NIH Director's Transformative Research Award

Funding opportunities for exceptionally innovative and unconventional research projects

NIH Director's Transformative Research Award

Part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the award supports individuals or teams proposing transformative projects that are inherently risky and untested but have the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms and may require very large budgets.

  • Open to all career stages
  • Open to individuals or teams
  • No preliminary data required
  • Flexible budgets
  • Effort commensurate to project needs



Application Information


  • An anonymized review process will be piloted for RFA-RM-20-013 and RFA-RM-20-020. See the funding opportunity announcements for more information on the review process.
  • New Application & Award Guidance is available with more information on how to apply and sample applications.
Funding Opportunities
FY 2021

Non-COVID-19 Proposals: RFA-RM-20-013
Closed September 30, 2020

COVID-19 Proposals: RFA-RM-20-020
Closed September 30, 2020

Special Interest in ALS Applications: NOT-RM-20-019
(Apply through RFA-RM-20-013)
Closed September 30, 2020

Notice of Clarification for Post-Submission Material Policy During COVID-19 Pandemic

               NIH Director's Transformative Research Award FAQs





Q&A Webinar (June 29, 2020)

NIH program and review staff discussed the funding opportunity and answered questions from prospective applicants in a pre-application interactive Q&A webinar. The video and slides of the webinar are now available. An audio described version of the webinar is forthcoming and will be posted when available. If you need assistance before the audio described version is posted, please contact us at

Click to download slides of webinar presentations


Join our Listserv or contact us at

This page last reviewed on October 23, 2020