Types of Research Support

Use this page to help you get started considering whether NINDS is a good fit for your proposal and selecting the appropriate grant type or mechanism for your work.

Step 1 - Determine if your proposal fits within the mission of NINDS 

The first aspect to think about when considering NINDS for funding support is whether your research proposal is within the mission of NINDS. This can be straightforward or it can be a little more complex given that several other NIH Institutes and Centers support topics that overlap or are adjacent to NINDS’ mission.

One approach to get started is to see if work similar to what you are proposing has or is currently supported by NINDS. The NIH Matchmaker tool allows you to input draft specific aims and look for related projects supported by NINDS.

Try NIH's Matchmaker to Look for Fit with NINDS
Input draft specific aims and/or abstracts in the NIH Matchmaker tool and look for related projects supported by NINDS and relevant NINDS program officers.

If results from Matchmaker are unclear, and/or if your application involves a clinical trial or you are considering any non-parent NOFO, it's important to check with an NINDS program officer before submitting. Matchmaker will also suggest a top matching program officer which is often the best person to reach out to first with questions. 

Step 2 - Select the appropriate grant type or mechanism 

Once you’ve determined that your proposal is within the mission of NINDS, you’ll want to identify the best grant type or mechanism (officially known as an "activity code" - e.g. R01, F32, U54, etc.) to support your work. Choosing the best mechanism of support is important and should match the needs and stage of your proposal.

Use the links below to explore and identify a grant mechanism that fits your work. Once you have identified a mechanism that looks to be a good fit, procced to step 3 - Finding a Funding Opportunity.

What Type of Funding Support Are You Looking For? 

Step 3 - Identify a Funding Opportunity

Now that you've identified a type of grant/mechanism for your work, it's time to find an appropriate Notice of Funding Opportunity or NOFO. For any application you submit to NIH, you must apply through an NOFO, which will tell you everything you need to know about who is eligible to apply and what is required.

Two ways to find NOFOs:

NINDS Funding Opportunities
Use the NINDS Find Funding Opportunities page to look for active notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) for that mechanism that NINDS participates in. Select the "Filters" button and enter the grant mechanism you have identified in the "Grant Mechanism" field.
NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts
You can also always use the NIH NOFO Guide page as well and select the "activity code" (grant type or mechanism) you are interested in. Make sure you are searching for NOFOs that NINDS participates in by checking "NINDS" in the "Organizations" box at the top of the page.

Applying to the most appropriate NOFO is critical for a number of reasons:

  1. NINDS must participate in the NOFO you are considering. For a list of all active NOFOs NINDS participates in, please view the NINDS NOFO Guide
  2. The NOFO must accept the kind of research you are proposing. This can include whether you are proposing a clinical trial and also any additional criteria as defined in the NOFO.
  3. NINDS may support only specific areas or types of proposals under an NOFO. Applications outside these areas will not be supported (funded).


Are you doing a clinical trial or BESH study?
Be mindful that some NOFOs only accept or support certain kinds of research such as clinical trials (or not) or Basic Experimental Studies Involving Humans (BESH). Learn more about how to know if you are planning an NIH-defined clinical trial or BESH study.

NOTE: Applying to an inappropriate NOFO can result in your application being withdrawn before review or not considered for funding.   


Want to contact NINDS staff?
Please visit our Find Your NINDS Program Officer page to learn more about contacting Program Officers, Grants Management Specialists, Scientific Review Officers, and Health Program Specialists.