Strategy for NIH Funding
With the Strategy for NIH Funding, you gain exposure to critical inside knowledge that can help you succeed in the world of NIH grants. Learn our expectations and your important action items at each step of the way.
To secure funding for an NIH grant, you'll need sound guidance and a solid strategy—the raison d'être for our Strategy for NIH Funding.
The Strategy takes you through all the steps from qualifying for NIH support to staying funded. Even more, it gives you specific "to do's" so you're prepared at every stage.
You enter at the Strategy main page for a graphical overview and corresponding table of contents.
If you need to determine how your research may fit in at NIH, start with Part 1. Qualify for NIH Funding.
Part 2. Pick and Design a Project and the rest of the Strategy help qualified scientists plan and prepare a grant application, geared especially to the standard NIH research grant, called R01. The Strategy also covers later steps: submission, review, and funding.
The Long and Short of It
Each part launches from an Index page that lists the bases covered:
From there, find resource pages that give you more detailed advice and information.
With this organization, you can take a shorter route on the Timing and Strategy pages or get a more comprehensive look— both facts and our best advice—on the Resource pages.
Here's how the structure looks in bulleted form (indentation shows hierarchy).
You can also find a full Table of Contents that shows every header and subhead, which is helpful for searching for your topic of interest.
Use your browser's search function (e.g., control F) to enter keywords, such as "cover letter," to find the right page—in this case Create a Cover Letter in Part 4.
Do It Right and Right on Time
Our timing pages can help you make the right moves at the right moment.
Use them in two ways: 1) a cue to take key actions and 2) a reference to remind yourself of upcoming action items so you can make sure your plans are on track. Find a page with all the timelines at Strategy Timelines.
Check It Off
So as not to overload you, we present much of the information for writing the application as a working tool to use as you work on your draft.
On the resource pages, we get you started with the concepts and a rationale for each topic. After you've prepared an initial draft, you can use our checkpoints to critique your draft, and make sure you've covered each point.
Check the list, review your work, and revise your text. Repeat until perfect!
What It's Not
The Strategy does not repeat the directions in NIH's SF 424 Application Guide or the NIH Guide announcement associated with a funding opportunity announcement. You need to follow those instructions to prepare your application.
It also does not detail requirements for different types of grants. While much of our content applies to grant writing in general, the Strategy is geared to the standard NIH research grant, the R01.
On the Research Funding site, you can find more information, for example, our Other Grant Types portal.
Though much of the Strategy pertains to grantsmanship in general, we wrote it from an NIAID perspective.
Though much of our information and advice pertains to grantsmanship in general, the Strategy is written from an NIAID perspective. We share with you the knowledge and experience of senior NIAID staff, including former NIH grantees.
Some of this information is specific to NIAID—we cannot speak to the practices of other institutes.
Please take our advice as opinion only. Differing views may exist, and if you have one, we would welcome hearing it. Send your comments to email@example.com.
Find other NIH information at Office of Extramural Research and Institutes, Centers, and Offices.
These key points will help you understand NIH and NIAID.
Do you know enough about NIH to make it successfully through the system?
You may also want to take our Test Your NIH Savvy: Self-Quiz in our New Investigator Guide to NIH Funding, which asks you application-related factoids such as "NIH funds people and their careers—True or False?"
To learn when and how to contact NIAID staff, visit Communicating With NIAID—How to Get Help.
Strategy for NIH Funding
Table of Contents for the Strategy
We welcome your comments, questions, or suggestions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated March 31, 2016
Last Reviewed September 29, 2011