Navigating NIH Funding Opportunities
Navigating NIH Funding Opportunities

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the seeds of which were planted in a one-room laboratory in New York in 1887, exists “to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.” Consisting of 27 Institutes and Centers, NIH supports a large spectrum of research-related grant programs, contracts, as well as programs that assist researchers in paying back loans. Each Institute and Center has its own research focus (most often a particular disease or body system) and uses various activity codes to identify the particular funding mechanism of its opportunities.

Primary activity codes of NIH include:

  • Research grants (“R” series)
  • Career development awards (“K” series)
  • Research training and fellowships (“T” and “F” series)
  • Program project/Center grants (“P” series)
  • Resource grants (various series)

A full listing of every activity code offered by NIH, along with its purpose, can be found here.

NIH uses standard due dates in three cycles throughout the year; however, these “standard” due dates are different based on the activity code for the funding opportunity announcement (FOAs). For example, all “P” series, “T” series, and a few “R” series applications have due dates of January 25, May 25, and September 25. Click here to find a list of due dates for each activity code. You can search NIH FOAs through the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts or

It is also important to note that NIH offers renewal, resubmission, and revision applications, for which different deadlines may apply. For more questions about the NIH grants process, please contact Stacie at