See the Glossary for more terms.
Table of Contents
Find basic information in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
You do not need to be a citizen to apply for most research project grants, such as an R01, small grant (R03), or exploratory/developmental grant (R21). Some grant types require citizenship, such as training and small business grants. Read the funding opportunity announcement for details.
If you are a non-citizen working at a U.S. institution receiving an award, you must remain there long enough to finish your project. If you do not have a permanent visa, state in your application that your visa will allow you to remain in the U.S. long enough for you to be productive on the project.
Your institution is responsible for ensuring that you have an appropriate visa. For more information, see Ready for Independent Support? in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
The latter—see Is it better to apply under one of the broad NIH PAs or an institute-specific one? in our Small and Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants Questions and Answers.
In general, unfunded applications are confidential, and funded applications and grants may be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
In the Privacy, Conduct, Conflict of Interest, and Clinical Research Ethics Questions and Answers, read:
For more information, go to these resources:
Go to Know What a Summary Statement Means in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
See How Long to Get the Grant in the Strategy for NIH Funding and How long does it take to receive an award? in the NIAID Funding Decisions Questions and Answers.
Yes. You must follow formatting requirements in the instructions or risk having your application returned. This can happen if you exceed page limits, for example, or use improper fonts, font size, or margins.
For more, go to Master the Application in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
Yes, you may use the same application as often as you want for as many funding opportunity announcements as you qualify for—unless your multiple applications go to peer review at the same time.
NIH will not accept your application if it overlaps with any other application under review at the time you submit, even if you're using different funding opportunity announcements (e.g., applying for an investigator-initiated R01 at the same time as you respond to a request for applications). In that case, you will have to withdraw one of your applications.
Yes, as long as the organization is not a Public Health Service agency. NIH allows you to send the same application you submitted or are planning to submit to NIH elsewhere, e.g., a private foundation or a non-PHS agency, such as the Department of Defense.
Even if your application is pending award, you must list it in the other support information you send us before funding. Keep in mind that the other organization may have a similar requirement. You may accept only one of the awards.
Yes, unless the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) says otherwise. To be sure, check the "Number of Applications" section of the FOA.
Note that if your applications have overlapping aims, NIH will reject them. Read more about this at NIH’s Evaluation of Overlapping Applications.
Yes. We advise this as one option if your application isn't funded, though we suggest you improve your application as much as possible. For details, read Option 2: Create a New Application in Options if Your Application Isn't Funded in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
We recommend that you include a cover letter for all applications, and you must have one for some. Read more in Create a Cover Letter in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
Give complete citations, including titles and authors, in the Bibliography and References Cited Attachment of your application. Read more on Connect to Science With Citations in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
See How do I submit a video or other material that cannot be sent electronically? in the Submitting and Validating Your Electronic Application Questions and Answers.
You do not need a PI signature on applications, progress reports, or prior approval requests. Instead, your institution asks you to sign a principal investigator signature assurance for each application.
Applicants must share their final research data for all applications that seek $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year of the grant and for some program announcements and requests for applications.
Regardless of cost, applications that are genome-wide association studies need a plan to share data.
Final research data is defined as the recorded factual material commonly accepted by the scientific community as necessary to document and validate research findings.
Describe your plan—or justify its absence—in a brief paragraph in your Research Plan. Put the plan in the Resource Sharing Plan attachment to the PHS 398 Research Plan form. It does not count toward the page limit.
You may include additional information on data sharing in other sections if appropriate. Find more information about data sharing at NIH Data Sharing Policy.
Read the Questions and Answers below or see the Table of Contents above.
See Strategy for a Successful Submission in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
Typically, NIH allows lateness for circumstances out of your control—including natural disasters or personal tragedies—as well as service on an NIH study section.
See Rules for Late Applications in the Strategy for NIH Funding and the Late Applications SOP.
Possibly. Read If You Need to Send Revised Information in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
For applications reviewed at NIAID, see May I send supplementary, missing, or corrected materials after a receipt date? in the Peer Review at NIAID Questions and Answers.
If you're applying through Grants.gov, use Form Page 4 of the Budget Pages for the Initial Period of Support, and Form Page 5 for years two, three, four, and five. Use a second Form Page 5 for the budgets of years six and seven.
If you're applying through ASSIST, the budget form can accommodate the additional years.
Yes. It goes in the equipment category.
No, but those databases are great examples of publicly available sources of published work. If you link to a different list, be sure that your peer reviewers will have access and trust its accuracy. Avoid sources that you or your institution manage as well as those that include your name in the URL address.
The biosketch format is designed to capture your five most significant contributions to science. Within each of those five descriptions, you may list up to four relevant peer-reviewed publications.
Since your biosketch is limited to five pages, including a full list of your publications will take up too much space. Thus, you have the option to link to a full list. We recommend that you use SciENcv because it includes features designed to simplify biosketch preparation, as demonstrated in the YouTube video SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae.
To see the biosketch instructions and a completed sample, view Biographical Sketch Sample–Forms Version C on SF 424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission Information.
The personal statement is part of the biosketch, and most grants require one for all key personnel, which includes consultants and technical staff who play a substantive role in the project.
To be sure, read the instructions in your funding opportunity announcement. For more guidance, see Emphasize Expertise in Biosketches in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
No. If you have unpublished preliminary data in support of the proposed work, it belongs in your Research Strategy as usual.
In the biographical sketch, you can highlight contributions to science, but you're not including actual data there. Instead, as an example, you might note that you contributed to science by adding data to an unpublished source such as a repository.
For more on biographical sketches, see NIH's Frequently Asked Questions on Biosketches.
NIH collects other support just-in-time. After your application is within the range of possible funding, we ask you for this information.
All electronic grant application packages have a field for attaching "Current and Pending Support" in the SF 424 Senior/Key Person component form. Ignore that field—NIH does not use it.
When we ask you for other support information, follow the sample in the SF 424 Application Guide. Here's a Sample Other Support Form (PDF). Read more:
Go to What to Add and Not to Add in an Appendix in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
NIH allows multiple PIs for most grant types. To be sure, check the funding opportunity announcement.
For more information, go to NIH's Multiple Principal Investigators and read Design a Project in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
Read Where to Add Consortium and Contractual Information in the Strategy for NIH Funding and our Subawards (Consortium Agreements) for Grants SOP.
For grants, no. All subcontractors must have a direct subcontract with the awardee institution. A subcontractor to a subcontractor is not allowed.
For contracts, subcontractors can have subcontractors.
You can find more Questions and Answers about grant applications at Applying for a Grant, Writing a Great Grant Application, and other Application Questions and Answers.
For questions and suggestions, email email@example.com 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 June 29, 2015
Last Reviewed October 29, 2014