You are here

Writing the NIH Grant Proposal

Writing the NIH Grant Proposal
A Step-by-Step Guide

Third Edition

October 2017 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Writing the NIH Grant Proposal, Third Edition offers hands-on advice that simplifies, demystifies, and takes the fear out of writing a federal grant application. Acting as a virtual mentor, this book provides systematic guidance for every step of the NIH application process, including the administrative details, developing and managing collaborative relationships, budgeting, and building a research team. Helpful hints along the way provide tips from researchers who have received grants themselves and coverage of the updated electronic NIH process and new scoring system is included.

About the Authors
CHAPTER 1. The National Institutes of Health
The NIH Mission  
Basic NIH Facts  
Other Funding Agencies  
CHAPTER 2. Mentoring and Collaborative Relationships and What to Do If Things Go Awry
Developing New Collaborative Relationships  
Maintaining Ongoing Collaborative Relationships  
Finding and Working With a Mentor  
What to Do When Interpersonal Problems Arise  
CHAPTER 3. Types of Award Mechanisms
Identifying the Correct Grant Mechanism for Your Proposal . . .  
The Menu  
Classes of Grant Mechanisms  
NIH Small Grant Program (R03)  
NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21)  
Factors to Consider in Identifying an Award Mechanism  
Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs)  
Research Supplements  
Success Rates for Different Grant Mechanisms and Different I/Cs  
The SBIR and STTR Award Mechanisms  
In What Areas Is the NIH Interested?  
CHAPTER 4. Preparation and Preliminary Steps
Are You Ready?  
Try Out Your Ideas on Your Colleagues  
The NIH Website: A Useful Resource  
The NIH “Guide for Grants and Contracts”  
Requests for Applications  
Contacting NIH Program Staff  
Choosing Your Research Team and Conducting Initial Negotiations  
CHAPTER 5. Writing the Application, Part I: Scientific Content and Writing Strategies
The Scientific Content  
General Notes Concerning Scientific Writing  
Sections of the Proposal  
The NIH Review Criteria  
New Procedures Implemented by NIH Concerning Content of the Proposal  
Writing the Individual Sections of the Grant Text  
Research Strategy  
Common Reviewers’ Criticisms  
Proposal Development Timeline  
Revise, Revise, Revise, Proofread, Proofread . . .  
CHAPTER 6. Writing the Application, Part II: Ethics
Human Subjects Research  
Use of Stem Cells  
Use of Biohazards and Select Agents  
Humane Care and Use of Animals  
CHAPTER 7. Writing the Application, Part III: Filling Out Budgets and Other Forms
Changes to the Application Process  
The Title  
The Budget  
The Budget Justification  
Consortia and Subcontracts  
SBIR/STTR Budgets  
Identifying Research Opportunities and Downloading Applications Packages  
The Components of the SF 424 (R&R) Form  
The Budget Justification  
Letters of Support and/or Collaborators/Consultants  
The SF 424 Form  
CHAPTER 8. Submitting the Application and the Grant Review and Award Process
The Grant Review and Award Process  
Overall Impact  
Scored Review Criteria  
CHAPTER 9. Be Careful What You Wish For . . .
Notice of Grant Award (NGA)  
Managing Your Grant Award  
Setting Up the Command Structure  
Yearly Progress Reports  
Mea Culpa  
Key features


  • Covers the new Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) online submission form for both single and multiple projects
  • Revamped advice on substantive sections of the proposal to address lowered page allowance
  • Coverage of the new scoring system and reviewer reporting system
  • Coverage of the usage and submission of the new SF 424 forms


  • Supporting cases, examples, and flowcharts clearly illustrate the grant proposal writing process
  • Actual NIH grant proposal reviewers give advice about common pitfalls of proposals and what they, as reviewers, look for in a "fundable" proposal
  • Helpful appendices include references, a glossary of terms used in NIH grant applications, a directory of helpful web sites, and a set of checklists

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 5: Writing the Application, Part I

Preview this book

For instructors

Please select a format:

Select a Purchasing Option