Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 3/18/2024

Trailblazer Award for New and Early Stage Investigators (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)

This Trailblazer Award is an opportunity for NIH-defined New and Early Stage Investigators (https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/index.htm) to pursue research programs that integrate engineering and the physical sciences with the life and/or biomedical sciences. A Trailblazer project may be exploratory, developmental, proof of concept, or high risk-high impact, and may be technology design-directed, discovery-driven, or hypothesis-driven. Importantly, applicants must propose research approaches for which there are minimal or no preliminary data.

A distinct feature for this FOA is that no preliminary data are required, expected, or encouraged. However, if available, minimal preliminary data are allowed. Preliminary data are defined as material which the applicant has independently produced and not yet published in a peer-reviewed journal. All preliminary data should be clearly marked and limited to one-half page, which may include one figure. Applications including data more than one-half page or more than one figure will be considered noncompliant with the FOA instructions and will not go forward to review.


  • R21 Due Dates: Feb. 16, Jun. 16, Oct. 16
  • AIDS Due Dates: Jan. 7, May 7, Sep. 7

PAR-24-022 Expiration Date January 08, 2026

Eligibility Requirements

This FOA targets New and Early Stage Investigators integrating engineering and physical sciences with the biomedical sciences. Eligible individuals must be a) NIH-defined Early Stage Investigators; or b) NIH-defined New Investigators (https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/index.htm). For applications with multiple PDs/PIs, all PDs/PIs must be eligible to apply for this award.

Applicants will be considered ineligible for this funding opportunity if they have submitted an R01, R15 or any other R21 application, with a participating IC as the primary IC within the same review cycle  Applicants may not hold concurrent Trailblazer awards.

Amount Description

Application budgets may not exceed $400,000 direct costs over a maximum three-year funding period. No more than $200,000 direct costs may be requested in any single year.