NIH Grants Policy Statement
Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards
Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities – File 6 of 11
14 SUPPORT OF SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS (CONFERENCE GRANTS)
supports scientific meetings, conferences, and workshops (hereafter
"conferences") that are relevant to its scientific mission and to public health
under the R13 and U13 activity codes. NIH's support of conferences is
contingent on the interests and priorities of the individual ICs. Most ICs
provide conference support although their budget guidelines may vary. Prior
approval (advance permission) is required before submission of an application
for conference support. Advance permission to submit an application must be
requested early in the process and no later than 6 weeks before the application
submission date. Permission to submit a conference grant application does not
assure funding or funding at the level requested. The letter from the NIH IC
conference grant contact person (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/contacts/parent_R13_U13.html)
documenting advance permission to submit an application must be included as
part of the PHS 398 Cover Letter component of the application. Potential
applicants must contact the funding IC before submission for specific
information as well as to ensure compliance with submission requirements.
Applications for conference support must be submitted based on the published
receipt dates. In general, NIH will not issue a conference grant award unless
it can be issued before the conference start date. Awarding a conference grant
after a conference has been held should only be done when an IC can determine
or document that funding of post-conference activities is consistent with the
chapter applies to grants that support domestic and international conferences.
If a policy is not addressed in this chapter, then IIA coverage applies.
Questions concerning the allowability of conference activity under research grants should be directed to the GMO.
Meeting (Conference). A gathering, symposium, seminar, workshop, or
any other organized, formal event where people assemble to coordinate, exchange,
and disseminate information or to explore or clarify a defined subject,
problem, or area of knowledge.
Conference. A scientific meeting so designated by its sponsor or one
to which open invitations are issued on an equal basis to potential
participants in two or more countries other than the
The meeting may be held in the
or any country, subject to U.S.
Department of State travel restrictions.
Conference. A scientific meeting held in the
or U.S.-Canadian participation (even if foreign speakers are invited).
institutions or organizations, including established scientific or professional
societies, are eligible to apply for conference support. Both domestic and
international conferences may be supported; however, an international
conference may be supported only through the U.S. representative organization
of an established international scientific or professional society. An
individual is not eligible to receive a grant in support of a conference.
14.5 Application Requirements
Conference grant applications are electronically submitted
using an application package that combines SF424 (R&R) and PHS398
components. Applications packages and instructions are provided with each FOA. Applicants
must complete and submit a detailed categorical budget using the Research &
Related Budget component; however, no indirect (F&A) costs may be requested.
The appropriate NIH IC Conference Grant Contact (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/contacts/parent_R13_U13.html)
should be consulted for guidance regarding any IC-specific budget and project
duration requirements. Application requirements and further information on NIH
support for conferences and scientific meetings (R13 and U13) may be found on
the NIH Web site at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/r13/ or in applicable FOAs.
Policy Requirements and Objectives
In addition to any applicable public policy requirements and
objectives specified in Public Policy
Requirements, Objectives, and Other Appropriation Mandates in IIA, the
following apply to NIH Conference Grants.
United States Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990
The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 (PL101-391) was
passed into law by Congress to save lives and protect property by promoting
fire and life safety in hotels, motels and other places of public accommodation.
PL101-391 states that federally funded meetings and conferences cannot be held
in properties that do not comply with the law. PL101-391 is applicable to all
places of public accommodation, and requires that such properties are equipped
- hard-wired, single-station smoke detectors in
each guestroom in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA) standard 72;
- an automatic sprinkler system, with a sprinkler
head in each guest room in compliance with NFPA standards 13 or 13R. Properties
three stories or lower in height are exempt from the sprinkler requirement.
The United States Fire Administration (USFA) is charged with
carrying out FEMA's responsibilities with respect to the Hotel and Motel Fire
Safety Act of 1990. In addition to compiling, maintaining and publishing the
National Master List, USFA is also responsible for taking steps to encourage
states to promote the use of automatic sprinkler systems and automatic smoke
14.6.2 Guideline on the Inclusion of Women
Conference grant applicants address the appropriate representation of women,
minorities, and persons with disabilities in the application.
Appropriate representation of women, individuals who are members of
racial and/or ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, and other individuals
who have been traditionally underrepresented in science must be included in all
aspects of planning, organization, and implementation of NIH-sponsored or
-supported meetings. "Appropriate representation" is 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, NIH will not make an award until the applicant has submitted
acceptable documentation of its compliance.
14.7 Application Review
for conference grants will be reviewed for programmatic relevance and for merit
as described in The Peer Review Process in Part I
and applicable FOA.
or cooperative agreements may be used to provide conference support. A
cooperative agreement may be awarded if the NIH awarding IC determines that it
needs to have substantial involvement in the planning and conduct of a
funds may not be used to provide general support for international conferences
held in the
Grant funds may be awarded to support only specific aspects of such
conferences. An example would be a selected symposium, panel, or workshop,
including the costs of planning and travel of
in support of a single conference will be made for a project period
commensurate with the time involved in planning and conducting the conference
and post-conference follow-up, usually 1 year. A conference grant made to a
permanently sponsoring organization for conferences held annually or biennially
on a recurring topic may be awarded for up to a total of 5 years and will be
funded annually, based on the availability of funds. Continued funding beyond
the first year will be contingent on a report of satisfactory progress
submitted in accordance with SNAP instructions. A change in conference focus
requires NIH awarding IC prior approval.
of Funding Source and Disclaimer
a conference is funded by an NIH grant or cooperative agreement, grantees must
include the following statement on conference materials (including promotional
materials, agenda, and internet sites):
for this conference was made possible (in part) by (Insert Grant/Cooperative
Agreement #) from (insert name of NIH IC). The views expressed in written
conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not
necessarily reflect the official policies of the NIH; nor does mention by trade
names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S.
use of the NIH or HHS logo on conference materials is of particular importance.
Neither logo should be displayed if it would cause confusion as to the source
of the conference or give the false appearance of government endorsement.
Accordingly, unless specifically authorized by the award, any use of the HHS
and/or NIH logo requires prior approval. Unauthorized use of the HHS or NIH
name or logo may result in imposition of civil monetary penalties (as provided
in 42 CFR 1003).
and Unallowable Costs
following highlights allowable and unallowable costs under conference grants.
No costs other than those specified in this subsection as allowable, including
any qualifications on their allowability, are
permitted under conference grants.
14.10.1 Allowable Costs
Services. Grant funds may be used for necessary recording of
proceedings, simultaneous translation, and subsequent transcriptions.
Services. Grant funds may be used to pay consultant fees, including
travel and supporting costs (per diem or, where applicable, subsistence).
Rental. Grant funds may be used for the rental of necessary equipment.
Employees. See Grants to Federal
Institutions and Payments to Federal Employees under Grants chapter.
Meals. When meals are
justified by the applicant as an integral and necessary part of a conference
(i.e., a working meal where business is transacted), grant funds may be used
for such meals, as qualified under Travel below. However, direct charges for meals/food and beverages are unallowable charges to an NIH grant where the primary purpose is to support a scientific meeting/conference.
Costs. When grant funds are awarded to pay for either the entire or
partial cost of publication of proceedings or a book or pamphlet, allowable
costs include special plates, charts, diagrams, printing, distribution,
mailing, postage, and general handling, unless otherwise specified at the time
the grant is awarded.
Fees. Grant funds may not be used for registration fees paid by the
grantee to other organizations on behalf of attendees. Grant funds may be used
to help defray registration costs for some select conference attendees (for
example, women, racial/ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, other
individuals who have been traditionally underrepresented in science, graduate
Salaries. In accordance with the policy of the grantee organization, grant funds may be
used for all or part of the salaries of professional personnel, clerical
assistants, editorial assistants, and other non-professional staff in
proportion to the time or effort directly related to the conference.
Fees. Speakers' fees for services rendered are allowable.
Supplies. Grant funds may be used for the purchase of supplies for the conference if the
supplies are received and used during the budget period.
Travel. Funds may be
used for the travel of staff, speakers, participants, and attendees, if
identified in the application and approved at the time of award. Travel
expenses for employees of the grantee organization are governed by the
grantee's travel policies, consistently applied regardless of the source of
travel restrictions that are in effect at the time of the award will be
followed, such as
- limitations or restrictions on countries to
which travel will be supported or
- budgetary or other limitations on availability
of funds for foreign travel.
per diem or subsistence allowances must be reasonable and limited to the days
of attendance at the conference plus the actual travel time to reach the
conference location by the most direct route. Local mileage costs only may be
paid for local participants. Where meals and/or lodgings are furnished without
charge or at a nominal cost (e.g., as part of the registration fee), the
proposed per diem or subsistence allowance must take this into consideration.
costs for attendees and participants at the conference may not exceed coach
class fares. In all cases, U.S. flag carriers will be used where possible (see Cost Considerations—Allowability of
Costs/Activities—Selected Items of Cost—Travel in IIA).
14.10.2 Unallowable Costs
A&R. Not allowable.
and Personal Expenses. Costs of amusement, diversion, social activities, ceremonials, and related
incidental costs, such as bar charges, tips, personal telephone calls, and
laundry charges of participants or guests, are unallowable. However, meals may
be allowable as provided under Allowable Costs—Meals above.
Purchase. Grant funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment.
F&A Costs. Not allowable.
Honoraria. Honoraria or other payments given for the purpose of conferring distinction or
to symbolize respect, esteem, or admiration may not be paid from grant funds.
Participants' Expenses. With the exception of local mileage as
indicated under Allowable Costs—Travel above, grant
funds may not be used to pay per diem or expenses for local participants in the
Meals. Direct charges for meals/food and beverages are unallowable charges to an NIH grant where the primary purpose is to support a scientific meeting/conference.
Dues. Not allowable.
Research Patient Care. Not allowable.
Visas and Passports. Not Allowable.
14.11.1 Intellectual Property: Publications, Copyright, and Public Disclosure
If the grantee publishes material developed in whole or in
part with NIH funds, the material may be distributed free of charge. If the
grantee organization charges for the material, the sales proceeds are
considered program income, and must be accounted for as specified in the NoA and reported on the FFR (see Administrative Requirements—Reporting
and Record Retention in this chapter).
otherwise provided in the terms and conditions of the award, the grantee is
free to arrange for copyright of any publication resulting from an
NIH-supported conference. However, any such copyrighted publication shall be
subject to a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the Federal
government to reproduce, translate, publish, and dispose of the material and to
authorize others to use the work for government purposes. Copyright does not
extend to any materials prepared by Federal employees as part of their official
grantee is cautioned to remind conference participants that any presentation or
discussion constitutes public disclosure of information. Any such public
disclosure could seriously impact the degree to which any intellectual property
rights could be protected.
and Record Retention
completion or termination of a grant in support of a conference, grantees are
responsible for submitting the final progress report and the final FFR in
accordance with the Closeout provisions described in Administrative
Requirements—Closeout in IIA. Submission details of the final FFR and Final Progress Report are described in
respective subsections of Closeout.
single conferences, a final report of the conference must be submitted
electronically through the eRA Commons, or by paper
submission to the NIH DCGP within 90 days after
the end of the project period. The report must include the following:
- Grant number
- Title, date, and place of the conference
- Name(s) of the person(s) shown on the
application as the conference director or PD/PI(s)
- Name of the organization that conducted the
- A list of the individuals, and their
organizational affiliations, who participated as speakers or discussants in the
formally planned sessions of the meeting
- A summary of topics discussed/conclusions
Under multiple-year awards, i.e., ones that support more
than one conference, NIH requires an annual progress report that contains a
description of specific plans for the next budget period, in similar detail and
format as for a single conference. The annual progress report must be submitted
at least 6 months before the next scheduled conference. The final progress
report should be submitted within 90 days after the end of the project period.
the approval of the NIH awarding IC, copies of proceedings or publications
resulting from the conference(s) may be substituted for the final report,
provided that they contain the information specified for inclusion in the final
Electronic submission through the eRA Commons of the final FFR is required from the grantee within 90 days after the
end of the project period. Records of expenditures and any program income
generated must be maintained in accordance with the provisions of 45 CFR part 74.53
or 92.42 (see Administrative
Requirements—Monitoring—Record Retention and Access in IIA).