How to read an NIH Grant Number

The identification number is commonly referred to as the application number or grant number, depending upon its processing status. The identification number consists of several parts, each having a distinct meaning. The following example shows the parts of an ID number assigned to an amendment (A1) to a supplemental (Type 3) application for a traditional research project (R01) referred to the National Cancer Institute (CA). The number further identifies the application serially as the 65412st new proposal submitted to the NCI, and indicates that this is the first supplemental application (S1) to the fourth year (-04) of support to this project.

​Suffixes
Application Type​Activity Code​Administering OrgSerial NumberGrant Year ​Other
​3R01​​CA​65412​04​S1A1

Application Type Code - A single-digit code identifying the type of application received and processed.   The codes are as follows:

  1. New - Request for Department of Health and Human Services support of a project that has not yet been funded.
  2. Competing Continuation - Request for an additional term of support based on a funded previous project; must compete for available funds.
  3. Supplement - Request for additional funds for a current award, to cover increased costs (noncompeting) or to expand the scope of work (competing).
  4. Extension - Request for additional funds beyond the years previously awarded; limited to certain activities, including MERIT (R37) and certain Fellowship (F) and Career (K) awards. These F and K applications do not compete for funds. R37's do require National Advisory Council review.
  5. Noncompeting Continuation - Request to pay next budget increment of a current award; does not compete for available funds.
  6. Change of Institute or Division - Request for support (cf. Type 1) of a fellowship or training project that has been transferred from one ICD to another.
  7. Change of Grantee or Training Institution - Request for support of a funded project that has been transferred from one grantee or training institution to another.
  8. Change of Institute or Division (noncompeting continuation) - Noncompeting continuation (cf. Type 5) that has been transferred from one ICD to another.
  9. Change of Institute or Division (competing continuation) - Competing continuation (cf. Type 2) that has been transferred from one ICD to another.

Activity Code - A three-digit code identifying a specific category of extramural activity (e.g., R01, R03, R33, T32, F33, R44, U01). A comprehensive list of Activity Codes is available.

Administering Organization Code (Also referred to as an IC Code or Admin PHS Org Code) - A two-letter code identifying the primary NIH Institute or Center to which the application is assigned.  In the above example, "CA" refers to the National Cancer Institute. A comprehensive list of Administering Organization Codes is available.

Serial Number - A six-digit number generally assigned sequentially to a series within an NIH Institute or Center. 

Suffixes - A field composed of the following components: 

  • Grant year - A two-digit number indicates the actual segment or budget period of a project. The grant year number (01, 02, etc.) is preceded by a dash to separate it from the serial number; e.g., AI 12345-02 or CA 00900-04. The grant year number is increased by one for each succeeding renewal year. Thus, the 04 year suffix in the example above identifies a grant in its fourth year. 
  • Supplement - The letter "S" and related number identify a particular supplemental record; e.g., S1, S2. Supplement designations follow the grant year or the amendment designation, as the case may be; e.g., AI 12345-01S1 and CA 00900-04A1S2. 
  • Amendment - The letter "A" and related number identify each amended application e.g., A1, A2, etc. Amendment designations follow the grant year or the supplement designation, as the case may be; e.g., DE 34567-02A1 and HL 45678-01S1A2.