Application Process - Find Opportunity & Download Application Package - Electronic Submission of Grant Applications
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Find Opportunity & Download Application Package
1. Prepare to Apply & Register - On This Page You Will Find: Roles, Approach, Software & Register2. Find Opportunity - On This Page You Will Find: Find Opportunity & Download Application3. Prepare Application - On This Page You Will Find: Using Forms & Avoiding Errors4. Submit, Track & View - On This Page You Will Find: Submit, Track, Address Errors & View Application

Key Take-Aways:

  • Applications must be submitted in response to a funding opportunity announcement (FOA). Request for applications (RFAs) and program announcements (PAs) are types of funding opportunity announcements.
  • Applicants submitting “investigator initiated” or “unsolicited” applications should use Parent Announcements, which span the breadth of the OER mission.

On This Page:
Finding a Funding Opportunity
  • Electronic grant applications must be submitted in response to a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). NIH issues both Request for Applications (RFAs) and Program Announcements (PAs). Collectively, all these solicitations are referred to as FOAs in
  • ‘Investigator Initiated’ or ‘unsolicited applications’ are submitted, via, to Parent Announcements that are mechanism (e.g. R01, R21, R44, etc.) specific. Applicants can look for the appropriate Parent opportunity on the Parent Announcements page. Note that NIH includes the word “Parent” in the title of all FOAs that target investigator-initiated applications.
  • FOAs are posted in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts and on
    • The “Apply for Grant Electronically” button on NIH Guide announcements allows applicants to access the application package directly from the NIH Guide.

Apply for Grant Electronically

Steps to Find Opportunities in NIH Guide and Download the Application package

Detailed Find and Download steps (MS Word - 1 MB) including screen shots.

Remember! In order to view application packages and instructions, you will need to download and install a compatible version of Adobe Reader on your machine.

  1. Search the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for funding opportunities.
  2. Identify a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) of interest and click on the FOA number to open the announcement.
  3. Carefully read the announcement. Application packages are opportunity-specific (i.e., you cannot use an application completed for one opportunity to apply for another), so be sure you have chosen the correct FOA before you download and complete the application package.
  4. Click the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in the FOA. This will direct you to
  5. Click on “download” from the screen to download the application.
  6. Take this opportunity to sign up for notifications of changes to the application package!
  7. Download the Application Instructions.
  8. Download the Application Package.
  9. Save a copy of the downloaded application to your own computer or network immediately.
  10. Begin preparing your application!

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This page last updated on March 30, 2010
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