High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program
NIH Director's Awards
Four unique NIH Director's awards are available for exceptionally creative scientists who propose highly innovative approaches with high-impact potential to major challenges in biomedical research:
The Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program was created to accelerate the pace of biomedical discoveries by supporting exceptionally creative scientists with highly innovative research. The program seeks to identify scientists with high-impact ideas that may be risky or at a stage too early to fare well in the traditional peer review process. The program encourages creative, outside-the-box thinkers to pursue exciting and innovative ideas in any area of biomedical research relevant to the NIH mission. Four initiatives were created for this purpose:
The NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, established in 2004, challenges investigators at all career levels to pursue new research directions and develop groundbreaking, high-impact approaches to a broad area of biomedical or behavioral science.
The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, established in 2007, supports unusually innovative research from early career investigators who are within 10 years of their final degree or clinical residency and have not yet received a research project grant or equivalent NIH grant.
The NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award, established in 2009, promotes cross-cutting, interdisciplinary approaches and is open to individuals and teams of investigators who propose unconventional research that could create or challenge existing paradigms.
The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, established in 2010, provides an opportunity for exceptional junior scientists who have recently received their doctoral degree or completed their medical residency to skip traditional post-doctoral training and move immediately into independent research positions.
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This page last reviewed on January 5, 2018