Pre-Submission Approval Required for Large Budget and R13/U13 Applications

Prior approval may be required before the NIH application due date. Please view the requirements of the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Without this prior approval, your application will not be accepted. Some applications always require pre-approval, including large budget applications and R13/U13 (conference) applications as described below. 

Large Budget Applications

For unsolicited applications with budgets of $500,000 or more in direct costs any year, or when otherwise required by the NOFO (see Section IV of the NOFO), you must seek prior approval at least six weeks before applying (earlier is even better). This policy is in place to help Institutes and Centers with budgetary planning. To submit your prior approval request:

Step 1:  Prepare the following information

  • Title of the project
  • Anticipated submission date
  • NOFO title and number
  • PI name(s) and institutional affiliations
  • Description of the proposed project or draft Specific Aims 
    • For multi-component projects / sub-projects:
      • Include a title and brief description for all components
      • The PI/lead of each component
      • Include a description of how components synergize for program project or center grant mechanisms
      • [OPTIONAL] A schematic or figure summarizing how the components fit together can be very helpful but not required
  • Budget Information
    • Excel spreadsheet or table by year including major budget categories (senior/key and other personnel, equipment, trainee support, other direct costs, etc) with direct and total cost per year
    • Brief narrative description of requested budget categories
  • Current PI(s) Other Support information

Step 2: Submit the information above to the appropriate Program Officer

  • The appropriate Program Officer can be found be either looking for the NINDS Program Officer named in Section VII of the NOFO under "Scientific/Research Contact(s)" or, if a specific or single name is not provided use the resources at Find your Program Officer.

Next Steps

  • Program staff will review the information submitted and may follow-up with additional questions.
  • Prior approval requests for large budget applications are reviewed for mission fit at NINDS as well as cost and priority considerations. The outcome of the prior approval request review will be communicated back to the applicant prior to the application due date.
  • If prior approval is not granted, applicants can still reconfigure their application and submit for a budget that does not meet the prior approval threshold (less than $500,000 in direct costs in every year). 
  • If prior approval is granted, applicants must include a cover letter with their application identifying the program staff member and that NINDS has agreed to accept the application. NOTE: The budget must not exceed what was requested during the prior approval process.

R13/U13 (Conference) Applications

Conference grant applications are required to obtain prior approval at least 6-8 weeks before the due date listed on the NOFO. To obtain prior approval to submit an R13/U13 application:

Step 1: Prepare the following information

  • Title
  • Approximate Dates of Conference
  • PI Name(s) and Institution/Affiliation
  • Brief Statement of Goals
  • Outline of Sessions/Topics
  • Preliminary List of Speakers
  • Other NIH Institutes of Centers that might be interested

Step 2: Submit information to NINDS

Next Steps

  • Your request will be reviewed for fit within the NINDS mission and to determine whether support from other NIH institutes and centers might be relevant.
  • If your request is approved, you must include a letter from the NINDS Referral Office documenting the willingness of NINDS to accept the application.


Want to contact NINDS staff?
Please visit our Find Your NINDS Program Director page to learn more about contacting Program Directors, Grants Management Specialists, Scientific Review Officers, and Health Program Specialists.