NCMRR Early Career Research Award (R03 Clinical Trial Optional)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) Early Career Research (ECR) Award (R03) is intended to support both basic and clinical research from rehabilitation scientists who are establishing independent research careers. It cannot be used to support thesis/dissertation research or research conducted by postdoctoral fellows.  The research should be focused on one or more of the areas within the biomedical and behavioral mission of NCMRR: pathophysiology and management of chronically injured nervous and musculoskeletal systems; repair and recovery of motor and cognitive function; functional plasticity, adaptation, and windows of opportunity for rehabilitation interventions; rehabilitative strategies involving pharmaceutical, stimulation, neuroengineering approaches, exercise, motor training, and behavioral modifications; pediatric rehabilitation; secondary conditions associated with chronic disabilities; improved diagnosis, assessment, and outcome measures; and development of orthotics, prosthetics, and other assistive technologies and devices. The NCMRR ECR Award supports different types of projects including secondary analysis of existing data; small, self-contained research projects; development of research methodology; translational research; outcomes research; and development of new technology. Irrespective of the type of project, the intent of the NCMRR ECR Award is for the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) to obtain sufficient preliminary data for a subsequent R01 application.  

Application Due Date(s):  March 30, 2018, March 29, 2019
PAR-18-211 Expiration Date March 30, 2019

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

PD(s)/PI(s) must be no more than 7 years beyond the date that the first professional, advanced professional, or terminal academic degree was awarded, whichever is most recent. The 7 year eligibility period will be calculated based on the MM/DD/YYYY the degree was awarded. The last application due date, not the application submission date, that falls within the 7 year eligibility period will be the last date an application may be submitted. Formal years of clinical training (Internship, Residency, and Fellowship) are not counted as part of the 7 year limit. In addition, exemption of years for clinical training is not limited to physicians. 

Each PD/PI must be an independent faculty-level investigator, not a postdoctoral fellow still in his/her mentor's laboratory.

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.

Individuals who have served as PD/PI on any NIH research grant (including an R01, R03, R15, R21, SBIR/STTR, subprojects of program project or center grants) or any other federally-funded research grant (e.g., NSF, DOE, VA) are NOT eligible for the NCMRR ECR Award Grant Program. However, former recipients of Federally-funded National Research Service Award fellowships and traineeships (i.e. F- and T- series awards) or mentored career development awards (i.e. K awards) are eligible for the NCMRR ECR Award grant program. Recipients of the K99/R00 award are not eligible to apply for the NCMRR ECR Award (R03).

For Multi-PI applications, all of the PDs/PIs must meet the above eligibility criteria.  

Only one NCMRR ECR Award (R03) application may be submitted per due date by the named PD(s)/PI(s).



Amount Description

The combined budget for direct costs for the entire project period may not exceed $200,000. No more than $100,000 in direct costs may be requested in any single year.

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

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science

External Deadline

March 29, 2019