NIH-specific Quick Tips
Proposals with budgets over $500,000 in direct costs in any year require approval from the funding agency at least six weeks before the submission deadline.
Title of the proposal: maximum 200 characters including spaces and punctuation.
PDF files names: maximum 50 characters including spaces and punctuation (do not use ampersands).
- 11 points or larger; fonts in tables and graphs may be smaller, however, make sure that the font can be read easily
- Type Density: no more than 15 characters per inch. Use a ruler to measure if you're not certain
- Line Density: no more than six lines per vertical inch. Use a ruler to measure if you're not certain
- Text Color: Black; color is okay in figures, graphs, charts, tables
- Recommended fonts: Arial, Garamond, Georgia, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, Times New Roman, Verdana
Margins: 1/2 inch on all sides.
Project Summary/Abstract: maximum 30 lines
Project Narrative (aka Public Health Relevance Statement): Two-three sentences using non-scientific jargon or language.
- Maximum five pages
- Including a link to full list publications is optional. If provided, only *.gov sites such as MyBibliography are allowed, must include the entire URL
- No other hyperlinks permitted, nor are embedded hyperlinks permitted
- Tables, figures and graphs are not allowed
- Maximum four publications or research products under the personal statement and each contribution to science
- Maximum of five contributions to science, recommended no longer than one half page each including the citations
Research Plans - Page limits
R03: one page specific aims, 6 pages research strategy
R21: one page specific aims, 6 pages research strategy
R34: one page specific aims, 12 pages research strategy
R01: one page specific aims, 12 pages research strategy
Resource Sharing Plan: Generally always required for proposals over $500,000 in a budget year, but check the FOA since some FOAs with budgets under $500,000 require a resource sharing plan.
Letters of support: required for all consultants.
Appendix materials are generally not permitted, except:
- When specified in the FOA as required materials.
- Blank informed consent/assent forms.
- In clinical trial applications: clinical trial protocols, and investigator's brochure from investigational new drug (IND).
Use Bibliographic Software for References