Respond to Pre-Award Requests (“Just-in-Time”)
Some important time-sensitive information isn’t part of your application. Instead, you prepare it separately and send it before award, a process called just-in-time (JIT).
Learn how to interpret the NIH and NIAID JIT information requests, whether you need to send JIT information, what information to prepare, and finally how to send it.
Understand the Two Just-in-Time Requests
After initial peer review, for applications that have overall impact scores of 40 or less, NIH sends an automatic email requesting some information just-in-time (JIT) through the eRA Commons.
That notification is sent automatically from NIH even though this score is higher than our paylines will support. It does not reflect NIAID intent to fund or not fund an application.
If funding is likely, you will get a request from NIAID, which may include additional items. This is the most important request.
NIAID’s request does not guarantee that your proposal will be funded. Until we are satisfied that your application meets all requirements and you provide the just-in-time information, we will not make the award.
To tell the difference between the two JIT requests, see these samples:
Do You Need to Send Just-in-Time Information?
Depending on your situation, you or your business office shouldn't send just-in-time information.
If that sounds contradictory in light of an automatic email from NIH about JIT, keep in mind that NIH doesn't know which applications are likely to receive awards. That's NIAID responsibility, and we need JIT information only if your application is likely to be funded.
Which begs the question: to send, or not to send?
Send JIT information if...
- Your application scores within or near our published paylines or, if they’re not yet established, within or near the previous fiscal year’s final published paylines. Check NIAID Paylines.
- You receive a JIT email request from your NIAID grants management specialist separate from NIH's notification.
You don't have to confirm with anybody at NIAID. If we need additional information, one of our grants management specialists will contact you later.
Don't Send JIT information if...
- Your application scores well outside of our published paylines or, if they’re not yet established, well outside of the previous fiscal year’s final published paylines.
- Your program officer informs you that you're not likely to receive funding.
If you are in line for funding (e.g., select pay, end-of-year), our program or grants management staff will reach out directly, and you can send JIT information at that time.
Contact Your Program Officer if...
- You have any question about your application's status.
- You receive a JIT email from your grants management specialist and NIH even though your application scores well outside our published paylines. Your application may be considered for a select pay award or other funding reserved for programmatically-important applications that score outside our paylines.
Don't worry if you've already responded to an NIH email, and we request more information. You can revise your JIT documents as often as needed.
Prepare Your Just-in-Time Information
If you expect to send JIT information as described in the section above, we recommend that you prepare that information early, before NIAID requests it. You can start collecting it as soon as the information is available.
Just-in-time information is required as follows.
- Other support information.
Applications in Any of the Following Areas
Required unless the information was included in the application.
- Human subjects
- Federalwide Assurance (FWA) number
- Certification of date of institutional review board (IRB) approval of the Research Plan
- Letter to document training in the protection of human subjects
- Animal welfare assurance number
- Certification of date of institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) approval of the Research Plan
- Human embryonic stem cells
- Identify an approved cell line from the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry.
We discuss these items in greater detail below.
In addition, we may request other items just-in-time, for example, a formal agreement of the terms of a collaboration with an investigator from another institution.
Keep in mind that just-in-time doesn't save you much time. Even though you must wait for our request, you should start preparing your submission early so you don't risk a delay for your award (or worse — see the End-of-year warning below).
Talk to your program officer for funding advice, and keep in mind that a just-in-time request is not a guarantee of an award.
In addition to meeting our request, be sure to ask your business office about your institution's own requirements.
Prepare Your Other Support Submission
If there are overlap issues, NIAID may reduce your award.
After NIAID's request or if your application's score was within or near the NIAID Payline, you will send NIAID a list of your other support, which includes any unfunded applications you have submitted to any organization.
Other supports shows us the following—see the linked glossary term for additional information.
- No other organization is supporting the research you outlined in your Research Plan—support overlap.
- Your time or the time of project-supported personnel is not committed more than 100 percent—commitment overlap.
- You have not requested funding for items paid for by another source—budgetary overlap.
If you have nothing to report, we need a letter stating that fact from your institution's business office.
Overlap and Bridge Awards
Report funding from an R56-Bridge award, and take note of these overlap issues.
- Other support. If you have received an R56-Bridge award from us, include it in your other support information.
- Overlap. Beware of overlap issues that require us to reduce your award, for example:
- If you list Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as other support, we will adjust your funding since HHMI pays 100 percent of salary and fringe benefits.
Find more information online:
- Sample Format for Other Support in the SF 424 Application Guide
- Your funding opportunity announcement and the accompanying NIH Guide announcement
If You Have Human Subjects Documentation
If you have a subaward agreement, check that the subaward organization has a human subjects assurance and IRB approval.
If you are conducting human subjects research, you or your institution must send us the FWA number, certification of IRB approval of the Research Plan, and letter to document training in human subjects protection.
Send all human subjects just-in-time documentation together.
Human Subjects Assurance
Your institution needs to have an FWA for human subjects on file with the NIH Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). Typically, it takes OHRP two weeks or less to approve your application, but if OHRP spots a problem, it could take longer.
You can Search the OHRP Database, or ask your institution to see if it already has an approved FWA. Make sure a new assurance number is on file if it has changed since you submitted your application.
If you have a subaward agreement, check that the subaward organization has an FWA and IRB approval as well.
You must send us a certification of your IRB approval of your Research Plan, usually by signing a form your institution provides. Unlike the assurance, we need this every year of your project.
If you didn't submit it with your application, send us a letter certifying that each person identified under key personnel has completed training in the protection of human subjects.
Once your grant is underway, you'll need to send the training letter only for new key personnel. Use our Sample Letter to Document Training in the Protection of Human Subjects and get detailed information on NIH's FAQ.
Find more information on conducting human subjects research at NIAID Human Subjects.
If You Have Animal Research Documentation
Your IACUC must have approved your research within the past three years.
If you're working with research animals, your institution's business official needs to submit an animal welfare assurance number and a certification of your IACUC approval of your Research Plan just-in-time.
Animal Welfare Assurance
Your institution must file an animal welfare assurance with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).
If you have a subaward agreement, make sure that the subaward organization has an animal welfare assurance and IACUC approval. If the subaward organization has an assurance but your institution doesn't, get an inter-institutional assurance. See Is Your Institution Assured by OLAW?
You will provide a certification of your IACUC approval of your Research Plan initially and at least every three years, usually by signing a form your institution provides.
Sending Just-in-Time Information
End-of-year warning. We may skip over your application if it comes up for funding at the very end of the fiscal year and your just-in-time submission is not ready. While waiting for you, we are likely funding other applications—and you could lose your chance of funding if we run out of money or time.
When it's due. NIH's email doesn't set a due date. Within two weeks of receiving NIAID's just-in-time notification, your institution's business official should submit your other support and human subjects training information. Your grants management specialist may set a different due date.
You don't need to sign because you have a signature assurance on file with your institution.
Since IRB and IACUC approvals may take you more than two weeks to get, your business official may submit these approvals later.
How to submit. Your business official should submit PDFs through the just-in-time feature of the eRA Commons Status module.
As you must ensure that just-in-time information is accurate and current, notify us promptly of any substantive changes to information you submit before the award, including changes of PI, key personnel, and the use or approval of vertebrate animals or human subjects.