NIAID Replaces COVID-19 NOSI for R03, Small Business Applications

Funding News Edition: May 20, 2020
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Yesterday, NIAID issued Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Select Research Areas for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to invite SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 applications for three activity codes:

  • Small research project (R03) grants
  • Small business innovation research (R43/R44) grants
  • Small business technology transfer (R41/R42) grants

We also expired a previous NOSI focused on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 that collected the same application types, as stated in the May 19, 2020 Guide notice.

In the new NOSI, we highlight several scientific topics of interest:

  • Studies to understand critical aspects of viral infection, replication, pathogenesis, and transmission
  • Studies on the evolution and emergence of SARS-CoV-2 viruses including the identification of factors that affect viral host-range and virulence
  • Development of sensitive, specific, and rapid clinical diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2
  • Development of SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic candidates, especially broad-spectrum therapeutics against multiple coronavirus strains
  • Identification and evaluation of the innate, cellular, and humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection
    • Cross-reactive antibodies from individuals exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses
    • Viral epitopes critical for T cell activation or antibody binding and neutralization
    • Immune-mediated pathology or host factors that might predispose to severe infection
    • Studies to examine duration of protection or the potential for reinfection
  • Development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates, including approaches for pan-coronavirus protection that include emerging antigen design strategies, novel platforms or delivery approaches, adjuvants, or assessing cross-neutralization potential of SARS-CoV vaccine candidates

Read the NOSI for more context on the direction of our SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research.

To apply, use the parent funding opportunity announcement (FOA) that matches your budget, project period, and eligibility needs.

Activity Code


Project Period

Budget Cap

Eligibility Notes



2 years

$50,000 annual


R41, R42


6 months to 2 years


Small business concerns only

R43, R44


6 months to 2 years


Small business concerns only

*We anticipate NIH will reissue the small business FOAs with 2020 versions shortly. You will use the new FOAs, once published, to apply. See the April 16, 2020 Guide notice for details.

Application deadlines follow NIH’s Standard Due Dates. The NOSI will remain active through September 8, 2021.

In your application, you must list NOT-AI-20-051 in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF 424 (R&R) application.

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Diane Post or Dr. Michael Minnicozzi.

NIAID has issued several funding opportunities related to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19; you can search for them on our Opportunities & Announcements page.

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