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Late Applications SOP

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


To define when NIH may accept a late application.


NIH expects applicants to submit applications on time. In certain circumstances, NIH's Center for Scientific Review (CSR) may accept an application late if a PI has an NIH-accepted reason for tardiness.

NIH-accepted reasons include federal electronic systems issues, natural disasters, and personal tragedies. For natural disasters, NIH issues special NIH Guide notices with instructions for late applications.

Neither CSR nor NIAID may give permission in advance for a late submission. Depending on who conducts the initial peer review, some practices are different—see below.

Investigators eligible for continuous submission may submit investigator-initiated R01, R21, and R34 applications any time. This privilege does not apply to applications submitted for special receipt dates, which includes RFAs and some PARs.

For guidelines about submitting additional materials after the application deadline, read If You Need to Send Revised Information in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Investigators and Applicants

  • Describe the reasons for your delay in your application's cover letter. See Create a Cover Letter in the Strategy for NIH Funding for tips.
  • If you're submitting an application for a PAR to be reviewed by NIAID, contact the scientific review officer (SRO) listed in the announcement before the receipt date to discuss your situation and how much extra time you are seeking.
    • Your SRO will evaluate your request.
    • If your SRO is willing to process your application for review within that timeframe, he or she will let CSR know.
    • CSR makes the final decision on whether to accept the late application.
  • If you’re applying to the parent R01 or R21, your application will be reviewed by a CSR study section. NIAID will not forward an extension request on your behalf to CSR.

Investigators Eligible for Continuous Submission

  • Confirm you are eligible for continuous submission—see NIH's Continuous Submission page for a list of who is eligible.
  • If eligible, apply for investigator-initiated R01, R21, or R34 grants (both AIDS and non-AIDS related) at any time instead of on standard submission dates. This privilege does not apply to applications submitted for special receipt dates, which includes RFAs and some PARs.
  • When you apply, include a cover letter with the following information:
    • Statement that you're an appointed member of an NIH advisory group.
    • Name of the advisory group you're serving on.
    • Your period of service on that advisory group.
  • Note that if you apply for continuous submission you may not request assignment to a study section.

NIAID Extramural Staff


Applicants with questions should contact the scientific review officer listed in the funding opportunity announcement.

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.


Corrected or Late Electronic Applications questions and answers

Paper Applications Only questions and answers

PHS 398 instructions (for paper application)

PHS 398 instructions 2.15 Submission, Review, and Award Cycles

R01 Planning to Award Timeline by Review Cycle

SF 424 Application Guide in your grant application package (for electronic application)

Strategy for NIH Funding

Timing Factors That Affect Your Application and Award​​

Last Updated November 05, 2014

Last Reviewed August 15, 2014