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National Primate Research Centers Consortium


The primary goal of the National Primate Research Center (NPRC) program is to facilitate the effective use of nonhuman primates (NHPs) by scientists engaged in biomedical research. The NPRC program complements and enables the missions of the other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) by providing the animals, facilities, expertise, and resources required to enable NHP research in specific disease areas. ORIP’s Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) funds seven NPRCs, which are centralized facilities in various parts of the country and are available to investigators on a national basis. Individual NPRCs have specific areas of emphasis, but each is expected to provide a variety of services both individually and through inter-NPRC collaborations to a wide range of investigators. The majority of researchers who use the NPRC physical and intellectual infrastructure are funded by the U.S. Public Health Services, particularly NIH ICs. The NPRCs also support research funded by other federal agencies, non-profit foundations, and the private sector. Each NPRC has a Pilot Research Program, which is advertised nationally and available to investigators who propose the use of NHPs in developmental projects in biomedical research or for studies enhancing the welfare or husbandry of NHPs. For additional information on the seven NPRCS, see the links below or visit the NPRC Research and Capabilities website. Additional information is available on NPRC Access Criteria and Procedures.

NPRC Access Criteria and Procedures

NPRC facilities and resources enable NPRC staff scientists and investigators from the host institution and others across the country to collaborate on their research projects. The centers' specialized resources are intended to support investigators who receive their primary research project funding from NIH, but they also may be used by investigators who are funded by other federal, state, and local agencies, as well as by research foundations and the private sector.

Each NPRC has a Visiting Scientist Program that offers advanced training and research in NHP biology. Collaborative arrangements between investigators and center scientific staff are encouraged and can be developed on studies related to major human diseases, subject to the availability of resources. NHP blood samples, organs, and biological fluids are available through the NPRCs. The following standardized criteria and procedures have been implemented at each NPRC to facilitate utilization of center resources:

Access Criteria

  • The nature and scope of the proposed research must be best conducted with NHPs and be compatible with available center resources.
  • The proposed research must have high scientific merit as determined by peer review.
  • NIH-funded research takes precedence over research activities funded by other sources.
  • Grants must contain appropriate budgets for the NPRC portion, including animal per diem costs.
  • Availability of NPRC resources, including animals, space, research services and support, and special requirements—such as biosafety facilities—are also limiting factors that must be considered by the investigator.
  • Because of potential contamination (e.g., viral, microbial), movement of animals into or out of the NPRC facilities is not allowed. Thus, the proposed research using live animals must use NPRC animals, and the research must be conducted at the NPRC.

Access Procedures

  • An initial research proposal must be submitted by the researcher to the NPRC prior to submitting an application for funding. The director then consults with the research services, veterinary, and colony management staff members at the center to assess resource availability and project feasibility.
  • When resource availability and project feasibility have been established, the NPRC staff will provide budget information to the researcher regarding the center costs to be included in the formal research proposal.
  • The scientific merit of the proposal must then be evaluated through the NIH peer review process or through a similar process at other agencies. However, small pilot projects with other funding sources may be considered. In the latter case, the peer review is conducted by the NPRC Research Advisory Committee.
  • In addition to the scientific peer review, a protocol approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC) at both the investigator's institution and the NPRC must be in place. Protocols must also be established to address biosafety concerns.
  • When the investigator has received notification of funding, the NPRC director or designee should be advised immediately so that the resources at the center may be reserved for the funded proposal.
  • Biological materials, such as blood samples, organ tissues, and biological fluids, can be obtained by contacting the appropriate staff at the NPRCs.

All publications resulting from research conducted at or with NPRC resources must bear an appropriate acknowledgment of ORIP support, including the P51 base grant number.


For additional information about the Visiting Scientist Program and resources available at a specific center, including applying to utilize a center's resources, contact the center director or appropriate contact person listed in this directory.