NIH requirements

Letters of Intent Guidelines

NIH Letters of Intent (LOI) tell program officers that a researcher is interested in applying for a particular funding opportunity. They also help funding agencies determine in advance what expertise will be necessary to review an application. This benefits applicants, and because letters of support are typically not binding, information about a proposed study can still be changed after an LOI is sent.

Letters of intent are often not required for an application, and sometimes not allowed (e.g., Parent R01 grants), especially for smaller projects. If letters are allowed, they are typically due 30 days prior to the application due date. Always check the FOA’s “Key Dates” for information, as specific requirements or due dates might be requested for some FOAs.

Most NIH letters of intent require the following:

  • Descriptive title of the proposed research,
  • Name, address, and telephone number of the principal investigator(s),
  • Names of other key personnel,
  • Participating institutions, and
  • The number and title of the funding opportunity.

Please note that LOIs for other agencies, such as NSF, PCORI, TRDRP and DOD, typically have different requirements and may be mandatory.

Page Limit: None. Recommended 1 page.