|Grants Process Overview|
|Planning Your Application|
|Writing Your Application|
|Submitting Your Application|
|Receipt and Referral|
|Peer Review Process|
|Post Award Management|
|Types of Grant Programs|
|How to Apply|
|Peer Review Process|
|Foreign Grants Information|
|NIH Financial Operations|
|Electronic Research Administration (eRA)|
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.
The R21 Parent Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for investigator-initiated R21 applications can be found at PA-13-303 and articulates the policies and procedures that apply to this grant mechanism.
This website describes the use of the R21 and describes the NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) that intend to accept such applications.
Projects of limited cost or scope that use widely accepted approaches and methods are better suited for the R03 small grant mechanism (see R03 announcement citation).
All investigators should consult the list of participating ICs (shown below) as well as the IC staff listed as contacts to determine if an R21 application is appropriate. Investigators are strongly encouraged to consult with the appropriate NIH program administrator about their proposed research project during the concept development stage of the application.
All R21 grant applications will be assigned to the ICs according to standard PHS referral guidelines and specific program interests. Applications that are assigned to an IC that does not participate in this program may be returned without review.There is also a list of ICs that do not accept unsolicited R21 applications. Non-participating ICs might solicit other R21 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. In some cases those announcements may specify different application characteristics, review criteria, and receipt dates.
Please email R211@mail.nih.gov.