FOA or NOFO – It’s All About Funding


What’s in a name? A funding opportunity announcement (FOA) by any other name would sound as sweet.

NIH advertises available grant support through funding opportunities that provide information on the award, who is eligible to apply, the evaluation criteria for selection of an awardee, required components of an application, and how to submit an application.

In an effort to standardize terminology across the government, NIH is joining other federal agencies in using the term notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) rather than funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). You will see both terms in use while we work to update our websites and resources.

Avoid FOMO (fear of missing out) and apply to a NOFO today! NIH funding opportunities can be found on and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.


  1. What are they thinking?????? NOFO sounds like “NOGO” – does not seem to be supportive of funding. Stick with the known entity FOA

    1. I have to agree. Sounds more like: NO Funding Opportunity (which is so often the case), reminiscent of the Chevy Nova (“No Go” in Spanish), or the happily short-lived “ICA” for USIS (US Information Service)–which in other languages sounds like the CIA, just as other countries think it is. What is this, truth in advertising?

  2. This is great news! I believe having consistency in the federal funding guideline structure will aid in the proposal reviews. Once you are familiar with the structure of the NOFO document, you will be able to find information more quickly.

  3. Is NOFO generic or specifically for funding opportunities for which a separate allotment of funds has been created? Maybe the opposite – specifically when no additional funds have been allotted.

    1. Notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) is a general term. Requests for applications (RFAs) and program announcements with set-aside funds (PASs) are specific types of NOFOs that have set-aside funding. Parent announcements and other program announcements (PAs, PARs) also fall within the general NOFO term and all compete for the same general funding (i.e., no set-aside). For more details, please refer to

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