Principal Investigators Association

The R21 Grant: Making the Most of a Six-Page Research Strategy

The R21 Grant: Making the Most of a Six-Page Research Strategy

The R21 Grant: Making the Most of a Six-Page Research Strategy

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Presenter: Dr. Christopher Dant
Webinar Format: CD-Rom, MP4 and PDF Transcript.
All formats include the PDF presentation handouts.

Length: 60 minutes
The R21 grant is often misunderstood. This non-renewable short R grant is for exploratory, novel studies that break new ground or extend previous discoveries toward new directions or applications. These grants are for 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.
There are many misconceptions about this grant–for example, while the NIH formally says that preliminary data are not required for this grant, evidence shows that most successful R21s have some preliminary studies. Also, contrary to some thinking, R21s are not intended for new investigators, and there is no evidence that they provide a path to an independent research career. Finally, because this grant has a specific purpose unlike the R01, there are writing strategies for the 6-page research section that must be considered.
This is the focus of this must-attend Webinar: how to make the most of the research strategy to increase your chances of scoring high on this grant.

5 Key Take-Aways:

  • How to influence a peer reviewer positively
    about the R21 research–focus on
    significance and particularly innovation.
  • How to focus your R21 project, particularly
    in scope–R21s offer limited funding.
  • Learn how to streamline your application:
    Indicate high risk/high reward without
    exceeding your page count.
  • Understand the issue of preliminary data
    for an R21.
  • Overall, increase understanding of what
    the R21 is (and is not) and how to determine whether your research project is right for
    this mechanism.

Who Should Attend:

  • Any PI who writes an NIH R21 grant.









Christopher DantChristopher Dant is a faculty instructor at Dartmouth Medical School and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. His PhD was concentrated in cellular and molecular biology. Early in his postgraduate career, he apprenticed with a Senior Editor at Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and went on to work as a biomedical writer for life sciences investigators in academia, private industry, and government agencies. Before coming to Dartmouth, Dant was a Projects Manager at the Stanford Medical School for grants and manuscripts and served as the Director of Medical Publications at Genentech in San Francisco, where he worked with many thought leaders in medicine. He regularly presents at national and international medical meetings on writing. At Dartmouth, he works with investigators in developing grant proposals and programmatic initiatives, and educates faculty in grant and manuscript writing skills. He is owner of Medcom Consulting (, a medical and scientific communications company for academic investigators writing grants and manuscripts.


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This Webinar presentation is brought to you as a training tool by the Principal Investigators Association, which is an independent organization. The presentation, tools presented and their contents are not connected with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nor are they endorsed by this agency. All views expressed are those personally held by the presenter and are not official government policies or opinions.



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SKU: AC140626

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