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 notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) 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 5 years.
  • If an application is recommended for funding, applicants must provide a Plan to Promote Safe Environments (Safety Plan) as part of their just-in-time (JIT) materials and include how it will be communicated to all conference/meeting attendees. For more information about what to include in the plan, see Safety Plan under Developing Your Conference Grant Application on the NIH Support for Scientific Conferences (R13 and U13) page. 
  • 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, NIAID reserves the right to discuss how we will participate and 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.
  • Each NIAID division receives an annual set-aside for competing grants, with any outyear requests supported by NIAID’s Office of the Director. 
  • Food and meal costs are not allowed for competing and noncompeting R13 and U13 awards.
  • Applicants must take the following actions:
    • Receive advance permission to submit an application. 
    • Include people from underrepresented groups in all aspects of planning, organizing, and implementing NIH-sponsored or supported meetings.
  • Per the NIH Efficient Spending Policy, 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.
  • Recipients 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.


  • Get NIAID written permission to apply:
    • At least 6 weeks before you submit your application, request permission by emailing a one- to two-paragraph synopsis of your conference. Also include in the email the name of the project director/principal investigator, the name of the applicant organization, proposed conference dates, draft of the conference agenda, amount you are requesting, and information about co-funding from another NIH institute. The request should be emailed to the NIAID Receipt and Referral Officer at
    • Consider the number of conferences given in your chosen area. NIAID may give priority to less visible topics. For guidance, contact one of the division conference grant coordinators listed below.
    • If NIAID agrees to accept primary assignment of your application, NIAID will send you a letter in PDF format. Include it in your electronic submission.
  • Your application must include plans to enhance diversity while selecting committee members, speakers, panel discussants, and attendees. Reviewers consider these plans as part of the overall impact score. Learn more in the Diversity Plan section of Developing Your Conference Grant Application of NIH Support for Scientific Conferences (R13 and U13).
  • Apply for a receipt date at least 7 months before the conference (for AIDS applications, 6 months before the conference). Go to Standard Due Dates.
  • Find further guidance on application content:


NIAID Receipt and Referral Officer 

  • Acknowledge receipt of applicant requests for permission to apply for a conference award.
  • Forward permission requests to the appropriate Division Conference Grant Coordinators.
  • Ensure that the Division Conference Grant Coordinators respond to all permission requests.

Program Staff

  • Receive and review the application permission request forwarded by the NIAID Receipt and Referral Officer. 
  • Determine if NIAID will agree to accept primary assignment of the application.
    • If “Yes” send the applicant an email and attach a PDF-formatted Conference Grant Permission Letter using the template. Copy the NIAID Receipt and Referral Officer in your response.
    • If “No” send an email to decline and copy the NIAID Receipt and Referral Officer in your response. See the email template for guidance.
  • After application peer review, review the summary statement and consider whether the diversity plan was acceptable to peer reviewers. 
  • 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 the application is for a cooperative agreement (U13), work with the grants management specialist on terms of award.
  • Review the Safety Plan submitted as part of JIT materials. 
  • 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.
  • Request and review the Safety Plan as part of JIT materials. Consult with the program officer to ensure no additional concerns were noted regarding the Safety Plan. 
  • 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.


NIAID Receipt and Referral Officer

Grants Management Program

Svetlana Alperovich

Division Conference Grant Coordinators

DAIDS—Martin Gutierrez

DAIT—Susan Cooper

DMID—Barbara Mulach and Patricia Strickler-Dinglasan

DEA—Diane Adger-Johnson 

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 Transition (K99/R00) Awards SOP 

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