Frequently Asked Questions



No. The IMAT Program is first and foremost a technology development initiative. Applications proposing research projects centered on discovery biology, no matter how novel, will be deemed non-responsive to the program and returned to the applicant without review. Applications centered on innovative technology development and that also utilize or exploit novel biology in order to illustrate the enhancement or development of innovative or applied emerging technologies are considered responsive.

In general, technology refers to instruments, devices, platforms, tools and associated techniques or methods.

The IMAT Program seeks to foster the development and technical maturation of highly innovative, emerging, and potentially transformative next-generation technologies. As such, technical innovation is a key component of the program and technologies that are in widespread use or commercially available are not supported by the program.

Use of commercialized products is allowable insofar as they support the development, evaluation, or maturation of innovative, emerging and/or non-commercialized technologies. Applications proposing the sole use of commercially available technologies to pursue biologically driven research are non-responsive to the program.

No. The IMAT Program solicits both molecular and cellular analytical and characterization technologies across a wide-range of cross-cutting disciplines. The program encourages collaborative approaches in order to overcome mutual technical barriers in multiple areas of research. Robust technologies appropriate for basic, clinical, or translational use are actively being solicited by the program.

The R21 mechanism is meant to support research projects in which proof-of-principle has not yet been established. The aim of such an award is thus to acquire, through a series of quantitative milestone completion, sufficient data to demonstrate proof of principle.

The R33 mechanism is meant to support research projects for which proof-of-principle has already been established. This mechanism is more developmental in nature and thus serves as a continuation of an R21 type of award. This mechanism is meant to support the further maturation of a technology over a 3-year period.

Specific requirements for each of these types of grants are outlined in the funding overview section of this website and in each of the relevant RFAs.

No. Applicants may apply directly for an R33 provided they have sufficient data to adequately demonstrate or establish proof-of-principle. R33 applications based on previously funded IMAT R21s, however, are required to quote the final Milestones from the R21 Notice of Award and discuss the extent to which these milestones have been achieved.

Yes, applicants to have questions concerning suitability of a potential proposal are strongly encouraged to contact a program staff member prior to submission.

Yes. Specific eligibility criteria are stipulated in each R21 and R33 RFA.

Yes. Please refer to the eligibility criteria stipulated in each RFA.