To R21 or R01? That is the question.

Dec 10 2013 Published by under Careers

Or maybe not. If you're new to the tenure-track and are looking for your first NIH grant, an R21 might look appealing.

Read this: Should You Apply for an R21?

Still look appealing?

10 responses so far

  • mtomasson says:

    I've had good success with R21's. My advice: take them seriously, and don't think they are any easier than an R01. Just smaller. Also, the idea that you don't need preliminary data is a ruse.

    • odyssey says:

      I know plenty of people who have had success with them. But the notion that it's a good starter grant for n00bs? Not so much.

  • eeke says:

    I got an R21 with little or no preliminary data. Unfortunately, the project didn't pan out as expected, but they are supposed to be high risk. I think I got lucky in that study section round.

    Anyway, not all institutes accept R21 applications. If you are a noob, you might be better off using support from an internal foundation award (if there are any available) or start-up to generate preliminary data that can eventually be used for an R01.

  • joatmon says:

    I don't think any reviewer have a clear idea about exactly what the R21 mechanism is for. This is my experience from interacting people who are on the study sections. The R21 is meant to be exploratory but not necessarily high risk.The idea that R21 is supposed to be high risk really depends on the IC (and obviously your reviewers).

    You get a break for being a new investigator if you are applying for an R01. You don't get the same benefit for applying an R21.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    I have never yet run into a trio of reviewers that all agreed to recognize the "Developmental" part if the R21 title. Rarely even one person. I fin this peculiar.

  • namnezia says:

    I agree with DM, I remember getting a comment back from an R21 review that said it was too "exploratory".

  • Odyssey says:

    I find it fascinating/remarkable/perplexing that this funding mechanism has been around for so long and no one, not even the NIH apparently, seems to have a clue as to how to apply it in a consistent manner.

  • Bdale_anna says:

    Most (all) ICs don't give a pay line advantage for NI/ESI R21s. R01s only. Almost all R01s above the pay line go to noobs at NINDS:

  • […] my previous post I tried to make the point that the R21 mechanism probably isn't a good bet for newly minted […]

  • depends on IC, but often have lower paylines than R01s.