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Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.
For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide PAR-18-433.
Can someone in a postdoctoral position apply as the PD/PI? Would this be considered independent researcher?
Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) are invited to work with their organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. If the potential PD/PI is currently in a postdoctoral fellow position, there should be a clear indication that a transition away from the mentor is being initiated and that the postdoctoral fellow will be a fully independent researcher at the time of the R21’s award. A commitment letter from the institution certifying this should be included in the letter of support section of the application.
Application Mechanism and Mission Relevance
Can I submit more than one R21 application in the same cycle if the proposed projects are different?
The NIBIB Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program R21 FOA (PAR-18-433) states that an applicant organization may submit more than one application, per PI/PD, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.
We encourage applicants to contact an appropriate Program Official as soon as possible. Applicants will be asked to supply a draft of their Specific Aims page to facilitate the discussion. Information is available at:
Are preliminary data required, and if so, how much preliminary data are allowed for an R21 application?
For the NIBIB Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program R21 Award (PA-20-195 and PA-20-194), an R21 grant application need not have extensive background material or preliminary information. Accordingly, reviewers will emphasize the conceptual framework, the level of innovation, and the potential to significantly advance our knowledge or understanding. 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.
For more information: Exploratory Developmental Grant Program R21
R21 grants no longer uses an automatic payline to determine fundable grants. NIBIB has moved to a selective funding process for R21 applications NOT-EB-16-009. This means you cannot infer funding based on previous year's funding levels.
NIBIB Exploratory/ Developmental Grant Program- R21 Information: Exploratory Developmental Grant Program R21
NIBIB Exploratory/ Developmental Research Grant Program (R21 Clinical Trail Optional) FOA: PAR-18-433
NIBIB Trailblazer Award for New and Early Stage Investigators (R21 Clinical Trail Optional) FOA: PAR-20-084
Early Stage and Early Established Investigator Policies.
Multiple Principal Investigators- General Information.
Other Training Opportunities (K01, K25, K99/R00): Training Careers
NIBIB Notice of Clarification of Preliminary Data and Clinical Trials Support for PAR-18-207, NIBIB Award for New and Early Stage Investigators (R21 Clinical Trial Optional): NOT-EB-18-003
R21 Scientific Contact: Dr. Randy King email@example.com
R21 Grants Management Contact: Katie Ellis firstname.lastname@example.org