See the Glossary for more terms.
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NIH supports many award types, and NIAID supports a subset of them, including research project grants, training grants, fellowships, and career development awards. Go to the Grants portal for links to portals covering different award types.
Talk to your program officer and experienced investigators in your institution. Unless you are highly knowledgeable about this area, we recommend that you not decide on your own. Go to Contact Staff for Help in the Strategy for NIH Funding for program officer contact information.
Read more in Choose the Grant in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
If you are looking for a fellowship, training, or career development award, see our Support by Career Stage—Ph.D. Track or Support by Career Stage—M.D. Track to view awards we make for people at your career stage. For general information on these grants, go to Training and Career portal.
Check the funding opportunity announcement for the award type. Most NIH grant types require electronic application through Grants.gov, but a few still use paper forms.
For more on this subject, read Which form do I use to apply for an NIH research grant? in Quick Facts on Research Grant Applications.
Usually, but check the funding opportunity announcement to make sure. NIH allows multiple PIs for most opportunities, but rules may differ in different FOAs.
Before you proceed, go to NIH's Multiple Principal Investigators Web site and read Design a Project in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
NIH considers your application to be investigator-initiated when you submit an application to NIH on a topic of your choice or respond to a program announcement.
On the other hand, if you respond to a contract solicitation or request for applications, you get to choose your project—but you're limited to topics specified in the funding opportunity announcement. Because you have to stay within predefined areas of science, NIH does not consider your application investigator-initiated.
This topic is somewhat complex. Learn more at Choose Approach and Find FOAs in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
Not necessarily. Do not choose the award type yourself. Talk to your institution and a program officer for advice.
For more advice and links to program officer contacts, read the following pages:
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.
Check the Guide notice to see if your program announcement is still open. If it is, you will also see it on our NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
You can resubmit until the PA expires; NIAID may decide to extend it, but don't count on it. You may always submit with a new investigator-initiated application.
Learn more at Options if Your Application Isn't Funded and How to Resubmit in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
Read Guidance for Preparing a Multiproject Research Application.
Our MERIT Awards and Extensions SOP has details. Keep in mind that an investigator cannot apply for a MERIT award nor offer names for a nomination. Our program staff recommend outstanding candidates for the award.
If you have questions about MERIT awards, contact your program officer.
Training grants provide support for institutions to pay stipends and benefits to candidates they select for pre- and postdoctoral research training. PIs on training grants are senior-level investigators. If you wish to be hired as a trainee, contact your institution's grants office. Go to Training Grants (T) for more information.
If you are looking for opportunities at earlier career stages, go to our Training and Career portal.
Yes. Fellowships and career development awards are grants. Learn more at Fellowships (F) and Career Development Awards (K) on the Training and Career portal.
No. Supplements add money to existing grants. Learn more at Research Supplements.
At NIAID, they are.
Yes. Learn more about cooperative agreements in our Other Grant Types portal.
NIAID awards a cooperative agreement when it expects substantial involvement of NIAID program officers in the research project.
For more information, go to the Conversion of Grants to Cooperative Agreements SOP and our Other Grant Types portal. For staff, go to the Cooperative Agreements Staff Portal.
Though these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, our Glossary defines mechanism and activity code correctly. Use the Look It Up panel in the right column of this page to link to the glossary terms.
Here are sites for some other award types:
Find more on our Other Grant Types portal.
For information on our planning and implementation awards, go to Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trial Resources. The site has information on NIAID's required process for investigator-initiated clinical trials, including SOPs, instructions, Guide notices, and questions and answers.
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Last Updated June 05, 2012
Last Reviewed June 05, 2012