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How do I know if I am funded?

The Payline 

a term used to describe the funding selection process for most competing grant applications at the NIH based entirely on the result of peer review. The payline separates the applications that will be paid in rank order from those that may be selected based on programmatic relevance, as exceptions, or not paid at all.
for investigator-initiated grants, is set 3 times a year in conjunction with meetings of the NHLBAC 
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC)
an independent group commonly called Council that considers applications and advises the institute and recommends funding for applications that show promise of making valuable contributions. NHLBAC Homepage.
, and is based on the percentile 
represents the relative position or rank of each priority score (along 100.0 percentile band) among the scores assigned by a particular study section.
for most grants, or the Priority Score 
Priority Score
a numerical rating that reflects the scientific merit of the proposed research relative to the "state of the science." Average of individual ratings of scientific merit given by reviewers of an initial peer review scientific review group.
for some.  Awards made for RFA 
Requests for Applications (RFA)
initiatives sponsored by one or more NIH institutes or centers that stimulate research by requesting grant applications in a well-defined scientific area.
programs and PPGs are determined based on the Priority Score; these grants are not percentiled.  The pay lines for various research mechanisms are posted on the NHLBI 
National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI)
a NIH 
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
the United State's medical research agency, a federal government agency composed of diverse Institutes and Centers that conduct and support biomedical and behavioral research. NIH Homepage.
Institute that provides leadership for a national program in diseases of the heart, lung, and blood as well as blood resources, sleep disorders and the Woman's Health Initiative. NHLBI Homepage.
public web site in the General Funding Guidelines.

Once the pay lines have been set, the to Office of Grants Management ( OGM 

Office of Grants Management (OGM)
provides business management support to the program divisions for review, award, pre-award and post-award administration of research and training grants and awards. OGM is part of the NHLBI's Division of Extramural Research Activities.
) provides official notification of each new, competing continuation, non-competing continuation, and supplemental award by e-mailing a Notice of Awards ( NOA 
Notice of Award (NOA)
a legally binding document, notifying the grantee and others that an award has been made, including all terms and conditions of the award and outlining the obligation of Federal funds. Previously known as Notice of Grant Award(NGA).
) to a central e-mail address at a grantee institution. Grantee institutions are responsible for notifying Principal Investigators ( PI 
Principal Investigator (PI)
a qualified person designated by an applicant institution to direct a research project or program, oversee scientific and technical aspects of a grant and the day-to-day management of the research.
) and appropriate officials of awards. Authorized institution users can view NOAs using the NIH Commons.  Each grant application has a unique identifier as seen here:


Activity Code








grant mechanism used by NIH to provide support for health-related research which can be investigator-initiated or in response to a program announcement or request for application.






This unique identifier describes:

  • Grant 
    financial assistance mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity. A grant is used whenever the NIH Institute or Center anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the financially assisted activities.
    Application Type (e.g., new is type 1)
  • Activity Code 
    Activity Code
    three digit identifier of a specific award type, e.g., R01 is a research project grant. Major series of activity codes are: F -- fellowships, K -- career development awards, N -- research contracts, P -- program project and research center grants, R -- research project grants, S -- research-related programs, T -- training grants, U -- cooperative agreements, and Y -- interagency agreements.
    (e.g. research project grant is R01),
  • organization to which it is assigned (e.g. NHLBI is HL),
  • serial number assigned by the Center for Scientific Review ( CSR 
    Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
    the portal for NIH grant applications and their review for scientific merit. It organizes the peer review groups that evaluate the majority (70%) of the research grant applications sent to NIH. CSR Homepage
  • suffix year showing the support year (budget period),
  • amendment (if resubmitted),
  • and other information, e.g., an administrative supplement, or fellowship institutional allowance. 

Each NOA / Award 

provision of funds by NIH, based on an approved application and budget or progress report, to an organizational entity or an individual to carry out a project or activity.
of Contract 
award instrument establishing a binding legal agreement between NIH and an award recipient for products or services. The Office of Acquisition 
Office of Acquisition (OA)
OA is part of the NHLBIs Division of Extramural Research Activities. OA provides support during the planning, negotiation, award and administration of research contracts. (Not be confused with the NIH Office of Acquisition Management and Policy)
Management and Policy (OAMP) web site provides additional information

  • Issue date
  • Type of grant / contract
  • Budget and project periods
  • NIH contact information, including the names of the assigned Program Official (PO) 
    Program Official (PO)
    staff member who oversees a scientific program and the progress of grants and contracts in a portfolio. This title is most frequently used to refer to the scientific or technical representative for grants, but the generic "program official" term also may refer to a Project Officer 
    Project Officer
    the NIH staff member designated as a Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) to coordinate the substantive aspects of an acquisition from its development through to contract award and administration. Also known as Contracting Officer's Technical Representative ( COTR ).
    if the funding mechanism is a contract. Also known as Health Scientist Administrators or Program Director.
    and Grants Management Specialist ( GMS 
    Grants Management Specialists (GMS)
    staff members who are the focal point for all business and policy activities associated with the negotiation, award and administration of a grant or cooperative agreement, and who interpret and apply grants policies.
    ) or Contract Specialist 
    Contract Specialist
    individual who performs many of the duties required by the contracting officer but is not authorized to sign contract documents or provide authorizations.
  • Terms and Conditions of Award (Terms and Conditions of Awards for Cooperative Agreement 
    Cooperative Agreement (U series)
    a support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.
  • Terms and Conditions of Award (contracts may include Advance Understandings)
  • Statement of Work ( SOW 
    Statement of Work (SOW)
    a detailed description of work written in a proposal to be performed under a contract.
    ) (for Contracts only)
  • Funding level
  • Statutes and regulations that authorize the award

You should thoroughly read the terms and conditions of award outlined in Section III of the NOA. By spending grant funds, grantees agree to comply with these legal requirements, which may include special program- or award-specific conditions. NHLBI sends a NOA for each budget period of an award.  For most grants, this will be every year, though recipients of multiyear grants may receive only one NOA (for more information see the NIH Grants Policy Statement on Notice of Grant Award).

If you are not funded, it may be difficult to decide what to do next. Talk with your Program Official (PO) who can advise you and answer questions you may have. NIAID has prepared an excellent resource called “Advice for Unfunded Applicants”, which answers many questions that you may have.

Page Last Updated: February 2011
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