COVID-19 latest NIH updates

Funding Opportunities Specific to COVID-19

New Funding Opportunity

  • Mechanism for Time-Sensitive Research Opportunities in Environmental Health Sciences (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is intended to support novel environmental health research in which an unpredictable event or policy change provides a limited window of opportunity to collect human biological samples or environmental exposure data. The primary motivation of the FOA is to understand the consequences of natural and human-made disasters, emerging environmental public health threats, and policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Non-US institutions are eligible to apply. Letter of Intent is due 30 days prior to the application due date.

COVID-19 Available Funding for Existing Grants

A number of Urgent and Emergency competitive revision Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) are published, including the following:

More information is available on the website

Flexibilities Available to Applicants and Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance Affected by COVID-19

The NIH is deeply concerned for the health and safety of people involved in NIH research, and about the effects on the biomedical enterprise in the areas affected by the HHS declared public health emergency for COVID-19. Therefore, certain administrative flexibilities will be applied to NIH applicants and recipients. 

These flexibilities are applicable to NIH applicants and recipients where the entity is conducting research activities related to or affected by COVID-19. Affected entities are those that have been closed, or business activities have been hindered due to COVID-19 precautionary measures and/or illnesses. Entities that are affected will be asked to provide documentation to NIH describing the effects, and how long their facility and NIH related research, clinical practices, or instruction was and/or will be affected.

  • Pre-Award Costs:

NIH is allowing pre-award costs to be incurred from January 20, 2020 through the public health emergency period and prior to the date of a federal award for all applicants and recipients that have been affected by COVID-19.

  • Extension of Post-Award Financial and Other Reporting:

If an university is unable to complete and submit financial and Research Progress Performance Reports (RPPR) by the scheduled due date, due to the effects of COVID-19, the university/PI should contact assigned grants management and/or program official to let them know the reports will be late.

NIH will accept these late reports but will delay issuing grant awards until the reports are received and accepted by the appropriate Institute or Center (IC).

  • Prior Approval Requirement Waivers:

As a reminder, recipients have rebudgeting authority available under NIH Grants Policy Statement Sec., which states, “NIH prior approval is not required to rebudget funds for any direct cost item that the applicable cost principles identify as requiring the Federal awarding agency's prior approval, unless the incurrence of costs is associated with or is considered to be a change in scope.”

Recipients that are not under Streamlined Non-competing Application Process (SNAP) have the discretion to carry forward unobligated balances on their active grants for immediate efforts to support activities related to or affected by COVID-19 as long as the charges are allowable costs and are within the scope of the original award.

In addition, affected recipients that have active non-SNAP grant projects may extend the final budget period of the approved project period on active grants one time for a period of up to 12 months without requesting prior approval, by notifying the assigned grants management specialist.

  • Cost Related Flexibilities/Expenditure of Award Funds:


 If a recipient organization’s policy allows for the charging of salaries and benefits during periods when no work is performed due to the effect of COVID-19, regardless of the funding source, including Federal and non-Federal, then such charges to NIH grant awards will be allowable.

Reminder: NIH awarding Institutes/Centers (ICs) may request documentation to confirm the requirements of institutional policies.


Institutions affected by COVID-19 may continue to provide stipend payments to fellows and trainees who may be unable to work as a result of or related to COVID-19. Recipients should notify the assigned grants management official, and provide documentation demonstrating the effect of COVID-19, and how long the institution will be affected.


Non-refundable costs associated with grant-related travel that has been cancelled due to COVID-19 may be charged to the NIH award if they would have otherwise been allowable. See NIH GPS 7.9.1 for detailed information on the allowability of travel expenses.

Conference Registration Fees:

Non-refundable registration fees for conferences, symposiums or seminars that have been cancelled due to COVID19 may be charged to the NIH award if they would have otherwise been allowable (e.g. necessary to accomplish program objectives).

Extension of Closeout

  • NIH will allow recipients that are affected by COVID-19 to delay submission of any final financial, performance, and other reports required by the terms and conditions of award for the closeout of expired projects, provided that proper notice about the reporting delay is given by the recipient to the agency. This delay may not exceed one year.

Extension of Single Audit Submission

  • Per 45 CFR 75.501, institutions expending $750,000 or more in Federal funding in a Fiscal Year (FY) are required to submit an annual Single Audit report.
  • NIH will allow recipients directly affected by COVID-19 to delay the completion and submission of the Single Audit report for up to 12 months beyond the normal due date.
  • The delayed completion and submission would still qualify the recipient as a “low-risk auditee” under the criteria of 45 CFR 75.520.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for additional guidance.