Who to Contact for Different Types of Questions

Who to Contact for Different Types of Questions

Program Director

Each Program Director at NINDS is responsible for managing a scientific portfolio for the Institute.  For training-related grants, a general rule of thumb is that you want to speak to your Program Director about any issue that relates to your scientific project.  Prior to submitting a grant application, you should contact a Program Director if you have questions related to the science of your project.  Your Program Director has a broad view of the research that is being done in their scientific area, and may be able to give you a sense for what reviewers might like and might not like to see in an application.  After your application is reviewed and you have discussed the summary statement with your advisor(s), you are encouraged to contact your Program Director to discuss the reviewer critiques and next steps, such as resubmission. After a grant is funded, the Program Director reviews the progress reports and can help with questions related progress report content and submission.

Training and Career Development Office

At NINDS, the Training Office is responsible for oversight of all fellowships, career development awards, institutional training grants and supplements for training, including all programs designed to increase diversity of the workforce.  In brief, any question that you have that is relevant to training applications and awards, if it is not a question about your specific scientific topic or research plan, should be addressed to the Training Office. For example, the Training Office can determine for you whether your project fits within the NINDS mission, and is the place to get answers to questions about policy, including eligibility, selection of an appropriate grant mechanism, changes in the administration of the award such as termination, leave of absence, part-time training, budget adjustments, training-related supplements, etc. For career development awards, it can be very beneficial to contact the Training Office about your career development and/or mentorship plans, grant structure, and any other non-scientific issues related to your application. All questions about institutional training grants (T32s and K12s) and research education grants (R25s) should be directed to the Training Office, not program directors.  Contact information for staff in the Office of Training, Career Development and Workforce Diversity can be found in the Staff Directory.

Scientific Review Officer (SRO)

The Scientific Review Officer runs the study section.  After applications are reviewed, the SRO records final scores, collates reviewer comments and summarizes the results of the review.  You should contact an SRO well in advance of review if you have questions related to the review of your application (e.g. if you want to know whether you can submit materials after the receipt date). You should NOT contact the SRO about the results of review – these questions should be addressed to your Program Director or to the Training Office (for training-related grants). There is probably no reason to be contacting an SRO after the review has taken place, other than to find out when summary statements will be released (as of this writing, this can take up to 8 weeks).

Grants Specialist (GS)

The Grants Specialist is responsible for ensuring that all necessary requirements are met prior to issuing an award. A specialist is assigned to each grant to oversee the administration and budget for all years of the award.  You should contact your Grants Specialist if you have budgetary or other business related questions.


Please contact only one person at NINDS when you have a question. We all talk to each other, and will be happy to find the correct person to respond to you. Sending identical emails to more than one person wastes a lot of people’s time, and will likely, in fact, delay the communication process. Similarly, if you do wish to contact more than one person at NINDS, or even NIH, please send just a single email, copying everybody. That way everybody knows that it was sent to multiple people and one person will respond. Again, this will actually expedite getting an answer.