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Funding Opportunities for NIH Intramural Fellows

Please note that this page is specifically written for NIH intramural trainees (trainees doing research on NIH campuses). If you are an extramural postdoc please see to explore NIH fellowships that may be right for you.

Note #2: the information on non-NIH Funding Opportunities was updated 3/31/2020.

Funding opportunities are available for NIH trainees, both from the NIH and from external funders. Here we explain both and provide a resource to help you find potential funders for your work.  Perhaps the most important piece of information we can share is this: DO NOT begin writing without first contacting the program director responsible for the grant you are considering and determining that your proposed application would be consistent with program goals.

NIH Fellowships for Trainees
Non-NIH Funding Opportunities
Opportunities for Visiting Fellows
Additional Opportunities
Grant Writing Resources

NIH Fellowships for which intramural trainees are eligible to apply

NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) Program

PRAT is a fellowship specifically for NIH intramural fellows. This 3 year program providing outstanding laboratory experiences, access to NIH's extensive resources, mentorship, career development activities and networking. The program places special emphasis on training fellows in all areas supported by NIGMS, including cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, computational biology, immunology, neuroscience, technology development and bioinformatics. Studies employing model organisms are encouraged. The PRAT fellowship includes professional development activities tailored to the PRAT fellows, such as a monthly seminar series featuring presentations by current PRAT fellows and outside speakers whom the fellows have invited. Additional training sessions focus on grant-writing, career planning, oral presentations, and leadership skills. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

K99/R00-Pathways to Independence Award

This fellowship is intended to provide support both for several years of postdoctoral work (K99) and for the first few years of the applicant's first faculty position (R00). NIH intramural fellows have been quite successful writing for these awards. Contact your training director about success rates in your institute.

U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply. K99 applicants must (1) have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of submission, either the initial or subsequent resubmission, and (2) must be in mentored, postdoctoral training positions. Grants can be funded up to 5 years of combined K99 and R00 support.  Applications are accepted three times per year. For more info:

K22- Career Transition Award

This award is very much like the K99/R00 award. Typically, only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply (although there are caveats, please check each institute's eligibility).  Also, individual ICs use the program in different ways and have different requirements.

Please read the information carefully. AIDS Research Fellowship Program

Intramural AIDS Research Fellowship (IARF) Program

This collaborative effort of the Office of AIDS Research, the Office of Intramural Training & Education, and the Office of Intramural Research, is designed to further cross disciplinary research into HIV and AIDS at the NIH. The aim of the program is to recruit graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from all scientific disciplines to the broad field of AIDS research and to provide a funding opportunity for intramural fellows whose work can be directly related to HIV and AIDS.

Non-NIH Funding Opportunities

Many organizations will fund research for intramural fellows. We have compiled a list below of those we know will accept (and will not accept) applications from NIH trainees. However, in each case you should read the eligibility criteria carefully; funders can change their requirements. If you have any questions, reach out to both the program director AND the training director or scientific director of your Institute to confirm both that you are eligible to apply AND that you will be allowed to accept the funding.

If a particular funder is not on this list, how would you know if they would accept an application from an NIH trainee?

1. Look carefully at eligibility criteria in the fellowship announcement.

  • Does it the announcement mention USA Federal Labs? If not, call the funding organization and ask if you are eligible.
  • What about citizenship? Who can apply?
  • Are there stipulations about the time that has elapsed since receipt of the terminal degree?

2. Next, look at the intellectual property agreement

Differences in intellectual property policies between the NIH and the funding organization may prevent the distribution of an award to a NIH intramural fellow who is eligible to apply.  The issue is: who owns a discovery, the NIH or the funding agency. Some funders in the list below are tagged as "maybes" because it is not clear that their IP policies would be acceptable to the NIH.  You must determine whether IP policies are compatible BEFORE you decide to apply. Connect with your training director or the technology transfer office in your NIH institute to discuss IP issues.

3. How is external funding handled at the NIH?

The mechanisms of distribution of external funding can be unique to an Institute.  It is your responsibility to contact the appropriate IC personnel and departments to facilitate the process of award distribution. For help, contact your IC's training director.

Vetted List of Funding Opportunities for NIH Intramural Fellows Icon NEW

Vetted List in PDF format (508 compliant) Icon NEW

Opportunities for Visiting Fellows

Visiting Fellows at the NIH may be able to obtain funding through unique partnerships with their home countries. Please explore these international career transition awards here:

Additionally the NIH Fogarty International Center maintains a list of Non-NIH Funding Opportunities that includes a variety of international grants and fellowships in biomedical and behavioral research.

European Starter Grants:

Additional Opportunities

Adapted from lists all current discretionary funding opportunities from 26 agencies of the United States government, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and many others.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research
NIH funds research to enhance human health and prevent or treat disease.

The National Science Foundation (NSF)
An independent federal agency, the U.S. National Science Foundation funds research in non-biomedical areas from economics to polar biology.

GrantForward External Link
This subscription-based resource is hosted and managed by Cazoodle, Inc. The NIH is an institutional member.

SPIN External Link
Run by InfoEd International, SPIN (the Sponsored Programs Information Network) claims to be the most widely used funding opportunity database in the world. An institutional subscription is required for access.NIH does not have a subscrition at this time.

Pivot External Link
Pivot claims to be the "largest, most comprehensive database of available funding," with 700 member institutions.

Research Professional External Link
Based in London, Research Professional provides an international option for people seeking research-funding programs. A paid subscription is required for access. The NIH does not have a subscription.

Grant writing Resources

The OITE offers various workshops to help you understand how to write a fellowship or grant. Topics include understanding the grant writing process, strategies for writing the grant, writing specific aims, understanding the peer review process.  A comprehensive, six-hour long videocast is available at:

Additionally, many institutes and centers offer trainings for their intramural fellows. Check with your Training Director.

If you have any questions, please contact the OITE or your Training Director.

Updated December 2017