Conference Awards SOP

This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: PurposeProcedureContacts, and Links.

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To support scientific meetings, conferences, and workshops in areas related to NIAID's mission.


NIAID funds conferences through budget set-asides allocated to each scientific division. We give priority to the following submissions:

  • Applications for open meetings, including conferences that cover broad subject matter and for which the sponsoring institution invites anyone interested to attend but has uniform standards for selecting the final list of participants.
  • Applications that provide funds to graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, and junior faculty members for the purpose of attending conferences.

Conference grant applications must be submitted electronically using either the NIH Application Submission System and Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) or another of the NIH Submission Options. Check the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) at Search for Conference Funding Opportunities for details.

General Information

  • Domestic organizations eligible to receive grants from NIH, including scientific or professional societies, are eligible to apply for conference grants. For more information, check What are the eligibility criteria? on NIH's Conference Grants Frequently Asked Questions.
  • NIAID funds scientific meetings through conference grants (R13) or cooperative agreements (U13) for up to five years.
  • A permanently sponsoring organization can receive a multi-year award for annual or biennial conferences on a recurring topic. The award is funded by budget period.
  • NIAID must actively participate in the development of a U13 meeting. For both R13 and U13, we reserve the right to discuss how we will participate, and we make the final decision about our level of involvement.
  • NIAID co-funds or accepts co-funding from other institutes and centers (ICs) for $2,500 or higher.
  • Food and meal costs are not allowed for competing and noncompeting R13 and U13 awards.
  • Applicants must take the following actions:
    • Include people from underrepresented groups in all aspects of planning, organizing, and implementing NIH-sponsored or supported meetings.
    • Receive advance permission to submit an application.
  • The NIAID director must review and approve competing conference grants selected by program divisions for funding.
    • For grants between $100,000 to $500,000, submit approvals within 40 calendar days of the obligation.
    • For grants over $500,000, submit approvals 40 calendar days before the obligation.
  • NIAID must issue an award before a conference starts. In rare cases, NIAID will issue an award after a conference has been held to cover post-conference costs such as publishing the proceedings.
  • Grantees must acknowledge NIH grant support and provide a note of funding source on conference materials related to the project. Their Notice of Award will include the following term of award:
    • All conference material (promotional materials, agenda, publications and Internet sites) related to this project must include an acknowledgement of NIH grant support and a disclaimer stating the following:
      • Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by (insert grant number) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.



Program Staff

  • Evaluate and review applications for relevance to your program. Also consider whether the diversity plan is appropriate and adequately addresses representation.
  • Use the conference grants list template from your division's S: drive to prepare a list of competing grants for the pre-Council meeting spreadsheet, and save it under your division folder for the appropriate Council meeting.
  • Make any changes to the open and closed session materials after the pre-Council meeting with the NIAID director. Save changes under your division folder for the appropriate Council meeting.
  • After Council review, develop a funding plan in the NIAID Planning and Reporting System (NPARS).
  • On the Program Officer Checklist, document for the grants management specialist whether there are future year commitments for the award and if so, whether to provide an escalation if requested in the application.
  • If there are future year commitments, notify your divisional conference grant coordinator so your division can factor these funds into its future funding plans. See the list of coordinators below.
  • If the application is for a cooperative agreement (U13), work with the grants management specialist on terms of award.
  • Notify the applicant whether the application is approved for an award.
  • Provide grants management specialist with information on ICs interested in co-funding and the amount.

Grants Management Staff

  • Ensure that the program officer documents future year commitments for an award and whether escalation should be provided.
    • If an applicant has requested escalation but this has not been addressed on the program officer checklist, ask the program officer to document whether the requested escalation is approved or disapproved.
    • If the program officer approves the escalation, provide no more than the allowable percentage.
  • Work with program officer on co-funding with other ICs.
  • Ensure you have received all co-funding documents before issuing an award.
  • Ensure that applications receive Council's review and recommendation for funding. This includes applications NIAID wants to co-fund.
  • For cooperative agreements, work with program officer on terms of award. Also include the standard U13 term of award.
  • Issue the award reflecting the appropriate conference grant term of award.
  • After Council, provide an original conference grants list to the program branch chief, Budget and Financial Management Branch, and the extramural scientific divisional contacts.

GMP staff can see the GMP Conference Grants SOP for more responsibilities.


Office of Research Training and Special Programs

Grants Management Program

Gregory Smith

Division Conference Grant Coordinators

DAIDS—Martin Gutierrez

DAIT—Susan Cooper and Karina Allbritton

DMID—Barbara Mulach and Patricia Strickler-Dinglasan

Other NIH Institutes and Centers

NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings, Contacts and Special Interests

Use the contacts listed above for questions about your specific situation. If you have a general question or a suggestion to improve this page, email the Office of Knowledge and Educational Resources at


Apply for a Grant

NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings

NIH Policy on Promoting Efficient Spending: Use of Appropriated Funds for Conferences and Meeting Space, Food, Promotional Items, and Printing and Publications

Release of Funds for Solicited, Opportunity Pool, and Career Awards SOP 

Content last reviewed on