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Developing Your AREA Application

In addition to the steps you would take to prepare any NIH research grant application, you should consider the following tips when developing and preparing your AREA grant application.

  • Find the NIH institute or center (IC) that supports your area of research via the NIH AREA Grant Research Objectives website.
  • Contact the AREA representative from relevant ICs to inquire about their interest in supporting your research project, as well as the IC's funding plans for the AREA program for the fiscal year in which you will be applying.
  • Be aware of the unique application submission requirements and review criteria for AREA grants that allow reviewers to assess how each application addresses the goals of the AREA program.
  • Remember that this is a research award, not a training or fellowship award. The application should include plans to expose students to hands-on research but it should not include didactic or training plans.
  • Request your entire budget in the first year of the award. Because AREA grants are multi-year funded (MYF) awards, the entire budget, for all years of the award, must be requested in the first budget year. If the direct costs for all years of the award are $250,000 or less, you should complete the PHS398 Modular Budget form. If the direct costs for all years of the award are over $250,000, you should complete the Research and Related Budget form.
  • For more information, please see the "R&R or Modular Budget Component" section of the AREA program announcement and Budget.

Submit Your Application

Use the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (Version D), and the Annotated SF424 (R&R) Form Set (FORMS-D) for step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application. Be mindful that the electronic submission process is multi-step, and can take six to eight weeks to complete the five registrations required prior to submission.

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