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Purpose of NIAMS Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

To provide partial support for scientific conferences including symposiums, seminars, workshops, or other organized formal meetings in areas within the mission of NIAMS. NIAMS may provide primary support for mission-relevant scientific conferences up to $15,000 per meeting. Conference grant applications that are NIAMS mission-relevant and have received a priority score of 30 or less will be considered for funding however, the actual award will be contingent upon availability of funds, programmatic priorities and recommendations by peer review and program staff. A Letter of Request (LOR) seeking permission to submit an R13 application must be submitted to the NIAMS R13 coordinator at least six weeks before the application receipt date.

NIAMS may provide secondary support for a scientific conference up to $3,000, if another NIH Institute or Center has agreed to provide primary support. Applicants do not need a permission letter from NIAMS for secondary assignments. Instead, applicants can request NIAMS as a secondary assignment in the cover letter component of their application.

NIAMS is committed to enhancing diversity and promoting inclusion in all areas of research, including scientific conference support. Applicants seeking R13 support must include plans to enhance diversity by increasing the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, in the planning, implementation, and ultimately, participation in the proposed conference (NOT-OD-21-053) as required by the NIH Support for Conference and Scientific Meetings Program Announcement (Parent R13), and in compliance with NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 14.6.2 Guideline on the Inclusion of Women. Underrepresented groups include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women.

As stated in NOT-OD-15-152 and NOT-OD-21-053, organizers of NIH-supported conferences and scientific meetings must also take steps to ensure a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, sexual or otherwise, and other barriers that might prevent or inhibit one’s participation.  It is expected that organizers of NIH-supported scientific conferences employ strategies that seek to prevent or mitigate the effects of any discrimination and harassment.

As science becomes increasingly collaborative, it is imperative that R13 applicants recognize the importance of providing networking opportunities and the benefits of engaging scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.  NIAMS will place priority on conferences that support participation in professional development programs and offer opportunities that enhance networking opportunities for early stage researchers and individuals from underrepresented groups.


Eligibility is limited to domestic institutions and organizations, including established scientific or professional societies.

This program supports both domestic and international conferences; however, an international conference can be supported only through the U.S. representative organization of an established international scientific or professional society.

Application procedures

  1. Contact the NIAMS Program Official in the scientific area ( of the proposed conference to discuss the suitability of the potential R13 application for NIAMS support.
  2. Submit an R13 Letter of Request seeking approval to submit an application at least six weeks before the application receipt date. This applies to both new and resubmitted applications. The request should be sent to If accepted, NIAMS will send an Advance Permission letter to the Applicant via email (Please note that NIAMS agreement to accept an application does not guarantee funding).
  3. At the time of application submission, a copy of the Advance Permission letter must be included as part of the cover letter component. Conference grant applications must be submitted electronically through Refer to the current funding opportunity announcement for application submission information.
  4. It is recommended that applicants utilize a receipt date at least seven months prior to the conference; awards will not be issued after the conference has occurred

Required Information for the Letter of Request

  1. The name of the meeting.
  2. The name and address of the principal investigator, including email address.
  3. The name of the sponsoring institution (foreign institutions are not eligible to apply for conference support).
  4. The location and dates of the meeting.
  5. A short description of the purpose of the meeting and its relevance to the NIAMS mission.
  6. A preliminary draft agenda of the program, including names and affiliations of invited and/or confirmed speakers.
  7. An acknowledgement that the final application will include a diversity plan that demonstrates efforts to enhance diversity by increasing participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups in the selection and/or makeup of the organizing committee, speakers, invited participants, such as session chairs, panel discussants and audience.
  8. A listing of similar recent or upcoming meetings, if any, and the "value-added" by the proposed meeting (optional).
  9. The requested conference budget and intended use for funds.  Please include total budget, portion requested from the NIAMS, and portion to be requested from any other source, if applicable. See Allowable and Unallowable Costs section from the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Due to budgetary constraints, NIAMS will place priority in supporting professional development and enhanced networking potential of early stage researchers and underrepresented groups over supporting regular meeting logistics (e.g. venue rental, meeting staff effort, etc.).
  10. The intended receipt date for application submission (i.e., April 12, August 12, or December 12).
  11. A statement that the NIAMS is the sole NIH Institute from which primary assignment is being requested, as well as the identification of other NIH Institutes or Centers (ICs) (if any) that may be interested in providing co-funding support for the conference grant application.

Receipt dates

Deadline to submit "Request Advance Permission Letter"    

Application Receipt Date

Scientific Merit Review

Advisory Council Review

Earliest Conference Meeting Start Date

March 1

April 12



December 1

July 1

August 12



March 1

November 1

December 12



July 1

NIAMS Guidance for R13 Applications: Addressing "Enhancing Diversity"

The NIAMS recognizes the value of supporting scientific meetings that are relevant to its scientific mission and to public health. Furthermore, NIAMS is committed to, and will actively enforce that all its supported conferences adequately address plans to enhance diversity and promote inclusion of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, early career researchers and appropriate gender representation of organizers, presenters and participants. Conference grant applications seeking NIAMS support must provide a diversity plan, as required by the FOA, for increasing the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Conference grant awardees will also be required to report on the effectiveness of plans to enhance diversity of underrepresented groups in the annual Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) and the Final-RPPR, as indicated in NOT-OD-21-053.

NIH is also committed to changing the culture of science to end sexual harassment and other forms of harassment, and expects that grantees eliminate barriers and provide equal access for the opportunity to participate in NIH supported research, programs, conferences and other activities (NOT-OD-15-152).  Organizers of NIH-supported conferences and scientific meetings should take steps to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all attendees by providing an environment free from all forms of discrimination and harassment, sexual or otherwise,  and follow current guidelines for inclusion in NIH-sponsored conferences (NOT-OD-21-053).

The following suggestions may provide helpful information for R13 applicants on effective ways to design an appropriate conference plan for inclusion.

  • As indicated in PA-21-151, a one-page Diversity Plan must be included in the Other Attachment section of the application. The PDF-formatted document must be named “DiversityPlan.pdf” (no spaces) and must not exceed one page in length.  Applications that do not include a Diversity Plan attachment will not be accepted for review.
  • A proactive plan for increasing the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups in the selection of and/or makeup of organizing committee, speakers, invited participants, and audience must be included. General statements and non-specific strategies such as “Investigators from all underrepresented groups will be actively recruited to participate and every effort has been made to secure speakers from diverse communities” may not be acceptable without clear action plans for inclusion.
  • Include specifics on groups, associations, institutions, among others, that will be contacted in efforts to expand diverse participation of meeting moderators, speakers, and participants/attendees.
  • For reoccurring conferences, applicants should present, in the one-page diversity plan, outcomes from previously approved plans and describe the success of previous strategies to enhance diversity in the planning and implementation of conferences in the conference application. Information should be included on aggregate information on the distribution of underrepresented groups on each of the following: planning committees, speaker/poster presentations (including keynote/plenary speakers, panel discussants, and session chairs), and attendees.
  • Describe in the Personal Statement of the Biographical Sketch senior/key persons’ past experiences with enhancing diversity by increasing the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, in biomedical sciences.
  • Include statements on whether some of the funding will be used for support of travel awards. If so, travel awards specific for underrepresented individuals are strongly encouraged to align with the NIAMS mission to ensure a talented, inclusive and diverse workforce. Travel assistance for early stage researchers is also of high priority for NIAMS support of R13 conference grants.
  • Demonstrate concrete efforts towards providing professional development activities and experiences to underrepresented groups and early stage researchers to enhance the networking potential of the meeting. An example would be to include networking sessions or mentorship sessions including underrepresented groups or early career investigators. Successful conferences have had sessions including but not limited to, “Women in (field) Sessions”, Poster sessions for junior trainees and Mentor Match programs.

Additional Information

For important information on the conference grant (R13) mechanism, prospective applicants should review:

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Leslie Littlejohn

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