Research Enhancement Awards (R15) SOP

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

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To enable qualified scientists at institutions eligible for Research Enhancement Awards (REA)—either Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) or the Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP)—to receive support for small-scale research projects that expose undergrads and graduate students to NIH-funded research.


Applicants should check their chosen NIH Research Enhancement Award (R15) funding opportunity announcement for eligibility requirements. Organizations may use NIH RePORT to check funding levels with the instructions at Need Help Determining Organization Funding Levels for R15 Eligibility?

As part of their letters of support, applicants must provide a signed letter from the Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the applicant institution at the time of application submission.

Qualified investigators must have a primary faculty appointment at a REA-eligible institution and cannot be a principal investigator (PI) on an active NIH research grant at the time they would receive a REA award. However, they may work on another PI's grant. PIs may receive only one REA award at a time, though they may have successive REA grants.

NIAID approves awards for up to three years and up to $300,000 in direct costs for the entire project period.

Institutions receive the entire award amount at the start of the project period and may take a no-cost extension of up to twelve months to allow PIs to finish REA projects. See the No-Cost Extension SOP for details.

For initial peer review, applications are clustered in groups of about 15 and reviewed by standing study sections or special emphasis panels. For each cluster, those that score in the bottom half are not discussed. 

Grantees must send a progress report for each year. For details, see NIH Instructions for Progress Reports for Multiyear Funded (MYF) Awards. For more on progress reporting, go to Reporting Requirements During Your Grant.


Program Officers

  • Evaluate applications for scientific and programmatic merit.
  • Ensure that PIs submit annual progress reports. If you find a report to be unacceptable, ask the PI to submit a revised one.

Grants Management Specialists

  • Confirm that PIs and institutions are eligible for REA awards.
  • If an institution has never received NIH funding, help it establish an employer identification number.
  • See the GMP Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15) SOP for more information.


Applicants with programmatic questions should contact the Office of Research Training and Special Programs at

Grantees with grants management questions should contact Annie Grimes

Learn more about Contacting Program Officers and Grants Management Specialists.

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


Content last reviewed on