NIH: Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program (S10)

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to continue the Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program administered by ORIP. The objective of the Program is to make available to institutions expensive research instruments that can only be justified on a shared-use basis and that are needed for NIH-supported projects in basic, translational or clinical areas of biomedical and bio-behavioral research. The SIG Program provides funds to purchase or upgrade a single item of expensive, state-of-the-art, specialized, commercially available instrument or an integrated instrumentation system. An integrated instrumentation system is one in which the components, when used in conjunction with one another, perform a function that no single component could provide. The components must be dedicated to the system and not used independently.

Types of supported instruments include, but are not limited to: X-ray diffractometers, mass and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers, DNA and protein sequencers, biosensors, electron and light microscopes, cell sorters, and biomedical imagers. Applications for "stand alone" computer systems (supercomputers, computer clusters and data storage systems) will only be considered if the instrument is solely dedicated to biomedical research.

Instruments must be for research purposes only.

Foreign-made instruments are allowed.

The SIG Program will not support requests for:

  • An instrument with a base cost of less than $50,000;
  • Multiple instruments bundled together;
  • Purely instructional equipment;
  • Instruments used for clinical (billable) care;
  • Institutional administrative management systems, clinical management systems; or
  • Software, unless it is integral to the operation of the requested equipment.

General purpose equipment or an assortment of instruments to furnish a research facility and equipment for routine sustaining infrastructure (such as standard machine shop equipment, standard computer networks, autoclaves, hoods, and equipment to upgrade animal facilities).

Applicants are advised to discuss with the SIG Scientific/Research Contact (See Section VII) any questions about appropriate types of equipment, eligibility, and Program requirements, prior to submitting an application for an integrated instrumentation system.

To promote cost effectiveness, to encourage optimal sharing among individual investigators, research groups and departments, and to foster a collaborative multidisciplinary environment, the instrument should be integrated in a core facility, whenever possible.

Number of Applications
One per instrument type
Amount of Funding

Instruments must cost above $50,000 and the maximum award amount is $600,000. Instrumentation that costs more than $600,000 will be considered, but the maximum possible award is $600,000.


Applicants are encouraged to consult with their Associate Deans for Research prior to internal submission to assure they meet eligibility criteria and their projects meet stated program objectives.

Number of Applications
Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. This means that the NIH will not accept:

A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application. A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application. An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

There is no restriction on the number of applications an institution can submit to the SIG and/or High-End Instrumentation (HEI) Programs each year, provided the applications request different types of equipment. In general, concurrent SIG, HEI and/or Shared Instrumentation for Animal Research (SIFAR) applications for the same instrument (or the same type of instrument with added special accessories to meet the HEI budget requirement or the same instrument in a cluster of instruments to meet the SIFAR program requirements) are not allowed. If two or more S10 (either SIG, HEI, or SIFAR) applications are submitted for similar equipment from the same institution, documentation from a high level institutional official must be provided stating that this is not an unintended duplication, but part of a campus-wide instrumentation plan. Applicants are advised to discuss with the SIG Scientific/Research Contact (see Section VII) potential duplicates before submitting two applications for the same type of instrument.

A single application requesting more than one type of instrument (for example, a mass spectrometer and a confocal microscope) is not appropriate for this FOA.

Major User Group
Three Major Users who have substantial need for the instrument must be identified. Each Major User must be a PD/PI on a distinct active NIH research award in an area of basic, translational, or clinical research. (The requirement is one award per investigator, with more awards per investigator allowed. An award given to multi-PDs/PIs is counted only once towards the fulfillment of this requirement.) NIH training or fellowship grants (i.e., T and F mechanisms) and other non-research grants cannot be counted towards the fulfillment of this requirement. Once the eligibility requirement of three Major Users with NIH-funded research projects has been met, additional users with active research awards from NIH or other sources may be added as Major or Minor Users. Investigators with funding from sources such as other Federal agencies (e.g., NSF, DoE, DoD), private foundations or academic institutions can be added as Major Users, provided they are engaged in basic, translational or clinical research and can demonstrate a substantial need for the instrument. Major Users can be researchers from the same department or from several departments, divisions or schools at the applicant institution, or from nearby or regional institutions. In certain circumstances, as technology dictates, Major Users may come from distant institutions, but they must demonstrate the need for the instruments and describe plans for regular access to the instrument.

To demonstrate the clear need for the requested instrument, the projects supported by NIH research grants should together require at least 75 percent of the Accessible User Time (AUT)  [see Section Other Project Information for the definition of AUT]. Major Users supported by NIH grants should together require at least 35 percent of the AUT.

The Major User group must meet the eligibility requirement at the time of submission. In addition, if/when the application is considered for funding, the SIG Program Staff will check that the Major User group eligibility requirement is also met at the time of award.

Submission Process

Step 1

For consideration as a finalist, investigators must submit the following proposal materials as a single PDF email attachment to Stephanie Endy at no later than 5:00pm on February 28, 2018:

  1. A one-page, 12-point font, one-inch margin cover letter, including PI name, department/division, school/college, project title, name of the equipment, description and details of the equipment that are sufficient to identify or distinguish it from similar pieces of equipment, and list of at least three Major Users as defined by the program announcement, and
  2. A federal-grant-style biosketch (typically NIH or NSF).

Major Users are defined in the program announcement ( Each Major User must be a PD/PI on a distinct, active NIH research award in an area of basic, translational, or clinical research at the time of award.

Central review will be limited to ensuring that the applications do not duplicate other equipment requested. Applicants must work with their school or college dean to ensure that all financial aspects of the application are approved before submission. Each school or college dean has the right to deny any application submission that does not have an appropriate financial plan in place. Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin discussions with their Associate Dean for Research before submitting an internal LOI.

Step 2

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by Thursday, March 1, 2018.

Step 3

Final proposal must be received by the Office of Research Administration by Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 5:00pm EST.

Step 4

Final proposal must be received by the sponsor by Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 3:00pm EST.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
02/28/2018 03/01/2018 05/24/2018 05/31/2018 CLOSED