Introduction to Funding

Successful funding applications start by selecting the appropriate funding opportunity, grant type, and grant program.

Types of Funding Opportunities

Investigators propose research projects in response to a Funding Opportunity Announcement, usually either Program Announcements (PAs) or a Request for Applications (RFAs):

  • Program Announcements
    PAs describe broad research areas of particular interest to NIDA, and applicants compete for available funds. PAs are valid for several years, and applications can be submitted at any time.
  • Request for Applications
    When NIDA issues RFAs, the Institute has set aside funds for applications focused on a specific research area, and applications are due relatively quickly after RFAs are issued. A Letter of Intent may be required before a complete application can be submitted.

Grant Types

International research can be supported through several types of grants from NIDA, including these two options:

  • Domestic Grants With a Foreign Component
    Most international research is supported by Domestic Grants With a Foreign Component, which enable U.S.-based principal investigators to conduct cooperative international studies with foreign partners. The foreign component is part of the grant; the entire application is scored competitively.
  • Direct Foreign Grants
    These are grants awarded directly to institutions outside of the United States. These grants allow researchers from outside the United States to compete for funding within the NIH system. The actual research is conducted outside the United States. For a grant to be awarded to a foreign institution, the principal investigator must demonstrate a special opportunity to further drug abuse research through use of expertise, resources, populations, or environmental conditions not readily available in the United States.

Grant Programs

Most grants fall into one of three programs: