Research Training Grants SOP

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

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To enable institutions to fund pre- and postdoctoral and short-term research training programs.


NIAID awards institutional (T32) and short-term (T35) training grants to prominent investigators who can mentor trainees and provide an outstanding research environment for a training program. Search for NIAID T32 and T35 Funding Opportunities.

T32s may have programs for all three types of trainees, but NIAID-supported T35s are for short-term predoctoral trainees only. Trainee-level investigators should contact their institution about training opportunities.

T32 and T35 grants may be awarded for up to five years, and they are renewable.

Trainees must be U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals, or permanent residents with a valid Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551). People on temporary or student visas are not eligible.

Note: For new or renewal T32s and T35s, grantees cannot automatically carry over funds from one year to the next.


  • Apply electronically.
    • Use either the NIH Application Submission System and Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) or another of the NIH Submission Options. Check with your business office to learn which approach it uses.
    • Follow the supplemental instructions for training grants in the SF 424 Application Guide.
    • Include a plan for instruction in responsible research conduct. Read the Responsible Conduct of Research—Training SOP for more information.
    • When completing the PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan form,
      • Focus on recruitment in the "Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity" section.
      • Describe how your institution will ensure that trainees participate only in exempt human subjects research or non-exempt human subjects research that has institutional review board (IRB) approval in the "Human Subjects" section.
        • You do not need to provide a list of potential grants trainees may work on with associated IRB information.
      • Describe how the institution will ensure that trainees only participate in vertebrate animal research that has institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) approval in the "Vertebrate Animals" section.
        • You do not need to provide a list of potential grants trainees may work on with associated IACUC information.
      • As part of the Letters of Support, include a letter on institutional letterhead signed by the president, the provost, a dean, or another key institutional leader with institution-wide responsibilities that contains a description of the applicant institution’s commitment to the planned program to ensure its success. In the same letter include a description of the institutional commitment that
        • Ensures proper policies, procedures, and oversight are in place to prevent discriminatory harassment and other discriminatory practices.
        • Responds appropriately to allegations of discriminatory practices, including any required notifications to the Office of Civil Rights.
        • Adopts and follows institutional procedure for requesting NIH prior approval of a change in the status of the program director/principal investigator (PD/PI) or other senior/key personnel if administrative or disciplinary action is taken that impacts the ability of the PD/PI or other key personnel to continue his or her role on the NIH award described in the training grant application.
    • For renewal applications, report on publications from work conducted by trainees supported by the training grant during the just-in-time process. Do not include this information in the "Progress Report" section.
    • Learn how applicants should address Rigor and Reproducibility in Grant Applications.
    • Use the Data Tables of the SF 424.
      • For T32 Research Performance Progress Reports, you must create required training data tables using the Extramural Trainee Reporting And Career Tracking (xTRACT) module in the eRA Commons. You are not required to use xTRACT to prepare data tables for new and renewal T32 applications. For more information, see xTRACT Resources.
      • You are not required to enter data on people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Omitting this information will not affect your application's evaluation. However, in Data Table 6 include data for:
        • Percent with a Disability. For each category of entrants as defined in Part I, items 4 to 6 of Data Table 6, enter the percent of individuals with disabilities, defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
        • Percent from Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups. For each category of entrants as defined in Part I, items 4 to 6 on Data Table 6, enter the percent of individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in biomedical research on a national basis (i.e., Black or African Americans, Hispanic or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders).
      • If submitting a renewal T32, provide completion rates and time to degree for graduate students supported by NIH training awards.
  • Send your application on or before January 25 or September 25 for non-AIDS and January 7 or May 7 for AIDS-related, NIAID's two annual submission dates.
  • If requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year—including out years—you must include an NIAID approval letter with your submission. To request an approval letter, email For background on the policy, see the Big Grants SOP.
  • Follow NIH's public access policy. For more information, see our Public Access of Publications SOP.
  • For more information see Training Grants (T), Training and Career Development Grant Programs, and Find a Funding Opportunity.

Principal Investigators

  • Submit noncompeting applications four months before your anniversary date of your next award period.
    • Provide completion rates and time to degree for graduate students supported by NIH training awards.
  • Submit NRSA forms for appointment, payback, and termination as follows:
    • Use the xTrain module in the eRA Commons to create and submit appointments, re-appointments, amendments, and terminations.
    • Trainees supported by institutional research training awards that require appointments through the xTrain system must have an ORCID iD (Open Research and Contributor Identifier) and associate it with their eRA Commons Personal Profile. For instructions on how to create an ORCID iD, see eRA’s The ORCID ID instructions.
    • Download and print payback agreements. See next bullet for mailing them in. Learn more at xTrain (eRA Commons).
    • Payback agreements for postdoctoral trainees—for postdoctoral trainees starting their initial appointment on a T32, you must mail an original, signed payback agreement at the time of appointment. NIAID requires that all forms be submitted three months, at the latest, before your budget period end date to
      • Yoon-Sun Lee Webster
        National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, NIH
        5601 Fishers Lane, Room 4E12, MSC 9824
        Bethesda, MD 20892-9824
        Express mail: Rockville, MD 20852
  • Submit termination or reappointment forms immediately following the end of your budget period.
  • While trainees can have start dates up to the last day of the budget period, the awarding institution must receive all appointment forms and payback agreements no later than three months before the end of the budget period to ensure a timely award.
  • Submit a Federal Financial Report annually, no later than 120 days after the budget period end date. Typically, unliquidated balances should consist of stipends, tuition, and fees while unobligated balances should consist of travel and trainee related expenses (which now includes health insurance).

Program Officers

  • Complete Program Officer Checklists for competing and noncompeting applications.
  • Work with grants management specialists on prior approval requests, such as a change of PI and institution, or an addition of new preceptors.


Office of Research Training and Special Programs:

Grants Management Program: Regina Kitsoulis

For questions specific to funded T32s and T35s, contact the appropriate grants management specialist.

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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