Request for Primary IC Assignment SOP

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

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To request the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) 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 applications on the 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
    • Tell your division coordinator to initiate an Awaiting Receipt of Applications (ARA) through the IMPAC II ARA module. CSR uses ARAs to make a referral decision when a principal investigator (PI) submits an application. See the 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, contact the program officer from the other institute to discuss transfer.
      • If the other institute agrees to transfer the application, follow the Request for Assignment Changes Instructions and prepare an assignment change request email, get concurrence from your branch chief, and route it to your division coordinator who will initiate an Assignment Change Request (ACR, electronic 901) through the IMPAC II ACR module.
    • After the Summary Statement Is Released
      • Ask the program officer from the other institute if it intends to fund the application.
      • If the other institute does not intend to fund and agrees to release primary assignment to NIAID:
        • Discuss with your branch chief whether NIAID will fund the application.
        • After your branch chief approves, contact the NIAID budget office for budget approval.
        • If the budget office approves, follow the Request for Assignment Changes Instructions and prepare an assignment change request email, get concurrence from your branch chief along with the budget approval, and route to your division coordinator.
  • If the other institute’s program officer does not agree to release primary assignment to NIAID, you can request a dual assignment. See the Dual Assignments SOP.

Division Coordinators

  • Initiate an ACR (electronic 901) using the IMPAC II ACR module.
  • For assignments accepted after peer review, inform Contact for NIAID Receipt Referral that your division will take primary assignment to fund, and include the budget approval.

NIAID Receipt Referral Officer

  • Verify the information on the ACR (electronic 901) 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 Contacting Program Officers and Grants Management Specialists.

Contact for NIAID Receipt Referral

Division Coordinators

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


Negotiating the Locus of Peer Review SOP

eRA System SOP

NIAID Request for Assignment Changes From CSR SOP

Apply for a Grant

Application Assigned to a Review Group

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