RELEASE DATE:  June 17, 2003

NOTICE:  NOT-AI-03-044

National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


Purpose of this Notice
NIAID Policy
Instructions for Multi-project Grant Applicants
Where to Send Inquiries


To inform the scientific community that the National Institute of 
Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will accept for review and 
consideration for funding multi-project (P01 and U19) grant 
applications that contain two or more research projects. Previously, 
multi-project applications were required to include three or more 
research projects.

The decision to permit two-project multi-project applications is based on:

o The positive response of investigators, peer reviewers, and NIAID 
staff to two project applications submitted in response to RFAs and PAs 
that permitted them.
o NIAID's decision not to artificially limit collaborations by 
requiring three or more projects when that is not scientifically or 
technically required.
o Statements from PO1 and U19 applicants (both successful and 
unsuccessful) that they added projects to applications to meet the 
three or more projects requirement – even though they recognized that 
the added project(s) were not as strong. The peer review of these 
applications invariably found the weaker project – thereby confirming 
the applicants' statements. NIAID does not wish to cause applicants and 
peer reviewers this type of problem.


Beginning with the October 1, 2003 receipt date for investigator-
initiated Program Project (P01) grant applications (September 1, 2003 
for AIDS applications), NIAID will accept and consider for funding 
multi-project grant applications of two or more research projects and 
associated shared resources (cores). The same opportunity to apply for 
two project multi-project grants (P01 and U19) will apply to 
applications submitted in response to an NIAID Request for Applications 
(RFA) or Program Announcement (PA) when the RFA or PA so permits; there 
are and will be RFAs and PAs that require more than two projects to 
meet the research objectives. Further, the two project opportunity does 
not apply to Specialized Research Center (P50) grant applications. 

For multi-project applications the following requirements must be met:

1. Pre-approval for acceptance by NIAID before submission of the grant 
a. When the application is in response to an RFA, applications that 
meet the requirements stated in the RFA are pre-approved. Applicants 
need no further approval to submit.
b. When the application is in response to a PA, follow the instructions 
in the PA; each PA will state if pre-approval is required before 
c. When the application will be an investigator-initiated Program 
Project Grant, the investigator must obtain pre-approval for the 
acceptance of the application from the NIAID Program Officer 
responsible for the area(s) of science addressed by the application. If 
the investigator will be requesting more than $500,000 in direct costs 
in any year of the grant, the $500,000 clearance process will meet the 
multi-project pre-approval requirement.

2. The applicant must propose:
a. A minimum of two inter-related research projects around a central 
b. Collaboration and interaction among investigator-initiated projects 
and investigators to achieve a common goal. 
c. A single principal investigator of scientific stature who will be 
scientifically and administratively responsible for the group research 
d. A single applicant (awardee) institution that will be legally and 
financially responsible for the use and disposition of funds. 
e. A single application submitted to the NIH by the applicant (awardee) 
institution in the name of the principal investigator.
f. Support provided, as necessary, for "core" resources or facilities, 
each of which must be used by at least two research projects to 
facilitate the research effort.

Because requested annual direct costs for P01 and U19 grants invariably 
exceed $250,000 per year, "modular" budgeting does not apply.


Detailed instructions for preparation and submission of multi-project 
grant applications for peer review and consideration for funding by 
NIAID can be found at 


To identify NIAID program staff to contact about potential 
investigator-initiated P01 applications, see NIAID program staff.

For more information about applications in response to an RFA or PA, 
contact the program, review, or grants management staff listed under 
"Inquiries" in the RFA or PA. 

For general NIH and NIAID policy related questions or questions 
concerning NIAID extramural programs, contact:  
Office of the Director, Division of Extramural Activities 
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 
6700B Rockledge Drive, Room 2144, Bethesda, MD 20892-7610 
Tel: (301) 496-7291 
Fax: (301) 402-0369 

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