Grant Duration Policy SOP

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

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To enable NIAID to achieve an average duration of four years for competing grants.


NIAID funds a mix of short- and long-term grants to get a four-year average length for all grants in a given fiscal year. To find the maximum duration of any grant, look under "Budget and Project Period" in its funding opportunity announcement.

For NIAID grants that do not have funding opportunity announcements, we use the following durations:

  • Up to one year of support for R56-Bridge awards.
  • Up to four years of support for selective pay grants and grants outside the established grant payline. Go to NIAID Paylines.
  • Five years, with a possible three- to five-year extension, for MERIT awards.

No grant will be awarded for more than five years without a waiver. NIH or HHS may approve a waiver up to seven years only for grants that are in response to a request for applications (RFA) and have extraordinary justification.

In all cases, shorter durations can be negotiated if necessary and appropriate.   

In some fiscal years, NIAID resets grant start dates to more evenly distribute grant funding throughout the fiscal year. This results in a shorter grant duration.


  • Apply for a grant type that allows you to complete your project within the maximum grant duration allowed. Talk to a program officer and read Apply for a Grant.

Program Officers

  • Work with grants management specialists to correct any issues without altering grant duration, if possible.
  • Nominate a maximum of four years' support for applications that score beyond the payline.

Grants Management Specialists


Victoria Connors—Deputy Grants Management Officer

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.


Multiproject Awards SOP

Program Announcements (PA) SOP

NIAID Funding Policy and Process SOP

NIAID R56-Bridge Award SOP

Requests for Applications (RFA) SOP

Selective Pay SOP

Content last reviewed on March 24, 2017