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Updates to NIH Institutional Training Grant Applications

This page provides details on the updates being made to NIH institutional training grant applications for due dates on or after January 25, 2025.

On this page:


NIH has made significant investments to develop, implement, assess and disseminate innovative, effective approaches to research training and mentoring and to prepare trainees for a variety of career paths in the biomedical research workforce. Additionally, NIH established the UNITE initiative to identify structural barriers and promote equity in the NIH-supported biomedical research ecosystem. Through these initiatives, the research community has identified the need for:

NIH will leverage the lessons of these initiatives to enhance institutional research training programs, including by enhancing opportunities to strengthen mentor training.


The updates will apply to applications that use the following activity codes:

  • Institutional Training – T series, e.g., T15, T32, T34, T35, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TL4
  • International Institutional Training – D43, D71, U2R
  • Institutional Career Development – K12, KL2

Application Updates

The updates to NIH Institutional Training Grant Applications include three key changes:

  1. The Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity will be its own attachment in the PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan Form.
  2. Mentor training expectations will be more clearly defined in the parent T32 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
  3. Institutional Training data tables will be updated to reduce burden and promote consistent information collection across training programs.

Updates to PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan Form

The “Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity” will be moved from being nested within the Program Plan attachment to being a separate attachment within the PHS 398 Research Training Plan Form. The Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity Attachment will:

  • Continue to be required for all training grant activity codes except U2R, and all D-series activity codes.
  • Have a three-page limit, consistent with the page limits for “Plan for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research” and “Plan for Instruction in Methods for Enhancing Reproducibility.”

Defining Mentor Training Expectations in Training Programs

The Parent T32 NOFO will incorporate new language outlining expectations for mentor training and oversight into the program considerations, application instructions, and review criteria.

Programs should consider the following, in addition to other evidence-informed curricula, as potential mentor training components and are encouraged to adapt to program and trainee needs:

  • Aligning expectations
  • Maintaining effective communication
  • Fostering independence
  • Assessing scholars’ understanding of scientific research
  • Enhancing professional development
  • Addressing equity and inclusion
  • Articulating your mentoring philosophy and plan

Reviewers will assess the mentor training expectations included in the application.

Updates to Data Tables

Institutional Training data tables will be updated to reduce burden, focus on trainee outcomes, and promote consistent information collection across training programs. For example:

  • Tables 1 and 2: Applicants will be expected to provide data only for the training stage(s) reflected in the proposed program.
  • Table 5 (Publications of Those in Training) will be reorganized so that the first column is the trainee (instead of the faculty member), and applicants will be allowed to include interim research products to which the trainee contributed.
  • Table 6 (Applicants, Entrants, and their Characteristics for the Past Five Years) will no longer ask for trainee characteristics related to prior academic and research experience.
  • Table 8 (Program Outcomes: Predoctoral and Postdoctoral) will no longer include Part II “Those Clearly Associated with the Training Grant.”

Peer Review Updates

Institutional training awards will retain the five scored review criteria.  For example, for Training Grants (Ts), reviewers will continue to score Training Program and Environment, Training Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s), Preceptors/Mentors, Trainees, and Training Record when determining the overall impact score.   

NIH will now include “Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research” and “Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity” as items that contribute to the overall impact score.  These items will move from “Additional Review Considerations” and will be included as “Additional Review Criteria.”  As such reviewers will evaluate the “Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research” and the “Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity” while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score.

Notices, Reports, and Blogs



  • Open Mike Announcing updates to NIH Institutional Training Grant applications and required data tables – May 16, 2024

Training, Resources, and FAQs

Webinars and Videos

Learn more about the application and peer review updates for institutional training grants and have the opportunity to have your questions answered at our live events.

Updates to NIH Training Grant ApplicationsJune 5, 2024Resources Available

Slide Decks

Slide decks for use in public presentations.

TitleDateFile Type
Drop-In Slides – Updates to NIH Institutional Training Grant ApplicationsMay 29, 2024PowerPoint


Public FAQs

Answers to some of your most frequent questions

Contact Information

For those with questions, please direct all inquiries to: