Supplements to Research Grants

Administrative Supplements to Research Grants and Cooperative Agreements at NIDDK

An administrative supplement is a request to provide additional funds to a grant or cooperative agreement to pay for necessary items or activities that fall within the scope of that award, but were unanticipated at the time that the new or competing continuation application was submitted. Supplemental funds can be requested for emergencies or other situations which result in unforeseen costs. The most recent NIH Administrative Supplement funding announcement is PA-20-272. An administrative supplement request is subject to an internal review and does not require peer review.

Important Consideration: What activities are considered “within scope” and what would be a “change in scope”? See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, section on Change in Scope, for more information.

Other specialized administrative supplement programs such as Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research and Research Supplements to Promote Re-Entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers are separate from this announcement and are submitted and considered under different circumstances.


NIDDK has prioritized its budget to maintain funding of investigator-initiated grants at the highest possible level. Therefore, the institute has little flexibility to support administrative supplements. Given this prioritization, the number of successful administrative supplement applications will be extremely low and generally limited to rare, unforeseen circumstances (e.g., requests to replace key pieces of equipment following a natural disaster).


Situations that could warrant a supplement are

  • natural or manmade disasters that damage the principal investigator's lab or other research resources
  • failure of essential equipment
  • unexpected or increased costs of recruiting subjects
  • unexpected or increased costs of performing laboratory analyses


Requests must be within the scope of research proposed and reviewed in the parent grant. Prior to submitting a supplement request, it is strongly recommended that principal investigators speak with the associated NIDDK program official to discuss eligibility, alignment with Institute expectations/priorities, and availability of funds.

Applicants who are successful in receiving supplemental funds will be informed of the NIDDK’s decision via a Notice of Award.

Competing Revision Application (formerly termed Competitive Supplement)

A competing revision is a request for an increase in support in a current budget period for expansion of the project's approved scope or research protocol. An application is required and this application undergoes NIH peer review. Revision applications are submitted using the forms, instructions, and guidelines detailed in the parent grant’s originating NOFO. Should the parent grant’s NOFO be expired, applicants are encouraged to apply via the guidelines for the appropriate parent announcement.

Last Reviewed November 2024