NIH suggested cover letter format
The NIH Division of Receipt and Referral (DRR), Center for Scientific Review (CSR) strongly suggests that Principal Investigators use a specific format for cover letters requesting assignment to an Institute or Center (IC) and/or a Scientific Review Group (SRG). Officials believe that a consistent outline for the cover letter will shorten the time from submission to review. Special formatting requested by NIH include the following:
A sample cover letter is shown below:
The reasons for this request are [provide a narrative explanation for the request(s)].
List of individuals (e.g., competitors) who should not review the application and why.
Disciplines involved, if multidisciplinary.
Statement that required NIH approval documents are included (e.g., budget over $500K/year; approval for conference grant proposal; cooperative agreement, etc.)
For late applications - if applicable, include explanation of the delay as part of the letter.
Source: MUSC Broadcast email from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, January 18, 2008.