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Strategy for NIH Funding
Navigation for the Strategy for NIH Funding. Link to Part 1. Qualify for NIH Funding.Link to Part 2. Pick and Design a Project.Link to Part 3. Write Your Application.Link to Part 4. Submit Your Application.Link to Part 5. Assignment and Review.Link to Part 6. If Not Funded.Link to Part 7. Funding.

Previous page in Strategy.Timing if Not Funded   ·   What to Do if You Get Bad NewsNext page in Strategy.

Strategy to Assess Your Options

Note: This page does not reflect NIH's revised policy for application submission. See the April 17, 2014, Guide notice.

We will update this page soon.


This strategy page presents a series of action items to guide you toward the most appropriate direction for you to take. Know how to use your summary statement, while understanding its limitations, and how to get additional feedback on the problems your reviewers identified. Critically, determine if the problems are fixable—that decision will determine your next steps.

Choose the strategy that suits your situation, carefully considering your three main options.

Figure Out How to Proceed

Determine what to do based on your situation.

Action Summary Learn More

Take action after you get your summary statement, and know its limitations.

In the summary statement, find the overall impact scores and criterion scores from your assigned reviewers.

Read a bulleted synopsis and the reviewers' critiques.

As soon as you receive your summary statement, check our paylines and contact your program officer to do the following:

  • If your application is on hold for funding or unlikely to be funded, get advice on what to do. See Revise, Don't Wait for Later Funding if funding is deferred.
  • Ask if he or she (or a representative) attended the review meeting and can give you additional insight into the discussion.
  • Discuss any human subjects or animal research codes on the summary statement.
  • Read more in the next sections below.

Know the limitations of summary statements in giving you feedback for revising your application.

Just the Facts

Part 5

Part 7. Funding

Bars to Grant Awards SOP

Bar to award codes:


Our Advice

Assess Peer Review Results in What to Do if You Get Bad News in Part 6

If your application is on hold for possible funding at the end of the fiscal year, revise and resubmit right away.

Don't wait for the possibility of later funding.

Revise and resubmit as soon as you are ready, even if your application scored just above the payline (assuming you do not plan to create a new application).

Our Advice

Strategy for Resubmitting in Part 6

Revise, Don't Wait for Later Funding in Timing Factors That Affect Your Application and Award

Assess the results of the peer review.

Gauge the severity of problems using two resources: your summary statement and your program officer.

Determine the nature of criticism. Get feedback by showing your summary statement to colleagues to get their interpretation of the reviewer critiques.

Just the Facts

Know What a Summary Statement Means in Initial Peer Review and Your Next Steps in Part 5

Our Advice

What to Do if You Get Bad News in Part 6

Handle rejection effectively.

Most applications are unsuccessful on the first try.

Deal with bad news right away and move on.

Before you make any decision or take action, make sure you can assess your situation calmly.

Figure out your next steps, such as whether to revise and resubmit, create a new application, or repurpose the application.

Our Advice

What to Do if You Get Bad News in Part 6

Contemplate next steps.

Determine whether the right study section reviewed your application.

  • After checking the roster attached to your summary statement, gauge the expertise of the reviewers by following the steps outlined in Investigate Committees and Members in Part 3.
  • Then decide whether you want to stay with the same study section or go with another one.

Assess whether problems can be fixed.

  • Some problems, e.g., an unexciting topic can't be fixed, so revising won't help.
  • Talk to colleagues, your program officer, and others to determine if you can resolve problems or should start over with a new application.

Choose the strategy that suits your situation.

  • Revise and resubmit.
  • Create a new application.
  • Repurpose the application.

Though you may want to act quickly, do not resubmit before ready—you get only one resubmission.

Understand the limitations of appealing the review.

Just the Facts

Part 6

Appeals of Scientific Review of Grant Applications SOP


Our Advice

Part 6

Carefully consider your three options.

Option 1. Revise and resubmit. Decide whether to:

  • Revise and request the same study section.
  • Revise and request a different study section.

Option 2. Create a new application. Understand what "new" means.

Option 3. Repurpose the application. Know under which circumstances you can reuse an unsuccessful application.

Just the Facts

Options if Your Application Isn't Funded in Part 6

NIH's Evaluation of Unallowable Resubmission and Overlapping Application

Our Advice

Options if Your Application Isn't Funded in Part 6

Strategy for NIH Funding
Navigation for the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Previous page in Strategy.Timing if Not Funded   ·   What to Do if You Get Bad News Next page in Strategy.

See the other sections of
Part 6. If Not Funded

Table of Contents for the Strategy

We welcome your comments, questions, or suggestions. Email

Last Updated April 17, 2014

Last Reviewed December 01, 2011