NIH R-series Proposals

Reference for: NIH Research Grant applications

NIH Application Guide

Page limits

Review the NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for specific instructions related to your proposal.

All applications proposing clinical trials must be submitted through an FOA designated specifically for clinical trials.

Instructions for selecting the subaward budget form

Required attachments 

Upload in Attachments section, Personnel tab:

Biosketch for PI and all senior/key personnel and Other Significant Contributors – blank form, instructions, and samples

Upload in Attachments section, Proposal tab

Project Summary/Abstract - Project_Summary

Project Narrative - Narrative

Bibliography & References Cited - Bibliography

Facilities & Other ResourcesFacilities


Budget Justification

  • DetailedBudget_Justification – required for any detailed budget submission
  • Modular
    • Personnel Justification - PHS-ModBud PersonJustif – required for any modular grant
    • Consortium Justification – PHS_ModBud_ConsortiumJustif – include if the modular budget includes a subaward
    • Additional Narrative Justification - PHS_ModBud_NarrativeJustif – required when a Data Management and Sharing Plan is included.  Also include if the modular budget amount is not the same for all years (e.g., $200,000 every year)

Specific Aims - PHS_ResearchPlan_SpecificAims

Research Strategy - PHS_ResearchPlan_ResearchStrategy

Data Management and Sharing Plan - PHS_ResearchPlan_Other_Plans

Required (if applicable) attachments 

Human Subjects forms - upload in the Compliance section as part of a compliance entry
Upload in the Attachments section, Proposal tab; see NIH application guide for details on applicability:

Cover Letter - RRSF424_Cover_Letter: include the application title and Funding Opportunity (PA or RFA) title of the NIH initiative. Follow the NIH application guide and FOA instructions. These are required for:

  • LATE applications or for changed/corrected applications submitted after the due date — include specific information about the timing and nature of the cause of the delay
  • Explanation of any subaward budget components that are not active for all periods of the proposed grant
  • Required agency approvals, such as approval for applications of $500,000 or more, or approval for Conference Grant or Cooperative Agreement (R13 or U13). Include the official communication from an NIH official as part of your cover letter PDF
  • Intent to submit a video as part of the application; the cover letter must include information about the intent to submit it.  Updated guidance.
  • Proposed studies that will generate large-scale human or non-human genomic data
  • Proposed use of human fetal tissue from elective abortions
  • DO NOT include assignment request information; all such requests MUST be transmitted using the Assignment Request Form (optional form)

Multiple PD/PI Leadership PlanPHS_ResearchPlan_MultiplePILeadershipPlan – required for applications designating multiple PD/PIs. See NIH Application Guide for specific instructions.

Consortium/Contractual ArrangementsPHS_ResearchPlan_ConsortiumContractualArrangements — required for applications that include a subrecipient

Letters of Support — PHS_ResearchPlan_LettersOfSupport — required for consultants: include rate/charge for consulting services and level of effort/number of hours per year anticipated. Include other letters as appropriate, e.g., consortium participants, collaborators, or assurances of access to core facilities and resources.

Human Specimens and/or Data — PHS_HumanSubjectsAndCT_InvolveHumanSpecimensExp — required if there are NO human subjects, but you respond YES on the Questionnaire to the question: "Does the proposed research involve human specimens and/or data?" - review NIH guidance for the definition of human subjects research and about whether Human Subjects are involved.

Human Subjects, Other Requested Information — PHS_HumanSubjectsAndCT_OtherRequestedInfo — May be required if you answered YES to ALL four questions in section 1.4 of the Human Subject Study Record. Content is limited to what is described in your FOA or the NIH instructions. Do not use the "Other Requested Information" attachment to include any other information. If a specific file name is not given in the FOA, use a meaningful file name since it will become a bookmark in the assembled application image.

NOTE: To be clear, if you have a Compliance entry for Human Subjects, the only human subjects-related file uploaded on the Attachments tab would be the Other Requested Information attachment, and it is uploaded only if required by the FOA.

Vertebrate AnimalsPHS_ResearchPlan_VertebrateAnimals — required if vertebrate animals are involved

Select Agent ResearchPHS_ResearchPlan_SelectAgentResearch — required if applicable

Resource Sharing Plan(s)PHS_ResearchPlan_ResourceSharingPlans — required if applicable

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical ResourcesPHS_ResPlan_Auth_Key_Bio-Chem_Resources — required if applicable

Foreign JustificationOther — enter Foreign Justification in the description field — required if you have responded "yes" to the following question in the Questionnaire: "Does this project involve activities outside of the United States or partnerships with international collaborators?"

Introduction to ApplicationPHS_ResearchPlan_IntroductionToApplication — required for RESUBMISSIONS only (an A1 application submitted within 37 months after the original submission)

Progress Report Publication ListPHS_ResearchPlan_ProgressReport_PubList — required for RENEWAL applications only

Optional Attachments 

When appropriate, upload this optional attachment in the Attachments section, Proposal tab:

AppendixPHS_ResearchPlan_Appendix – maximum of 10 PDF attachments; follow NIH policy and FOA instructions on what may and may not be included in the Appendix

When needed, upload this optional attachment as a User attached form (Basics > S2S Opportunity Search > User Attached Forms tab):

PHS Assignment Request Form – may be used to communicate specific application assignment and review requests. Is not provided to program staff or reviewers.