Small and Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants SOP

This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: Purpose, Procedure, Contacts, and Links.

Some links will work for NIAID staff only.

Purpose

To support small-scale research projects and encourage exploratory and developmental research.

Procedure

Small (R03) and exploratory/developmental research (R21) grants are designed for investigators who have small defined projects where preliminary data are not required.

Both 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 Contacting Program Officers and Grants Management Specialist.

Small Research Grants (R03)

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 (Parent R03) program announcements and may also issue its own funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) in high-priority areas of science. Find those announcements on our Opportunities and Announcements list.

Below are examples of projects suitable to a small grant:

  • Pilot or feasibility studies.
  • Secondary analysis of existing data.
  • Small, self-contained research projects.
  • Development of research methodology.
  • Development of new research technology.

Applicants

  • Submit an R03 application by the due date in the FOA.
  • Request up to $50,000 a year in direct costs for up to two years.
  • Limit your Research Strategy to six pages.
  • Small grants do not have any cost-sharing requirements.
  • If resubmissions are allowed, you may revise and resubmit an R03 application once as a resubmission (A1). Summarize changes in an Introduction letter that does not exceed one page.

Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants (R21)

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.

NIAID accepts R21 applications in response to the Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21) program announcements as well as other announcements on our Opportunities and Announcements list.

Applicants

  • Submit an R21 application by the due date in the FOA.
  • Request up to $275,000 in direct costs for a two-year period, with no more than $200,000 in a single year, unless otherwise specified in the FOA.
  • Limit your Research Strategy to six pages. You may include reduced versions of relevant images.
  • Follow the budget instructions in the FOA.
  • Exploratory/developmental grants do not have any cost-sharing requirements.
  • If resubmissions are allowed, you may revise and resubmit an R21 application once as a resubmission (A1). Summarize changes in an Introduction letter that does not exceed one page.

Contacts

DAIDS: Madelon Halula

DAIT: Stacy Ferguson

DEA: NIAIDOPCO@niaid.nih.gov

DMID: Samuel Perdue

For funding opportunity announcements, contact the program officer listed in announcements.

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email deaweb@niaid.nih.gov with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.

Links

Apply for a Grant

NIAID Funding Policy and Process SOP

Program Announcements (PA) SOP

Requests for Applications (RFA) SOP

Comparing Popular Research Project Grants: R01, R03, or R21

Content last reviewed on September 26, 2018