NIGMS Recovery Act Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

For NIH answers to Recovery Act questions, including a section on Challenge Grants, see

My grant ended three months ago. Can I submit an administrative supplement or a revision if I ask for a no-cost extension now?

No, we cannot supplement a terminated or closed award.

How can I decide whether to apply for an administrative supplement or a revision?

If the request is within the scope of the parent grant, apply for an administrative supplement. If the request expands the scope of the parent grant, apply for a revision.

What does the extra quarterly reporting requirement entail?

It will include identifying what jobs were created/retained, what progress has been made and how the parent grant benefitted from the extra award, among other items. Standard Recovery Act terms and conditions can be viewed at In addition, see the NIH notice (NOT-OD-09-080) describing specific business processes for Recovery Act funding.

Do personnel hired with Recovery Act funds need to be U.S. citizens? I would like to hire a new postdoc who is from India and will be arriving in three months to work in my lab.

There is no Recovery Act prohibition against this. The hiring policies of the grantee institution must be followed, of course.

My grant currently ends August 31, 2009, so I cannot process a no-cost extension notification in the eRA Commons until after June 1, 2009. I want to submit an administrative supplement request now. Is the request limited to only the few remaining months, or can I include the anticipated extension time as well?

The NIH administrative supplement notice includes some flexibility for this very situation. It states, "Note that while NIH recommends that a no-cost extension already be in place before an administrative supplement request is submitted, this is not a requirement for all administrative supplement requests."

In this situation, you should prepare the administrative supplement request with the expected extension in mind and include those intentions in the application, including your institution's plans to execute the notification through the eRA Commons extension feature when appropriate.

Keep in mind that the maximum possible length of the supplement award will depend on the time remaining on the parent project, including the anticipated extension period.

Is there a limit on how many supplements/revisions I can submit?

While there is no limit on numbers, remember that administrative supplements and revisions must be distinct and not overlapping. If you are considering making several administrative supplement requests for the same grant, we encourage you to consider consolidating them into a single supplement request. If you have more than one grant, a supplement for each is possible. In addition, you can submit requests for both an administrative supplement and a revision for the same grant.

I'm serving on a review panel for the Challenge Grants. Given the continuous submission process that NIH provides for reviewers, am I eligible to get an extension of the submission deadline for any of the Recovery Act RFAs?

No, this kind of extension is available only for funding opportunity announcements that use standard submission dates, and RFAs do not.

Administrative Supplements

For NIH answers to Recovery Act questions, including a section on supplements and revisions, see

For the NIH notice on administrative supplements (NOT-OD-09-056), see

What is the maximum amount I can request in an administrative supplement?

While there is no absolute rule about the budget size of an administrative supplement, there are some general guidelines. Usually, a supplement would be 50 percent or less of the annual budget of the parent grant. Remember that an administrative supplement must be within the scope of the parent grant, so one with a very large budget may not conform to this requirement.

Is there a limit to how many Recovery Act administrative supplements I can request?

There is no limit to the number of administrative supplement requests that an investigator may submit. However, NIGMS is likely to receive substantially more supplement requests than we will be able to fund. One of the factors that we will consider is the number of other Recovery Act administrative supplements that have been (or will be) funded. In most cases, priority will be given to investigators who have not yet received other Recovery Act administrative supplements.

What are the page limits for an administrative supplement?

Five pages, which covers both the scope of the overall project (section 4a) and the research project plan (section 4b) under the heading of "Preparing an Administrative Supplement Request" in the NIH administrative supplement notice.

I intend to include letters of support with my administrative supplement application. Will that count against the five-page limit for sections 4a and 4b?


What criteria will NIGMS use to select and award administrative supplements?

The request must be well justified in terms of scientific need. It must conform to the Recovery Act goals of accelerating the pace of scientific research, stimulating the economy, and creating and/or retaining jobs, so how quickly the work can begin is important. The request must be for work that can be completed within the timeframe specified (up to two years for FY2009-funded supplements, one year for those funded in FY2010). Other factors, such as geographic distribution of grantee institutions, progress on the grant to date, amount of unobligated balances and the principal investigator's career status also may factor into our decisions.

Who decides if I get an administrative supplement?

This is an NIGMS staff decision based on a recommendation by the program director responsible for the grant and consultation with senior staff members.

When should I submit my request for an administrative supplement?

You may submit administrative supplement requests at any time. Be sure that you have written a sound and well-justified request. Although the deadline for receipt of the supplement request is July 15, 2009, if you are requesting an award in FY2009, an early submission allows staff to begin processing the request sooner, and you are likely to receive the award earlier.

Should I submit a request for an administrative supplement in paper or electronic form? And where do I send it?

We strongly encourage you to send your administrative supplement request to us at We also will accept requests mailed to the grants management specialist for your grant. Do NOT submit administrative supplement requests through

I want to submit administrative supplement requests for more than one component of a multi-component grant (e.g., a P01). Am I limited to a total of five pages?

No. You may submit up to five pages per component.

Where can I find more information on NIGMS' procedures and guidance on administrative supplements?



For NIH answers to Recovery Act questions, including a section on supplements and revisions, see

For the NIH notice on revisions (NOT-OD-09-058), see

Can I carry over my budget balance from the parent grant to support work outlined in the revision?

No, you cannot. Moreover, the balance from the parent grant will not be available to you after the revision ends (if you have time remaining on the parent grant).

Can I carry over an unspent budget balance from the revision?

No, the money must be spent by the end date of the revision. Any unobligated Recovery Act funds will not be available for expenditure after the end date of the Recovery Act award.

Although I am a faculty member at a foreign university, I want to hire an American postdoc to work on the project outlined in my revision application. Is that allowed?

Foreign grantees are not eligible to apply for Recovery Act funds, and each funding opportunity announcement includes limitations on how much a foreign component to a domestic grant may propose.

Where can I find more information on NIGMS' procedures and guidance on revisions?


Two-Year R01s

Will the budget for my R01, which has been reduced to two years through negotiations with the program director, still receive administrative cuts?

Yes, to some degree. NIGMS will still apply the same principles to budget reductions for the two-year R01s as it does to standard R01s, although the reductions may be less than normal.

Grand Opportunities Grants (RC2)

Are appendices allowed in Grand Opportunities grant applications?

Yes, appendices are allowed, but they must comply with the instructions in the SF424 and NIH Guide NOT-OD-07-018.

Faculty Recruitment

What is the intent of this program?

The intent is to contribute to startup packages for junior faculty so that they have a good foundation for becoming independent, tenure-track faculty members who are competitive for NIH awards.

Why does this use the P30 mechanism?

For technical reasons, this funding opportunity uses a research core. Despite the use of this mechanism, NIGMS does not intend our awards to be anything like a conventional resource or service core.

How will applications be reviewed?

Applications will be reviewed by standard NIH review procedures, in this case a special emphasis panel. Reviewers will consider the institutional selection process and environment, including how candidates will be identified and selected, the departmental and institutional track record for attracting junior faculty and programs available for their professional development.

Please note that we do not intend to make awards based on area of science or specific faculty candidates (more on this below).

How do I format the application?

It is difficult to address application requirements using the standard format of Aims, Background, Preliminary Data and Design and Methods sections, but you could include the history of the search in the Background section and describe the recruitment process in the Design and Methods section. Using subheads also helps.

The Research Plan (items 2-5) is limited to 12 pages, and appendices are not allowed. You must include letters of commitment as Item 16 of the Research Plan, not in an appendix.

Should I include a description of the general resources for the whole department, or a general description of what the resources might be for a new faculty member?

You could frame it in terms of what would be relevant to the area of research--computational clusters, 2P microscopes, MALDI-TOF spectroscope, etc. Departmental resources are undoubtedly sufficiently multi-purpose that you can make access to them a positive feature of your application.

Can we use the award to support more than one recruitment effort?

Yes, but bear in mind that our intent is to produce competitive startup packages in cases of demonstrable need.

Can we use the award to support collaborators and/or co-investigators?

No, funds should be for the support of the new faculty member.

Would a junior faculty recruit who has recently (within the last month) received and accepted an offer be eligible for funding under the P30 mechanism?

No, the funding opportunity announcement specifically precludes this.

Is it appropriate and/or expected to identify potential specific new faculty candidates by name and with a brief description of credentials?

Specific identities are not appropriate, but you should describe the characteristics of the desired applicant pool, such as high-impact publications, prestigious awards, etc.

The funding opportunity announcement states "describe plans for how their research ideas will be selected, developed and conducted as pilot research projects." Does this mean we should include funds for supporting pilot research projects in the P30 application budget?

Pilot research projects per se should not be proposed. Rather, you should discuss the general research context and how the interests of a candidate will align with and expand your strategic vision. You should discuss drivers of your funding timeline—when you anticipate the recruit to start, anticipated salary, equipment needs, etc.

Should applications include other personnel and if so, how should we present them?

NIGMS intends to support only the start-up package for the new faculty member, which may include technician or postdoc positions (who may be yet to be named). We will not support salary for colleagues, collaborators or the principal investigator on the application. However, the application should include the CVs of mentors and others who represent the research environment. It is not necessary to list them as key personnel. Using the other personnel section should suffice, and will help simplify application preparation, which also aligns with the intent of the funding opportunity.