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. 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.
      • Pay close attention to the following special guidelines for the Appendix:
        • Submit all Appendix materials as PDF attachments.
        • Provide a list of the items you're including and put it as the first PDF file.
        • Include items such as published manuscripts not available online, syllabi for courses, recruitment materials, and forms to track trainee progress.
    • Include a plan for instruction in responsible research conduct. Read the Responsible Conduct of Research: Training SOP for more information.
    • When completing the Research Training Program Plan form, you will
      • 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.
    • 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.
    • Beginning as early as FY 2017, applicants will need to address rigor and reproducibility. Learn more at the NIH Rigor and Reproducibility page.
    • Use the Data Tables of the SF 424.
      • You may create data tables using the Extramural Trainee Reporting And Career Tracking (xTRACT) module in the eRA Commons for the following:
        • Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR)
        • Grant applications with due dates of May 25, 2016, and after
      • You are not required to enter data on people with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Omitting this information will not affect your application's evaluation.
      • 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.
    • Submission dates falling on a weekend or holiday will be extended to the next business day.
    • If needed, send updated information after submitting your application and before initial peer review. To see what items you can submit, go to Applying for a Training Grant in Training Grants (T).
  • If requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year—including out years—you must include an approval letter from 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.
  • More information: Training Grants (T), Training and Career Development Grant ProgramsFind a Funding Opportunity.

Principal Investigators

  • Submit noncompeting applications four months before your anniversary date.
    • 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:
    • If your institution has an eRA Commons account, use xTrain to create and submit appointments, re-appointments, amendments, and terminations.
    • 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
      • Philip Smith
        National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, NIH
        5601 Fishers Lane, Room 4E48
        Bethesda, MD  20892-9824
  • 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.


Philip Smith

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

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.


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NIAID Funding Policy and Process SOP

Fellowships, Internships, and Training

Quick Facts on Research Training Awards

Research Training SOP

Training and Career Development Grant Programs

Training Grants (T) 

Content last reviewed on April 7, 2016