NEH Policy on Late Submissions
In rare instances, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will consider waiver requests to submit your grant application after the published deadline.
When will NEH consider accepting an application after the published deadline?
NEH will only consider accepting your application after the NOFO published deadline in one of the following circumstances:
- a validated technical issue on a government system that prevented applicants from applying by the posted deadline (e.g., a Grants.gov system outage or malfunction);
- a Federally declared emergency or major disaster (e.g., floods, hurricanes, etc.) in the area in which the applicant (Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) or individual applicant) resides or, in limited circumstances, severe weather closures if they occur on the day of the deadline and are verified by the National Weather Service;
- a validated disruption of service in a specific area (e.g., widespread power and/or internet service outage);
- an incorrect deadline or Grants.gov submission instructions in the NOFO; or
- sudden, acute, severe illness or death of the AOR (for institutional programs) or the sudden, acute, severe illness of the project director (PD) (for individual programs). The death of a PD or co-PD for institutional programs is not covered under this policy due to the significant implications on the proposal and scope of work.
NEH will not grant a deadline extension due to an applicant’s failure to register in time with SAM or Grants.gov.
A late submission does not automatically commence a waiver request. The applicant must follow established procedures to request a waiver.
How do you request a waiver?
If your submission is late due to one of these rare circumstances, you may request a waiver by emailing the NEH Office of Grant Management (OGM) by 11:59pm EST of the fifth (5th) calendar day after the posted deadline. OGM is the only office authorized to approve deadline waiver requests.
What information must be included in a waiver request?
The subject of the email should be “Application waiver request: (NEH program) (applicant organization name).” In the body of the email, specify:
- The funding opportunity title and number;
- The project director’s name and telephone number;
- The organization’s name, address, and telephone number, if applicable;
- The organization’s Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), if applicable;
- The “rejected with errors” notification from Grants.gov, if applicable;
- Any case numbers or information from Grants.gov and/or NEH, if applicable;
- Supporting documentation of a Federal disaster or emergency declaration or severe weather closure (i.e., FEMA information, local newspaper articles, etc.), if applicable;
- The NOFO citation which included the incorrectly stated deadline or Grants.gov submission instructions, if applicable;
- Organizations that have experienced the sudden, acute, severe illness or death of an AOR should submit a letter explaining the timing and the cause of the late submission so that an informed decision can be made. The same is required of individual applicants who experienced sudden, acute, severe illness. In either situation, no doctor’s note, medical records, or death certificate is expected. NEH will treat this letter as confidential medical information and make it available only to NEH staff who have a need to know (such as those with referral or review responsibilities), not to reviewers or other staff.
Whom should we contact to request technical support with Grants.gov?
Applicants should not contact NEH staff to report technical difficulties or request assistance with Grants.gov. Applicants should contact Grants.gov Applicant Support immediately, at 800-518-4726 or @email. Grants.gov will assign a case number, which will allow OGM to research the issue if a waiver request is submitted later.
How will we evaluate your request?
After OGM receives a waiver request, staff will conduct a thorough analysis of the claim. OGM may obtain case notes from Grants.gov, which include information such as when the applicant contacted Grants.gov, reported issues, and the subsequent resolution (if any). Grants.gov can also provide an “application audit trail” showing when the applicant registered, attempted to submit the application, etc. Additional information, such as System for Award Management (SAM) status, AOR status, and other verifications can assist OGM in making its determination.
An incorrect or missing UEI, lack of registration, or not allowing adequate time to complete and submit an application by the published deadline are not valid reasons for requesting a waiver, and such requests will be rejected. In order to approve a waiver request, OGM must be able to confirm that the issue was legitimately caused by one of the circumstances described above.
Approval of a waiver request is not guaranteed. OGM makes determinations on a case-by-case basis. These decisions are not subject to appeal.
How long does it take us to review your request?
Typically, it takes OGM three (3) business days from receipt to review and respond to your request.
What happens if we grant you a deadline extension?
OGM will communicate the waiver determination via email along with submission instructions.
Effective October 1, 2021.