The NIH R15 activity code is known as the NIH Research Enhancement Award and supports small-scale research projects at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees for a significant number of the Nation’s research scientists but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. The goals of the R15 are to: a) support meritorious research, b) expose students to research, and c) strengthen the research environment of the institution.
Two NIH programs are supported with R15 awards.
- Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions
- Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools
ORSP Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) has calculated that, beginning October 1, 2022, and extending through at least September 30, 2025 (that is, for federal fiscal years FY23, FY24, and FY25), UM is no longer eligible to submit proposals to the NIH Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) (R15) program. This is because in each of four of the past seven federal fiscal years over which REAP-eligibility is calculated (FY18, FY20, FY21, and FY22), UM received more than $6 million in NIH funding. Funding received under NIH activity codes C06, S10, and activity codes starting with a G, was excluded from this calculation. This change in REAP eligibility will only impact the School of Pharmacy, the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, and the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management—the only UM units that offer heath-profession-related degrees, and therefore the only units that could have applied to REAP anyway.
UM remains eligible to submit to the NIH Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA)-- the R15 program appropriate for non-health-profession-related units to apply to—through at least the end if federal FY26 (Sept 30, 2025). This is because the total NIH funding to UM non-health professional component programs (again excluding the activity codes listed above) did not exceed $6M in at least four of the last federal fiscal years (or, in fact, in any of those fiscal years).
To see how NIH R15 eligibility is calculated, see this NIH web page. If you have questions about how SPA calculated UM’s eligibility, you may contact Dr. Melissa Hodge-Penn, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs.