ODS Co-funding Program

Definition of Dietary Supplement

A dietary supplement is a product that contains one or more dietary ingredients, or their constituents (considered the bioactive substances in dietary supplements), is intended to supplement the diet, and is intended to be taken by mouth.

Examples of dietary supplements include micronutrients (vitamins, minerals), macronutrients (protein, amino acids, fatty acids), herbs/botanicals (St. John's wort, ginkgo, echinacea), phytochemicals (lycopene, isoflavones, curcumin), zoochemicals (creatine, conjugated linoleic acid, chondroitin), and others (probiotics, glucosamine, melatonin).


  • The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) provides funding support to the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) through its co-funding program.
  • Co-funding allows ODS to share the costs of NIH extramural dietary supplement-related research project grants, training and career development grants, and scientific conferences, with primary ICOs. ODS cannot be a primary funder of grants, but by co-funding with primary ICOs it advances its mission.
  • Requests for co-funding are made to ODS by program staff at the ICOs throughout the fiscal year, and ODS evaluates these according to its co-funding calendar (see below).
  • ODS considers several factors in its co-funding decisions including the relevance to the ODS Mission and Strategic Plan, importance of the research topic, potential impact of the proposed research, and the availability of funds.
  • Sometimes primary ICs seek co-funding for meritorious applications that fall just short of the IC's payline. Or they may seek co-funding for highly meritorious applications that are not considered high research priorities for their IC.
  • ODS usually co-funds at the start of a research grant and commits to co-funding all outyears of the project.

Types of Research That May Be Co-funded

  • ODS will consider all types of research, including basic, pre-clinical, clinical, translational, behavioral, and epidemiological.
  • The research emphasis must be directly or indirectly related to dietary supplements or their constituents, extracts, concentrates, or metabolites.
  • The research must focus on health promotion and/or disease prevention rather than disease treatment. If a treatment model is used, evidence must be provided that the proposed research would also be relevant to reducing the risk of developing that disease in healthy individuals.
  • Training and career development grants that build future dietary supplement research capacity may also be co-funded.

Research Priority Areas for the ODS Co-funding Program

  • Nutrition across the lifespan, especially nutrition during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and aging.
  • Nutrition related to chronic or non-communicable diseases of middle age.
  • Indicators and biomarkers of nutritional and micronutrient status.
  • The role of the microbiome in nutrition and health.

ODS Co-funding Request Process and Calendar

  • Requests for co-funding support and administrative supplements must be submitted to ODS by IC program officials or their representatives. Applicants may not submit requests for ODS co-funding; they may, however, point their program official to the ODS co-funding program.
  • ODS will evaluate co-funding requests 3 times per fiscal year. For FY2024, the request calendar is:
ODS Submission Deadline Outcome Notification (approx.)
Round 1 November 13, 2023 December 22, 2023
Round 2 March 4, 2024 April 30, 2024
Round 3 June 10, 2024 July 30, 2024