Investigator-Initiated Research & Mentored Research Scientist Career Development

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The goal of the NIOSH extramural research program is to support relevant and high quality scientific investigation that will have an impact in reducing occupational disease and injury. NIOSH responds to that goal by funding investigator initiated research. These diverse awards include funding for large occupational safety and health (OSH) research projects (R01), small OSH research grants (R03) and exploratory OSH research grants (R21). The extramural research portfolio includes mentored research scientist career development awards (K01) that provide mentored training for the next generation of occupational safety and health scientists. These highly competitive awards provide up to three years of funding and a scientific focus designed to develop the skills and productivity of new career scientists. These mechanisms of support are described below. For more information on how to apply for these grants, please see Funding Opportunities.

Large OSH Research Grants (R01). The purpose of this funding opportunity is to develop an understanding of the risks and conditions that are associated with occupational diseases and injuries, to explore methods for reducing risks and for preventing or minimizing exposure to hazardous conditions in the workplace, and to translate significant scientific findings into prevention practices and products that will effectively reduce work-related illnesses and injuries.

Small Research Grants (R03). This grant mechanism supports different types of projects including pilot and feasibility studies; secondary analysis of existing data; small, self-contained research projects; development of research methodology; and development of new research technology. The R03 is intended to support small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources.

Exploratory Grant Program (R21). The R21 mechanism is intended to encourage new exploratory and developmental research projects. For example, such projects could assess the feasibility of a novel area of investigation or a new experimental system that has the potential to enhance health-related research. Another example could include the unique and innovative use of an existing methodology to explore a new scientific area. These studies may involve considerable risk but may lead to a breakthrough in a particular area, or to the development of novel techniques, agents, methodologies, models, or applications that could have a major impact on a field of biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research. Applications for R21 awards should describe projects distinct from those supported through the traditional R01 mechanism. Projects of limited cost or scope that use widely accepted approaches and methods within well established fields are better suited for the R03 small grant mechanism.

Mentored Research Scientist Career Development (K01). This research program is intended to prepare the next generation of occupational safety and health researchers and educators. Emphasis for funding is placed on projects that specifically address the priority goals of the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) which is described at Research training supported by this announcement may include a wide range of training modalities reflecting the diverse approaches needed to effectively address occupational safety and health problems effectively.

Fiscal Year (FY) Extramural Research Program Highlights

Program achievements featured in the Extramural Research and Training Program Annual Reports