Cooperative Agreements

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A cooperative agreement is an assistance mechanism where the NIH and extramural scientists/clinicians work together during performance of the research. Under this mechanism, the NIH and the extramural community are both responsible for ensuring the best and most important research is conducted. Cooperative agreements are used when:

  1. Substantial programmatic involvement is anticipated between the NCI and the recipient during the performance of the research activities
  2. The applicant responds to a specific NCI announcement for cooperative agreements and must tailor the application to the announcement requirements

The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 authorized use of the cooperative agreement and formally defined the circumstances under which this mechanism is to be employed by federal agencies.

Research Project 

Supports discrete, specified, circumscribed projects to be performed by the named investigator(s) in an area representing their specific interests and competencies

Clinical Research (Clinical Cooperative Groups)

Supports clinical evaluations of various methods of therapy and/or prevention in specific disease areas


Supports international, national, or regional meetings, conferences, and workshops for which substantial programmatic NCI staff involvement is planned to assist the recipients

Research Program

Supports research programs that have multiple projects directed toward a specific major objective, basic theme, or program goal, requiring a broad-based, multidisciplinary, and often long-term approach

Resource-Related Research Project

Supports projects that help improve the capability of resources to serve biomedical research

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)—Phase I

Supports projects, limited in time and amount,to establish the technical merit and feasibility of research and development (R&D) ideas that may ultimately lead to commercial products or services (see R43)

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)—Phase II

Supports in-depth development of R&D ideas for which feasibility has been established in Phase I (U43) and that are likely to result in commercial products or services(see U43 and R44)

Specialized Center

Supports any part of the full range of R&D, from basic concepts to clinical applications

Exploratory Grant

Supports planning for new programs, expansion or modification of existing resources, and development of feasibility studies to explore the development of interdisciplinary programs that offer potential solutions to problems of special significance to the mission of the NIH 

Research Project with Complex Structure

Supports large-scale research activities with multi-component supporting functions that cannot be categorized independently

  • Posted: April 2, 2015