NIH Research Enhancement Award (R15)

 

Definition of an R15

Supports small-scale research projects at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees for a significant number of the Nation’s research scientists but that have not been major recipients of NIH support.

The goals of the R15 are to:

  • support meritorious research,
  • expose students to research, and
  • strengthen the research environment of the institution.

Awards provide limited Direct Costs, plus applicable F&A costs, for periods not to exceed 36 months. This activity code uses multi-year funding authority.

R15 Changes in 2019

The current NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Parent Announcement, PA-18-504, will expire after the January 7, 2019, AIDS due date and will not be reissued. 

The R15 activity code will be rebranded as "NIH Research Enhancement Award" and will include two programs:

  1. Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions
  2. Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools
An institution letter verifying eligibility with the criteria listed in the funding opportunity announcement will be required with each application and the ineligible institution list will no longer be maintained.

See NOT-OD-19-015 for additional information.
 

Eligibility

Each funding opportunity announcement includes detailed eligibility information that supersedes any general information listed here. It is especially important to consult the eligibility criteria in the announcement if applying to due dates on or before January 7 since the information below reflects the new direction of the R15.

To assist in determining eligibility, organizations are encouraged to use the NIH RePORT website (see Need Help Determining Organization Funding Levels for R15 Eligibility?).

Organization Eligibility

Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions​

  • The applicant institution must be an accredited public or non-profit private school that grants baccalaureate degrees in biomedical sciences. 
  • At the time of application submission, all the non-health professional components of the institution together have not received support from the NIH totaling more than $6 million per year (in both direct and F&A/indirect costs) in 4 of the last 7 fiscal years. Note that all activity codes are included in this calculation except the following: C06, S10, and all activity codes starting with a G.
  • A signed letter is required from the Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the applicant institution at the time of application submission.

Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools

  • The applicant organization must be an accredited public or non-profit private school that grants baccalaureate or advanced degrees in health professions or advanced degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences. 
  • At the time of application submission, the applicant institution may not have received support from the NIH totaling more than $6 million per year (in both direct and F&A/indirect costs) in 4 of the last 7 fiscal years. Note that all activity codes are included in this calculation except the following: C06, S10, and all activity codes starting with a G.
  • A signed letter is required from the Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the applicant institution at the time of application submission.

R15 Principal Investigator Eligibility

  • The PI must have a primary appointment at the R15-eligible institution.
  • The PI may not be the PI of an active NIH research grant at the time of a R15 award, though he or she may be one of the Key Personnel for an active NIH grant held by another PD/PI.
    • Instrumentation awards (S10), conference grants (R13), and institutional training grants (T32) are examples of grants that are not considered research grants.
  • The PI may not be awarded more than one R15 grant at a time.
  • Eligibility applies only to the PI and Multiple PIs, not to collaborators, consultants, or sub awardees.

Application Characteristics

  • Project period is limited to 3 years.
  • Direct costs are limited to $300,000 over the entire project period.
  • R15 grants are multi-year funded awards. The entire budget, for all years of the award, must be requested in the first budget year.
    • Do not complete budget periods 2 or 3. They are not required and will not be accepted with the application.
  • NIH's Modular Budget Policy apply
    • Applicants submitting an application with direct costs of $250,000 or less (total for all years, excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs) must use the Modular Budget.
    • Applicants submitting an application with direct costs of $250,001 - $300,000 (total for all years, excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs) must use the Research and Related (R&R) Budget form. 
  • Awards can be renewed by competing for an additional project period.
  • The application should propose a research team, including undergraduate and/or graduate students, that is appropriate to accomplish the specific aims and to make an important scientific contribution.

Due Dates

Standard R15 receipt dates are February 25, June 25, and October 25. AIDS and AIDS-related grant application due dates are May 7, September 7, and January 7. For additional information, the receipt, review and award cycle schedules are posted on: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm.

Award Data

The Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) website provides information about research grants including the number of funded new and competing R01s, average award dollars and characteristics of research project grants.

Active Funding Opportunity Announcements