Late Applications SOP

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. However, within a 2-week window of an application due date, the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) may consider accepting a late application for any notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) if a principal investigator has an NIH-accepted reason for submitting late. The only time NIH will not consider accepting a late application is when a request for applications (RFA) states in the Application Due Date field "No late applications will be accepted for this notice of funding opportunity."

NIH-accepted reasons include documented federal electronic systems issues; natural disasters; personal tragedies; and full-time, temporary, or ad hoc service on an NIH advisory group in the 2 months before or 2 months after an application due date. 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. But if a principal investigator has an NIH-accepted reason, he or she should provide an explanation in the cover letter submitted with the late application.

Investigators eligible for continuous submission may submit investigator-initiated R01, R21, and R34 applications at any time. This privilege does not apply to applications submitted for special receipt dates, which includes RFAs and some program announcements with special receipt, referral, and/or review considerations (PARs).

For guidelines about submitting additional materials after the application deadline, read Late Applications and Post-Submission Materials in Apply for a Grant.

Investigators and Applicants

Investigators Eligible for Continuous Submission

  • Confirm you are eligible for continuous submission—see the NIH Continuous Submission page for a list of who is eligible.
  • If eligible, apply for an investigator-initiated R01, R21, or R34 grant (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 NOFO.

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


SF 424 Application Guide 

Apply for a Grant

Serving on a Peer Review Committee

Understand Standard Due Dates & Review Cycles

Timeline for Assignment, Review, and Council

NIH Guide Notices

Simplifying the NIH Policy for Late Application Submission

Impact of Washington, DC Area Federal Office Operating Status on NIH Grant Application Due Dates

Update of NIH Continuous Submission Policy: Change in Submission Deadlines and End of Recent Substantial Service Option

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