National Institutes of Health (NIH) Modular Grants

To help streamline the proposal review and awarding process, the NIH requires that proposals requesting $250,000 or less in direct costs per year be submitted as “modular grants.”  Funds are requested in $25,000 increments, or “modules,” based on a locally-generated detailed budget that is not sent to the funding agency.  Ordinarily the same number of modules should be requested in each year of the award period. Additional restrictions and guidelines are outlined at .  Key points include:


  • The budget narrative must include ALL personnel by position, role, and level of effort.  This includes consultants, personnel on any consortium/contractual arrangements, and any “to be appointed” positions.
  • Any variation in the number of modules requested must be explained in the budget justification.  Equipment costs should not be explained unless they result in a variation in the number of modules being requested.
  • The inclusion of a subaward does not preclude using the modular submission format.  In such cases the proposal should include a statement of intent to establish a consortium between the participating institutions.  The subawardee should provide the PI sufficiently detailed (non-modular) budget information so that the cost of the consortium agreement, including the subawardee’s associated F&A costs, can be estimated to the nearest $1,000.
  • The NIH Checklist page should indicate the calculated F&A costs for each year of the project, based on the number of modules requested less any non-overhead bearing exclusions.


Note that OSP will require a more detailed budget than is required by NIH in order to effectively review the proposal for allowable costs.