See the Glossary for more terms.
Table of Contents
All federal grantmaking agencies publish funding opportunity announcements (FOA) in Grants.gov to notify potential applicants of the requirements and forms to apply for grant funding. For any application you submit to NIH, you will apply through a FOA.
NIH's FOAs are either program announcements (PAs) or requests for applications (RFAs).
For electronic applications, you use the SF 424 Application Guide instructions and forms in the Grant Application Package. For paper applications, instructions and forms are in the PHS 398 Grant Application.
Since NIH has its own requirements as well, part of the FOA is also the NIH Guide announcement that gives you additional information that's important to read.
For more information, read FOAs Explained in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
Both. You need the instructions from both places: the NIH Guide and the funding opportunity announcement (FOA). If the Instructions in the Guide announcement and the SF 424 Application Guide differ, the instructions in the Guide announcement take precedence.
If you’re applying in response to a request for applications or an institute-specific program announcement, read the Guide announcement for special requirements and information specific to the FOA, and follow all instructions carefully.
NIH issues a broad announcement, called a parent program announcement, for each investigator-initiated activity code, including the R01. See the NIH Parent Announcements.
Be aware that for some activity codes, such as the R21, not all institutes accept applications in any scientific topic. See the next set of questions.
Every grant mechanism e.g., R01, R03, may have two types of funding opportunity announcements (FOA):
The NIAID Funding Opportunities List has a link to the NIH Guide, which in turn links to the FOA's application package.
Look for NIAID in the list of “Components of Participating Organizations” at the top of the funding opportunity announcement. Alternatively, you can take a look at our Funding Opportunities List.
Note that even if we don't participate in a particular announcement, we may support a similar area of research. Contact a program officer in that research area—go to NIAID's Finding People for a list of contacts sorted by organizational hierarchy.
In the case of training grants, fellowships, or career development awards, contact our Office of Research Training and Special Programs.
Some parent program announcements include an Institute statement of interest to let you know in which areas of science we will accept applications. As an example, see the NIAID R21 Statement of Interest in NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21) Contacts and Special Interests.
When there is a statement of interest, you can find a direct link to it under each parent PA on the NIAID Funding Opportunities List. You can also find the statement of interest in the NIH Guide announcement. However you get there, check it when ready to apply to make sure you view the current one.
We recommend the following options: the NIH Guide or the NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
NIAID's Funding Opportunities List
You can find the associated Guide announcements using one of these methods:
You have several ways to learn about new opportunities:
The middle button at the top of a funding opportunity announcement is labeled "Full Announcement," but due to default settings in Grants.gov, doesn't send you to the NIH Guide.
Instead, scroll down to the "Link to Full Announcement" header on the Synopsis page. The link below that header will take you to the NIH Guide announcement.
See Signing Up to Apply Electronically and General Info and Planning for Electronic Applications for the next sets of questions and answers on electronic grant applications. Also go to Applying for a Grant, Writing a Great Grant Application, and other Application questions and answers.
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Last Updated December 12, 2012
Last Reviewed December 12, 2012