New Resubmission Policy at NIH

The National Institutes of Health is now allowing grant applicants to resubmit unsuccessful proposals as new.

By | April 22, 2014

FLICKR, VALENTIN OTTONEWhile the National Institutes of Health (NIH) previously allowed those applying for research funds a chance to resubmit grant applications only once, last week (April 16) the agency announced that grant applicants that are unsuccessful a second time can resubmit again, this time as new, stand-alone proposals. The policy eliminates the need to show how the application has changed or responding to previous reviews for resubmission as a new application.

“While the new policy still allows a single resubmission per application, ideas that were unsuccessfully submitted as a resubmission (A1) may now be presented in a new grant application (A0) without having to substantially redesign the content and scope of the project,” NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research Sally Rockey explained in an April 17 Rock Talk blog post. Moreover, she added, “reviewers will be instructed to review it as a new idea even if they have seen it in prior cycles.” Rockey noted, however, that applicants ought to consider previous reviews when submitting revised proposals in order to have the best possible chance of favorable grant reviews.

As ScienceInsider reported, in the increasingly tight funding climate the agency’s old policy had become “especially hard on young investigators,” who often had to drastically alter their research trajectories, or even scrap promising approaches altogether, to try to secure grants.  

Whether the policy change will help budding researchers has yet to be seen. But according to Howard Garrison, deputy executive director for policy at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), NIH’s new rule is a step in the right direction. “The policy that allowed only two strikes was very harmful to early career investigators who were just learning their craft, and it was unfair to people who barely missed the payline,” he told Chemical & Engineering News, which noted that FASEB has lobbied against the agency’s previous policy for years.

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Avatar of: wctopp


Posts: 110

April 22, 2014

I couldn't recommend that a young U.S. student consider majoring in biology and plan on a career including research.  I'm agnostic about whether we have too many biologists, too little grant money, or both.

Avatar of: EvMedDr


Posts: 14

April 22, 2014

And will the A0 application be guaranteed to go to a new primary and secondary Reviewer? If not, this is merely a ploy to further extend the agony of defeat, making the Reviewers angry in the process. Without such assurance this is absurd policy.

Avatar of: blumberg


Posts: 32

Replied to a comment from wctopp made on April 22, 2014

April 23, 2014

Molecular and Cell Biology is the largest major at UC Berkeley, a school with over 25,000 undergraduates.  I'd say that's too many.  What on earth could we possibly do with so many amateur molecular biologists?

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