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NIAID Grant Awards—General Information Questions and Answers

Table of Contents

Where do I find information about managing my grant?

Go to Strategy for Your Grant in the Strategy for NIH Funding, and see our Standard Operating Procedures in the Grant Award and Management section.

You may also want to review our Managing a Grant Questions and Answers.

Where can I find how much a grant was awarded?

You can look up funded grants using NIH's RePORTER search tool.

Do a wildcard search on project number. For example, in the project number field, enter %XXXXX% for the 5-digit identifier. That brings up several applications, and you can pick the one you're curious about.

You can learn more about this tool on RePORT Instructions. If you have questions or comments about RePORTER, email

How do grants compare with contracts?

A grant is an assistance mechanism that allows a PI considerable flexibility in determining the direction of research. A contract is a legal commitment to provide a product or service to the government.

PIs on a grant have leeway in taking their research in new directions. They conduct research in good faith, with no expectation of positive or negative results.

In contrast, PIs on a contract have to deliver the government's order. For more information, go to About NIAID Research and Development Contracts and our Contract Awards Questions and Answers.

Who is the grantee for an NIH grant?

Usually it's an institution, even though a PI applies for the award. Read more in Part 1. Qualify for NIH Funding in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

How long does it take to get an NIH grant?

It can take 5 to 20 months after the receipt date. AIDS applications take three months less.

For advice on application timing and how to prepare, read Timing Factors That Affect Your Application and Award in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to receive an NIH grant?

Some NIH award types have citizenship requirements, but most research grants do not. See Part 1. Qualify for NIH Funding in the Strategy for NIH Funding for more information.

When it comes to applying for NIH grants and scholarships, who qualifies as an underrepresented person?

See When it comes to applying for NIH grants and scholarships, who qualifies as an underrepresented person? in our Special Populations Questions and Answers.

Where can I find samples of NIH-funded applications?

Find them at Sample Applications and Summary Statements.

Where can I find NIAID’s funding amounts or other data on grants, investigators, and institutions?

NIH provides a way to get that information through RePORTER. By default, the RePORTER form searches NIH’s entire portfolio, not just NIAID. Here's how to narrow the results to get NIAID only:

  • In the right column of the form, find "Agency/Institute/Center."
  • Beneath the field label, click the "Funding" checkbox instead of "Admin."
  • Click the blue "Select" button.
  • In the pop-up, click "Check/Uncheck All" so nothing is selected.
  • Open the "All NIH Institutes and Centers" item and choose "Nat’l Inst of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)."
  • Click "Select" again to close the pop-up.
  • Add any other search terms or parameters elsewhere in the form if you’d like to narrow results.
  • Click the "Submit Query" button at the top. It may take a while to process and load the results.
  • On the results page, you can see the number of matching projects, publications, patents, clinical studies, or a map. For funding levels, use the Data and Visualize tab.

Do some awards have additional award terms?

Yes. Read your Notice of Award to find out if your award contains additional terms.

What is the minimum level of effort required on a grant?

NIH does not have minimum effort requirements for PIs of regular research project grants.

However, it does have requirements for Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), career development, training, and fellowship grants.

For an explanation of how to calculate person months, go to NIH's Usage of Person Months questions and answers.

Does a bar mean NIAID cannot award a grant?

Yes. NIAID cannot fund an application that has a bar to award, reflected as a code on the summary statement. For more information, go to What if I see a restricting code on my summary statement? on the After Peer Review Questions and Answers page.

What should I do if there is a code 44 bar to award?

If you see a code 44 bar to award on your summary statement, contact your program officer immediately. That code indicates a review group concern with your use of research animals or human subjects. We cannot make an award until the bar is lifted.

For more information on what to do and what you should expect, read the Bars to Grant Awards—Research Animals or the Bars to Grant Awards—Human Subjects SOPs.

Can I start spending funds before my approved start date?

Yes. For most grants, your institution can allow you to start spending funds up to 90 days before your grant’s official start date for research within your approved aims.

However, it does so at its own risk because NIAID has not yet made your award and does not increase your budget if the award can't cover the money you've already spent. That said, with your institution’s permission, you can use its money to cover costs of personnel, supplies, or equipment on your grant. Contact your institutional business office to find out if this is possible.

Note that the grant does not start early for NIAID, and the renewal date stays the same.

If the study section does not approve one of my Specific Aims, what happens?

NIAID funds only Specific Aims approved by the study section. If you believe an unapproved aim is vital to your project, contact your program officer. NIAID's main advisory Council has to approve any restoration of Specific Aims and related funds.

If the study section or NIAID reduces my budget, what are my options?

If you don't believe you can accomplish your project with the final level of support, address your concerns with your grants management specialist and program officer. See the Grants Negotiation SOP for details on your options.

Who has the rights to data developed under a grant?

Grantees own the rights to their data and may copyright publications, data, or other copyrightable works without NIH approval. For more information, read Can I copyright publications developed under a grant? in our Copyright and Publication for Grantees Questions and Answers.

Who will handle proprietary rights and materials, and what will happen to inventions?

Applicants are solely responsible for getting proprietary rights and materials. You must report to us any inventions made while conducting your research, as specified by the Bayh-Dole Act. See your request for applications for more details on intellectual property.

To learn more about invention reporting, see Invention Reporting Has Four Parts in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Can I lengthen my award?

As an NIH grantee, you can extend your grant's project period one time for up to 12 months without additional funds by simply submitting the request through eRA Commons before the last day of the final budget period.

NIH's IMPAC database will update your budget and project period end dates and notify your grants management specialist. See the No-Cost Extension SOP for more information.

Can I keep receiving grant funds if my institution furloughs me?

That depends. First, check with your institution about its furlough policy. As long as the policy doesn't violate the terms and conditions of your award, we can continue to fund your grant for up to three months.

If the furlough lasts longer, you must appoint another PI or terminate the grant. See our Change of Principal Investigator SOP to read about requesting NIAID's approval. For information about your situation, contact your grants management specialist.

Will there be a penalty to the institution or principal investigator if the investigator takes retirement before fully completing a project and the left-over funds are returned to NIH?

No, there will be no penalty. However, anytime the principal investigator has a continuous absence from a project for three or more months, prior approval is required, which may apply in this case. See Section 8.1.2 Prior Approval Requirements in the NIH Grants Policy Statement to learn more.

Go to our Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP for instructions on how to make a request.

Am I required to cite NIH in publications?

Yes. For more information, see Should I cite NIH when I publish? in the Copyright and Publication for Grantees Questions and Answers.

For competing nonmodular applications, what is the inflationary increase for grant out years?

The inflationary factor for grant out years changes annually depending on NIH's funding policy for competing applications.

We post the information on NIAID's Financial Management Plan each fiscal year, although sometimes it takes a while for NIH to set its policy. See Paylines and Budget Pages Change Throughout the Year.

For more information on budget adjustments, see Will my annual budget change over the course of my award? in the NIAID Funding Decisions Questions and Answers.

Can an independent contractor be the PI on a grant application?

A contractor can be the PI for an application even if he or she is not an employee of the grantee institution. However, the institution must have a formal written agreement with the PI that specifies an official relationship exists, even though it does not involve a salary.

If the PI is not an employee of the applicant organization, NIH will assess whether the arrangement will enable the organization to fulfill its grant-related responsibilities.

Whom do I call for questions about taxes?

NIAID staff do not answer questions about taxes. Please contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Go to How to Contact the IRS.

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

Email 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 April 13, 2016

Last Reviewed March 21, 2014