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Most grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research or research training are investigator-initiated proposals. These proposals are considered unsolicited, and follow the NIH standard schedule for submission, review and award.

NIH institutes and centers also publish special grant solicitations targeted toward specific research interests and priorities. Program announcements (PA) describe new, continuing or expanded program areas, and follow the standard schedule for submission, review and award. Program announcements with special receipt dates (PAR) provide their own submission schedules. Requests for Applications (RFA) solicit proposals for more targeted research interests, and each specifies a single receipt date.

Contact Information

NIH encourages applicants to contact the specific institute or center (IC) from which they seek funding. If an applicant wishes to submit a proposal with a budget of $500,000 or more in direct costs for any one year, preliminary contact with the IC is required. Individual PAs and RFAs include contact information.

To contact the NHGRI Extramural Program:
Phone: (301) 496-7531


NIH forms and applications are available online. NIH encourages applicants to obtain applications and instructions via the Internet in order to stay informed of the latest updates and revisions to these documents.

Most grants require the submission of form number PHS-398, the Application for a Public Health Service Grant. (See also: Changes Made to PHS 398, January 2002.)

Specific Instructions for Using PHS 398 for SBIR and STTR

Individual NRSA Fellowship Application Form PHS 416-1 is another commonly used form.

Note: NIH is converting from the PHS 398 to the SF424 form AND electronic submission through Grants.gov! To do business with the NIH in the future, grantees MUST register with both Grants.gov AND the NIH eRA Commons.

See detailed info at: NIH Announces Initial Plans to Transition to the SF424(R&R) Application and Electronic Submission through Grants.gov. For updates regarding the transition: Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.


To be considered for funding, applications must be sent or delivered by the established receipt dates to the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR). For those applications in response to a specific IC solicitation, the announcement may require that copies be sent to the IC as well.

For videos and resources for grant applicants, visit the CSR Applicant Resources. For answers to frequently asked questions about electronic submission of nih grants, compiled by OER, view the FAQ About Electronic Grant Submission.

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

Phone: (301) 435-0715

Additional Resources



Bettie Graham, Ph.D.
Bettie J. Graham, Ph.D.
  • Director
  • Division of Extramural Operations

Last updated: February 10, 2014