New Emergency Opportunity Funds PPE for COVID-19 Clinical Research

Funding News Edition: July 15, 2020
See more articles in this edition

Awards made through this initiative will support the purchase of masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, caps, shoe covers, and shield wipes.

Credit: NIH

Generally, grantees cannot charge personal protective equipment (PPE) as a direct cost to an NIH award, but instead must use indirect costs (facilities and administrative costs) for these purchases. However, we recognize that for awardees conducting clinical trials or clinical studies on COVID-19, the costs for PPE may be quite large.

To address that challenge, we issued Limited Competition Emergency Awards: Shared Personal Protective Equipment Resources for Vaccine and Therapeutic Clinical Trials Networks (S10, Clinical Trial Not Allowed). The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) uses the Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10) activity code, which is designed to support shared research instruments at institutions with a high concentration of NIH extramural research awards.

For this initiative, the “shared instrument” is PPE. Awards made through this FOA will support the purchase of:

  • Masks
  • Gloves
  • Gowns
  • Face shields
  • Caps
  • Shoe covers
  • Shield wipes

That list is not exhaustive. Keep in mind, use of PPE purchased through this initiative is limited to COVID-19 clinical trials and clinical research projects.

Your application should justify the need for PPE, give a high-level summary of the supported research, and provide a detailed distribution plan for monitoring and sharing the PPE. A well-considered distribution plan is key to demonstrating merit for funding.

Important Technicalities

Eligibility is limited to investigators conducting clinical trials or clinical studies on COVID-19 using NIAID funds drawn from fiscal year 2020 pandemic supplemental appropriations. This includes contract awards and emergency competitive revisions (supplements) funded by NIAID supplemental appropriations. If you are unsure whether a particular grant, supplement, or contract qualifies, check with the assigned grants management specialist or contracting officer, respectively.

If you have an application or proposal under review for COVID-19 clinical trials or clinical research, do not apply for support through this FOA until NIAID has issued you an award. For principal investigators who have a qualifying grant or supplement and a pending S10 application, preaward costs may be incurred through the public health emergency period and prior to the date of the award.

PPE needed for linked clinical trials and clinical studies, such as a main trial or study and an associated follow-up study, can be bundled together in a single S10 application. For institutions with multiple, distinct awards for COVID-19 clinical trials or clinical studies, submit a separate application for each set of linked trials and studies.

If you are not eligible for this FOA but need to purchase PPE to carry out your research, you’ll have to charge it as an indirect cost. We anticipate further guidance from NIH’s Office of Extramural Research on this topic, but presently that is the requirement.

Note that the S10 award provides no associated indirect costs; awardees will receive only the budgeted direct costs. For your application, award budgets are not limited but must reflect the actual PPE needs justified in your request. You must propose a one-year project period, though your budget request should reflect the cost of PPE for the entire project period of an associated clinical trial or clinical study.

The FOA features rolling submission, so you can apply as soon as your application is ready. NIAID staff will evaluate applications on an expedited basis.

S10 awardees will be responsible for sending semi-annual progress reports to the assigned program officer; this is in addition to standard progress reporting.

We’ve posted Questions and Answers for PAR-20-256 to provide further context and clarification. The FOA is a novel opportunity, so be sure to review that page as well if you are interested in applying.

For any other questions about the FOA, contact Dr. Andrea Wurster.

The FOA will expire on July 8, 2021.

Contact Us

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

Content last reviewed on