To maximize your chance of funding, create an application that fits NIAID research priorities. Even an investigator-initiated application can be closely targeted to fit. Review Council-approved concepts, find clues in our initiative list, check NIH databases, and contact an NIAID program officer.
Concepts represent the very earliest planning stage of a research initiative: a program announcement (PA), request for applications (RFA), or solicitation. Published initiatives announce NIH funding opportunities in high-priority areas of science.
Even at this pre-initiative stage, concepts can be useful to you. To find concepts by NIAID division and learn how to interpret them, go to Concepts: Potential Opportunities.
Consider applying for an initiative if the topic matches your area of expertise.
All RFAs and solicitations have their own funding set-asides (some PAs do as well). For PAs, NIAID funds grants in the PA's area, including some that score above the payline.
See our list of NIAID Funding Opportunities.
Ferret out the gaps in your field, paying particular attention to areas the Institute considers to be high priority. Find NIAID's Strategic Plans on the Budget & Planning page. Learn how to search for gaps using NIH databases at See Funded Projects Using RePORTER.
Contact an NIAID program officer to discuss any of the topics you found in the options above and ask about the possibility of other high-priority areas that match your areas of expertise. Find contacts and instructions at When to Contact a NIAID Program Officer.
You could use one of those topics as the basis of an investigator-initiated application or consider applying through an initiative.
If you are thinking about applying through an initiative, call the program officer listed in the announcement. Ask how well the initiative is suited to your research strengths and objectives, and discuss the level of competition you can expect.