The NIH has finally realized what a total fucking boondoggle the R03 and R21 grant mechanisms are:

The NIH has found that the use of Small Grants (R03) and the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants (R21) has increased over the last few years6. However, recent analyses indicate that a smaller proportion of individuals with initial R21 or R03 grant support subsequently apply for and obtain R01-equivalent funding. In addition, the initial success rate for R21 applications often is lower than for R01 applications. Since R03 and R21 grants are limited in scope and period of support, they may not be the most effective way to launch an independent research career. Accordingly, the NIH encourages New Investigators, particularly ESIs, to apply for R01 grants when seeking first-time funding from the NIH.

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