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Know What Funding Opportunities Are Available

In alignment with NIH efforts to enhance stewardship over clinical trials, the NIDCD has redefined the scope of R01 and U01 clinical trials applications to address risks in terms of safety, complexity, fiscal investment, and direct scientific/public health impact. The cooperative agreement U01 mechanism continues to be most appropriate for higher-risk clinical trials, which will benefit from the substantial scientific and programmatic involvement of an NIDCD Project Scientist. The Project Scientist will provide scientific/technical expertise and, in partnership with the Principal Investigator (PI), will be involved in protocol development; study implementation; and ensuring timely progress, protocol adherence, data quality, and participant safety.

The NIDCD has two primary funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for clinical trials.

A full list of NIDCD-issued and NIDCD-participating funding opportunities accepting clinical trial applications can be found at

Stand-alone independent clinical trials cannot be proposed as part of the research plan in a fellowship (F) application. See NIDCD Fellowship: Frequently Asked Questions for details.

The risk criteria for applying to the R01 or U01 mechanism are below:

Award Type

(if ALL of the criteria below are met)

(if ANY of the criteria below are met)

FDA oversight of the intervention

Does not require FDA oversight, e.g., for investigational new drug (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE) applications.
Example: clinical trials involving use of a licensed product/device for an approved dose, population, and indication may not require an IND or IDE.

Requires FDA oversight, e.g., for investigational new drug (IND) or investigational device exemption (IDE) applications.

Anticipated risks to participants

Potential of the intervention to cause physical or psychological harm is low.
Example: risks that are no greater than those encountered in routine medical care or procedures.

Has higher safety risks that can result in physical or psychological harm, for example:

  • A non-routine intervention, that is, an intervention that would not otherwise be provided for the condition under study in the local facility where the study is conducted.
  • Use of an unlicensed product/device.
  • Use of a licensed product/device for an unapproved indication.

Study goals

Intends to gather scientific data/evidence to inform subsequent studies, but is not aimed or sufficiently powered to directly change health policy or standard of care and is not an NIH-defined Phase III clinical trial.

NIH-defined Phase III clinical trial:
An NIH-defined Phase III clinical trial is a broadly-based, prospective Phase III clinical investigation, usually involving several hundred or more human subjects, for the purpose of evaluating an experimental intervention in comparison with a standard or controlled intervention or comparing two or more existing treatments. Often the aim of such investigation is to provide evidence leading to a scientific basis for consideration of a change in health policy or standard of care. The definition includes pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic, and behavioral interventions given for disease prevention, prophylaxis, diagnosis, or therapy. Community trials and other population-based intervention trials are also included.

Annual direct costs

Application budgets are limited to less than $500,000 in direct costs in any year.

Application budgets have annual direct costs of $500,000 or more in any year.

Last Updated Date: 
April 17, 2018