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Request for Primary IC Assignment 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 request the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) to refer grant applications to NIAID, including requests from either applicants or NIAID staff.


When CSR receives competing applications, it assigns them to one or more institutes (typically two) for possible funding, according to NIH referral guidelines. The institute with the most relevant program is designated primary; others are secondary. Also, investigators can request assignment to an institute in their application PHS Assignment Request Form.

Program officers may request a change in an application's primary assignment either 1) before initial peer review to correct a CSR assignment or 2) after peer review from another institute so NIAID can fund it.

Investigators and program officers can also request a dual assignment either before or after peer review. To request dual assignment, see the Dual Assignments SOP.

Investigators and Applicants

Program Officers

  • To request NIAID primary assignment before CSR assignment:
    • Complete an Awaiting Receipt of Application (ARA) form and send it to your division coordinator who will initiate an ARA through the IMPAC ARA module. CSR uses ARAs to make referral decision when a PI submits an application. See the Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Awaiting Receipt of Application (ARA) SOP for more information.
  • To request reassignment to NIAID after CSR assignment:
    • Before Peer Review
      • After talking to the PI and contacting the program officer from the other institute, complete a 901 form (Instructions and Form), and route it with branch chief concurrence to your division coordinators who will initiate an Assignment Change Request (ACR) through the IMPAC ACR module.
    • After Peer Review
      • Get approval from the NIAID budget office, complete a 901 form (Instructions and Form), and route it with branch chief concurrence to Division coordinator.
        • Do not request reassignment of a grant application until the summary statement is entered in IMPAC.
        • Ask to be the primary institute only if your division has the money to fund the application and you are interested in it.
        • After peer review, funding comes from your division's discretionary funds.
        • Ask your management if the grant can go on its end-of-year request list.
        • Keep in mind that your division will budget for few of these applications.

If a program officer from another institute does not agree to release primary assignment to NIAID, request a dual assignment. See the Dual Assignments SOP.

Division Coordinators

NIAID Receipt Referral Officer

  • Verify the information on the ACR and submit it.


For assignment or review questions,contact the Center for Scientific Review, or if the application will be reviewed at NIAID, contact the NIAID Scientific Review Program or the appropriate program officer. For more information, read Communicating With NIAID—How to Get Help.

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Contact for NIAID ReceiptReferral

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Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Negotiating the Locus of Peer Review SOP

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.IMPAC SOP

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.NIAID Request for Assignment Changes from CSR SOP

Strategy for NIH Funding

Last Updated November 13, 2014

Last Reviewed March 11, 2015