National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world.  Foreign researchers (non-US based) are eligible to apply to NIH research grant programs including the Research Project Grant (R01), the NIH Small Research Grant Program (R03) and the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (R21).  Investigator-initiated applications can be submitted to these programs according to the NIH’s standard due dates. However, there are a multitude of targeted funding opportunity announcements that are posted by the NIH Institutes. See below for more information on how to find NIH funding opportunities and the submission process.

If interested in applying to a NIH posted funding opportunity, communicate early with the Office of Research Services about your application to determine internal deadline information (generally, two weeks prior to the submission deadline) and to obtain necessary institutional information and guidance in completing your application. Note: A Funding Application Approval Form (FAAF) is required for all applications to the NIH involving UM researchers as per standard procedure.

How to locate funding opportunities at the NIH

  • Visit the Office of Extramural Research Funding Opportunities and Notices webpage for the listing of active Requests for Applications (RFAs), Active Program Announcements (PAs) and Parent Announcements for the R01, R21 and R03 programs which accept unsolicited applications.
  • View NIH Institute-supported funding opportunities on their Institute websites.
  • Search NIH and other US federal funding opportunities on the website.

How to apply

  • Review the Eligibility Information provided in the funding opportunity announcement and be sure that foreign institutions are eligible to apply. (In general, foreign institutions are eligible to apply for research project grants. Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply for research training grants, program project grants, center grants, resource grants, SBIR/STTR grants, or construction grants.)
  • The majority of competing funding opportunities offered by the NIH now require electronic application submission, so look for the “Apply for grant electronically” link which takes you to the SF424 (R&) application package and instructions. 
  • Carefully complete the form using the current version of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide on the NIH website and the acceptable version of Adobe
  • Be aware of the specific instructions for foreign applicants and institutions in the funding opportunity announcement and in the SF424 (R&R)Application Guide.

Submission process

  • The electronic submission process is described on the Applying Electronically website.
  • Applications are submitted using, the US federal-wide portal for finding and applying for grants. Applicants track their application submission from to the eRA Commons, NIH’s system for grants administration, to complete the submission process.
  • Contact the Office of Research Services to obtain an eRA Commons account for the Principal Investigator/Project Director and all other Principal Investigators at the University of Manitoba.
  • The funding opportunity announcement will provide a specific application deadline or will refer to NIH’s standard due dates.
  • Other helpful NIH links to help you in your application preparation: Avoiding Common Errors, Frequently Asked Questions and Tips for the Principal Investigator.

Processing NIH applications with Subawards

  • If you are an applicant on a NIH application being submitted by another institution, then you must submit the following application documentation to the Office of Research Services in advance of the deadline: 
  • a copy of the subaward budget pages and justification; 
  • your current Biographical Sketch; 
  • Project Summary/Abstract; 
  • Specific Aims; 
  • Research Strategy; 
  • your Facilities, Other Resources and Equipment pages; and 
  • a copy of the NIH application face page from the submitting institution which provides important background details on the application and the lead institution.

For more information on NIH research grants, or if you are planning to apply to a NIH funding opportunity, contact:

Michelina Violi
Research Grants Officer (International)
Tel: (204) 789-3428


Slide Presentations of the 2014 NIH Regional Seminar: Program Funding and Grants Administration

NIH Award data 

Financial Conflict of Interest – New!

NIH Grants Policy Statement

Foreign Grants Information

Funding Opportunities and Notices

Grants Policy updates 

NIH Public Access Policy