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Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) (R15)

NIH has established the Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15) to stimulate research at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate training for a significant number of the nation's research scientists but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. The award provides funding for small-scale, new or ongoing health-related research projects, including pilot research projects and feasibility studies; development, testing and refinement of research techniques; secondary analysis of available data sets; and similar discrete research projects that demonstrate research capability. NIGMS offers these awards for research in all scientific areas related to its mission.

A prospective applicant who wishes to know if his or her institution is eligible for the AREA Program should check the list of institutions that are eligible and ineligible for AREA grants on the NIH Web site.

Applicants may request support for up to a total of $300,000 in direct costs (plus applicable indirect costs) for a period of up to 3 years.

An applicant investigator must not be the principal investigator of any active NIH research grant (including an AREA grant) at the time an AREA grant award is made. Also, a principal investigator may not submit an application to NIH for a research project grant for essentially the same project proposed in a pending AREA application. Principal investigators are expected to conduct the majority of their research at their own institutions, although limited access to special facilities or equipment at another institution is permitted. Principal investigators may not be awarded more than one AREA grant at a time.

For further information, see the AREA Web site at or the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, April 18, 2016 (PA-16-200), or call Dr. Alexandra Ainsztein at 301-594-0828.​

This page last reviewed on April 03, 2017