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Limited Submission Notice: National Institutes of Health, Basic Instrumentation Grant (BIG) Program (PAR 22-081)


National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The Basic Instrumentation Grant (BIG) Program encourages applications from groups of investigators to purchase a single high-priced, specialized, commercially available instrument or an integrated instrumentation system. The main objective of the BIG Program is to make available modern scientific instruments that are needed by NIH-funded investigators and other groups of biomedical scientists to advance their research and to broaden access to modern technologies at academic and research institutions nationwide. Typically, state-of-the-art technologies that are indispensable for today’s research are too costly for a single investigator to purchase or operate. Their acquisitions can only be justified on a shared-use basis.

The BIG Program provides funds to purchase a single costly, 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 can provide. The components must be dedicated to the system and not used independently. Types of instruments supported include, but are not limited to, basic cell sorters, confocal microscopes, ultramicrotomes, gel imagers, or computer systems. Applications for standalone computer systems (supercomputers, computer clusters, and data storage systems) will only be considered if the system is solely dedicated to biomedical research. All instruments, integrated systems, and computer systems must be dedicated to research only.

For more information, view the full Basic Instrumentation Grant (BIG) Program solicitation.


Minimum $25,000
Maximum $250,000

Limited Submission Requirements and Timeline:

One (1) application per institution is permitted.

Only proposals approved by the Division of Research and Economic Development may be submitted to this program. For such approval, PIs must first submit a one- to two-page white paper to by 4 pm on March 15, 2024.

Your white paper should include:

  • A list of the Major Users of the equipment and their currently funded NIH projects.
  • A list of the Minor Users of the equipment.
  • A description of the proposed equipment.
  • The estimated cost to acquire and maintain the equipment.
  • A detailed justification of the need for the equipment, including: A description of how the equipment will enhance the research projects of the Major Users. A description of how the acquisition will enhance and advance research efforts of other users, such as users with other external funding and unfunded users, as well as users from regional institutions.

White papers will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Clearly justifies the need for the equipment.
  • Strong potential for the equipment to enhance current research and stimulate new research and collaborations.
  • The research team is well qualified to operate and maintain the instrument, conduct projects, and evaluate the research results from the instrument.

Key Submission Dates:

  • March 15, 2024 by 4 pm – White papers due to (we encourage you to cc your Dean for visibility as well)
  • March 29, 2024 – Anticipated date applicants will be notified of approval
  • May 27, 2024 – All final proposal documents due to OSP
  • June 3, 2024 – Full proposal due to NIH

Important Note on Sponsor Requirements:

The program requires that three (3) Major Users with active NIH-funded research projects demonstrate significant need for the requested instrument. A Major User is a researcher who has 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.

There is no maximum price limit for the instrument; however, the maximum award is $250,000.

NOTE: Please send all inquiries and submissions for Limited Submission opportunities to