Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search

The following does NOT replace the detailed information available within the relevant funding opportunity announcement and the funding agency’s forms, instructions, and review criteria. These formatting guidelines are based on information available in the NIH SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. For any questions, please refer to the RFA or contact the program officer.

Fonts/Typefaces Allowed: black font color and a font size of 11 points (or larger)

  • Arial
  • Georgia
  • Helvetica
  • Palatino
  • Times New Roman

Note: Since some PDF converters may reduce font sizes, it is important to confirm that type density in each final PDF document, including both characters and spaces, is no more than 15 characters + spaces per linear inch and no more than six lines per vertical inch.

You may use the Symbol font for Greek letters and special characters; however, the font size requirement still applies. We strongly recommend inserting symbols for Greek letters rather than using the Greek letter font. The Greek font letters often do not appear correctly when documents are opened on different operating systems (they look like this □).

A smaller font size is allowed for figures, graphs, diagrams, charts, tables, figure legends, and footnotes, but the allowable fonts must still be used, and the text must be legible (in most cases, we suggest that you do not use a font size smaller than 9). We suggest the font Georgia for these sections as it is the most legible at a smaller size. Color can be used in these representations; however, all text must be in black font color.


  • at least one-half (1/2) inch margins in all directions (top, bottom, left, and right)
  • no information should appear in the margins, e.g., no PI’s name and no page numbers
  • standard paper size (8 ½” x 11″)
  • a standard, single-column format for the text is recommended as a two-column format can cause difficulties when reviewing the document electronically.

File Name

Save all files with descriptive file names of 50 characters or less. Do not use the ampersand (&) character in file names. Use one space (not two or more) between words or characters; just like letters, a space counts as one character.


Use English and avoid jargon. If terms are not universally known, spell out the term the first time it is used and note the appropriate abbreviation in parentheses. The abbreviation may be used thereafter.