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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ Pages
spacer The Top 10 Questions
 General questions about NLM grants
 Applying for a grant
 How grant applications are reviewed
 Priority Scores & summary statements
 Grant awards
 Extensions, changes and reports
 Revising an unsuccessful grant application
 The Federal DUNS Number Application Requirement

The Top 10 Questions

Q: Is the grant deadline the postmark date or day NIH receives it?

A: From ...

Electronic grant applications must be successfully received by no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) in order to be considered “on time.”

A paper application is on time if it is either: (1) received by the published receipt date, or (2) mailed on or before the published receipt date and a proof of timely mailing is provided.

Proof of timely mailing consists of:
  • a legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark, or
  • a dated receipt from a commercial carrier or the U.S. Postal Service
Private metered postmarks are not acceptable. This policy also applies to AIDS-related applications and to AREA applications.
When a receipt date falls on a weekend or holiday, the receipt date will be the following business day.

Q: Where is my check?

A: No check is mailed to you. Access to awarded grant funds is arranged through the Department of Health and Human Services Payment Management System. Federal funds deposited in a grantee's bank account. Instructions on how to gain access to grant funds are sent to the administrative official listed on the face page of your grant application. The NIH Welcome Wagon letter at explains the process for new grantees.

Q: I know my priority score - how can I tell if my application will be funded?

A: Generally speaking, applications receiving priority scores between 100 and 150 will be the first to be considered for funding. Depending on availability of funds, their relevance to NLM priorities, and the balance of NLM's grant portfolio, some applications with scores in the 150 to 200 range may be funded. Scores greater than 200 are seldom funded.

Q: When will I know if I'm going to be funded?

A: The time from an application deadline to a funding decision is about 9 months. For example, an application submitted February 1 will receive first level review in mid June. At that time, you will know your priority score. About 3 months later, in September, the second level of review will be completed. Final award decisions are made 1-2 months after the 2nd level review.

Q: Can I send additional materials after the deadline?

A: Every effort should be made to submit a complete, intact application, including letters of support. If you find typos, paging or budget errors after you have mailed an application, contact the program officer responsible for the grant program. After an application has received the first level of review, no additional information may be submitted unless it is specifically requested by the NLM program officer or grants management staff.

Q: Is my project human subjects research?

A: NIH requires that projects involving human participants receive approval by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) unless an exemption applies. You must review the PHS 398 instructions (section 8) regarding human subjects and exemptions in order to complete boxes 4 through 4c on the face page of your application. If your project is not exempt, IRB approval will be required before an award can be made. However, IRB approval is not required prior to peer review. Human Subject Regulations Decision Charts are available at . These charts provide graphic aids to help you decide whether your project is considered research, whether an IRB review is needed, and whether informed consent can be waived. Following review, applicants whose applications are within a fundable range are asked to provide assurance of IRB review. See for details on what will be requested. If your grant project involves human subjects, you may need to provide training in the protection of human subjects to all key personnel listed in your application. See for details.

Q: Which budget am I supposed to use - modular or non-modular?

A: The grant program description tells you which budget format to use. Generally speaking, Research, Small project, and SBIR grants requesting $100,000 or less in direct costs per year must use the modular budget. IAIMS grants, IADL grants, Information System grants and Publication grants use the traditional, non-modular (PHS 398 pages 4 & 5) budget regardless of the amount requested.

Q: Are indirect costs (facilities and administration costs) paid on all grants?

A: No. Only direct costs are supported for resource grants. The purpose of resource grants is to build/improve information infrastructure, resources and services at an organization. Because these grants ’add' to an organization's infrastructure rather than using the organization's infrastructure, administrative overhead costs are not awarded.

Q: Where can I get a sample of a successful grant?

A: The best source for a copy of a successful grant is the principal investigator. NIH's CRISP database at provides abstracts of funded grants, along with a mailing address for the principal investigator. Alternatively, you may request a grant under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Contact NLM grants management staff to initiate a FOIA request. NIH requires that personal salary information and other proprietary information be removed from any grant provided in response to a FOIA request.

Q: How do I cite my grant in a publication or website?

A: The citation should include the grant number and the awarding Institute or Center, followed by a disclaimer. Some examples:
  • This publication [or web site] was partially supported by Grant Number R01 LM1234 from the National Library of Medicine, NIH.
  • The project described was supported by Grant Number GO8 LM1234 from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
A standard disclaimer should follow, such as:
  • The contents of this report [or web site] are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the the National Library of Medicine or NIH, DHHS.


Last reviewed: 02 May 2008
Last updated: 02 May 2008
First published: 20 November 2003
Metadata| Permanence level: Permanence Not Guaranteed