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


  • Non-COVID-19-related research proposals should apply to funding opportunity announcement RFA-RM-20-013.
  • COVID-19-related research proposals should apply to funding opportunity announcement RFA-RM-20-020.
  • Applications for both RFAs must be submitted by September 30, 2020.
  • All applications submitted to the two RFAs will be reviewed together at the same time using the same process.
  • 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.
Funding Opportunities
FY 2020

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

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

FY 2020

Closed September 20, 2019

               NIH Director's Transformative Research Award FAQs




Q&A Webinar

A live Q&A webinar will be held in June or July of 2020. Check back for a specific date and time. NIH program and review staff will provide information on the application and review process and answer questions submitted by the public. The webinar will be recorded and made available here.


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This page last reviewed on May 29, 2020