NIH Proposal Development Resources

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a mission to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. Pitt Researchers can access more information about the NIH through OSP's About External Funders page. Below is a collection of NIH-specific proposal resources. 

 NIH-Specific Advice & Tips 

NIH How to Apply - Application Guide

The NIH Grants & Funding website hosts various guides on submitting proposals to the NIH, CDC, FDA, and Agency for Healthcare Research Quality. Many helpful resources are available on this site, with a few highlighted below: 

How to Apply Video Tutorials

The NIH Grants & Funding website features a How to Apply video tutorial series on applications. 

NIH All About Grants Podcast

The NIH's Office of Extramural Research (OER) hosts a podcast that interviews staff about various NIH funding topics. The series is aimed at investigators, students, fellows, research administrators, and others interested in the application and award process. Episodes range from 10-20 minutes in length. 

NIH-Related Outlines, Templates, and Other Documents 

NIAID Samples

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provides Sample Applications for a variety of grants, including Research Grants, Career Grants, Team Grants, and more. 

Find sample applications and summary statements below by type:

  • Research grants. R01, R03, R15, R21, and R21/R33
  • Small business grants. R41, R42, R43, and R44
  • Training and career awards. K01, K08, and F31
  • Extramural Associate Research Development Award. G11
  • Cooperative agreements. U01 

Find additional resources in the NIAID and NIH Sample Forms, Plans, Letters, Emails, and More section.

NIH Biosketch Instructions & Samples 

Samples of the format and content of an NIH Biosketch are available on the NIH Grants & Funding office website. 


Recorded NIH Resources & Webinars

Fundamentals of the NIH Grants Process & Need-to-Know Resources

Every successful journey starts with a good foundation. If you are new to working with NIH, this session will answer key questions. Where do I start? Where’s the funding? Where do I turn when I need help or advice? What opportunities are available and how can I find them? What’s the application process and how long does it take? We will walk you through the grants process and give you an overview of key resources and websites you will need to be successful.


Grant Writing for Success Webinar

Dr. Paula Strickland from the NIH will provide helpful tips and guidance on preparing an application an NIH grant. Learn how to avoid the most common mistakes in writing grant applications and correct some typical misconceptions about the grant review process.

How NIH Processes and Assigns Your Application

What happens to your application from the time you click “submit” until it appears in the study section for review? Take a walk with the Center for Scientific Review’s Division of Receipt and Referral (DRR) through the important steps in the process. Learn how DRR assigns your application to an NIH Institute/Center, and how it is routed to a study section for review. DRR will share a few tips and tricks to help you avoid some of the more common oversights and mistakes made by applicants.


Let's Look at Peer Review

What happens after your application has been submitted? How will it be evaluated? This session follows a typical application from submission through peer review to funding consideration, with key steps and important factors to note along the way. Understanding the NIH peer review is fundamental to a successful grant application. So, don’t miss this opportunity to know the score on peer review!

Navigating NIH Programs: An Overview

Find out which NIH funding mechanisms apply to you throughout your career. This talk covers many of the mechanisms that apply to Ph.D.s and M.D.s (or equivalent research and clinical doctoral degrees), from graduate/medical school through your early-stage faculty years.

NIH Peer Review: "Live" Mock Study Section

This video provides a brief look at what a peer review study section meeting might look and sound like as applications are discussed. Get a better idea of how the meeting is conducted and hear a sampling of common questions asked by reviewers and mistakes by applicants.


Rigor and Reproducibility: Back to the Basics

One of NIH’s goals is to exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science. The NIH initiative to Enhance Reproducibility through Rigor and Transparency clarifies a commitment to this goal. Attendees of this session will gain a better understanding of the updates to research grant and career development award application instructions and review language that includes increased attention to scientific premise, scientific rigor, consideration of biological variables, such as sex, and authentication of key resources, such as cell lines.


Understanding Career Development "K" Awards

NIH Career Development (K) awards provide research training opportunities for both research scientists and clinicians at various stages of their careers. NIH Grants Management & Program Officials will describe the various career award mechanisms and cover policies that apply to these awards. Developed for administrators, but investigators may also be interested.


Understanding NRSA Fellowships "F" and Training "T" Grants

What are the issues specific to grants awarded under the auspices of Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA), specifically Individual Fellowships and Institutional Training Grants? This session provides administrative and financial aspects of training grants and fellowships. 


Using RePORT to Understand Who and What NIH Funds

NIH makes an abundance of grant and funding data – including analyses of who and what we fund – available to the public through a resource called RePORT. Learn how to use this resource to find information to help target your application, find key contacts at NIH and in the grantee community, and more.


McAllister & Quinn Webinars about the NIH

The OSP Research Development team has partnered with McAllister & Quinn, a DC-based firm that consults on federal and private foundation grant opportunities for higher education clients, to provide informational webinars and recordings about the NIH. These recordings can be found on the Find Funding Workshops area of the OSP site. 

Health Sciences Library System Libguide: NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy

The National Institutes of Health's new Policy for Data Management and Sharing (DMS Policy), which goes into effect January 25, 2023, will require NIH-funded researchers to submit a plan outlining how scientific data from their research will be managed and shared within their funding application. The policy includes an expectation that researchers will maximize their data sharing within ethical, legal, or technical constraints, and explicitly encourages researchers to incorporate data sharing via deposit into a public repository into their standard research process.

To help University of Pittsburgh researchers comply with the new policy, HSLS Data Services has put together this page of guidance for the new policy along with best practices for data management and data sharing. Each section in this page is organized into three sections:

  • Learning content
  • Videos and slides for each topic
  • Related resources, including official notices and guidance from the NIH

In addition, this entire libguide can be downloaded as a PDF handout: NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy (Effective 2023): A Guide for Pitt Health Sciences Researchers.