NIDCR New Investigator R03

First, NIAMS, then NINR … now NIDCR makes 3 NIH ICs that restrict use of the R03 small grant program mechanism for clearly defined new investigators. NIDCR offers up to $150K in direct costs for the 2-year period. NIAMS sticks with the traditional $50K per year but for up to 3 years. NINR seems to be following the parent R03 award of $50K per year for 2 years.

NIDCD offers a special R03 program for young investigators – including postdocs – within 7 years of their doctorate (excluding years of formal clinical training). Applications may be submitted for up to 4 modules of $25,000 each (ie, $100,000 Direct Costs per year), for up to 3 years of support. There are special receipt dates later in the major cycle months (Feb, June, Oct).



  1. whimple said

    It seems to me that new investigators really don’t need an R03 since they (hopefully) have startup funds that can be used for that purpose. I thought the R03 was a nice idea to encourage established people to go in new directions; giving it to new investigators then seems redundant.

  2. drugmonkey said

    not every new investigator gets “startup funds” you know.

    but the real problem here is yet more ways to box new investigators into “starter grants” that don’t get the job actually done in terms of supporting their transition to a stable career.

  3. PhysioProf said

    “the real problem here is yet more ways to box new investigators into ‘starter grants’ that don’t get the job actually done”

    Yep. One piece of really good advice that I received when I started my lab was to not bother applying for NIH grants other than R01s. The amount of time and effort required to write a full R01 is not really that much more than an R21 or R03. And my experience and that of my colleagues suggests that R03s and R21s are not easier to get, anyway. (That may change with this limitation to New PIs.)

    Not to mention that $50,000 per year is just a ridiculously small amount of money. Frankly, for the adminstrative effort and expense it takes to write, submit, receive, review, and fund an R03 for $50,000 per year, maybe NIH should just give every single new investigator one “free” starter R03 after only administrative review by program staff.

  4. drugmonkey said

    Well, they do have the R56 mechanism available already. It permits Program to fund anything with a score for a year, with any budget they decide. So if a given institute was serious they could just look at all scored New Investigator applications that weren’t good enough to fund and immediately hit with an R56 if “no preliminary data” was the limiting critique…
    NIAID’s version is:

    “Interim award that lets principal investigators continue research while reapplying for an R01 grant, or enables new investigators to gather preliminary data to improve their grant applications. Investigators do not apply for these awards; they are selected from R01 applications at the payline margin.
    R56-Bridge award recipients receive one year of funding, which ends after they succeed in obtaining an R01 or after one year. “

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