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NCCIH Research Blog

What is a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI)?

July 28, 2020

Partap S. Khalsa, D.C., Ph.D.

Partap S. Khalsa, D.C., Ph.D.


Division of Extramural Activities

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

What is a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI), and why is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) using this type of funding announcement more frequently? I’ll answer a few such questions and offer some resources. 

What’s a NOSI, and why should I take a look at it?

NIH advertises availability of its grant support through funding opportunity announcements (FOAs), of which a NOSI is one type. You can search for FOAs in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts and on on specific topics of interest or for generic program announcements (PAs, also called “parent announcements”).

While NOSIs have existed for some time, in June 2019 NIH formalized and expanded their use to replace topic-specific PAs that were previously issued by NIH institutes/centers (ICs). As implied by the term “Notice of Special Interest” (NOSI), this type of FOA highlights a scientific area of interest for the participating ICs.

Some other things to know are that: 

  • As NOSIs focus on a specific area of science, then the NOSI document is considerably shorter in length than a corresponding PA. This makes it easier for applicants to understand the scientific intent of the FOA.
  • Every NOSI designates one or more existing FOAs (or their reissued equivalents) for use for electronic application submission. That is, the NOSI points the applicant to an active FOA (e.g., the Parent R01 PA) that should be used to submit the application. In the application, you explicitly indicate the relevant NOSI. 
  • Including the NOSI number in the application facilitates NIH making the assignments to a relevant study section for initial peer review and to a relevant IC for funding consideration.
  • Applications submitted in response to NOSIs compete for funding with all other applications assigned to a given IC for a given funding cycle that were submitted using PAs or PARs (i.e., PAs with special receipt dates and/or review criteria).

What are some recent NOSIs with NCCIH leadership or participation?

A few examples are listed below. To see others, you can go to NCCIH’s “Funding Opportunities” webpage (select “Notice of Special Interest” under “Funding Opportunity”) or browse the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts: 

More Tips for Using a NOSI

  1. Be sure to carefully read the entire NOSI and its related FOA. 
  2. If instructions between the NOSI and FOA differ, follow the NOSI’s instructions. 
  3. Address the specific review criteria in the FOA, plus any mentioned in the NOSI. 
  4. You must enter the NOSI number (e.g., NOT-AT-20-002) in Box 4b of the SF424 (R&R) Form.

As with any funding opportunity, we strongly encourage you to first contact the NCCIH scientific contact listed in the NOSI to determine whether your concept aligns well with the Center’s current priority areas and to ask any questions. 

We hope you will subscribe to NCCIH Update to hear about new NOSIs and areas of scientific priority for the Center. 

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