Rely on your program officer for advice on grant applications, NICHD's perspective on your research area, and confirmation that NICHD will accept your application. Program officers work in NICHD's Division of Extramural Research (DER).
For inquiries about a funding opportunity announcement, contact the program officer listed as the Scientific/Research Contact in the NIH Guide notice.
Note: You must contact your NICHD program officer no later than 6 weeks prior to the application due date for approval to submit the following application types:
- Applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any years. See NICHD Policy Guidelines: Large Grants for more information.
- Conference grants (R13 or U13)
Questions about Peer Review
Talk to your program officer if you are looking for any of the following:
- Insight into the peer-review process, such as what reviewers look for in an application
- Advice about formatting and supporting documentation in your application
- Help determining which NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) or NICHD Scientific Review Branch (SRB) study section is appropriate for your application
In general, applications for RFAs, program projects, R03 grants, R25 education grants, career development awards (K-series), institutional training grants (T32, K12), and other unique programs are reviewed by NICHD's SRB. Unsolicited investigator-initiated grants and fellowships (F-series) are reviewed by CSR study sections. These groups are managed by scientific review officers (SROs).
Contact NICHD DER staff about the following special programs:
- Small business awards. For help with Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit NICHD Small Business Programs.
- Training and career development grants. For fellowships, training grants, and career development awards, contact Dennis Twombly or visit Training and Career Development.
Important: If you are already working with a program officer, reference that person and any correspondence you've had if you get in touch with another office.
Talk to your institution's signing official to arrange your application submission to Grants.gov. You or your signing official may contact the Grants.gov Help Desk for assistance with technical aspects of the electronic forms.
When your application moves to eRA Commons, the website where NIH applicants and staff share administrative information about grants, you may also contact the Grants.gov Help Desk for registration help or for questions about using the system.
At this stage, the CSR Division of Receipt and Referral assigns your application to an integrated review group, an organization comprising several study sections, and then to a Scientific Review Group (SRG) comprising either a standing study section or a Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) that will perform the initial peer review. It also assigns your application to an NIH Institute or Center for potential funding.
Visit eRA Commons to find your assignment information and whom to contact for questions. If you don't see your study section or SEP assignment within 2 weeks, call the NIH Referral Office at 301-435-0715. Approximately 30 days before the review meeting, CSR posts your SRG's updated roster in eRA Commons.
Be aware that applications assigned to NICHD for review may have an initial assignment of ZHD1-SRC(99). This is a placeholder assignment that may appear in the Commons until SRB staff have made an official SRG and SRO assignment. If your application still shows a ZHD1-SRC(99) assignment 30 days after submission, contact the SRB Chief at 301-496-1485.
Contact your SRO with any questions related to initial peer review or submitting late application materials, such as news of an article accepted for publication, unavoidable changes in senior/key personnel, or change of institution. Find this person's contact information in eRA Commons or in your funding opportunity announcement.
Requesting a Different Study Section
If you feel your application was not assigned to an appropriate SRG, contact the program officer assigned to the application to discuss your options.
If your application was assigned to CSR, check CSR's Integrated Review Groups to find an alternative. If your application was assigned to NICHD SRB, check the SRB Initial Review Group Subcommittee Descriptions to find an alternative.
Discuss your alternative with the chief of the Integrated Review Group for your assigned study section or SEP. You can find his or her contact information on CSR's Office of the Director staff list, or NICHD's SRB staff directory, or ask your SRO, if you cannot find it online. Then, fax a letter to CSR at 301-480-1987 requesting a new assignment and briefly stating the rationale for the change.
If you have questions about your score and/or summary statement, contact your program officer. The program officer can help you interpret the critiques in the summary statement and may have insight into the discussion at the peer-review meeting. If funding for your application is not imminent, you may also discuss the prospects of resubmitting, as well as other options, with your program officer.
Find your program officer's name in eRA Commons or at the top of your summary statement.
Your contact depends on the type of information you're looking for.
- Science issues. Contact your program officer for science-related issues about your grant. Find this person in eRA Commons or on your Notice of Award.
- Administrative issues. Contact your grants management specialist for business and policy issues. He or she will also negotiate the terms and conditions of award with you and prepare your Notice of Award.
Grants specialists also can help you with new policies and guidelines that affect items you can request for your grant and how to request them, helping you avoid unnecessary paperwork or delays. Find your specialist in eRA Commons or on your Notice of Award.