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Pre-Disclosure Notifications Delays: In compliance with Executive Order 12600, NIH notifies submitters of records requested under FOIA for the submitters’ identification of portions containing confidential commercial information during our FOIA review process. Submitters — including hospitals, research institutions, and other medical professionals, and companies — remain severely affected by the pandemic, and require additional time to respond to our Pre-Disclosure Notifications. NIH subject matter experts, who review and confirm submitters’ redactions, may also need additional time for review during the pandemic. In these circumstances, requesters may experience unexpected delays as we process FOIA requests for records. 

 

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Submitting FOIA Requests to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

You have reached the NIH FOIA Request Portal for the submission of FOIA requests.  For general information, including information about the Freedom of Information Act and the applicable regulations, the types of records we maintain, and how we process requests, please visit the NIH FOIA homepage

Do not file a FOIA appeal through this Portal.  FOIA appeals are properly filed directly with HHS.  Please consult the NIH FOIA Appeals page for details on how to file an appeal. 



Before you submit a request:

FOIA requesters interested in obtaining information on NIH-funded research projects should first consult the NIH RePORT (Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools) website before submitting a FOIA request. RePORT provides access to a variety of reporting tools, reports, data, and analyses of NIH research activities. One of the tools available on the RePORT site is the RePORTER (RePORT Expenditures and Results) module. RePORTER is an electronic tool that allows users to search a repository of NIH-funded research projects and access publications and patents resulting from NIH funding. RePORTER will help requesters to identify the grant or contract number and the component funding the research in order to submit a FOIA request (in the NIH FOIA Request Portal).  Typically, a grant number and grant title are necessary to submit a FOIA request. If you seek data produced under a NIH grant, please visit the NIH Data Sharing Policy page before making a request.

Clinicaltrials.gov is a searchable registry and results information database of clinical research studies sponsored or funded by a broad range of public and private organizations around the world. Not all studies listed on ClinicalTrials.gov are funded by the NIH or other agencies of the U.S. Federal Government. NIH will not have records about studies that are not sponsored or regulated by NIH.

The Federal Procurement Data System provides information on government contracts.

Another useful source of readily available information is the NIH FOIA Library.

Categories of information not available through NIH FOIA:

  • Financial Disclosure Reports: OGE Form 450 Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports are protected from release; OGE Form 278, 278e, 278-T Public Financial Disclosure Reports are available from the OD FOIA Office by submission of OGE Form 201 request.
  • Information already available in the public domain
  • HHS information outside of NIH

Please note that FOIA is only intended to provide access to existing records.  When submitting a request, please include specific search terms that are not general in nature and a timeframe, as they typically aid in locating records and reduce search and review time, and minimize fees.  When available, please also include where and with whom you believe the information is located. If you are unsure whether NIH can release the records you seek, or where to direct your request, you may prefer to call the appropriate FOIA Service Center before filing your request.



Registering with the NIH FOIA Request Portal:

The NIH FOIA program leverages this portal to ensure proper routing of requests to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center (IC), and to provide additional information to requesters during the processing of a request.  By registering with this portal to file your request, you will:

  • help minimize administrative delays,
  • have access to your recent requests and their status,
  • receive automated updates, and
  • receive final released documents via the portal

You will only need to register with the portal once.

When preparing your FOIA request, please identify the records requested (be as specific as possible, i.e., describe the subject matter of the records, and, if known, indicate the dates of the records, the places where they originated, and the names of the originating persons or offices);

  • Grants - provide the grant number, title of project, Principal Investigator’s name, and funding institution.
  • Contracts - Provide the solicitation number, or full contract number and company name.  Include the parent contract number and task order number if a specific task order is requested.    
  • Emails – Provide a detailed description of the subject matter for records sought, the names of individual NIH email accounts to search, if known, and the date range.

If you know which component of NIH has responsive documents, you will minimize processing time by directing your request via this portal to the appropriate NIH component when prompted to do so.

If you have questions concerning your request, we encourage you to contact the FOIA Coordinator to whom you sent your request or the NIH FOIA Office at 301-496-5633.  If you are uncertain which component(s) you would like to send your request to, please select OD as the component of interest and indicate in your request which component(s) you believe may hold responsive records.


To begin your FOIA request, please click register or sign in.



Routine Redactions on Requests for Grant and Contract documents

If you are requesting a copy of a funded grant application or an awarded contract with associated documents, you should understand that NIH routinely redacts certain information from those documents before we release them. More information about these routine redactions can be found at this site. Just click on the type of document that interests you: grants or contracts.

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