NIGMS Technology Development Programs (R21 and R01)

The technology development R21 and R01 funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) encourage evaluation of technological hypotheses without the pressure to additionally test unknown biological questions. Technologies might originate from biomedical disciplines or from engineering and the physical sciences. Examples include instruments, devices, processes, algorithms, software, chemicals, biomolecules, or cells that have potential value for generating new basic biomedical research. Applications that include untested biological hypotheses would not be funded with these FOAs.

NIGMS R21 and R01 research project grants support technology development from concept, feasibility, and prototype, to demonstrations of biological utility. There are 3 critical stages of early technology development:

The mission of NIGMS includes technology development that enables future acquisition of knowledge about normal physiological processes that would not otherwise be supported by other NIH Institutes that have disease or organ-specific missions. General research areas of interest include cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, biomedical technology, bioinformatics, and computational biology.

Whether a research topic is appropriate for NIGMS or another NIH Institute can be evaluated historically with NIH RePORTER. The RePORTER Matchmaker tool will match words in the proposal abstract and specific aims pages to key terms from funded grants, and measure the historical fit of the proposal to NIH funding Institutes and study sections. It is recommended that applicants contact program staff for the current fit for advancing NIGMS research. Applicants are encouraged to contact NIGMS program staff for eligibility, but final eligibility is determined from the full application after submission.

Webinar On Technology Development Presented May 14, 2019

For more information about the technology development FOAs, contact:

Paul Sammak, Ph.D.
Program Director
Division of Biomedical Technology, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biosciences
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health


Miles Fabian, Ph.D.
Program Director
Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry
National Institute of General Medical Sciences