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Grants Process Overview

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Grants Process Overview

Any successful project requires planning, development, implementation, and follow-through. Obtaining NIH funding for your research idea is no exception.  The Grants Process Overview below provides an overview of the steps required for an application to proceed from application planning and submission through award and close out.  Look to the related resources on each page for special guidance from NIH experts that can help maximize your understanding of the grants process and help you submit a successful grant application.


Applicant should start early, collect preliminary data, and determine internal deadlines.


Applicant often begins writing application several months prior to application due date.


Applicant organization submits most applications to NIH through Federal portal,

Months 1 - 3 Receipt and Referral Receipt and Referral
Applications compliant with NIH policies are assigned for review by the Division of Receipt and Referral in the Center of Scientific Review (CSR). CSR assigns application to an NIH Institute/Center (IC) and a Scientific Review Group (SRG). Scientific Review Officer (SRO) assigns applications to reviewers and readers.
Months 4 - 8 Peer Review Peer Review

SRG members review and evaluate applications for scientific merit.

Available to Principal Investigator on eRA Commons.

Available to Principal Investigator on eRA Commons.


Advisory council/board reviews applications.

Months 9 - 10 Award Award

IC grants management staff conducts final administrative review and negotiates award.*


NIH Institute/Center (IC) director makes funding decision. IC staff issues and sends Notice of Award (NoA) to applicant institution/organization.


Project period officially begins!

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Administrative and fiscal monitoring, reporting, and compliance.