Office of Research, UC Riverside
Sponsored Programs Administration

NIH Modular Budgets at UCR

Applications for the following types of NIH grants which request funding of $250,000 or less for direct costs per year must be submitted using the modular format:

  • Individual Research Project Grants (R01)
  • Small Grants (R03)
  • Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
  • SBIR and STTR, Phase I (R41 and R43
  • Requests for Applications (RFAs)

Unsolicited, investigator-initiated applications requesting more than $250,000 in any year, and applications for grant activities not specified above, continue to follow the traditional application instructions and applicable NIH policies. RFAs soliciting applications greater than $250,000 may be modular at the discretion of the issuing Institute/Center(s), as specified in the published RFA.

Below is additional guidance for the preparation of modular grant proposal budgets at UCR. If you have questions, please contact the Contract and Grant Officer assigned to your department.


Under the modular format, direct costs are requested in increments of $25,000 (modules), up to $250,000 per year. A typical modular grant application will request the same number of modules in each year. Although NIH does not require that detailed budgets be submitted with Modular Grant Applications, detailed budgets should be created by the PI and department administrator to ensure that:

  1. sufficient direct costs are included to complete the project;
  2. the Facilities and Administrative (F&A - formerly indirect) cost base is accurately calculated, as this information must be shown on the Checklist page; and
  3. UCR Extramural Accounting will be able to allocate the funds properly when an award is made.


To insure that the proposed budget accurately reflects the funds needed to carry out the scope of work and complies with the modular format:

  1. Prepare a detailed budget as in the past (this detailed budget should be retained in the department files in the event of an award).
  2. If the same level of support is contemplated for each year, divide the total direct costs of the entire project by the number of years of the project, rounding off to the nearest $25,000, to determine the annual level of support to be requested.
  3. Determine the base for calculating F & A for each year by totaling any standard exclusions (equipment, GSHIP, PFR, etc.) and subtracting these from the modular total for that year. This step is necessary to request the annual F&A costs on the Checklist page.
  4. Provide a budget narrative for all project personnel by position, role and level of effort and, when applicable, consortium/subcontract costs.
  5. When variations in the level of funding is needed due to specific project expenditures for one or more years include an additional justification that addresses the reason(s) for the fluctuation.

Additional information is available from the following NIH web sites: