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NCCIH Research Blog

What Does the End of the Fiscal Year Mean for Applicants and Grantees?

August 27, 2021

Partap S. Khalsa, D.C., Ph.D.

Partap S. Khalsa, D.C., Ph.D.


Division of Extramural Activities

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

As the end of summer draws near, so does the end of the fiscal year (FY) for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Applicants and grantees often have questions about this transition, and I offer some thoughts below on several of the most common questions.

Question: What is the NIH fiscal year, and why should it interest me?

Answer: The NIH/National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) budget is allocated annually by Congress, which operates on a FY basis. FY 2021 began on October 1, 2020, and will end on September 30, 2021. In general, all funds allocated by Congress to NCCIH for a given FY must be utilized in that year, unless Congress explicitly authorizes otherwise. The FY determines the time period (including the deadline) during which grant awards must be made for both competing and noncompeting awards. 

Question: What does NCCIH’s national advisory council do relative to the FY?

Answer: As with the advisory councils for all NIH Institutes and Centers, NCCIH’s advisory council, the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health (NACCIH), meets three times per fiscal year—at our Center, in October, January, and May. (For administrative reasons, the “October” meeting often occurs in September.)

By law and in general, all grant applications submitted to NIH must undergo a two-stage review process consisting of: 

  1. Initial review by a scientific review group (SRG) to assess the scientific/technical merit of each application
  2. Secondary review by an advisory council to provide oversight and confirm that the SRG had the requisite expertise and was fair and unbiased in its review 

Following a meeting of the NACCIH and its secondary review, the NCCIH director makes funding decisions about which applications will be awarded. The Council also serves as a resource to the NCCIH director and staff in advising, consulting, and making recommendations relative to the research activities and functions of the Center. 

Question: What do I need to know about end-of-year funding?

Answer: After the third and final meeting of the Council within an FY (i.e., in May) and the related funding decisions, sometimes funds are available called “end-of-year funding” for meritorious grant applications assigned to prior Council meetings in the same FY but not funded. No action by the applicant is required for this consideration, which is processed automatically by NCCIH staff. If your application receives an end-of-year award, then you will be notified.

If you have any questions regarding your application/grant, please contact your assigned program director.

You may also find NACCIH meetings informative for news about the Center and NIH and on current scientific, budgetary, or legislative issues and trends. The next advisory council meeting will be held virtually on September 10, 2021. Registration is not necessary, and we welcome you to view the agenda and attend the open session online


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