In the past few weeks I have visited with faculty, fellows, and students at several local universities and have talked with peer reviewers attending a recent NIH study section. A number of people have shared with me their perception that NCI no longer funds R21. Hopefully this blog will clarify the situation.
Last year senior NCI leaders made a decision to allow the omnibus R21 program announcement (PA) to expire. This PA allowed investigators to submit applications with any idea they developed. Allowing this PA to expire was a difficult decision undertaken only after extensive discussion and evaluation of the NCI grant portfolio. My understanding is that there was an ever increasing volume of high quality R21 for a limited pool of funding. In addition, some of these applications did not address program priorities. Senior leadership also questioned whether some of these R21 applications could have been submitted as small R01. I imagine it was hard for our senior... Read more