Use this information for foreign investigators, projects, or institutions seeking funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
If you’ve applied successfully for an international grant from NIAID, see Foreign Grants Management instead.
Learn About NIH and NIAID
National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the U.S. federal government's primary agency for supporting biomedical and behavioral research. Its mission is to expand scientific knowledge to improve public health.
Most of NIH's money funds grants and contracts to research organizations in the U.S. and, to a smaller extent, other parts of the world.
NIH is made up of 27 institutes and centers, including NIAID. Each has a defined research focus—go to Institutes, Centers, and Offices for a list and descriptions.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is the NIH institute that supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.
Determine Your Eligibility and Special Requirements
Though most NIH grants go to domestic institutions, you do not need U.S. affiliation or citizenship to become either a grantee institution or a PI for most grants.
The main exceptions are fellowships, career development awards (with one minor exception), and training grants, for which you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident (have an Alien Registration Receipt Card).
Note: PIs of small business awards are not required to have U.S. citizenship, but they must legally reside in the U.S. Foreign institutions and foreign components of U.S. organizations are not eligible to apply for SBIR/STTR awards. Only for-profit organizations with majority ownership by U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens can apply for small business awards. For details, see NIH's Small Business Eligibility Criteria.
To determine whether you are eligible to apply, check the Eligibility Information section of the NIH Guide announcement for your funding opportunity announcement (FOA).
Requirements for Foreign Investigators
Foreign investigators working on NIH-funded grants have the following requirements:
- If you are a non-U.S. citizen working at a U.S. institution, you will need to remain there long enough to finish your project.
- If you do not have a permanent visa, state in your application that your visa will allow you to remain in the U.S. long enough for you to be productive on the project.
- Your institution ensures that you have an appropriate work visa.
- Foreign investigators funded to perform select agents and toxins research must follow special procedures.
For country-specific clinical research regulatory information, go to ClinRegs.
Foreign Projects and Institutions
Applications from foreign institutions must include talent, resources, populations, or other resources not found in the United States. For example, you might plan research in a foreign country so you have access to a unique study population.
- Foreign applications have an extra review step: reviewers assess whether comparable work is being done in the United States. If it is, the application will suffer in review.
- Reviewers also consider the relevance of the proposed research to the NIAID mission and check whether there is a need for the research.
Note: Per statute, the research or R&D project activity for an SBIR or STTR award must be performed in its entirety in the United States. In those rare instances where the study design requires use of a foreign site or purchase of foreign materials, a waiver may be considered at the time of award.
Be aware that NIH requires additional steps for foreign institutions to register for electronic application. For more information, see the Application Requirements section of Information for Foreign Grants.
Develop Your Idea
If you plan to apply for research with international involvement, we advise you to make sure you have a competitive idea that's also important to your field. Learn about NIH databases and how to search them at See Funded Projects and More Using NIH Databases.
Using the tools described on that page, you can get an overview of similar funded projects, experts in your field, their publications and grants, and study sections that reviewed their applications.
You can also identify which NIH Institute supports research similar to your idea, which program officers in those institutes manage research similar to what you do, and which funding opportunities fit your area of science. For NIAID, see a list at Opportunities and Announcements.
As policies change, we update this website, but you should also watch for policies that would affect you. Keep an eye on Opportunities and Announcements and our newsletter NIAID Funding News.
Visit other sections in the site’s navigation for more advice on applying for a grant, information on peer review, and other stages. Most of the information is appropriate for international as well as domestic applications.
Once you’ve applied successfully for an international grant from NIAID, proceed to Foreign Grants Management.