New Tool To Find a Program Officer

Here's a new and easy method to find and contact an appropriate NIH program officer (PO) for your area of science. That PO can advise you on your application ideas and help you navigate the grant submission and review process.

As you may already know, NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORTER) provides detailed information on funded projects.

The feature to find a PO is now part of RePORTER. Here's how to locate and use it:

  1. Look at the top of the RePORTER search form and find the navigation tabs.
  2. Go to the Matchmaker tab.
  3. Paste or type any text in the Matchmaker form field, such as keywords or a scientific abstract.
  4. Choose the new "Similar Program Officials" button at the bottom of the Matchmaker form.

As shown in the image, Matchmaker will return graphs of relevant NIH institutes or centers and activity codes. Below the graphs, you'll see a table of POs ranked by the number of relevant projects in their portfolios. Click the number in the Projects column to see the list of awards.

Since the tool uses document fingerprinting technology to analyze the text you provide, it may not precisely pinpoint the proper PO. Even so, it's likely that one of your top matching POs can direct you to the right person.

Do not send a single email to all the POs listed in your query results. Instead, view the abstracts of the linked projects first and then direct your question to the PO whose projects most closely match your interests.

Learn more about other uses for RePORTER in our August 3, 2017 article "Use NIH Databases To Find Topics and Teammates."

Content last reviewed on March 6, 2018

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