Grant Starter Kit
This Grant Starter Kit contains templates and primer documents to help you write and assemble your grant. Please note that NIH is continually changing their policies. We will keep these documents as current as possible, but if you notice anything out of date, please let us know. This is an ever-evolving process so if you have recommendations and content to contribute, please email us.
Last update: October 4, 2019
How to access files
- To access files from the starter kit, click on the file of interest below. You may then need to log in with your @cumc.columbia.edu email address and password. (Do NOT use @adcu.columbia.edu or any other logins).
- After logging into Office 365, the file should open in a new browser window. You cannot edit the file within the browser, but you can copy/paste desired text into your own document. Alternatively, you can click on the "Edit in..." link (shown below) to load the whole file into Office on your computer.
- If you are a Columbia affiliate but do not have an @cumc.columbia.edu address, or have other issues accessing these files, please email us for assistance.
- NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts: NIH's official publication of notices of grant policies, guidelines and funding opportunity announcements (FOAs)
- NIH Parent Announcements (PA) for unsolicited investigator-initiated applications. Choose the mechanism and PA that best suits your application.
- Comparison of Funding Opportunity Types by Clinical Trial Allowability: Determine to which type of PA you should apply: No Clincial Trial Allowed, Clinical Trial Required, Basic Experiments with Human Subjects
- Pivot: Searchable funding database for governmental and foundation awards
- NIH Application SF424 Guide (Form E): Official instructions for preparing a NIH grant. For applications with due dates on or after May 25, 2020, use NIH Applications SF424 Guide (Form F)
- NIH page limitations
- Font, margin, and other formatting guidelines for NIH grants
- NIH RePORTER: Look up abstracts from NIH funded grants
- 2019 NIH R01 Writing Guide: Step-by-step how to manual with examples from real applications (do not distribute outside of CUIMC).
- NIAID Apply for a grant guide: Samples, templates and hints from NIAID
- The Science of Scientific Writing article by George Gopen and Judith Swan
- NIH Grants Style Guide: Recommendations from our office on formatting, figures, citations and references
- NIH biosketch format and template
- NIH Biosketch FAQs
- Hints on crafting an effective Biosketch
- Science Experts Network Cirriculum Vitae (SciENcv): Tool to create biosketches for many agencies.
- NIH guidelines for rigor and reproducibility
- NIH Guidance: Rigor and Reproducibility in grant applications
- NIH FAQ for rigor and reproducibility
- Columbia ReaDI Program Reproducibility Resources
- Columbia University NIH Rigor and Reproducibility Presentation Slides and Webinars (info is in the beige box)
Note: Each item in the checklist contains a link to additional instructions/information to help you complete that section of the grant application.
- NIH R01 checklist FormE
- NIH R03/R21 checklist FormE
- NIH K checklist FormE (for Career Development Awards: K01/K08/K23/K99)
- NIH K checklist FormE for MOSAIC PAR
- NIH Fellowship checklist FormE
- NIH Center checklist FormE
- NIH T32 checklist FormE NIGMS
- NIH T32 checklist PA-18-403
- NIH DP2 checklist RFA-RM-19-006
- NSF Early Career Development Program NSF-17-537
For applications due after May 25th, 2020, use the Form F checklists below:
Below are helpful links, templates, and examples to aid you when completeing NIH attachments. While directions from the SF424 are embedded in the templates, please refer to the FOA for specific requirements that may superceed the generic instructions.
- Letter of Intent template
- Sample Cover Letters
- Facilities and Other Resources attachment
- Facilities and Resources template for individual PIs
- VP&S Research's Facilities and Resources Bank may also contain information you can include.
- Vertebrate Animal Section attachment
- Select Agent Research attachment
- MPI (Multiple PD/PI) Leadership Plan attachment
- Resource Sharing Plan attachment
- Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources attachment
- Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources FAQs
- Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources blog post
- NIH NOT-OD-17-068 on Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources
- Reproducibility Resources and Guidelines by Topic from the Columbia ReaDI Program
- Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources template
- Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources examples
- Budget justification attachment
- Budget justification - modular (personnel justification) template
- Budget justification - modular (consortium justification) template
- Budget justification - modular (additional narrative justification) template
- Budget justification - non-modular template
- Budget justification - non-modular MPI template
- Budget justification - K (career development) award template
According to NIH, “clinical research includes all research involving human participants. It does not include secondary studies using existing biological specimens or data collected without identifiers or data that are publicly available. Clinical trials are clinical research studies involving human participants assigned to an intervention in which the study is designed to evaluate the effect(s) of the intervention on the participant and the effect being evaluated is a health-related or behavioral outcome.”
- Am I doing humans subjects research? questionnaire
- Flow chart to determine if research involving private information or biological specimens qualifies as human subjects research
- Link to determine whether your research is considered exempt humans subjects research
- Justification for why proposed research is not human subjects template
- Link to determine whether a proposed study is a clinical trial
- Comparison of Funding Opportunity Types by Clinical Trial Allowability
If you are proposing human subjects research or a clinical trial in your proposal, then you will need to fill out the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials form (Adobe pdf file below). PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials form instructions may be found here.
- PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials blank form
Note: This pdf file only opens in Adobe so to view and edit, download and then open in Adobe. Fill out the fields in this from and give to your grants manager to upload. If you attach your pdf attachments to the form, everything can be uploaded into the NIH Assist system.
Below are blank templates for the HS attachments associated with the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials form with NIH instructions. Please note that depending on your research, you may not have to include all attachments. Please consult the FOA for additional instructions. For applications due on or after May 25, 2020, use the Form F template. If there is no Form F template, the Form E template remains valid.
- HS 2.3a Inclusion of Individuals Across the Lifespan – Form F template
- HS 2.4 Inclusion of Women Minorities and Across the Lifespan – Form E template
- HS 2.4 Inclusion of Women and Minorities – Form F template
- HS 2.5 Recruitment and Retention – Form E template; (Form F)
- HS 2.7 Study Timeline – Form E template; (Form F)
- HS 3.1 Protection of Human Subjects – Form E template; (Form F)
- 3.2 Single IRB - Please contact the Columbia University Human Research Proction Office for sIRB template language
- HS 3.3 Data Safety and Monitoring Plan – Form E template; (Form F) Required for clinical trial, optional for all other human subjects studies.
- HS 3.5 Overall Structure of Study Team – Form E template; (Form F) Required for clinical trial, optional for all other human subjects studies.
- HS 4.4 Statistical Design and Power – Form E template; (Form F) Required for clinical trial.
- HS 4.6 Availability of IP, IND, IDE status -- Form E template Required for clinical trial.
- HS 4.7 Dissemination Plan – Form E template; (Form F) Required for clinical trial.
Below are redacted examples of PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Form E documents (updated January 17, 2019).
- 2.4 Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Across the Lifespan - Form E Redacted example 1
- 2.4 Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Across the Lifespan - Form E Redacted example 2
- 2.5 Recruitment and Retention Plan - Form E Redacted
- 2.7 Study Timeline - Form E Redacted
- 3.1 Protection of Human Subjects - Form E Redacted example 1
- 3.1 Protection of Human Subjects - Form E Redacted example 2
- 3.2 Single IRB - Form E Redacted
- 3.3 Data and Safety Monitoring Plan - Form E Redacted
- 3.5 Overall Structure of the Study Team - Form E Redacted
- 4.6 Availability of IP, IND, IDE status - Form E Redacted
- 4.7 Dissemination Plan - Form E Redacted
Useful for either K or F awards:
- Cover Letter
- NIH Reference Letters
- NIH Reference Letter Directions: Information regarding what to send your referees, what to include, formatting etc.
- HHMI/BWF Guide to Writing a Letter of Recommendation
- Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
- Compiled Training-related or Career Development Resoruces for the Facilities and Other Resources Attachment (choose what pertains to you)
Note: Please see the templates, examples, and resources for NIH Research Grants section above regarding additional attachments.
Specific to K awards:
- NIH K checklist FormE (for Career Development Awards: K01/K08/K23/K99) / (Form F)
- Institutional Commitment
- Institutional Environment – P&S example
- Menor Statement Example Letters
- Budget justification – K (career development) awards
- Candidate Section Outlines
Specific to F awards:
The Office for Research can help you find previously funded grants from unusual NIH mechanisms. Please email the Office for Research for more information. In addition, NIH has sample grants to help researchers prepare their R01s:
- Overview of NIH Peer Review
- Understanding the review process from NIAID
- List of NIH Regular Standing Study Sections: Choose a study section that aligns with your research.
- Videos on NIH CSR Peer Review
- NIH success rates by institute and mechanism: Percentage of reviewed grants that receive funding.