RELEASE DATE:  September 24, 2003

PA NUMBER:  PAR-03-176 (This PAR has been reissued, see PA-06-041)
                       (Peer Review contact change for NLM, see NOT-LM-05-007)

EXPIRATION DATE:  October 26, 2005

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)


National Institutes of Health (NIH)


National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)
Office of Rare Diseases (ORD)
Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES:  April 15, August 15, and December 15, annually

93.173, 93.242, 93.273, 93.279, 93.306, 93.394, 93.395, 93.396, 93.821, 
93.837, 93.838, 93.839, 93.846, 93.847, 93.848, 93.849, 93.853, 93.855, 
93.856, 93.862, 93.864, 93.865, 93.866, 93.867, 93.929, 93.859, 93.213, 
93.286, 93.287, and 93.879


o  Purpose of the PA
o  Research Objectives
o  Mechanism(s) of Support
o  Eligible Institutions
o  Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o  Special Requirements
o  Where to Send Inquiries
o  Submitting an Application
o  Supplementary Instructions
o  Review Process
o  Review Criteria
o  Award Criteria
o  Required Federal Citations


This Program Announcement (PA) provides updated guidelines for National 
Institutes of Health (NIH) support of scientific meetings.  It replaces the 
previous guidelines issued in the NIH GUIDE on October 30, 1998, and is 
effective with the December 15th receipt date for cycle III applications.  An 
NIH Conference Grant Website has been created to centralize information 
regarding grants for scientific meetings and conferences, at  This site includes 
contact information for the participating NIH Institutes and Centers and 
Offices and links to detailed information regarding specific interests and 
funding parameters. This site and related links is updated frequently and 
interested parties should check periodically for the most current information.

A major revision made in this announcement is the requirement that 
applications for conference grant support present a letter from the 
appropriate NIH Institute/Center (IC) staff documenting advance permission to 
submit an R13 or U13 application.  As a streamlining measure, there are now 
three annual receipt dates for all applications for support of scientific 
meetings, and decisions about awards will normally be made within six months 
of submission.


The NIH recognizes the value of supporting high quality scientific meetings 
that are relevant to its scientific mission and to the public health.  A 
scientific meeting is defined as a gathering, symposium, seminar, conference, 
workshop or any other organized, formal meeting where persons assemble to 
coordinate, exchange, and disseminate information or to explore or clarify a 
defined subject, problem, or area of knowledge.  Support of such meetings is 
contingent on the fiscal and programmatic interests and priorities of the 
individual ICs, which are linked to the NIH Conference Grant website,  


This Program Announcement will use the NIH conference grant (R13) and 
conference cooperative agreement (U13) award mechanisms.  Under the R13 
mechanism, the applicant will be solely responsible for planning, directing, 
and executing the proposed project.  Multiple year awards may be made to a 
permanently sponsoring organization for conferences held annually or 
biennially on a recurring topic.  The total project period for an application 
requesting support may not exceed five years.

The NIH U13 is a cooperative agreement award mechanism.  In the cooperative 
agreement mechanism, the Principal Investigator retains the primary 
responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing, and executing the 
proposed project, with NIH staff being substantially involved as a partner 
with the Principal Investigator, as described under the section "Cooperative 
Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award."

This PA does not use just-in-time concepts and does not use modular budgeting 
formats.  Follow the instructions in the PHS 398 for non-modular 
research grant applications.


You may submit an application if your institution has any of the following 

o For-profit or non-profit organizations
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
and laboratories
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government
o Domestic institutions/organizations
o Faith-based or community-based organizations

Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply for conference grant support. 
An international conference can be supported through the U.S. representative 
organization of an established international scientific or professional 


Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to conduct 
the proposed scientific meeting is invited to work with that individual's 
institution to develop an application for support.  Individuals from 
underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with 
disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Most ICs will accept applications for up to five years when a series of annual 
or biennial meetings is proposed by a sponsoring organization.  Support for 
meetings held on a less frequent schedule must be applied for individually.  
For multiple year awards, the progress report (Form PHS 2590, available at, must be submitted two 
months prior to the next budget period start date.  It should include a report 
on the previous meeting supported by the current grant, as well as a full 
description of the next planned meeting.

A critical part of the application for NIH support of scientific meetings is 
documentation of appropriate representation of women, racial/ethnic 
minorities, persons with disabilities, and other individuals who have been 
traditionally underrepresented in science.  These individuals must be included 
in all aspects of planning, organization and implementation of NIH-sponsored 
and/or supported meetings.  "Appropriate representation" means representation 
based on the availability of scientists from these groups known to be working 
in a particular field of biomedical or behavioral research.  If appropriate 
representation is not apparent, no award will be issued until program staff 
are assured of concerted recruitment efforts.  Organizers of scientific 
meetings must document compliance with the GUIDELINES FOR INCLUSION OF WOMEN, 
THE NIH (included at 

All conference grant applications, including revisions, supplements, and 
competing renewals, require advance permission to submit an application from 
the appropriate NIH IC staff member, listed on the NIH Conference Grant 
website at  This website 
also includes addresses and information for Offices at NIH that support 
conference activities, but these offices are not able to give permission for 
submission.  Advance permission to submit an application should be requested 
early in the process and no later than six weeks before the receipt date.  The 
letter from an NIH Institute or Center documenting advance permission to 
submit an application must be submitted with the application.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise 
applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration Regulations 
at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH Grant Administration 
policy statements.

A U13 award is an assistance mechanism in which the Principal Investigator 
(PI) retains the primary responsibility and dominant role for planning, 
directing and executing the proposed project, with NIH staff being 
substantially involved as a partner with the PI, although specific tasks and 
activities in carrying out the project will be shared among the awardee and 
NIH designated staff, as described below.

1.  Awardee Rights and Responsibilities

Awardees have primary authorities and responsibilities to define objectives 
and approaches, and to plan, conduct, analyze, and publish results, 
interpretations, and conclusions of the conferences.

The Principal Investigator will retain custody of, and have primary rights to, 
information developed under the cooperative agreement, subject to Government 
rights of access, consistent with current Department of Health and Human 
Services (DHHS), PHS, and NIH policies. Publication and copyright agreements 
and the requirements for financial status reports; retention of records; and 
terminal progress reports will be as stated in the NIH Grants Policy 

Awardees are responsible for identifying specific milestones for conferences 
that will be supported during the project period, when multi-year conferences 
are supported.

2.  NIH Staff Responsibilities

An IC Project Scientist will have substantial scientific-programmatic 
involvement during conduct of this activity, through technical assistance, 
advice, and coordination above and beyond normal program stewardship for 
grants.  Substantial involvement as a partner would include, for example, 
assisting in planning the agenda, selecting speakers, organizing a symposium, 
determining the content of the meeting, or determining the acceptability of 
submitted papers.  Substantial involvement would not include serving as an 
invited speaker or providing limited advice.

An IC Program Director will be responsible for normal stewardship of the 
award, and may also serve as a Project Scientist.  The Program Director will 
be responsible for assessing the progress of multi-year conferences toward the 
accomplishment of specified milestones, and for recommending if further funds 
should be released to the project.

3.  Arbitration:

Any disagreement that may arise on scientific/programmatic matters (within the 
scope of the award), between award recipients and IC may be brought to 
arbitration.  An arbitration panel will be composed of three members – one 
chosen by the awardee, a second member selected by the IC, and the third 
member selected by the two prior selected members.  This special arbitration 
procedure in no way affects the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action 
that is otherwise appealable in accordance with the PHS regulations at 42 CFR 
Part 50, Subpart D and HHS regulation at 45 CFR Part 16.

These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise 
applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration Regulations 
at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH Grant Administration 
policy statements.


We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries may fall into two 
areas:  scientific/research, and financial or grants management issues:  
Consult the NIH Conference Grant website,, to direct your questions 
to the appropriate individual.  Issues that remain after consultation with IC 
staff and that are not addressed in this PA may be directed to:

Linda M. Stecklein
NIH Conference Grant Coordinator
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 3524
Bethesda, MD  20892
Phone:  (301) 402-7989
Fax:  (301) 480-0146


Applications must be prepared using the Public Health Service (PHS) 398 
research grant application instructions and forms, using the 
supplemental instructions described below.  Applications must have a Dun and 
Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the 
Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative 
agreements.  The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or 
through the web site at  The DUNS number 
should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.  For 
further assistance contact GrantsInfo, telephone (301) 710-0267, email


Advance permission to submit an application is required prior to submission of 
all conference grant applications, including new, competing continuation, 
supplemental, and amended applications. All applications must include the 
advance permission letter from the NIH IC staff member who has agreed to 
accept assignment of the application.  The staff member granting advance 
permission must be one of the contacts designated at the NIH Conference Grant 
website,  If an 
application is received without an acceptance letter, it will be returned 
without review.  Note that advance permission does not mean the application 
will be funded.

The following instructions are to be used in conjunction with the instructions 
accompanying application form PHS 398 (rev. 05/2001):

o Form Page 1 (Face Page).  The title of the meeting must be typed on line 1. 
The title and number of this Program Announcement must be typed on line 2 and 
the YES box must be marked.  

o Form Page 2 (Description, Performance Site(s)& Key Personnel).  Complete a 
very brief description of the proposed meeting, including the dates, location, 
types of participants, goals, and topics to be covered.  Enter the site of the 
meeting or workshop as the Performance Site. Key Personnel are defined as the 
Principal Investigator and those individuals responsible for the scientific 
planning, and organization of the meeting.

o Form Page 4 (Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period).  The appropriate IC 
conference award contact should be consulted for guidance regarding any IC-
specific budget requirements.  Enter the direct costs requested.  Provide a 
narrative justification for each proposed personnel position, including role 
and proposed level of effort.  Include information regarding efforts to obtain 
funding for this conference/meeting from other sources.

Allowable Costs:  Salaries in proportion to the time or effort spent directly 
on the meeting; rental of necessary equipment; travel and per diem or 
subsistence allowances; supplies needed for conduct of the meeting, only if 
received for use during the budget period; conference services; publication 
costs; registration fees; speakers' fees.

Non-allowable Costs:  Purchase of equipment; transportation costs exceeding 
coach class fares; visas; passports; entertainment; tips; bar charges; 
personal telephone calls; laundry charges; organization dues; honoraria or 
other payments for the purpose of conferring distinction or communicating 
respect, esteem or admiration; patient care; alterations or renovations; 
facilities and administrative costs.

o Form Page 5 (Budget for Entire Proposed Project Period)  Multiple year 
applications should provide the totals under each budget category for all 
additional years of support requested.

o Form Page 6 (Biographical Sketch).  Complete for Principal Investigator, Co-
Chair, key personnel, and confirmed key speakers. 
o Research Plan.  Section (A-D) may not exceed 10 pages.  Letters of agreement 
from participants should be included in Section I.  Requirements stated in 
Section E (Human Subjects) do not apply to conference grants.

Use this section of the application to describe the objectives, specific 
program, and logistical arrangements for the meeting. Describe the format and 
agenda, including the principal topics to be covered, problems to be 
addressed, and developments or contributions the meeting might stimulate.  
Provide a detailed justification for the meeting, including the scientific 
need, timeliness, and usefulness of the meeting to the scientific community. 
Describe the composition and role of the organizing committee, and provide the 
names and credentials of key participants in the meeting, including the basis 
for their selection and documentation of their agreement to participate.

Describe plans for the appropriate involvement of women, minorities, and 
persons with disabilities in the planning and implementation of the proposed 
meeting.  Estimate the expected size and composition of the audience, as well 
as the method of selection.  Describe plans for publicizing the meeting and 
publication of proceedings.  Identify related meetings held on the subject 
during the past three years.  If this is one of a series of periodic meetings 
held by a permanent sponsoring organization, briefly describe and evaluate the 
last meeting in the series.

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 dates, locations, and participants; and 
contingency plans for future meetings dependent on, for example, the outcome 
of the first year's meeting or developments in the field.

o Appendix.  The Appendix is limited to announcements and reports of previous 
meetings under the same sponsorship.

o Checklist.  The checklist should be submitted.  No information regarding F&A 
should be included as this is not an allowable cost for this mechanism.


Applications submitted in response to this Program Announcement will be 
accepted annually on April 15, August 15, and December 15.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH:  Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, include the advance permission letter from NIH, and three 
signed photocopies in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and all 
copies of the appendix material must be sent to the IC contact person 
identified in the NIH Conference Grant website, 

APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be mailed on or before the receipt 
dates listed above and on the first page of this PA.  The Center for 
Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept an application in response to this PA 
that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review unless 
the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The CSR will not accept any 
application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.  This does 
not preclude the submission of a substantial revision of an unfunded 
application already reviewed, but such application must include an 
Introduction addressing the previous critique.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding 
assignment within eight weeks.


Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned to a primary IC on the 
basis of the advance permission letter.  Applications lacking such a letter 
will be returned without assignment or review.  Secondary assignments will be 
made on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines.  An appropriate 
evaluation group convened by the accepting IC will evaluate the application 
for scientific and technical merit.

As part of the initial merit review, applications:

o Will undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to 
have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications 
under review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score;
o Will receive a written critique;
o May receive a second level review by the appropriate national advisory 
council or board.


The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects 
of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed 
application will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  The 
scientific review group will address and consider each of the following 
criteria in assigning an overall score, weighing them as appropriate for each 

o Significance
o Approach
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
The application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged 
likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. 
For example, an applicant may propose to host a conference that by its nature 
is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.   

SIGNIFICANCE:  Does this scientific meeting address an important problem?  If 
the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be 
advanced?  What will be the effect of these endeavors on the concepts or 
methods that drive this field?

APPROACH:  Is the format and agenda for the meeting appropriate for achieving 
the goals of the conference?  Is the meeting timely for the subject matter?  
How well do the plans for inclusion of women, minorities and persons with 
disabilities provide for their appropriate representation in the planning, 
organization, and implementation of the proposed meeting?  Multi-year 
applications should address these issues for the length of the proposed grant 

INNOVATION:  Does the meeting employ novel approaches or methods to fulfill 
its purpose?

INVESTIGATOR:  Is the PI well suited for organizing this conference?  Are the 
qualifications of the PI appropriate and past performance adequate?  Are the 
key personnel and selected speakers appropriate and well suited for their 
described roles in the conference?

ENVIRONMENT:  How appropriate is the meeting site?  Does the applicant 
organization have the ability to contribute to the probability of success?  Do 
the proposed meetings, exhibits, interactions, etc., take advantage of unique 
features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative 
arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?

BUDGET:  Is the proposed budget and the requested period of support reasonable 
in relationship to the proposed plan?


Applications submitted in response to this PA will compete for available funds 
with all other recommended applications.  The following will be considered in 
making funding decisions:

o Scientific merit of the proposed conference/meeting as determined by the 
evaluation process
o Availability of funds
o Relevance to program priorities


URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES:  All applications and proposals 
for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations.  
Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) 
should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because 
reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites.  Furthermore, we 
caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly 
access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010:  The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy 
People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This 
PA is related to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS:  This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance at and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health 
Systems Agency review.  Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301 
and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and 
under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  All awards 
are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other 
considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.  The NIH Grants 
Policy Statement can be found at

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourages the use of all tobacco products.  In addition, 
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain 
facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or 
routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood 
development services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the 
PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the 
American people.

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

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