Basic Funding Definitions
The Office of Extramural Health (OEH) at The National Institutes of Health (NIH) publishes a comprehensive glossary of research and funding based terms.
What is a Grant?
Grants provide assistance to an investigator or a group of investigators to conduct an approved project or activity by supplying money, property, or both. The day to day operations of the grant generally fall under the control of the principal investigator. Equipment purchased under the grant remains with the grantee while any intellectual property developed during the course of the grant is owned by the grantee institution. Questions regarding grant preparation, submission and management should be forwarded to the Office of Grants and Contract Management at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions regarding intellectual property should be forwarded to the Office of Research Development and Commercialization at email@example.com.
What is a Contract?
A contract is an award mechanism establishing a binding legal relationship between a sponsor and a recipient. The contract clearly defines the deliverables or products that a sponsor obligates the recipient to provide in a specified time frame for a specified financial amount. Questions regarding contract preparation, submission and management should be forwarded to the Office of Grants and Contract Management.
What is a Clinical Trial?
A clinical trial is biomedical or behavioral research study of human subjects on a specific disease state, treatment, device, pharmaceutical or other intervention. Clinical trials are required for licensure of a product to the public. All studies involving humans must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The Office of Clinical Trials can provide information on current and future clinical trials being conducted at the UNTHSC and oversees clinical trials negotiations.
What is Sponsored Research?
Sponsored research is investigator initiated research supported by industry. Questions regarding grant preparation, submission and management should be forwarded to the Office of Grants and Contract Management. Questions regarding intellectual property should be forwarded to the Office of Research Development and Commercialization.
What is consulting?
Consulting is when an individual provides professional advice or services to a company, individual or organization on the basis of a written agreement for a fee. All research consulting agreements must meet the UNTHSC policy and should be routed through the Research Office.
The RePORTER provides information on recent NIH awards and can be searched by principal investigator, subject and agency. Abstracts of current NIH grants can be obtained using The RePORTER.
Grant and Contract Writing Strategies
There are several elements to a strong grant application. The subject must be interesting, innovative and, worthy of funding. Projects must be well focused with an experimental design that supports the proposed hypothesis. Key to a successful application is the presentation of all information in a clear and concise fashion that follows the application guidelines.
The following resources provide excellent information on various aspects of grant development and submission:
- NIH Tips on Writing Grants: Many of the NIH agencies provide grant writing tips on their individual websites
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID): All about grants
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS): How to write a grant application
- National Cancer Institute (NCI): Quick guide to grant applications
- National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI): Applying for a NHGRI grant through NIH
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): Quick guide for the preparation of grant application
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK): Writing grants
- Demystifying the NIH Grant Application Process KM Berg, TM Gill, AF Brown, J Zerzan, JG Elmore, and IB Wilson; J. Gen Intern Med 221(11)1157-95 2007
General Resources on Writing Grants
Special Feature: Grant Writing for Tight Times: Science July 27, 2007
How Not to Kill a Grant Application: Science January 2, 2000
Questions or Inquiries should be directed to:
Research Funding Development Manager