wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research Now Available

NIH recently released its updated Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research, available on the NIH COVID-19 website. Responses to a Request for Information helped inform this iteration, building on progress since the 2020 plan. The updated strategic plan highlights progress made in the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, along with developing strategies on how to effectively provide these resources.

Continuation of Temporary Extension of Eligibility for the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Under normal circumstances, individuals must have no more than four years of postdoctoral research experience to be eligible to apply for a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award. Due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, NIH will be extending the two-receipt cycle extension (roughly eight additional months) of eligibility for prospective, eligible candidates for a K99/R00 application.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Extramural Scientific Workforce – Outcomes from an NIH-Led Survey

At NIH, we recognized the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic could adversely affect the biomedical workforce, particularly members of underrepresented groups and vulnerable populations. In October 2020, NIH fielded two online surveys to objectively document COVID-19’s impact on extramural research. One survey assessed the perspective of individual research administration leaders at extramural institutions, and the other survey assessed the perspective of the researchers themselves. In this post, we offer a high-level overview of general trends noted within both surveys.