Three Opportunities To Study Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases

Funding News Edition: September 19, 2019
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Consider applying for a grant to advance the discovery and characterization of primary immunodeficiency diseases, also known as inborn errors of immunity. Your findings may improve understanding of disease causes and mechanisms, enable early detection, and support development of treatment and eventual cure strategies.

Your Choice of Opportunities

The two recently reissued funding opportunity announcements (FOAs), the Small Grant (R03) FOA and Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) FOA, join a related March 15, 2018 Research Project Grant (R01) FOA.

Pick the R03 FOA if your project is of limited cost and scope and may use accepted approaches and methods. The R03 program is intended to support small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources. These small, self-contained projects may include pilot and feasibility studies, secondary analyses of existing data, or development of research methodology or new research technology.

Consider the R21 FOA for projects that are exploratory and novel, break new ground, or extend previous discoveries toward new directions or applications. These studies may involve considerable risk but may lead to a breakthrough in a particular area. You may develop novel techniques, agents, methodologies, or models that could have a major impact on primary immunodeficiency research.

The R01 FOA is appropriate for long-term projects and projects designed to increase knowledge in a well-established area. We covered the R01 in our April 18, 2018 article “Primary Focus of Reissued FOA: Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases.”

Read and compare the FOAs carefully to choose which one works best for you. We also offer general advice about these three grant types at Comparing Popular Research Project Grants: R01, R03, and R21.

Scientifically Speaking

The R03, R21, and R01 FOAs support research on the following groups of primary immunodeficiency diseases:

  • Immunodeficiencies affecting cellular and humoral immunity
  • Combined immunodeficiencies with associated or syndromic features
  • Predominantly antibody deficiencies
  • Diseases of immune dysregulation
  • Congenital defects of phagocyte number and/or function
  • Defects in intrinsic and innate immunity
  • Autoinflammatory disorders
  • Complement deficiencies

Find more supported research areas and compare the lists in each FOA’s Research Objectives and Scope section. That section also summarizes areas that the FOAs do not support, such as studies of secondary immunodeficiency conditions due to infection, treatment, aging, and more.

In addition, the FOAs do not support clinical trials (see NIH’s Definition of Clinical Trial) or projects that involve clinical intervention. That said, we encourage studies using human samples if they are within your chosen FOA’s research objectives and scope. You may propose a study using human samples you obtain from a separate clinical trial. 

Budgets, Due Dates, and More

Follow the relevant budget and project duration limits for your chosen FOA:

  • R03 FOA. You may request direct costs of up to $50,000 per year for a maximum of two years.
  • R21 FOA. Limit your direct costs to $275,000 over a two-year project period. Request no more than $200,000 in direct costs in any single year.
  • R01 FOA. The budget amount you request is not limited, but it must reflect the actual needs of your proposed project. Your project period may be no more than five years.

These FOAs use NIH’s Standard Due Dates for each grant type. For R03 and R21, your next due date is October 16, 2019. The next R01 due date is October 7, 2019, since the standard date (October 5) falls on a weekend.

Direct your questions to Dr. Frosso Voulgaropoulou, the FOA’s scientific/research contact. She may also advise you on choosing an appropriate FOA.

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