Notice: Changes to the NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA)/R15 Program
Release Date: December 03, 2018
National Institutes of Health (NIH))
The purpose of this notice is to notify the extramural research community of upcoming changes to the NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program. NIH is making these changes to focus AREA support on grants to undergraduate-focused institutions that do not receive substantial funding from NIH, rather than all institutions with less than $6 million of NIH support.
The current AREA Parent Announcement, PA-18-504, will expire after the January 7, 2019, AIDS due date and will not be reissued. Future funding opportunity announcements (FOA) for the AREA program will focus on supporting grants to undergraduate-focused institutions. NIH will continue to provide R15 research enhancement opportunities for health professional and graduate schools under separate announcements.
As of January 24, 2019, NIH will no longer maintain its list of institutions ineligible for R15 grants. Instead, for R15 applications submitted for due dates on or after February 25, 2019, a signed letter will be required from the Provost or similar official with institution-wide responsibility verifying the eligibility of the applicant institution at the time of application submission. Applicants must provide the letter as part of their letters of support.
For the AREA program, the following eligibility criteria apply:
- 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; i.e., the Total Federal Award Amount cited on a Notice of Award) in 4 of the last 7 years. A year is defined as a federal fiscal year: from October 1 through September 30. Note that all activity codes are included in this calculation except the following: C06, S10, and all activity codes starting with a G.
- Qualifying academic component (school, college, center, or institute) within an institution (e.g. School of Arts and Sciences) has an undergraduate student enrollment that is greater than graduate student enrollment.
While the AREA program will provide support to undergraduate institutions, there will continue to be R15 opportunities to support health professional schools and graduate schools. These R15 funding opportunity announcements are forthcoming.
For Health professional schools and graduate schools the following eligibility criteria will apply:
- 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.
- The applicant organization may not receive research 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. A year is defined as a federal fiscal year: from October 1 through September 30. Note that all activity codes are included in this calculation except the following: C06, S10, and all activity codes starting with a G.
- Health professional schools are accredited institutions that provide education and training leading to a health professional degree, including but not limited to: BSN, MSN, DNP, MD, DDS, DO, PharmD, DVM, OD, DPT, DC, ND, DPM, MOT, OTD, DPT, BME, MSEE, MS-SLP, CScD, SLPD, AuD, MSPO, MSAT, and MPH. Eligible health professional schools/colleges may include schools or colleges of nursing, medicine, dentistry, osteopathy, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, public health, optometry, allied health, chiropractic, naturopathy, podiatry, rehabilitation medicine, physical therapy, orthotics & prosthetics, kinesiology, biomedical engineering, occupational therapy and psychology. Accreditation must be provided by a body approved for such purpose by the Secretary of Education.
Existing R15 FOAs referencing the ineligibility list will not be reissued. The description of the R15 Activity Code will be updated to reflect the changes in the program and can be viewed here, along with FAQ's and additional resources for calculating eligibility.
Please direct all inquiries to:
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration