Information for NIH grant writing.
Approx. maximum words per page (w/o figures):
w/ figures ~650
This estimate based on employing all techniques for maximizing words per page (see below).
Yet more thoughts on squeezing in stuff:
Margins: 0.5 inches all around
Normal: Arial 11 pt
– 12 pt spacing exactly & 0 before & after + 4 pt before major heads
(except for in-line figures, then automatic ‘single spacing’)
such as INNOVATION
– no widow/orphan control
– no spaces before paragraphs, just indents
– bullet (*) lists (eg for people)
Hyphenate! (Menu: Page Layout, Page Setup, Hyphenation, Automatic) ****
Legends: Arial 8.5 pt, Spacing exactly 8.4 pt. Hyphenated. ****
Titles: Cambria 12 pt looks nice, but flexible.
References: NIH Style EndNote. 
NIH instructions write: “Use an Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype,
or Georgia typeface, a black font color, and a font size of 11 points
or larger. (A Symbol font may be used to insert Greek letters or
special characters; the font size requirement still applies.). Type
density, including characters and spaces, must be no more than 15
characters per inch. Type may be no more than six lines per inch (1
inch = 72 points, six lines/inch = 12 pt exact spacing). Use standard
paper size (8 ½" x 11) . Use at least one-half inch margins (top,
bottom, left, and right) for all pages. No information should appear
in the margins."
11. Descriptive Title of Applicant’s Project
Enter a brief descriptive title of the project. This field is required.
A “new” application must have a different title from any other PHS
project with the same PD/PI. A “resubmission” or “renewal” application
should normally have the same title as the previous grant or
application. If the specific aims of the project have significantly
changed, choose a new title.
A “revision” application must have the same title as the currently funded grant.
NIH and other PHS agencies limit title character length to 81
characters, including the spaces between words and punctuation. Titles
in excess of 81 characters will be truncated. Be sure to only use
standard characters in the descriptive title: A through Z, a through
z, 0 through 9, space ( ), and underscore (_).
The above is OLD. Now you can go above 81 characters.
Prepare the application using Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, or
Georgia typeface in black font color. After text attachments are
converted to PDF, font size in each final PDF document must be at
least 11 points (or larger). (A Symbol font may be used to insert
Greek letters or special characters; the font size requirement still
applies.) 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
Note: 72 points/inch so 6 lines/inch at 11pt type translates into a
line spacing of 11 pts + 1pt per line.
Paper Size and Page Margins
Final PDF documents should be formatted to be no larger than standard
paper size (8 ½" x 11). The final PDF document should have at least
one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right) for all pages. No
information should appear in the margins, including the PI’s name and
Figures, Graphs, Diagrams, Charts, Tables, Figure Legends, and Footnotes
You may use a smaller type size but it must be in a black font color,
readily legible, and follow the font typeface requirement. Color can
be used in figures; however, all text must be in a black font color,
clear and legible.