Administrative Supplement Requests for NIDA Grants and Cooperative Agreements

Administrative Supplements Purpose and Background

An administrative supplement provides additional funding to an active NIDA grant or cooperative agreement to support research activities or other necessary items that fall within the original scope of the project.  

Administrative supplements are restricted to requests for increased costs due to unforeseen circumstances in high priority research programs. Consistent with existing NIDA policies, it is anticipated that NIDA administrative supplements will be awarded only under rare circumstances. The request must be strongly justified and must address the criteria detailed in the parent announcement for administrative supplements under, Section V., Application Review Information.

Some examples of supplemental requests that might be considered for funding:  

  • Preservation of a unique research material or resource that may otherwise by lost, such as maintaining a unique knockout mouse model.
  • Additional of patients, populations, or other items related to a protocol due to enrollment issues, a need for statistically significant data, or responses to protocols and data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) reviews.
  • Provision for an 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 with immediate need, such as salvaging a rare animal model.
  • Replacement of equipment, supplies, and time lost due to a natural disaster. 

Recipients may not request additional funds if the unforeseen costs can be paid for by either rebudgeting funds or using the unobligated balances from prior year awards.   Administrative supplements cannot be requested for increased costs due to an investigator’s transfer, promotion, nor can they be used to expand the original scientific research aims.

The supplement budget request should only include funds for the additional supplement activities. All requested costs in the supplement request must be strongly justified and meet the test of allowability as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, “Cost Considerations”

Recipients are strongly encouraged to discuss a potential submission of an administrative supplement request with NIDA Program and Grants Management specialist before applying. The telephone number and email address of your NIDA Program Officer and your NIDA Grants Specialist are available in the eRA Commons, on your Notice of Award, and are also available here, at NIH NED.  NIDA staff will review the application and consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research. The parent grant must remain active for the entire period of the supplemental funding. Please note that a no-cost extension cannot be used to accommodate this requirement. All no-cost extensions must be in place prior to submitting a request for an administrative supplement. In some cases, additional expertise may be called upon to assist in the review.   Administrative supplements requests above $100,000 in direct costs will also be reviewed by the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse.

Administrative Supplements vs Revision (Competing Supplement)

Administrative supplement requests must stay within the original Council-approved scope of the research.   If recipients need additional funds for an expansion of scope for example; for a principal investigator (PI) to move in a new scientific direction, to obtain preliminary data for another contemplated research effort, or to use a new technology or animal model not specified in the application, the investigator should consider submitting a revision (competing supplement) or apply for another research grant.  

A revision (competing supplement) applications undergo the same peer review process as competing grant applications.   Recipients are strongly encouraged to discuss a potential submission of a revision application with NIDA Program staff. 

Submitting your administrative supplement request:

There are three ways to submit your request:

  1. Apply electronically through
    Use the Apply for Grant Electronically button provided in the parent funding opportunity announcement (FOA): PA-18-591, Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements. Follow the SF 424 instructions for supplement requests. Cover Page.
  2. Apply electronically through the eRA Commons.
    Log in to the Commons and go to the Admin Supp tab. Choose Initiate Request. Follow instructions in the eRA Commons Administrative Supplement User Guide.
  3. Apply using the PHS 398 forms.
    Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application forms and instructions for preparing a research grant application, with the following additional guidance. The signing official should send the signed request, including the checklist, directly to the NIDA program officer and grants management specialist, preferably as a PDF file attached to an email. Please note that if the If the parent award type has not made the transition to electronic submission, the request may only use the PHS 398 forms option shown above. Please see PA-18-591, Section IV. Application and Submission Information, “Instructions for Paper-based Submissions using the PHS 398 Application Forms” for detailed instructions on how to send your request using the PHS 398 forms.

Administrative Supplements - Key Dates

Administrative supplement requests must be submitted at least thirty dates before the requested activity is to begin.

Administrative supplements requests will be accepted throughout the year, but will only considered for funding four times during the fiscal year;  December, February, May and August.   The NIH fiscal year begins October 1 and no awards are issued before December 1 in a new fiscal year.   The final submission date for each fiscal year is July 1.   Supplements received after July 1 will be not be considered for funding until the following fiscal year.   The earliest possible award date for requests submitted after the final submission date for each fiscal year (July 1) is December 1.  

NIDA Contacts for Questions

For specific questions about an administrative supplement, contact the NIDA program official or grants management specialist of the parent grant. The telephone number and email address of your NIDA Program Officer and your NIDA Grants Specialist are available in the eRA Commons, on your Notice of Award, and are also available here, at NIH NED.

For general questions about administrative supplements contact:

Ms. Pamela Fleming
Chief, Grants Management Officer
Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institutes of Health

In addition, NIDA participates in at least two other parent supplemental programs which can also be found in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts

Please review these Parent Announcements for application and submission information as well as, NIDA contacts.