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NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03) (PA-20-200)


Contacts and Special Interests
Release Date: May 7, 2020
Expiration Date: May 8, 2023

The R03 grant mechanism will support small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources. The NIH has standardized the Small Grant (R03) application characteristics, requirements, preparation, and review procedures in order to accommodate investigator-initiated (unsolicited) applications. See the NIH Small Grant Program (R03) 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 and by consulting with NIH staff.

R03 Participating Institutes and Centers R03 Non-Participating Institutes and Centers
Scientific/Research Contact
Scientific Research Areas of Interest
Financial or Grants Management
National Eye Institute (NEI) Ellen Liberman
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Telephone: 301-451-2020

NEI only accept Clinical Trial applications proposing mechanistic studies and those designated as minimal risk. Applicants are strongly advised to contact NEI staff before submitting Clinical Trial applications to this FOA.
Karen Robinson-Smith
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Telephone: 301-451-2020
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Bettie J. Graham, Ph.D.
Telephone: 301-496-7531
NHGRI will support the development of resources, approaches, and technologies that will accelerate GENOMIC research on the structure of genomes, the biology of genomes, and the biology of disease; that will advance the science of genomic medicine; and that will incorporate genomics to improve the effectiveness of healthcare. NHGRI will also support GENOMIC research in several cross-cutting areas, including the ethical, legal and societal implications of genomics and genetics research, bioinformatics, technology development, and research training and career development.
 In general, NHGRI supports studies that provide generalizable methods and knowledge.  Applications for studies relevant only to a particular disease or organ system should be directed to the appropriate Institute or Center. NHGRI strongly encourages potential applicants to contact program staff in the early stages of developing your application. The contact information for the three scientific programs are:
Division of Genome Science:
Division of Genomic Medicine:
Division of Genomics and Society:
Deanna L. Ingersoll
Telephone: 301-435-7858
National Institute on Aging (NIA) Rene Etcheberrigaray, M.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-451-9798
Traci Lafferty
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-8987
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research
Gregory Bloss
Telephone: 301-443-3865

Division of Medications Development Research
Joanne B. Fertig, Ph.D.
Telephone: 301-443-0635

Division of Metabolism and Health Effects
Svetlana Radaeva, Ph.D.

Telephone: 301-443-1189

Division of Neuroscience and Behavior
John Matochik, Ph.D.
Telephone: 301-451-7319
Judy Fox
Telephone: 301-443-4704
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Conrad Mallia, Ph.D.
Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT)
Telephone: 240-627-3491

Madelon Halula, PhD
Division of AIDS (DAIDS)
Telephone: 240-292-4843    

Clayton Huntley, PhD
Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID)
Telephone:  240-627-3279
Ann Devine
Telephone: 240-669-2988
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Tatjana Atanasijevic, Ph.D.
Phone: 301-451-6873
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  Please contact us if you have questions regarding the Institute’s interest in your research.
Florence Turska
Telephone: 301-451-4782
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Tracy Waldeck, Ph.D.
Telephone: 301-827-5844

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) uses the Small Grant (R03) mechanism to provide support for projects requiring minimal funding for limited periods of time in any area relevant to the mission of the Institute as represented by its program areas. Examples of the types of projects supported by NIDA through the small grant mechanism include: Pilot or feasibility studies; development of research methodology; applied research; high risk/high payoff studies; development of new research technology; small-scale, self-contained projects; and analysis of existing datasets.
Pam Fleming
Telephone: 301-480-1159
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Thaddeus Schug Ph.D.
Telephone: 984-287-3319
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) will accept investigator-initiated research projects using the R03 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 To obtain more information about existing NIEHS program areas and their corresponding program administrators, please refer to the NIEHS extramural website at  Investigators should direct scientific questions concerning the use of R03s to the appropriate program administrator responsible for the scientific area proposed.  
Aaron Nicholas
Telephone: 984-287- 3297
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) NIMH Program Staff contacts
Also see Division web pages (below).
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Division web pages:
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science (DNBBS)
Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development (DATR)
Division of Developmental Translational Research
Division of AIDS Research (DAR)
Division of Services and Intervention Research (DSIR)
Terri Jarosik
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: (301) 443-3858                          Email:
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will accept investigator-initiated small research projects (R3) for all program areas supported by the Institute.
Please click on links below for descriptions of NIMHD’s main research interest areas and contact information for a scientific program contact in each area:

Community Health and Population Sciences
Clinical and Health Services Research
Integrative Biological and Behavioral Sciences
Priscilla Grant, JD
Telephone: 301-594-8412
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Karrah Benson
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke(NINDS)
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) uses the Small Grants Program (R03) to provide research support for new research projects in areas of high relevance to the mission of the NINDS ( Priority will be given to applications in any of the following categories:
  • Research projects leading to a defined product, resource or "deliverable" that has inherent value to the neuroscience community. Some examples include: creation of new animal models (e.g., mouse genetic models), generation of reagents (e.g., antibodies, RNAi, affinity capture reagents for use in a protein chip microarray), development of public resources (e.g., databases), development of cellular models for neurological disorders, development of novel phenotypic or behavioral screens for models of neurological disorders.
  • Research projects that, regardless of whether they are hypothesis-driven, will generate an important and potentially publishable unit of information or dataset (either by itself or in combination with other data). Such projects should utilize a well-designed model of the normal or diseased nervous system. Some examples include: microarray gene expression analyses, proteomic analyses, pre-clinical drug screens.
  • Research projects focused on secondary analysis of clinical data sets. This mechanism could also be appropriate for the collection of samples and/or associated clinical data to be included in the NINDS Genetics Repository (see:
Priority will be given to research proposals that include a detailed plan for the sharing of resources and data generated under this award. Potential applicants are advised to contact program staff to verify that the proposed research is relevant to NINDS and responsive to one of the listed criteria. A complete listing of program director contacts may be found at:
Chief Grants Management Officer
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
This page last updated on November 27, 2018
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