Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 3/18/2024

NIDCD Early Career Research (ECR) Award (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)

The NIDCD Early Career Research (ECR) Award (R21) is intended to support both basic and clinical research from scientists who are beginning to establish an independent research career. It cannot be used for thesis or dissertation research. The research must be focused on one or more of the areas within the biomedical and behavioral scientific mission of the NIDCD: hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, or language. The NIDCD ECR Award R21 grant mechanism 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 research technology. Irrespective of the type of project, the intent of the NIDCD ECR Award R21 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): June 18, 2024; Oct 17, 2024; Feb 19, 2025; June 17, 2025; Oct 17, 2025; Feb 18, 2026; June 17, 2026; Oct 19, 2026; Feb 17, 2027

PAR-24-119 Expiration Date February 18, 2027

Eligibility Requirements

The PD/PI must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or valid U.S. visa holder. The PD/PI 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/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. For example, individuals with clinical training or clinical fellowship years in Clinical Molecular Genetics, Audiology, or Speech-Language Pathology are also eligible for an exemption. 

 NIDCD will consider requests for a one tine extension to the standard 7-year eligibility period. Each individual circumstance is different and as such, extension requests will be considered on a case by case basis. The request for an extension must include a PD/PI statement describing the reason for the extension request and an independent statement from the Institutional Signing Official describing the timeframe over which productivity was significantly altered. The request must be signed by the PD/PI and co-signed and submitted by the Institutional Signing Official by email to the ECR R21 Program Coordinator listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts. Extensions MUST be requested before the standard 7-year eligibility period has expired. All NIDC decisions are final. 

A resubmission application will be allowed even if the 7-year eligibility period has expired provided the resubmission application is received within 37 months from the original submission due date based on current NIH Guidelines (NOT-OD-12-128). For further information please contact the NIDCD ECR Award (R21) program coordinator listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts.

The PD/PI may be an independent early stage investigator or a late-stage postdoctoral fellow still in their mentor's laboratory. However, if still a postdoctoral fellow, there should be a letter from the mentor included with the application that clearly confirms a commitment to the provision of laboratory space and a clear indication that a transition away from the mentor is being initiated and that the research project will be transferable to another U.S. institution with the PD/PI.

Questions regarding eligibility should be addressed prior to beginning to prepare the application by contacting the appropriate staff member listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts.

Individuals who have served as PD/PI on any NIH research grant (including an R01, R03, R15, R21, K99/R00, SBIR/STTR, subprojects of program project or center grants) or any other federally-funded research grant (e.g., NSF, DOD, DOE, VA) are NOT eligible for the NIDCD 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 NIDCD ECR Award grant program. Recipients of the K99/R00 award are not eligible to apply for the NIDCD ECR Award (R21). Replacement PD/PIs for an ECR R21 are NOT allowed.

Only one NIDCD ECR Award (R21) application may be submitted by a PD/PI per due date. PD/PIs who successfully obtained an NIDCD Small Grant award are ineligible for the NIDCD ECR Award (R21).

Applicants may not submit an NIDCD R01, R15 or R21application for the same review cycle that the NIDCD ECR Award application is submitted. In such cases the NIDCD ECR Award application will be withdrawn.

Amount Description

The combined budget for direct costs for the entire project period may not exceed $375,000. No more than $125,000 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 3 years.

Funding Type