Conference Grant (R13) Application Procedures

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
December 1, 2014


As a result of the passage of the NIH Reform Act of 2006, all research grant applications, regardless of cost, must undergo secondary review by the National Advisory Council prior to making an award. The requirement for Council review means that conference grant (R13) applications must be submitted far enough in advance to allow the award to be made prior to the conference meeting date.

The NHLBI will only support conferences that are critical to the mission of NHLBI (i.e., meetings directly related to heart, lung, blood, and/or sleep disorders and conditions). Meetings for the purpose of professional development (e.g., continuing medical education [CME]) are not supported through the R13 award mechanism. Supported meetings generally explore and identify: (a) critical gaps in knowledge; (b) research challenges and opportunities; and/or (c) promising strategies for advancing prevention, diagnosis and/or treatment modalities for science related to the NHLBI mission.

Receipt Dates

Support of conferences is contingent on the fiscal and programmatic interests and priorities of the NHLBI. Therefore, advance permission to submit an application (i.e., a Permission-to-Submit letter) is required for all conference grant and cooperative agreement applications, including new, resubmission, and revision applications. Potential applicants are urged to initiate contact (see NIH Contacts List) well in advance of the chosen application receipt date and at least six weeks before that date (see table below). Please note that agreement to accept an application does not guarantee funding.

Conference grants must be awarded prior to the meeting date. Consequently, the potential applicant must choose an application receipt date that allows for an award to be made prior to the meeting. The following table shows the deadline for the Request-to-Submit letter and the application receipt date necessary for the NHLBI to provide timely support for a conference. Conference grant (R13) applications must be submitted electronically through

Request to Submit DateReceipt DateApproximate Review DateCouncil DateConference Meeting Date
March 1April 12June/JulyOctoberDecember through March
July 1August 12October/NovemberJanuaryApril through July
October 31December 12February/MarchMayAugust through November

Letters Requesting Permission to Submit

The conference grant (R13) pre-submission process is coordinated by the NHLBI R13 Coordinator in the Division of Extramural Research Activities, Office of Extramural Policy and Training (DERA/OEPT). Permission to submit a conference grant application must be requested from the NHLBI R13 Coordinator (via a Request-to-Submit letter) at least six weeks before the application receipt date (see table above).

As part of the NHLBI submission request, the following information must be provided in the Request-to-Submit letter:

  1. The name of the meeting.
  2. The name and address of the principal investigator (including email).
  3. The name of the sponsoring institution (foreign institutions are not eligible to apply for conference support).
  4. The location and dates of the meeting. Future years for recurring meetings are not currently supported by the NHLBI.
  5. A short description of the purpose of the meeting and its relevance to the mission of the NHLBI.
  6. A preliminary draft agenda of the program, including names and affiliations of invited and/or confirmed speakers.
  7. The nature of participation by junior, minority, and/or female investigators, if any (optional).
  8. A listing of similar recent or upcoming meetings, if any, and the "value-added" by the proposed meeting (optional).
  9. The requested conference budget and intended use for funds (please include total budget, portion requested from the NHLBI, and portion to be requested from any other NIH components, if applicable). Note: The NHLBI provides nominal support for conferences, typically between $5,000 and $10,000. Applications receiving funds exceeding $74,999 in total NIH support require special clearances and approvals which may impact timing of the award or award feasibility. For this reason, it is recommended that the total amount of NIH support for any given conference should not exceed $74,999.
  10. The intended receipt date for application submission (i.e., April 12, August 12, or December 12).
  11. A statement that the NHLBI is the sole NIH Institute from which primary assignment is being requested, as well as the identification of other NIH Institutes or Centers (ICs) (if any) that are interested in providing co-funding support for the conference grant application. Note: Potential applicants to another NIH Institute or Center who are interested in the NHLBI being a secondary assignment should make such requests in the cover letter of the application.

Typically, an NHLBI decision on willingness to accept primary assignment for a R13 conference grant can be expected within two weeks of submission of the Request-to-Submit letter.

At time of application submission, the signed Permission-to-Submit letter from the NHLBI must be attached to the cover letter of the R13 application, which should also identify all NIH ICs that may have interest in providing co-funding support.

Funding Decisions

Applications approved for funding may receive a Notice of Award within a few weeks after Council review. Other ICs interested in contributing funds to conference grant applications with NHLBI primary assignment must have: 1) a dual assignment on the application and 2) completed their respective funding approval processes prior to submitting co-funding agreements to the NHLBI. In order for the NHLBI to co-fund another IC’s application, the NHLBI must have been dually assigned to the application.

Additional Information

For important information on the conference grant (R13) mechanism, prospective applicants should review:


Institutional contacts for additional information regarding conference grant applications can be found at NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13/U13)