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Research Grants

Research grants make up the largest category of funding and support by the NIDCD. These grants may be awarded to universities, medical and other health professional schools, colleges, hospitals, research institutes, for-profit organizations and government institutions that sponsor and conduct biomedical research and development. Research grants may provide funds for salaries, equipment, supplies, travel, and other allowable direct costs of the research as well as for indirect costs to the sponsoring institution or organization.

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Please note that NIH has transitioned from the PHS398 application to the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) application, and requires e-submission of grant applications via

Research Project Grant [R01]

Investigator-initiated research grants [R01] make up the largest single category of support provided by the NIDCD and by the NIH. The R01 is considered the traditional grant mechanism. These grants are awarded to organizations on behalf of an individual (principal investigator or PI) to facilitate pursuit of a research objective in the area of the investigator's research interests and competence.


Small Grant [R03]

The NIDCD Small Grant [R03] Program is designed to support basic and clinical research by scientists who are in the early stages of establishing an independent research career. This program can not 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. Each applicant is solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing his or her proposed project.

Applications may be submitted for up to four modules of $25,000 each ($100,000 Direct Costs per year), for up to three years of support. NIDCD Small Grants are not renewable.


AREA Grant [R15]

The purpose of the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program is to stimulate research in educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees for a significant number of the Nation's research scientists, but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. AREA grants are intended to support small-scale health-related research projects proposed by faculty members of eligible, domestic institutions.

Eligible Project Director/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) include individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research. Applicants may not be the PD/PI of any active NIH research grant. Applicants may request up to $150,000 direct costs plus applicable Facilities & Administrative/indirect costs for the entire project period of up to three years. The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend upon the quality, duration, and costs of the applications received.


Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program [R21]

The R21 mechanism is intended to encourage new, exploratory and developmental research projects by providing support for the early stages of their development. For example, such projects could assess the feasibility of a novel area of investigation or a new experimental system that has the potential to enhance health-related research.

Applications for R21 awards should describe projects distinct from those supported through the traditional R01 mechanism.  Applications submitted under this mechanism should be exploratory and novel.

Supplements to Promote Reentry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers

The NIDCD recognizes the need to support individuals with high potential to reenter an active research career after taking time off to care for children or parents or to attend to other family responsibilities. All principal investigators holding an NIDCD research grant may apply for an administrative supplement for support of trained individuals to reenter research careers within the mission areas of the NIDCD. Full-time or part-time research by these individuals may be supported with these administrative supplements, a program geared to bring existing research skills and knowledge up to date.

By providing supplemental funds to ongoing research grants, this program aims to attract and encourage individuals to pursue biomedical and behavioral research careers in human communication. Application guidance and information may be obtained from Lana Shekim, Ph.D., NIDCD,, telephone 301-496-5061.


National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Celebrating 20 years of research: 1988 to 2008