U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Grant Review Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most common Grant Review questions.​​​​​​


Should I apply to the NIDDK?

All applications are submitted to the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR)​, where they are assigned to the appropriate Institute.

Our research grants support all the research programs​ funded by NIDDK.  If your research is relevant to the NIDDK, then your application most likely will be assigned to the NIDDK by the CSR.  You may include a cover letter with your application indicating that you believe the NIDDK is the appropriate Institute for your application.

Who do I contact about my application?

Who you contact about your application is dependent on which phase of the application process you are in.

Before submitting your application:

  • Before submitting your application - If you need to discuss whether your application is suitable for the mission of the NIDDK or for a particular Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), you should contact one of the Program Officers responsible for your area of science.

After submitting your application:

  • Before your application has been reviewed - Contact the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) identified in eRA Commons.
  • After your application has been reviewed - Contact the Program Officer for your application identified in eRA Commons.​

How can I contact NIH staff?

​If you know the name of the person you need to contact, the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED)​ lists email addresses and telephone numbers for the NIDDK and NIH staff.  You may also search our Research Programs and Contacts.

Can I submit an administrative supplement request?

​Supplemental funds can be requested for emergency or other situations which result in unforeseen costs, such as natural or manmade disasters that damage the PI's lab or other research resources, failure of essential equipment, or unexpected or increased costs of recruiting subjects or 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 (PIs) speak with the program official associated with the parent grant to discuss eligibility, alignment with Institute expectations/priorities, and availability of funds.

Please note the following regarding administrative supplement requests:

  • 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). 
  • Other specialized administrative supplement programs such as Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (PA-08-190) and Research Supplements to Promote Re-Entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers (PA-08-191) are separate from the announcement cited below and are submitted and considered under different circumstances.
  • Applicants who are successful in receiving supplemental funds will be informed of the NIDDK’s decision via a Notice of Award.

For application instructions and other requirements please visit the Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements Funding Announcement (PA-12-100)​.

Can I send in an update to my grant application?

​NIDDK follows the ​NIH Policy on Post-Submission Materials (NOT-OD-10-115).  The NIH Office of Extramural Research has a number of FAQs related specifically to the FAQs on the aceptance of post-submission materials​.  If you have any questions about whether you may submit additional information, you should contact the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) in charge of the review of your application.

May I request additional time to submit my application?

NIDDK follows the NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications (NOT-OD-11-035) and the NIH Continuous Submission Policy (NOD-OD-08-026).  For applications that are submitted in response to Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) that have special receipt dates, the Simplified Policy for Late Application Submission (NOT-OD-15-039) specifies that the Application Due Date field in the FOA will state whether or not late applications will be accepted.

If I served on a Special Emphasis Panel recently, can I submit my application late?

​It depends. If the FOA you are submitting to has special receipt dates, the answer is maybe, and the option for late receipt will be specified in the Application Due Dates field of the FOA.  For regular receipt dates and most FOAs with special receipt dates, there is a one- to two-week window in which the NIH will consider accepting late applications.  Review service is one of the justifications in the NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications (NOT-OD-11-035)​ and the Simplified Policy for Late Application Submission (NOT-OD-15-039) that may be considered.

The Review Process

Can I request that the NIDDK transfer my application to a regular Study Section in the Center for Scientific Review (CSR)?

​If you believe that your application has been assigned to the NIDDK for review in error, then you should certainly contact the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) to determine if this is the case.  SRO contact information is available on eRA Commons​.

Who will be reviewing my application?

​The tentative roster of individuals who will be serving on the review panel for your application will be available in eRA Commons​ 30 days before the review date.  The NIDDK Review Branch recruits scientists who have the appropriate expertise to review the projects proposed in your application. We are careful to avoid conflicts of interest in the review process. If you think a certain individual should not review your application, please contact the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) for your application as soon as possible. SRO contact information is available on eRA Commons​.

How are grants approved?

​All submitted funding applications undergo a two-step peer review process​ by outside scientific experts to ensure the highest scientific standards among funded projects.  In the first step, a study section assigns numeric priority ratings to applications based on their scientific merit and feasibility.  In the second step, the NIDDK's National Advisory Council approves the study section's recommendations.  This process is mandated by U.S. law.

When will my grant be reviewed and hopefully funded?

​A general timeline will be provided in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.  The review meeting date will be available through eRA Commons​ once it has been finalized.

Why is my grant not being reviewed in a regular Study Section?

There are a number of reasons that a grant application may be reviewed by an Institute, rather than by the Center for Scientific Review.  At the NIDDK the following grant applications are reviewed by the Institute:

  • all career and mentored research training applications are reviewed in the NIDDK standing committees
  • NIDDK fellowship applications are reviewed in Special Emphasis Panels convened by our Institute
  • RFAs are almost always reviewed by Institute panels
  • a number of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) with specialized review criteria
  • multi-site clinical trials submitted to the parent FOA by the NIDDK​

Where is my application now?

Applications can be submitted during one of three yearly cycles.  The review process spans roughly 9 months from the time you submit your application to the time you can expect to hear about an award decision.   View the NIDDK Received By Dates​ to identify the schedule that your application will follow. 

If you applied for an F31, that schedule is different, and is in the chart below.


​ Receipt ​ Review ​ Funding Decision ​ Earliest Award
January - April ​ June/July ​ September/October ​ December
May - August ​ October/November ​ January/February ​​ April
September - December​ ​ February/March ​ May/June ​ July


What should I do if I would like to serve on a review panel?

​Send your CV to our Scientific Review staff for consideration to serve as a reviewer on our Resources for Reviewers​ page.

How are reviewers reimbursed?

Reviewers receive an honorarium of $200 per day if they participate in a review discussion, either in person or by telephone.  There is an honorarium of $100 for providing mail reviews. 
If you have to travel to an in-person meeting, you should book your travel through the World Travel Service​  so that NIH pays directly for your ticket.  NIH also pays the hotel for your lodging; you will need to provide a credit card for any incidental charges.  There is a flat rate reimbursement for non-local reviewers of $195 for miscellaneous expenses (taxis, shuttles, luggage fees, internet connection in sleeping rooms, etc.) and an $80 per diem with no paperwork to submit.  If you expect to incur expenses above $195, for example, if you drive your own car to a review meeting, it is possible to submit receipts to be reimbursed for the actual amount, but you should request this from the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) before the meeting. ​