Administrative Supplements to Grants and Cooperative Agreements SOP

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

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


Additional funds to a grant or cooperative agreement based on a bona fide need for a defined purpose that does not significantly expand a project's scope.


Administrative supplements are funds awarded above study section-recommended levels or outside the fiscal year funding policies. We generally pay only for items resulting from events unforeseen when the competing application was submitted.

PIs may apply for an administrative supplement at any time, as long as they meet the Requirements listed below.

NIAID awards administrative supplements under limited circumstances and only if extramural scientific divisions have sufficient funds in their discretionary pools. If no funds remain, a division may request an allocation from the NIAID budget office.

While there is no limit to the amount of funding applicants can request, they must justify their budgets and provide a scientific rationale. NIAID rarely funds requests larger than the parent grant.

Administrative supplements do not go through peer review. They are reviewed by NIAID staff with relevant expertise and no conflict of interest.

NIAID awards administrative supplements to do the following:

  • Reinstate scientific review group reductions of budget, time, or both. This can be done during any year of a grant except the last. A specific aim can be reinstated, but only with Council approval.
  • Support an unanticipated increase in approved direct costs, including items thought to be available at the time of award that later became unavailable to a PI. Examples include increases in animal costs and loss of equipment identified in an application.
  • Use or preserve a unique research material or resource that may otherwise be lost. Example: maintaining a unique knockout mouse model.
  • Add patients, populations, or other items related to a protocol such as items related to safety issues or data and safety monitoring boards (DSMB) needs—due to enrollment issues, a need for statistically significant data, or responses to protocol and DSMB reviews. NIAID can supplement a grant to obviate threats to patients in a clinical trial by addressing issues in a Food and Drug Administration clinical hold for an investigational new drug application or investigational device exemption.
  • Provide an orderly closeout or temporary continuation of support to prevent loss of research resources or hardship of personnel, which includes taking advantage of a rare event with an immediate need, e.g., salvaging a rare animal model.
  • Address special time-critical cases such as countering a major threat to public health, e.g., creating smallpox vaccines to counter a bioterrorism threat or developing the capacity to respond to a new epidemic, such as West Nile virus.
  • Replace equipment, supplies, and time lost due to a natural disaster.
  • Reinstate grant funds that were approved by the scientific review group but cut due to the NIAID 20 percent cap on renewal applications (first year only) with Council approval. As detailed in the Strategies for Dealing with the R01 Budget Cap section of the Apply for a Renewal page, NIAID rarely uses this option.  

Costs and Project Period

Supplemental funding includes direct costs as well as associated facilities and administrative costs.

A supplement can start at any time during the budget period but must end on its last day. NIAID can provide new funds for the start of the next period.

If the budget period ends and supplemental funding remains, funds can be carried over to the next budget period. However, if a grant does not have automatic carryover, the recipient institution needs to submit a written carryover request. NIAID staff approve or disapprove such requests on a case-by-case basis.

An institute or center (IC) can supplement the grant of another IC, provided it was assigned as secondary IC for advisory Council review.


Grant recipients may ask for administrative supplements if the following requirements are met:

  • PI cannot pay for the requested resource by rebudgeting funds.
  • PI's unobligated balances cannot cover the request.
  • Grant is not in the first or last year of the competitive segment. Exceptions are orderly closeout of a clinical trial and reinstatement of scientific review group reductions.

Administrative supplements cannot pay for:

  • Increased costs due to an investigator's transfer or promotion.
  • A PI to move in a new scientific direction or use a new technology. For example, beginning use of microarray technology or an animal model not specified in the application.
  • Costs that have already been incurred (i.e., no retroactive supplements for work that has already been completed). 

Requests must stay within the scope of the research. If grant recipients need additional funds for a significant expansion in project scope, they should request a revision (competing supplement) rather than an administrative supplement. Check the Revision of a Grant SOP.

Principal Investigators

  • With your institutional official, contact your program officer to discuss requesting an administrative supplement.
    • Make sure you have read the criteria listed above.
    • Your program officer can advise you further about the circumstances in which NIAID awards supplements.
  • Do not use administrative supplements as a regular funding request.
  • Have your institutional official verify that required financial reporting is up to date.
  • Be sure to include the following with your request.
    • Reason for the request and justification for the funds.
    • Detailed budget and composite budget page if more than one year is requested.
    • Biographical sketch and human subjects documentation (if applicable) for any new key personnel.
  • Apply electronically using one of the methods shown in the Required Application Instructions section of the Parent Administrative Supplement notice of funding opportunity (NOFO).
  • Your institutional signing official may choose to Bypass 2-Business Day Application Viewing Window as an Option for Administrative Supplements.

Program Officers

  • Advise PIs about NIAID criteria for administrative supplements. When unsure about a request, discuss it with a grants management specialist before advising a PI.
  • Watch for email notifications about electronic requests.
  • View electronic requests in the IMPAC II Grant Folder. You may add notes to the Identifying Information field, which will not be shared outside of NIH.
  • Review requests for compliance with the NIAID guidelines listed above the roles in the Procedure section as well as fiscal and scientific need.
  • Check whether a PI repeatedly requests administrative supplements. If this is the case, advise the investigator on preparing a budget to cover fiscal needs.
  • Discuss a request according to division procedures, then do the following:
    • For electronic requests, go to the IMPAC II Grant Folder.
      • "Accept for Consideration" means that the request is sufficient to proceed with internal review. It does not mean that the request has been approved for funding.
        • Choose "Accept for Consideration" in the Actions column.
        • Continue with the NIAID Planning and Reporting System (NPARS) steps below.
      • "Refuse" terminates the request. Warning: once you make this choice, it cannot be changed.
        • Choose "Refuse" in the Actions column.
        • Complete the form with comments for the grant recipient.
        • Select "Done."
        • The status changes to "Refused" and the system emails a notification to the PI, the signing official, and the NIAID Institute mailbox.
    • For electronic requests, use NPARS.
      • Create an administrative supplement request in NPARS.
      • Forward the grant recipient's request to your Program Division NPARS Coordinator listed below.
      • Ask your NPARS coordinator to forward the NPARS request to the appropriate grants management specialist.
  • If the grants management specialist recommends disapproving the request, and you do not agree, work with him or her to resolve the issue.
  • If NIAID does not approve a supplement request, inform PI about alternative actions such as rebudgeting or carryover of funds.

Grants Management Specialists

  • Receive NPARS requests from the Program Division NPARS Coordinators listed below.
  • Review the supplemental request and NPARS justification to determine whether both the request and justification meet NIAID supplement eligibility criteria.
    • Review financial information:
      • Federal Financial Report (FFR) for grants that are required to submit annually.
      • Payment Management System for grants that do not submit FFRs annually.
    • Also review any explanation of unspent funds to determine the need for supplemental funds.
    • Prorate salary for number of months remaining in the budget period.
    • Check whether a PI repeatedly requests administrative supplements.
  • Approve or disapprove the supplement request in NPARS.
    • Include justification for your action along with any revisions to the dollar level.
    • If you plan to disapprove a request, discuss it with the GMP division coordinator and notify the program officer.
  • Issue the supplemental award once NIAID's budget office has issued a release list and all required assurances and approvals are in place. Restrict funds for the requested purpose.


Nadia Musa at or Shaun Gratton at  

Program Division NPARS Coordinators

DAIDS: Contact for NIAID Staff (primary) or Contact for NIAID Staff (backup)

DMID: Contact for NIAID Staff

DAIT: Contact for NIAID Staff

Use the contacts listed above for questions about your specific situation. If you have a general question or a suggestion to improve this page, email the Office of Knowledge and Educational Resources at


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