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Just-in-Time Questions and Answers

Table of Contents

What does "just-in-time" refer to?

Just-in-time refers to information that we ask you to send us after your application goes through initial peer review and is within the range of possible funding. NIH needs this information but does not require it with your application.

In fact, if you send other support information before we request it, NIH may delay processing your application or return it without peer review.

For basic instructions, see our Just-in-Time SOP. For more information, see Prepare Your Just-In-Time Information in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

How and when does NIH notify me of my just-in-time requirements?

You will receive this information at least one of two ways.

  • Standard email from NIH. The NIH issues automatic just-in-time emails for all applications that get an overall impact/priority score of 40 or less. These requests should arrive to you and your business office within 15 days after you get your percentile rank. See the Sample Just-in-Time Email From NIH.
  • Personalized email from NIAID. The Grants Management Program issues personal just-in-time requests when funding is likely. See the Sample Just-in-Time Email From NIAID for details on the type of information we may ask for.

The option to send just-in-time information appears in the Commons Status section for all applications (all grant types) within 24 hours after the score is released. If your application's score is within or near the NIAID Payline, your business office can start sending just-in-time information before NIH's or NIAID's request. If NIAID needs additional information later, a grants management specialist will request it.

Additionally, you can check your program announcement or request for applications for just-in-time instructions.

Will I get my summary statement before the just-in-time notification?

The timeline varies—you could receive it before, simultaneously, or after your just-in-time notification.

Do the overall impact/priority score criteria for distributing standard just-in-time automailers vary according to each IC's payline?

No. NIH will send a just-in-time email for all applications with an overall impact/priority score of 40 or less. Your business official should send just-in-time information if NIAID requests it even if your application is not within the payline.

If I receive a just-in-time notification, does that mean I'll get an award?

No, a just-in-time notification is not a guarantee of award. And if your just-in-time information reveals an administrative issue that cannot be resolved, for example a human subjects issue, your grant may not be funded.

What information do I submit just-in-time?

The answer depends on your application and the results of initial peer review.    

If you meet our published NIAID Paylines for your grant type, follow the instructions you receive by automated email from NIH. You receive this email if your application receives an overall impact/priority score of 40 or better.

If NIAID needs more information, we will ask for it separately. See our Sample Just-in-Time Email From NIAID for examples of the types of information we might request.

If you received a just-in-time request from NIAID and have additional questions, contact the grants management specialist who sent the just-in-time email. 

If you haven't received a just-in-time request from NIAID, wait to be contacted.

Can I submit IACUC review or IRB review and training documentation with the original application?


Could you clarify what kind of IRB certification you need for just-in-time? Would the IRB approval letter be enough?

At NIAID, grants management staff typically request only the date of institutional review board (IRB) approval. We don’t need a copy of the letter, and there’s no separate certification needed.

The approval date must be less than a year old when it’s time for award. If not, the IRB will need to approve your project again. You would enter the new date in the Just-in-Time module of the eRA Commons.

What's the deadline for submitting just-in-time information?

You may send the information any time after you receive your just-in-time notification. If a deadline is necessary, your grants management specialist will indicate this when he or she contacts you. Read the Just-in-Time SOP for more information.

How can I be sure I'm sending in all the necessary information?

Before you send in your just-in-time information, take another look at your just-in-time notification mailer to make sure you've responded to everything requested.

How do I submit just-in-time information?

Give the information to your institutional business official. For further details, read the Just-in-Time SOP.

Your business official sends the documentation through the eRA Commons Status module in PDF format.

If NIAID plans to fund my application and I send my just-in-time information when requested, can NIAID expedite my award?

Once we receive your just-in-time information, it's possible we will be able to expedite issuing your award.

If I don't send NIAID the correct information or don't send it on time, will someone alert me?

Yes. Your grants management specialist will contact you if he or she does not receive the requested just-in-time information or needs more details.

Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?

Contact your grants management specialist for questions about your requirements, and get in touch with your program officer to discuss issues that keep you from assembling your just-in-time information.

Wouldn't it be more effective to send everything with the original application?

No. A delay in sending some information benefits both you and NIH. It significantly relieves the administrative burden for the investigators who won't get awards. Also your just-in-time information will be current rather than several months old.

Just-in-time makes peer review more fair by ensuring that peer reviewers do not see your other support information during review and cannot be influenced by that information.

Is just-in-time used only by NIAID?

No. Just-in-time is used throughout NIH.

Do just-in-time procedures apply to all investigators?


If I need to adjust person months for my other support, would I do so to my pending application or to an active grant?

Generally, you would adjust person months to your pending application, though you can adjust effort for your active projects.

If you go the second route, note the following about approvals for changes to effort:

  • For an active grant not funded by NIH: your institutional business official must submit documentation (i.e., a letter or email) indicating that the funding organization has approved the change.
  • For an active grant funded by NIAID: the grants management specialist for your pending application must obtain written approval from the program officer of the active grant.
  • For an active grant funded by another NIH institute: the grants management specialist for your pending application must obtain written approval (email) from the other institute's grants management specialist, who must get approval from the program officer.

Is there an NIH Web site for just-in-time?

No but NIAID provides information and advice in Prepare Your Just-In-Time Information in the Strategy for NIH Funding. For staff only, NIH has a Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Just-in-Time site on its Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Extramural Intranet.

What if my question wasn't answered here, or I'd like to suggest a question?

Email with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. We answer questions by email and post them here. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.

Last Updated December 09, 2014

Last Reviewed January 29, 2015