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Top Policy Changes

Newest entries appear at the top of the list. For other NIH Guide policy notices, see Special Announcements.

Policy on Shared Animal Welfare Concerns, December 4, 2014

Institutions that report serious adverse events to NIH's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) may receive a citation from USDA's Animal Care (AC), with whom OLAW shares concerns and issues that are of interest to both agencies.

AC cites the facility depending on whether a reported incident meets or does not meet any of four criteria, e.g., it did not cause serious adverse effects.

For full details, read the December 1, 2014, Guide notice.

New Biographical Sketch Format, December 1, 2014

NIH announced a new biosketch format and instructions, posted at SF 424 (R&R) Forms and Applications. The new format is required for due dates on or after May 25, 2015. Applicants can start using the new format now.

The new format extends the page limit from four to five pages. It allows researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science, along with the historical background that framed their research. Investigators can outline the central findings of prior work and the influence of those findings.

For more information, see the December 5, 2014, Guide notice.

Funding Pause for Gain-of-Function Research on Influenza, SARS, and MERS, November 24, 2014

NIH will not release new funding for gain-of-function research on influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses that could be reasonably anticipated to increase the pathogenicity or transmissibility in mammals by the respiratory route. NIH made this decision in accordance with the White House announcement Doing Diligence to Assess the Risks and Benefits of Life Sciences Gain-of-Function Research.

NIH encourages grantees already working on gain-of-function research, which could be subject to the terms of the announcement, to voluntarily pause their research.

During the pause, the government will reassess the risks and benefits of such research and develop a new policy for it.

For more information, read the following:

NIH Issues Genomic Data Sharing Policy, September 18, 2014

Investigators and grantee institutions will soon have new requirements for research that will generate large-scale genomic data or use genomic data for secondary studies.

These new requirements go into effect starting with competing applications due January 25, 2015, or later. Training and fellowship applications are excluded from this policy.

Read the August 27, 2014, Guide notices:

Visit NIH's Genomic Data Sharing site for more details, guidance, sample documents, and related resources.

Institutions Must Report on Individual Development Plans, August 21, 2014

Starting with annual progress reports received on or after October 1, 2014, institutions must describe how or whether they are using individual development plans for NIH-supported graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

Read the August 4, 2014, Guide notice for details.

Payments for Domestic Noncompeting Awards Will Move to Payment Management System, May 22, 2014

In FY 2015 (October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015), NIH will transition payments to subaccounts in the Payment Management System (PMS) for domestic noncompeting continuation awards.

This means that NIH will need to make administrative changes, e.g., shift funding from PMS accounts to PMS subaccounts, to grants with a noncompeting continuation year of funding in FY 2015.

The transition will also affect grantees' Federal Financial Reports for affected grants.

Read the May 16, 2014, Guide notice for details.

Research Performance Progress Report Required for Non-SNAP Institutions, May 16, 2014

NIH's requirement to use Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) now extends to grantee institutions submitting Type 5 non-SNAP progress reports on or after October 17, 2014.

Note that RPPR is still in development for final progress reports and Type 4 administrative extensions, e.g., Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Fast-Track Phase II applications.

Read the May 16, 2014, Guide notice for the official announcement.

Big Change in NIH Application Resubmission Policy, April 21, 2014

Revised NIH policy now allows investigators to submit a new (A0) application in the same scientific vein as an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application. Previously, to be considered, the A0 application had to reflect substantial changes in scientific direction or scope.

The rule prohibiting submission of overlapping applications is still in place. A new application that overlaps the direction and scope of a previous submission is ineligible until NIH releases a summary statement for the earlier application.

NIH's updated policy on application submission is already in effect. The first standard due date affected is May 7, 2014, for AIDS and AIDS-related applications.

For the official announcement, see the April 17, 2014, Guide notice. Read additional coverage in our Funding Newsletter article “Big News on Application Submission Policy.”

NIH Outlines Policy for Managing Conflict of Interest in Peer Review for R&D Contract Projects, April 21, 2014

NIH issued a conflict of interest policy for federal and nonfederal employees who participate as peer reviewers of concepts and proposals for research and development contract projects. This includes Broad Agency Announcements.

For more information, see the March 20, 2014, Guide notice.

NIH Allows Chimpanzee Research Proposals, March 4, 2014

Researchers may propose work involving chimpanzees or biomaterials from chimpanzees. For research not funded by NIH, third parties may request permission to use NIH-owned or -supported chimpanzees.

After peer review, NIH requires investigators to complete a Chimpanzee Research Use Form unless their work is exempt. The form goes to NIH's Council of Councils for review and approval by a Chimpanzee Research Use Panel. Due to these additional steps, successful applicants should expect to wait at least a year for an award.

For more information, see the following:

Last Updated December 18, 2014

Last Reviewed December 05, 2014