Released: April 19, 2021

Defense Health Program
Department of Defense Hearing Restoration Research Program
Anticipated Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21)

The FY21 Defense Appropriations Act provides funding to the Department of Defense Hearing Restoration Research Program (HRRP) to support promising, necessary research for the treatment of auditory system injury. The managing agent for the anticipated program announcements/funding opportunities is the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC).

The HRRP is providing the information in this pre-announcement to allow investigators time to plan and develop ideas for submission to the anticipated FY21 funding opportunities. This pre-announcement should not be construed as an obligation by the Government. The FY21 HRRP program announcement and General Application Instructions for the following award mechanism will be posted on the website. Pre-application and application deadlines will be available when the program announcement is released. 

Applications submitted to the FY21 HRRP must address one or more of the following Focus Areas:

  • Accelerate translation of biological regeneration/repair mechanisms into therapies that treat auditory system injury and restore auditory function. For example, but not limited to:
    • Hair cell regeneration/repair/recovery
    • Neural regeneration/repair/recovery
    • Treatment for synaptopathy and hidden hearing loss
  • Diagnostic tests that help differentiate sensory, neural, synaptic, and central processing disorders, that may inform applicability and outcomes for current or future hearing restoration therapeutics.
  • Develop reliable in-vitro human models to facilitate the understanding, derivation and characterization of human auditory cells, and/or to facilitate the evaluation of hearing restoration therapies.
  • Develop and/or validate techniques/methods beyond the audiogram to diagnose acute auditory system injury in austere or remote environments. For example, but not limited to, simple and rapid assessments that are compatible with portable platforms.

Award Mechanism Eligibility Key Mechanism Elements Funding
Focused Research Award Independent investigators at all academic levels (or equivalent) are eligible to submit applications. Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • Funding Level 1 supports exploratory, high-risk/high-reward research in the earliest stages of development.
    • Research must have the potential to yield new avenues of investigation, such as new approaches, new research tools, or new paradigms.
    • While preliminary data are not required, applicants must provide solid rationale of the research idea.
    • The investigating team must have sufficient expertise to test the idea.
  • Funding Level 2 supports the advancement of more mature research that has the potential to make significant advancements toward clinical translation.
    • Preliminary data supporting the readiness and feasibility of the proposed research are required.
    • May include, as a portion of the proposed research, a pilot clinical trial component that collects preliminary data to inform the feasibility, rationale, and design of subsequent clinical trials.
  • The PI is responsible for selecting the funding level most appropriate for the research proposed. The funding level should be selected based on the scope of the research project, rather than the amount of the budget.
  • Tinnitus or vestibular-related research is excluded.
Funding Level 1:
  • Maximum funding of $250,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • The maximum period of performance is years.

Funding Level 2:

  • Maximum funding of $1M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • The maximum period of performance is years.

Funding Level 2 with Pilot Clinical Trial Option:

  • Maximum funding of $1.25M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • The maximum period of performance is years.

A pre-application is required and must be submitted through the electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP) at prior to the pre-application deadline. All applications must conform to the final Program Announcements and General Application Instructions that will be available for electronic downloading from the website. The application package containing the required forms for each award mechanism will also be found on A listing of all CDMRP and other USAMRDC extramural funding opportunities can be obtained on the website by performing a basic search using CFDA Number 12.420. 

Submission deadlines are not available until the Program Announcements are released. For email notification when Program Announcements are released, subscribe to program-specific news and updates under “Email Subscriptions” on the eBRAP homepage at For more information about the HRRP or other CDMRP-administered programs, please visit the CDMRP website (

Point of Contact:

CDMRP Public Affairs

Last updated Thursday, May 26, 2022