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Research Grant Mechanisms

This page summarizes the major mechanisms NIGMS uses to fund research grants and lists special areas of interest where appropriate. For those who would like more detailed information, references are given to specific issues of the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts in which the announcements of various grant mechanisms and program emphases appeared.

The NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts is issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to convey policy and administrative information and to help interested individuals and organizations keep informed of opportunities, requirements, and changes in grant and contract activities administered by NIH components.

The particular set of forms used to apply for an NIH grant depends on which grant mechanism is to be used and whether an electronic or paper application is required. Complete information regarding forms, deadlines and other NIH policies is available on the NIH Web site at

Research Project Grants (R01)

Research project grants are awarded to eligible institutions on behalf of a principal investigator to support a discrete project related to the investigator's area of interest and competence.

Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration (EUREKA) (R01)

The EUREKA program funds exceptionally innovative research that, if successful, will have an unusually high impact. The program targets investigators who are testing novel, unconventional hypotheses or are pursuing major methodological or technical challenges. 

Program Project Grants (P01)

Program project grants represent synergistic research programs that are designed to achieve results not attainable by investigators working independently.

Research Center Grants (P50)

Center grants offer greater opportunity for scientific interactions and overall progress than there is in individually funded projects. The grants are multidisciplinary in scope and may focus more on an area or discipline of science than on a specific theme or goal.

NIGMS Administrative Supplements for Collaborative Science (SCS)

NIGMS principal investigators may apply for administrative supplements to form new multidisciplinary collaborations with other members of the scientific community.

Support of Scientific Meetings (R13, U13)

NIGMS supports scientific meetings, conferences, and workshops that are relevant to its scientific mission.

Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Awards (S06, R25)

MBRS awards grants to educational institutions with substantial minority enrollments to support research by faculty members; strengthen the institutions' biomedical research capabilities; and increase the interest, skills, and competitiveness of students and faculty in pursuit of biomedical research careers.

Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program (R25)

This initiative provides support to institutions to help students make transitions at a critical stage in their development as scientists. The program helps students transition from 2-year junior or community colleges to full 4-year baccalaureate programs.

Bridges to the Doctorate Program (R25)

This initiative provides support to institutions to help students make a critical transition in their development as scientists. The program is aimed at helping students transition from master's degree programs to Ph.D. programs.

Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research

As part of an NIH-wide program, principal investigators holding active NIGMS research grants may request supplemental funds to improve the diversity of the research workforce.

Supplements to Promote Reentry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers

NIGMS participates in an NIH-wide program that provides administrative supplements to research grants to support individuals with high potential to reenter an active research career after taking time off to care for children or parents or to attend to other family responsibilities.

Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) (R15)

AREA awards provide funding for small-scale, new or ongoing health-related research projects, including pilot research projects and feasibility studies; development, testing, and refinement of research techniques; secondary analysis of available data sets; and similar discrete research projects that demonstrate research capability.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program (R43/44)

SBIR grants stimulate technological innovation, use small business to meet Federal research and development needs, increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development, and foster and encourage participation by minority and disadvantaged persons in technological innovation.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program (R41/42)

NIH awards grants under the Small Business Technology Transfer Program for research or R&D of new technologies and methodologies that have the potential to succeed as commercial products.

This page last updated November 7, 2008