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Training Index · Part 2. Getting Your Initial Award >>

Learning Points

  • NIH's mission.
  • Research that NIAID supports.
  • Investigator-initiated clinical trials process.
  • Your NIAID contacts.

Part 1. Overview of NIAID and NIH

This is Part 1 of the Grants Policy and Management Training for Foreign Investigators.

Here you will learn about the mission of NIH and the types of research funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

You will also find NIAID staff contacts who can help you with any grant-related issue.

Table of Contents

What Is NIH?

NIH is made up of 27 institutes and centers, including NIAID.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the U.S. federal government's primary agency for supporting biomedical and behavioral research. Its mission is to expand scientific knowledge to improve public health.

Most of NIH's money funds grants and contracts to research organizations in the U.S. and, to a smaller extent, other parts of the world.

NIH is made up of 27 institutes and centers, including NIAID. Each has a defined research focus—go to Institutes, Centers, and Offices for a list and descriptions.

What Is NIAID?

NIAID supports research to understand, treat, and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.

NIAID is the NIH institute that supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.

Our research priorities include developing the following:

  • An effective AIDS vaccine.
  • Technologies and medical countermeasures against NIAID Category A, B, and C pathogens and emerging infectious diseases.
  • New medical countermeasures for influenza.
  • Better capacity in developing countries to support clinical trials of vaccines and therapeutics for AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other important global diseases.

Application Tips and Policies to Remember

Subsequent pages of this Guide cover receiving your award, grant management, and reporting. But first, here are a few tips on applying for an award.

Develop Your Idea

We advise you to make sure you have a competitive idea that's also important to your field. Search for similar research using these tools:

Using those tools, you can get an overview of similar funded projects, experts in your field, their publications and grants, and study sections that reviewed their applications.

You can also identify which NIH institute supports research similar to your idea, and which program officers in those institutes manage research similar to what you do.

Visit the Strategy for NIH Funding for an expansive guide and more advice on applying for a grant.

Watch for Key Policies and Policy Changes

As policies change, we update this Web site–but you should also watch for policies that would affect you. Keep an eye on these pages:

For example, one major policy change in 2014 was the April 22, 2014, Guide notice of Clarifications to the NIH and AHRQ Policy for Application Submission.

  • The new policy allows investigators to submit a new (A0) application in the same scientific vein as an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application.
  • Previously, to be considered, the A0 application had to reflect substantial changes in scientific direction or scope.

Part 5. Compliance in this guide has more detail on other key policies. For examples, see the following:

Special NIAID Policy for Some Clinical Trials

If your site is part of an existing clinical trial network or you're applying to an RFA, skip this section.

NIAID has a mandatory policy for how to apply for investigator-initiated clinical trials.

  • Investigator-initiated means you submit a grant application on a topic of your choice.
  • If your site is part of an existing clinical trial network or you're applying to an RFA, skip this section.

For investigator-initiated clinical trial research, you must apply through one of three funding opportunity announcements, and we strongly encourage you to request a prior consultation with NIAID staff at least 10 weeks before the application due date.

To learn more about this process, go to NIAID's Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trial Resources.

Finding Help at NIAID

Helping grant applicants and grantees like you is an important part of the job for many NIAID staff. Below we list NIAID staff contacts. Select the appropriate person depending on the type of question you are asking.

Programs. For scientific, technical, or programmatic questions, contact your program officer. Your program officer is listed in your summary statement or Notice of Award and in the eRA Commons.

Program staff are busy people, so you may want to email first rather than call. An email also gives you written information to refer back to if needed. You may also want to read When to Contact an NIAID Program Officer.

Grants. Staff in our Grants Management Program perform an administrative review of your application, negotiate the terms and conditions of award with you, and prepare your Notice of Award. Subcontractors should address any issues through the grantees. Only grantees should contact the specialist.

At any time, you may contact your grants management specialist for questions about negotiating your grant, the grant award, business issues, and new and existing policies.

Find the name of your grants management specialist on your Notice of Award and in the eRA Commons, or go to Grants Management Program Contacts. You can also go to Grants Management Program for more information.

International. NIAID has an international office that can help with your local NIAID grants financial system. It also develops policies for managing international research awards and organizes international workshops on grant writing and post-award management of NIH funds. Read more at Office of Research Training and Special Programs.

You may also want to read our Find Help questions and answers.

Training Index · Part 2. Getting Your Initial Award >>

Last Updated August 13, 2014

Last Reviewed August 13, 2014