NIGMS Funding Policies

The goal of NIGMS funding policies is to maximize investments in investigator-initiated biomedical research to drive fundamental scientific discoveries that advance understanding of human health and disease. To address this goal, the Institute strives to support a broad and diverse portfolio of highly meritorious research in its mission areas.

To be funded, a grant must have high scientific and technical merit, as determined by peer review. However, in deciding to fund any grant, NIGMS staff also considers other factors, including the breadth and diversity of the Institute’s research portfolio, approaches and investigators; the total amount of funding available to the laboratory; and the priority of the research area for the Institute’s mission.

Because these factors are taken into account, NIGMS does not have a “payline” or strict cutoff in scores that it will fund.

It is important to understand that even applications with outstanding scores might not be funded if the investigator already has substantial other support. In general, because NIGMS prioritizes funding for meritorious investigators who otherwise would not have support over providing additional grants to already well-funded investigators, the Institute is unlikely to award more than two NIGMS R01s to a PI. Both NIGMS staff and the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council look carefully at such situations. In addition, NIGMS has policies that address laboratories with total direct support in excess of $750,000 in any year and investigators with substantial unrestricted research support. Specific policies related to funding are listed below.

In calculating budgets for grants, NIGMS staff consider each budget carefully and take into account the science being conducted, the other support for the PI’s lab, the Institute’s budget, and other factors. PIs should not assume that they will be awarded the study section-recommended amount.

Applicants are encouraged to contact NIGMS program staff with questions.

NIGMS Policy on Support of Research in Well-Funded Laboratories

NIGMS Funding for Investigators with Substantial Unrestricted Research Support

NIGMS Interim Support Policy

NIGMS Support for New Investigators

Research Grant Duration Policy

Research Grant Mechanisms

Maximizing Investigators’ Research Awards (MIRA)

Support for Scientific Meetings

Success Rate, Percentile Ranks and Grant Budgets: Fr​equently Asked Questions