Notices of Funding Opportunity, NOFO, program announcement, PA, request for applications, RFA, parent announcements, clinical trial NOFO

2.3.5 Types of Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs)

Most applications submitted to NIH under the categories of research and research training (including fellowships) are investigator-initiated. NIH accepts applications on the application due dates noted on the submission schedule. NIH generally reviews applications in three review cycles per year; however any variations in schedule will be noted in the NOFO. Some ICs review applications for Institutional National Research Service Awards (T32) only once a year; such information is generally found in a particular NOFO. The schedules for submission, review, and award of investigator-initiated applications are available on the NIH standard due dates web page.

Notice of Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). In accordance with 2 CFR 200.204, NOFO is an umbrella term for a publicly available document in which NIH makes known its intentions to award Discretionary Award, usually as a result of competition for funds.Each NOFO includes a solicitation identifie, will outline the program goals and objectives, and will include information to allow prospective applicants to determine whether the entity is eligible to apply. All applications must be electronically submitted in response to a NOFO.

NIH NOFOs primarily fall into the categories of Program Announcements, (PAs), which include Parent Announcements, and Requests for Applications (RFAs). While individual announcements will continue to carry an announcement number reference to PA or RFA, all announcements are NOFOs. NOFO is the general term is used to reference any type of funding announcement. NIH uses the PA and RFA references in the actual announcement number to distinguish between the various types of announcements.

  • Program Announcement (PA). A PA is a formal statement about a new or ongoing extramural activity or program. It may serve as a reminder of continuing interest in a research area, describe modification in an activity or program, and/or invite applications for grant support. Most applications in response to PAs may be submitted to a standing submission date and are reviewed with all other applications received at that time using standard peer review processes. NIH may also make funds available through PARs (PAs with special receipt, referral, and/or review considerations) and PASs (PAs with set-aside funds).

ICOs issuing PARs or PASs may now choose to describe within the NOFO criteria that would make an application non-responsive to the PAR/PAS. Only applications to PARs and PASs that include non-responsive criteria will be evaluated by the ICOs upon receipt for non-responsiveness. These non-responsive criteria will be listed in the Funding Opportunity Description section (Part 2, Section 1). Those applications that are deemed non-responsive will be withdrawn from review.

PAs may be used for any support mechanism other than construction awards. Unless otherwise specified in the PA, new applications (and associated renewal and revision applications) submitted in response to PAs are treated as investigator-initiated. PAs also are used to annually solicit applications for the SBIR and STTR programs. Those applications must be received by the dates specified in the PA.

  • Request for Applications (RFA). An RFA is a formal statement that solicits grant or cooperative agreement applications in a well-defined scientific area to accomplish specific program objectives. An RFA indicates the estimated amount of funds set aside for the competition, the estimated number of awards to be made, whether cost sharing is required, and the application submission date(s). For cooperative agreements, the RFA will describe the responsibilities and obligations of NIH and recipients as well as joint responsibilities and obligations. Applications submitted in response to an RFA are usually reviewed by an SRG specially convened by the awarding component that issued the RFA.

All applications involving one or more clinical trials must be submitted through a NOFO specifically designed for clinical trials. NIH will not process applications that propose one or more clinical trials if the NOFO (Part 2, Section 2) indicates clinical trials are "Not Allowed." Applications that propose clinical trials, including applications with a mix of trial and non-trial aims or a combination of clinical and non-clinical studies, must be submitted to NOFOs designated as clinical trial "Optional" or "Required".

All NIH NOFOs are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts and on under Search Grants ( NIH may develop areas of high priority or special research interest and use a special announcement to stimulate submission of applications in those areas. These NOFOs are also published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Other Funding-Related Notices

Notice of Intent to Publish (NOITP). The purpose of an NOITP is to alert the extramural research community of an upcoming funding opportunity.

Request for Information (RFI). The purpose of an RFI is to alert the extramural research community to a request for comments on a specific issue. A RFI does not include reminders, extensions, or clarifications to RFIs.