Grants and Funding
NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21) (PA-13-303)
Release Date: August 2, 2013
Expiration Date: September 8, 2016


Contacts and Special Interests

Introduction

The R21 grant mechanism is intended to encourage exploratory/developmental research by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of project development. The NIH has standardized the Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) application characteristics, requirements, preparation, and review procedures in order to accommodate investigator-initiated (unsolicited) grant applications. See the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21) page for more information.

There is also a list of ICs that do not accept unsolicited R03 applications. Non-participating ICs might solicit other R03 applications using Requests for Applications (RFAs) or Program Announcements (PAs) to meet specific program needs. Information about such initiatives can be obtained in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/index.html and by consulting with NIH staff. In some cases those announcements may specify different application characteristics, review criteria, and receipt dates.

R21 Participating Institutes and Centers
R21 Non-Participating Institutes and Centers
  • NIH Institutes and Centers that DO NOT ACCEPT R21 applications in response to the Parent R21 Announcement but ONLY accept R21 applications in response to their specific funding opportunity announcements: FIC, NCI, NCATS, NIMHD, NHLBI, NIDDK, NIGMS and ORIP.
Electronic Submission

Electronic Submission – NIH requires electronic submission of the SF424 (R&R) form through Grants.gov to NIH for all R21 grant applications. Institutions must register in two separate systems: Grants.gov and eRA Commons Project Directors/Principal Investigators also must be registered in eRA Commons.

NIH Institute and Center Contacts and Scientific Research Areas of Interest
NIH Institute/Center

Scientific/Research Contact
Scientific Research Areas of Interest

Financial or Grants
Management Contact

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

NCCAM Program contacts, listed by program portfolio, may be found at:
http://nccam.nih.gov/grants/contact/

The National Center on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) will accept investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21) for all program areas supported by the Center. Potential applicants are encouraged to view Research Funding Priorities at http://nccam.nih.gov/grants/priorities/.

George Tucker 
Phone: 301-594 9102  
FAX: 301-480-1552
Email: tuckerg@mail.nih.gov

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

Bettie J. Graham, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-496-7531
FAX: 301-480-2770
Email: Bettie_graham@nih.gov

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will accept investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21) for all program areas supported by the Institute. NHGRI uses the R21 mechanism for pilot projects or feasibility studies to develop new, and/or to significantly improve existing genomics and proteomics technologies and to encourage high risk/potential high payoff research. Potential applicants are encouraged to review the Institute's goals in its latest program planning document, "A Vision for the Future of Genomics Research," http://www.genome.gov/11007524.

Ms. Cheryl Chick
Grants Administration Branch
Phone: (301) 435-7858
E-mail: chickc@mail.nih.gov

National Eye Institute (NEI)

Dr. Ellen Liberman
Phone: 301-451-2020
Email: esl@nei.nih.gov

The National Eye Institute (NEI) will accept investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21) for all program areas supported by the Institute.

For information regarding specific programmatic priorities, see http://www.nei.nih.gov. The NEI also solicits R21 applications for a specialized program which has particular research objectives and application and review procedures. Information regarding the NEI Research Grant for Secondary Data Analysis is available on our website.

William W. Darby
Phone: 301-451-2020
FAX: 301-496-0528
Email:  darbyw@mail.nih.gov 

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Robin A. Barr, D. Phil.
Phone: 301-496-9322
FAX: 301-402-2945
Email: BarrR@mail.nih.gov

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) will accept investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21) for all program areas supported by the Institute.

For information regarding specific programmatic priorities, see Research Projects.

Linda Whipp
Phone: 301-496-1472
FAX: 301-402-3672
Email: whippL@mail.nih.gov

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research
Gregory Bloss
Phone: 301-443-3865
FAX:301-443-8614
E-mail: gbloss@mail.nih.gov

Division of Treatment and Recovery Research
Joanne B. Fertig, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-443-0635
FAX:301-443-8774
E-mail:  jfertig@mail.nih.gov

Division of Metabolism and Health Effects
Dale Hereld, M.D., Ph.D.
Phone: 301-443-0912
FAX:301-594-0673
E-mail:  hereldd@mail.nih.gov

Division of Neuroscience and Behavior
Lindsey Grandison, Ph.D.
Phone 301-443-0606
FAX: 301-443-1650
E-mail:  lgrandis@mail.nih.gov

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) will accept investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21) for all program areas supported by the Institute, particularly those defined as NIAAA special emphasis areas.  The Institute's mission statement, extramural research program descriptions, list of special emphasis areas, active program announcements may be found at the NIAAA web site: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov.

The NIAAA R21 program provides limited support for exploring the feasibility of innovative or creative research questions within the research interests of the NIAAA. This includes basic and applied research on biochemical, physiological, genetic, and behavioral mechanisms leading to pathological drinking behavior; mechanisms of alcohol-induced organ damage, including fetal injury; and clinical, behavioral, and epidemiological approaches to more effective diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of alcoholism, alcohol abuse and alcohol-related problems. While applications may involve a wide variety of biomedical, behavioral, clinical, sociocultural, or other disciplines, relevance to the mission of the NIAAA must be clear.

To obtain more information about existing NIAAA program areas and the corresponding program administrators for R21 awards, please refer to the NIAAA extramural website.

Judy Fox
Phone: 301-443-4704
FAX: 301-443-3891
Email: jfox@mail.nih.gov

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Stacy E. Ferguson, Ph.D.
DAIT, NIAID, NIH, DHHS
Phone: 240-627-3504
E-mail: fergusonst@niaid.nih.gov

Madelon Halula, PhD
DAIDS, NIAID, NIH, DHHS
Phone: 240-292-4843    
Email: mhalula@niaid.nih.gov

Clayton Huntley, PhD
DMID/NIAID/NIH/DHHS
Phone:  240-627-3279
Email: chuntley@niaid.nih.gov

For general information about NIAID support of R03 applications, e-mail NIAIDReceiptReferral@niaid.nih.gov

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will accept investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21) for all program areas supported by the Institute. For information on NIAID R21 research opportunities in Biodefense, please see http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/BiodefenseRelated/Biodefense/research/.

Ann Devine
Phone: 301-402-5601
FAX: 301-480-3780
Email: adevine@niaid.nih.gov

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Glen Nuckolls, Ph.D.,
Phone: 301-594-4974
FAX: 301-480-1284
Email: nuckollg@mail.nih.gov

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) will accept investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21) for all program areas supported by the Institute.

For information regarding specific scientific programs and contacts, see http://www.niams.nih.gov/Funding/Funding_Opportunities/activity_codes.asp.

NIAMS accepts applications in response to PA-09-164 "NIH Exploratory/Developmental
Research Grant Program (Parent R21)"
proposing studies related to arthritis, musculoskeletal or skin biology or diseases.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss the suitability of the project for this program announcement with the NIAMS Program Director for that research topic area.  (See contacts by scientific area)

See NOT-AR-10-023 for additional information regarding NIAMS support for innovative research using R21 grants.

In making funding decisions on R21 applications, NIAMS will place a higher priority on projects that are:

  • Innovative, ground-breaking projects with potential for significant impact;            
  • Projects that involve novel technology or tool development, and have the potential to significantly accelerate research fields;
  • Projects that propose the novel application of methods, technologies, or conceptual approaches from outside biomedical science to a research problem in the NIAMS mission area.

Projects that will be considered a lower priority include:

  • Projects specifically to develop preliminary data for longer-term projects in a well established research area;
  • New investigator starter grants;
  • Pilot projects that do not exhibit a high degree of innovation.

Melinda B. Nelson 
Phone: 301-594-3535
FAX: 480-5450 
Email: mn23z@nih.gov

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

Division of Applied Science and Technology
Antonio Sastre, Ph.D.
Tel: 301-402-1373
Fax: 301-480-1614
E-mail: sastrea@mail.nih.gov

Director, Division of Discovery Science and Technology
Christine A. Kelley, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-451-4778
FAX: 301-480-4973
Email: kelleyc@mail.nih.gov

Division of Health Information Technology
Vinay Pai, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-451-4781
Fax: 301-480-1614
E-mail: paiv@mail.nih.gov

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) is interested in research applications that are focused on the development and application of new biomedical technologies. The Institute encourages the integration of engineering, the physical sciences and the life sciences to advance human health. For a description of the scientific research programs in the NIBIB please see http://www.nibib.nih.gov/Research/ProgramAreas  Please contact us if you have questions regarding the Institute’s interest in your research.

Florence Turska
Phone: 301 451-4782
FAX: 301-480-5735
Email: turskaf@mail.nih.gov

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

NICHD supports research activities within its mission, including normal and abnormal human development, male and female fertility and infertility, developing and evaluating contraceptive methods, pregnancy, childbirth, prenatal and postnatal development, childhood development through adolescence, and rehabilitation research.  NICHD develops, implements, and coordinates cross-cutting, multidisciplinary research in areas such as improving the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals for use in pregnant women, infants, and children; HIV infection and transmission, AIDS, and associated infections; pediatric growth and endocrine research; child development and behavior; developmental biology and typical and atypical development; intellectual and developmental disabilities; gynecologic health conditions, including pelvic floor disorders; childhood injury and critical illness; medical rehabilitation; and demography, social sciences, and population dynamics.

Additional information about NICHD research interests may be found at: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/grants-funding/opportunities-mechanisms/areas-research/Pages/default.aspx.

Program staff contacts may be found on the web pages for NICHD's scientific branches at: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/org/der/branches/Pages/index.aspx and http://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/org/ncmrr/Pages/overview.aspx.

Bryan S. Clark, M.B.A
Chief Grants Management Officer
Phone: 301-435-6975
FAX: 301- 451-5510
Email: clarkb1@mail.nih.gov

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

Contact information can be found at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Research/DER/ContactRA.htm

Integrative Biology and Infectious Diseases Branch
Lillian Shum Ph.D.
Phone: 301- 594-0618
Email: Shuml@nidcr.nih.gov

Center for Clinical Research
Jane C. Atkinson, D.D.S.
Phone: 301- 435-7908
Email: jatkinso@mail.nih.gov

Translational Genomics Branch
Emily Harris, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-594-4846
Email:  harrisel@nidcr.nih.gov

Behavioral and Social Science Research Branch
Melissa Riddle, Ph.D.
Phone:  301-451-3888
Email: riddleme@nidcr.nih.gov

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) will accept investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21) for all program areas supported by the Institute:

For current funding opportunities and contacts, see http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Funding/
CurrentFundingOpportunities/default.htm
.

Mary Daley
Phone: 301-594-4808
FAX: 301-480-3562
Email: md74u@nih.gov

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Dr. Mark Swieter
Phone: 301-435-1389
FAX: 301-443-0538
Email: mswieter@nida.nih.gov

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will accept investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21) for all program areas supported by the Institute.

NIDA uses the R21 mechanism to provide support for projects in the early stages of developing or testing innovative ideas in any area relevant to the mission of the Institute. Since this mechanism is intended to enable an investigator to receive support for the early and conceptual stages of an innovative research question or approach, preliminary data specific to the proposed project are not expected.  Novel scientific ideas, model systems, tools, agents, targets and technologies that have the potential to advance research in substantial ways and relevant to the mission of NIDA are appropriate for this mechanism. Long-term projects or projects designed to establish knowledge in a well-established area should not use the R21mechanism.

Pam Fleming
Phone: 301-253-8729
FAX: 301-594-6849
Email: pfleming@nida.nih.gov

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Nancy L. Freeman, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-402-3458
FAX: 301- 402-6251
Email: FreemanN@mail.NIH.gov

For a list of scientific staff, also see Staff Contacts.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) uses the Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21) to support the development of novel ideas, technologies, or methodologies at an early stage of development which have the potential to break new ground or extend toward new directions or applications.

The NIDCD supports basic and clinical biomedical and behavioral research in the communication sciences of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech and language. The proposed research must be focused on one or more of these scientific mission areas.

Christopher Myers
Phone:  301-435-0713
FAX: 301-402-1758
Email: myersc@mail.nih.gov

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Daniel Shaughnessy, Ph.D. 
Phone: 919-541-2506
FAX: 919-316-4606
Email: shaughn1@niehs.nih.gov

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) will accept investigator-initiated research projects using the R21 mechanism for all areas of environmental health science research; particularly those defined as NIEHS special emphasis areas. Details on these areas can be found at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/programs/index.cfm.

To obtain more information about existing NIEHS program areas and their corresponding program administrators, see http://www.niehs.nih.gov/funding/grants/contacts.cfm

Dorothy Duke
Phone:  919-541-2749
FAX:  919-541-2860
Email:  duke3@niehs.nih.gov

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

NIMH Program Staff contacts or see Division web pages (below)

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will accept investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21) for all program areas supported by the Institute:

Examples of the types of projects supported by NIMH through the R21 program include: pilot or feasibility studies; development of research methodology; high risk studies; development of new research technology; small-scale, self-contained projects; and analysis of existing data sets.

Rebecca Claycamp, M.S., C.R.A.
Phone: 301-443-2811
FAX: 301-480-1956
Email: rclaycam@mail.nih.gov

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

NINDS Referral Officer
Phone: (301) 496-9223
FAX:
Email: nindsreview.nih.gov@mail.nih.gov

For a list of scientific staff, also see: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/about_ninds/organization.htm#Extramural

The NINDS will continue to accept applications for investigator-initiated exploratory/developmental projects (R21s) for all program areas supported by the Institute. Previous NINDS language stated that R21 proposals were "limited to those with the potential for truly ground-breaking impact". We would like to emphasize that such impact, as described in the trans-NIH parent R21 announcement (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-10-069.html), can be achieved in many different ways. For example, projects can assess the feasibility of a novel area of investigation, develop new techniques or models, apply existing methodologies to a new scientific area, etc. (see parent announcement for additional examples).

NINDS will maintain its existing policy of not accepting unsolicited R21 applications that include clinical trials or other clinical studies of potential therapies. NINDS places a high priority on the development and evaluation of clinical interventions and has established specific mechanisms for supporting these types of proposals, (see http://www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/funding_announcements/Funding-Bins-Clinical-Research.htm). R21 applications that involve human subjects may be submitted to NINDS if the proposals are not testing the efficacy of a clinical intervention AND if safety monitoring of study participants can be performed appropriately within the budgetary and time constraints of an R21. For information regarding specific programs and contacts, please see http://www.ninds.nih.gov/about_ninds/ninds_overview.htm.

It is important to note that analyses of new investigator applications to NINDS indicate that the success rate for R21 applicants is lower than for R01 applicants (FY 2009 success rates for NINDS R21 New Investigators: 11% vs. NINDS R01 New Investigators: 19%). Given the current policy of the NIH to support New Investigator R01s at success rates equivalent to those of established investigators submitting new (Type 1) applications (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not-od-09-013.html), the NINDS encourages New Investigators, and in particular Early Stage Investigators (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-121.html), to apply for R01 grants when seeking first-time funding from the NIH.

James E. Washington, M.Ed.
Phone: 301-496-7449
FAX: 301-451-5635
Email: washingj@ninds.nih.gov

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) will accept investigator-initiated R21 applications for exploratory/developmental projects in areas that are mission-relevant (http://www.ninr.nih.gov/AboutNINR/NINRMissionandStrategicPlan/). This includes potentially high-risk/high payoff projects in the early stages of development and projects having innovative scientific ideas. Please contact the NINR Program Director listed in the area of science in which you are interested. NINR Program Staff contacts may be found at: http://www.ninr.nih.gov/ResearchAndFunding/
DEA/OEP/AreasofscienceFile.htm

Brian Albertini
Phone: 301-594-6869
FAX: 301-402-4502
Email: albertib@mail.nih.gov

National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Clinical and Public Health Informatics
Dr. Hua-Chuan Sim
Phone: 301.594.4882
FAX: 301.402.2952 
Email: Simh@mail.nih.gov

Bioinformatics and Translational Informatics
Dr. Jane Ye
Phone: 301.594.4882
FAX: 301.402.2952 
Email: yej@mail.nih.gov

Consumer Informatics
Dr. Alan VanBiervliet
Phone: 301.594.4882
Fax: 301.402.2952

Email: alan.vanbiervliet@nih.gov

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) will accept investigator-initiated R21 applications that explore new areas in its mission relevant areas, which include biomedical informatics, translational informatics, and bioinformatics. NLM defines informatics as the intersection of computer, information and behavioral sciences with one or more application domains. Application domains of interest include health care delivery, basic biomedical research, clinical and translational research, public health and others. The range and scope of NLM's research interests is described at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/GrantExDev.html.

Dwight Mowery
Phone: 301-496-4221
FAX 301-402-0421
Email:  moweryd@mail.nih.gov

NIH Institutes and Centers that DO NOT ACCEPT R21 applications in response to the Parent R21 Announcement but ONLY accept R21 applications in response to their specific funding opportunity announcements:  FIC, NCI, NCATS, NIMHD, NHLBI, NIDDK, NIGMS, and ORIP.

NIH Institute/Center

Scientific/Research Contact
Scientific Research Areas of Interest

Financial or Grants Management Contact

Fogarty International Center (FIC)

The Fogarty International Center (FIC)will not accept investigator initiated R21 applications in response to the Parent R21 FOA. The FIC will use the R21 mechanism only when specified by specific PAs or RFAs that it has initiated or in which it participates. Investigators are encouraged to contact an FIC Program Officer staff within the Division of International Training and Research for assistance with submitting a grant application. Please consult our website, http://www.fic.nih.gov/index.htm for information regarding programmatic structure and priorities.

None

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) will not accept R21 applications in response to the Parent R21 Announcement. NCI will use the R21 mechanism only when specified by specific PAs or RFAs that it has initiated or in which it participates. The currently active announcements are listed on the NCI website at: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/funding.htm.

None

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) will not accept R21 applications in response to the Parent R21 Announcement. NCATS will use the R21 mechanism only when specified by specific PAs or RFAs that it has initiated or in which it participates.

None

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will not accept R21 applications in response to the Parent R21 Announcement. NIMHD will use the R21 mechanism only when specified by specific PAs or RFAs that it has initiated or in which it participates.

None

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will not accept R21 applications in response to the Parent R21 Announcement. NHLBI will use the R21 mechanism only when specified by specific PAs or RFAs that it has initiated or in which it participates.

None

National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

The National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) will not accept R21 applications in response to the Parent R21 Announcement. NIDDK will use the R21 mechanism only when specified by specific PAs or RFAs that it has initiated or in which it participates.

None

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics
Dr. James C. Cassatt
Phone: 301-594-0828
E-mail: cassattj@nigms.nih.gov

Division of Genetics and Developmental
Dr. Judith H. Greenberg
Phone: 301-594-0943
E-mail: greenbej@nigms.nih.gov

Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry
Dr. Michael E. Rogers
Phone: 301-594-3827
E-mail: rogersm@nigms.nih.gov

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) will not accept R21 applications in response to the Parent R21 Announcement. The NIGMS will use the R21 mechanism only when specified by specific PAs or RFAs that it has initiated or in which it participates. A listing of these is available in the NIGMS R21 Participation Statement.

Linda Whipp
Phone:  301- 496-1472
Email:  whippl@gw.nia.nih.gov

Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)

The Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) will not accept R21 applications in response to the Parent R21 Announcement. ORIP will use the R21 mechanism only when specified by specific PAs or RFAs that it has initiated or in which it participates.

None



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