Types of Grant Programs - Funding and Guideline Information on Selected Grant Mechanisms and Programs
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Types of Grant Programs

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) 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.


A comprehensive list of extramural grant and cooperative agreement activity codes is available, or you can search for specific codes below:

      (e.g. R01, P01, T, K, F, etc.)    
      (e.g. Mentored, Training, etc.)
   

The following groupings represent the main types of grant funding we provide:


Research Grants

The following represent frequently used research grant programs. 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.

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
    • All ICs utilize
    • See parent FOA: PA-13-302

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-13-304

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-13-347

R15

NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA)

    • Support small research projects in the biomedical and behavioral sciences conducted by students and faculty in health professional schools and other academic components that have not been major recipients of NIH research grant funds
    • Eligibility limited (see http://grants.nih.gov//grants/funding/area.htm)
    • Direct cost limited to $300,000 over entire project period
    • Project period limited to up to 3 years
    • All NIH ICs utilize except FIC an NCMHD

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 FOA: PA-13-303

R34

NIH Clinical Trial Planning Grant (R34) Program

    • Designed to permit early peer review of the rationale for the proposed clinical trial and support development of essential elements of a clinical trial
    • Usually project period of one year, sometimes up to 3
    • Usually, a budget of up to $100,000 direct costs, sometimes up to $450,000
    • Used only by select ICs; no parent FOA

R41/R42

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

    • Intended to stimulate scientific and technological innovation through cooperative research/research and development (R/R&D) carried out between small business concerns (SBCs) and research institutions (RIs)
    • Fosters technology transfer between SBCs and RIs
    • Assists the small business and research communities in commercializing innovative technologies
    • Three-phase structure:
      • I - Feasibility study to establish scientific/technical merit of the proposed R/R&D efforts (generally, 1 year; $150,000)
      • II - Full R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I (generally 2 years; $1,000,000)
      • III- Commercialization stage (cannot use STTR funds)
    • Eligibility limited to U.S. small business concerns
    • Project Director/Principal investigator (PD/PI) may be employed with the SBC or the participating non-profit research institution as long as he/she has a formal appointment with or commitment to the applicant SBC.
    • Multiple PD/PIs allowed
    • All ICs utilize except FIC
    • See parent FOA: PA-12-089

R43/R44

Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)

    • Intended to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector by supporting research or research and development (R/R&D) for for-profit institutions for ideas that have potential for commercialization
    • Assists the small business research community in commercializing innovative technologies
    • Three-phase structure:
      • I - Feasibility study to establish scientific/technical merit of the proposed R/R&D efforts (generally, 6 months; $150,000)
      • II - Full research or R&D efforts initiated in Phase I (generally 2 years; $1,000,000)
      • III- Commercialization stage (cannot use SBIR funds)
    • Eligibility limited to U.S. small business concerns
    • The primary employment of the Project Director/Principal investigator (PD/PI) must be with the small business concern.
    • Multiple PD/PIs allowed.
    • All ICs utilize except FIC
    • See parent FOA: PA-12-088

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.

U01

Research Project Cooperative Agreement

    • 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

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 5 years of postdoctoral research training
    • Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply
    • PI does not have to be a U.S. citizen
    • See parent FOA: PA-11-197

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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

    • 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

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

P30

Center Core Grants

    • 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

    • 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.

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Resource Grants

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 for problems where multiple expertise is needed to focus on a single complex problem in biomedical research 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.

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  • Stem Cell Information
  • NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Research Opportunity Network

  • Trans-NIH Programs

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

    BISTI

    Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative (BISTI)

    Blueprint

    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

    Genome-Wide Association Studies

    NIH Common Fund

    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

    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

    Stem Cell Information


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    Inactive Programs

    The following grant programs are inactive and are shown for informational and historical purposes.

    K30

    Clinical Research Curriculum Award (CRCA)

    R29

    First Independent Research and Transition (FIRST)

    T15

    Short-Term Courses in Research Ethics (T15)


    Funding Program Archive
    Archive Link Archive of Types of Grant Programs

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    Related Resources
     


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