How To Navigate NIAID’s Budget Cap for Renewal Applications

Funding News Edition: December 01, 2021
See more articles in this edition

When planning the budget for your R01 renewal application, know how to determine your application’s budget “cap” and alternative actions if you determine you’ll need more money to continue your research path. Read on for additional advice and information.

There are two factors to keep in mind when you consider the budget for your R01 renewal: 1) the budget cap and 2) how much money you will need to conduct your proposed research. For more information, read the Plan Your Renewal’s Budget section under Advice for a Successful Renewal.

A Refresher on NIAID Policy

NIAID caps R01 renewal budgets at 20 percent over the direct costs of the last noncompeting award minus supplements, equipment, alterations and renovations costs, and facilities and administrative (F&A) costs for all subawards.

Read our Financial Management Plan for more details.

Example R01 20 percent cap calculation:

  • Final year award of $200,000.
  • Subtract $5,000 (for subaward F&A) and $45,000 (for an administrative supplement).
  • $200,000 - $50,000 = $150,000 (this is the direct cost multiplier for the 20 percent cap).

$150,000 x 1.20 = $180,000 the amount of direct cost that can be requested in the renewal and not exceed the cap.

Contact someone in your institution’s business office if you have specific questions about how to calculate your budget cap.

What To Do If You Need More Money

What do you do if you realize after calculating your budget that your funds might not be enough to cover all your research? If the scope of your research has evolved and you need additional funds, you could submit a new application (instead of a renewal) with Specific Aims that are different from your previous grant’s.

Another option, which you should consider only as a last resort, is to request a percent increase over the budget cap. Think hard before you use this option since it requires multiple approval steps, including concurrence from NIAID’s Advisory Council, as well as a strong justification and source of funds. 

Ask for Assistance

If you need help with your renewal’s budget, you should contact someone in your institution’s business office (as we mentioned earlier), talk to your program officer, or reach out to your grants management specialist.

For more information on how to apply for a renewal, read our Renewal Funding SOP.

Contact Us

Email us at for help navigating NIAID’s grant and contract policies and procedures.

Content last reviewed on