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In general, a departmental account number must be provided on the proposal summary sheet for any costs required and shown on the application's budget but not requested from the sponsor. This includes "donating time/effort" and "in-kind contributions" on a project.


Any budgets proposing patient care costs should be forwarded to the Clinical Trial Office (CTO). We recommend you discuss patient ancillary costs with your Clinical Trial Financial Analyst; before you develop the budget.


Sponsor guidelines usually dictate what the earliest start date you can have for your budget as well as the length of the budget and project periods. You should review the sponsor guidelines carefully before developing the budget.

For NIH grants, the earliest start date is often dictated by the funding cycle in which the grant is submitted. We recommend reviewing the specific program announcement to confirm due dates and budget start dates. The standard funding cycle chart can be found below.

Cycle 1 submission: January- April

Cycle 2 submission: May- August

Cycle 3 submission: September- December

Review and Award Cycles:


Cycle I

Cycle II

Cycle III

Scientific Merit Review

June - July

October - November

February - March

Advisory Council Round

August or October *


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Earliest Project Start Date

September or December *




The actual date of the Advisory Council may occur in the month before or after the month listed.  For example, some ICs may actually hold the January Advisory Council meeting in February or the October Advisory Council meeting in September.

Awarding components may not always be able to honor the requested start date of an application.  Before incurring any pre-award obligations or expenditures applicants should be aware of NIH policy governing pre-award costs prior to receiving a Notice of Award.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

* Advisory Council Round for Cycle I applications may be August or October, and their earliest project start date may be September or December respectively.