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Administrative Supplements to Research Grants and Cooperative Agreements

The purpose of an administrative supplement is to provide additional funds to an active grant or cooperative agreement to pay for necessary items or activities that fall within the scope of that award, but were unanticipated at the time that the new or competing continuation application was submitted. (See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, section on Change in Scope  for more information) NIMH provides such supplements for a current budget period and future years, if necessary, to meet certain unforeseen new or increased costs that are within the scope of the approved grant. An administrative supplement request is subject to an internal review and does not require peer review but may, in some circumstances, be subject to review by the National Advisory Mental Health Council.

The award of an administrative supplement depends on several factors, including alignment with Institute expectations/priorities, documented need, and availability of funds from NIMH's allocation for supplements. NIMH awards administrative supplements under a limited number of defined circumstances, on a case by case basis. Documented justification and the approval of the program officer and other designated NIMH staff are required.


Prior to submitting a 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.

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 (See 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 parent grant's estimated unobligated balance for the budget period is generally less than 20% of the annual award.
  • The supplement is not to be used to pay for increased costs due to an investigator's change of institution or promotion.

NIMH 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.

Administrative supplement requests are not peer reviewed and are reviewed as they are received. Please note that supplements are awarded in rare circumstances and based on availability of funds.

Administrative Supplements can be submitted in either of two routes:


Application Due Date(s)

NIMH accepts and reviews administrative supplement applications on a continuous basis until April 1 of each fiscal year (FY). Applications received after April 1 will be considered for funding in the next fiscal year. Earlier submission is strongly encouraged.

  • Applications for FY 15 funds should be submitted no later than April 1, 2015 by 5:00 pm.
  • Applications for FY 16 funds should be submitted no later than April 1, 2016 by 5:00 pm.
  • Applications for FY 17 funds should be submitted no later than April 1, 2017 by 5:00 pm.

For specific questions regarding eligibility or questions about the science to be proposed, please contact the program official assigned to the parent grant.

For questions regarding financial eligibility, please contact the grants management specialist assigned to the parent grant.

For general information on NIMH’s administrative supplements policy, contact:
Tracy Waldeck, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institutes of Health
Phone: (301) 435-0322
Email: waldeckt@mail.nih.gov