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NIH and AHRQ Announce Updated Policy for Application Submission

Notice Number: NOT-OD-14-074

Key Dates
Release Date: April 17, 2014

Related Announcements
NOT-OD-14-028
NOT-OD-12-128
NOT-OD-11-101
NOT-OD-11-057
NOT-OD-10-140
NOT-HS-10-002
NOT-OD-09-100
NOT-OD-09-003

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Purpose
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announce a change in policy on application submissions. Effective immediately, for application due dates after April 16, 2014, following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application, applicants may submit the same idea as a new (A0) application for the next appropriate due date. The NIH and AHRQ will not assess the similarity of the science in the new (A0) application to any previously reviewed submission when accepting an application for review. Although a new (A0) application does not allow an introduction or responses to the previous reviews, the NIH and AHRQ encourage applicants to refine and strengthen all application submissions.

Background
During the Enhancing Peer Review initiative, the NIH and AHRQ reduced the number of allowable resubmission applications from two to one (NOT-OD-09-003; NOT-HS-10-002), and stipulated that any subsequent submission for that project must demonstrate significant changes in scientific direction compared to the previous submissions. Those policies were implemented to address the growing trend for resubmission applications to be scored more favorably, which in essence created a queue for meritorious applications before success in funding.

In this extended period of tight funding, this approach resulted in many meritorious research applications being deemed ineligible for additional submissions, and many investigators having to propose substantial changes to productive research programs. New Investigators may have been significantly affected because new research directions may be quite difficult during this phase in their careers.

Policy
Effective immediately, the NIH and AHRQ will accept a new (A0) application following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application. The subsequent new application need not demonstrate substantial changes in scientific direction compared to previously reviewed submissions, and must not contain an introduction to respond to the critiques from the previous review.

NIH's policy for accepting overlapping applications remains in effect (see NOT-OD-09-100). The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:

    • a new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping resubmission (A1) application.
    • a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
    • an application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

The NIH time limit for accepting resubmission (A1) applications remains in effect (see NOT-OD-12-128 and NOT-OD-10-140). The NIH will not accept a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted later than 37 months after submission of the new (A0) application that it follows.

The NIH policy for New Investigator R01 resubmission deadlines, described in Guide Notice NOT-OD-11-057, remains in effect. A New Investigator whose new (A0) R01 application was reviewed in the Center for Scientific Review or the National Institute of Mental Health, and was unsuccessful, may submit a resubmission (A1) R01 application by the next New Investigator resubmission due date (April 10, August 10, or December 10). New Investigators who wish to submit a new (A0) R01 application following an unsuccessful resubmission application must use the standard due dates, regardless of the previous submission history for that project, unless they are eligible for Continuous Submission (see NOT-OD-14-028).

 

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