Limited Competition: Small Grant Program for the NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program (R03 Clinical Trial Optional)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The purpose of this FOA is to enhance the capability of NCATS CTSA Program KL2 scholars and recipients of diversity and re-entry supplements supported by the CTSA Program to conduct research as they complete the transition to fully independent academic translational scientists.

These R03 grants will support different clinical and translational science research projects, including pilot and feasibility studies; secondary data analysis of existing data; small, self-contained research projects; development of research methodology; and development of new research technology. Research proposed in the R03 application may or may not include patient-oriented research. The R03 is, therefore, intended to support research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources and that provide preliminary data to support submission of a subsequent R01, or equivalent, application.


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): 30 days prior to the application due date
  • Application Due Date(s):  March 26, 2021; June 17, 2021; Oct. 19, 2021; Feb. 17, 2022; June 17, 2022; Oct. 18, 2022; Feb. 17, 2023; June 19, 2023; Oct. 17, 2023

​PAR-21-121 Expiration Date October 18, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Women, individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, from disadvantaged backgrounds, or with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. Eligibility is limited to NCATS CTSA Program supported:

1) scholars who received direct funding from the NCATS CTSA Program Institutional Career Development Core (KL2);

2) awardees of research supplements to promote diversity in health-related research supported by the CTSA Program that are at the level of investigators developing independent research careers; or

3) awardees of research supplements to promote re-entry into biomedical and behavioral research careers supported by the CTSA Program.

Scholars funded by KL2 supplements supported by other NIH ICs are not eligible (e.g. RFA-DE-17-008, PA-18-920, NOT-AT-20-010, PA-18-426, NOT-OD-20-022, and NOT-OD-21-001). The earliest award date for the R03 is one day after the completion of the scholar’s appointment or one day after the completion of the research supplement award. Applications must be submitted for R03 due dates within 2 years of completion of the KL2 appointment or the research supplement. Eligibility for resubmissions will be extended for 12 months past the first submission. PD/PIs who have already successfully competed for a substantial NIH independent research award are ineligible. With the exception of the R21 and the R03, an investigator will retain their eligibility if they have already successfully competed for any of the smaller research awards, training, infrastructure, and career awards that are listed here.

Questions regarding eligibility should be addressed prior to beginning to prepare the application by contacting the Scientific/Research contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts.



Amount Description

Application budgets are limited to direct costs up to $50,000 per year and need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum period of support is 2 years.

Funding Type



Junior Faculty
Post Doctoral Fellows
Women and minorities encouraged


Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

October 17, 2023