Last Update: 12/07/2006 Printer Friendly Printer Friendly   Email This Page Email This Page  

Research Grants and Contracts

What is the difference between a grant and a contract?

A research grant is:

  • Financial assistance mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.
  • A grant is used whenever the NIH Institute or Center anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the financially assisted activities. (Note: If the NIH Institute or Center anticipates substantial federal scientific or programmatic involvement—meaning scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate—in the supported activity, the agency uses a cooperative agreement mechanism. Cooperative agreements are similar to grants in that they are awarded to assist and support research and related activities.)
A federal contract is:
  • An award of financial assistance used to acquire property or services for the federal government’s direct benefit
  • Research and development (R&D) contracts are awarded to academic institutions and other non-profit and commercial organizations to procure specific activities for scientific inquiries, in particular areas of research and development needed by the NIH.
  • Contract performance is monitored closely by the NIH staff to ensure accomplishment of the research goals.

Research, Training, & Career Development Grants

Research and Development Contracts