NIH Proposal Quick Reference Guide

**This guide is not a substitute for the official “Grants.Gov SF424 (R&R) Application Guide”**:


  • All documents must be submitted in PDF format into Cayuse
  • Use Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype or Georgia type - 11 point font or larger.
  • Must be 15 characters per inch
  • Use 8 ½ x 11 paper and ½ inch margins all around for all pages
  • Use single column format
  • No information in header or footer
  • Page numbers for the footer will be system-generated for the complete application.
  • May use smaller type for figures, Graphs, Diagrams, Charts. Tables, figure Legends and Footnotes
    must be in black and readily legible.

Proposal Elements

SF 424 R&R (title must be no more than 81 characters including spaces)

Research & Related other project Information

  • Self explanatory
  • Project Summary/Abstract - no longer than 30 lines of text - 11pt font as stated above.
  • Project Narrative - put Relevance statement here, 2 - 3 sentences.
  • Bibliography
  • Facilities and Resources
  • Equipment - List major items of equipment already available for this project and, if appropriate,
    identify location and pertinent capabilities

Performance Sites

DUNS number required for all sites.

Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile

Complete for each individual- include ERA commons user name under credentials (mandatory for PD/PI, optional for all others) Upload bio sketch here (4 pages) - 15 publication limitation - Include a personal statement addressing suitability for the role in this proposal


Use either Modular or R&R budget (not both)

Modular- for projects <=$250,000 per year

  • Increments of $25,000
  • F&A information: DHHS, Council Moore, 2122642069, rate agreement date 7/1/2010
  • Consortium F&A refers to the subaward (if any) F&A cost
  • All in separate periods
  • Budget Justifications: Personnel - justify personnel only not other budget items
  • Consortium (if there is a subaward)

R&R Budget

  • All in separate periods
  • Detailed budget justification

Cover page Supplement

PI listed, human subjects noted, organizational contact info.

Research Plan

1. Introduction to Application (for resubmission or revision only) 1 page
2. Specific Aims - 1 page
3. Research Strategy 12 pages
4. Inclusion Enrollment Report-only for renewal/revision applications involving clinical research
5. Progress Report Publication List-renewal applications only

If applicable:

6. Protection of Human Subjects
7. Inclusion of Women and Minorities
8. If application involves the Inclusion of Women and Minorities
9. Inclusion of Children
10. Vertebrate Animals
11. Select Agent Research
12. Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan
13. Consortium/Contractual Arrangements
14. Letters of Support
15. Resource Sharing Plan(s)

Cover Letter

Applicants are encouraged to include a cover letter with the application. The cover letter is only for internal agency use and will not be shared with peer reviewers. The letter should contain any of the following information that applies to the application:

  • Application title.Funding Opportunity (PA or RFA) title of the NIH initiative.
  • Request of an assignment (referral) to a particular awarding component(s) or Scientific Review Group (SRG). The PHS makes the final determination.
  • List of people (e.g., competitors) who should not review your application and why.
  • Disciplines involved, if multidisciplinary.
  • Explanation of any subaward budget components that are not active for all periods of the proposed grant Statement that you have attached any required agency approval documentation for the type of application submitted. This may include approval for applications $500,000 or more, approval for Conference Grant or Cooperative Agreement (R13 or U13), etc.