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Extramural and Intramural Research Questions and Answers

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Table of Contents

What's the difference between extramural and intramural research?

NIAID intramural labs are headed by federal employees who work for the Institute. We fund intramural research directly as part of our budget, including salaries, laboratories, and other resources.

For extramural research, NIAID awards grants and contracts to outside institutions to help them pay for research projects and resources, including the salaries of the principal investigators they employ.

What percentage of the NIH budget is intramural?

Out of NIH's approximately $30.1 billion budget for FY 2014, about 10 percent was slated for intramural research.

Do intramural scientists write grant applications?

Generally not. However, intramural scientists can apply for some NIH grants, e.g., K22 career awards and Roadmap initiatives. Go to Grant Application Process for Intramural Postdocs SOP.

Can intramural scientists apply for grants from another institute or federal agency?

Maybe. Contact staff at the other institute or agency to ask. If you apply for support by another institute, NIAID will still assist you in the grant submission process. See the Grant Application Process for Intramural Postdocs SOP for information on that process.

Are some intramural resources open to extramural scientists?

Yes. NIH has programs that enable sharing of intramural resources with extramural scientists, for example, Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND), and Bench to Bedside Program.

Contact an NIAID program officer in your area of science for more information. Find more guidance in NIAID's Opportunities and Guidelines to Facilitate Scientific Collaborations portal.

See the next question: Do NIAID intramural scientists collaborate extensively with extramural scientists?

Do NIAID intramural scientists collaborate extensively with extramural scientists?

Yes. To find NIAID intramural staff, go to the Division of Intramural Research staff list. Read more about collaboration opportunities at NIAID's Opportunities and Guidelines to Faciliate Scientific Collaborations portal.

How does an intramural scientist get approval for collaboration?

After talking with their division contact, intramural scientists prepare a formal letter of collaboration for review and approval by the scientific director.

Scientists must include a copy of the letter, signed by them and the scientific director, in the grant application or contract proposal. Read more in NIAID's Intramural Scientist Collaboration on Extramural Funded Grants and Contracts SOP and Opportunities and Guidelines to Faciliate Scientific Collaborations portal.

Who writes the section in the grant on the proposed collaboration?

The extramural investigator writes the grant application or contract proposal. The extramural investigator may write the section that describes the proposed collaboration, which the intramural investigator should see and approve.

  • The intramural scientist cannot write the grant application.
  • The intramural scientist can serve as a leader of a subproject on a multiproject grant, have primary responsibility for a Specific Aim of an R01 grant, be key staff, or serve as an unpaid consultant on an extramural grant or contract award.

Read more about collaboration opportunities on NIAID's Opportunities and Guidelines to Faciliate Scientific Collaborations portal and find guidance in the Intramural Scientist Collaboration on Extramural Funded Grants and Contracts SOP.

When collaborating, what are the ways extramural grant dollars can't be used?

Extramural grant or contract monies cannot be used to support any aspect of intramural activities including:

  • Intramural salaries.
  • Lab work, exchange of samples, performing assays, analyzing genomic samples.
  • Sponsored travel by intramural scientists.

Read more about collaboration on NIAID's Opportunities and Guidelines to Faciliate Scientific Collaborations portal and Intramural Scientist Collaboration on Extramural Funded Grants and Contracts SOP.

When are collaborations on extramural grants converted into cooperative agreements?

When the intramural scientist's work is deemed a substantial part of the research. Read Substantial Intramural Collaborations in NIAID's Opportunities and Guidelines to Faciliate Scientific Collaborations portal.

Also see the Conversion of Grants to Cooperative Agreements SOP and NIH Staff Involvement on Extramural Awards—Cooperative Agreements.

Who has access to intramural and extramural collaboration resources?

Read Collaborations Between NIAID Intramural Scientists and Extramural Scientists on NIH-Funded Grants and Contracts in NIAID's Opportunities and Guidelines to Faciliate Scientific Collaborations portal. Also see NIAID's Intramural Scientist Collaboration on Extramural Funded Grants and Contracts SOP.

Who handles intramural collaborations with extramural investigators awarded nonfederal funds?

Intramural scientists should talk to their NIAID Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office (TTIPO) contact about the proposed collaboration.

Follow the Intramural Scientist Collaboration on Extramural Funded Grants and Contracts SOP for information about obtaining approval. Also go to NIAID's Opportunities and Guidelines to Faciliate Scientific Collaborations portal for more collaboration guidance.

Does NIAID have resources to facilitate those collaborations?

Yes. Find online information at NIAID's Opportunities and Guidelines to Faciliate Scientific Collaborations portal and our Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office and Division of Intramural Research.

Do intramural programs undergo peer review?

Yes. NIAID's Board of Scientific Counselors conducts rigorous reviews of Division of Intramural Research staff and laboratories and advises the NIAID director on the status of the Institute's intramural research programs. Go to the BSC roster.

Is it easy to get tenure in intramural?

No. Intramural scientists undergo thorough peer reviews by the Board of Scientific Counselors, and a very small percentage becomes tenured.

Can intramural scientists serve on a scientific or external advisory board for a DHHS-funded project?

Yes, but they are subject to the policies contained in Service by Intramural Scientists on a Scientific or External Advisory Board for a DHHS-funded Project, which includes approval by the supervisor, scientific director, director of DEA, and the grants management officer and review by the Office of Ethics.

Read more in Intramural Scientists Serving on a Scientific or External Advisory Board for a DHHS-Funded Project in NIAID's Opportunities and Guidelines to Faciliate Scientific Collaborations portal. Also see Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Ethics for Extramural Staff.

How does intramural-extramural coauthorship of publications work?

Before a publication can be authored, NIH policy requires that NIAID must approve it if it may have any real or apparent conflict of interest. 

Use these resources:

Where can I find more answers to extramural and intramural research questions?

See Scientific Collaborations Questions and Answers in NIAID's Opportunities and Guidelines to Faciliate Scientific Collaborations portal.

What if my question wasn't answered here, or I'd like to suggest a question?

Email deaweb@niaid.nih.gov with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. We answer questions by email and post them here. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.

 

Last Updated September 03, 2014

Last Reviewed September 03, 2014