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NIH Late Submission Policy for Reviewers

Information on NIH Late Submission Policy for Reviewers.

On January 24, 2020, NIH released an update to their Continuous Submission Policy (NOT-OD-20-060) where they are announcing a change in the submission deadlines as well as the coming end of "recent substantial service option."  Recent substantial service is defined as "one-year continuous submission status to reviewers with recent substantial review service, which was earned by serving 6 times in an 18 month period. Implementation of this change is being done so as to honor commitments to those who have already served under the prior policy:

  • Reviewers who are currently eligible for continuous submission through Recent Substantial Service will remain eligible through the end of their term on September 30, 2020.
  • Reviewers who earn eligibility for continuous submission through Recent Substantial Service during the period January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, will be eligible from August 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021.
  • No reviewers will subsequently earn or be granted continuous submission eligibility due to Recent Substantial Service.

Moreover, per NOT-OD-20-060, the continuous submission deadlines for assignment to each council round have been moved back approximately one week is effective February 8, 2020. The table below has been updated. 

NIH CSR has a link you can go to that is updated monthly with a list of all Reviewers (PIs) eligible for Continuous Submission. Moreover, Continuous submission eligibility can be viewed in the reviewer's eRA Commons Personal Profile, in the Reviewer Information section.

Submission Policy
​NIH Late Policy for a 2-Week Extension for Some Applications (NOT-OD-15-039) ​NIH Continuous Submission Policy for Some Applications (NOT-OD-20-060)
​You must be listed as PI or MPI. ​You must be listed as PI or MPI.
​You earn eligibility by serving in a qualifying NIH review meeting occurring 2 months before or after an application due date.  Qualifying NIH Meetings:
  • Study sections
  • Special emphasis panels
  • National advisory councils
  • Boards of scientific counselors
  • Program advisory committees
You now earn eligibility in the following ways: Appointment to an NIH:
  • Chartered Study Sections
  • Advisory Boards or Councils
  • Board of Scientific Counselors
  • Program Advisory Committees
Applies to all activity codes and all types of funding opportunity announcements, EXCEPT for RFAs that specifically opt-out — language in the Application Due Date field will read “no late applications accepted for this funding opportunity announcement.” Applies to R01, R21 or R34 applications with standard due dates only.
Applications to all other activity codes may be submitted late, but they follow the guidelines and submission deadlines in the NIH Late Policy (see left).
You Must Submit a Cover Letter with your application that explains your service. You Must Submit a Cover Letter with your application that explains your service.
You must submit eligible applications within two weeks of the application due date. Example: If the application is due on February 5, 2020, the late application must be received, error-free, no later than February 19, 2020. You can submit eligible applications at any time, but your application will be assigned a council round based on the receipt intervals described in NIH Guide Notices listed above. updated Example:
If the application is due on October 5, 2020, it may be submitted and assigned to May 2021 Council review if it is received, error-free, by December 10, 2020.
Your application is processed and assigned for review following the same guidelines and procedures as applications received for the actual due date. Your application may be assigned to a study section or special emphasis panel — at the discretion of the review staff.

For more information or questions email