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NIAID Glossary of Funding and Policy Terms and Acronyms—S

For Institute program-specific acronyms, go to NIAID Profile and Fact Book.

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Term Definition
safety report for INDs and IDEs

Written report from a sponsor notifying FDA and investigators of serious and unexpected adverse events or adverse device effects with an investigational new drug or investigational medical device.

Go to these resources:


See Small Business Innovation Research.


See NIAID Advanced Technology Small Business Innovation Research and NIAID Advanced Technology Small Business Technology Transfer.

SBIR Fast-Track

See Small Business Innovation Research Fast-Track.

scientific misconduct

See research misconduct.

scientific overlap

Overlap of support that occurs when substantially similar research is proposed in more than one concurrent PHS grant application.

scientific review administrator

Formerly used term. See scientific review officer.

scientific review group

Chartered committee performing initial peer review in either the NIH Center for Scientific Review or an institute. SRGs are managed by a scientific review officer.

Institutes review grant applications with their own review requirements. See study section, integrated review group, and peer reviewer.

See Scientific Review Program for a list of application types reviewed by NIAID.

Go to these NIAID resources:

scientific review officer (SRO)

Federal scientist who organizes and manages the initial peer review of grant applications assigned to a scientific review group.

Scientific review officers act as intermediaries between principal investigators and reviewers and prepare summary statements for applications that are reviewed. Also see not discussed.

Go to these NIAID resources:

Scientific Review Program (SRP)

NIAID organization in the Division of Extramural Activities that oversees initial peer review of grant applications and contract proposals with Institute-specific requirements:

Go to NIAID's Grants and Peer Review portals. For contact information, go to SRP Contacts.

Also see Center for Scientific Review (CSR).

scientific technical peer review group for contracts

See technical evaluation group.

scientifically acceptable or unacceptable

Human subjects term indicating an initial peer review group's determination whether gender and minority representation conform to NIH guidelines and pertain to the science.

A determination of unacceptable bars funding an application or proposal until NIH staff and the principal investigator resolve the issue. Criteria are different for clinical trials and other clinical research.


Scientific parameters of a funded research project. Grantees cannot change the scope of a project without NIAID approval because that would significantly alter the project the peer reviewers and Council recommended for funding.

See prior approval for grants

Go to NIAID's What Constitutes a Change in Scope? in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

scored application

Grant application a study section judges to be competitive, generally in the upper half of those assigned to it. The application receives an overall impact/priority score and summary statement and may be funded by an Institute or center. Also see not discussed.

Go to these NIAID resources:

second-level review

Review generally conducted by an institute's advisory Council that results in funding recommendations to the NIAID or other NIH institute director.

Second-level review looks at program priorities and balance and a lack of barriers to funding such as unresolved human subjects issues. It does not reassess the science. See expedited second-level review and initial peer review.

Go to these NIAID resources:

secondary assignment

Assignment of a grant application by the Center for Scientific Review to an institute or center (IC) as a backup for funding should the primary IC decide not to fund it. Either a program officer or applicant can request secondary assignment.

See primary assignment, dual assignment, and receipt, referral, and assignment of applications.

Go to these NIAID resources in the Strategy for NIH Funding:

secondary peer reviewer

Peer reviewer who serves as a backup for a primary peer reviewer. Both read a grant application thoroughly before an initial peer review meeting to lend their expertise to the group discussion. The secondary peer reviewer may also write a critique.

Also see reader and scientific review officer.

Go to these NIAID resources:

Secure Payee Reimbursement System (SPRS)

Secure system peer reviewers use to receive electronic reimbursement for expenses and honoraria that result from participating in initial peer review meetings. SPRS is in the Commons.

Go to NIAID's Reimbursement for Peer Reviewers SOP.

select agent

Biological agent or toxin that has the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, animal or plant health, or animal or plant product.

CDC in HHS and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in USDA administer the National Select Agents Registry.

U.S. investigators who possess, use, or transfer a select agent must register with and get approval from CDC or APHIS depending on the agent.

As outlined in NIAID's standard operating procedure, both domestic and foreign institutions using select agents are subject to NIAID's select agent terms and conditions of award. NIAID also has special procedures for international awards.

Also see dual use research, highly pathogenic infectious agent, NIAID category A, B, and C priority pathogen, overlap select agent, restricted experiment, and USA Patriot Act.

Go to these resources:

selective pay

For R01 applications at the margin of the payline, the funding of a small number of grant applications that are programmatically important or from investigators who are new, as recommended by NIAID's advisory Council.

Investigators cannot apply for selective pay funding; rather, they are nominated by NIAID program officers. Also called select pay.

Go to these NIAID resources: Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Selective Pay SOP

Senior/Key Person Profile, Research and Related

See Research and Related Senior/Key Person Profile.

sensitive information

Information that could have a serious adverse effect on a person or an organization's operations or assets if lost, stolen, or tampered with.

Examples include the following:


See special emphasis panel.

serious adverse event

Adverse event that results in death, life-threatening experience, hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization, significant disability, or a birth defect.

Investigators must file serious adverse event reports with a sponsor and institutional review board, which reports them to FDA. IND sponsors must notify FDA and NIAID within 24 hours. If applicable, investigators must also file an FDA Adverse Event Report.

Go to FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System.


Monies budgeted for a defined purpose in a fiscal year. NIAID's set-asides include selective pay and R56-Bridge awards. For congressional set-asides, see earmark.

Go to these NIAID resources:

SF 424 Application Guide

Instructions for completing a Grant Application Package. Each funding opportunity announcement has its own application package and uses one of several standard application guides.

Go to NIH's SF 424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission Information and these NIAID resources:

SF 424 Cover

Cover page for a Grant Application Package together with the PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement. See funding opportunity announcement. SF 424 also signifies these forms:

sharing model organisms

See model organism sharing.

short-term trainee

Predoctoral trainee supported for a two to three-month training experience, usually in the summer.


See principal investigator signature assurance.


1. One of the standard NIH initial peer review criteria used to assess the extent to which a research project addresses an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in its field.

Significance does not evaluate the significance of the field or the ability of the investigators to conduct the research. Also see Approach, Innovation, and overall impact/priority score.

2. Section of the Research Strategy in a grant application that describes the significance of the research.

Go to these NIAID resources:

significant contributor, other

See other significant contributor.

significant difference

Human subjects term indicating a difference of clinical or public health importance based on substantial scientific data. This definition differs from the commonly used one, which refers to statistical significance.

significant financial interest

Investment, income, property, or equity as defined in 42 CFR 50.603. See financial conflict of interest.

signing official

Term used in the Commons to denote person with authority to legally bind an institution for grant matters.

In the Commons, signing officials can register an institution, create and modify institutional profile and user accounts, and view all the institution's grants, including status and award data.

small business

Business independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field that meets a size standard.

Go to these resources:

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Organization that assists and protects the interests of small businesses and helps families and businesses recover from national disasters.

Go to the Small Business Administration.

small business award

Grant under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.

small business concern

For-profit business located in the U.S., independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field of operation, and qualified as a small business using criteria in 13 CFR part 121.

Go to 13 CFR part 121 and FAR 19.102.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR, R43, R44)

Government-wide program that promotes R&D with the potential for commercialization at small business concerns.

See NIAID Advanced Technology SBIR, SBIR Fast Track, Small Business Technology Transfer, and Bayh-Dole Act.

Go to these resources:

Small Business Innovation Research NIAID Advanced Technology (NIAID-AT-SBIR)

See NIAID Advanced Technology Small Business Innovation Research (NIAID-AT-SBIR).

Small Business Technology Transfer NIAID Advanced Technology (NIAID-AT-STTR)

See NIAID Advanced Technology Small Business Technology Transfer (NIAID-AT-STTR).

Small Business Innovation Research contract

Type of contract that fosters technological innovation by small businesses. Eligibility is limited to for-profit businesses that qualify as a small business concern.

Small Business Innovation Research Fast-Track

SBIR award that allows concurrent submission and peer review of phase I and phase II grant applications to reduce a potential funding gap between the phases.

Go to these resources:

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR, R41, R42)

Government-wide program that promotes R&D with the potential for commercialization at small business concerns. It differs from Small Business Innovation Research in requiring a formal collaborative relationship with a university or other non-profit research institution.

See Small Business Innovation Research and Bayh-Dole Act.

Go to these resources:

small disadvantaged business concern

Business that is at least 51 percent owned (including publicly owned) by socially and economically disadvantaged U.S. citizens who control its daily business. Companies are certified by the Small Business Administration under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act.

Go to the Small Business Act.

small grant (R03)

NIH grant that supports new research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources. R03s are not intended for new investigators. They are awarded for up to two years and are not renewable.

Go to these NIAID resources:

Go to NIH's Small Grant Program (R03).


Formerly used term. See Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).

socially and economically disadvantaged

Term used by the U.S. Small Business Administration for people who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias, including blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, and Subcontinent Asian Americans.

sole source acquisition

Contracting process to acquire supplies or services after soliciting and negotiating with only one source. Go FAR 6.303.


Formal document that elicits proposals for acquisition or financial assistance awards. Includes requests for proposals (RFP) and broad agency announcements (BAA).

Go to NIAID's Contracts portal.

solicited research

See targeted research.

somatic cell

All cells in an organism except germline cells.

somatic cell nuclear transfer

Transfer of a nucleus from a somatic cell to an unfertilized egg that has had its nucleus removed. See cloning.

source selection

Process for selecting a contractor after initial peer review.

Go to NIAID's Contracts portal and the Negotiation, Source Selection, and Award SOP.

source selection group

Committee that reviews final proposal revisions from offerors in the competitive range, resulting in an award recommendation to NIAID.

Go to NIAID's Contracts portal.

sources sought

Notices in that survey the market to determine if there are potential contractors that can satisfy government requirements.

Go to these resources:


See statement of work.


Single project assurance.

special emphasis panel

Ad hoc initial peer review group with expertise to review a set of research grant applications or contract proposals. NIH's Center for Scientific Review uses SEPs for continuous submission, fellowship, and small business applications and in other special situations.

See scientific review group, integrated review group, and study section.

Go to NIAID's Peer Review at NIAID questions and answers.

Specific Aims

Section of an NIH grant application's Research Plan describing the objectives of a research project.

Go to NIAID's Explain Your Aims in the Strategy for NIH Funding.


Person or organization that initiates but does not conduct a clinical study, usually a drug or device manufacturer or the research institution that developed a drug.

Sponsors distribute investigational new drugs or investigational medical devices to principal investigators and ensure compliance with regulations, for example, obtaining FDA approval to conduct a clinical trial and reporting results to FDA.

Go to FDA and 21 CFR 812.3.

sponsored research agreement

Negotiated contract usually between an academic institution and a private corporation giving the institution financial support in return for an option for the company to license patentable items stemming from the research.

Go to NIAID's Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office.


Clinical investigator acting also as a sponsor, i.e., who both initiates and conducts a clinical investigation. Go to 21 CFR 812.3.


See Secure Payee Reimbursement System.


See scientific review officer.


See scientific review group.


See Scientific Review Program.


Special study section.

start date

See grant start date.

statement of work

Detailed description of work written in a proposal to be performed under a contract. Go to NIAID's Contracts portal.

stem cell

Cell that can divide indefinitely in cell culture and produce specialized cells. Usually derived from an early embryonic stem cell or embryonic germ cell, but certain types can be derived from adult cells. For policy term, see human embryonic stem cell.

See multipotent, oligopotent, pluripotent, totipotent, and unipotent stem cells.

Go NIH Stem Cell Information and the NIAID Human Subjects Resources portal.


Student financial support for living expenses on National Research Service Award (NRSA) training grants and fellowships. Grantees may supplement stipends from non-federal funds only. Also see compensation.

Go to these NIAID resources:

streamlined noncompeting award process (SNAP)

Formerly used term. See Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).


Practice through which grant applications judged unanimously by peer reviewers as unlikely to be funded are not discussed and do not receive an overall impact/priority score.

These are roughly in the bottom half of applications being reviewed, though the percentage varies by study section and grant type. NIH sends the investigator the primary and secondary reviewers' initial scores and critiques as feedback.

Formerly called triage. Also see recommended, not discussed, and summary statement.

Go to these NIAID resources:


See Small Business Technology Transfer.

study section

Component of an integrated review group of the NIH Center for Scientific Review that conducts initial peer review in a designated scientific area.

Composed of scientific experts, study sections are managed by CSR scientific review officers. Also called scientific review group. See initial peer review and dual peer review.

Go to these resources:


Collaborative arrangement between a grantee institution and one or more participating profit or nonprofit institutions in support of a research project. Also known as consortium agreement.

Go to these NIAID resources:


Contract between a prime contractor and a subcontractor to furnish supplies or services. Go to NIAID's Providing Consent to Subcontract SOP.


Healthy person or patient who participates in a clinical investigation of an investigational drug or investigational medical device or who is a control.

Go to these resources:

subject invention

Invention defined by the Bayh-Dole Act as emanating from government funding conceived of or first reduced to practice under an award.

Go to 37 CFR 401.2 and full 37 CFR 401.

submission date

Formerly used term, relevant to paper applications only. For electronic applications, see receipt date.

Submission date also differs from closing date.


Human subjects term indicating a group further defined by geographic origins, national origins, or cultural differences. Subpopulation data can be defined and reported by self-reporting or other means.

Mixed racial or ethnic descent also applies to subpopulations, and such combinations may have biomedical or cultural implications for the science.

success rate

Roughly the number of grant applications funded by an NIH institute divided by the number of applications referred to it that were peer reviewed. Applications resubmitted during the fiscal year are counted only once.

For data, go to Research Project Success Rates for NIAID on NIH's RePORT Web site.

summary statement

Official document showing the outcome of initial peer review, including overall impact/priority score (and percentile for an R01), codes if there are areas of concern (e.g., a human subjects concern), and a recommended budget.

Summary statements also have a short synopsis prepared by a scientific review officer based on the discussion.

Go to these NIAID resources:


Noncompeting—money NIAID adds to an existing grant, including research supplements and administrative supplements.

Competing—now called revision; adds funds to a grant to expand its scope or meet needs of a research protocol following a competing application.

Go to NIAID's Supplements to Grants questions and answers.

supplement, administrative

See administrative supplement.

supplement, diversity in health-related research

See research supplement to promote diversity in health-related research.

supplement, research

See research supplement.

supplemental funds

Monies added to a budget appropriations bill. Supplemental funds bolster an existing appropriation deemed insufficient by Congress or pay for activities not covered by an appropriation.

suspension, contracts

Action taken to disqualify a contractor temporarily from government contracting and subcontracting. Go FAR 9.407 and NIAID's Contracts portal.

suspension, grants

Temporary withdrawal of a grantee's authority to use grant funds, pending either corrective action by a grantee or a decision by NIH to terminate the award.

System for Award Management (SAM)

Database that institutions must register with before they may receive a grant or contract from NIH.

SAM consolidates award information from registrations of potential grantee or contractor institutions, federal procurement systems, and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), and it replaces the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system.

Go to System for Award Management (SAM).

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Last Updated March 29, 2016

Last Reviewed April 30, 2012