NIEHS participates in the no-clinical trial versions of the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program (PAR-21-155) for undergraduate-focused institutions and the Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) (PAR-19-134) for health professional schools and graduate schools. AREA and REAP R15 grants are meant to stimulate research at institutions that do not receive a lot of NIH funding. To qualify for AREA, all the non-health professional components of the institution, together, cannot have received support from the NIH totaling more than $6 million per year in total costs in four of the last seven fiscal years. To qualify for REAP, all components of an institution (i.e., the entire institution) cannot have received support from the NIH totaling more than $6 million per year in total costs in four of the last seven fiscal years.
Goal of the R15
The goal of R15 grants is to support meritorious research that exposes students to research and strengthens the research environment of the institution.
R15 Principal Investigator Eligibility
- The PI must have a primary appointment at the R15-eligible institution.
- The PI may not be the PI of an active NIH research grant at the time of a R15 award, though he or she may be one of the Key Personnel for an active NIH grant held by another PD/PI.
- Instrumentation awards (S10), conference grants (R13), and institutional training grants (T32) are examples of grants that are not considered research grants.
- The PI may not be awarded more than one R15 grant at a time.
- Eligibility applies only to the PI and Multiple PIs, not to collaborators, consultants, or sub awardees.
- Project period is limited to 3 years.
- Direct costs are limited to $300,000 over the entire project period.
- R15 grants are multi-year funded awards. The entire budget, for all years of the award, must be requested in the first budget year. Do not complete budget periods 2 or 3. They are not required and will not be accepted with the application.
- NIH's Modular Budget Policy apply.
- Applicants submitting with direct costs of $250,000 or less (total for all years, excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs) must use the Modular Budget.
- Applicants submitting with direct costs of $250,001 - $300,000 (total for all years, excluding consortium Facilities and Administrative [F&A] costs) must use the Research and Related (R&R) Budget form.
- Awards can be renewed by competing for an additional project period.
- The application should propose a research team, including undergraduate and/or graduate students, that is appropriate to accomplish the specific aims and to make an important scientific contribution. Note: for AREA awards, most students conducting research through the award must be undergraduates.
- Applications must include a Provost letter that certifies the applicant institution satisfies the eligibility requirements.
Please consult the extensive frequently asked questions (FAQ) list for answers to questions about the R15 mechanism.
Standard R15 receipt dates are February 25, June 25, and October 25. AIDS and AIDS-related grant application due dates are May 7, September 7, and January 7.