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Unlocking the Secrets of NIH Project Numbers for Effective Grant Research

Guest article

SciLeads is an innovative sales and marketing intelligence platform for scientific companies. We enable greater sales by providing companies with instant access to highly relevant prospect and market information.

The more relevant the outreach, the better the results. NIH grants are a great resource for sales and marketing campaigns as they come equipped with titles, abstracts, and keywords for efficient searches based on product or application keywords, helping you identify researchers with financial support in relevant areas. Enhance your outreach and improve conversion rates by using more keywords to narrow down your search.

Understanding NIH project numbers can further elevate your prospect insights with minimal effort. Here we break down the project numbers so you can create more targeted campaigns.

A typical project number looks like this: 1 R01 CA 123456-01A1. We’ll refer to this example throughout as we break down the valuable sales and marketing information you can extract from it.

Unlocking the Secrets of NIH Project Numbers for Effective Grant Research

Application Type – New Grant or Renewing

It is valuable to know whether a project is just getting started, already in its final year of funding, or somewhere in between. This information allows you to adjust your outreach. Maybe your product tends to be purchased at the beginning of a project or maybe it is only used once the project is underway.

The first number (in our example it is ‘1’) tells us whether the grant is new or repeating. A new grant will be ‘1’ and a repeating grant will always be ‘2’ (it doesn’t matter how many times it is repeated - it is always ‘2’). A repeating grant’s project number will also tell you what year the project is on (see Support Year below).

Activity Code

Arguably the most interesting aspect of the grant number is the activity code. This provides us with information about who is getting the grant.

General Purpose – R01
An R01 is one of the most common grants and can be summed up as ‘general purpose’. It can be spent on salary, equipment and supplies, and other more general costs.

This is, therefore, a good grant to target, but it is more general. There are specific activity codes that tell us a lot more.

Core facility/ Center Core Grants – P30
The P30 grant is for supporting shared resources and facilities for categorical research by several investigators from different disciplines. These investigators provide a multidisciplinary approach to a joint research effort or are from the same discipline and focus on a common research problem.

Shared Instrumentation Grants – S10
If you want to narrow down on purchased instrumentation, you can search via S10. These grants are awarded for the purchasing of state-of-the-art commercially available instruments to enhance the research of NIH–funded investigators. They can be a great source of information on who has been buying competitor equipment as well as products that are complimentary to your own.

Rising Stars and New Labs – K99/R00
K99/R00 - or Pathway to Independence grants - are designed to facilitate a timely transition from a mentored postdoctoral research position to a stable independent position. These are given to up-and-coming researchers and those who receive the award are likely to establish their own lab in the near/medium term.

Startups and Spinouts
R41/42 (STTR) involves supporting research by a small business that has the potential for commercialization.

R43/44 (SBIR) is for stimulating technological innovation. Phase 1 (R43) is for feasibility and phase 2 (R44) is for ongoing support.

If you want to start speaking to startups very early in their life span, or if you offer services that appeal to companies starting up, these can be excellent opportunities.

These are just a few of the activity codes found in NIH project grants. There are many others. Are you targeting Medical Scientists? Look at the K08 Clinical Investigator Award. Find a full list here.

Institute Code

1 R01 CA 123456-01A1
The next section is the Institute Code. Every institution within the NIH has its own ‘Institute Code’. In the example above it is ‘CA’, where ‘CA’ represents the National Cancer Institute. This is the institute within the NIH that is providing the grant.

The Institute Code helps you narrow down institutes that might be of interest to you.
Another important example is ‘CC’ which is ‘Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’.

Serial Number
The Serial Number is a 6-digit number assigned by the NIH Center for Scientific Research (CSR) for identifying the specific application. In our example, it is ‘123456’.

Support Number
The aforementioned Support Year indicates the current year of support the grant is in.

1 R01 CA 123456-01A1
In this example, the Support Year is ‘01’, meaning this is the first year of support for the grant. This is also backed up by the first digit in the project number, which tells us it is a new grant.

2 R01 CA 123456-04A1
In this example, the 2 at the beginning tells us that it is a renewing grant and the ‘04’ tells us that it is in its fourth year of support.

The Support Year is great for understanding what stage the lab is at within the project. Are they just starting? Or has it been going for a number of years?

Unlocking the Secrets of NIH Project Numbers for Effective Grant Research 2

Other Suffixes:

For completeness, we’re motioning this suffix, but it is less important.

‘A’ and a related number identifies the amendment number (e.g. A1 = resubmission); ‘S’ and a related number identifies the revision record and follows the grant year or the amendment designation to which additional funds have been awarded.

Utilizing NIH project numbers

Enhance your grant-seeking endeavors by incorporating these insights into your strategy. Mastering the NIH project numbers accelerates prospect identification and helps you recommend suitable grant types. You can then tailor your communication to be more personal, relevant, and timely, resulting in higher conversions and better outcomes.

You can find the NIH grants on their website, but it’s a very manual process to search through them. Alternatively, you can try the SciLeads. Get set up with a demo now.

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