Jan 13 2012

Delusional R21 Applicants Wake The Fucke Uppe!

I would like anyone who is planning on submitting an R21 grant application this February or March to take a look at the NIH Data Book page entitled Research and training grants: Success rates by mechanism and selected activity codes. Anyone who is telling you to apply for an R21 because it is a “starter grant” or that it is “easier” to get than an R01 is in fucken la-la-land! Let me summarize for you the success rates for R21s versus R01s over the last few years:

YEAR R01 R21
2006 20% 15%
2007 23% 16%
2008 23% 16%
2009 22% 14%
2010 22% 15%
2011 18% 13%


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  1. 1

    Sadly, I think most of the “starter grants” are more competitive than an R01. Unfortunately the funding will continue to slowly dry up if there isn’t something done to fix it. I don’t foresee any president and congress ready and willing to help fund basic research.

  2. 2
    Phillip IV

    Well, a lot of mad scientists have started out as delusional applicants. Ya gotta start somewhere, after all.

  3. 3

    NIH is totally screwing up. They should be funding lots more of these. Prelim work to find out if it is worth a full R01 investment. R01s that convincingly arise from a prior R21 should be funded at a higher rate too.

  4. 4

    I agree with you, DM – more R21 applications should be funded. Right now, there seems to be a lot of magical thinking about where the substantial amount of preliminary data required to support R01 applications should come from.

  1. 5
    Those three little words… | Fumbling Towards Tenure Track

    [...] there is a lot of adviceout there that New or Early Stage Investigators should not apply for R21s, and even in light of this recent [...]

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