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Six keys to crack the code: the secret to NIH grant numbers

  • 1R01EY12934-04-S1A1…  what??

I am asked on a weekly basis to explain “what those numbers mean” for NIH applications and grants.  NIH provides comprehensive explanation; however, in the spirit of providing content in digestible bites, here’s the inside scoop (gleaned from NIH posts) on how to crack the code of those pesky grant numbers…cropped-cropped-toolkit-24157707-copy.jpg

What we commonly refer to as the grant number is officially termed the “identification number” (used for applications as well as funded grants) and consists of six parts:grant number

1.  Application Type Code – A single-digit code identifying the type of application received and processed.  For example,

grant type code

2.  Activity Code (referred to as an Instrument Code) – A three-digit code identifying the type of grant applied for.

Some examples are:

  • K08 – Clinical Investigator Award
  • K22 – Career Transition Award
  • P01 – Research Program Projects
  • P50 – Specialized Center
  • R01 – Research Project
  • R03 – Small Research Grant
  • R29 – First Independent Research Support and Transition (First) Award
  • T32 – Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA)
  • U01 – Research Project (Cooperative Agreements)

3.  Administering Organization Code ( IC Code or Admin PHS Org Code) – A two letter code identifying the primary funding NIH Institute or Center.  Awards are now more frequently shared; however, only the PRIMARY Institute or Center is incorporated in the IC code.

Some examples are

  • CA – National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • DA – National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • DK – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
  • EY – National Eye Institute (NEI)
  • HD – National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
  • HL – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • MH – National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • NS – National Institute of neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

4.   Serial Number – A unique five-digit number identifying the specific application.  It is assigned by the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR).

5.  Suffix:  GRANT YEAR – A two-digit number indicates the current year of support.  For example, -02 identifies a grant in its second year.  The grant year number is increased by one for each succeeding renewal year.

6.  Suffixes (optional)

SUPPLEMENT – The letter “S” and related number identify a particular supplemental record; e.g., S1, S2.

AMENDMENT – The letter “A” and related number identify each amended application e.g., A1, A2, etc.

That’s all there is to it.  Happy application writing!