NIDCR Division of Extramural Research
Funding Opportunity Purpose
The NIDCR Small Grant Program for New Investigators (R03) supports basic research conducted by scientists who are in the early stages of establishing their independent research career in oral, dental and craniofacial research. This program supports pilot or feasibility studies and developmental research projects with the intention of obtaining enough preliminary data for a subsequent investigator-initiated Research Project Grant (R01) or equivalent application.
A New Investigator (NI) is a research grant applicant who has not yet competed successfully for a substantial, competing research grant (R01). Whereas an Early Stage Investigator (ESI) is a subset of new investigator who has completed his or her terminal research degree or medical residency—whichever date is later—within the past 10 years and has not yet competed successfully for a substantial, competing NIH research grant.
The NIDCR Small Grant Program for New Investigators (R03) is intended to provide support for New Investigators who are in the early stages of establishing independence in the areas of oral, dental and craniofacial research. Applications are invited only from New Investigators whose proposed research addresses any of the goals described in the NIDCR Strategic Plan. In brief, the NIDCR Strategic Plan is dedicated to enhancing dental, oral and craniofacial health through fundamental discoveries and the clinical application of these discoveries. For more detailed information regarding scientific areas of interest and for program official contacts, please visit the NIDCR website.
This mechanism is intended to support small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources. This program will support small pilot or feasibility studies and developmental research projects with the intention of obtaining enough preliminary data to support the subsequent submission of a competitive investigator initiated R01 or equivalent research application. This mechanism may not be used to support clinical trials or biomarker validation studies. Individuals proposing clinical trials must use the UG3/UH3 mechanism. The R03 is not intended to sustain research careers; rather, it is expected that New Investigators will use this award to provide a foundation to facilitate future success in achieving long term R01 or equivalent grant funding.
Although this FOA is limited to New Investigators, NIDCR does participate in topic specific FOAs (R03) which are not limited to New Investigators. For a complete listing of currently active FOAs, please visit the NIDCR website on grants and funding. Note that NIDCR does not participate in the NIH parent FOA for R03 applications.
This PAR has existed since FY2007 (previous versions: PAR-07-418, PAR-10-275, PAR-13-348 and the current iteration: PAR-16-409). Unlike the parent NIH R03 mechanism (PA-19-052) which provides $50K direct cost/year for two years, this PAR allows for direct cost up to $100K per year for two years.
As an NIDCR specific PAR, peer review is conducted by the NIDCR Special Grants Review Committee (DSR). Unique to this PAR, applicants must include a description of how the R03 project might lead to a conceptual framework for a subsequent R01 or equivalent application.
Overall, this mechanism has remained popular with new dental investigators especially those having no prior experience with the peer review process. A portfolio analysis conducted at the last renewal (2016) revealed that R03 awardees were 2X more likely to apply for and 3X more likely to receive their first R01 compared to new investigators that did not receive an award under this mechanism.
Table 1 provides a listing of total applications received and success rate as the percent awarded for each of the last three announcement cycles. This analysis was based on number of unique projects (-01 and -01A1 submissions were counted once per application). Note that the number of applications received under PAR-16-409 are lower partly due to current FY 2019 (numbers as of April 30, 2019).
|FOA||No. of Applications||% Awarded|
** As of April 30, 2019