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Deviations and Waivers to Grant Policies SOP 

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Some links will work for NIAID staff only.

This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: Purpose, Procedure, Contacts, and Links.


To obtain an exception to grant regulations, policies, or procedures when highly beneficial to either NIH or a project's scientific goals or fiscal stewardship.


For some prior approval requests, grantees ask their grants management specialists for 1) deviations to NIH regulations, policies, or procedures (from here on referred to as "policy") or 2) waivers to NIAID policy.

  • Single-case deviation—an exception to NIH policy involving a single grant or multiple grants that responded to the same request for applications. Examples include:
    • Simultaneous change of principal investigator and grantee institution.
    • Provision of facilities and administrative (F&A) costs to a conference grant.
    • Change of institution on a program project grant.
  • Class deviation—an exception to NIH policy involving multiple grants or a group of grants awarded under an ongoing program with multiple receipt dates. These grants share terms and conditions of award. An example of this type of deviation: limiting reimbursement of F&A costs for a class of awards.
  • Waiver—an exception to NIAID policy. Examples include:
    • Change of institution during a no-cost extension.
    • Approval of a third no-cost extension.

Deviation and waiver requests must come from grantee institutions. After receiving requests, grants management specialists contact program officers for justification.

Grantee Institution

  • Business officials submit deviation and waiver requests in writing to the grants management specialist.

Program Officers

  • Provide scientific justification for deviation or waiver to grants management specialist.
    • State the rationale for deviating from a policy and the unusual circumstances that justify it.
    • Address why a deviation is necessary to accomplish the scientific goals or fiscal stewardship of the project or how it will benefit NIH.
    • Send your request to the grants management specialist.

Grants Management Staff

  • Review requests for deviations or waivers.
  • Get scientific justification from the grantee's program officer.
  • Complete the Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Email Template for Deviation or Waiver Request and email it to your GMP division coordinator. Your division coordinator reviews the request and forwards it to the chief grants management officer for approval, disapproval, or request for higher-level review.
  • Email the grantee with a copy to the program officer and division coordinator stating whether a request is approved.
  • If required, revise the Notice of Award.
  • Document the approval process and rationale in the electronic grant file.
  • For more responsibilities, see GMP's Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Policy Deviations and Policy Waivers SOP.


Grantees with questions should contact the grants management specialist or program officer listed in the eRA Commons. For more information, read Communicating With NIAID—How to Get Help.

Chief Grants Management Officer—Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Contact for NIAID Staff

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.


Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.NIH Grants Administration Manual, Chapter - Applicability

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Single-Case Deviation from PHS/NIH Policy, OER Policy Announcement 1997-02

Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP

Last Updated August 07, 2012

Last Reviewed February 13, 2013