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Grants and Funding: Extramural Programs (EP)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ Pages

Applying for a grant

Q: What application form do I use to apply for an NLM grant?

A: See NLM's grant deadlines page to learn which grant applications use the electronic SF424 or the paper PHS 398. Fellowships use the paper PHS 416. Forms and instructions for completing them are available for download at

Q: Will NLM review a draft of my project plan?

A: Time permitting, an NLM grant program officer will review an abstract, outline or concept paper, and give general advice about features of a successful application. Such review should be requested well in advance of the grant deadline. Each grant program description provides contact information for the program officer who can answer your questions.

Q: Can I use grant money to reimburse purchases made before the grant was awarded if they are grant-related?

A: Grant funds can be used to cover grant-related expenditures made up to 90 days before an award was issued. However, if your grant is not awarded, you are responsible for these expenditures. Questions about financial aspects of your application should be directed to NLM Grants Management staff.

Q: Are there budget caps or ceilings for different kinds of grants?

A: Each NLM grant program description describes the budget restrictions that apply. If you submit an application whose budget is above the recommended guideline, there is no assurance that you will receive the amount you request. Budget requests in excess of $500,000 per year will not be accepted without prior approval by the head of NLM’s Extramural Programs Division. For details, see

Q: How will I know that NIH received my grant?

A: Within six weeks, NIH will mail a receipt to the principal investigator and the administrative official listed on the face page of the grant application.

Q: Can I send my application in electronic form?

A: NIH is in the process of moving to all-electronic submission of grant applications. The process will be completed in Fall, 2007. The timetable for transition from PHS 398 paper applications to 424 Electronic applications is available at along with tutorials and other information about how to submit your application electronically.

Q: What kinds of appendix materials can I include in an application?

A: The grant application specificies the number and type of appendix materials you can submit, if any. A statement of NIH policy regarding grant application appendix materials is available at

Q: Do I send NLM program staff a copy of my application?

A: Do not send a copy of your application to NLM Extramural Programs unless the grant program description directs you to do so.