What You Need To Know About R01 Grants

The Research Project Grant (R01) is the most common grant mechanism distributed by the National Institutes for Health (NIH). The R01 supports health-related research and development that aligns with the principles of the NIH. Here is some useful information every researcher or future researcher can familiarize themselves about how these important funding mechanisms work.

Principle investigators may initiate an R01 application, meaning there are no specific guidelines, or potential grant recipients may be solicited through a Request for Application (RFA). In cases involving an RFA, an approximate amount of funds and number of awards to be made are established, as well as whether funds will be shared. Applicants submitting in response to an RFA normally have their submissions reviewed by a Scientific Review Group. In the event that unsolicited investigators apply for an R01, their research plan must correspond to at least one of the NIH Institutes and Centers’ missions.

R01 grants may be applied to the following costs, per NIH:

  • Salary and fringe benefits for principal investigator, key personnel, and other essential personnel
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Consultant costs
  • Alterations and renovations
  • Publications and miscellaneous costs
  • Contract services
  • Consortium costs
  • Facilities and administrative costs (indirect costs)
  • Travel expenses

Ideal R01 Candidates

R01s are a good choice for investigators with preliminary data as well as new investigators. An R01 provides four or five years of support, allowing investigators enough time not only to conduct their research but prepare applications for future awards in a timely manner. Newer investigators may benefit in particular for a number of reasons, according to NIH:

  • New investigators are held to looser standards than more seasoned applicants (they may provide fewer preliminary data, resources, and publications)
  • New investigators are offered a more liberal payline for R01 applications
  • If the R01 application is rejected, it stands a better chance at garnering an R56-Bridge award or selective pay

NIH notes that while application standards may be more laid back for new investigators, “you still need to propose an important problem and use a sound research approach.”

Important Dates

Deadlines for new grant applications are Feb. 5, June 5, and Oct. 5; renewal, resubmission, and revision grant applications must be submitted by March 5, July 5, and Nov. 5; and AIDS and AIDS-related grant applications are due on May 7, Sept. 7, and Jan. 7.