See the Glossary for more terms.
Some links will work for NIAID staff only.
To support small-scale research projects and encourage exploratory and developmental research.
Small (R03) and exploratory/developmental research (R21) grants are designed for experienced investigators who want to pursue a new direction in research.
Both use electronic application, allow a project period of up to two years, and cannot be renewed.
Investigators who are not highly knowledgeable about NIH activity codes should contact a program officer for help before choosing a small grant. Go to When to Contact an NIAID Program Officer.
Small grants provide investigators with limited funds for a short period of time. NIAID accepts investigator-initiated small grant applications in response to the Small Research Grant Program (R03) parent announcement and issues its own PAs in high-priority areas of science. Find those announcements on our NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
Below are examples of projects suitable to a small grant.
Exploratory/developmental grants provide investigators with funding to introduce novel scientific ideas, model systems, tools, agents, targets, and technologies that have the potential to substantially advance biomedical research.
While they do help some investigators, for new investigators there is no evidence they create a path to independent research.
NIAID accepts R21 applications in response to the Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (R21) parent announcement for investigator-initiated projects and may also issue its own funding opportunity announcements.
DAIDS: Madelon Halula
DAIT: Stacy Fergusen
DEA: Patricia Haggerty
DMID: Samuel Perdue
For funding opportunity announcements, contact the program officer listed in announcements.
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NIAID's Application portal
NIAID Funding Policy and Process SOP
Program Announcements SOP
Requests for Applications (RFA) SOP
Should You Apply for an R21? in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
Small and Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants questions and answers
Last Updated February 28, 2012
Last Reviewed June 17, 2013