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Division of Biomedical Research Workforce


Use these resources to navigate the grants process and learn more about the research training and career devlopment opportunities across NIH.

On This Page

Note: For due dates on or after January 25, 2025, NIH is revising the fellowship review criteria used to evaluate fellowship applications and the National Research Service Award (NRSA) Training Program applications are also undergoing changes. Learn more.

Research Career Pathway Infographics

Every career journey is unique. These interactive guides describe a few potential career paths and how NIH can help you reach your research career goals.


Even with many different career goals, individuals may have different paths to attain them. Our curated resources for career guidance take you through some of the opportunities available and the planning involved in pursuing them. Additional resources may help both mentees and mentors develop good working relationships, which go a long way toward productivity and career progression.


NIH Institute/Center Research Training and Career Development Information

NIH is made up of 27 different institutes and centers (or ICs) of which 24 offer funding opportunities and award grants. NIH funding is made through these institutes and centers. Each funding IC (and some offices within them) provide program information on their websites. This page contains a consolidated listing of training and career development program pages across NIH.


Early Stage Investigators Policies

An Early Stage Investigator (ESI) is a Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award. These pages explain how ESI status is determined, describes the circumstances that warrant an ESI extension and the process for obtaining it, and ESI FAQs.


How to Apply - Application Guide

Comprehensive guidance for preparing NIH grant applications including field-by-field application form instructions, practical tips for writing your application and developing your budget, rules for formatting application attachments (e.g., fonts, margins, citations, page limits), format pages for data tables and biosketches, reference letter guidance, and how to apply video tutorials.  

Forms Directory

Each funding opportunity has its own unique set of application forms. Once you have identified a funding opportunity of interest, you must use NIH ASSIST, Workspace, or an institution system-to-system solution to prepare and submit the forms needed to apply.

All grant applications and most post-award grants administration forms are prepared and submitted through eRA systems. The Fellowships and Training section of the Forms Directory indicates whether system use is required and provides links to instructions to complete these post-award forms.


NIH Grants YouTube Channel

A vast array of video content with playlists covering fundamentals of the grant process, grant writing, advice for new and early career scientists, research training and career development programs, NIH Loan Repayment Program,  eRA Commons – Understanding Status, and more.


NIH All About Grants Podcasts

NIH staff discuss a variety of grant-related topics such as advice for new and early career scientists and special programs including NIH’s interest in diversity and diversity supplement programs.


NIH Grants Conference

Each year NIH holds a seminar on program funding and grants administration. NIH experts provide guidance on the NIH grant application and review process, clarify federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern. Participants can explore NIH IC and topic-specific booths and chat with NIH training officers. Learn about upcoming conferences and access recordings of previous seminar sessions.


NIH Grants Policy Statement

The NIH Grants Policy Statement (GPS) contains the policy requirements that serve as the terms and conditions of NIH grant awards. 

The NIH GPS is updated annually. Notices of NIH Policy Changes published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts that have not yet been incorporated into the NIH GPS supersede information in the GPS. 


General Resources for the Responsible Conduct of Research

Responsible conduct of research (RCR) is defined as the practice of scientific investigation with integrity (RCR policy; RCR update).  It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.

Fellowship, training, and career development applications must include a plan to ensure all trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving NIH support through these programs receive RCR instruction.


eRA System Resources

ASSIST login     eRA Commons login

NIH exchanges information with applicants and recipients through a variety of eRA systems.

  • ASSIST - NIH-managed submission option institutions can use to prepare and submit grant applications
  • eRA Commons - used throughout the grant lifecycle from application intake through to closeout to exchange electronic information between agency staff and applicants/recipients
  • xTrain - accessed via eRA Commons; used to administer research training, career development, fellowships and research education awards
  • xTRACT - accessed via eRA Commons; allows applicants/recipients to create research training tables for NIH progress reports and institutional training grant applications

You’ll find overviews, online help, user guides, FAQs, and training materials for each of these systems and modules on these information pages.  


Find answers to frequently asked questions on topics such as Clinical Trial and Study Records, Diversity, K99 Extension, Payback, and Responsible Conduct of Research.