Skip to main content

R21: Exploratory/Developmental Grants

Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21) are supported by NIA in its four extramural programs. Topics currently being solicited through this mechanism are available from the individual program Web sites as listed below. Interested applicants should follow instructions in the NIH R21 PA.

  • DAB accepts R21 applications in areas providing new avenues of research on the molecular, cellular, physiological, and genetic mechanisms of aging within the mission of the program.
    • Applications in the following areas are particularly encouraged:
    • The molecular basis of Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome;
    • The development of novel animal models of aging, particularly for identifying genes and biochemical pathways regulating longevity;
    • The role of stem cells in preventing adverse age-related changes due to loss of specific cell types.
  • DBSR accepts R21 applications in its areas of emphasis, including:
    • Health Disparities
    • Aging Minds
    • Increasing Health Expectancy
    • Health, Work, and Retirement
    • Interventions and Behavior Change
    • Genetics, Behavior, and the Social Environment
    • The Burden of Illness and the Efficiency of Health System
  • DN accepts R21 applications in all areas of NNA's mission focusing on research to understand the aging process in the structure and functioning of the nervous system and the brain-behavior relationship. An important component of this program is the support of basic, clinical, and epidemiological studies of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias of aging. Of special interest are innovative and high-impact studies focused on identifying, preventing, and treating neurodegenerative disorders and cognitive declines associated with aging.

  • DGCG accepts R21 applications involving research on health and disease in the aged and research on aging during the human lifespan and its relationships to health outcomes, consistent with the mission of the program. Specifically, i) Longevity associated variants (LAV) such as ApoE2 to improve understanding of physiologic and cellular differences attributable to the protective variant(s) and how they mediate differential effects on longevity and risk for age-related conditions. ii) Identification of potential therapeutic targets based on LAV(s)for interventions that prevent or ameliorate aging-related diseases and enhance human life and health span consistent with the mission of our program.

    The Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology Program accepts R21 applications involving research on health and disease in the aged and research on aging during the human lifespan and its relationships to health outcomes, consistent with the program's mission. Specific areas of interest are:

    Research on health, disease, and disability in older persons, including:

    • Multifactorial geriatric syndromes (e.g., falls, frailty, and various types of disability)
    • Effects of comorbidity and polypharmacy
    • Effects of age-related changes on clinical or functional disease outcomes or treatment responses
    • Effects of physical activity on disease and disability in older persons
    • Elucidation, diagnosis, and treatment of previously unappreciated pathologic changes in old age (e.g., sarcopenia, vascular stiffening, diastolic dysfunction).

    Clinically related research on aging during the lifespan and determinants of age-related progression rate changes that affect disease risk, including:

    • Healthy aging during the lifespan, including exceptional longevity
    • Protective factors against multiple age-related conditions
    • Longitudinal studies of factors affecting aging changes at different points in the lifespan
    • Translational human research to follow-up findings from basic research on aging
    • Long-term effects of current or new interventions that may be administered during a large part of the lifespan
    • Long-term effects of physical activity and nutritional factors throughout the lifespan.

    Exploratory research on interventions affecting aging changes and/or health of older persons, including: 

    • Prevention or treatment of "geriatric syndromes," frailty, disability, and complications of comorbidity or polypharmacy
    • Age- or comorbidity-related differences in responses to interventions
    • Problems associated with menopause, reproductive aging, and other mid- and late-life changes
    • Rates of progression of age-related declines in function in early and midlife
    • Interventions with protective effects against multiple age-related conditions.