September 23, 2009

New Shorter NIH Application Forms Required for January Deadlines

The National Institutes of Health has announced that new, restructured versions of the paper PHS 398 and electronic SF 424 (R&R) application packages and instructions will be available by December 2009.

All new or resubmission applications targeting due dates on or after January 25, 2010 (for fiscal year 2011 funding) must use the new application forms and instructions, even if the initial submission followed the current application forms and instructions.

NIH will issue an NIH Guide Notice when the new forms and instructions are available. Applicants must return to the Funding Opportunity Announcement or reissued parent announcement to download the new forms and instructions.

Changes include significantly shorter page limits and restructured application packages. These changes will affect all competing applications submitted to NIH.

Key changes include:

Shortened Page Limits. The page limit for the new Research Strategy section will be 6 or 12 pages. One additional page will be allowed for Specific Aims.

Alignment of the Application with Peer Review Criteria:
  • Research Plan. Three sections of the current Research Plan (Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies/Progress Report, and Research Design and Methods) will be consolidated into a new single section within the Research Plan entitled Research Strategy. The new Research Strategy section will be sub-divided into three parts: Significance, Innovation, and Approach.

  • Resources. The Facilities and Other Resources section will be changed to require a description of how the scientific environment will contribute to the probability of success of the project, unique features of the environment, and for Early Stage Investigators, the institutional investment in the success of the investigator.

  • Biographical Sketch. A new Personal Statement will be incorporated as Part A, changing the parts formerly called A, B, and C to Parts B, C, and D. Applicants should limit the list of selected peer-reviewed publications to no more than 15.

For more information, see: