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2015 Funding Opportunity Announcement

NEW! Funding Opportunity for the Transformative Research Award (TRA) Initiative. Letters of Intent are due September 10, 2014. The application due date is October 10, 2014.  

2015 Request for Applications

Award Announcement

2013 High Risk-High Reward Research Awards Announced!  

The NIH has announced 78 awards to support exceptional innovation in biomedical research. In 2013, the NIH is awarding 12 Pioneer Awards, 41 New Innovator Awards, 10 Transformative Research Awards, and 15 Early Independence Awards. The total funding, which represents contributions from the NIH Common Fund and multiple NIH institutes and centers, is approximately $123 million. Read the press release here.

Karl DeisserothEdward S. Boyden
Two HRHR researchers awarded world’s largest brain research prize

Americans, Karl Deisseroth, a 2005 Pioneer Awardee, and 2012 Transformative Research Awardee, and Edward S. Boyden, a 2007 New Innovator, and 2012 Transformative Research Awardee and four European scientists were awarded the 2013 prize for their contributions to the development of “optogenetics.”

Read more here


CLARITY: fully-assembled biology
Research enhances CLARITY of the brain in neurological disease

NIH Director’s Transformative Research Awardee, Dr. Karl Deisseroth, has developed a new technology, which allows researchers to fluorescently tag small molecules and specific cell types to visualize individual molecular interactions as well as entire cellular networks in 3-D form providing insight at both the molecular and whole system level that was not previously possible.

Read more here

Transformative Research Projects Program

Program Description

The Common Fund's NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award initiative, formerly known as the Transformative Research Project (TR01), is created specifically to support exceptionally innovative and/or unconventional research projects that have the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms. These projects tend to be inherently risky and may not fare well in conventional NIH review. As compared to the other NIH Director’s Awards - the Pioneer, New Innovator Award, and Early Independence Awards - the primary emphasis of the Transformative Research Awards initiative is to support research on bold, paradigm-shifting, but untested ideas, rather than to support exceptionally creative individuals who wish to pursue new, potentially high impact research directions.

To facilitate submission and identification of bold, high impact ideas that are compelling despite the risks involved, the Transformative Research Awards initiative is also piloting novel approaches to application instructions and review. Applicants are instructed to focus their research strategies on significance and innovation without expectations of providing preliminary data. The review uses a multi-phase, Editorial Board style process with explicit emphasis maintained on significance and innovation.

The NIH encourages Transformative Research Award applications from investigators in all disciplines relevant to the NIH mission, including the biological, behavioral, clinical, social, physical, chemical, computational, engineering, and mathematical sciences. Applications from individual investigators or teams of investigators are welcome. Large budget requests, up to the entire funds set aside for the initiative, will be considered.


For more information about the Transformative Research see the 2015 Frequently Asked Questions, or e-mail your questions to Transformative_Awards@mail.nih.gov.

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