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

Individuals living and working outside of the United States, whether U.S. citizens or citizens of other nations, may be eligible for research and training funding from NINDS. Read on for information on NINDS grants and funding for non-U.S. scientists.

NINDS seeks applications from diverse investigators with broad experience and perspectives. Review funding opportunities available from the Office of Global Health and Health Disparities.

General Eligibility Guidelines

All applications to NIH must be submitted in response to Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) which describe an institute or center's intent to award grants and/or cooperative agreements in certain programmatic areas. All NIH NOFOs are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts and on

Section III.1.A of each NOFO describes the type of institutions/organizations that are eligible to apply. Section III.1.B provides information on the type of individuals that are eligible to apply. In addition, the NIH Grants Policy Statement describes general eligibility requirements for foreign organizations.

Career Awards

Non-U.S. individuals are eligible for a number of career awards and fellowships. Your institution is responsible for ensuring that you have an appropriate visa. You will need U.S. affiliation or citizenship to be a trainee on a training grant or receive a career award or fellowship with a couple of exceptions: the Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) and the International Neuroscience Fellowship (F05). For most other career development and training awards, you must be a U.S. citizen, a noncitizen national, or a permanent resident with a valid Alien Registration Receipt Card (green card) at the time of award.

Learn more from the Office of Research Training and Career Development.

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents at U.S. institutions may apply for the following career development awards: K01, K02, K08, K22, K23, K24, K25. 
  • Foreign nationals at U.S. institutions may apply for the following: NIH Pathway to Independence Award K99/R00. (Note: Both K99 and R00 phases must be conducted at a U.S. institution.)


U.S. citizens and permanent residents at U.S. or foreign institutions may apply for:

  • National Research Service Awards for Predoctoral, Postdoctoral, and Senior Fellows (F31, F32, F33)

U.S. institutions may apply for:

  • Conference Grant and Cooperative Agreement Conference Grants (R13/U13)
  • NIH National Research Service Award Institutional Research Training Grant (T32)

Application Review Criteria for Foreign Institutions

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 U.S. or that augment existing U.S. resources.
  • Whether the proposed project has specific relevance to the mission and objectives of the NIH Institute or Center 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 institutions must be discussed and recommended for funding by the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council (NANDS Council) and are ineligible for expedited review.

Learn more about NINDS funding mechanisms.  

Domestic Grants with a Foreign Component

Some NIH grant mechanisms (e.g., R01) 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 U.S. 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.
  • Any activity of the grantee that may have an impact on U.S. foreign policy through involvement in the affairs or environment of a foreign country.

Travel for consultation is not considered a "foreign component."

Examples of grant-related activities that may be considered a foreign component are:

  • Collaborations with investigators at a foreign site anticipated to result in co-authorship
  • Use of facilities or instrumentation at a foreign site, or
  • Receipt of financial support or resources from a foreign entity

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.

U.S. Affiliation or Citizenship for NINDS Funding Applicants and Grantees

You do not need U.S. affiliation or citizenship to become a NINDS grantee. If you are working at a U.S. institution that is receiving the award, you must remain there long enough to finish your project. If you do not have a permanent visa, state in your application that your visa will allow you to remain in the U.S. long enough for you to be engaged on the project.

For complete information on NIH awards to foreign institutions and grants involving foreign components, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement on Definition of Terms. For more complete information on NIH awards to foreign institutions and grants involving foreign components, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement and the NIH’s Office of Extramural Research website. Additional information on International NOFOs supported by NINDS can be found on the Find Funding Opportunities page.

Application and Award Information for International Institutions and Organizations

International institutions and organizations (including public or private non-profit or for-profit organizations) are eligible to receive most research project grants from NINDS. They are not eligible for the following: Institutional National Research Service Awards, Career Development Awards, Program Project Grants, Center Grants, Resource Grants, and SBIR/STTR grants. In addition, all eligible international applications must meet the review criteria outlined below.

Expanded registration instructions for international organizations are available on the eSubmission website.

When applying from an international/foreign institution, both electronic and paper applications have a checkbox for foreign institutions and domestic institutions with a foreign component. In addition, there are special budget requirements for applications from foreign institutions. For more information visit the NIH About Grants information page for international applicants and grantees.  Foreign postdoctoral fellows may work on NIH-funded research grants, but they may not work on a National Research Service Award fellowship or training grant.

According to the NIH Grants Policy Statement, PIs and other personnel supported by NIH research grants are usually not required to be U.S. citizens, though some programs have citizenship requirements. Check the program announcement or request for applications to be sure. When applying electronically, foreign organizations must obtain a NATO Commercial and Government Entity code. NIH does not require international organizations to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for application submission. International organizations may use 44-4444444 for the Employer Identification field in the SF424 (R&R) Cover Component of the application package. For more information on registering, see the NIH About Grants Organization Representative Registration page.