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NINDS Grants Information for Non-U.S. Scientists and U.S. Scientists at Foreign Institutions

Foreign institutions and international organizations, including public or private non-profit or for-profit organizations, are eligible to receive most research project grants from NINDS. Foreign institutions and international organizations are not eligible to receive Institutional National Research Service Awards, Career Development Awards, program project grants, center grants, resource grants, and SBIR/STTR grants.  In addition, all eligible foreign applications must meet the review criteria outlined below.  For detailed information regarding eligibility, please see (Table 1). Expanded registration instructions for foreign organizations are available on the eSubmission website.

Application Review Criteria for Grant Applications for Foreign Institutions and International Organizations

Applications from foreign institutions or international organizations will be evaluated and scored during the initial review process using the standard review criteria. In addition, the following will be assessed as part of the review process and award decision:

  • Whether the project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs through the use of unusual talent, resources, populations, or environmental conditions in other countries that are not readily available in the United States or that augment existing U.S. resources.
  • Whether the proposed project has specific relevance to the mission and objectives of NINDS and has the potential for significantly advancing the health sciences in the United States.

Note:  These criteria are not applied to applications from domestic institutions with foreign components.

Research grant applications from foreign or international organizations must be discussed and recommended for funding by the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council (NANDS Council) and are ineligible for expedited review. 

Change of Grantee Organization

Prior NINDS approval is required for the transfer of a grant-supported project or activity from one entity to another before the expiration of the approved project period. Please note that a change of grantee status that involves the transfer of a grant to or between foreign institutions or international organizations must be approved by the NINDS Advisory Council subject to the additional review criteria for foreign applicants (see above). Investigators considering a move to a foreign institution should consult with their Program Director early in this process because approval of transfers is not automatically given.

Domestic Institutions with a Foreign Component

Some mechanisms may support projects awarded to a domestic institution with a foreign component. For purposes of this policy, a "foreign component" is defined as performance of any significant element or segment of the project outside the United States either by the grantee or by a researcher employed by a foreign institution, whether or not grant funds are expended. Activities that would meet this definition include:

  • The involvement of human subjects/or animals.
  • Extensive foreign travel by grantee project staff for the purpose of data collection, surveying, sampling, and similar activities (Note: Foreign travel for consultation is not considered a "foreign component").
  • Any activity that may impact on U.S. foreign policy through the involvement of grantee project staff in the affairs or environment of the foreign country.

For more complete information on NIH awards to foreign institutions and grants involving foreign components, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement, the NIH’s Office of Extramural Research website, NINDS’ FAQs for foreign applicants.  Additional information on International FOA’s supported by NINDS can be found at the website of the Office of International Activities.

Additional Sources of International Travel, Training and Research Support

Fogarty International Center
National Institutes of Health

Human Frontier Science Program
International Brain Research Organization
National Science Foundation

For additional questions, please contact:

Claudia Scala Moy, Ph.D.
Acting, Chief
Stacey Chambers, M.S.
Program Analyst

Last Modified April 18, 2016