The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Agency for healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced in notice NOT-OD-14-074 published yesterday that effective immediately, they will no longer be assessing the similarity of the science in a new application to that of previous applications.
Previously, as part of enforcement of the policy to limit applicants to a single resubmission, there was also a requirement that new submissions must reflect significantly difference science than previous submissions. The policy statement is:
Effective immediately, the NIH and AHRQ will accept a new (A0) application following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application. The subsequent new application need not demonstrate substantial changes in scientific direction compared to previously reviewed submissions, and must not contain an introduction to respond to the critiques from the previous review.
Research administrators need to be aware of this policy change to both encourage investigators to take advantage of this opportunity, but also to ensure we don’t discourage researchers from submitting applications with sound science again if necessary.