See the Glossary for more terms.
Follow the steps below.
1. After each Council meeting, review Council-approved concepts.
Concepts represent the very earliest planning stage of a research initiative: a program announcement (PA), request for applications (RFA), or solicitation. Published initiatives announce NIH funding opportunities in high-priority areas of science.
Even at this pre-initiative stage, concepts can be useful to you. Learn how to use a high-priority topic as the basis of an investigator-initiated application at Concepts May Turn Into Initiatives and the Choose Approach and Find FOAs in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
To find concepts by NIAID division, go to Concepts: Potential Opportunities. To get an email alert when we post new concepts, sign up at NIAID Funding Newsletter and Email Alerts Subscription Center and pick Concepts as a topic of interest.
2. Check our initiative list to see advertised areas in which we need applications.
Consider applying for an initiative if the topic matches your area of expertise. Make sure you understand the information in Choose Approach and Find FOAs in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
All RFAs and solicitations have their own funding set-asides (some PAs do as well). For PAs, NIAID funds grants in the PA's area, including some that score above the payline. Find a list on NIAID Funding Opportunities List and other information on our Opportunities and Announcements portal.
To get an email alert for new opportunities, sign up at NIAID Funding Newsletter and Email Alerts Subscription Center and pick your areas of interest.
3. Call an NIAID program officer for more information and advice about opportunities.
Contact an NIAID program officer to discuss any of the topics you found in steps one and two and ask about the possibility of other high-priority areas that match your areas of expertise. Go to Contact Staff for Help in the Strategy for NIH Funding to find a program officer.
You could use one of those topics as the basis of an investigator-initiated application or consider applying through an initiative. Read more in the Pick a Research Project article in our Strategy for NIH Funding.
If you are thinking about applying through an initiative, call the program officer listed in the announcement. Ask how well the initiative is suited to your research strengths and objectives, and discuss the level of competition you can expect.
4. Assess what research is already funded to unearth gaps in your field.
Ferret out the gaps in your field, paying particular attention to areas the Institute considers to be high priority. Both the Community of Science and NIH's RePORTER have search engines that will find funded research projects.
5. Get help identifying a topic.
Find advice on choosing a topic for your grant's project at Choose Approach and Find FOAs in our Strategy for NIH Funding.
After you have chosen a topic, read the other articles in our Strategy for NIH Funding and other All About Grants Tutorials for grant writing help.
Last Updated March 02, 2012
Last Reviewed February 06, 2012