Program Announcements (PA) 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.


A program announcement (PA) is one of three types of initiatives—together with requests for applications (RFA) and solicitations—NIAID develops with its Advisory Council.

PAs may be sponsored by one or more NIH institutes and centers (ICs). They usually use standard NIH submission dates—see the NIH Standard Due Dates for Competing Applications—but may use a single annual due date if warranted. PAs remain active for three years (up to nine receipt dates), unless NIAID inactivates them sooner; see the Program Announcement Inactivation SOP for more on that topic.

PAs differ from RFAs as follows:

  • PAs may or may not have set-aside funds. If they do not, NIAID may fund some of the applications beyond the payline. RFAs always have set-aside funds.
  • PAs are usually broader; for example, a PA may focus on biodefense research opportunities, where an RFA will focus on developing therapies for a particular disease. Also, a PA may only focus on a certain mechanism (R01, R21, R34, etc.).
  • Applications in response to a PA are reviewed by the applicable Center for Scientific Review study section unless otherwise stated in the FOA. Applications responding to an RFA are reviewed by an IC-specific review panel in a special emphasis panel.

There are two special types of PAs:

  1. PAR—applications are reviewed by an Institute or a special Center for Scientific Review committee and have due dates that are specified in the NIH Guide announcement.
  2. PAS—PA with set-aside funds.


  • For NIAID active PAs, go to NIAID’s Funding Opportunity Announcements list.
  • You can also find PAs in the NIH Guide by selecting PA, PAR, and PAS under the Type of Funding Opportunity Announcement filter on the left rail, which retrieves active program announcements.
  • You can find PAs in by selecting Search Grants and entering and selecting your search criteria.
  • Determine whether applying for a PA is right for you. For our advice, read Types of Funding Opportunities.

Program Staff

Office of Extramural Research Policy and Operations

  • Create a project phasing plan and receive internal DEA approval of the plan before sending to program divisions for approval.
  • Provide guidance to program staff during all stages of PA development.
  • Review drafts and send comments to the program officer through either the program division coordinator or OID according to the project plan.
  • Enter PAs into FOAM to allow other ICs the opportunity to comment or sign on before the PA is published (at least two weeks).
  • Ensure PAs are formatted according to the most recent PA guidelines and templates.
  • Send the final PA to NIH Guide staff for review, approval, and publication.
  • Monitor phasing milestones and revise as necessary.

Office of Initiative Development

  • About four to eight weeks before the first version of a PA is due, coordinate and lead planning meeting to discuss scope, requirements, and other issues.
    • The meeting includes the program officer, branch chief, program division coordinator, DEA staff, and possibly a representative from the NIAID Office of Technology Development.
  • Advise program staff during all stages of PA development.


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

PAs—Contact for NIAID Staff

Phasing—Contact for NIAID Staff

Program Division Coordinators

Contact for NIAID Staff—DAIDS

Contact for NIAID Staff—DAIT

Contact for NIAID Staff—DMID

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.


Creating NIH Guide Notices SOP

Early Notification SOP

NIAID Initiative Publication Approval Chart

Phasing of Initiatives SOP

Release of Funds for Solicited, Opportunity Pool, and Career Transition (K99/R00) Awards SOP

Repooling and Reprogramming SOP

Research Initiative Committee SOP

Research Initiative Management System (RIMS)



Content last reviewed on April 7, 2016