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COVID-19 Funding and Funding Opportunities

As you can imagine, NIH is devoting significant resources to COVID-19. In addition to dedicating regularly appropriated funds, to date NIH has received emergency funding for COVID-19-related activities in two supplemental bills (available from the NIH Office of Budget website), that together provide:

  • $1.532 billion for NIAID
  • $103.4 million for NHLBI
  • $60 million for NIBIB
  • $36 million for NCATS
  • $30 million for the NIH Office of Director
  • $10 million for NIEHS
  • $10 million for NLM

To get funding as quickly as possible to the research community, we are using Urgent and Emergency competing revisions and administrative supplements to existing grant awards.  This approach allows us to leverage resident expertise, getting additional funding to those researchers who are already working with other organisms, models, or tools so that they can quickly shift focus to the novel coronavirus. These Urgent and Emergency competitive revision Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) allow NIH to fund applications quickly, often in under three months, sometimes much quicker than that, because evaluation for scientific and technical merit is done by an internal review panel convened by staff of the NIH awarding institute or center rather than by our traditional peer review process.

The Urgent and Emergency competing revision FOAs sound very similar. And they are, but there is an important distinction.

  • The Emergency Competitive Revision FOA can only be used for funding available for applications based on a presidentially declared disaster under the Stafford Act, a public health emergency declared by the Secretary, HHS, or other local, regional or national disaster.  This means that for COVID-19 funding, it can only be used by those NIH Institutes and Centers I listed above that received special emergency funding.
  • The Urgent Competitive Revision FOA can be used to meet immediate needs to help address a specific public health crisis in a timely manner. This vehicle is used to help address a specific public health crisis that was unforeseen when the application or progress report was submitted.

When responding to these types of funding opportunities, it is important that you understand how they work.

  • They require applications to be submitted in response to an Emergency or Urgent Notice of Special Interest (NOSI).  We are maintaining a list of COVID-19 specific Notices of Special Interest on our Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding website.
  • You need to read the instructions in the NOSI and in the FOA it points to carefully. If the instructions in the NOSI differ from those in the FOA, follow those in the NOSI.
  • There are specific review criteria specified in the FOA. Make sure you address those as well as any that might be mentioned in the NOSI. They are how NIH staff will evaluate your application for funding.
  • The NOSI will instruct you to include the NOSI number in the Agency Routing Identifier field (Box 4b) of the SF424 (R&R) Form. This information is very important for NIH tracking of spending of emergency award funding. Applications without this information in Box 4b may not be considered for this type of funding.
  • Often the due dates are rolling, meaning you should submit the application as soon as it is ready to get it considered for funding as quickly as possible.

NIH is issuing new COVID-19 related NOSIs frequently. Please check back for these and other COVID-19-related information on our Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding website.

You can learn more about NOSI’s in this quick 5 minute video.

Screenshot of YouTube video on NOSIs


32 thoughts on “COVID-19 Funding and Funding Opportunities

  1. Can you share who would be eligible for this opportunity from the “◾$30 million for the NIH Office of Director” and how to access the program announcement?

    • The $30 million appropriated to the NIH Office of the Director will be used to support programs within the NIH Common Fund to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally. Please regularly check our website on COVID-19 resources, which is continually updated.

  2. My understanding after reading these is that the applications must be submitted by an existing PI of specific types of awards. Yes?

    • NIH continues to develop and issue Funding Opportunity Announcements and NOSIs related to COVID-19 for both supplements and new awards for applicants not already receiving NIH funds. In addition to publication in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts, the NIH Office of Extramural Research will update its COVID-19 page regularly to show active announcements available related to COVID-19 research.

  3. Is it possible that we can get a full database file of the current grants you are providing? We are trying to make a website to collect all the helpful information for researchers. Thank you!

    • We do not at this time have a live feed of the COVID-19 FOAs, but you can use the “save your search” capability within the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts to search by keyword to be alerted to new FOAs and notices that mention COVID-19. You will be asked to provide your email and how frequently you want to be updated when new items are posted that match your search criteria (it can be as frequently as daily).

  4. Regarding this opportunity, should we apply for one of funding opportunity announcements (FOAs), or can we submit investigator-initiated application (on topic related to COVID-19 response) through Parent announcements.

  5. Can you explain the decision to not allow grants that are in a No Cost Extension to apply for supplemental funds to address the COVID-19 pandemic. If the grant is in a NCE and the project could be finished in 1 year would this not be a good opportunity to leverage the talents and resources of investigators who just might happen to have an NCE? Some of us may have resources (e.g, already collected genetic variants with ongoing rapport with participants that would enable interviews and antibody sampling) directly relevant to COVID-19. Such research could aid in identifying which individuals are at greater risk and in need of being sheltered while others may be able to return to employment. Unfortunately, we are closed out of this opportunity.

    • At their discretion, NIH institutes and centers (ICs) may fund competitive revisions to parent awards funded by another IC. Applicants should apply to a NOSI from an IC that is within the scientific mission of the application proposal even if the parent award is not funded by that IC. Before submitting, applicants should first contact the relevant program official of the IC that would support the supplement (see Matchmaker to find a PO) to ensure the scientific scope is appropriate. ICs that choose not to fund competitive revisions to parent awards funded by another IC will include a statement in the NOSI that applications will only be accepted when the parent award is funded by the IC issuing the NOSI.

  6. in this situation NH or every other organization must focus on medication and every otherthings about cure and kill coronavirus, and focus on people to live better.

  7. I am trying to identify a mechanism for urgent funding to conduct case-series on patients admitted to our university hospital with COVID-19. I am collaborating with the clinical side.
    I am an early investigator and thus do not have R01. Would you mind helping me identify the appropriate mechanism to target?

    • We suggest talking to an NIH program official (PO) working in your area of research. To identify an appropriate PO, you can either identify a staff contact on a specific funding opportunity, or you can try using the Matchmaker tool, available on NIH RePORTER. Paste or type any text in the Matchmaker form field, such as keywords or a scientific abstract. Then, choose the new “Similar Program Officials” button at the bottom of the Matchmaker form.

      Matchmaker will return graphs of relevant NIH institutes or centers and activity codes. Below the graphs, you’ll see a table of POs ranked by the number of relevant projects in their portfolios. Click the number in the Projects column to see the list of awards. Take a look at the abstracts of the linked projects and then direct your question to the PO whose projects most closely match your interests.

  8. Emergency Awards: Rapid Investigation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

    For the above grant please clarify the For-Profit Organizations
    Small Businesses
    For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

    We are a CRO ( for profit) in India. Are we eligible to apply?
    Thank you

  9. Hi! If a PI only has one active award, can s/he submit multiple competitive revisions, responding to different NOSIs? Is there any limitations on how many competitive revisions one active award can have?

    • Yes, you can submit multiple competitive revisions. The limitation is that any awards that are made cannot overlap in scope.

    • In general, foreign institutions and international organizations, including public or private non-profit or for-profit organizations, are eligible to apply for research project grants. Foreign applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Eligibility section of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to determine whether they are eligible to respond to that particular FOA.

    • Many NIH funding opportunities support foreign institutions and investigators. You may find a funding opportunity in which NHLBI is listed as a participating organization. Part 2, Section III of each funding opportunity announcement provides details of institutional and individual eligibility. Individuals should work through their institution to apply, as NIH gives grant awards to institutions.

    • Many NIH funding opportunities support foreign institutions and investigators. Part 2, Section III of each funding opportunity announcement provides details of institutional and individual eligibility. Individuals should work through their institution to apply, as NIH gives grant awards to institutions.

  10. Dear Sir / Madam

    We are a medical group in South Africa.
    Last week I received our approval to use certain restricted drugs to prevent and treat Covid-19 patients ie. dexamethasone.
    We are starting officially next week and I have had excellent results to date.
    We are resource and funding challenged.
    The data from the thousands of patients we shall see can be a huge opportunity
    to expand our knowledge in understanding the disease better.

    Please advise us how we may access urgent funding for various aspects of this effort.

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