The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) invites investigator-initiated Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) applications relevant to its research mission. NIBIB seeks to improve health by promoting fundamental discoveries, design and development, and translation and assessment of technological capabilities in biomedical imaging and bioengineering, enabled by relevant areas of information science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials science, and computer sciences.
All investigators should consult with the NIBIB staff contacts to determine if an R21 application is appropriate for NIBIB.
All NIBIB R21 grant applications must be relevant or appropriate to the NIBIB program areas. Applications that are outside the mission and program areas of the NIBIB will be returned without review.
NIBIB supports hypothesis-, design-, technology-, or problem-driven research relating to its mission. Program areas of interest to the NIBIB include all aspects of biomedical imaging and bioengineering relevant to improving health. For a detailed description of the NIBIB scientific program areas, please visit the research funding page.
The NIBIB no longer participates in PAR-18-433, “NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)” or in PA-16-040 “Exploratory/Developmental Bioengineering Research Grants (EBRG) (R21)s.
NIBIB will continue to accept R21 applications under separate NIBIB/NIH Program Announcements such as:
1. The NIBIB Trailblazer Award for New and Early Stage Investigators (PAR-24-022), which is an opportunity for New and Early Stage Investigators to pursue research programs of high interest to the NIBIB (see Research Funding) that integrate engineering and the physical sciences with the life and behavioral sciences. This FOA invites applications from researchers who are at the early stage of their independent careers or those who have not had substantial prior NIH funding (see NIH New and Early Stage Investigator definition). A Trailblazer project may be exploratory, developmental, proof of concept, or high risk-high impact, and may be technology design-directed, discovery-driven, or hypothesis-driven. Importantly, applicants are expected to propose research approaches for which there are minimal or no preliminary data.
2. The NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program R21 Award (Parent R21 Clincal Trial Required, PAR-20-194) and NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed, PA-20-195) supports exploratory/developmental research programs of interest to NIBIB (see Research Funding). These studies are expected to lead to breakthroughs in development of innovative techniques, agents, methodologies, models, or their applications. These studies may involve considerable risk that should be balanced by the potential high impact on human-health and related research. An R21 grant application need not have extensive background material or preliminary information. Appropriate justification for the proposed work can be provided through literature citations, data from other sources, or, when available, from investigator-generated data. Preliminary data are not required for R21 applications; however, they may be included if available. Applicants are expected to propose novel biomedical research approaches for which there is no preliminary data to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed project. A project may be exploratory, developmental, proof of concept, or high risk-high impact, and may be technology design-directed, discovery-driven, or hypothesis-driven. The following notices announce the participation of NIBIB in the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program: PA-20-194 and PA-20-195.
3. R21 applications submitted in response to specific, topical FOAs that the NIBIB is participating on that are not listed above.
We highly encourage applicants to contact an NIBIB Program Officer to determine if your application fits the mission of the NIBIB and its Programs as well as our new funding strategies for R21s.
Projects from Investigators that are supported by preliminary data should be submitted to the Parent R01 FOA, described here or here, or the Bioengineering Research Grant FOA.
For more information about the NIBIB Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program R21, see our Frequently Asked Questions.
For more information about the NIBIB R21 Trailblazer, see our Frequently Asked Questions.
We encourage your inquiries concerning NIBIB R21 grants and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.