Deadline Info: July 16, Nov. 16, March 16 until May 2020

Agency/Sponsor: National Institutes of Health


The purpose of this grant is to improve the health outcomes for individuals with deafness and other communication disorders through effectiveness and health services research in the NIDCD mission areas of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech and language. 

R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants encourage exploratory/developmental research by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of project development.

 Application Characteristics

  • You may request a project period of up to two years
  • The combined budget for direct costs for the two year project period may not exceed $275,000. No more than $200,000 may be requested in any single year.
  • The R21 can not be renewed
  • No preliminary data are required but may be included if available.
  • The Research Strategy may not exceed 6 pages.


  • Exploratory, novel studies that break new ground or extend previous discoveries toward new directions or applications.
  • High risk high reward studies that may lead to a breakthrough in a particular area, or result in novel techniques, agents, methodologies, models or applications that will impact biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research.
  • Projects should be distinct from those supported through the traditional R01 mechanism.

Investigators are strongly encouraged to consult with the appropriate NIH program administrator about their proposed research project during the concept development stage of the application.

Specific Areas of Interest

Applications must focus on NIDCD mission areas, and research topics must be justified in terms of potential clinical/public health impact.  Appropriate studies include, but are not limited to:

  • Identifying patient and provider variables that predict patient satisfaction and improved outcomes for adults with communication disorders, including quality of life and psychosocial adjustment;
  • Identifying patient or system factors that influence health care utilization, including patient motivation and perceived need;
  • Determining the potential costs and impact of insufficient care (untreated or under- treated) on real world function and outcomes, including quality of life, depression, and community engagement;
  • Investigating the value and effectiveness of current treatments for communication disorders on real world function and outcomes;
  • Evaluating the relation between the system of care and outcomes for individuals with communication disorders;
  • Determining the cost-effectiveness as it relates to health outcome of an intervention for a particular communication disorder;
  • Investigating the role of patient, family and community engagement on outcomes;
  • Investigating the value of differing service delivery models for communication disorders (e.g., multidisciplinary management teams vs. single practitioner models) on outcomes;
  • Examining the impact of the delivery of services on the cost, access, and patient utilization of care;
  • Evaluating innovative delivery systems (i.e., telehealth, internet, and emerging technologies) and various delivery models (e.g., group or family);
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the provision of services and outcomes for patients with multiple chronic disabilities and conditions (e.g., complex needs);
  • Examining adherence, compliance, decision-making, or patient education; and
  • Investigating ways to promote equity and reduce or eliminate health disparities/inequities in treatment services for individuals with communication disorders.

 Applications are due July 16, November 16, March 16 until the Program Announcement expires in May 2020.

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