It’s hard to believe, but 2021 is already here: a new year and a fresh start. Here are this year’s important U.S. research proposal deadlines to note.
This isn’t an exhaustive list—some federal departments list grant opportunities on their own sites, and some solely use grants.gov—but hopefully it’s a useful starting point. For the most comprehensive database of global funding opportunities, with 22,000+ worth a total of $70 billion, check out Fund Finder.
NIH R01 deadlines for 2021
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH awards a total of more than $32 billion each year to 300,000+ researchers, making it the world’s biggest public funder of biomedical research. So if you’ve worked in sponsored research and grants management for a while, you might already have NIH deadlines memorized.
For new R01 research grants as well as U01 research grants – cooperative agreements, the cycle I due date is February 5, 2021; the cycle II due date is June 5, 2021; and the cycle III deadline is October 5, 2021. Fun fact: Cayuse customers submit more than $1 billion worth in proposals on those days!
For renewal, resubmission, and revision R01 research grants as well as U01 research grants – cooperative agreements, the cycle I due date is March 5, 2021; the cycle II due date is July 5, 2021; and the cycle III deadline is November 5, 2021. Full details here.
Other federal agencies’ 2021 deadlines
National Science Foundation (NSF): With nearly 600 funding opportunities currently listed, 2021 deadlines range from January 4 to December 3, with many topics for proposals accepted anytime. See the complete list of active NSF grants here.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): NOAA has almost 30 marine research grants available for 2021. Deadlines range from January 7, 2021 to September 30, 2021. Get details here.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA currently has four EPA/STAR Open RFAs, with deadlines from January 5, 2021 to February 9, 2021. Topics include water reuse, drinking water, pollution, and more. Here’s more information.
Institute of Education Sciences (IES): February 25, 2021 is the application deadline for two IES competitions: Research Networks Focused on Critical Problems of Education Policy and Practice (305N) and Transformative Research in Education (84.305T). More info here.
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA): Part of the USDA, NIFA currently has 17 funding opportunities on its site for 2021, with deadlines from January 13, 2021 to July 29, 2021. Awards range from $25,000 to $15 million. View RFAs and apply here.
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI): AFRI, also part of the USDA, posts three Requests for Applications (RFAs) each year with their own various program area priorities. Deadlines in 2021 range from January 7, 2021 to July 29, 2021. See all program areas and deadlines here.
Institute of Education Sciences (IES): The deadline is February 25, 2021 for applications for two education research and training grant programs. Learn more here.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): NEH offers fellowships, faculty awards, and grants. Digital Humanities Advancement Grants are available from $50,000 to $325,000, and the deadline is January 15, 2021. Deadlines for other opportunities vary throughout the year. See all NEH grants here.
National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC): Part of the National Archives, NHPRC offers grant opportunities for archiving, historical records, state board programming, historical editing, and more. Deadlines in 2021 are as soon as February 25, 2021 and as late as October 7, 2021. Details here.
National Institute of Justice (NIJ): The deadline is February 25, 2021 for two funding opportunities from NIJ: Research and Evaluation on Promising Reentry Initiatives and Research on Juvenile Justice Topics. Get details here.
National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP): Small grants of $2,500 to $5,000 are available for nonprofits and public agencies, and the deadline is February 1, 2021. Learn more here.
National Park Service (NPS): Applications are due January 12, 2021 for the History of Equal Rights grant program and the African American Civil Rights grant opportunity. January 26, 2021 is the application deadline for the Save America’s Treasures grant program. See NPS funding opportunities here.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): January 29, 2021 is the deadline to apply for the Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program and the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities pre-disaster mitigation grant programs. Get the details here.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS): DHS has 29 open funding opportunities that don’t close until June 2023, called Long-Range Broad Agency Announcements. The department also has 11 homeland security topics for small businesses to submit funding proposals for by January 15, 2021. Learn more here.
NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES): NSPIRES’s website has a few research funding opportunities in the short-term future, with proposals due as soon as January 7, 2021. Get more info here.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): HUD has more than 20 grant programs. They have not published 2021 grant application deadlines yet but typically do so 60-90 days before the deadline. Get more info here.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA): NEA offers research grants in the arts up to $100,000 as well as NEA research labs for transdisciplinary research teams. Deadlines for 2021 haven’t been posted yet but will likely be in April, if last year’s is any indication. Learn more here.
Other organizations’ 2021 grant deadlines
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR): Deadlines range from January 5, 2021 to February 28, 2021 for various grants, fellowships, and awards from $50,000 to $300,000. See all current funding opportunities here.
American Heart Association: There are currently four open funding opportunities for research-related undergraduate student training, disparities in cardio-oncology, career development, and diversity in science. Deadlines range from January 14, 2021 to April 1, 2021. Learn more here.
American Cancer Society: Deadlines are April 1, 2021 and October 1, 2021 for research scholar grants, institutional research grants, postdoctoral fellowships, and the clinical scientist development grant. April 1 is also the deadline for research professor grants, and October 1 is the deadline for clinical research professor grants. Details here.
North American Spine Society (NASS): Principal investigators who are NASS members can apply for research grants and young investigator grants in several categories, as well as fellowships and a nonsurgical treatment grant. Letters of proposal are due February 8, 2021. Read FAQs and download the application here.
Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF): Part of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, NREF offers a Cerebrovascular Traveling Fellowship (applications due January 6, 2021) and Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship (applications due February 1, 2021). Details here.
Spencer Foundation: Funding education research, the Spencer Foundation’s Large Research Grants on Education Program provides awards ranging from $125,000 to $500,000. The deadline for proposals is February 5, 2021 (Intent to Apply is due January 15, 2021). Learn more here.
Russell Sage Foundation (RSF): RSF funds research related to improving social and living conditions in the U.S. May 4, 2021 is RSF’s deadline for letters of inquiry related to five areas: behavioral economics; decision making and human behavior in context; future of work; social, political, and economic inequality; COVID-19 causes and consequences; and systemic racial inequality/protests. Get details here.
SIR Foundation: With a focus on interventional radiology research, SIR Foundation opens its grants cycle in April. Proposal development forms are due at the end of June, applications for pre-review are due in mid-October, and final applications are due in mid-January. Learn more here.
Pediatric Orthopedic Society Of North America (POSNA): Researchers in pediatric orthopedics can apply for POSNA grants by submitting a letter of intent in the fall, with full grant applications due in December. More info here.
Radiological Society of North America (RSNA): RSNA offers four types of research grants to radiologists in all stages of their careers: Research Scholar Grants (application deadline: January 15, 2021), Research Seed Grants (same deadline; January 15), Medical Student Research Grants (application deadline: February 3, 2021), and Resident/Fellow Research Grants (deadline also January 15). See grant details here.
William T. Grant Foundation: Letters of Inquiry are due January 13, 2021 for the foundation’s research grants on reducing inequality for U.S. youths ages 5-25. Read more here.
National Blood Foundation: Grants are focused on early-career researchers (who haven’t received an R01 grant before) studying aspects of blood banking, transfusion medicine, cellular therapies, or patient blood management. The 2021 deadline to apply will likely be in December. See more here.
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM): ACSM offers nine different research grants/awards, and the application deadline is January 22, 2021. Read about the various awards and application information here.
Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF): OREF’s deadline is February 21, 2021 for research proposals related to sports, shoulder and elbow, spine, and pediatrics. Grants are $5,000. See more here.
Hopefully this is a useful starting point as you plan 2021, and good luck to all the applicants!