Sharing Model Organisms SOP

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

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To require investigators to include plans for sharing unique model organisms in their grant applications or contract proposals.


Investigators who are applying for a grant or contract and plan to produce new, genetically modified variants of model organisms (including nonhuman mammalian and non-mammalian eukaryotic models) must provide a plan for sharing these organisms and related resources (including materials and data necessary for producing and understanding model organisms).

Investigators and Applicants

  • In the Resource Sharing Plans section of your application, include a plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding, or provide reasons why such sharing is restricted or not possible. For guidance, refer to What should be addressed in my sharing plan? and other NIH FAQs: Sharing of Model Organism and Related Resources.
  • Specify how you will handle technology transfer and intellectual property issues. Work with your institution's office of technology transfer or other appropriate office on addressing requirements.
  • You may request funding from NIH to defray reasonable costs associated with the sharing of model organisms and related research resources. Highlight in your budget your request for funds to distribute animals or other resources, or to prepare, document, and archive associated data.
  • If you are responding to a request for applications (RFA) or solicitation, check the announcement to see if there are additional requirements.
  • For noncompeting applications, document resource sharing in your annual progress reports by indicating the number of requests received and fulfilled.

Program Officers

  • Work with principal investigators (PIs) to develop acceptable sharing plans for their applications.
  • After review, assess the appropriateness and adequacy of investigators' proposed sharing plans based on comments from the review panel.
  • Direct investigators to existing repositories or national coordinating centers.
  • When evaluating noncompeting applications, consider adequate progress in model organism sharing as part of the criteria for continued funding.
  • For notices of special interest, notices of funding opportunities, and solicitations, use the sharing language from NIAID’s initiative template.

Grants Management Specialists

  • Confirm with program staff that the sharing plan is acceptable before issuing an award.
  • If the sharing plan is not acceptable, take the following actions:
    • Ask program staff to get a new or revised sharing plan from the institution.
    • Once the program officer has an acceptable new or revised sharing plan, issue the award.
    • In the rare situation where an institution does not have an acceptable sharing plan, but NIAID must make an award, e.g., for end-of-year or urgent research, issue a restricted award. Remove the restriction after the institution produces an acceptable sharing plan.

Contracting Officers

  • Include language in the solicitation instructing offerors to address their plans for sharing model organisms in their proposal.
  • Ensure your offeror’s proposed model organism sharing plan is evaluated in accordance with the terms of the solicitation.
  • Verify the terms of the solicitation are met regarding model organisms sharing.

Scientific Review Officers

  • Request that reviewers describe their assessment of any plans in the Resource Sharing Plans section of the application.
  • Record reviewer comments in the Resource Sharing Plans section of the summary statement.
  • Ensure that peer reviewers do not factor model organism plans into their overall impact scores unless responding to RFAs or solicitations directed to the development of model organisms. In that case, ask reviewers to integrate their evaluations of sharing plans with other peer review criteria and factor their assessments into the overall evaluation of scientific merit.


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

Offerors with questions should ask the primary contact listed in the solicitation. Check the Extramural R&D Solicitations list or Office of Acquisitions—Contacts

Office of Extramural Research Policy and Operations—Contact for NIAID Staff

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



Additional Application Elements

Grant Application SOP

Program Officer Checklist SOP

Sample plans from PIs


NIH Model Organism Sharing Policy

NIH Scientific Data Sharing

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