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Office of Research

NIH Funding Opportunities

Information for NIH applicants and recipients of NIH funding

The NIH hosts a dedicated website for fellowship applications that contains frequently asked questions.

NIH also has a detailed How to Apply-Aapplication Guide.

Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) Program (SC1, SC2, SC3)
SCORE is a research capacity building program that seeks to increase the research competitiveness of faculty at institutions with limited NIH R01 funding and an explicitly stated mission or historical track records in graduating students from groups nationally underrepresented in biomedical research with B.S./B.A., M.A., M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in biomedical-related sciences.

The SCORE program offers three distinct support mechanisms for individual investigator-initiated biomedical or behavioral research projects of different scope and for different program director/principal investigators (PD/PIs) developmental levels:

  • Research Advancement Award (SC1) is for investigators with a track record of research activity who are seeking to enhance their research productivity in order to transition to non-SCORE support in a limited period of time.
  • Pilot Project Award (SC2) is for those who are at the beginning stages of a research career, applying for their first non-fellowship research award, and who are interested in testing a new idea, or generating preliminary data.
  • Reseach Continuance Award (SC3) for those investigators who have been engaged.

The principal difference between an SC2 pilot project and an SC1 or SC3 award is that the SC2 allows an individual who has not had external research support to study and develop a new idea for which he/she has no preliminary data. The SC3 is for individuals who have already conducted research and published in an area, i.e., already have preliminary data. Any individual planning to submit a pilot research project is advised to assess the field of study, evaluate his/her credentials and expertise, determine the resources necessary to conduct the project, and work on a clear hypothesis before initiating the writing of an application. Pilot project support may be requested for one to three years maximum and is not renewable. PDs/PIs who successfully complete a pilot project may apply for an SC1 or SC3 or other NIH funding opportunity depending on their future developmental needs and goals. in scholarly research and published, and who seek to continue to conduct competitive research of limited scope to increase their publications and eventually transition to non-SCORE support.

Application deadlines for all SCORE programs:  January 25, 2020;  May 25, 2020; May 25, 2021; January 25, 2022; May 25, 2022

For more information, contact Avrom Caplan, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Research,

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31-Diversity)
The purpose of this Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research award is to enhance the diversity of the health-related research workforce by supporting the research training of predoctoral students from diverse backgrounds including those from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research workforce.

Through this award program, promising predoctoral students will obtain individualized, mentored research training from outstanding faculty sponsors while conducting well-defined research projects in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The proposed mentored research training is expected to clearly enhance the individual's potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientist.

Stipend Support: The NRSA pays stipend support (living expenses) for up to 5 years for candidates in doctoral programs. The fellowship will also contribute to tuition and fees and includes an institutional allowance for research supplies, books, health insurance etc.

The annual stipend level is $24,324 (2019 levels) for a monthly stipend of $2,027. See details of the institutional allowance as well as stipend levels.

Application deadline: April 8, August 8 and December 8 anually

NRSA Application: The NRSA grant application must be prepared using the NIH SF424 forms. See insrtructions for filling out the forms and page limits for each of the different sections of the application.

Pages F-59 to F-69 describes how the body of the proposal should look.

**The Office of Research will guide you in signing on to Grants.Gov and NIH Assist in order to find the forms, download them, and upload your application.  The Office of Research will also assist in preparing the budget.

NRSA helfpul resources:

Fundamental Science Research on Mind and Body Approaches
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages exploratory /developmental research grant applications (R21) to investigate the fundamental science of mind and body approaches, including mind/brain-focused practices (e.g., meditation, hypnosis), body-based approaches (e.g., acupuncture, massage, spinal manipulation/mobilization), meditative exercise (e.g., yoga, tai chi, qi gong), art and music therapies, or integrative approaches combining several components. Studies of pharmacologic approaches exclusively are not included in the scope of this FOA.

Fundamental research on mind and body approaches can address three key aspects: The first is the approach itself: What components impact the biological system or subjective experience? The second is the biological systems potentially targeted by the approach: What cellular systems or hormonal, genetic, or neural mediators, for example, are influenced by the intervention? The third is the mechanisms: What are the key processes (i.e., biological or behavioral) by which the approach exerts its effects?

The goal of this FOA is to support fundamental science research projects that address at least one of these three aspects. The FOA can support research to deconstruct the components of mind and body approaches and analyze their effects on both biological systems and subjective experience. It can also support the development and optimization of mind and body interventions but will not support efficacy or effectiveness trials. Studies carried out for this FOA should use the most appropriate model systems for the mechanism being investigated. Processes and mechanisms may be analyzed and studied at many levels, including biochemical, molecular, cellular, genetic, epigenetic, genomic and epigenomic, systems, network, physiological, neurobiological, behavioral, and social interaction analysis.

The combined budget for direct costs for the two-year project period may not exceed $275,000. No more than $200,000 may be requested in any single year.

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support.

Application deadlines: Feburary 16, June 16, October 16 anually

Diet and Physical Activity Assessment Methodology
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages innovative research to enhance the quality of measurements of dietary intake and physical activity. Applications submitted to this FOA may include development of: novel assessment approaches; better methods to evaluate instruments; assessment tools for culturally diverse populations or various age groups, including children and older adults; improved technology or applications of existing technology; statistical methods/modeling to improve assessment and/or to correct for measurement errors or biases; methods to investigate the multidimensionality of diet and physical activity behavior through pattern analysis; or integrated measurement of diet and physical activity along with the environmental context of such behaviors.

Specifically, this funding opportunity is intended to support innovative research focused on assessments of dietary and physical activity patterns and the settings in which such behaviors occur, not on the determinants of these behaviors, studies of the causal association between environment and behavior, or interventions designed to modify or improve behaviors related to dietary intake or physical activity/sedentary behavior. Moreover, it is not the primary intent of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to make minor adjustments to existing instruments (such as simply adding specific foods or activities to the already established standardized methods and questionnaires). Rather, the purpose is to promote substantive improvements in the assessment of diet and physical activity as related to public health, obesity, cancer, and chronic diseases across the lifespan.

Direct costs are limited to $275,000 over a two-year period excluding consortium F&A costs, with no more than $200,000 in direct costs allowed in any single year.

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support.

Application deadlines: Feburary 16, June 16, October 16 anually

NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program
The evolution and vitality of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical sciences require a constant infusion of new ideas, techniques, and points of view. These may differ substantially from current thinking or practice and may not yet be supported by substantial preliminary data. Through the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program, the NIH seeks to foster the introduction of novel scientific ideas, model systems, tools, agents, targets, and technologies that have the potential to substantially advance biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research.

This program is intended to encourage new exploratory and developmental research projects. For example, such projects could assess the feasibility of a novel area of investigation or a new experimental system that has the potential to enhance health-related research. Another example could include the unique and innovative use of an existing methodology to explore a new scientific area. These studies may involve considerable risk but may lead to a breakthrough in a particular area, or to the development of novel techniques, agents, methodologies, models, or applications that could have a major impact on a field of biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research.

Applications for Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant awards should include projects distinct from those supported through the traditional R01 activity code. For example, long-term projects, or projects designed to increase knowledge in a well-established area, are not appropriate for this FOA. Applications submitted to this FOA should be exploratory and novel. These studies should break new ground or extend previous discoveries toward new directions or applications. Projects of limited cost or scope that use widely accepted approaches and methods within well-established fields are better suited for the NIH Small Research Grant Program.

Application deadlines: Feburary 16, June 16, October 16 anually

NIH Small Research Grant Program
The NIH Small Research Grant Program supports discrete, well-defined projects that realistically can be completed in two years and that require limited levels of funding. This program supports different types of projects including, but not limited to, the following:

  •         Pilot or feasibility studies;
  •         Secondary analysis of existing data;
  •         Small, self-contained research projects;
  •         Development of research methodology; and
  •         Development of new research technology

This Funding Opportunity Announcement does not accept applications proposing clinical trial(s).

The total project period may not exceed two years.

Application budgets are limited to $50,000 in direct costs per year.

Applications are assigned to participating Institutes and Centers (ICs) based on receipt and referral guidelines and applications may be assigned to multiple participating ICs with related research interests. Applicants are encouraged to identify a participating IC that supports their area of research via the R03 IC-Specific Scientific Interests and Contact website and contact Scientific/Research staff from relevant ICs to inquire about their interest in supporting the proposed research project.

Application deadlines: Feburary 16, June 16, October 16 anually