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NIDCR Guidelines for Competitive Revision Applications Using Recovery Act Funds


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces the opportunity for investigators and United States institutions/organizations with active NIH-supported research project grants (including SBIR and STTR) to submit revision applications (formerly termed competitive supplements) to support a significant expansion of the scope or research protocol of approved and funded projects.  Support for these revision applications will come from funds provided to NIH through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“Recovery Act” or “ARRA”), Public Law 111-5.  In addition, Recovery Act funds allocated to NIH specifically for comparative effectiveness research (CER) may be available to support supplements.  Projects receiving these funds will need to meet this definition of CER: “a rigorous evaluation of the impact of different options that are available for treating a given medical condition for a particular set of patients. Such a study may compare similar treatments, such as competing drugs, or it may analyze very different approaches, such as surgery and drug therapy.” Such research may include the development and use of clinical registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data that can be used to generate or obtain outcomes data as they apply to CER.

This initiative is one of several being offered by the NIDCR to help fulfill the goals of the Recovery Act to help stimulate the economy through support of biomedical and behavioral research. Additional information about the Recovery Act and related NIH opportunities is available through the Office of Extramural Research.

Areas of Scientific Priority:

The purpose of a Competitive Revision is to add scientifically-related components that significantly expand the scope of the project. Consistent with the NIH Notice, NIDCR intends to accept applications for competitive revisions under this notice in all scientific areas relevant to the NIDCR mission.   For an overview of areas considered of particular interest to the NIDCR mission, please refer to the NIDCR Strategic Plan 2009-2013

Within the scientific and programmatic areas described in the NIDCR Strategic Plan, NIDCR is particularly interested in awarding competitive revisions with Recovery Act funds in the areas listed below:

  • Hiring students, postdoctoral fellows or other personnel to accomplish new scientific objectives or to generate novel resources

  • Making investments in technology essential to expand the goals of the project or to enhance energy efficiency in the expansion of the project.

  • Requesting that a single PD/PI grant be changed to a multiple PD/PI grant or otherwise modifying the multiple PD/PI team in order to add and pursue new scientific goals. (NOTE: a Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan will be required as part of the application.)

  • Establishing new collaborations with investigators from different scientific disciplines, health fields, or university departments to support an expansion of research scope. Collaborators may be at any career stage from early career investigators to senior scientists.  Collaborators with unique expertise could be recruited to develop additional in depth studies in support of the original aims.

  • Supporting students and postdoctoral fellows for a period of cross-training in other research laboratories, and who would bring their expertise back to their home institution to benefit the progress of the parent grant.

  • Other types of revisions may be appropriate but must be consistent with the goals of the Recovery Act.

Funding Priorities:

Overall, the NIDCR expects to devote $10,000,000 to this ARRA supplement program. In addition, the NIDCR will give higher priority to applications requesting total annual costs not exceeding $200,000. Applicants interested in pursuing topics with higher requested costs, should contact their Program Director prior to application submission to discuss the rationale for the costs and ascertain Institute interest.

[NOTE added 3-25-09: This guidance is not intended to signal that all Competing Revisions should request $200,000.  The NIH Notice states that there is no maximum dollar limit on the budget request for a revision application; however, the requested budget must be reasonable and appropriate for the work being proposed.  (Note that equipment purchases cannot exceed $100,000).]  

For this initiative, NIDCR will accept supplement requests for the following types of grants (activity codes):

  • R00, R01, R03, R15, R21, R33, R34, R37, R56, R21/R33, R41, R42, R43, R44, SC2, and Program Project grants, Center grants, Cooperative Agreements, RL1, and UL1. 

The following types of grants (activity codes) will not be accepted by NIDCR:

  • Fs, Ks, T32, L30/40, R13/U13, R25

Contact Information:

Program Contact(s): see Contacts by Research Area 

Grants Management Contact:
Mary Daley, 301-594-4808,

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This page last updated: February 26, 2014