Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) SOP

This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: Purpose, Procedure, Contacts, and Links

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To stimulate grant-supported research in high-priority and high-opportunity areas of science using a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI).


A NOSI is a standardized format for NIH institutes and centers (ICs) to share and update research priorities by publication in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. NOSIs have replaced IC-issued program announcements (PAs) to highlight interest in a research area that does not have set-aside funds or special review criteria or review considerations.

NOSIs may be sponsored by one or more NIH IC. NOSIs usually direct applicants to Parent PAs with standard NIH submission dates—see the NIH Standard Due Dates for Competing Applications. NOSIs may also direct applicants to IC-specific funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Contact NIAID’s Office of Extramural Research Policy and Operations (OERPO) with questions about what specific FOAs NOSIs can point to.

NOSIs generally include a brief statement of purpose, descriptions of specific scientific topics of interest, a list of FOAs used for application submission, and application instructions for referral processing and application tracking. NIAID NOSIs can be issued for up to three years and include an expiration date.

Applications in response to a NOSI that directs applicants to a Parent PA are reviewed by the applicable Center for Scientific Review (CSR) study section. Applications in response to a NOSI that directs applicants to an NIH IC-sponsored FOA (request for applications and some program announcements with special receipt, referral, and/or review considerations) can be reviewed by the sponsoring IC or a special emphasis panel (SEP) at CSR. Direct questions about locus of review to OERPO.


  • To find active NIAID NOSIs, Search for Notices of Special Interest on NIAID's Funding Opportunities list.
  • You can also find NOSIs in the NIH Guide by selecting "Notice of Special Interest" under Type of Funding Opportunities on the left rail. All NOSI titles begin with “Notice of Special Interest.”
  • To find NOSIs affiliated with a FOA, go to the Related Notices section of a FOA. If it has affiliated NOSIs, it will have a link to “See Notices of Special Interest associated with this funding opportunity.” The link will take you to a webpage with an easy-to-read table that provides an at-a-glance look at the following:
    • NOSI title
    • Notice Number
    • Organization
    • Release Date
    • Expiration Date
    • Activity Code(s)
  • To respond to a NOSI, follow instructions within the NOSI directing you to a particular Parent PA or IC-sponsored FOA.
  • As instructed, be sure to enter the NOSI number in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. If this information is missing, the application may not be considered for the NOSI initiative. Note: the process for streamlined submissions using the eRA Commons cannot be used for administrative supplement applications in response to NOSIs.

Program Staff

  • Developing NIAID NOSIs
    • Follow your division-specific process for concept development and division approval.
    • Consult your division coordinator to prepare an initiative descriptor for your NOSI.
    • Have your division coordinator enter the initiative descriptor in the Research Initiative Management System (RIMS) using PA as the Method of Solicitation. When entering the initiative descriptor in RIMS, the initiative title should begin “Notice of Special Interest…” and it should include the list of FOAs the NOSI will point to.
    • Work with your division coordinator to obtain approval for the NOSI concept through the Executive Committee (ExCom) or Research Initiative Committee and Advisory Council following the NIAID Initiative Publication Approval Chart and the Requesting ExCom Concept Approval SOP.
    • Refer to the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) Guidance for Writing Notices of Special Interest to prepare the draft NOSI.
    • In preparing the NOSI draft, work with your division coordinator and coordinate with the Office of Initiative Development (OID) if needed due to initiative complexity.
    • Forward the NOSI draft to your division coordinator for internal division review and subsequent approvals.
    • The division coordinator submits the approved NOSI draft to OERPO for review, final approval, and submission to the Funding Opportunity Announcement Module (FOAM).
    • After electronic applications arrive, you can search for them in Query, View and Report (QVR) using the Agency Routing ID field.
    • Refer to OER Guidance How To Manage Applications Submitted to NOSIs for NOSI referral guidelines.
  • Participating in another IC’s NOSI
    • When you or your division coordinator receive notification of a NOSI in Shared Interest or through other communications, determine if there is programmatic overlap and if you want to co-sponsor the NOSI.
    • Work with your division coordinator to obtain approval from your division to participate in the NOSI. Note: ExCom approval is not required for NIAID to participate in another IC’s NOSI, but the Office of Science Management and Operations director and NIAID deputy director must be notified at the Friday Resources meeting. After the Resources meeting, document in RIMS that the NOSI was discussed. For details, see the Requesting ExCom Concept Approval SOP.
    • When signing onto a complex NOSI, i.e., one that has multiple participating ICs with multiple FOAs, work with the sponsoring IC to designate the FOAs from which we will accept applications.
    • The division coordinator enters the NOSI initiative descriptor into RIMS using PA as Method of Solicitation.
    • The division coordinator notifies OERPO staff by email of your interest to participate and provides NIAID scientific and grants management contacts for the NOSI if not already designated in the target FOA(s) listed in the NOSI.
    • Note: NOSIs only require a five-business day Shared Interest period. You must act quickly if you want to participate in another IC’s NOSI since you cannot participate in another IC’s NOSI once it is published. If you miss the sign-on deadline, you have the option to issue your own NOSI following the procedure described above for Developing NIAID NOSIs.
      • Exception: You can sign on to another IC’s published NOSI if it points to the Parent Administrative Supplement FOA.
        • Sign on to a NOSI any time before the due date by emailing OERPO the contact information, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number(s), and the effective date you would like to be added.
        • OERPO will contact the Guide box to sign on. The email request will be added to the FOAM record.
        • When NIAID is added to the NOSI, the effective date will be listed next to NIAID’s name.
    • After electronic applications arrive, you can search for them in QVR using the Agency Routing ID field.
    • Refer to OER Guidance How to Manage Applications Submitted to NOSIs for NOSI referral guidelines.

Office of Extramural Research Policy and Operations

  • Publishing NIAID NOSIs
    • Provide guidance to program staff during all stages of NOSI development.
    • Review drafts and send comments to the program officer through either the division coordinator or OID.
    • If the NOSI includes deviations in budget information from the target FOA(s), consult the appropriate Grants Management Program branch chief.
    • Determine and enter the first available due date for applications based on the target FOAs listed in the NOSI. Note: the NOSI must be published in the NIH Guide at least 30 days before the first applicable due date.
    • Determine and enter the expiration date based on the last possible due date across the target FOAs listed in the NOSI, unless an earlier expiration is requested by program staff. 
    • Transfer NOSI into FOAM, and at the completion of the Shared Interest period, submit the final NOSI draft to NIH Guide staff for review, approval, and publication. NIH Guide review and publication should take approximately seven days.
    • Notify requestor, OID and OERPO when the NOSI is published.
  • Participating in another IC’s NOSI
    • Sign on in FOAM to co-sponsor NOSIs.
    • Include NIAID scientific research and grants management contacts if not already included in the target FOA(s) listed in the NOSI.
    • Confirm with program staff that the NOSI descriptor is entered in RIMS.
    • Contact the Guide box to sign on to a published administrative supplement NOSI. Provide program contact information, CFDA number(s), and effective date.

Office of Initiative Development

  • If requested, advise and assist program staff during all stages of NOSI development, e.g.,
    • Exclusionary criteria
    • Scope
    • Milestones
    • Policy changes

For more on NOSIs, see the NIH OER Writing a Funding Opportunity page and refer to section II. Funding Opportunities on the NIH Applying Electronically Frequently Asked Questions page.


Applicants with questions should read Contacting Program Officers and Grants Management Specialists.

Office of Extramural Research Policy and Operations—NIAID OPCO

Office of Initiative Development—Contact for NIAID Staff

Program Division Coordinators

Contact for NIAID Staff—DAIDS (1) and Contact for NIAID Staff —DAIDS (2)

Contact for NIAID Staff—DAIT

Contact for NIAID Staff—DMID (1) and Contact for NIAID Staff­—DMID (2)

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


Creating NIH Guide Notices SOP

Requesting ExCom Concept Approval SOP 

NIAID Initiative Publication Approval Chart

NIH Expanding Usage of Notices of Special Interest (June 14, 2019 Guide notice)

NIH OER Writing a Funding Opportunity

Research Initiative Committee SOP

Research Initiative Management System (RIMS)

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