Administrative Supplements to Grants and Cooperative Agreements

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
October 16, 2020


This document describes the procedure that grantees must use when submitting requests for administrative supplements. Administrative supplements are used by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to add funds to an active grant or cooperative agreement for defined purposes that are within the general scope of the peer reviewed activities and aims approved for the parent award.


NIH has a published program announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (PA-20-272) entitled “Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Admin Supp).” This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) provides instructions for both electronic submission of administrative supplement requests, through or through the eRA Commons, and for paper-based submission of administrative supplement requests for activity codes that are not yet electronically supported.


Administrative supplements are funds awarded above study section-recommended levels. Requests for administrative supplement funds must be for research efforts within the original Council-approved scope of the research. Consideration is restricted for increased costs due to unforeseen circumstances in high priority research programs that cannot be paid for by re-budgeting funds or from utilization of unobligated balances from prior year awards. Consistent with past policies of the NHLBI, it is anticipated that NHLBI administrative supplements will be awarded only under rare circumstances and based on the availability of funds.

Administrative supplements do not undergo peer review. Instead, they are reviewed by NHLBI program and grants management staff. In some cases, additional expertise may be called upon to assist in the review.

The following are examples of supplemental requests that might be considered for funding:

  • Preservation of a unique research material or resource that may otherwise be lost, such as maintaining a unique knockout mouse model.
  • Addition of patients, populations, or other items related to a protocol due to enrollment issues, a need for statistically significant data, or responses to protocol 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 an immediate need, such as salvaging a rare animal model.
  • Replacement of equipment, supplies, and time lost due to a natural disaster.

    Administrative supplements cannot pay for increased costs due to an investigator's transfer or promotion, nor can they be used to expand research aims. Administrative supplements may not pay 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 an animal model not specified in the application.  If additional funds are needed for such purposes, or others that convey an expansion in project scope, investigators should instead apply for another grant or submit a revision application (formerly termed “competing supplement”) and undergo the peer review process. Revision applications are often peer reviewed by the initial review group that reviewed the parent grant application. For further information, please contact your program official.

Administrative Supplement Application Procedure

  • The PI should contact the NHLBI program official listed on the Notice of Award to discuss a possible administrative supplement.
  • The Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must verify that the parent award is in compliance with all award conditions and that reporting is up to date.
  • The administrative supplement may be requested through procedures described within PA-20-272. At a minimum, the following must be included with the request:
    • Biographical sketch and human subjects documentation (if applicable) for any new key personnel.
    • Detailed budget page with a composite budget page if more than one year of supplemental support is requested, along with a justification for the funds, including why work cannot be completed with existing unobligated balance.
    • Reason for the request, including a description of the work to be performed under the supplement.

      If the administrative supplement is being submitted in response to a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI), the requirements of the NOSI supersede the requirements of the PA-20-272, e.g., page limits, deadlines, etc. Please ensure that the NOSI number is clearly indicated in the Agency Routing Identifier field (Box 4b) of the SF424 (R&R) Form in order to be considered.


For specific questions about administrative supplements, contact the program official or grants management specialist for the grant.

For general questions about administrative supplements contact:

Mr. Tony Agresti
Office of Grants Management
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health


Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp). Parent Funding Opportunity Announcement PA-18-591. NIH Guide. Expiration date: January 26, 2021

Last Updated: January 2022