Grant Duration Policy SOP

This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: PurposeProcedureContacts, and Links.

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.


To enable NIAID to achieve an average duration of four years for competing grants.


NIAID funds a mix of short- and long-term grants to get a four-year average length for all grants in a given fiscal year. To find the maximum duration of any grant, look under "Budget and Project Period" in its notice of funding opportunity (NOFO).

For NIAID grants that do not have notices of funding opportunities, NIAID uses the following durations:

  • Up to one year of support for R56-Bridge awards.
  • Up to four years of support for selective pay grants and grants outside the established grant payline. Go to NIAID Paylines.
  • Five years, with a possible three- to five-year extension, for MERIT awards.

No grant will be awarded for more than five years without a waiver. NIH or HHS may approve a waiver up to seven years only for grants that are in response to a request for applications (RFA) that allows seven years and have extraordinary justification.

In all cases, shorter durations can be negotiated if necessary and appropriate.   

In some fiscal years, NIAID resets grant start dates to more evenly distribute grant funding throughout the fiscal year. This results in a shorter grant duration.


  • Apply for a grant type that allows you to complete your project within the maximum grant duration allowed. Discuss with a program officer and read Apply for a Grant.

Program Officers

  • Work with grants management specialists to correct any issues without altering grant duration, if possible.
  • Nominate a maximum of four years' support for applications that score beyond the payline.

Grants Management Specialists


Emily Linde

Use the contacts listed above for questions about your specific situation. If you have a general question or a suggestion to improve this page, email the Office of Knowledge and Educational Resources at


Multiproject Awards SOP

IC-Sponsored Program Announcements (PARs and PASs) SOP

NIAID Funding Policy and Process SOP

NIAID R56-Bridge Award SOP

Requests for Applications (RFA) SOP

Selective Payment SOP

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