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NIH opportunity for early stage investigators looking to explore new research directions

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released a new opportunity: the Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant. This special program is limited to early stage investigators (ESIs) proposing projects that represent a change in research direction for the Principal Investigator. Preliminary data is neither required nor allowed for this opportunity, so it would be a great fit for any eligible faculty looking to branch out into research areas funded by NIH. Additionally, all applications received as part of this funding opportunity announcement will be clustered and reviewed together, rather than competing against the general pool of NIH applications. 

If you are interested, please contact your Pre-Award Administrator in Sponsored Research Services for more information. 

More information about a few key details is provided below:

Program Type: This program is categorized as an NIH R01 program, which is a large-scale research grant. More information about NIH R01 programs can be found here.

Early Stage Investigators: Information on NIH’s Early Stage Investigator (ESI) status is presented here. NIH defines an ESI as an investigator who has completed their terminal degree within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as Principal Investigator for a substantial NIH independent research award.

New Research Directions: The program instructions offer the following additional information regarding what constitutes a new research direction:

Proposed research projects can rely on the PI’s prior work and expertise as its foundation, but must not be an incremental advancement, expansion, or extension of a previous research effort. The change in research direction could involve, for example, a new approach, methodology, technique, discipline, therapeutic target, and/or new paradigm, different from the ESI’s previous research efforts. Importantly, the proposed direction must represent a change in research direction for the PI. Because a change in research direction is heavily dependent upon the area of investigation, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact a program director to discuss their proposed project.