NSF and NIH Resumption of Operations

President Obama signed legislation ending the 16-day federal government shutdown about 30 minutes after midnight on Oct. 17, allowing the government to reopen and placing a Continuing Resolution in place as a temporary measure to fund the government through January 15, 2014.  The NSF and NIH are emerging from the 16-day funding lapse that severely limited their ability to conduct their mission to advance the progress of science and engineering. During this time, no proposals were received or distributed for peer review, no review panels were convened, and no new awards were made.  It will take some time for NSF and NIH to work through the backlog caused by the shutdown, resulting in inevitable delays in funding decisions and possible cancellations of other activities.  NSF systems are now up and operational, however, no decision has been made regarding missed proposal deadlines or panels.  NIH systems will resume on Monday, October 21.  More specific information from the NSF and NIH is provided below.

The Office of Research will continue to monitor the government agencies’ resumption actions and let you know how and if they will affect research activities here at Notre Dame.  If you have specific questions, please contact Rick Hilliard, 631-5386 or Hilliard.1@nd.edu for Pre-Award or Mike Zenk, 631-9972 or mzenkm@nd.edu for Post-Award guidance or you may contact us more generally at orhelp@nd.edu or 631-7432.

NSF Specific Guidance

NSF will provide revised due dates for funding opportunities with deadlines or target dates occurring between October 1 through 25, 2013. This information will be disseminated as soon as it is available via a FastLane Advisory and other electronic methods.  All panels that were canceled due to the shutdown will be rescheduled to a later date, unless a different direction is determined by the cognizant Program Officer.  Ad hoc reviews that could not be submitted via FastLane during the shutdown may now be submitted via the FastLane Proposal Review function.  In many cases, the Foundation will not be able to meet their customer service standard of informing applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months of the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. Grants or cooperative agreements impacted by the shutdown will be awarded based on a schedule that will be determined as early as practicable. Lastly, continuing grant increments that could not be processed during the shutdown will be issued by NSF as early as practicable.

Note:  Now that normal operations have resumed, awardees should submit their project reports via Research.gov as soon as possible.  In addition, awardees may now submit no‐cost extensions, award transfer requests, supplemental funding requests, and other post award notifications and requests via the FastLane Notifications and Requests module.


NIH Specific Guidance

NIH systems will resume on Monday, October 21 and pertinent information regarding missed proposal deadlines and opportunities follows:

Rescheduling October Application Due Dates

  • All October grant application due dates have been rescheduled as follows:

Standard Due Dates:

Activity Code Original Due Date New Due Date
R01s, U01s (New) October 5 November 12
Ks (New) October 12 November 12
R03s, R21s, R34s, R36s (New) October 16 November 18
R15s (All) October 25 November 18

Special Due Dates:

Funding Opportunity Original Due Date New Due Date
Various RFAs, PARs, Pas Due dates not listed above November  1*


Funding Opportunity Original Due Date New Due Date
PAR-13-277 October 1 November  14
PAR-13-351 October 23 November 14
RFA-AI-13-043 October 23 November 14
PAR-13-086 October 24 November 14
PAR-13-087 October 24 November 14
  • November grant application due dates will not change.
  • Grants.gov will continue to accept applications for funding opportunity announcements with October closing dates, even if those dates have passed.


Processing of Applications Submitted During the Shutdown
Applications submitted since October 1 have been held at Grants.gov and will be processed by NIH’s eRA systems on Monday October 21st, once NIH makes eRA systems available.

  • All error free applications submitted during or in the two days prior to the shutdown will be held for viewing in the Commons on Tuesday and Wednesday Oct 22 and 23 to ensure applicants have 2 full business days to check their application image before it moves on to NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR) for processing.
  • Please proactively check the Commons late on Monday or on Tuesday for the status of any application submission. The timing of system notifications may not be quite right during the first few days of processing. Note it may take a number of hours to process the queue of applications in Grants.gov, so please be patient.

Replacing an Application that was Submitted for an October Due Date
Since October application due dates are moving to November, NIH is giving applicants who have already submitted an application for an October due date the opportunity to replace the submission with a “refreshed” application.  Follow the guidance below if you choose to submit a replacement application:

  • If an application has an image in the eRA Commons and is within the two day viewing window the institutional Signing Official should first reject the application in the Commons to keep it from further processing, then submit the refreshed application.
  • If there is no option to reject the application in the Commons (meaning the application has moved beyond the viewing window for further processing by NIH), applicants should withdraw the application before submitting a refreshed application.
  • Applications that have been submitted but have errors (thus have no application image), can submit a changed/corrected application.

Note: Replacing the application submission with a “refreshed” application does not count as a resubmission (A1), meaning that an application submitted for an October due date as a “new” application should be submitted as a “new” application. A “resubmission” should be submitted again as “resubmission”.  A “renewal” should continue to be a “renewal”.

Rescheduling Peer Review Meetings
The shutdown required that NIH cancel over 200 peer review meetings, impacting the review of over 11,000 applications.  The volume of missed meetings complicates NIH efforts to catch up, requiring NIH to handle peer review meetings as follows:

  • Applications that were reviewed before the shutdown will go to January council as originally planned. Review meetings for most small business, AIDS and fellowship applications will continue as planned and those applications will be considered at January councils as well.
  • Many review meetings for research grants (R01, R03, R21, R15, etc) and career development applications that were missed or will be missed due to the shutdown will be rescheduled for February/March and these applications will be reassigned to the May council round.

Opportunity to “Refresh” Applications that are Reassigned to May 2014 Council
Applicants whose review meetings are rescheduled and whose applications are reassigned to the May 2014 Council and will be notified via email to the principal investigator and the signing official listed on the grant application.  In addition, meeting dates listed in the eRA Commons for these applications for will be changed to 09/09/9999 so they can be identified.

Applications will proceed to the February/March 2014 review without any action from the applicant.  However, NIH is giving applicants the option of withdrawing and submitting a refreshed application.  If you choose to replace your application, follow the steps below carefully:

  • Withdraw the existing application by November 8.
  • Submit the application to the original funding opportunity announcement (FOA), if possible. If that FOA has closed, submit to the appropriate parent announcement. If there is no parent announcement for that activity code, send an e-mail to grantsinfo@od.nih.gov with the previous FOA number and we will work with you to get the application submitted.
  • Submit a cover letter with the refreshed application. Indicate that you are refreshing your application for the new council round, include the previous application number, and provide the previous study section assignment.
  • Make the application a “new” or “resubmission” to match the withdrawn application.
  • All replacement applications are due by November 20. No late applications will be allowed for this special due date.
  • Only applicants who are rescheduled for May 2014 Council round may submit at the November 20th deadline.  Any other applications to this deadline will be returned without review.

Early Stage Investigator Eligibility
NIH will automatically adjust the Early Stage Investigator (ESI) status for applicants whose status has changed during the period of delay caused by the shutdown.

K99/R00 Eligibility
Information updating timelines for the K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence Award program will be issued separately.

Award Actions
NIH anticipates beginning to release awards sometime after November 1.