Timeline To Plan and Write Your Application

Learn when and how to identify an appropriate grant funding opportunity, start planning, check your institution’s internal deadline, and begin writing.

The first section of the overall timeline graphic is darkened to indicate the preparation stage, which could be weeks or months before your institution’s internal deadline. The text below the image summarizes typical steps and timeframes.

The darkened section of the graphic marks this phase of the process. Find other phases at Illustrated Application and Grant Timelines

Typical Steps and Timeframes

Check yourself. Before you plan anything, Determine Eligibility for NIAID Grants. Do you qualify? Does your institution have special application procedures or requirements?

Choose the right project for you. You must Find a Funding Opportunity that fits and Understand NIAID Research Priorities. Get NIAID staff advice on your plans and opportunity type as described at When To Contact a NIAID Program Officer.

Verify your internal deadline. Your institution’s business office may need your application weeks or even months before your NIH due date in order to process, sign, and submit it.

Initial preparation. We advise you to allow two months or more of dedicated time to prepare for a simple R01, e.g., one that does not include vertebrate animals or human subjects. Get details at Prepare Your Application and be sure you Know Your Audience

Write each section. It may take you at least two additional months to complete the writing portion of a typical application. Learn about the elements of a successful grant application and get our extensive advice at Apply for a Grant.  

Finalize with feedback. Allot at least two weeks to finalize your application. Send it to colleagues, mentors, and peers for their advice and make changes resulting from that review.

Checks and edits. We recommend that you spend at least a week to check, edit, and recheck your application. Make sure nothing is missing and all information is consistent. Search for factual errors, check spelling and grammar, and proofread.

When you’re ready. Notify staff in your institution’s business office so they can begin their part of the submission process.

Next Phase

Proceed to the Timeline To Submit Your Application.

Find other phases on the Illustrated Application and Grant Timelines page.

See NIAID’s main Timelines and Due Dates portal.

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