Bold New Bioengineering Methods and Approaches for Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Disorders and Diseases (R21)

Bold New Bioengineering Methods and Approaches for Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Disorders and Diseases (R21)
Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Healthnew lungs


The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to seek innovative, high-risk bioengineering research for which preliminary results have not yet been obtained, explore new approaches or concepts that are important to a substantive heart, lung, blood or sleep disorder or disease, support the translation of research into practice, technologies, or commercial products, and to develop trans-disciplinary projects upon which significant future research may be built.  This  program will allow investigators to enter new fields and apply cutting-edge approaches to improve the Nation’s health through bioengineering research.  In particular, ground-breaking studies aimed towards the development of novel agents, materials or coatings related to medical devices and engineered tissues would be uniquely fostered by this FOA.


Originally conceptualized by the NIH Bioengineering Consortium in 2003, NHLBI Exploratory Bioengineering Research Grants (EBRGs) were submitted under PA-12-284 (reissued as PA-16-040, which is administered by NIBIB).  NHLBI examined its EBRG R21 portfolio and found this funding mechanism as a useful and cost-effective way for established investigators to open new areas of research. Our data suggests that low-cost, short term projects may incentivize research teams, especially those not captured by the traditional R01 mechanism.

Why Bioengineering? The NHLBI bioengineering community has transformed medicine by creating the artificial heart, pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators, Ventricular Assist Devices, stents, human tissue chip devices and cell/gene/combination product therapies. These examples demonstrate that bioengineering is a synergistic approach that crosses not only all technology-related areas of NHLBI, but also all of our Disease-specific domains. Further, bioengineering is unique because unlike most scientific focuses, such as heart disease, it demands collaboration across disciplines, which looks to be necessary for advancement of needed technologies. Our ability to achieve alternative and more effective therapies is an urgent need for NHLBI. It is envisioned that this targeted RFA will serve as an opportunity to address scientific gaps and to programmatically balance bioengineering projects across the NHLBI. We are seeking only the most unique, highly innovative and groundbreaking approaches with potential for significant impact on reducing the burden of disease. Applicants are advised to query NIH RePORTER to make sure their approach or idea has not been funded before.

The use of the R21 mechanism is intended to support short-term exploratory research projects. Long-term projects, or projects designed to increase knowledge in a well-established area, will not be considered for R21 awards. Additionally, R21 applications may involve considerable risk, so they should clearly explain the significance of the proposed work and why the potential impact outweighs these risks

General Information

Document Type: Grants Notice
Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-HL-17-015
Funding Opportunity Title: Bold New Bioengineering Methods and Approaches for Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Disorders and Diseases (R21)
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Health
Category Explanation:
Expected Number of Awards:
CFDA Number(s): 93.233 — National Center on Sleep Disorders Research
93.837 — Cardiovascular Diseases Research
93.838 — Lung Diseases Research
93.839 — Blood Diseases and Resources Research
93.840 — Translation and Implementation Science Research for Heart, Lung, Blood Diseases, and Sleep Disorders
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
Posted Date: Jun 13, 2016
Last Updated Date: Jun 13, 2016
Original Closing Date for Applications: May 10, 2019  
Current Closing Date for Applications: May 10, 2019  
Archive Date: Jun 10, 2019
Estimated Total Program Funding: $1,350,000
Award Ceiling: $150,000


Eligible Applicants:
For profit organizations other than small businesses
Special district governments
County governments
City or township governments
State governments
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Small businesses
Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Independent school districts
Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
Private institutions of higher education
Additional Information on Eligibility: Other Eligible Applicants include the following: Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions; Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISISs); Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government; Faith-based or Community-based Organizations; Hispanic-serving Institutions; Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized); Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations); Regional Organizations; Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs) ; U.S. Territory or Possession; Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply. Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply. Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed.

Additional Information

Agency Name: National Institutes of Health
Description: The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage basic, translational, and clinical proof-of-concept research projects that are needed for the advancement of bioengineering approaches for heart, lung, blood and sleep diseases.
Link to Additional Information:
Contact Information: If you have difficulty accessing the full announcement electronically, please contact:

NIH OER Webmaster FBOWebmaster@OD.NIH.GOV
If you have any problems linking to this funding announcement, please contact the NIH OER Webmaster


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