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Research Project Grants (RPGs)

During fiscal year 2021,

  • Over 72% of competing dollars supported grants awarded within the established payline and RFAs and the remainder supported grants as an exception to the fundable range.
  • RFA funds accounted for 13.1% of the FY 2021 competing dollars.
  • A total of 1,331 competing RPGs were funded.

The FY 2020 figures include FY 2020 Cancer Moonshot funds and the FY 2021 figures include FY 2021 Cancer Moonshot funds.

The FY 2021 competing RPG average cost calculation includes multi-year funded grants with a 1 year average cost estimation.

Number of RPG Awards

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Includes Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Awards.
Fiscal years 2017 through 2021 includes Cancer Moonshot funding appropriated that fiscal year and excludes all carryover obligations for fiscal years 2018 through 2021.

RPGs Summary, FY 2020-2021

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RPG Awards Funded
(Dollars in Thousands)
RPG Awards Funded 2020 No. or % 2020 Amount 2021 No. or % 2021 Amount
Total Funding for RPGs 5,070 2,771,666 5,210 2,822,415
SBIR/STTR 217 151,141 238 158,269
Funding for RPGs without SBIR/STTR Program 4,853 2,620,526 4,972 2,664,145
Continuation or Noncompeting Grants Funded 3,636 1,814,161 3,641 1,886,072
Competing Grants Funded 1,217 681,401 1,331 640,878
Administrative Supplements 221 30,503 283 40,531
Partial Assessment for DHHS Program Evaluation   94,460   96,664
Funds Set Aside Within Competing Dollars
(Dollars in Thousands)
Grant Category R01 or Share 2020 No. or % 2020 Amount 2021 No. or % 2021 Amount
Grants within Paylines   933 409,440 1,007 440,021
Traditional R01 714 352,832 733 376,081
RFA Grants   93 143,328 151 83,636
Share of Competing Grant Funds 21.0%   13.1%  
Exception Grants   284 271,961 324 200,857
Share of Competing Grant Funds 39.9%   31.3%  
Competing RPGs
Statistical Measure 2020 2021
*Excludes SBIR/STTR  
**The FY 2021 competing RPG average cost calculation includes multi-year funded grants with a 1 year average cost estimation.  
FY 2020 figures include FY 2020 Cancer Moonshot funds.  
FY 2021 figures include FY 2021 Cancer Moonshot funds.  
Total Competing Application Requests* 9,538 9,601
Funding Success Rate 13% 14%
Percentile Funding for R01 Grants 10th & 15th 11th & 16th
Average Cost-Competing** $503 $486
Average Reduction from Recommended/Requested Levels -14% -14%

RPGs Funding Mechanisms

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The "Other" category includes DP1, DP2, DP5, R00, R37, U01, U19, UH2, UH3, UG3, UA5, R50, UM1, R15, R55 and R56 grant activities.

Includes fiscal years 2020 and 2021 Cancer Moonshot funding and excludes all carryover obligations

Grant Funding Paylines
RPG Mechanism 2020 2021 Description
*SPL = Scientific Program Leaders (NCI)
R01 Traditional Grants 10th & 15th  11th & 16th Percentile
P01 Program Projects 17% Reduction 17% Reduction SPL Selected*
R03 Small Grants 25 25 Impact Score
R15 Academic Research 25 25 Impact Score
R21 Exploratory Phase I 9th 9th Percentile
R33 Exploratory Phase II N/A N/A SPL Selected*
R41/R42 STTR 26 28 Impact Score
R43/R44 SBIR 25 22 Impact Score

RPGs Requested and Awarded

The following table displays requested and awarded RPGs and the success rate for fiscal years 2019 and 2020. These numbers include Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) awards. The Download the Data link contains data for the prior ten years.

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RPGs Requested, Awarded, and Success Rate
(Dollars in Thousands)
Fiscal Year Type Number Requested Amount Requested Number Awarded Amount Awarded Success Rate
Includes Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Awards.
Success rate is the number of awarded grants divided by the number of awards requested.
Fiscal years 2017 through 2021 includes Cancer Moonshot funding appropriated that fiscal year and excludes all carryover obligations for fiscal years 2018 through 2021.
2020 Competing New 10,361 $4,866,693 1,210 $595,825 12.4%
Competing Renewal 463 385,101 136 161,312
Competing Supplement 28 7,485 4 885
Competing Subtotal 10,852 5,259,279 1,350 758,022
Non-Competing     3,720 2,013,645
FY 2020 RPG Total     5,070 $2,771,666
2021
 
Competing New 10,080 $4,935,665 1,336 $630,816 14.1%
 
Competing Renewal 409 289,208 141 93,308
Competing Supplement 39 16,065 9 2,875
Competing Subtotal 10,528 5,240,938 1,486 726,998
Non- Competing     3,724 2,095,416
FY 2021 RPG Total     5,210 $2,822,415

RPG Awards by Grant Activity Codes

This table displays awarded research project grants (RPG) data by grant activity code and count. Please visit NIH Activity Codes for more information on the descriptions.

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RPGs Average Cost, FY 2011-2021
(Dollars in Thousands)
Year Total No. Awarded Total Amount Average Cost
RPG Activity Codes with a "0" count displayed for No. are grants where NCI did not take the grant award count for the funding since NCI was not the Primary IC funding the award.
From FY 2017 onward, RFAs will be accounted for in the actual grant mechanism categories under which they fall.
*Fiscal years 2017 through 2021 includes Cancer Moonshot funding appropriated that fiscal year and excludes all carryover obligations for fiscal years 2018 through 2021.
**Fiscal year 2021 includes multi-year funded grants with a 1 year average cost estimation. 
2011 5,019 $2, 088,352 $416
2012 5,021 $2,075,295 $413
2013 4,816 $1,924,803 $400
2014 4,814 $1,939,623 $403
2015 4,767 $2,019,308 $424
2016 4,666 $2,068,869 $443
*2017 4,663 $2,195,184 $471
*2018 4,780 $2,366,530 $495
*2019 4,984 $2,456,156 $493
*2020 5,070 $2,677,206 $514
**2021 5,210 $2,725,751 $523
RPG Awards by Grant Activity Codes, FY 2019-2020
(Dollars in Thousands)
Grant Code 2020
Number
2020
Amount
2021 Number 2021 Amount
RPG Activity Codes with a "0" count displayed for No. are grants where NCI did not take the grant award count for the funding since NCI was not the Primary IC funding the award.    
From FY 2017 onward, RFAs will be accounted for in the actual grant mechanism categories under which they fall.    
Fiscal years 2017 through 2021 includes Cancer Moonshot funding appropriated that fiscal year and excludes all carryover obligations for fiscal years 2018 through 2020.    
Fiscal year 2021 includes multi-year funded grants with a 1 year average cost estimation.     
R01 3,316 $1,555,105 3,448 $1,622,714
DP1 1 1,197 0 0
DP2 0 0 0 0
DP5 0 0 0 0
P01 93 187,766 96 196,613
R00 95 23,566 78 18,841
R37 156 71,569 220 100,632
*RFA 0 0 0 0
U01 300 257,018 304 238,270
U19 2 6,335 6 10,052
UH2 7 1,573 7 1,603
R35 154 145,771 166 158,472
R50 96 15,799 77 12,889
UH3 36 20,106 29 19,204
UA5 0 0 0 0
UM1 23 102,669 15 55,880
UG3 8 4,387 13 10,917
R03 119 11,689 93 8,383
R21 387 92,517 367 89,334
R33 37 19,351 34 16,535
R15 22 9,299 18 7,018
R55 0 0 0 0
R56 1 345 1 122
RC2 0 0 0 0
SBIR/STTR 217 151,141 238 158,269
Total 5,070 $2,677,206 5,210 $2,725,751
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