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%


  1. herp says

    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. Phillip IV says

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

  3. DrugMonkey says

    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. BugDoc says

    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.


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