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Grants Process Overview


Grants Process At-A-Glance

The following NIH "Grants Process At-A-Glance" chart is provided as a sample of the general time element necessary for a competing application to proceed from Receipt and Referral through the Peer Review process to negotiation and award.

Planning, Writing, Submitting
Planning, Writing, Submission   green line

Planning: Applicant should start early, collect preliminary data, and establish internal deadlines.


Writing: Applicant often begins writing application several months prior to application due date.


Submitting: Applicant organization submits application to NIH/Division of Receipt and Referral (DRR), Center for Scientific Review (CSR) (using Grants.gov and eRA Commons for electronic submissions).

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Receipt and Referral    
Receipt/Referral Month 1-3   green line

Application arrives at CSR.
(Applications compliant with NIH policies are assigned for review and funding consideration.)


CSR assigns application to an NIH Institute/Center (IC) and a Scientific Review Group (SRG).


Scientific Review Officer (SRO) assigns applications to reviewers and readers.

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Peer Review    
Peer Review Months 4-8   green line

Initial Level of Review:
SRG members review and evaluate applications for scientific merit.


Priority Scores:
Available to PD/PIs on eRA Commons.


Summary Statement: Available to PD/PIs on eRA Commons.


Second Level of Review: Advisory council/board reviews applications.

  arrow arrow arrow arrow
Award Months 9-10   green line

Pre-Award Process: IC grants management staff conducts final administrative review and negotiates award.*


Notification of Award: IC issues and sends Notice of Award (NoA) to applicant institution/organization.


Project period officially begins!


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*Requests additional information needed just-in-time for award.

Post-Award Management    
Post-Award Management   green line

Administrative and fiscal monitoring, reporting, and compliance.


NOTE: Timeline is based on the standard grants process. It does not reflect a shorter timeframe for grants undergoing expedited review (e.g., AIDS) and NIH Pilot Study to Shorten the Review Cycle for New Investigator.


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