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Early awards are grants funded before the usual timeframe, which is after second-level review by the Institute's advisory Council.
For an early grant that receives a fundable percentile in March, for example, we could approve it for funding a few weeks after you receive your summary statement and make the grant award before the May Council meeting where it would normally undergo second-level review.
NIAID can make awards earlier because expedited second-level review enables Council members to perform second-level review before the Council meeting.
For the first two Councils—January or February and May—we can fund qualifying applications a few weeks after initial peer review.
With the expedited approach, we do not wait for a Council meeting. Instead, some Council members perform second-level review about eight weeks before Council meets. For more information, see the Expedited Council Review and Award SOP.
See Can NIH fund a renewal before the existing grant ends? in our Renewal Application questions and answers.
See What happens to a fundable renewal application for a grant that ends the next fiscal year? in our Renewal Application questions and answers.
Usually, we fund applications slated for September Council in the next fiscal year, which starts on October 1. For that cycle, funding is often delayed further while we wait for our annual appropriation from Congress. See the Timing Factors That Affect Your Application and Award.
We rarely award a September Council application before the next fiscal year, but we can do that for high-priority applications.
Yes. NIAID's grants management staff may contact you to negotiate an earlier start date. You will need to provide the requested information and any other items required by NIAID staff. The grant could then start as early as January 1 and be renewed on that date every year.
There are no drawbacks.
If you're applying for a renewal award, you could consider submitting the application one cycle early. If you send in the application one cycle before the usual submission date, you have more time to revise it should you not receive a fundable score. Read more in Apply for Renewal or Start Anew in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
The advantage is small because you could still be funded early under expedited second-level review, or you can extend your existing grant with a no-cost extension to maintain continuity in your research.
For most grants, your institution can allow you to start spending money up to 90 days before your grant's official start date for research within your approved aims.
However, it does so at its own risk because NIAID has not yet made your award and does not increase your budget if the award can't cover the money you've already spent. That said, with your institution’s permission, you can use its money to cover costs of personnel, supplies, or equipment on your grant. Contact your institutional business office to find out if this is possible.
Note that the grant does not start early for NIAID, and the renewal date stays the same.
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Last Updated May 24, 2012
Last Reviewed June 10, 2013