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NIH Modular Grant Application Procedures

The National Institutes of Health has implemented the Modular Grant Application and Award Process. This is a significant change in the way proposal budgets and other sections of the application are submitted. The new procedure redefines the research project grant as an assistance mechanism and simplifies administration. Refer to the following websites for details and check the Announcement section of the OSP web site for possible recent updates.


Implementation is as follows:
Applies to all unsolicited new, revised, competing renewal, and competing supplement research project grant mechanisms: R01, R03, R15, R21, R41, and R43s, requesting up to a maximum of $250,000 per year in direct costs. Direct costs must be requested in $25,000 modules not exceeding $250,000 per year. There is no escalation for future year costs. Applications requesting over $250,000 per year must follow the current procedures in the PHS 398.

A typical application will contain the same number of modules for each year. Separate detailed budgets are eliminated and replaced with a narrative format. (Example provided: The budget narrative must be completed for ALL personnel, including consultants and “to be appointed positions.” Subcontractor(s) must be addressed in the budget narrative, indicating whether foreign or domestic, and a letter of commitment or intent included with the application. If a variation in the number of modules is requested, additional justification will be required in the budget narrative. (Example provided:

Biographical sketches for key personnel, including consultants, must include a description of research projects on-going or completed during the last three years. The page limitation is increased to three pages to accommodate this. “Other Support” pages are not to be included in the application. These will be requested only if the application is selected for award and requested during the “just-in time” award process.

Include the Checklist page as instructed in the PHS 398, except at the bottom of the Checklist page, provide the Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) base, Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate applied and subsequent F&A cost for EACH year separately. For Cornell internal purposes only provide a copy of a spreadsheet or F&A detail sheet.

Your Modular Grant Application will be considered non-compliant if:
Please refer to:

Modular Grant frequently asked questions:

Forward completed proposals (accompanied by an Academic Approval Form 10) to the Office of Sponsored Programs or authorized College Research Office. If subcontracts were proposed, a letter of commitment from each subcontractor, signed by an institutional representative, must accompany the proposal (for internal use only).

Contact your Grant and Contract Officer with any questions, or refer to the NIH web page on Modular Grants.
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