2 A B C D E F G H I K M N O P R S T U X


National Institutes of Health - A Federal agency whose mission is to improve the health of the people of the United States. NIH is a part of the Public Health Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


No-Cost Extension

An extension of time to a project period and/or budget period to complete the work of the grant under that period, without additional Federal funds or competition. See NIH Standard Terms of Award and Prior Approval Requirements.


Notices posted in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts that succinctly highlight a specific topic of interest, for example a specific area of research or program. These notices direct applicants to one or more active funding opportunity announcements (often parent announcements) for submission of applications for the initiative described. Many program announcements will be issued as Notices of Special Interest going forward.

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

A publicly available document by which a Federal Agency makes known its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. Notices of funding opportunity may be known as funding opportunity announcements, program announcements, requests for applications, notices of funding availability, solicitations, or other names depending on the Agency and type of program. Notices of funding opportunity can be found at and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.



Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare - NIH office overseeing compliance with the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals


Office of Research Information Systems - Provides IT systems, data and reporting support for grants processing for NIH and other agencies (HHS Operating Divisions and the Veterans' Administration).


Parent Announcement

NIH-wide FOA enabling applicants to electronically submit investigator-initiated grant application for a specific activity code, e.g., Research Project Grant (Parent R01).

Learn more about types of funding opportunity announcements .

Peer Review

The process that involves the consistent application of standards and procedures that produce fair, equitable, and objective examinations of applications based on an evaluation of scientific or technical merit or other relevant aspects of the application. The review is performed by experts (Peer Reviewers) in the field of endeavor for which support is requested. Peer review is intended to provide guidance and recommendations to the NIH individuals responsible for making award decisions.

Planned Enrollment Report

The Planned Enrollment Report is used when you are planning to conduct a study that meets the NIH definition for clinical research. It provides a breakdown of the planned sample by sex/gender, race, and ethnicity.

Program Announcement

A PA is a formal statement about a new or ongoing extramural activity or program. It may serve as a reminder of continuing interest in a research area, describe modification in an activity or program, and/or invite applications for grant support. Most applications in response to PAs may be submitted to a standing submission date and are reviewed with all other applications received at that time using standard peer review processes. NIH may also make funds available through PARs (PAs with special receipt, referral, and/or review considerations) and PASs (PAs with set-aside funds).

PAs may be used for any support mechanism other than construction awards. Unless otherwise specified in the PA, new applications (and associated renewal and revision applications) submitted in response to PAs are treated as investigator-initiated. PAs also are used to annually solicit applications for the SBIR and STTR programs. Those applications must be received by the dates specified in the PA.

Program Announcements (PA) are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Go to Program Announcements. Learn more about types of funding opportunity announcements.

Progress Report

Periodic, report submitted by the grantee and used by NIH to assess progress and, except for the final progress report of a project period, to determine whether to provide funding for the budget period subsequent to that covered by the report.

Public Access Policy

The NIH policy designed to ensure that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research.


Research and Development Contract

A funding mechanism by which the NIH procures specific services.

Research Portfolio

The cohort of grants supported by a given NIH organization.

Review Committee

The terms Study Section and Review Committee are normally used for continuing Scientific Review Groups in the Center for Scientific Review or NIH Institute, respectively. These are groups with members who have been appointed for multi-year terms of service; at any given meeting there are also usually a number of temporary members present to provide the expertise needed to review the applications.


Salary Cap

A legislatively-mandated provision limiting the direct salary for individuals working on NIH grants, cooperative agreement awards, and extramural research and development contracts.

Scored Review Criteria

For research grant applications, and most other types of applications, reviewers judge the overall impact to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, taking into account five criteria, among other pertinent factors: Significance, Investigator(s), Innovation, Approach, and Environment. These scored review criteria may not be applicable for some types of applications. When these criteria are not applicable, the FOA will include the specific review criteria. Reviewers will consider each of the five criteria in the determination of scientific and technical merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have a major scientific impact. See Peer Review Process/Scoring for additional information.

Significant Differences

For purposes of NIH policy, a "significant difference" is a difference that is of clinical or public health importance, based on substantial scientific data. This definition differs from the commonly used "statistically significant difference," which refers to the event that, for a given set of data, the statistical test for a difference between the effects in two groups achieves statistical significance. Statistical significance depends upon the amount of information in the data set. With a very large amount of information, one could find a statistically significant, but clinically small difference that is of very little clinical importance. Conversely, with less information one could find a large difference of potential importance that is not statistically significant.


Underrepresented Group

Group underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences, such as people with disabilities, people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups such as blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

Used as an eligibility requirement for diversity supplements, fellowships (F31), and other NIH programs.