NINDS Grant Mechanisms

The grant mechanisms supported by NINDS are described below. Each funding mechanism and program title is accompanied by a brief General Description of each mechanism, followed by NINDS Specific Instructions (if any), and Link to Program Announcements (PA) & Requests for Application (RFA). For additional, specific information regarding eligibility for Non-U.S. scientists and U.S. scientists at foreign Institutions, please see information on International Activities.

NIH-Wide Parent Announcements (For Unsolicited or Investigator-Initiated Applications)

NINDS-Specific Grant Programs

Research Project Grants

Center Grants

Cooperative Agreement Awards

Conference Grants:

Small Business Grants:

Institutional Training Related Programs:

Individual NRSA Predoctoral Fellowships:

Individual NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowships:

Mentored Research Career Development Awards:

Independent Scientist Career Development Awards:

Research Supplement Awards

Additional Information Links


Research Project Grants

  • R01 Research Project Grant
    A Research Project Grant supports a focused research program conducted by a principal investigator with or without collaborators, postdoctoral trainees, graduate students and/or technicians. Also supports Pilot Clinical Trial Grant for Neurological Disease to gather preliminary data and the conduct of clinical studies to support the rationale for a subsequent full-scale clinical trial of intervention to treat or prevent neurological disease.

    Link to PAs and RFAs: See NINDS Funding Opportunities

    Important: As of the September 25, 2011 receipt date, all applications must conform to the NINDS Policy for the Requirement of Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use an Investigational Drug, Biologic Product or Device in a Clinical Trial Prior to Submission of an Application (NOT-NS-11-018).

  • R03 Small Grant Program
    Supports new research projects that: 1) lead to a defined product, resource or "deliverable" that has inherent value to the neuroscience community; 2) regardless of whether they are hypothesis-driven, will generate an important and potentially publishable unit of information or dataset; or 3) focus on secondary analysis of clinical data sets. Priority will be given to research proposals that include a detailed plan for the sharing of resources and data generated under this award.

    Link to PAs and RFAs: PA-18-488.


  • R15 Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA)
    The purpose of this program is to stimulate research in educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees for a significant number of the Nation's research scientists, but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. These grants are intended to create a research opportunity for scientists and institutions otherwise unlikely to participate extensively in NIH programs to support the Nation's biomedical and behavioral research effort.

    Important: As of the October 25, 2009 receipt date, the R15 funding limit was increased to $300,000 in direct costs.

    Link to PAs and RFAs: PA-18-504
  • R21 NINDS Exploratory Neuroscience Research Grant

    IMPORTANT:  NINDS is publishing this funding opportunity announcement and withdrawing from the NIH-wide parent R21 announcement.

    The NINDS Exploratory Neuroscience Research Grant program supports exploratory and foundational research projects that fall within the scientific mission of the NINDS.  Awards will provide support for the early and conceptual stages of these projects. These studies may involve considerable risk, but may lead to breakthroughs in important areas of neuroscience, or to the development of novel techniques, reagents, methodologies, or models, of high value to the neuroscience community. The evolution and vitality of neuroscience requires a constant infusion of new ideas, techniques, and points of view. These may differ substantially from current thinking or practice, and may not yet be supported by substantial preliminary data.  This program is intended to encourage research that will explore new ideas, and advance early stages of projects.

    Link to PAs and RFAs: PA-18-358
  • R61/R33 Research Projects Exploratory/Developmental Grants
    Phase I - To encourage the development of new research activities in categorical program areas. (Support generally is restricted in level of support and in time.) The R61 award is the first phase to support innovative exploratory and development research activities. This activity code is used in lieu of the R21 activity code when larger budgets are required to establish feasibility for the project.

    Phase II -The R33 award is to provide a second phase for the support for innovative exploratory and development research activities initiated under the R61 mechanism. 

    Link to PAs and RFAs:  PAR-18-761, PAR-18-762, PAR-18-763

    NINDS Programs that support the R61/R33 mechanism

  • R25 Research Education Grants
    The purpose of these Education Projects is to enable the grantee organization to provide research and related experiences for undergraduate, graduate and medical students, postdoctoral fellows and other junior scientists to broaden their skills and enhance their career development opportunities in order to contribute significantly to basic, clinical or translational neuroscience research. Funding support should lead to increased recruitment, mentoring, and training in the scientific and technology workforce.

    Instructions Specific to NINDS

    The NINDS currently participates in the three following programs:
  • NINDS Research Education Programs for Residents and Fellows in Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuropathology and Neuroradiology 


  • R35 Research Program Award
    The goal of the NINDS Research Program Award (RPA), which will use the R35 funding mechanism, is to allow an investigator whose record of research achievement demonstrates his or her ability to make major contributions to neuroscience, the freedom to embark on ambitious, creative, longer-term research projects, without the constraints of specific aims. RPAs will support the overall research programs of NINDS-funded investigators for up to 8 years, at a maximum level of $750,000 direct costs per year.

    NINDS Research Program Award - FAQs

Link to PAs and RFAs: RFA-NS-18-032

  • Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award (R37)
    Investigators may not apply for a Javits Award. Nominations for this award are made by NINDS staff and by members of the NANDS Council. These nominations are then reviewed by the Director, NINDS and the NANDS Council. All Javits nominations must be approved by the NANDS Council prior to their award.

More about the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award.

  • P01 Research Program Project Grant
    Grant to support a multi-investigator research program with a well-defined research focus or objective. All subprojects must be united in a common theme and be interdependent.

    Link to PAs and RFAs: PAR-18-421


Center Grants

  • P30 Center Core Grant
    The purpose of this program is to advance the NINDS mission to promote understanding and treatment of neurological disorders by providing core research facilities that are not otherwise available. Each Center Core Grant supports shared resources and facilities used by investigators with research projects funded by NINDS. An institution is eligible for a maximum of one NINDS Center Core Grant. These awards will support basic, translational, and clinical research, but will not be used to support clinical trials or to provide patient services.

    Each Center Core is composed of one or more research cores, each of which enriches the effectiveness of ongoing research, and promotes new research directions. A Center Core supports individual neuroscience research projects by providing necessary resources and performing required services that would be difficult or impractical to provide in individual labs. Center Core Grants foster a cooperative and interactive research environment through which multidisciplinary approaches to neuroscience problems, and joint research efforts are stimulated. It is strongly recommended that applicant institutions consider a plan to co-fund the Center Core, in order to maximize its utility and effectiveness.

    Link to PAs and RFAs: RFA-NS-17-011
  • P50 Center Grant
    To support any part of the full range of research and development activities comprising a multidisciplinary attack on a specific disease entity or biomedical problem area.


Cooperative Agreement Awards


Conference Grants

  • R13 Conference Grant
    Conference grants support recipient sponsored scientific meetings and conferences that may facilitate advancement of NINDS mission objectives.

    Instructions Specific to NINDS: NINDS supports conferences in part or in full and participates in co-funding with other Institutes. Awards are typically under $10,000, but larger awards are sometimes made. Discussions with program staff are especially important if larger amounts are requested. See full NINDS-specific instructions here.

    NIH Information: Guidelines for Support of Scientific Meetings by NIH*

    Link to PAs and RFAs: PA-18-648

    Dr. Ernie Lyons
    Telephone: (301) 496-9223, Fax (301) 402-0182
  • U13 Cooperative Conference Grant
    The difference between the R13 and U13 mechanisms is that in the case of U13, NINDS Program staff will be substantially involved in the planning and conduct of the meeting, assisting the Principal Investigator according to specific Terms and Conditions. 

Instructions Specific to NINDS: If an NINDS Program staff member will provide substantial assistance to a PI and that it is anticipated that assistance exceeds the traditional role of the staff member as Program Administrator, the appropriate support mechanism is the U13 cooperative agreement. Examples of NINDS Program staff involvement after award include, but are not limited to, development of an agenda, selection of speakers, organization of the conference or workshop, and/or post-meeting publications. See full NINDS-specific instructions here.

Small Business Grants

If you intend to submit an application with human subjects, contact: Stephanie Fertig, MBA, SBIR/STTR Program Manager,; 301-496-1997