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Foreign and International Grants and Components SOP

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Some links will work for NIAID staff only.

This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: Purpose, Procedure, Contacts, and Links.


To issue grant awards to foreign institutions, international organizations, and domestic institutions with foreign components.


General Considerations for Issuing Grant Awards to Foreign Institutions and Domestic Institutions With Foreign Components

  • NIAID issues grant awards to institutions in foreign countries if the proposed research meets the following criteria:
    • It includes talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions not in the U.S. or that augment U.S. resources.
    • It is relevant to NIAID's mission.
    • It is not being done in the U.S.
  • Foreign applications must be presented to NIAID's advisory Council as a special issue to obtain approval.
  • Domestic applications with foreign components require Council approval, but they are not presented as a special issue.
  • A foreign component cannot be added to a grant without obtaining prior approval of the grants management officer (GMO).
  • Foreign applicants are required to submit detailed budgets.
  • Grant awards are issued to institutions or organizations in a foreign country—not investigators.
  • Individuals defined as "restricted" by the Patriot Act cannot work with pathogens or toxins that are potential bioterrorism agents. See the Foreign Workers on NIH Awards SOP.
  • Applicants using select agents must follow all NIAID's select agent procedures. See the Select Agent Awards SOP.
  • Funds for grant awards are paid in U.S. dollars. NIH does not adjust for currency exchange fluctuations after award. For more information, see NIH Issues Funds Using the Payment Management System in the Grants Policy and Management Training for Foreign Investigators.
  • NIAID may use additional guidelines for bilateral agreements. Staff can refer to the Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Country-Specific Solicitations SOP.
  • In general, NIH does not award program projects, centers, training awards, SBIR, STTR, or construction grants to foreign institutions. However, in exceptional circumstances NIH has allowed NIAID to award foreign program projects and cooperative agreements.


  • Note that fellowships, training grants, and career development awards (except for the K99/R00) require either U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status (Alien Registration Receipt Card, Form I-551). People on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
  • Follow the application and submission instructions in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA). Your business office should read Registration Instructions for Domestic and Foreign Institutions.
  • Use Section 5 of the Research and Related Other Project Information form to indicate whether your project involves activities outside the U.S. or partnerships with international collaborators. See NIH's SF424 (R&R) Application Guides.
  • Provide a detailed budget as described in the application instructions.
    • To meet NIH compliance requirements, foreign applicants may request limited Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs up to eight percent of the total direct costs requested in the application minus equipment costs.
  • Learn about grants management in the Grants Policy and Management Training for Foreign Investigators.

Program Officers

  • Present foreign applications to NIAID's advisory Council to obtain approval as a special issue. Note that Council must also approve the transfer of a grant to or between foreign institutions or international organizations as well as from a domestic to a foreign institution.
  • For foreign applications, prepare a special issue table in the NIAID Planning and Reporting System (NPARS). For details, see Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors. Council Guidance and the Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.NIAID Planning and Reporting System (NPARS) SOP.
  • For both foreign grants and domestic applications with foreign components, obtain administrative approvals. See Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Creating a FACTS Record for International Grants and Grants With International Components.
  • For research in Brazil or India, forward appropriate guidance to U.S. and foreign PIs to ensure they comply with the country's government requirements before beginning research.
  • Note select agent involvement on the Program Officer Checklist. See the Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Program Officer Checklist SOP and Foreign Workers on NIH Awards SOP.

Scientific Review Officers

  • Identify grant applications from foreign institutions and domestic applications with a foreign component and ask peer reviewers to evaluate the need for conducting the research at a foreign site.
  • Identify grant applications proposing work with select agents at foreign sites to facilitate appropriate follow-up by program officers and grants management staff.
  • Flag “foreign institution” as a header in summary statements to guide program officers as they prepare for Council approval of the applications.
  • Record if peer reviewers consider the foreign site justified. Include in the summary statement under the “foreign institution" heading.

Grants Management Specialists

  • Review foreign applications to verify all administrative and budgetary requirements are met. Remove unallowable direct costs.
  • Ensure that foreign applications released by the Budget and Financial Management Branch have received Council review and approval.
  • Obtain administrative approvals for both foreign grants and domestic grants with foreign components.
  • Ensure that additional administrative requirements are met for India or Brazil. GMP staff can see GMP's Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Brazilian Requirements for Foreign Clearance SOP.
  • Do not issue a Notice of Award without Council and administrative approvals, even at the end of the fiscal year.

For more responsibilities, GMP staff can see GMP's Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Foreign and International Grants, Components SOP.

For more information, go to Grants Policy and Management Training for Foreign Investigators.


Applicants with questions should read Communicating With NIAID—How to Get Help.

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.


Common Questions and Answers for International Applicants

NIAID's Application portal

Foreign Applications Have an Extra Review Step in the Strategy for NIH Funding

International Involvement Questions and Answers

NIAID International Awards

NIAID Select Agent Policy for Foreign Institutions Questions and Answers

NIH eSubmission Tips for International Applicants

Quick Contact Support for International Applicants

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Special Issues Requiring Council Review SOP

Last Updated April 05, 2016

Last Reviewed January 08, 2015