NICHD Policy & Procedures for Administrative Supplements


An administrative supplement provides additional funding to an active NICHD grant to support research activities or other necessary items that fall within the original scope of the project. Requests for administrative supplements do not require evaluation by an initial peer review group but are subject to review and approval by NICHD Program and Grants Management staff. Administrative supplements are contingent upon the availability of funds and may be subject to review by the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council (NACHHD).

All requests for administrative supplements will be evaluated on the basis of need, strength of the justification, and availability of funds. Additional support will be provided only if there is insufficient flexibility, either through rebudgeting or unobligated balances within the grant, to meet the costs of the supplement.

For additional information on NIH Administrative Supplements, please view PA-20-272, “Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)”.


Administrative Supplement (Type 3 Award): This type of supplement is initiated by a grantee institution/PI as a request for additional funds for a current award for activities that are within the scope of work originally reviewed and approved for funding. This type of supplement request is evaluated internally by the NICHD and does not undergo formal peer review.

Competing Supplement/Revision (Type 3 Application and Award): This type of supplement is initiated by a grantee institution/PI as a request for additional funds for a current award to expand the scope of work from that originally reviewed and approved for funding. A competing supplement may be made only following submission of a competing supplemental application (now called “Revision”), peer review, and Council concurrence.

Examples of activities “within the scope of the original project” (administrative supplement):

  • Support of an unanticipated increase of approved direct cost expenses in a funded grant
  • Enhance the inclusion of targeted populations
  • Utilize or preserve a unique research resource
  • Provide for orderly termination or temporary continuation of support to prevent loss of research material or hardship of personnel

Examples of activities “outside the scope of the original project” (competing supplement/revised application):

  • Major modification or addition to methodology, approach, direction or type of research
  • Addition of a specific aim or research question

NICHD Policy for Non-Competing Administrative Supplements (without peer review)

Key Dates

Administrative supplement requests will be accepted throughout the year and are reviewed as they are received. The final submission date for current fiscal year consideration is July 1. Supplements received after July 1 will be considered for funding in the following fiscal year.

Award Budget

Each year, the Institute allocates a limited amount of funds to be available for administrative supplements; awards for approved actions will be made until funds for this purpose are no longer available. Application budgets are generally limited to no more than the amount of the most recent parent award and must reflect actual needs of the proposed project. The project and budget periods must be within the currently approved project period for the existing parent award.


To be eligible for an administrative supplement:

  • The grantee must have an active funded NIH grant and the proposed supplement MUST be within the general scope of the peer-reviewed activities and aims approved for the parent grant (view What Constitutes a Change in Scope for more information).
  • The grantee must be unable to pay for the requested item or resource by rebudgeting available funds.
  • The supplement is not to be used to pay for increased costs due to an investigator's change of institution or promotion.

NICHD may award administrative supplements to cover unanticipated costs of a project in a limited number of defined circumstances, on a case by case basis. Reasons for such an award may include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased cost of equipment and related services or loss of equipment originally available to the project from other sources.
  • Purchase of add-ons to equipment identified in the parent application, in order to leverage recent advances in the field of study and to more rapidly advance proposed aims.
  • Dissemination and/or preservation of a unique research material or resource.
  • Addition of patients, populations, or other items related to a protocol -- such as additional resources needed to ensure adequate safety of participants in clinical research [e.g., per recommendations of Data and Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMBs)] or the addition of resources to supplement recruitment and enrollment to ensure an adequate sample to address the study aims.
  • Provision for the orderly termination or temporary continuation of support to prevent loss of research resources or hardship of personnel, which includes taking advantage of a rare event or resource with an immediate need, e.g., preservation of a rare animal model or novel tools.
  • To address special, time-critical cases such as countering a major threat to public health or taking advantage of serendipitous and other unanticipated opportunities to increase the value of the project consistent with the originally approved objectives.
  • To prepare and disseminate materials concerning the project and for the purpose of ensuring that important findings from the project are made widely available in a timely and effective manner.

Numbers of Applications

In general, applicant organizations may submit more than one administrative supplement request per award, provided that each is sufficiently distinct from any other administrative request currently under consideration by NICHD. Administrative supplement applications that are not accepted or not funded by NICHD should not be resubmitted without approval by the NICHD Program Officer for the parent award.

Factors Considered in Award Determination

Administrative supplement requests will undergo an administrative evaluation by NICHD staff, but not a full peer review. Overall merit will be assessed based on the criteria designated in PA-20-272.

Notification to Grantee of NICHD Award Determination

The Notice of Grant Award (NoA) is the official documentation of the approval to support a supplement. A Term and Condition of Award will be included referencing the request from the grantee and restricting the use of funds for the supplement only.

Application Submission Procedures

Prior to submitting an administrative 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.

Eligible administrative supplement requests must be submitted electronically through the NIH ASSIST system, an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution, or Workspace as follows:

If presented with more than one form package, use the Competition ID and Competition Titles provided to determine the most appropriate application forms package for your situation.

Prepare applications using the SF424 (R&R) forms associated with the chosen package. Please note that some forms marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications under PA-20-272. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate required and optional forms. View PA-20-272 for additional guidance.

NIH also offers a streamlined system for submitting administrative supplements electronically through the eRA Commons. Applicants should login to the eRA Commons, identify the parent award, and prepare an administrative supplement request.  A User's Guide for submitting through this system is available. View PA-20-272 for additional guidance.


Principal Investigators

  • With the institutional official, contact the program officer to discuss requesting an administrative supplement.
    • Make sure to be familiar with the eligibility criteria.
    • Get advice from the program officer about the circumstances in which NICHD awards supplements.
  • Should not use administrative supplements as a regular funding request.
  • Should have their institutional official verify that required financial reporting is up to date.
  • Should ensure that the following information is included with the request:
    • Reason for the request and justification for the funds.
    • Detailed budget and composite budget page if more than one year is requested.
    • Biographical sketch and human subjects documentation (if applicable) for any new key personnel.
  • To submit the request, follow the guidance provided in PA-20-272.
  • Follow the Required Application Instructions in PA-2-272 to apply.
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