Interim Guidance for Videos Submitted as NIH Application Materials

Announced September 27, 2012, the NIH will accept videos submitted as NIH Application Materials.  The interim notice (NOT-OD-12-141) details guidance to be effective January 25, 2013.  The policy states that the NIH will “only accept videos as non-traditional application materials.  No devices or other media will be accepted unless specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).  The only acceptable content for videos is demonstrations of devices and experimental data with a temporal element, which refers to the need to show how something functions or occurs over time, or demonstrates movement or change.”  Examples include:

  • Examples of acceptable content include unusual interventions or surgical procedures, prototype model use, visualization of 3-D structures or structural changes in molecules or cells, software or database demonstrations, educational materials or video games.
  • Examples of unacceptable content include virtual tours of laboratories, equipment in place, platform presentations, advertisements, commercials, or PowerPoint presentations [unless requested by the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) in lieu of a site visit].

 Due to “technological constraints”, not all reviewers  could be able to view the videos.  The application requirements state that “The application must be structured at the time of submission to indicate that a video will be submitted subsequently. The cover letter submitted with the application must include information about the intent to submit a video; if this is not done, a video will not be accepted. Key images/“stills” and a brief description of each video must be included within the page limits of the research strategy. Sufficient descriptive information must be provided within the research strategy to understand the information presented in the video, as not all reviewers may be able to access the video, depending on technological constraints.”

Video formats and times are also discussed; total aggregate length for single-project applications must not exceed 2 minutes, and multi-project application videos must not exceed 5 minutes.  Only PDF-embedded videos will be accepted, not video’s hosted elsewhere.

More information is available from the Review Policy Officer.

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