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NIH Support for Scientific Conferences (R13 and U13)

On This Page:
Program Announcement PA-20-207

Receipt Dates

Standard application deadlines
April 12, August 12, and December 12

AIDS-related research deadlines
May 7, September 7, and January 7


Permission to Submit an Application

The NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) each have different scientific missions, as well as program goals and initiatives that evolve over time. In order to promote the most efficient use of NIH funds towards meeting the mission and program goals of the ICs, each conference grant application is required to contain a permission-to-submit letter from one of the participating ICs (see IC Contact and Special Interests website).

  • Applicants are urged to initiate contact well in advance of the chosen application receipt date and no later than 6 weeks before that date. 
  • Applicants should inquire about IC-specific program priorities and policies in regards to conference grants.
  • Please note that agreement to accept an application does not guarantee funding.


  • Eligibility is limited to domestic institutions and organizations, including established scientific or professional societies.
  • Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply for conference support.
  • This program supports both domestic and international conferences; however, an international conference can be supported only through the U.S. representative organization of an established international scientific or professional society.
  • An individual is not eligible to receive a conference grant or cooperative agreement award.

Developing Your Conference Grant Application

In addition to the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, please be aware of the following special submission requirements for Conference Grant applications. Applicants should consult the funding opportunity announcement, in particular Section IV. Application and Submission Information, for detailed information about these special submission requirements.

  • Permission to Submit Letter
    • All applications must include in the Cover Letter attachment a “permission to submit” letter from a designated IC contact who has agreed to consider the application for funding.
  • Budget
    • Applications must include a detailed, categorical budget request using the Research & Related Budget form.
    • Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs (also referred to as indirect costs) are not allowed.
    • Applicants should consult with the IC about any IC-specific budget and project duration requirements.
  • Conference Plan 
    • This section takes the place of the Research Strategy section of a standard research application and should
      • Describe the objectives, specific program, and logistical arrangements for the meeting
      • Identify related conferences held on the subject during the past 3 years and describe how the proposed conference is similar to, and/or different from these.
      • Describe strategies for:
        • Involving the appropriate representation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in the planning and implementation of, and participation in, the proposed conference
        • Identifying and publicizing resources for child care and other types of family care at the conference site to allow individuals with family care responsibilities to attend
        • Publicizing the conference to all interested participant
  • Appendix
    • Appendix material only allowed if specifically requested in the funding opportunity announcement.
  • Period of Support
    • Most ICs will accept applications for up to 5 years of support when a series of annual or biannual conferences are proposed by a permanently sponsoring organization. Applications requesting multiple years of support must provide the following additional information for each future year requested, in as much detail as possible:
      • meeting topic(s)
      • tentative date(s)
      • location(s)
      • participants contingency plans for future meetings dependent upon, for example, the outcome of the first year’s conference or developments in the field.

A Note about Conference Grant Awards

Consistent with Federal civil rights laws, it is expected that organizers of NIH-supported conferences and scientific meetings take steps to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all attendees by providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment, sexual or otherwise.

As a part of the Terms and Conditions of a Conference Grant or Cooperative Agreement Award, awardees should ensure that all conference material (promotional materials, agenda, publications on internet sites) includes an acknowledgement of NIH grant support. A disclaimer stating the following should also be included where appropriate:

“Funding for this conference was made possible [in part] by [insert grant number] from [insert IC name]. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.”


All programmatic and scientific questions should be directed to the R13/U13 program official at the appropriate NIH Institute and Center. See the R13/U13 Contacts and Special Interest website.

Issues that remain after consultation with IC staff and that are not addressed in the R13/U13 FAQs, may be directed to the R13 mailbox:

Active Funding Opportunity Announcements

This page last updated on June 24, 2020
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