Dual Assignments SOP

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

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To allow the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) to assign grant applications to more than one institute for funding consideration, based on NIH referral guidelines.


Dual assignments acknowledge shared interests of institutes in a scientific area and inform appropriate institutes of an application.

Applications may receive primary and secondary assignments. CSR assigns applications to institutes with programmatic interest in the proposed research or training. The institute with the most relevant program is designated primary; others are secondary. Principal investigators (PIs) can ask CSR for a dual assignment in their PHS Assignment Request Form.

NIAID staff may ask CSR to add NIAID as a secondary assignment when: 1) an application is assigned to another institute but is of substantial interest to NIAID, 2) NIAID is considering co-funding, or 3) an applicant has requested it.

NIAID staff can request a secondary assignment of an application either before or after initial peer review. Alternatively, staff can request removal of a secondary assignment if the science is not relevant to NIAID.

An application is given Council consideration by both the primary and secondary institutes. If the primary does not intend to make an award, the secondary has the opportunity to do so.

For other information, see the Request for Primary IC Assignment SOP.


  • In your application's PHS Assignment Request Form, you can request up to three institutes for primary assignment of your application. CSR may make both primary and secondary assignments.
  • After your application has been assigned to an institute, you can ask a program officer to request a secondary assignment.
  • You can check your institute assignments in eRA Commons.

Program Officers

  • To request adding or deleting NIAID as a secondary assignee, email the following information to your division coordinator:
    • Full grant number, e.g., 2R01AI12345-06A1
    • PI's full name
    • Any correspondence with the PI or other institute
  • If the primary assigned institute is not able to fund an application, but NIAID, as the secondary, wishes to fund, follow the Request for Assignment Changes Instructions, prepare an assignment change request email requesting primary assignment to NIAID, and send it to your division coordinator. See the Request for Primary IC Assignment SOP for more information.

Division Coordinators

  • Initiate an Assignment Change Request (ACR) through the ACR module when a program officer sends you an assignment change request email.

NIAID Receipt and Referral Group

  • Verify the information in the ACR.
  • Submit the ACR to CSR. 
  • When you receive a request to add or remove NIAID as a secondary assignee, make a change in IMPAC II through the Internal Referral Module to notify CSR of the assignment change.
  • Notify the division coordinator and program officer by email when the ACR is completed.
    • Requests for adding a secondary assignment route to NIH’s Division of Receipt and Referral for final approval.
    • Requests to delete a secondary assignment are auto-completed.


Applicants with questions should refer to Contacting Program Officers and Grants Management Specialists.

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 deaweb@niaid.nih.gov.


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