Prepare Your Application

Prepare Your Application

In this section, we walk you through the steps needed to prepare your application for submission.

Draft Specific Aims

After you have decided the area of research to pursue, start thinking about your planned experiments by first drafting objectives, known in NIH lingo as Specific Aims. Learn more about drafting specific aims and see our iterative checklist for application planning.

Outline Your Experiments

Sketch out the sets of experiments necessary to address the specific aims you have created. Note that your experimental design is a plan whose goal is to convince your reviewers that you can reach the objectives stated in your aims. Learn more about outlining your experiments, human subjects, animal research, and select agents.

Know Your Audience

The primary audience for your application is your peer review group. Learn how to write for the reviewers who are experts in your field and those who are experts in other fields. Learn more about investigating review committees and writing your application with reviewers in mind.

Write Your Research Plan

In this part, we give you detailed information about writing an effective Research Plan. We start with the importance and parameters of significance and innovation. You'll also learn the importance of having a well-organized, visually appealing application that avoids common missteps and the importance of preparing your just-in-time information early. Learn more about writing your application’s Research Plan.

Have Questions?

A program officer in your area of science can give you application advice, NIAID's perspective on your research, and confirmation that NIAID will accept your application.

Find contacts and instructions at When to Contact a NIAID Program Officer.

Content last reviewed on August 11, 2016