Understand NIH grant numbers. What does 3R01CA12345-5S1A1 mean?

A NIH grant number is a unique identifier for the grant.

Using 3R01CA12345-5S1A1 as an example.

It is composed of the following parts:

  • Type Code – 3
  • Activity Code – R01
  • Institute Code (Administrating Organization) – CA
  • Serial Number – 12345
  • Support Year – 5
  • Suffix Code – S1A1

What does this mean?

The above example shows the parts of an ID number assigned to an amendment (A1) to a supplemental (Type 3) application for a traditional research project (R01) referred to the National Cancer Institute (CA). The number further identifies the application serially as the 12345st new proposal submitted to the NCI, and indicates that this is the first supplemental application (S1) to the fourth year (-05) of support to this project.

  • Type Code. The Type code indicates whether the application is new, a renewal, a noncompeting applications, or other type.

1: New
2: Competing Continuation
3: Supplement
4: Extension
5: Noncompeting Continuation
6: Change of Grantee or Training Institution
7: Change of Grantee or Training Institution
8: Change of Institute or Division – Noncompeting continuation (Type 5)
9: Change of Institute or Division – Competing continuation (Type 2)

  • Activity Code. The Activity code lists the type of grant that has been applied for.

The following groupings represent the main types of grant funding NIH provide:

      • Research Grants (R series), e.g. R01
      • Career Development Awards (K series), e.g. K22
      • Research Training and Fellowships (T & F series), e.g. T32, F31
      • Program Project/Center Grants (P series), e.g. P01
  • Institute Code (Administrating Organization). The Institute code (also known as the IC or Institute/Center code) is a two-letter code for the name of the NIH Institute or Center.

For a complete list of all the codes: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/acronym_list.htm#ao_two

  • Serial Number. The serial number is a unique five or six digit number that identifies the specific application and is assigned by the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR).
  • Support Year. The Support Year indicates the current year of support (for example, 01 is a new grant).
  • Suffix Code. The Suffix Code (optional) is a code used for supplements (S), amendments (A), or fellowship institutional allowances (X).

Sources: http://era.nih.gov/commons/commons-help/198.htm, NIH Numbering

Types of Sponsored Research Agreements

Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) can take many different forms and are called different names. 

There are four basic types of SRAs:

  1. Grants/co-op agreements
  2. Contracts
  3. Subawards and subcontracts
  4. Industry sponsored clinical trial/basic science agreements.

In terms of grants and co-op agreements, the sponsored research agreements are called the Notice of Award (NOA) or NGA (Notice of Grant Award – NOGA). 

In conducting research, there are also other related agreements such as

  • Non-Disclosure Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements (NDA)
  • Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)
  • Data Sharing Agreement


Keep Up With Grants Administration Changes With Our New Timeline | NIH Extramural Nexus

Keep Up With Grants Administration Changes With Our New Timeline | NIH Extramural Nexus.

Nice map – timeline from NIH about upcoming changes.

Next big change is

August 1, 2014

New Inclusion Reporting Requirements for Non-competing Progress Reports

NIH is transitioning to a new format for reporting sex/gender, race, and ethnicity information in non-competing progress reports for awards with start dates on/after October 1, 2014 (i.e., RPPR due dates on or after August15, 2014 for SNAP and August 1, 2014 for non-SNAP and Fellowship). (NOT-OD-14-085))