Program Officers SOP

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.

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


To administer NIAID's scientific programs, oversee grant portfolios, set priorities for committing federal funds, and act as an advocate for a scientific area.


Program officers, also called program officials and program administrators, are staff scientists who administer grant portfolios in the Institute's extramural program divisions: Division of AIDS, Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation.

Each program officer is associated with one or more program class codes, which are scientific areas with assigned grants. See the Program Officers Listed by Program Class Code spreadsheet for a list.

To find an NIAID program officer, go to Contacting Program Officers and Grants Management Specialists.

(For contracts, see Acquisition Roles.)

Applicants and Principal Investigators

Contact a program officer to do the following:

For more information, see Contacting Program Officers and Grants Management Specialists.

Program Officers

  • Interact with the extramural grant recipient community to assess research needs and opportunities.
  • Provide scientific expertise to NIAID and other NIH components and federal agencies.
  • Develop research concepts, requests for applications, program announcements, and notices of special interest.
  • Facilitate investigator-initiated research by advising investigators on funding opportunities and how to apply for support.
  • Administer scientific portfolios of grants and cooperative agreements from application receipt through assignment and peer review to selection for award and subsequent monitoring of performance.
  • Attend peer review meetings. For more about how staff interact in a peer review context, see NIH Policy Manual Chapter 4204-204b.
    • Don't bring along anyone else while you view the meeting.
    • Be aware that for a meeting conducted by our Scientific Review Program, the scientific review officer (SRO) needs the pre- and post-meeting conflict of interest forms.
    • Do not listen to the meeting on speakerphone with anyone in the room who has not been authorized by the SRO to attend the meeting. No one outside the official process may share your access.
  • Protect the confidentiality of reviewer comments during meetings.
    • Never disclose reviewer identity or which reviewers were assigned or not assigned to an application.
    • Do not take notes that would identify reviewers.
    • Do not discuss individual reviewer comments with investigators.
  • Never discuss anyone else’s application or scores.
  • Don't disclose research ideas, approaches, or evidence coming from application materials, including unpublished information.
  • Never share information with others not directly involved in NIH's decision making and oversight functions.
  • Work with scientific review officers and grants management staff as appropriate.
  • Uphold government regulations on the appropriate use of federal grant funds.
  • Take required in-house and NIH training. See our Program Officers Training Requirements.


To find an NIAID program officer, see 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