Foreign and International Grants and Components SOP

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

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To issue grant awards to foreign institutions, international organizations, and domestic institutions with foreign components.


General Considerations for Issuing Grant Awards to Foreign Institutions and Domestic Institutions With Foreign Components

  • NIAID issues grant awards to institutions in foreign countries if the proposed research meets the following criteria:
    • It includes talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions not in the U.S. or that augment U.S. resources.
    • It is relevant to the NIAID mission.
    • It is not being done in the United States.
  • Foreign applications must be presented to the NIAID advisory Council as a special issue to obtain approval.
  • Domestic applications with foreign components require Council approval, but they are not presented as a special issue.
  • A foreign component cannot be added to a grant without obtaining prior approval of the grants management officer (GMO).
  • Foreign applicants are required to submit detailed budgets.
  • Grant awards are issued to institutions or organizations in a foreign country—not investigators.
  • Individuals defined as "restricted" by the Patriot Act cannot work with pathogens or toxins that are potential bioterrorism agents. See the Foreign Workers on NIH Awards SOP.
  • Applicants using select agents must follow all NIAID's select agent procedures. See the Select Agent Awards SOP.
  • Funds for grant awards are paid in U.S. dollars. NIH does not adjust for currency exchange fluctuations after award. For more information, see Foreign Grants Management.
  • NIAID may use additional guidelines for bilateral agreements. Staff can refer to the Country-Specific Solicitations SOP.
  • In general, NIH does not award program projects, centers, training awards, SBIR, STTR, or construction grants to foreign institutions. However, in exceptional circumstances NIH has allowed NIAID to award foreign program projects and cooperative agreements.


  • Note that fellowships, training grants, and career development awards (except for the K99/R00) require either U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status (Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551). People on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
  • Follow the application and submission instructions in the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO). Your business office should read Registration Instructions for Domestic and Foreign Institutions.
  • Use Section 6 of the Research and Related Other Project Information form to indicate whether your project involves activities outside the U.S. or partnerships with international collaborators. See NIH SF424 (R&R) Application Guides.
  • Provide a detailed budget as described in the application instructions.
    • To meet NIH compliance requirements, foreign applicants may request limited Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs up to eight percent of the modified total direct costs requested in the application minus equipment, tuition and related fees, and subawards over $25,000.
  • Learn about grants management in Foreign Grants Management.

Program Officers

Scientific Review Officers

  • Identify grant applications from foreign institutions and domestic applications with a foreign component and ask peer reviewers to evaluate the need for conducting the research at a foreign site.
  • Identify grant applications proposing work with select agents at foreign sites to facilitate appropriate follow-up by program officers and grants management staff.
  • Flag “foreign institution” as a header in summary statements to guide program officers as they prepare for Council approval of the applications.
  • Record if peer reviewers consider the foreign site justified. Include in the summary statement under the “foreign institution" heading.

Grants Management Specialists

  • Review foreign applications to verify all administrative and budgetary requirements are met. Remove unallowable direct costs.
  • Ensure that foreign applications released by the Budget and Financial Management Branch have received Council review and approval.
  • Obtain administrative approvals for both foreign grants and domestic grants with foreign components.
  • Ensure that additional administrative requirements are met for India or Brazil. 
  • Do not issue a Notice of Award without Council and administrative approvals, even at the end of the fiscal year.

For more responsibilities, GMP staff can see the GMP Foreign and International Grants, Components SOP.

For more information, go to Grants Policy and Management Training for Foreign Investigators.


Applicants with questions should read 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




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