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Selection of Appropriate Funding Mechanisms SOP

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

This SOP has internal roles only.

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


To enable NIAID to choose the best way to fund extramural activities.


When planning an extramural initiative, NIAID staff work with the Office of Initiative Development (OID) and Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) to determine what mechanism to use based on criteria described in NIH Policy Manual 1820—Selection of Extramural Award Instrument. This decision happens before choosing the type of grant or contract.

Choices fall into three main categories: grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts.

Grants and cooperative agreements provide assistance—money, property, or services—to a recipient for a public purpose, with the following difference:

  • Grants are used when NIAID has no significant programmatic involvement with the awardee's work.
  • Cooperative agreements are used when NIAID staff are substantially involved in the project.

To learn more about NIAID's funding options within each type of grant, go to our Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Activity Codes Used by NIAID.

Contracts acquire property or services for the federal government. For descriptions of different types of contracts and guidance for selecting an appropriate solicitation, read our Type of Contract SOP.

Program and Contracting Officer's Representatives

Office of Initiative Development

Division of Extramural Activities Staff

  • As needed, consult with program and contracting officer's representatives on appropriate funding mechanism.

Grants Management and Acquisitions Branch Chiefs

  • Review initiative concepts.
  • Work with DEA, OID, program and contracting officer's representatives on choice of mechanism and type of grant or contract.


Office of Initiative Development—Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Contact for NIAID Staff

Division of Extramural Activities—Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Contact for NIAID Staff

Office of Acquisitions—see Office of Acquisitions Contacts

Grants Management Program—see Grants Management Program Contacts

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.


Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Cooperative Agreements Staff Portal

HHSAR Part 307—Acquisition Planning, Subpart 307.70—Considerations in Selecting an Award Instrument

Program Announcements (PA) SOP

Requests for Applications (RFA) SOP


Last Updated April 18, 2016

Last Reviewed May 01, 2012