R15 AREA Grants: How to Determine Your Eligibility &
Write a Winning Proposal

The Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA), also know as the R15, is a highly-competitive (but attainable) grant for supporting hands-on student involvement in research. For the R15, composing a winning proposal is only half the battle – you’ll need to do some work upfront to determine your eligibility for the grant.According to the NIH, the R15 grant program has three main goals:

  • To support meritorious research;
  • To strengthen the research environment of the institution; and
  • To expose students to research.

If your research is meritorious, it should be a renewable form of investigation and should have an impact on peer-reviewed contributions, according to Dr. Sridhar Mani, Professor of Medicine and Genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

The R15 award is very competitive, but for good reason. As you’re going through the steps toward submitting an AREA application, always keep in mind that this is a research grant, not a teaching grant. The R15 is not for all projects — or for all investigators. So be sure to double-check your eligibility for the R15 grant before you start laboring over the application process.


Must-have, expert guidance inside this special report includes:

  • Check Your Eligibility & Prepare Before You Apply (pg. 6)
  • Win the R15: Compose a Perfect Proposal (pg. 11)
  • NIH Key Contacts for R15s (pg. 16)
  • R15 FAQs (pg. 20)

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This instructional pack is brought to you as a training tool by the Principal Investigators Association, which is an independent organization. The presentation, tools presented and their contents are not connected with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the National Science Foundation (NSF), nor are they endorsed by these agencies. All views expressed are those personally held by the presenter and are not official government policies or opinions.