NIH Grants

Source: NIH Website

NIH uses activity codes (e.g. R01, R43, etc.) to differentiate the wide variety of research-related programs we support. NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) Link to External Site may vary in the way they use activity codes; not all ICs accept applications for all types of grant programs or they apply specialized eligibility criteria. Look closely at Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) to determine which ICs participate and the specifics of eligibility.

Main NIH Grant Types

The following groupings represent the main types of NIH grant funding. To view all the NIH activity codes, refer to the comprehensive list of extramural grant and cooperative agreement activity codes.

Important Note: NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) may vary in the way they use activity codes; not all ICs accept applications for all types of grant programs or they apply specialized eligibility criteria. Look closely at funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) to determine which ICs participate and the specifics of eligibility.

 

Research Grants (R series)

The following represent frequently used research grant programs. A comprehensive list of all activity codes is also available.

R01

NIH Research Project Grant Program (R01)

  • Used to support a discrete, specified, circumscribed research project
  • NIH's most commonly used grant program
  • No specific dollar limit unless specified in FOA
  • Advance permission required for $500K or more (direct costs) in any year
  • Generally awarded for 3 -5 years
  • Utilized by all ICs 
  • See parent FOAs: PA-19-056 and PA-18-345

R03

NIH Small Grant Program (R03):

  • Provides limited funding for a short period of time to support a variety of types of projects, including: pilot or feasibility studies, collection of preliminary data, secondary analysis of existing data, small, self-contained research projects, development of new research technology, etc.
  • Limited to two years of funding
  • Direct costs generally up to $50,000 per year
  • Not renewable
  • Utilized by more than half of the NIH ICs
  • See parent FOA: PA-19-052

R13

NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (R13 and U13)

  • Support for high quality conferences/scientific meetings that are relevant to NIH's scientific mission and to the public health
  • Requires advance permission from the funding IC
  • Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply
  • Award amounts vary and limits are set by individual ICs
  • Support for up to 5 years may be possible
  • See parent FOA: PA-18-648

R21

NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21)

  • Encourages new, exploratory and developmental research projects by providing support for the early stages of project development.  Sometimes used for pilot and feasibility studies.
  • Limited to up to two years of funding
  • Combined budget for direct costs for the two year project period usually may not exceed $275,000.
  • No preliminary data is generally required
  • Most ICs utilize
  • See parent FOAs: PA-19-053 and PA-18-344
 

R56

NIH High Priority, Short-Term Project Award (R56)

  • Will fund, for one or two years, high-priority new or competing renewal R01 applications with priority scores or percentiles that fall just outside the funding limits of participating NIH Institutes and Centers (IC). Investigators may not apply for R56 grants.

 

Career Development Awards (K series)

The following represent frequently used career development programs. They provide individual and institutional research training opportunities (including international) to trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels. A comprehensive list of all activity codes is also available.

K01

Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01)

  • Provides support and protected time for an intensive, supervised career development experience in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences leading to research independence
  • Some NIH Institutes use the K01 to enhance workforce diversity, or for individuals who propose to train in a new field, or for individuals who have had a hiatus in their research career

K99/R00

NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00

  • Also see, New Investigators Program web page
  • Provides up to five years of support consisting of two phases
    • I - will provide 1-2 years of mentored support for highly promising, postdoctoral research scientists
    • II - up to 3 years of independent support contingent on securing an independent research position 
  • Award recipients will be expected to compete successfully for independent R01 support from the NIH during the career transition award period
  • Eligible Principal Investigators include outstanding postdoctoral candidates who have terminal clinical or research doctorates who have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research training
  • Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply
  • PI does not have to be a U.S. citizen
  • See parent FOAs: PA-19-129 and PA-18-398

 

Research Fellowships (F series)

The following represent frequently used fellowship programs. Provide individual research training opportunities (including international) to trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels. A comprehensive list of all activity codes is also available.

F31

Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)

  • Provides support to enable promising predoctoral students with potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientists, to obtain mentored research training while conducting dissertation research
  • The F31 is also used to enhance workforce diversity though a separate program (F31 - Diversity)

F32

Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)

  • Provides support to enhance the research training of promising postdoctoral candidates who have the potential to become productive, independent investigators in scientific health-related research fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers

 

Research Training (T series)

The following represent frequently used research training and fellowship programs. To provide individual research training opportunities (including international) to trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels. A comprehensive list of all activity codes is also available.

T32

Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)

  • Provides support to enable institutions to recruit individuals selected by them for predoctoral and postdoctoral research training in specified shortage areas
  • The goal of this program is to prepare qualified predoctoral and/or postdoctoral trainees for careers that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the Nation

 

Program Project/Center Grants (P series)

The following represents the most frequently used programs.  A comprehensive list of all activity codes is also available. Program project/center grants are large, multi-project efforts that generally include a diverse array of research activities.  NIH Institutes and Centers issue funding opportunity announcements to indicate their interest in funding this type of program. 
Centers (ICs) may vary in the way they use activity codes. Look closely at funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) to determine which ICs participate and the specifics of eligibility.

P01

Research Program Project Grant (P01)

  • Support for integrated, multi-project research projects involving a number of independent investigators who share knowledge and common resources
  • Each project contributes or is directly related to the common theme of the total research effort, thus forming a system of research activities and projects directed toward a well-defined research program goal
  • Specific dollar limit unless specified in FOA

P20

Exploratory Grants (P20)

  • Often used to support planning activities associated with large multi-project program project grants

P30

Center Core Grants (P30)

  • To support shared resources and facilities for categorical research by a number of investigators from different disciplines who provide a multidisciplinary approach to a joint research effort or from the same discipline who focus on a common research problem. 
  • The core grant is integrated with the center's component projects or program projects, though funded independently from them. 

P50

Specialized Center (P50)

  • To support any part of the full range of research and development from very basic to clinical
  • May involve ancillary supportive activities such as protracted patient care necessary to the primary research or R&D effort.
  • The spectrum of activities comprises a multidisciplinary attack on a specific disease entity or biomedical problem area.
  • Receive continuous attention from staff funding IC. 
  • Centers may serve as regional or national resources for special research purposes.
U01

Research Project Cooperative Agreement (U01)

  • Supports discrete, specified, circumscribed projects to be performed by investigator(s) in an area representing their specific interests and competencies
  • Used when substantial programmatic involvement is anticipated between the awarding Institute and Center
  • One of many types of cooperative agreements
  • No specific dollar limit unless specified in FOA
  

Resource Grants (various series)

The following represent some of the more frequently used types of grant programs that provide research-related support or access to resources. This list is by no means exhaustive.  A comprehensive list of all activity codes is also available.

Important note: NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) may vary in the way they use activity codes; not all ICs accept applications for all types of grant programs or they apply specialized eligibility criteria. Look closely at funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) to determine which ICs participate and the specifics of eligibility.

R24

Resource-Related Research Projects

  • Used in a wide variety of ways to provide resources to research projects or to enhance research infrastructure

R25

Education Projects

  • Used in a wide variety of ways to promote an appreciation for and interest in biomedical research, provide additional training in specific areas, and/or to develop ways to disseminate scientific discovery into public health and community applications 
X01

Resource Access Program

  • A Program to invite eligible institutions to seek access to NIH research resources. This includes programs where institutions will request access to submit to the resource, e.g., high throughput screening assays. It also includes programs where access to a specific NIH research resource is needed to conduct certain research.

 

Trans-NIH Programs

NIH supports a variety of broad-reaching programs that are trans-NIH in nature. 

BISTI Link to External Site

Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative (BISTI)

Blueprint Link to External Site

NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research

Diversity Supplements

Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research

Administrative Supplements

Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp) 

ESI

New and Early Stage Investigators (ESI) Policies

GWAS Link to External Site

Genome-Wide Association Studies

NIH Common Fund Link to External Site

The Common Fund has been used to support a series of short term, exceptionally high impact, trans-NIH programs known collectively as the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. As the Common Fund grows, and research opportunities and needs emerge in the scientific community, the portfolio of programs supported by the Common Fund will likely evolve to encompass a diverse set of trans-NIH programs, although the NIH Roadmap is likely to remain a central component.

OppNet Link to External Site

NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Research Opportunity Network (OppNet)

PECASE

Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
Program with listing of NIH Recipients since 1996.  NIH nominates investigator for this award.

Stem Cells Link to External Site

Stem Cell Information

CounterACTLink to External Site Trans-NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) program