National Institutes of Health Grants Fundamentals

About National Institutes of Health Grants Fundamentals

The National Institutes of Health Grants Fundamentals (NIH) certificate was produced by SRA International for the benefit of its members who manage NIH grants. It was produced solely by SRA International, and is not an official program of the NIH.

The NIH Grants Management certificate provides a foundation in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As the NIH is the single largest federal grant-awarding agency, the program is perfect both for someone new to research administration and for research administrators expanding their knowledge of federal funding agencies. The curriculum - anchored by the full-day workshop, "NIH Fundamentals" - provides an overview to the procedures and policies essential to preparing successful applications to and managing grant awards from the National Institutes of Health.

Certificate Course Requirements

NIH Grants Fundamentals is comprised of one full-day workshop, three required sessions and three elective sessions. The required courses are listed below; the electives may vary from meeting-to-meeting.

Required Workshop

Full-day workshop.

NIH Grants Fundamentals

Content Level: Basic

This workshop will provide new research administrators with a fundamental understanding of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants process. The focus will be on NIH organization, an overview of various funding mechanisms, the receipt-and-review process, pre-award funding considerations, and post-award administration. The workshop will address successful strategies and principles used to increase success of grant proposals, stressing the development and preparation of the proposal from the reviewers' perspective. Additionally, the workshop will cover fundamental concepts of NIH grant policy and post-award administration.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Be able to describe NIH organization and identify various funding mechanisms.
  2. Explain the proposal submission and review processes.
  3. Identify and explain basic NIH grants policies affecting the post-award administration of grants.

Prerequisites: None

Required Sessions

Must take three.

Participants must complete three sessions, one from each topic area.


This topical area covers the development and preparation of NIH proposals and activities up to receipt of an award. Pre-award activities for NIH grants encompass many different functions ranging from funding and proposal development to budgeting basics.

Examples of sessions that would meet the pre-award requirement include budgeting basics, the SF 424 application, proposal review process, and in-depth presentations on specific award mechanisms (e.g. training grants).


This topical area covers activities related to the receipt and management of an NIH award and can also encompass a variety of functions.

Examples of sessions that would meet the post-award requirement include understanding agency terms and conditions, prior agency approvals, grant close-out, and even 2 CFR 200 Uniform Guidance.


(Either Animal Research or Human Subjects Research and Non-Compliance)

Animal Research

To protect the interest and well-being of research animals, the Animal Welfare Act imposes restrictions on any experiment calculated to cause pain and specifies rigorous guidelines for their care and housing. To receive NIH support, an institution must submit an animal welfare assurance documenting its procedures for complying with federal regulations and appoint an institutional animal care and use committee (institutional animal care and use committee) to oversee compliance. This session will provide a thorough understanding of the animal welfare regulations and the animal rights movement, explaining and emphasizing the underlying ethics fuelling both.


Human Subjects Research and Non-Compliance

This session will provide attendees with an overview of non-compliance with respect to human subjects research, with emphasis on issues of particular interest to institutional review boards (IRBs). An overview of non-compliance and examples will be provided along with a discussion of how grant professionals may assist IRB professionals and the IRB in the area of non-compliance. This session will also include an interactive piece where attendees will be asked to provide examples from their own experiences.

Elective Courses

Must take three.

The elective courses will vary from meeting to meeting.