NINR Restricts R03 to New Investigators

Interesting notice from the National Institute for Nursing Research (which funds PIs with non-nursing degrees except for K awards). Other ICs discourage new investigators from using this mechanism since it provides so little money for only 2 years and is non-renewable. However, looks as though NINR is making it clear this is for pilot data generation and not a substitute for the R01 project.

Specifically, the NINR says it “is now restricting the use of the R03 mechanism to new investigators. For the purposes of review and funding, applicants are considered new investigators if they have not previously served as a Principal Investigator on any DHHS-supported research project other than a small grant (R03), an Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15), an exploratory/developmental grant (R21), or certain mentored research career development awards for persons at the beginning of their research career (K01, K08, K22, K23, K25, K99/R00). Current or past recipients of Independent Scientist and other non-mentored career awards (e.g., K02, K05, K24, and K26) are not considered new investigators.

NINR is committed to encouraging the research success of new investigators. New investigators are critical to biobehavioral health research as they replenish the researcher pool and seed it with new ideas and approaches. To enable new investigators to develop the preliminary work and data necessary to compete effectively for independent research awards (e.g., R01s), NINR is restricting the use of the R03 award to this vital pool of investigators.”

Questions? Need advice on your NINR R03 application? Contact Dr. Karen Huss at or 301-594-5970.


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