What Should I Include in the Project Narrative Section of the Grant Application?


The Project Narrative is the section of the grant application where the applicant should talk about the relevance of the proposed research project to public health. The information should be:

  • succinct (no more than 2-3 sentences long)
  • in plain language understandable by a general, lay audience

The Project Narrative is made public for all awarded grants in RePORTER, appearing at the end of the project abstract.



  1. I liked it better when the section that described the relevance to public health was called “Public Health Relevance.” 🙂 2-3 sentences isn’t a Narrative–it’s a tweet.

    1. We liked the old label for that field as well. The change is the result of moving to application forms that are used across Federal agencies.

    1. At NIH, the project narrative section is used to succinctly communicate the public health relevance of the project to the general public. The applicant has the full research plan to provide details of the significance and impact of the project to NIH and to the peer reviewers who will be evaluating the scientific merit of the application.

      Both the project narrative and the full abstract are made available to the public in NIH’s online database of awarded grants, RePORTER, as are other essential pieces of information such as related publications and press releases. Given the wealth of information we make available on our awarded grants, the public health relevance statement helps provide the public with a concise explanation of why the project is important.

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