Cooperative Agreements

What is a cooperative agreement?
In certain instances, NINDS may opt to use a cooperative agreement mechanism, rather than a grant, to support research where there is a significant need for active collaboration between investigators and NINDS staff.

Features of Cooperative Agreements

  • Cooperative agreements are indicated by a “U” in the activity code or mechanism (e.g. U01, U54).
  • Participation from NINDS staff in cooperative agreements most often comes via the inclusion of an NINDS Project Scientist on a cooperative agreement in addition to an NINDS Program Officer.
  • An NINDS Project Scientist can be considered as part of the investigator team, and can be involved in activities such as designing research protocols and interpreting results as well as overall oversight and management of a project.  

The involvement and role(s) of NINDS staff as part of a cooperative agreement will be outlined in section VI of the notice of funding opportunity (usually under a heading labeled “Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award”) as well as in Section IV of the terms and conditions in your Notice of Award

Commonly used NINDS Cooperative Agreement Mechanisms

U01 A research project conducted by a principal investigator with substantial involvement by NINDS staff in the research activities.
U13 A conference grant support recipient sponsored scientific meetings and conferences that may facilitate advancement of NINDS mission objectives and involves substantial NINDS staff involvement.
U19 To support a research program of multiple projects directed toward a specific major objective, basic theme or program goal, requiring a broadly based, multidisciplinary and often long-term approach. Substantial Federal programmatic staff involvement is intended to assist investigators during performance of the research activities, as defined in the terms and conditions of award.
U24 A Resource-Related Research Project contributes to improvement of the capability of resources to serve biomedical research. The project includes substantial involvement of NINDS staff, and may serve a local, regional, or national user group. The project will normally include shared resources, technical expertise, and scientific expertise
UH2/UH3 A UH2 mechanism is used for the first phase, which can be transitioned to a UH3 upon successful completion of transition criteria established at initial award and following NINDS administrative review. In some instances, specific program initiatives may establish eligibility criteria under which applications could be accepted from applicants demonstrating progress equivalent to that expected under UH2.
U54 A Specialized Center Cooperative Agreement will support any part of the full range of research and development activities that comprise a multidisciplinary attack on a specific disease entity or biomedical problem area. The center includes substantial involvement of NINDS staff, and may serve as a regional or national resource for special research purposes.


For Questions about Cooperative Agreements
Contact the "Scientific Contact" listed at the bottom of the Notice of Funding Opportunity ("Section VII. Agency Contacts") you are considering.