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NIH Regional Seminar Baltimore, MD June 28, 2013 Finding and Understanding NIH’s Funding Opportunities Christopher L. Hatch, Ph.D. Chief Program Coordination and Referral Branch (PCRB) Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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NIH Regional SeminarBaltimore, MDJune 28, 2013Finding and UnderstandingNIH’s Funding OpportunitiesChristopher L. Hatch, Ph.D.ChiefProgram Coordination and Referral Branch (PCRB)Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)National Cancer Institute (NCI)National Institutes of Health (NIH)


What is a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?

An FOA is a publicly available document by which a U.S. Federal agency makes known its intentions to award grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds.

  • NIH Context:
  • Each funding initiative must have its own FOA.
  • Each FOA corresponds to a distinct entry in and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.
funding opportunity announcements foas
Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs)
  • Program Announcement (PA)
    • Allows the NIH to publicly declare interest in supporting a defined area of science without committing funds up front.
    • Involves multiple application receipt dates.
    • Specifies only standard review criteria.
  • Request for Applications (RFA)
    • Allows the NIH to promote a defined area of science by announcing an opportunity with associated, committed funds (i.e., set-aside $$$$).
    • Generally involves a single receipt date.
    • Specifies standard plus special review criteria.
special types of program announcements
Special Types of Program Announcements
  • PAR: A PA with special receipt, referral and/or review considerations, as described in the PAR announcement.
  • PAS: A PA that includes specific set-aside funds as described in the PAS announcement (not often used).
relative numbers of foas pas and rfas at a single time point
Relative Numbers ofFOAs, PAs, and RFAs(at a single time point)

On May 3rd, there were 973 active NIH-issued FOAs, of which 833 (86%) were PAs/PARs and 140 (14%) were RFAs.

The number of active FOAs issued by specific NIH institutes or centers (ICs) ranged from 0 to 96 and the number of active RFAs issued by specific ICs ranged from 0 to 14.


Notices in the NIH Guide are used to announce:

  • Policies and procedures;
  • Changes to FOAs;
  • Some contract solicitations;
  • Requests for Information; and
  • Other general information items.

A Notice that announces a change to an FOA is always added as a hyperlinked “Related Notice” on the first page of the FOA.

numbering system
Numbering System

Examples of PA Numbering:

PA-13-008 or PAR-12-249 or PAS-11-101

Examples of RFA Numbering:

RFA-CA-13-005 or RFA-HL-12-010

Examples of Notice Numbering:

NOT-OD-13-125 or NOT-DK-12-023

two sites for nih s foas
Two Sites for NIH’s FOAs
  • (
  • NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)

  • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) provides a full listing of all Federal programs available to:
  • State and local governments (including the District of Columbia);
  • Federally-recognized Indian tribal governments;
  • Territories (and possessions) of the United States;
  • Domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions;
  • Specialized groups; and
  • Individuals.

Eleven of NIH’s 52 CFDA numbers as examples:

93.113 = Environmental Health

93.121 = Oral Diseases and Disorders Research

93.172 = Human Genome Research

93.242 = Mental Health Research Grants

93.273 = Alcohol Research Programs

93.279 = Drug Abuse and Addition Research Programs

93.361 = Nursing Research

93.395 = Cancer Treatment Research

93.396 = Cancer Biology Research

93.837 = Cardiovascular Diseases Research

93.838 = Lung Diseases Research


NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts Updates

  • New Announcements This Week - Current Weekly Table of Contents (TOC)
  • TOC by Year and Week: 2013201220112010200920082007All Years (1970-Present)
  • Subscribe or Unsubscribe to Weekly Update via E-mail LISTSERV
  • RSS Format - NIH Funding Opportunities now available in RSS (Really Simple News Syndication) format.
  • Follow NIH Funding Opportunities on Twitter
parent program announcements
“Parent” Program Announcements

When the NIH and other HHS Agencies moved from paper to electronic grant applications, they issued omnibus Parent announcements for use by applicants who wish to submit what were formerly termed “unsolicited” and/or “investigator-initiated” applications (because all applications must now be submitted in response to FOAs).

Responding to such an omnibus or umbrella Parent FOA (or any other FOA) ensures that the correct application package is used by the applicant(s) and enables NIH to receive the application from

parent program announcements1
Parent Program Announcements

NIH currently has 23 active Parent Program Announcements (PAs), each for a specific grant mechanism (or activity code).

Five Categories of Parent PAs:

Research (R) Announcements (R01; R03; R13/U13; R15; R21; R41/R42; R43/R44);

Research Training (T) Announcements (T32; T35);

Career Development (K) Announcements (K01; K02; K07; K08; K23; K24; K25; K99/R00);

Fellowship (F) Announcements (F30; F31; F31-Diversity; F32; F33);

Administrative Supplements Announcement (for all activity codes).

parent program announcements continued
Parent Program Announcements (continued)

Three important Parent PAs are:

PA-11-260, NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01), on which 20 NIH Institutes/Centers (ICs) participate;

PA-11-261, NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21), on which 18 ICs participate; and

PA-11-262, NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03), on which 11 ICs participate.

other foas for r01 r21 and r03 grant applications
Other FOAs for R01, R21, and R03 grant applications

In addition to the Parent R01 PA, there are 284 active R01 FOAs for specific topics*.

In addition to the Parent R21 PA, there are 203 active R21 FOAs for specific topics*.

In addition to the Parent R03 PA, there are 86 active R03 FOAs for specific topics*.

*number determined on May 3, 2013.

information in an foa
Information in an FOA
  • The What and The Why
      • Science
      • Infrastructure
      • Resource
      • Public Health
  • The Which and The Who
      • Inside the NIH
        • Institutes/Centers/Agencies
        • Program/Review/Grants Mgmt. Staff
      • Outside the NIH
        • Eligible Institutions
        • Eligible Persons (Applicants)
information in an foa continued
Information in an FOA (continued)
  • The How…
      • Much (Time and Money)
      • Proposed and Submitted
      • Reviewed
      • Awarded
      • Administered
  • The When
      • Due Dates
      • Review and Award Dates
      • Allowable Project/Budget Period
table of contents
Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview InformationPart 2. Full Text of the AnnouncementSection I. Funding Opportunity DescriptionSection II. Award InformationSection III. Eligibility InformationSection IV. Application and Submission Info.Section V. Application Review InformationSection VI. Award Administration InformationSection VII. Agency ContactsSection VIII. Other Information


Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts)…

A compatible version of Adobe Reader is required for download. For assistance downloading this or any application package, please contact Customer Support at

Apply for Grant Electronically


Section III.

  • Eligibility Information
  • Eligible Applicants
  • Eligible Organizations
  • Foreign Institutions
  • Required Registrations
  • Eligible Individuals
  • Additional Information
  • Number of Applications
section iv application and submission information
Section IV. Application andSubmission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

  • Required and Optional Components
  • Page Limitations
  • PHS 398 Research Plan Component
    • Resource Sharing Plan
    • Appendix
  • Foreign Institutions

3. Submission Dates and Times

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

5. Funding Restrictions

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

    • Requests of $500,000 or more for direct costs in any year
    • Post Submission Materials
section v application review information
Section V.Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Overall Impact

Scored Review Criteria (Significance; Investigator[s]; Innovation; Approach; Environment)

Additional Review Criteria (Human Subjects; Women, Minorities, Children; Vertebrate Animals; Biohazards; Resubmissions; Renewals; Revisions)

Additional Review Considerations (Foreign Applications; Select Agent Research; Resource Sharing Plans; Budget and Period of Support)

2. Review and Selection Process

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

section vi award administration information
Section VI.Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

2. Administrative and National Policy Statements

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

3. Reporting


Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts Customer Support


eRA Commons Help Desk

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Program Officer(s) – name(s) and contact information

(sometimes through hyperlinks to NIH web pages)

Peer Review Contact(s)

Scientific Review Officer or Referral Officer – name and contact info.

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Grants Management Officer or Specialist – name and contact info.